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The 10 Best Destinations in Bavaria and Things to Do Around Munich

Eibsee View

Since the Corona pandemic has us all stay at home, I used these past weeks to explore the best destinations in Bavaria. It’s so easy to forget how beautiful your home country/ city is and this was a prefect reminder to appreciate what’s right in front of you.

Bavaria is located in the southeast of Germany and has arguably the most amazing and pretty landscapes in all of Germany. Bavaria is an absolute dream for any outdoor adventurer and nature lover. The following post about the 10 best destinations and things to do will hopefully give you some serious wanderlust to visit Bavaria YESTERDAY.  If you’re looking for things to do in Munich itself, go check out this post and let me know what you think or if anything should be added to the list 😊

Let’s have a look at the 10 best destinations in Bavaria and Things to Do Around Munich.

1. EIBSEE, BAVARIA, GERMANY

Things to do here:

  • Go for an easy, amazing 2-hour walk around the lake
  • Spent a day relaxing by the lake
  • Rent a SUP or boat and explore the lake

The Eibsee is located in the southeast of Bavaria, about 1,5 hours away from Munich and about 20 minutes from Garmisch-Patenkirchen. I only recently discovered this absolute gem and it’s now in the top of my best destinations in Bavaria list. Coming here is by far my most favorite thing to do in Bavaria. The lake has a couple of smaller islands inside of it and the water will make it seem like you just teleported to the Maledives. As if that was not enough, the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain) is located right behind the lake. This results in one of the most breathtaking views you get to enjoy in Germany.

You can spend the day walking around the lake and taking in all the views while finding the perfect spot to go for a swim. I advise you to start your walk by taking a left, past the restaurant, to enjoy the nicer swimming spots with the bluest and clearest water. The walk takes about 2 hours and is a very easy one.

There is a restaurant in case you do not feel like walking and just want to take in the ridiculous views while enjoying a beer or meal. 

2. BERCHTESGARDEN/KÖNIGSSEE

Things to Do here:

  • go on a walk through Berchtesgaden
  • Hop on the boat that takes you across the Königsee and (HIGHLY recommend by me :D)

Königsee is another absolute favorite destination of mine in Bavaria and even in all of Germany. It’s all the way in the southeast of Bavaria, about 2,5 hours from Munich. The drive alone will already blow your mind. It is one of the nicest destinations you can go on in Bavaria and all of Germany. The lake itself is surrounded by mountains that will make you feel like you’re in New Zealand and the boat ride is worth every single Euro. During the ride, you will get to enjoy mind-blowing views, some of the clearest waters you can find in Germany as well numerous waterfalls coming down the mountainside. The whole scene honestly made me think I was in an Avatar movie.

My Tip about the Boat Ride at Königsee:

There are 3 different stops on the boat ride. I recommend going all the way to the last one because it is the nicest one. There is a short hike you have to master (about 40 minutes and relatively easy) and in the end, you’ll be rewarded with one of the nicest views in Germany. 

3. HERZOGSTAND

The Herzogstand is one of the most commonly known hikes in and around Munich. That does not mean that it’s not worth it or too crowded. On the way up to the peak, you’ll already be rewarded with amazing views of the Walchensee. Honestly, the first 30 minutes are already so incredible. It makes you feel like you’re in Canada (or some other cool place haha).

The hike itself takes about 2-3 hours. Although it is officially labeled an easy hike, I found it a bit hard. It does get pretty steep at times and just keeps on going and going. Once you’re almost at the top, you’ll find a little restaurant/beer garden from which you can enjoy the views.

If you want to make it all the way to the top, there are two possibilities. You can either walk all the way to the actual Herzogstand or you go up to Martinskopf. I definitely prefer the latter one. It not only a lot shorter (20 minutes :D) but the view of the Walchensee and the snow-covered Alps is better. There are also a lot less people up here.#

4. WALCHENSEE

Until I discovered the Eibsee, the Walchensee was my absolute favorite lake in Germany. It’s only an hour south of Munich and is also known as the German counterpart to the Maldives. The water is super blue, you can enjoy the mountains in the background, rent SUPs and go for a very refreshing swim. Parking can be a little hard here during the summer months, however. I advise you to keep on driving around the lake for a little while. It gets less crowded and a bit nicer too.

There is a private road that you can turn onto for 5€ which is absolutely worth it. It is here, where you will find empty beaches and the best views which is why this lake is part of the best destinations in Bavaria.

