Feature Articles


A Perfect Day in Bavaria

When the sun rises in Bavaria, its radiance illuminates beautiful castles, fairy-tale cities, and breathtaking mountains.

Bavaria exemplifies impressive landscapes, centuries-old customs and a very special attitude towards life: All across the state, whether Bavarians are in a beer garden or inn or at a traditional festival they demonstrate Bavarian “Gemütlichkeit” (coziness) and a genuine conviviality.

The people of Bavaria delight visitors from all over the world with their friendly manner and the ways they still embrace ancient traditions. Traditions that are passed down from one generation to the next – remaining both authentic but are yet interpreted differently. In other words, “traditionally different.”

Bavarian dances, costumes, mountains, and vineyards have characterized the image of Bavaria at home and abroad for centuries. But where did these customs originate from? And why have they been preserved to this day? To answer these questions, it is worth taking a look back at the past: A host of fascinating and distinctive stories lies behind Bavaria’s charming customs and unique natural surroundings.

We are going to guide you through a perfect day in Bavaria, as experienced in some of its most magical cities.


We start with beautiful and cosmopolitan Munich, Germany’s third largest city and the capital of Bavaria. Our day begins at the beautiful English Garden. With its 990 acres of parkland, it is even larger than Manhattan’s Central Park. The garden offers abundant space for walking and cycling. Start by enjoying the beautiful vista of the city from the hilltop near the Chinese Tower beergarden, upon which the so-called Monopteros sculpture, a small Greek-style temple, has been added to the park landscape in 1836. Then continue to the Eisbach River where surfers ride the standing wave (yes, that’s right, surf!) all year-round. Hungry? Munich offers unique culinary experiences. Why not discover them via a food tour? Start with your appetizer at Donisl. The restaurant is 300 years old but has been lovingly renovated and is now bright, friendly and contemporary. For the main course, continue to the Hofbräuhaus, which dates from the sixteenth century. It is, if not the most famous beer hall in the world, certainly one of the most venerable. The restaurant specializes in typical Bavarian dishes: roast pork, dumplings, Weißwurst (white) sausages, and meatloaf. The original Hofbräuhaus beer complements the homemade Bavarian specialties from the in-house butcher and bakery.

Photo: © Joerg Lutz

BMW Welt

A short distance from the city center lies BMW Welt (in front of the BMW headquarters). With its pioneering architecture, it is the heart of the individual BMW Group brands – BMW, the sub-brands BMW M and BMW i, MINI, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and BMW Motorrad –, and the display of these machines is truly an impressive sight. These exhibitions and the new vehicle collections are highlights for petrolheads worldwide, but there’s even more to BMW Welt than meets the eye. Visitors can enjoy a diverse programme of events featuring culture, art and entertainment all year round, as well as a wide-ranging choice of food and drinks in the numerous restaurants. In the BMW Welt Junior Campus, children and teenagers can enjoy exciting tours and workshops on mobility and sustainability. But that’s not all: With Feinkost Käfer, BMW Welt has chosen a traditional Munich-based catering business as its partner. Alongside the exclusive fine dining restaurant EssZimmer with celebrated chef Bobby Bräuer, Käfer runs the CooperS, the Bavarie Brasserie and the Biker’s Lodge on the middle floor, as well as organising the catering for events in the BMW Welt spaces.

Photo: © Marcus Buck


When in Bavaria, a visit of Nuremberg, its medieval treasure, is a must! Our day here starts with a visit of the Nuremberg Castle, “Kaiserburg,” from where you have the most amazing views over the city. Since the Middle Ages, its silhouette has represented the values and unity of the German nation, and the role of the imperial city of Nuremberg. Next, we are off to Nuremberg’s historic cellars, at the foot of Kaiserburg, the largest rock-cut maze in southern Germany. Here, you can experience the fascinating rock formations and listen to the sounds of more than seven centuries. Have you ever heard of red beer? It is a local specialty beer that will excite your taste buds – make sure you try a glass or two, whilst being in town! And, if all this exciting sightseeing has made you hungry, we have the perfect restaurant: “Das Wuertzhaus,” where chef Diana Burkel will introduce you to an innovative spin on local cuisine, using a mix of modern and traditional techniques. All of Chef Burkel’s delight creations are locally sourced. Complement your meal with a bottle of local Franconian wine from the excellent wine cellar. A stroll in the old town will conclude your perfect day in this jewel of a city.

