Do you have a favorite place you've vacationed to in the past? I bet you do! For me, Germany ranks in my top 3 places that I've visited. It's been a few weeks since my last travel post, so today, I wanted to share a bit more about this lovely country and give a few ideas for what to see and do in Bavaria, Germany!
I’ve already shared a couple of posts on Germany over the past couple of months and today I’m wrapping up my suggestions for this beautiful country!
When I visited Germany, I spent 5 days in Munich visiting not only that lovely city, but also taking in the Bavarian countryside that surrounds Munich (read about my Munich visit HERE).
I could’ve easily spent another 2 weeks there since I completely fell in love with it. It overwhelmed me with it’s beauty and charm! But sadly that didn’t happen. But, that just means, I will be back someday!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some must-see & do things if you find yourself in Bavaria! And if you’re not planning to head to Germany anytime soon, then I hope you at least get to enjoy some of my photos from the trip!
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of those famous castles that most people have seen, but might not know where it’s located! This castle has been made into puzzles, photographs and artwork, and was even the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
We visited this castle as part of a day tour through Pure Bavaria. I HIGHLY recommend this tour company and if you use them, be sure to ask for Mario as your tour guide (read reviews HERE).
For our day tour, we lucked out since no one else booked the tour. Instead of canceling outright, Mario offered us a private tour (we did have to pay a little more for this, but it was worth every penny).
Mario took us all through Bavaria, charting our course through quaint little towns and through rolling green pastures. He knew the best places to stop and he took us to two gorgeous churches before we arrived at the Castle.
One thing you need to know about this castle should you decide to visit...it sits atop a very steep hill!! There is transportation to get you to the top so you don't have to climb the hill and honestly, I'd recommend taking that up to the castle, at the very least. Your tour tickets are for a specific time, and it can take awhile to climb up there, so unless you overestimate the time you need, you're likely to miss your spot.
Since it was POURING when we arrived, we opted for the ride to the top. We were quite thankful for that, because we probably would've been one of those to miss the tour since it was much steeper and longer than we anticipated.
Once at the top, we took in the gorgeous scenery (you’re high above the surrounding villages, so the views are breathtaking!) and snapped some pics before heading to the castle for our tour.
The tour is only about 35 minutes and once inside the castle, there is quite a bit of stair climbing initially (which we were okay with, but just be aware in case this is an issue for you). The castle is very impressive and a great peak inside the life of King Ludwig. Photos aren't allowed, so unfortunately, I can't share a peek with you, but as you might expect of a castle…it’s rather opulent and over the top, but still quite lovely.
After we finished the tour, since it had stopped raining, we decided to forgo the ride down and walk down the hill. We enjoyed the bit of exercise, but again, it was quite steep, so better down than up!
Linderhof Palace was another stop on our Bavarian day tour and was also built by King Ludwig. It was the smallest of the three castles King Ludwig had built (how many castles does one really need?). This is much smaller in scale than Neuschwanstein Castle, but I thought it was more beautiful.
The tour inside the Palace is also on the short side…about 30 minutes, but it was interesting to see the contrast between these two residences. This one, while definitely still opulent, was much more ‘livable’ in my opinion.
Unlike the castle which sits atop a very high hill, the grounds at Linderhof are what really makes it stand out! There are manicured lawns, flowers, and fountains everywhere. There are arched walkways and so many different types of vegetation that it promises beauty year round.
And…because King Ludwig was a bit of an eccentric dude, he also had a Grotto built for his entertainment and amusement. What is a Grotto you ask? Well…to put it bluntly…a cave (maybe the first man-cave..hmmm?). Granted, this wasn’t any old ‘cave’! This was decked out with a small lake and waterfall (because…why not?) with a gilt boat in the shape of a shell for his royal seating pleasure.
Unfortunately, I didn’t note the names of the two churches we stopped to view, but honestly, if you spot a big church with tourists going in and out…it’s worth the stop!
The architecture is amazing and I can’t help but feel humbled by the history of these churches. If only the walls could talk, right?
In one of the churches that is part of a non-working abbey, Mario pointed out the excessive number of confessionals lining the walls of this small church. The abbey used to have a military presence, so the over abundance of confessionals were for all of the soldiers to have plenty of opportunities to confess their sins! Haha…gotta love that!
Since there were only the 2 of us on our tour, we were much faster at going through the various stops on our day tour. So…we had some extra time. Fortunately, Mario knew just to place to take us! Oberammegau is a traditional Bavarian town and I definitely recommend this on your stops as you make your way around the countryside. It’s not far from Linderhof, so if you’re in the area, definitely hit up both of these.
Oberammegau is known for it’s painted buildings (amongst other things!). This is evident everywhere you look because practically every building in this town is painted with a scene. The two most famous are one featuring Hansel & Gretl (which was appropriately a school!) and one featuring Little Red Riding Hood.
We had a little time to explore and shop a bit and it was fun to be able to walk through the streets. It’s a small town and could easily be visited in a single afternoon, so be sure to add this to your list!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
I wrote about this little gem in April (read my review of Rothenburg HERE). Rothenburg ob der Tauber a small medieval town roughly halfway between Munich and Frankfurt. I LOVED this little town...like, seriously loved it. Of all the places I’ve ever traveled to, it is probably my favorite place and one that is the top of my travel re-visit bucket list!
This was definitely the highlight of our 2 week trip, which is why I wrote a post dedicated just to this town! It’s charming, historical, and just beyond cool, so if you are headed to Bavaria, do NOT skip this town!!
So…have you been to Bavaria before? What did you think? And…have you ever been to a place completely threw you off by impressing you more than you expected? Tell me where! I’d love to hear your comments!