5. STAFFELALM

The Staffelalm itself is a small restaurant on top of a big mountain that offers you amazing views of the snow-covered alp. You start your hike in Kochel which is less than an hour south of Germany. You can also take the train to get there. The hike pretty much starts super close to the train station and google maps can easily help lead the way. The hike up to the Staffelalm takes about two hours and is mostly ok. There is one part that’s pretty steep (and when I say pretty steep, it means that it looks absolutely ridiculous). It is doable once you get started, however. On the way to the Staffelalm, you’ll most likely run into herds of free-roaming cows. This is my absolute favorite thing and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.

Once you reach the Staffelalm, you can buy a drink or some snacks and just enjoy the view.

6. STARNBERGER LAKE

Starnberger Lake with Boat
Calm Morning at the Starnberger Lake

The Starnberger lake is the “neighborhood” lake for people who live in Munich. It’s a super short, 30-minute drive south of Munich and welcomes you with an incredible view of the Alps on a clear day. If you don’t have a car, you can also easily hop on a subway from the city that will take you there in 35 minutes. Once you’ve arrived, you can just hang out by the lake, go for swims, rent a SUP or go for a nice walk around the lake. There are a bunch of really nice cafes, ice cream stores and restaurants that make it impossible to want to leave.

7. TEGERNSEER HÜTTE

Alright, so the hike to the Tegernseer Hütte is the hardest hike I ever went on here in Germany, but it was soooo worth it. That alone is reason enough for it to be in the list of best destinations in Bavaria. There are numerous trails to get up there and I wish I could remember which one we took, but I can’t. All I know, however, is that you’ll have to master 2 hours of super steep uphill hiking. You will absolutely be rewarded with a freaking gorgeous view of more mountains, forests, and cows that you think you’re in the Sound of Music.

Once you reach the Tegernseer Hütte, you can obviously pause for a couple of drinks and foods and take in the nice views that you’ve worked so hard for. Absolutely recommend this hike if you feel like a challenge and want to be rewarded with some of the nicest views you could possibly ever enjoy on a hike.

8. PARTNACH GORGE/ PARTNACHALM

The Partnach Gorge is another one of the more popular destinations in Bavaria and Munich but it’s absolutely out of this world and so worth it. It’s also located an hour south of Munich, super close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen and easily reachable by car as well as by train.

There are two ways you can plan your day around the Partnach Gorge:

  • You can hike directly the Partnach Gorge

Once you reach the parking area, you will find signs leading you to the Klamm and you just have to follow them. The hike takes about 1,5-2 hours one way and is really nice. You will however have to walk the same way back that you took to get there.

  • You take the cable car up to the Partnachalm and hike down through the Partnach Gorge

This trip is one of my favorite ones because you get to enjoy the best of all worlds. The cable car ride is about to 10€ (check out their website here though). Once you’re at the Alm, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views again. The views from the little restaurant are absolutely ridiculous and it’s almost impossible not to stop here to enjoy a beer. Once you feel ready, you simply start following the sign to the Partnach Gorge. The best things about this route? Well, you’ll get to see the whole Klamm. You will also make use of a circular trail. On top of that, it is almost impossible not to see any cows here. If you take this route, it’s also a pretty easy hike. I did it in Flip Flops once which was absolutely fine. Most of it is downhill but the views are still next level.

There is a third option you can take if you’re up for a longer hike, so check out the next point.

9. PARTNACHKLAMM AND REINTAL ANGER HÜTTE

If you want to go on a hike and enjoy a beer with one of the best views in Bavaria, this is for you. The Reintal Anger Hütte is basically right behind the Partnachgorge. It is one of the coolest and nicest looking destinations I’ve been to. After walking almost all of the Partchnachgorge, you will see a sign and turn towards the Reintal Anger Hütte. From there, it should be about a one hour hike. It’s a medium level hike, according to my fitness standard (which is, if I’m being honest, absolutely ridiculous haha)

10. NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

View of the Neuschwanstein Castle
View of the Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular destinations in Bavaria and rightly so. The castle is located in Füssen which is about 1,5 hours from Munich. To get to the castle, you have to walk up a “hill” for about 25 minutes but what awaits you is absolutely worth it. There is an option to go inside the castle. Keep in mind to buy your ticket before you walk up the hill. There are also different viewpoints, my favorite one is from the Marienbrücke. If you can, try to visit this destination during the week to avoid the crowds 🙂

Alright, this is it! Let me know which one is your favorite destination in Bavaria and feel free to share some of the best shots you got from these places.

Also, if you think I missed another amazing destination in Bavaria, please let me know and I would love to include it on here 🙂

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