Photo: © Uwe Niklas


About an hour north of Nuremberg lies the Franconian city of Bayreuth. Bayreuth is a real treasure of a city, where our perfect day starts in one of the most famous opera houses in the world, the Richard Wagner Festival House. Every summer it hosts the famous Wagner Festival. Another cultural site, located in the charming town square, is the UNESCO-World Heritage Margravial Opera House – surely one of the most beautiful baroque opera houses still standing. A recently completed six-year (or more than 90.000 man hours) restoration re-established the illusionist mural in the auditorium, with its overwhelming three-dimensional effect. Time to eat again! We recommend Restaurant Wolffenzacher in the city center, a beautiful and historic restaurant dating back from the sixteenth century. It is also a favorite of Bayreuth´s international opera guests, who enjoy Chef Stefan Hofmann´s fresh, seasonal cuisine sourced from local farms. Try Bayreuth Tapas as an appetizer, followed by almond trout or venison from the chef´s own hunting ground. Or perhaps you would prefer to choose from among the chef’s vegetarian creations. Dessert could be delicious “Apfelküchle” or a traditional Kaiserschmarrn, with raisins and vanilla ice cream.

Photo: © Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung, Armin Bunz


Now let’s head to southern Bavaria and the magnificent Bavarian Alps: Our next destination is beautiful Füssen. The city is just 2.6 miles away from famous Neuschwanstein castle and is worth staying at for a night or two. Our perfect day starts with the historic old town. Strolling through the romantic town center is a true delight. The town has plenty of shopping as well numerous sights: of its many baroque churches, we recommend the former Benedictine Abbey of St. Mang; also don’t miss the Museum of Füssen, and the “High Castle” (Hohes Schloss) with its inner courtyard and wonderfully restored frescoes. Of course, you can enjoy a great Bavarian snack with a beer as well. For beautiful mountain scenery, we recommend taking the cable car to the summit of Tegelberg. From an elevation of more than 5,600 feet, the views are magnificent. And, if you are feeling ambitious, you can skip the cable car and hike back down the mountain. It requires proper hiking equipment and alpine experience, and might take a few hours, but the sightseeing is not to be missed. Hungry after your hike? Dine in of our traditional hotels, like beautifully restored, family run Hotel Hirsch, a Sightsleeping Hotel, Bavaria’s quality hotel brand. Our recommendation: Try a traditional “Allgäuer Kässpatzen” (homemade noodles mixed with cheese and covered with fried onions) and quench your thirst with a locally brewed beer.

Photo: © Stadt Füssen


Our last stop is the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, also in southern Bavaria, and easily accessible from Munich. Our perfect day here starts with a trip to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain: Take the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station to the idyllic Lake Eibsee and from there to the top. Up there you are at an altitude of almost 9,800 feet above sea level. This is the perfect setting to enjoy a meal at the brand-new restaurant Panorama 2962 (named after its elevation of 2,962 meters). Its panorama windows offer an unparalleled alpine view from just beneath the mountain’s peak. Boasting views from four countries, the restaurants motto is “the best from 4 countries,” and the menu includes specialties and products from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. The ingredients and inspiration come from no more than 250 km (150 miles) away. Back on the ground, Partenkirchen is home to many unique shops, where artisans practice both modern and traditional crafts. Thirty-nine workshops in and around historic Ludwigstraße open up their doors, giving visitors a glimpse behind the scenes to learn about their crafts first-hand. Fascinating experiences abound – make sure to witness the production of chocolate, and try some freshly extracted tea.

Photo: © Markt Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mark Hohenleitner

What a breathtaking journey!

We hope you have enjoyed our exclusive journey to Bavaria, the Traditionally Different state of Germany. Many people who have never had the opportunity to visit Germany in person imagine Germans drinking beer and eating sausage while wearing traditional costumes - Lederhosen for men and Dirndl for women - and performing the Schuhplattler stomp dance (top picture). Of course, while these clichés often serve as reminders of all of Germany, these are traditions that actually come from Bavaria, a German state with a very distinct culture. It is a region that charms throughout all seasons of the year.

But why not pay Bavaria a visit to see first-hand!

Bavaria is a perfect destination for every time of the year, your Ensemble agent can help you plan the perfect trip.

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