Kempinski Blog Article
When you think of traditional Germany, Bavaria is likely to be the first place that comes to mind. This culture-filled south-eastern corner of Germany is a captivating place for a week away if you are the type of person who enjoys rich culture, tradition and stunning natural surroundings, and one of the best ways to enjoy a tour of the free state is to divide your trip between the grand city of Munich and the beautiful alpine surroundings of Berchtesgaden.
Here’s how to get the most out of these two classic German locations – how to get there, what to see, where to eat, and where to stay.
Munich – a cultural hub
Arriving at Munich International Airport, Memmingen Airport or via train at Munich Central Station, it is only a short train or taxi ride to the five-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski. Located in the heart of old Munich on Maximilianstraße, the luxury retreat is a wonderful base from which to explore the city’s sights, and features elegant rooms and suites, gourmet restaurants and relaxing spa facilities.
Munich is full of things to do, but even if you are only staying for three to four days, the compact nature of the capital’s historic centre makes for days filled with sights and experiences.
It is a good idea to start out at Odeonsplatz, the city’s huge central square – built in the early 1800s in the image of Flarence’s Loggia dei Lanzi. The pretty square is home to the Feldherrnhalle (a gigantic Bavarian war monument that was the site of the Beer Hall Putsch), the Rococo-styled Theatinerkirche and Munich Residenz, the fabulously decorated and sprawling palace of Bavarian royalty.
Odeonsplatz is the starting point for Ludwigstraße, Maximilianstraße, Prinzregentenstraße and Briennerstraße – the city’s four royal avenues, and home to many of the city’s best museums, luxury shops and restaurants.
Consider booking tickets to the incredible Bavarian State Opera, or the Allianz Arena if you prefer internationally renowned sport, and be sure to visit some of the city’s excellent museums – we recommend the National Bavarian Museum, City Museum of Munich and the Pinakothken.
After days spent sightseeing, there are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from in Munich. Some of the best include the Schwarzreiter Tagesbar & Restaurant, home of modern Bavarian dishes with a haute cuisine finish; the exquisite, yet relaxed Broeding; and the simple, hearty Mariannenhof.
Getting to Berchtesgaden
Thanks to southern Germany’s excellent transport links, Berchtesgaden is reached in as little as an hour and three quarters from Munich, if travelling by car via the A8. Trains run multiple times each day from München Hauptbahnhof to Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof, via Salzburg, with the journey taking between two and three hours.
Berchtesgaden – an alpine wonderland
While you could say Munich is the cosmopolitan heart of Bavaria, Berchtesgaden is perhaps its spiritual home. A picturesque mountain town combines elements of Austrian alpine culture with classic German tradition, but the real delight here comes from the incredible mountainous scenery.
Tree-blanketed slopes, snowy peaks and the gleaming, blue Königssee lake make Berchtesgaden a haven for anyone that loves exploring the great outdoors, yet with luxurious accommodation like Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden on offer, it is a food and spa-lover’s paradise too.
If you want to explore you can take your pick from activities like hiking, boating, mountain biking, mountain climbing, skiing, snow shoeing and every other sort of outdoor pursuit you would expect from an alpine destination. If you prefer something a little more relaxed, take a trip to the quaint St. Bartholomä Church, a pilgrimage site dating back to 1134, or travel to the infamous Eagle’s Nest and take in the awesome mountaintop views.
There is plenty to do during the day throughout your stay, and an equally great range of restaurants to choose from in the evening. For fine dining, book a table at the superb Restaurant Johann Grill and enjoy the amazing views; or visit either Gasthof Neuhaus, Gasthaus Café or Edelweiss Panorama for classic Bavarian dishes served in comfortable, cosy surroundings.