Bavaria offers a liveable and loveable lifestyle, and this is why Bavaria is different from the rest of Germany.
Barvarian villages have easy access to the many meadows, forests, lakes and mountain walks.
With plenty of hiking trails and cycle paths to within easy reach, Bavaria offers the perfect place to unwind from a busy week.
A true statement we feel, but also an understatement of this fantastic area of Germany.
Bavaria in all seasons has so much to offer.
If you are planning to stay 3, 5 or 7 days in Munich, here is an itinerary to help with your planning A Week-Long Itinerary to Munich.
Visit Neuschwanstein Castle – The castle that inspired Disney
See Munich as a Local with Housesitting
Staying with friends last December was the perfect time for us to experience a winter in Munich.
The cooler temperatures and the darkness in the late afternoon was an experience not familiar to us Kiwis from New Zealand.
But spending winter in Munich is one we can highly recommend for your travel bucket list. Especially the Christmas markets of Munich and Nuremberg.
It was during one winter evening while enjoying some yummy Bavarian food, we offered to return in the Spring to housesit for our friends.
Housesitting is how we are able to keep traveling for longer.
So for two weeks, we would live in a village near Furstenfeldbruck, only 45minutes by train from Munich’s central train station.
It was the perfect way to live like a local in a Bavarian village.
How Bavaria is Different from the rest of Germany
Bavarian traditional dishes and great tasting beer.
When you find yourself living in a Bavarian village, you get to have a better experience of another culture.
People offer you awesome tips on the best things to do in Bavaria. Where to get the best food experience. And what local festivals you need to see.
And while you are traveling around Bavaria, you can also upskill your foreign language skills, or take language lessons.
But when a car is available, it gives you more freedom to explore nearby places.
Using MapsMe will help you explore various hiking paths, woodlands, and villages.
What to Find in a Bavarian Village
As with any small village, there’s always a church, a farm or two, a guesthouse and a shop.
Farm animals are housed within the village, certainly different from New Zealand. But then again, these villages are centuries old.
The hidden gem was the many walkways and cycle paths available to explore nearby villages and local forests. Some only a short distance from our village.
But what makes the small villages liveable and loveable is they encourage you to unwind.
With the meadows, farmlands, and forests, there’s no excuse for you, not to step out and explore the area.
Even have some fun exploring nearby forests with their wooden towers to look for wildlife, maybe foxes, wolves, and wild boar.
Spring in Bavaria can be Fickled
Spring can sometimes be a time of fickled weather, so our first couple of days in Bavaria were cooler, with the second day waking to 5 inches of snow.
The neighbor’s rabbit (a free spirit) didn’t seem to mind the -5degC temperatures while we preferred the warmth of indoor central heating.
The snow only lasted a couple of days before Spring re-emerged.
With the cows still housed in their warm barns, the dandelions were out in full bloom, ready for harvest later.
But spring weather is always a little unpredictable, even a thunderstorm one evening had its beauty.
And the proximity of other communities nearby are within walking distance. Like the village of Aich, only a 2.5kms walk, giving Terry a chance to practice his milking skills.
Raising the May Pole – 1st May Festival
The May Pole celebration dates to the 16th century.
Every three years in a Bavarian village, the pole is taken down, freshly painted in the blue and white colors of Bavaria, and the symbols and flags on the pole rejuvenated.
The small village of Puch just outside of Furstenfeldbruck was holding a May Pole celebration.
With the marquee erected, the cook was busy preparing white sausages and bezels. The beer ready on tap, all that was needed were the 50 village men to raise the pole.
If you think the raising of a 30-meter, 500-kilogram pole is a quick session. Think again.
These men manually raised the pole over two hours using only rope poles and brute strength. Plus having beer steins within easy reach must have helped.
We were in awe.
No front end loader or mechanical device was used. Just brute strength.
The May Pole festival brings together the community of the village and nearby villages. People join in the festivities of food, beer, and music.
During the celebration, you learn about the May Pole symbols for the village.
For the village of Puch, one May Pole symbol is a 1000-year-old tree you can visit at the nearby local church.
What is Babybaum?
When we saw what we thought was a Maypole in our village, we were intrigued. Especially considering the pole was full of baby items.
