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.
I’ve Always Wanted to go to Oktoberfest
If this is you, be prepared to celebrate and be jolly with millions of others. Book your hotel at least 6 months in advance (or stay in a neighbouring town such as Augsburg or Garmisch-Partenkirchen). Also, bring hangover medicine (in the festival tents, beer mugs come in one-litre sizes only) and leave by 10pm to avoid the drunken masses crowding the public transport.
The Pig, the Potato and Vegetarians
Pork is king in Bavaria, and locals have no qualms about eating the entire animal. Knuckles, belly and tongue are all cooked up, but less adventurous eaters will find roast pork on most menus. Potatoes will probably join your meat in one form or another (boiled, fried, mashed or shaped into a dumpling). So it’s no surprise why beer is so popular here - what else would you wash it all down with? Vegetarians – don’t fret. Each season brings fresh produce to the table – look for succulent white asparagus around May, wild mushrooms in late summer and early autumn, and onion tart around October.
Romancing on the Romantic Road
Germany’s most famous drive won’t be a honeymoon if you spend your days getting burned out on one too many medieval towers. Cycling the route, or breaking up a car journey with a day of cycling, is one of the most rewarding ways to enjoy the Romantic Road. Bike hire is available at most train stations and gentle hills make it accessible for even the least-sporty traveller.