Bavaria in a nutshell – important information for holidays in the Free State
Bavaria is Germany's largest federal state, and it's the only one that borders on the Alps. Its capital is Munich. Bavaria consists of four large holiday regions: Upper Bavaria, Allgäu / Bavarian Swabia, Franconia and East Bavaria. Holidaymakers share these four regions with a total of 13 million locals, i.e. 16 per cent of the German population. But no worries, there's enough room for everyone. For example in 2,244,578 hectares of national park, in more than 1,300 museums and castles, in and at 200 bathing lakes into which your customers can dive, and on 40,000 kilometres of signposted hiking trails on which they can roam through Nature. That may make them thirsty, but on the other hand thirst is never really going to be a problem for long in Bavaria, given that there are over 600 breweries, most of which are in Franconia. And its contribution to the UNESCO World Heritage is another thing that Bavaria has every right to feel proud of. No fewer than eight sites have been honoured with that distinction. We've put together a summary here of how your customers can best prepare for their journey to Bavaria, and what they need to pay attention to during their holiday.
Before travelling to Bavaria
That depends entirely on what it is your customers want, because a holiday in Bavaria is worthwhile at any time of the year. The best time for lovers of winter sport is from October to March. During those months, there will be a snow covering right down into the valleys, and conditions on the ski runs will be perfect. Those who prefer to go hiking or cycling are best advised to come to Bavaria from April to June or in September. At those times, the temperatures are between 12 and 20 degrees. From June to August it really warms up. Very little rain and temperatures of up to 30 degrees make the summer the ideal time to travel for those who want a holiday at the lakeside.
The largest airport in Bavaria is the international airport at Munich (MUC), followed by the ones in Nuremberg and Memmingen. Germany being part of the Schengen Area, most travellers can enter without a visa. If you want to make sure whether or not your customers need a visa, you can check here.
Please inform yourself and your customers about the current travel restrictions due to the coronavirus prior to booking and before they enter Germany. You will find up-to-date travel information on the following websites:
Germany works with a supply voltage of 230V/50Hz. Since the norm is 120 volts in many countries, your customers may need an adapter to protect their devices from being damaged. Internet and Wi-Fi are widespread in Bavaria, and they are usually free in accommodation, restaurants, tourist information centres and sometimes in public transport too.
The official language in Bavaria is German. English is widespread as a foreign language.
The German national currency is the euro. There are cash machines all over the region. Credit cards (with the exception of AMEX) are accepted in most of the larger shops and restaurants. However, it is advisable to carry a little cash at all times.
During your holiday
In cases of emergency your customers should dial #110 for the police and #112 for an ambulance or the fire brigade.
Tipping is customary in Bavaria. In Germany, people generally round up small amounts to the nearest euro. Otherwise, they tip about 10 per cent of the invoice total.
Bavaria has more public holidays than any other federal state: 13 in all. In Augsburg, moreover, there is an extra one. There, people have the day off for the Peace Festival on 8 August as well. Important for your customers: food shops and retail in general are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Restaurants, by contrast, are mostly open, but they usually close on Mondays instead.
Recycling, reuse and waste avoidance: thanks to its first-class waste recycling system, Bavaria (and Germany as a whole) provide both locals and tourists with many options for keeping the environment clean. For example, your customers can get some money back if they return drink cans and plastic bottles that were purchased in Germany to the supermarket. And they can also consciously refrain from using disposable plastic and avail themselves of reusable shopping bags instead.
Because of the increasing demand for ecotourism and sustainable travel, there are many wonderful possibilities for environmentally friendly accommodation in Bavaria. In the whole region, for example, bookings can be made at biohotels which guarantee the highest standards – from the preparation of bio-food to the use of natural cosmetics.
The most authentic way for your customers to experience the Free State is by frequenting local enterprises, local restaurants and local craftspeople, and in accommodation run by locals. By doing that they will also support the Bavarian economy.
With more than 200 long-distance cycle routes and a dense public transport network, your customers don't necessarily need a car in Bavaria. Having said that, it may be an advantage for them to have one at their disposal for trips to rural areas or into the mountains.