The perfect 7 days in Bavaria Itinerary – exploring castles, mountains, and traditional cities
If you’re anything like me, you probably also have a hard time deciding for cities to visit once you arrive at a new destination. There’s so much to see, yet so little time – right?! I often find it difficult to choose my main points of interest and the perfect Itinerary from an outside position. If you’re feeling the same (or just looking for inspiration), I’ve got you covered. I’ll share my perfect Itinerary for 7 days in Bavaria that covers the most iconic spots.
Besides the step-by-step Itinerary, you’ll find a map and a rough price calculation for this trip at the end of the article.
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Where should you start your 7 days in Bavaria?
The two (international) airports in Bavaria are Nürnberg (NUE) and Munich (MUC). Since Munich is one of the largest hubs in Germany, we’ll start our 7-day Bavaria road trip here. But, of course, you can also swap the individual stops and choose a different city like Nürnberg as starting point.
Nürnberg and Munich offer good infrastructure, especially if you also want to rent a car.
The ultimate 7 days in Bavaria Itinerary
As mentioned, you can also start this round trip at any other point. However, we’ll start our road trip in Munich since the Bavarian capital is usually the first place for travelers visiting Bavaria – especially if you are traveling from abroad.
This specific seven-day trip Itinerary isn’t made for slow travelers. You’ll cover a new city daily to make the most of your stay in Bavaria. Feel free to skip a town if needed; however, these stops will give you an excellent overview of the main points of interest in this part of Germany.
Day 1 | Munich
München (de) = Munich (en)
The journey begins! You will spend your first day in Munich, the world-famous Bavarian capital. Since Munich is so much more than just the Oktoberfest and FC Bayern München, you’d need multiple days in Munich to cover all there is to see.
Here are some sights you should add to your list to get to know the city:
Many of Munich’s attractions are within walking distance of each other so that you can combine sightseeing with a long walk. After your sightseeing tour of Munich, you can end the evening in one of the many restaurants.
If you want to try good Bavarian cuisine, I’d recommend the “Augustiner Bräustuben” and “Donisl.” At night you can wander through the many bars and clubs.
The following day is packed – maybe you’d better try to get some rest. (I know it’s not that easy… Munich’s nightlife is great!)
Hotels in Munich
Day 2 | Zugspitze – Neuschwanstein Castle – Füssen
A quick heads-up in advance: this day is packed! If you want to spend a little more time on the Zugspitze, the Eibsee, or the castle, I recommend spreading the two activities over two days. On the other hand, if you want to visit both spots in one day, as suggested, you should leave early to get the most out of it.
Step 1: Munich → Zugspitze | 1 hour 10 minutes
The second day of your journey takes you further south, close to the Austrian border. In the morning, you’ll go to Garmisch Patenkirchen to taste the mountain air. Then, you can hop into a cable car and ride up Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. The ride on the gondola or mountain railway is a sensation already. After arriving at the mountain station, you’ll have a fascinating view of the mountain landscape. The perfect start for your week in Bavaria!
Before you start, you should know that the ride in a cable car can be challenging for travelers who are afraid of heights. The floor-to-ceiling glass gondolas take you to a dizzying height of 3000m – this can be frightening, even for passengers who are not scared of heights. The journey takes about 10 minutes and will definitely leave you speechless.
Before you arrive, you should check the departure times on the official Zugspitze website. Here you can also check which days the cable cars are closed and where you can find additional parking spaces. The cable car ride (ascent and descent) costs you €63 in summer and €57 in winter, and you can purchase your tickets online.
PS: Don’t forget to pack a jacket and skip the open sandals (even in summer). It’s cold up there!
Step 2: Zugspitze → Neuschwanstein Castle | 1 hour 15 minutes
The fastest route for this part often leads through Austria. Before you set off, you should check this and – if necessary – check whether you are allowed to cross the border and the costs thereby incurred. I’d recommend choosing the route within Germany – it only takes 10 minutes longer.
