From hair-raisingly steep mountain passes dusted with snow to winding country lanes flanked by medieval villages and hilltop fortresses, Germany’s southernmost state offers a blissful backdrop for a driving tour. Whether you want to escape to the Alps or pick up some speed on the motorway (Germany notoriously has no speed limits on its autobahns), now’s the time to hire a car, pack up a picnic and hit the road. Here are 7 of the best road trips in Bavaria to give you some inspiration.
Think of Germany’s southernmost state and images of beer-swilling, lederhosen-wearing revelers probably come to mind, but there’s much more to the Bavarian capital than its stereotypes suggest. From Segway city tours to urban surfing, here are 40 unforgettable experiences to have in Munich and don’t worry, we’ve included plenty of options for beer lovers too!
All-too-often overlooked by travelers heading south to the Alps or north to the Bavarian Forest, the historic town of Passau is one of Bavaria’s most interesting off-the-beaten-track destinations. An easy trip from Munich or Salzburg, Passau’s unique selling point is its inimitable location – flanked by the Austrian and Czech borders and set on the meeting point of three rivers – the Ilz from the north, the Danube from the west, and the Inn from the south.
With its fairytale castles dusted with snow and medieval villages lit up with Christmas lights, Bavaria is an enchanting place to pass the winter months. You can’t visit Germany in wintertime without stocking up on festive goods at one of Bavaria’s traditional Christmas markets and there are plenty to choose from. Munich is host to over 20 Christmas markets and some spectacular lights displays, including the Christmas Village at the Royal Palace, the Tollwood Winter Festival and the historic Christkindl Markt in Marienplatz. Alternatively, the huge Nuremberg Christmas market is one of Germany’s oldest and biggest, with festive huts dotted throughout the Old Town; Rothenburg ob der Tauber hosts a medieval-themed market; and the Bamberg Christmas market is renowned for its local crafts.
With millions of colored fairy lights brightening up the cities and the snowy peaks of the Bavarian Alps in the background, Christmas is an enchanting time to visit Bavaria and the southernmost state wastes no time in getting in the festive mood. With so many seasonal events and atmospheric Christmas markets taking place around the state, Bavaria’s Christmas spirit is infectious, so warm your hands on a cup of Glühwein (hot mulled wine) and brush up on your carol singing, before setting out on the ultimate Christmas shopping trip.
It might be over 800km to the nearest ocean, but landlocked Munich hasn’t let that stop it from becoming the surf capital of Bavaria. A unique tradition dating back to 1972, surfing the waves of the River Eisbach has become a popular pastime in the Bavarian capital, with crowds of thrill seekers congregating at the bridge next to the Haus der Kunst all year round.