Ideas for Your Spare Time
Life in Bavaria is not just work and no play, of course! Every hard-working student needs some time to relax and unwind. Fortunately, there is so much to do and explore in Bavaria that you will never get bored! No matter where you are based, every single region offers plenty of activities and attractions in every season. Whether you enjoy hiking in the mountains, taking a leisurely swim in one of the idyllic lakes, visiting amazing art galleries or meeting friends in a beer garden, there is definitely something here for everyone.
Fairy Tale Surroundings
Green meadows, thick forests, shimmering lakes, impressive castles and breathtaking mountain ranges – in Bavaria you will often feel like you have just stepped into a fairy tale. The beautiful surroundings even inspired Walt Disney, who modelled his famous Sleeping Beauty castle on Schloss Neuschwanstein. The original castle, which was built by eccentric king Louis II, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bavaria and definitely worth a visit. However, there are many other amazing sights to discover in the state and every region has its own special gems. So, get yourself a guidebook or do your research online and start exploring! You can find more information at www.bavaria.by for example.
You can travel along the Romantic Road, which leads you to castles and fortresses like Hohenschwangau or the Harburg, to UNESCO world heritage sites like the Würzburg Residence, old trading towns like Augsburg and towns that make you think you have travelled straight back to the Middle Ages like Nördlingen or Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
If you are into fairy tales, you will also enjoy Bavaria’s Christmas markets. These can be found in most Bavarian towns and usually consist of quaint wooden huts from which old-fashioned Christmas decorations, all kinds of knickknacks, mulled wine and local specialities are sold. Visit the markets in the evening, when fairy lights twinkle in the snow for some romantic Christmas magic!
Outdoor types are really spoilt for choice in Bavaria. And those who are not fans of the great outdoors yet are sure to get into the spirit, once they arrive here! If you are new to outdoor exercise, start off with a gentle cycle ride along the river, take an easy hike through drop-dead gorgeous scenery or take a skiing course with your friends. More experienced adventurers will enjoy mountaineering in the Alps, racing down some of the world’s best ski slopes, or trying out new water sports on one of Bavaria’s crystal-clear lakes.
On cold and rainy days, when you feel less like going out, there are also plenty of facilities for indoor sports, such as tennis courts, gyms and swimming pools. It is also worth checking out the sports programmes at your university, which usually offer lots of different exercise classes at reasonable prices.
Art and culture
Are you a culture vulture who is always on the lookout for new galleries, theatre performances and concerts? Then you will find a treasure trove of delights in Bavaria. Some of Germany’s most impressive art galleries and museums are based in the State and the theatre also has a long tradition here.
Bavaria’s longest-running play is the “Passionsspiele” (Passion Play), which has been performed in Oberammergau every ten years since the 17th century. And every summer hundreds of opera lovers from around the world flock to Bayreuth for the Richard Wagner Festival.
Bavaria is not only home to big state-funded theatres and opera houses, but also to numerous smaller venues and community theatres, which offer a rich variety of plays and performances. You can find more information about these venues on Kulturportal Bayern.
Likewise, you can find a museum or gallery in virtually every corner of the state: from the Asparagus Museum in Schrobenhausen to the Wood Technique Museum in Rosenheim. There are more than 1.100 museums in Bavaria! Read more about Bavarian museums on museen-in-bayern.de.
If you are more into modern music, there are lots of concerts and outdoor music festivals that cater to fans of nearly every music style from rock and reggae to hip hop and folk. The most famous Bavarian festival of all is, of course, the Oktoberfest in Munich, where you can drink beer and enjoy Bavarian specialties whilst listening to oompah bands playing traditional and popular modern songs.
Most smaller towns also have their versions of beer festivals. As a matter of fact, the “Gäubodenfest” in Straubing is something like the test run for the Oktoberfest. And in Erlangen, on one of the twelve days of the „Bergkirchweih“, the university’s students and staff alike attend the festival together.
One of the nicest ways to spend a summer evening in Bavaria is in one of its many beer gardens, sharing a bench with your friends and feasting on a “Brotzeit” of soft pretzels, cheese, and meat. There are lots of nice cafés and bars all around as well and night clubs or student venues can be found in even the smallest university towns.