After an exciting morning in the mountains, you’ll continue to the next iconic destination: Neuschwanstein Castle. Of course, this world-famous attraction should not be missing from any Bavaria Itinerary. Entry to the castle costs €15 and includes a guided tour. Unfortunately, visiting the castle on your own is not possible, and a tour lasts about 30 minutes.
You can park your car in Hohenschwangau, as there is no direct access to the castle. Then, you can hike up to Neuschwanstein castle (approx. 30 minutes) or use the shuttle bus. The bus takes you to the Marienbrücke, where you have to walk another 15 minutes downhill to the castle. Option three would be the horse carriage, which will take you to a turning point just before the castle. You’d still have a 15-minute walk ahead of you from this point.
The iconic photo spot can be found on the Marienbrücke, about 15 minutes’ walking distance from the castle. Please note that the bridge may be closed on some days in winter due to the weather.
You can read more about recent information and prices on the official website of Neuschwanstein Castle. I recommend you buy the tickets online in advance, even if there is a fee of €2.50. Since the ticket contingents are limited, you’re not at risk of not getting a ticket after your arrival. You can also check the seasonal opening times on their website.
I would generally plan 2.5 hours for a visit since the outdoor area and the view from the Marienbrücke should also be considered. In addition, the paths between the castle, bridge, and car park also take some time.
Step 3: Füssen
The cute town of Füssen is only a 10-minute drive from the castle and is a great place to stay for the night. You can end the adventurous day in a cozy, traditional restaurant. Then, if you don’t fall straight into bed from exhaustion, you can use the remaining time for a walk around the city center.
Hotels in Füssen
Day 3 | Rothenburg ob der Tauber (along the romantic road?)
After checking some of the top attractions in southern Germany off our to-do list, we are now driving north, more precisely to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The drive from Füssen to Rothenburg takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes along the A7 highway.
Alternatively, you can also drive the Romantic Road. This route takes you from Füssen via many small towns to Rothenburg (and even on to Würzburg).
Arrived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you’ll get to explore a magical city full of medieval flair. Especially during the Christmas season, Rothenburg is a magnet for visitors from all over the world!
To get the most out of your day in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, these are the best places to visit:
If you are not too tired after the long drive and the day in the city, you can participate in one of the iconic night guard tours*.
Hotels in Rothenburg
Day 4 | Würzburg
Würzburg (de) = Wuerzburg (en)
On this day, you’ll explore the city of Würzburg, which is only a 45-minute drive from Rothenburg.
This city is known for its charming city center, history, and tradition around wine. As with most other cities, you can experience a lot here. If I had to narrow it down, I’d recommend the following things to do in Würzburg:
In the evening, I recommend you immerse yourself in the world of wine. For example, you can reserve a table in the Julius Spital and try the local wine accompanied by delicious German cuisine. Afterward, you should stop by the Old Bridge and drink a so-called “Brückenschoppen.” This term describes the serving and enjoyment of wine on the bridge.
In the evening, many people drink wine along the bridge with friends and family and enjoy the atmosphere.
An absolute must-do in Würzburg!
Hotels in Würzburg
Day 5 | Bamberg and Nürnberg
Nürnberg (de) = Nuermberg (en)
The next destination on your seven-day trip through Bavaria will be the beautiful city of Nürnberg – which I also call my home. I’ve been in love with this city since day 1, which is why it shouldn’t be missing from this itinerary. The ride from Würzburg to Nürnberg takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. But before we talk about Nürnberg, I wanted to give you a quick tip for an additional stopover.
Back to our main stop of the day: Nürnberg is a popular destination for travelers worldwide. The city has a lot to offer. However, in my opinion, the most important stops for your visit are:
If you need a break from sightseeing, you can find my favorite cafes in Nürnberg in this guide.
You will find many restaurants and bars to end the adventurous day.
Hotels in Nürnberg
Day 6 | Regensburg
Day 6 of your 7 days in Bavaria takes you to the city I grew up in: Regensburg. The university town on the Danube river combines modern and medieval gems. The old town of Regensburg has even made it onto the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
The journey from Nürnberg to Regensburg takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Therefore, if you made a stop in Bamberg the day before, you can also use the morning of this day for more sightseeing in Nürnberg and drive on to Regensburg later that day.
