10 Top Destinations in Southern Germany

Martina Rosado
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Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Linderhof Palace

The Linderhof Palace is an excellent example of the Romantic period of art and architecture that characterized the end of the 1800s and was considered the golden age of the German empire. The palace is a significant example of the transition that took place during the early 19th century, between the Classic and the Romantic.

The building was built in 1832 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. It was created to reflect the Classic ideals of the early 19th century. The architectural style is French, however the detailing heavily relied on Chinese porcelain.

The building is of such scale and magnitude that it fools the eye. The exterior of the building is of an unremarkable six-meter wide structure. However, when you enter the foyer, the scale of the building is obvious and is perhaps part of what accounts for its place of one of the Top 10 destinations in Southern Germany. The dining hall in the palace is the second largest in the world, and some of the interior details such as the marble commodes and other fixtures are world class and works of art in themselves.

The palace is situated 3 kilometers south-east of Dachau. If you're an American and have ever wondered why Germany had a monarchy instead of a republic, the palace is a good reason for them to stand up for their monarchy.

Lake Constance

Germany.

Lake Constance, the largest lake in Central Europe, is located in the German speaking part of the country. Technically, it’s actually a lake system connected with the Rhine and the Danube. It stretches from Switzerland to Austria.

The lake is fed by three rivers that wind through the Alps and three that flow from the mountains of Austria. This creates a wonderful variety of landscapes. You can enjoy lakeside resorts, wooded hills, mountains and hillsides that offer wonderful views for hiking and people watching.

This destination is known for fantastic bird watching, especially around the island of Reuss, which is the largest island in the lake system. You can find wild boar, falcons, owls and even the odd wolf.

The scenery is also wonderful … mountainsides, mountains and lakes that create world-class photo opportunities.

The lake’s proximity to Switzerland and Austria as well as the route to the Mediterranean, makes this a wonderful destination for travelers.

The Swiss resort town of Interlaken and the Austrian town of Berchtesgaden offer numerous excursions, including cheese caves, spas, hiking and mountain climbing expeditions.

An interesting point of Lake Constance is the location of the “European Capital of Cheese.”

Wurzburg

In the middle of beautiful Medieval Germany, Wurzburg is a relaxed, tidy, and attractive city of just over 100,000 people, with a central old town that’s easy on the eyes.

It’s the perfect spot to take a deep breath and get away from the hustle and bustle of most European cities. Its notable attractions include the splendid Altstadt, with many impressive buildings along its center, the New Residence Museum, and a great selection of museums.

The city has wonderful parks and gardens that line its streets and make for a great place to stroll and enjoy the sights.

Wurzburg is one of the best beer cities in tour, and it’s best to get your beer-tasting sneakers on. The Wirtshaus Oldenburger Hof is a great place to experience German brewing in its most honest form. It’s also a fun place to watch sports, so make sure you order some local beers and get into the action!

The story of Wurzburg illustrates the town’s connection to the past, as it was rebuilt following almost being destroyed during the Imperial War of 1870. In the year 1938, the Nazis chose this place as their symbol of power, and the former Reichsschule, Hitler’s ideological school, is still there.

Black Forest

The Black Forest, with its Romanic towns, steeped in history, galloping glens, dense forests, and numerous mountain lakes is a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world.

What you may not know, however, is that this almost inaccessible region is great for hiking. In fact, it goes by the name “Hiking Capital of Europe”.

With difficulty levels ranging from challenging to moderate, there is probably something for everyone. When you are walking in the park, there is always a fantasy adventure just around the corner.

You will surely not know where the next discovery lies, but after a few minutes of trekking, you will be looking for excuses to go for more.

The best times for a hike are early in the morning, when the dew on the grassy meadows has yet to be washed away, or at dusk, after the shadows lengthen and the air cools.

Give yourself plenty of time as most hikes last for three to four hours. You will always find a bench or a rest area somewhere along the way, but you should always plan to carry water with you. We recommend water bottles that can be clipped to the waist or belt as a way to ensure that you do not need to stop and search for a water source, which can make hiking difficult for people with a weak heart.

Bamberg

& Ausätz, Wieskirche (Wieskirche Chapel).

Wieskirche is a small village located in the Odenwald range in the Hochtaunuskreis of Hesse, Germany. Its main attraction is the well-preserved Wieskirche Chapel, one of the best-preserved Renaissance churches in Germany. The village is located near the Rennsteig and home to the Rennsteigwanderweg – the Wieskirche long-distance hiking trail, popular among backpackers in summer.

Bamberg is a little city on the Regnitz river in the German state of Bavaria. It is named after a Bamm, or Bamme (German for bullrush), that grew in the area. Bamberg is the oldest city in Bavaria, established in the year 904 by King Henry I, on the site of an earlier settlement owned by the Bishops of Bamberg.

It was a free imperial city for over 600 years, and is only three-hours away from Frankfurt International Airport. It is archeologically rich, with important artifacts from the New Stone Age, Bronze Age, and early Middle Ages.

Munich

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

This very small city was once described by Goethe as “a cauldron of a thousand witches.” Now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rothenburg is a perfect mix of beautiful and creepy. Don’t let that keep you from visiting, though. It’s worth the trip!

You can still see the power of the witch kings in this city, and you can actually experience it first-hand. You can hunt for the witch king’s castle, which is what the local tour guides do. It’s more fun that way.

The witch king’s castle is the witch king’s grave. It’s a small castle that has only a handful of rooms. The walls of the stronghold are almost entirely covered in graffiti. If you think that American high school students are wild, you should see the handiwork of the Rothenburg boys.

The graffiti is fascinating, and reading it is an entirely different experience. Plus, you get a good story from the guide, who has lived in Rothenburg all his life.

Another fun activity that you can do is going ghost hunting. You can literally explore the city with a paranormal investigator in boots who does his best to detect the presence of a ghost.

Heidelberg

Germany.

Heidelberg, a city in southwestern Germany, has been a place of learning since the 11th century. Its historical buildings and architecture are the reason it attracts so many tourists.

This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so in other words, it’s an ancient city with a lot of history. In the 19th century, this area was a small village.

These days, Heidelberg has grown into one of Germany’s largest universities and the fourth largest city. These three facts are the main reasons tourists flock to the city in search of a fun weekend.

What to Do

This is a perfect destination for vacationers looking for an easy and relaxing day of tourism. All you need is a guide to walk you through the city’s top tourist attractions.

Visitors should see the most famous attraction… the Old Bridge. As its name suggests, this is the “oldest stone bridge in the world.” It has been standing for 650 years.

Next, make a stop to visit the Meersburg Water Castle in the city’s Lake District. The Renaissance castle is on a rock in the middle of the lake. This is also the place where the legend of Sleeping Beauty originated.

Fussen

Bavaria.

Fussen is a charming town of around 9,000 inhabitants located in the Upper Palatinate region of southern Germany. The Palatinate has been home to numerous rulers in the past hundred years, but its history spans far further back. In fact, archeological evidence from about 8,000 before Christ has been found in the region. Today, the Palatinate’s flora and fauna have been protected since 1950 through the creation of the Palatine Forest-Upper Rhine Biosphere Reserve.

The Palatinate is the perfect home base for a trip to one of Europe’s most captivating destinations. Most travelers choose to start their trip in Bavaria, and Fussen is an especially enchanting city. After a friendly and helpful welcome in the town center, the city tour takes you through the magical city center and one of its most interesting local sites. Palaces and gardens wind through the gardens, which are a blend of history, nature, and art.

Map of Southern Germany