Updated: Mar 7
Southern Germany, Bavaria, is truly a magical place. A journey through Bavaria can lead you to discover castles, delicious food, delightful beverages, and history longer than time. From Nuremberg, to Munich and even stretching to Strasbourg, Austria, the region is known for its beer, sausage, and history. Travel along this week as we discover the top things to do in Bavaria.
This is the main reason that people flock to Munich. The festival lasts for almost three weeks at the end of September. You'll find parades with horse-drawn beer carts and even bump into strangers that let you tag along on their tent hopping adventure. While the festival centers around the local beer brewed in Bavaria, there is much more to do there for those not so crazy about beer. You can experience carnival games, sit on the steps of the library and people watch, enjoy a giant pretzel, and sing along to a rendition of Country Roads played by a genuine polka band. There is no better way to truly experience Munich than attending at least one day of Oktoberfest.
The main meeting point for Hitler's diplomatic leaders was at Eagles Nest, seated high above the town of Berchtesgaden. This retreat is a remarkable feat of engineering as it was constructed in just 13 months at a summit of over 1800 feet. Once completed, this was not one of Hitler's favorite meeting spots. It is said that he only visited a hand full of times. What makes this location so incredible, other than the views from the top, is that it is one of the few remaining buildings built during the Third Riech. It remains virtually unchanged as to what it would have been during World War II. To get to the fantastic summit, it is either a two-hour hike or the way the diplomats arrived, up an elevator shaft in the middle of the mountain. If Eagles' Nest's heights are something you want to avoid, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg is another way to experience the Third Riech. While in Nuremberg, you can see what is left standing of the 2700 acre complex. There were six rallies held there over the course of five years. Most of the historic buildings suffered significant damage in the aftermath of WWII, but some areas are still accessible.
A more solemn side of WWII history in Bavaria is the Dachau Concentration Camp. It was the first concentration camp in Germany that housed Jewish prisoners and German and Austrian political prisoners. It was the first of many concentration camps scattered across Germany. This one is said to have been particularly brutal for its medical experiments. There were over 200,000 documented prisoners that passed through the gates, but countless more were never recorded. The living conditions were horrible. Therefore disease and malnutrition ran rampant. That was the cause of thousands of deaths of the prisoners. Today, the Dachau Memorial and Museum stands at the site of the camp. It is free of charge for visitors to honor, remember and learn about the experience of the victims of the Nazi Party. This is a humbling experience that cannot be missed when visiting Southern Germany.
One thing that is for sure is that Germany is full of stunning castles. The castle at Magic Kingdom in Disney World is modeled after the German Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle. King Ludwig had this castle built to honor the famous composer, Richard Wagner. This beautiful castle sits high atop the mountainside. It was ahead of its time for technology. It housed an early version of running hot and cold water, central heating to provide heat throughout the 14 rooms, and a lift system to make this castle state of the art for the 19th century. Because of the magical nature of this castle it receives over 6,000 visitors a day, and it is essential to make reservations and plan ahead. A much older castle that is slightly less magical but easily as important as Neuschwanstein is Hohenschwangau Castle. It is a castle that can date back to the 12th century. It had passed through many hands, but ultimately the son of Crown Prince Maximilian discovered this while exploring the Alps. He then renovated this dilapidated castle into a summer home. King Ludwig II, fell in love with this castle and remodeled it to the beautiful state that it is in today. You can tour this astonishing palace, travel back in time, and feel the joy that King Ludwig II felt when calling this place home.
There is so much to do in Bavaria as you venture from north to south. No matter what your interest, we can plan the most fantastic trip for you. Schedule a consultation today to plan a trip to Bavaria that you'll never forget.