You may have read the guest post my mother wrote about Key West, and she’s back with another post! My family went to Bavaria, Germany last summer and saw lots of amazing places. My sister Elena wrote a recap of their week here, and my mom contributed all the photos!
Last summer we had the opportunity to visit our German exchange student Maxime and her family in Bavaria, Germany! We saw some amazing cities and went hiking in the mountains (plus a river rafting adventure), and if you want to go on an awesome trip like we did, these are some incredible things you can see in one week in Bavaria, Germany!
One week in Bavaria
After getting our rental car in the Munich airport, we made a few stops on the way to our host family’s house, one of which was Hohenlinder Church. When we made it to her home we ate a second breakfast and did a walking tour of Altenmarkt, a small village in Bavaria. We saw several historic churches and breweries and beautiful German scenery and houses, including the Baumburg Abbey, the River Alz, Traun River, and fields of flowers.
Our first full day in Europe was spent in Salzburg, Austria. We walked around Mirabell Garden and that was the beginning of the “Sound of Music” tour, which included the Pegasus statue, Mozart’s “ghost,” Dom zu Salzburg, and a castle on top of a very high hill. We went to several churches and nunneries and the fancy shopping street, Getreidegasse.
We hiked around the castle, Festung Hohensalzburg, and saw many beautiful views of the city then finished with a late lunch at Augustiner Bräu, a total of 17,000 steps. We also went to the cemetery, the Sound of Music museum and Mozart’s home and birth house. We came home for dinner and went to a traditional Bavarian concert and saw a full moon on the “Bavarian Sea,” aka Lake Chiemsee, which was gorgeous. Salzburg was 10/10!
Hiking in the Alps
We woke up early to get to the mountain (Chiemgauer Alpen) on time before it was too hot. We hiked up to the midpoint and got fresh milk at a hiker’s restaurant and saw a cute waiter. Some of the group stayed at that restaurant while others and I climbed up to the peak. It took two hours round trip and we ate pretzels, sausages, and carrots along the way.
When we made it back down we ordered Bavarian cake, Auszogen, and were about to leave when my dad told us he was going to “use the bathroom,” however, instead he decided to ask the cute waiter, who we dubbed Hans, to take a picture with the “young Americans.” Some older German men were nearby when mom took the picture and began to tease him and laugh; it was mortifying. If you’re up for the challenge, hiking in the Alps is totally worth it! And tell Hans I said hi!
The next day we left for Munich, which is the English name for Munchen. We parked in Kirchseeon and took a train into the city. We walked around the markets and churches and saw the famous Glockenspiel performance at noon, which comes to life with figures telling a story while the bells chime.
We went to Woman’s Church and the Jewish museum and Haufbrau House, another brewery. Next, we walked to the Resident’s Garden, the US embassy, Odeonsplatz building, Maximillaneum (an old government building), and ate at the English Gardens, where we also watched people surf on the river. Although the garden was beautiful, you have to watch out for the “nude section.”
We then headed to a China house for beer and took the subway to the Olympic Village and the BMW Welt. They were pretty cool sites, but we definitely loved seeing the historic parts of Munich more. The family favorite was definitely city hall and the Glockenspiel performance!
Rafting adventure on the Alz
We celebrated my mom’s birthday in the morning with mimosas and then got ready for rafting on the Alz for a “relaxing day.” First, we stopped at a nearby village that had ancient Roman ruins and a marina for some beautiful landscape.
When we arrived at the dock, we walked around and then began to inflate the boats. I even swam in the gorgeous, clear water, which was frigid. This was everybody’s favorite day of the whole trip and we had a blast on the water with lots of laughter! Although it was not too relaxing due to the constant paddling, we all had a great time soaking up the sun while seeing more of the countryside.
Exploring Bavarian lakes
We ate lunch in the mountains and walked to Taubensee Lake in Bischofswiesen. Our next destination was Hintersee, where we walked around, ate some ice cream, and saw wooden puppets at a farm in the Magical Forest (Zaubenerld).
We then went to Ranasau and saw Pfarrkirche St. Sebastian, the church where Silent Night was written and the site where the most popular German postcard was taken. We saw Eagle’s Nest from a distance and walked up to Berchtesgarden Hills and entered a village. We went inside a church and then finally, we stopped at Edelweiss, a restaurant, for water and coffee. Then we walked back to the car and Lake Konigssee before dinner at a traditional Bavarian restaurant.
Our next adventure was to the longest castle in the world, Burg zu Burghausen, on the Salzach River!
Most of the buildings within the castle are private homes today. Some parts were built as the Celtic fortification in the first and second centuries BC. We saw the gardens of the castle and then explored the surrounding village. We only explored for a half day so that we could get some rest.
While we were in Germany, we wanted to pay our respects to the Holocaust victims, so we went to Dachau to tour a concentration camp. It was awful to hear about the way that the Jews and other outsiders were treated. The gate said “work brings freedom” and the Nazis tried to convince everyone that the camps were learning institutions. The gas chambers there were never used. The tour took about three hours and was well worth it.
Visiting Herrenchiemsee Castle
We drove to a lake to tour Herrenchiemsee Castle, which is a replica of Versailles. We learned that all of the gold had been painted on and that only 10 pounds had been used in the entire house although it appeared as if 60% of the house was solid gold!
The palace belonged to the last king of Germany and was never finished because it was intended as a mini Versailles and the people did not like that he spent so much money. Next we ate lunch (pretzels, carrots, pepperoni, and Kindercards) and walked through museums. And of course, bought some cool souvenirs there! Next stop: Woman’s Island, where we saw a convent and the lake. It was so beautiful and a nice place to walk around.
We had such an amazing week getting a tour with Maxime’s family! If you have one week in Bavaria, I can’t recommend all these incredible places enough 🙂 Be sure to eat lots of great food and tell Hans I said hi!