10 Fairytale Bavarian Villages You MUST Visit
Bavarian villages are dreamy and look like straight out of a fairytale. From half-timbered houses and cobblestoned streets, these quaint Bavarian villages will be a perfect addition to your Bavaria itinerary and you will discover the true charm of Bavaria.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, probably one of the most famous Bavarian villages on this list, does not need an introduction. This cute medieval town will charm you instantly.
Be aware that this is also one of the most popular villages in Bavaria and draws large crowds, especially in mid-summer and December. I recommend visiting in the off-season or staying overnight, so you can enjoy the small town after the day-trippers leave.
Things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
- Walk the medieval city walls
- Visit the Medieval Crime Museum
- Visit Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store & Christmas Museum
- Climb the City Hall Tower
- Visit Tauber Bridge
- Visit “das Plönlein and take the iconic photo (see above
Where to Stay in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
Berchtesgaden is a great day trip from Munich and a perfect place to experience a traditional Bavarian village in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. It is right on the border to Austria and just a short drive from Salzburg, so if you want to add a short stint to Austria.
For World War II history buffs, a visit to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and the Obersaltzberg museum is a must. But this is also a great place for nature lovers, who want to go hiking and experience the stunning landscape.
Things to do in Berchtesgaden
- Eagle’s Nest
- Obersalzberg Museum
- Hiking and Mountain biking
- Skiing and Snowboarding
Where to stay in Berchtesgaden
Volkach am Main
I grew up just a few miles from Volkach and used to ride my bike along the canal to visit this charming little village. Volkach is in the heart of the Franconian wine region and lies along the Main river. Enjoy the rolling vineyards along the meandering river and enjoy one of the sunniest places in Germany.
Things to do in Volkach am Main
- Visit the small chapel “Maria im Weingarten” (Maria in the Vineyard)
- Go wine tasting
- Enjoy a raft cruise on the main river with wine and music
- Visit the Volkacher Weinfestival in August
Where to Stay in Volkach am Main
Garmisch Partenkirchen is a favorite for many international tourists. No wonder why. It is the quintessential Bavarian mountain village and a perfect town to experience the Bavarian Alpes. From winter sports like skiing and snowboarding to hiking and biking in the summer, this is a great spot to get outdoors.
Another must is a visit to the Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest peak. Don’t worry, you don’t have to hike up, you can also take a cable car and enjoy the view.
Things to do in Garmisch Partenkirchen
- Winter Sports
- Hiking and Mountain biking
- Linderhof Palace
- Ettal Abbey
- Partnach Gorge
Where to Stay in Garmisch Partenkirchen
Füssen is the gateway village to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. While absolutely stunning and definitely a must on your Bavaria trip, I highly recommend spending at least one night in Füssen. That way, you can beat the crowds and get there before the tour busses.
Also remember that if you want to get one of the iconic photos of Neuschwanstein Castle, you actually have to visit Hohenschwangau Castle, which is located on the next hill over and the perfect spot to snap your photo.
Aside from Neuschwanstein, Füssen itself is a cute village that is worth exploring.
Things to do in Füssen
- Neuschwanstein Castle
- Hohenschwangau Castle
- High Castle Füssen
- Wieskirche (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Where to Stay in Füssen
Bad Tölz is really cute Bavarian Spa town just 40 km south of Munich. The healing waters are perfect to soothe the body and the soul from a hectic travel schedule.
This is a wonderful village to just rest, relax and spoil yourself. Book yourself a few nights in one of the spa hotels, get pampered with a massage or two, and soak in the mineral waters.
Things to do in Bad Tölz
- Spa treatments and relaxation
Where to Stay in Bad Tölz
Marktbreit is another cute village in Lower Franconia that is absolutely dreamy. It reminds me quite a bit of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, but completely off the beaten path. You will not find international tourists there and only run into local tourists, if any. This makes it perfect, if you want to meet locals and get a real authentic Bavarian village experience.
Things to do in Marktbreit
Marktbreit is a tiny village, so there is not a lot to do. But it is a great spot to go explore nearby Würzburg or do a drive through the other picturesque Franconian villages along the Main river.
Where to Stay in Marktbreit
Just outside of Nuremberg, you will find a region called “Franconian Switzerland”. It is known for stunning stone formations, the cutest villages, and amazing food. This region is also a hot spot for any kind of outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, and rafting. One of the most beautiful villages in this region is Tüchersfeld. Perched on a steep hill, the half-timbered houses with their red roofs look like toy houses, don’t you think?
Things to do in Tüchersfeld
- Rock climbing
- Rafting and kayaking
Where to Stay in Tüchersfeld
There are no hotels in Tüchersfeld, so the closest small town nearby is Pottenstein. Click here to find accommodation in Pottenstein.
Prichsenstadt is another hidden gem in Franconia that is very dear to my heart. My husband and I actually got married in this cute little village and still visit it as often as we can. Surrounded by a moat and guarded by gates on both ends of the main street – of course cobblestoned – gives this small town the feel of a medieval village and takes you back in time.
Whatever you do, make sure to eat at the Gasthof zum Storchen. This family run restaurant and hotel is where we had our reception and I promise you, you will enjoy it. Tell Susanne, the owner, that Maria and Greg sent you and she will take good care of you.
Things to do in Prichsenstadt
- Wine tasting
- Franken Classic (Oldtimer Ralley) in April
- Walking tour with the Nightwatchman
- Wine Festival (mid June)
Where to Stay in Prichsenstadt
Another gem in the heart of Franconian Switzerland is Hersbruck. Just 30 minutes outside of Nuremberg, this village is a great place to enjoy nature and experience local history and tradition. Founded in 976, this small village flourished in the middle ages, as it was located right on the Golden Route between Nuremberg and Prague.
Things to Do in Hersbruck
- Hohenstein Castle
- Shepard’s Museum
- Fackelmann Therme (Health and Wellness Spa)
Where to Stay in Hersbruck
If you are planning a trip to Bavaria, I truly urge you to not just add Munich and Nuremberg to your itinerary, but also spend a few nights in one of these smaller villages. You will not only get to see cute houses and romantic roads, but get a glimpse of the local life, the history of Bavaria and the local traditions that have been cultivated for centuries.