Many things Americans think of as stereotypically “German” come from the German region of Bavaria rather than from its capital, Berlin. Bavaria surrounds the city of Munich and is the origin of many great German hallmarks like Oktoberfest, half-timbered houses and picturesque ski towns in the mountains. Read on to see all that Bavaria has to offer and start planning your next adventure.
What to do
Bavaria is such a diverse region, there’s something for pretty much everyone to see or do there. Of course, one of its biggest attractions is Oktoberfest in Munich, which runs from late September to early October. The whole country (and visitors from around the world) converges in the city to eat sausages and wash them down with good beer. Tips and tricks for a successful Oktoberfest experience could fill a book, so know that if you choose to attend the festival, you should do some major research beforehand.
If you want to experience urban life on a slightly smaller scale, consider Nuremberg, the second-largest city in Bavaria. It is 950 years old and home to fountains, sculptures and the Imperial Castle. If you arrive around Christmas, the Nuremburg Christmas Market is one of the most popular holiday markets in Germany. Very strict rules make sure that the market remains true to its class and charm. For instance, that means you shouldn’t expect blaring taped music from each vendor, but rather carols from live singers.
What to eat
Most travel blogs tell you where to eat in a certain region, but in the case of Bavaria, it’s more important to know what to eat. The region is so rich in German culture that there are many eateries serving delicious and handmade versions of each traditional dish. You don’t have to eat just German food in Bavaria, but there are some dishes you certainly can’t miss.
Of course, the top of everyone’s list is the humble pretzel. You might think you know what soft pretzels taste like, but more than likely you’ve experienced the somewhat freezer-burned variety at a movie theater or sports arena. According to the Everywhereist Geraldine DeRuiter, real Bavarian pretzels are hefty enough to be a meal on their own or pair well with weisswurst, a white sausage made with veal and bacon, and some sweet mustard.
When you move on to a complete meal, make sure you try some real German spatzle, a type of pasta that looks like a chunky rice made of eggs, flour, salt and fizzy water for fluffiness. It’s great with all types of mix-ins and sauces so don’t be afraid to try it in multiple settings. According to The Telegraph, many German restaurants serve it alongside schnitzel, which is technically a dish that originated in Austria. However, you know you have the real German deal if it’s made with tenderized pork instead of veal.
If you head out to Bavaria, be ready for a literal feast for your stomach and a visual one for your eyes. It’s a truly beautiful region of the world, and it’s waiting for you.
This article is presented by Gossett Audi.