Upper Bavaria (Oberbayern) is the Bavarian heartland. It's a place of deep forests, beautiful meadows, winding roads and jagged peaks. Upper Bavariais full of festivities. Every few weeks there is another annual fest or event in some town or city. The best time to visit would be August and September when the weather is most predictable and the beer gardens are in full swing. The folks in this region have a good balance of hard work, socializing, playing and just relaxing. But don't expect to notice this all in a quick visit, you need to stay for a while to really understand.
- 1 Munich (München) — the capital of Bavaria, known for the annual Oktoberfest
- 2 Ingolstadt — large city with gothic and baroque architecture styles
- 3 Bad Kohlgrub - small skiing resort and spa
- 4 Bad Reichenhall — a small spa town in the Bavarian alps near Salzburg
- 5 Berchtesgaden — A picturesque and historic town in the Bavarian alps near Salzburg, ski and summer resort
- 6 Dachau — site of the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany and a nice old town worth seeing
- 7 Erding - famous for its Weißbier brewery and Europe's largest spa & sauna area
- 8 Freising - an old bishop's town; Munich International Airport is located here
- 9 Garmisch-Partenkirchen — see the highest mountain in Germany (Zugspitze) at this ski resort south of Munich; it has also hosted the Olympic games
- 10 Murnau - town on the Staffelsee
- 11 Oberammergau — famous for painted houses, wood-carved sculptures and the decennial passion play
- 12 Rosenheim — a small city in the southeast of Upper Bavaria near the Alps
- 13 Starnberg — wealthiest town in Germany, located on a beautiful lake
- 14 Burghausen - known mostly for the resident chemical company it has a lovely old town and a rather large castle complex
The following are all within the immediate vicinity of Munich
- 15 Ismaning - large village north east of Munich.
- 16 Garching famous for its research center
- 17 Oberschleißheim
- 1 Andechs — small village that is mostly known for the Andechs Abbey, a monastery that is famous for its beer.
- 2 Bad Kohlgrub — ski resort and spa near Murnau.
- 3 Bavarian Alps - the German part of the magnificent and rough mountain range
- 5 Chieming
- 6 Eichstätt — a baroque small town along the Altmühl River
- 7 Kochel - small village on the picturesque Kochelsee, popular summer and winter destination.
- 8 Gilching — a town of approximately 20,000 inhabitants
- 9 Mittenwald — famous for its nicely painted houses and violin shops
- 10 Prien am Chiemsee — gateway to the Chiemsee
- 11 Schongau — a village on the Romantic Road
- 12 Tegernsee — an upmarket mountain lake resort in the Bavarian Alps
- 13 Schliersee - Another mountain lake resort in the Bavarian Alps
- 14 Spitzingsee
Upper Bavaria ( Oberbayern in German ) is the southernmost district in Bavaria and includes the state capital of Munich. With 4.3 million residents, this is also the largest district in Bavaria. The largest cities are Munich (1.3 million residents), Ingolstadt (123,000 residents) and Rosenheim (61,000 residents). The Landkreis Munich which surrounds Munich in the south, east and north has another 350 000 inhabitants.
It covers an areas of around 17,000 km², with the mountain ranges of Kalkalpen, Ammergebirge, Wetterstein, Karwendel and the Chiemgauer Alps along the southern border. To the north the district reaches the Danube river. 4.5% of Upper Bavaria is designated as protected, with 131 natural protection areas. The highest point is the summit of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugsptize (2,962 metres).
People from this region of Germany often speak a dialect known as 'Bavarian' or 'Boarisch'. Even if you have a good understanding of standard German, the pronunciation may be very difficult to understand. The exception is Upper Bavaria's capital city Munich, where many people come from other areas in Germany and the world, and standard German is widely spoken.
'Boarisch' has similarities to the Austrian dialect of German.
How the Bavarian dialect differs
- 1Munich Airport (MUC IATA). Lufthansa's second hub and Germany's second busiest airport is the easiest way to fly into the region.
If MUC doesn't work for you or the alternative is cheaper you can consider Salzburg, which is just over the Austrian border, as an alternative.
By train is best choice for all but the shortest journeys. Routes radiate from Munich.
Bayern-Ticket is a bargain day-ticket valid on all regional trains (but not IC/ICE), S-Bahn, U-Bahn, trams and buses. It's valid all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, and from 09:00 on weekdays, expiring at 03:00. (The night ticket is valid 18:00-07:00.) It extends as far as Salzburg and within Austria along the track between Kempten, Reutte and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
In 2022 the day ticket costs €26 for one adult plus €8 for every additional adult up to five, and up to three children ride free. Buy it online or from the station machines as there's a €2 surcharge to buy it from the ticket office.
Bayern-Bohemia ticket covers a wider area of Bavaria and Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Similar rules, and it's not valid for IC/ICE trains. In 2022 this costs €29 for one adult plus €8.60 for every additional adult up to five; up to three children ride free.
A public bus network is available throughout the region, although visiting remote areas will be difficult. To visit the mountains and lakes a car would be ideal.
Cycling is a popular activity, and a good way to see the quiet side of life along minor roads in the region.
The largest Bavarian asparagus (Spargel in German) growing area is around Schrobenhausen. In springtime you can buy white asparagus directly from the farmers, and local restaurants offer special asparagus dishes.
Winter sports: the main resort is Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Maibaum aufstellen is the May Day festival, a public holiday in Germany. Bavarian villages erect maypoles, folk gussy up in Lederhosn or Dirndln, the oompah band strikes up, market stalls sell food and drink, and there are tables for guzzling while watching.
The region occasionally experiences a phenomenon called the Föhn (pronounced fern), which has no direct English translation and means a downward sloping warm wind. (This is sometimes known as Chinook wind in North America.) It occurs as a consequence of bad weather in Italy, when damp warm air from the south gets pushed over the alps and comes down suddenly onto the region. It occurs mostly during Spring and Autumn and results in thunder and lightning. Many people blame feeling sleepy and experiencing headaches on this weather.