The Chiemsee is Bavaria's biggest lake (if you don't count Bodensee which is only partially in the state) and its natural beauty and water sports make the area popular with de-stressing city dwellers – many affluent Munich residents own weekend retreats by its shimmering waters. However, the vast majority of foreign visitors arrive at the shores of the Bavarian Sea – as Chiemsee is often called – in search of King Ludwig II’s Schloss Herrenchiemsee.

The towns of Prien am Chiemsee and, about 5km south, Bernau am Chiemsee (both on the Munich–Salzburg rail line) are good bases for exploring the lake. Of the two towns, Prien is by far the larger and livelier.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Chiemsee.