A Bavarian wedding tradition is the raising of the Babybaum – a pole decorated with baby clothes and toys the day before a wedding.
Apparently, if no baby arrives in the first year, the newlyweds have to “shout” free beers.
It sounds like a fair deal.
Munich Day Trips for a Bavarian Experience
Furstenfeldbruck is close to the famous Romantic Road of Germany.
Day trips to many medieval towns are accessible by car or train within an hour or more.
When you stay away from the big cities, exploring the smaller places can quickly be done within a day, as long as you research what is of interest and what is interesting to you.
Viewing a glimpse of the Bavarian Alps every morning encouraged us to find the perfect spot for a photo.
Furstenfeldbruck Monastery and Museum
Furstenfeldbruck lies between the Bavarian city of Munich and the city of Augsburg.
While the old town is lovely, two places high on the list to see is:
- Fürstenfeld Abbey
- Flugwerft Schleissheim
Fürstenfeld Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery dating back to 1266.
The land was originally owned by Louis II, Duke of Bavaria, but he was ordered to give up the land as his penance for executing his wife on a mistaken suspicion of adultery. Arrh!
Take a look inside the Church of St Mary. Or wander the beautiful gardens, perfect for wedding photos.
The local Farmer’s Market is held on a Saturday, but the Baroque Fürstenfeld Abbey is open between May and October from Tuesday to Sunday.
Within the complex, you can visit the church, museum, and art collections.
Flugwerft Schleissheim is part of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, where you can see over 50 civil and military aircraft on display. Both staff and volunteers restore a range of aircraft.
Location: Effnerstr. 18, 85764 Oberschleissheim – open daily from 9.00 to 17.00
Augsburg is a medieval town with stunning architecture.
With many palaces, a beautiful cathedral and museums, plus walking tours organized by the local tourist office, it is well worth a visit.
The pedestrian walking area, local markets, and central square will keep your interest to learn about the past history of two famous families.
Friedberg was a short drive from Augsburg.
Start at the Marienplatz and walk along the old town wall.
And to pique the interest of tourists, local writers have shared stories and history of the town hidden in the stone wall.
Landsberg am Lech
Landsberg am Lech was the perfect spot for a Sunday afternoon drive. Towns near water always appeal to us and to a large crowd on this sunny Sunday afternoon. The mix of old and new will have you enjoying your visit.
Ice cream was the favourite treat for the afternoon, to be enjoyed in the town square or along the river walk.
Typical of us, we decide to climb the steps up to The Holy Cross Church. We were well rewarded with the most beautiful interior of rococo frescoes in white and gold dating back to 1754.
The view from the old castle is spectacular as well.
Bavaria is Home to Many Castles
Last December, we spent a day visiting the famous Neuschwanstein Castle – about 2 hours from Furstenfeldbruck. You can read more here at this link Neuschwanstein Castle.
Schloss Nymphenburg was the summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria completed in 1675. It made the perfect place for an afternoon walk to view gardens, ponds, and fountains.
Blutenburg Castle (1438) was a stop for some coffee and cake (always a must in Germany) where we found the local folk enjoying the Maibaum festivities of music, food, and specially brewed beer.
What a great way to spend the afternoon.
Bavarian Food is Always a Highlight and A Must.
Aich village was chosen to celebrate Terry’s birthday at Drexler’s thanks to the generosity of Carola and Thomas. With the waitress dressed in traditional dress, we decided on Bavarian dishes and beer from the menu recommended by Maria. Such great choices.
Andech’s Monastery http://www.andechs.de/ was a return visit to experience the pork hocks with all the dressings, plus the sizeable Bavarian beer. With the sun shining, and the beer hall and garden packed with patrons, it gave an authentic Oktoberfest feel to the experience.
The Church is popular with pilgrims who walk many km to reach the monastery. A reward after mass is excellent food and a view.
Village life is a great way to enjoy travel
If you want to experience:
– Conversations at the local grocery store
– Walking to the various villages
– Upskilling your German language
So choose to book accommodation in a Bavarian village rather than a city.
It’s not a risk but a rewarding experience to book accommodation outside of a major city and interact on a daily basis with the people you meet. And if you need to return to the big city, then a train or a bus is always available.