Bavaria – your lakes and castles part 1
Yes, I might be biased but Bavaria is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking places in the world. I was born and raised in Munich and got to enjoy the surroundings from a very young age. There are so many lakes, castles and places I could name in the following blog post that it might get a little long. I really tried to narrow it down to my favorites – but this is only part 1, watch out for part 2 😊 If you are visiting Munich, you might want to rent a car or use public transport to get to the places mentioned here:
The Tegernsee is my absolute favorite lake and one of my most favorite places to spent time. It is located about 45 min. south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps. The Tegernsee is also one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria. If you don’t have a car you can also take the public transport from Munich main station: the BOB (Bayrische Oberland Bahn) takes you to Gmund am Tegernsee in only 60 min. every ½-1 h. There are many activities to choose from while there: you can take a cruise and explore the lake from the water, you can walk alongside the shore and you can also go hiking in various places which will give you an amazing view on the Tegernsee.
If you want to get good but expensive food while having a great view on the lake you might want to check out the Hotel Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt. I was able to stay there once for work, the hotel rooms with lake view are the best, the food is amazing, but like mentioned above, the price tag is quite big. There are several restaurants alongside as well, that will have reasonable prices – even though the Tegernsee is pricy in general.
If hiking is the activity of choice for you, you can take the “Tegernseer Höhenweg” which starts in Gmund and will lead you to Tegernsee (city); it’s an easy hike which will give you a scenic overview over the lake and the mountains. It’s not a round trip, but you can take the ship back to Gmund. If you really want to go hiking in the mountains, you can hike up the Ross- and Buchstein starting in Kreuth which will lead you to the Tegernseer Hütten (about 6 hours roundtrip). If you go there make sure to try the “Kaiserschmarrn” it is legendary. There is also the possibility to hike from the Schliersee to the Tegernsee on the “Prinzenweg” which will take you to two beautiful lakes within 5h. You can get info about the different possibilities to hike here: https://www.tegernsee.com/en/hiking
Nymphenburg Palace is a castle located directly in Munich and you can get there with public transport. It was the home (mostly during the summer) to the Kings of Bavaria – Ludwig II who built Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof was born here as well. The main part of the Nymphenburg is from 1675, the two pavilions on the right and left were added between 1701 and 1716. With 632m its maximum deviation is even wider than Castle Versailles in France. Even though the castle now belongs to the state, the head of the House of Wittelsbach Franz, Duke of Bavaria still lives there. Parts of the castle and the gardens can be visited by the public. There are no guided tours, but you can rent an audio guide (3.50 €) and get an exclusive inside of the main castle.
The museum “Mensch und Natur” (human and nature) is in the west wing of the castle. We’ve spent a lot of time inside this museum when we were kids, I can totally recommend it to families. Besides the main exhibition, they also have special exhibitions on various topics. The entry fee is only 3.50 € for adults and 2.50 € for kids.
For me, Linderhof Palace is the most underrated castle in the area. Everyone talks about Neuschwanstein, which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes very overrun. Linderhof is one of the three castles (Linderhof, Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee) built by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria and the only one he lived in for 8 years. You can take a guided tour through the inside, which contains 90 % of the original interior. The tour including parking is only 11 €. If you go there, allow at least 1.5 hours to walk the gardens and take a look at the other buildings on the grounds. Due to constructions, the famous “Venus Grotte” is closed until 2022. The most valuable piece inside the castle is the ivory chandelier in the living room; it is crafted by hand, which took 4 years. Spoiler alert: no photography allowed inside. The most fascinating building on the grounds of the castle is the Moorish Kiosk: designed by a Berlin architect for a exhibition in Paris. Even though Ludwig II was not able to buy it right away, he managed to get it to Linderhof a few years later. The most outstanding piece is the peacock throne.
While visiting Linderhof you can make a quick stop at Ettal Abbey a Benedictine monastery right around the corner. You can eat lunch and dinner at the “Klosterbräu Ettal” restaurant. Make sure to drink some beer, they have their own brewery.
Eibsee / Zugspitze
The Eibsee might not be the biggest or most popular lake in Bavaria but it is one of the purest and most natural ones. Located on the foot of the Zugspitze it welcomes you with its crystal green and blue water. You can get the best view of it by hiking around the whole lake which is approximately 7 km and takes you about 2 hours. The hike is easy with some ups and downs. If you are lucky you will get an amazing view of the mountains and especially the Zugspitze, which is the highest mountain in Germany. When we were there last time, the weather was super nice but the Zugspitze was completely covered in clouds. Even though we were there for four hours, it only revealed itself for about 2 minutes. If you are hungry after hiking for 2+ hours you can get lunch or dinner at the Eibsee Pavillon, which is a restaurant right at the lake. You can sit outside on the terrace and enjoy good Bavarian food and beer with the exclusive look at the lake.
If you don’t want to hike but still want to see the lake in its fullest you can either rent a boat or take a trip up to the Zugspitze with the areal passenger line. The round ticket for going up to the top of the mountain is 56 € per person during the summer, which is rather expensive – but the view is great.
If you don’t have a car, you can also get there via public transportation from Munich central station: take the train to Garmisch-Patenkirchen and change to the “Bayrische Zugspitzbahn” which will take you directly to the Eibsee.
Schleissheim Castle is also one of the underrated castles in the area. It is in the north of Munich, and can be reached via public transport (take S1 to Oberschleissheim and walk from there). The castle includes three parts: the new and the old castle as well as Lustheim castle. The old castle was built by Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria in 1623. The Lustheim castle was added in 1688 and the new castle in 1704 by Max Emanuel. The castles are open to the public but they don’t offer regular tours. There is the possibility to rent audio guides for the new castles, if you want to visit all three parts of it you can buy a combined ticket for 8 €. If you are there, allow at least 1.5 hours to walk through the gardens, especially in the summer.
Fun Fact for film lovers: parts of The Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz were filmed in the new castle.
If you have any questions or feedback please comment down below or contact me, I’m always looking forward to hearing other people’s experiences or answer questions. If you want to see more pictures, please check out my Instagram Account as well.