Once you arrive in Regensburg, you should visit the following places:
Regensburg has many bars where you can end the last evening before your return to Munich.
Short boat trips on the Danube, which also lead past the Walhalla, for example, are trendy. If you are not a fan of ships, you can also drive to the Walhalla by car. Evening picnics at the Walhalla are an excellent date-night idea!
Hotels in Regensburg
Day 7 | Back in Munich
München (de) = Munich (en)
The last day of your round trip through Bavaria takes you back to Munich. Depending on your arrival time in Regensburg the day before, you could also spend some more time exploring the city. Alternatively, you can continue to Munich right after breakfast and discover the corners of the town you didn’t see on the first day. The journey from Regensburg to Munich takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you drive directly to the airport, you’d only have a 1hr 10min ride.
What foods to try during your 7 days in Bavaria
Besides all the adventures and impressions, the best thing about traveling is often the local cuisine. Bavaria also has a lot to offer here. On your round trip, you will find some of the most famous Bavarian dishes. For example, you can eat “Schneeballen” (snowballs) in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Or maybe you try a classic “Weißwurst” (white sausage) breakfast in Munich and then enjoy “Schäufele” or “Bratwurst” in Nürnberg? A pretzel is a perfect snack between meals, and you will definitely find the classic Schnitzel on every menu.
PS: An iconic combination would be a portion of “Käsespätzle” with a view from the Zugspitze!
What you should know before spending 7 days in Bavaria
How much will a road trip for 7 days in Bavaria cost?
Let’s talk about the price of this trip. Germany isn’t the most expensive country on the European average, but this trip will not be a bargain either.
Of course, the exact costs depend on your travel time, the accommodation, and the car you drive.
Here is an example of a trip calculation to give you a rough overview.
As a database for this calculation, I chose a week in May for two persons, the mid-range hotels of the respective stops, a mid-range car, and the entrance fees for the attractions mentioned on day 2.
I also calculated €10 per day for parking spaces – this changes if you book a hotel with free parking, for example.
You’d still need to add the cost of fuel, meals, shopping, etc., on top of this.
You can find a rough estimate of the current prices in Bavaria here (10/22):
I hope you found this Bavaria itinerary helpful. Even if you’re not staying an entire 7 days in Bavaria, you can now narrow it down to your specific points of interest.
If you have more questions or something to add to the list, please let me know or leave it in the comments for others to read. Also, don’t forget to save it to your Pinterest boards so you can access it as soon as you start planning your Bavaria itinerary!
As always, stay happy and healthy!
See you soon,
So lovely. I missed seeing the Neuschwanstein Castle when we visited and regret that. Next time!
The perfect reason to come back soon!
Woow this is such a great guide, and I absolutely love the design! Amazing effort!
Thank you so much Sabrina! 🙂
Bavaria is so pretty! Especially this time of year! Thanks for sharing this extensive guide. So easy to plan our trip now!
true, fall season is absolutely stunning here!
This is a perfect itinerary to explore Bavaria in 7 days. So many beautiful and historical areas.
I’m happy you like it 🙂
We have travelled all over Europe but have not spent any time exploring the castles, mountains or cities of Bavaria. I am sure that 7 days would give us a taste test of this lovely region. But I am sure we will want many visits to see it all. We certainly will be checking out the wine from this region. We will try to book a “Brückenschoppen”. Thanks for this great itinerary. We can certainly build our trip on this.
There are so many things to see there! I only visited Munich but Neuschwanstein Castle is high on my wish list! I love your detailed budget breakdown.
Bavaria is one of my dream trips! I will definitely save this guide for when I finally have the chance to go. Thank you for sharing!
Great itinerary! There is so much to see in this region. I’ve done Munich and Rothenburg ob der Tauber but I’ve been dying to go back to see Neuschwanstein Castle. I’ll be saving this for when I’m able to go back, thanks!
Glad you like it! 🙂