From the cloud-shredding Alps to the fertile Danube plain, the Free State of Bavaria is a place that keeps its clichéd promises. Story-book castles bequeathed by an oddball king poke through dark forest, cowbells tinkle in flower-filled meadows, the thwack of palm on lederhosen accompanies the clump of frothy stein on timber bench, and medieval walled towns go about their time-warped business.
But diverse Bavaria offers much more than the chocolate-box idyll. Learn about Bavaria’s state-of-the-art motor industry in Ingolstadt, discover its Nazi past in Nuremberg and Berchtesgaden, sip world-class wines in Würzburg, get on the Wagner trail in Bayreuth or seek out countless kiddy attractions across the state. Destinations are often described as possessing ‘something for everyone’, but in Bavaria’s case this is no exaggeration.
And, whatever you do in Germany’s southeast, every occasion is infused with that untranslatable feel-good air of Gemütlichkeit (cosiness) that makes exploring the region such an easygoing experience.
Bavaria destination essentials
A long checklist of castles, churches and natural wonders will lure you to Germany's largest state, just as sure as the food, the people and the intrinsic sense of tradition will have you coming back...