With its interesting blend of gorgeous scenery, distinct culture, and fun festivals, Bavaria is deservedly one of the most popular and famous regions of Germany. Famed for all manners of delights, including beer, sausages, skiing, and fanciful leather shorts, Bavaria is an iconic German destination overflowing with unique character.However, as the largest state in Germany, it offers so much more than people give the place credit; with intense amounts of history and culture flowing through its veins, Bavaria is home to a wealth of historic landmarks, UNESCO Heritage Sites, majestic music spectacles, fantasy castles, glistening lakes, and magical scenery straight out of a fairytale book. Interested in sampling some superb specifics during that dream Germany trip? Then why not check out these amazing things to do and see in Bavaria?

10 The Greatest Party in Europe: Oktoberfest Festival, Munich

Taking place over 16 to 18 days around the end of September or early October each year is the biggest Volksfest on the planet. The world-famous Oktoberfest draws in approximately six million people annually who descend in their droves to discover one of the most incredible beer-laden events the globe has ever known. As one of Bavaria's most esteemed cultural festivities, this lively 200-year-old party has even inspired its own international branches elsewhere in other countries. However, no matter how many other nations hold their own Oktoberfest as an homage to the original, the one and only home of this boozy celebration is Munich - where the largest Oktoberfest occurs every year.

Think huge steins of beer, plenty of characterful locals donned in lederhosen, and glorious Bavarian food within this massive Munich mega-party, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Also, foodie heaven, Oktoberfest's favorite German delicacies served up in its various tents include Käsespätzle, Weißwurst, candied almonds, and pork knuckles among many others. What's more, there are also tons of traditional dancing and live music performances throughout the festival. Naturally, this enormous event can become quite loud and vivacious at times, so anyone fancying a break in between downing liters of frothy beer and dancing on the tables will find some respite in the Oide Wiesn area, where they can check out some of the preserved (and slightly more peaceful) older traditions of Oktoberfest.

Related: 10 Places To Celebrate Oktoberfest Other Than Munich

9 Whizzing Winter Sports, Zugspitze

Germany's highest mountain of Zugspitze peaks at 2,920 meters above sea level, which makes it an epicenter for skiers not just in Germany, but also in Europe. As an exceedingly prolific location for winter sports - such as skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing - it hosts the highest ski resort in the country with its 20 kilometers of pistes blanketed by natural snow coverage for up to six months of the entire year.

Additionally, Zugspitze is not all about skiing; visitors who aren't so keen on the thrill of the slopes can also have a fantastic time here surrounded by showstopping views. There's the highest church in Germany here, a number of mountain restaurants, an igloo village, and mesmeric vistas of three of Germany’s glaciers. Hikers will also love this part of Bavaria; with a range of trails up to the summit peppered with food joints and lodging along the way, the trek to the top can take anything from a few hours to a few days depending on the route and each adventurer's stamina. Fear not, for the unfit of folk can opt for a scenic cable car ride to the top instead.

8 Magnificent Musical Performances At The Breathtaking Bayreuth Festival

What finer (and fancier) way to savor Bavaria and its captivating culture than attending an opera festival that celebrates a legendary German composer? The annual Bayreuth Festival offers that exact opportunity, showcasing the magnificent pieces of the nineteenth-century composer, Richard Wagner. In fact, it was indeed Wagner himself who suggested a festival for his operas, and thus, this formal, yearly event was birthed. His spectacular performances are held in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Festival House), where a gorgeous rococo-style theater is housed in its interiors. Interestingly, the entire building was erected for the sole purpose of hosting Wagner's shows - even Wagner himself helped manage its construction.

Every summer, the fine establishment kicks off the month-long festival of Wagner's music and attracts thousands of his fans from all corners of the globe. The revered event is so popular that competition for both accommodation and tickets can get fiery - and it's not uncommon for the ticket waiting list to be years long. Therefore, it's absolutely crucial to book tickets, hotels, and even restaurant reservations well in advance should attending this Bavarian sensation be on the cards.

Related: Germany’s Small Towns Will Have You Skipping Out Any Big-City Vacation

7 Historic Hohenschwangau Castle

Among Germany's most seductive castles is Hohenschwangau Castle (or Schloss Hohenschwangau as it's known in German) - a nineteenth-century palace located in the small village of its namesake, Hohenschwangau, near Fussen town. Historically, the castle was the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II who allegedly inspired Ludwig to build the nearby enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle as well.

Reached via the local village, by shuttle bus, or for a more historically accurate mode of transport, horse-drawn carriage service, both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles are easy to access and are well-served by local transportation. History buffs or anyone interested in uncovering these castles' intriguing pasts and Ludwig's penchant for frills and fancies will be in their element on a guided tour of the two - an experience which is available through various local operators.

6 Fairytale Fun At Neuschwanstein Castle

The sibling fortress of Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, is the baby of King Ludwig, who constructed it as a personal retreat and in honor of the aforementioned German composer, Richard Wagner (several of the rooms within are actually inspired by Wagner’s operas). And that's not the only prominent inspiration stemming from the regal property; funded from Ludwig's own fortune (along with some hefty borrowing), this fairytale castle's exterior provided the inspiration for Disney's Magic Kingdom, which is unsurprising given its dreamy architecture and magical aesthetic. Plus, its surreal location and heart-stopping panoramas might have lent some inspiration to Disney, too.

Naturally, the castle resembles a medieval palace from the outside, however, its interiors were modernized with nineteenth-century technological innovations. Some of its time-period installations include an early type of central heating and even a battery-powered bell system for calling castle servants. Any visitors intending to tour this castle and its previously mentioned sister should also know this: it attracts one and a half million visitors a year, the majority of whom come during the peak summer months of June, July, and August. So, like many Bavarian attractions, it's imperative to make tour and accommodation bookings well beforehand in order to avoid long waits (or missing out altogether).

Related: Visit The Neuschwanstein Castle In Germany, Which Has Inspired So Many Other Mythical Castles

5 Art Abounds At Alte Pinakothek, Munich

In addition to copious amounts of German beer and one of the greatest parties on the planet, Munich offers its visitors a rare opportunity to observe many masterpieces of historic artists. The home of one the oldest art galleries in the world, Alte Pinakothek showcases around 900 paintings at any given time, with a huge portion of them belonging to an iconic collection of Old Master paintings. Fascinatingly, the name of the gallery relates to the time period from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, which is the duration when the paintings in this collection were created.

The collection boasts legendary classics, including Rembrandt's Self Portrait and the Virgin and Child by Leonardo da Vinci to name just two. Furthermore, in addition to this collection and its treasures on display, the gallery has thousands more under its care. However, not all the paintings are on show, which allows variety each time people visit, and new works have been rotated into the mix. There are permanent exhibitions as well as intriguing temporary displays that pop up every now and then, with guided audio tours available to help lead visitors through the fine establishment's magnificent gems within.

4 Amazing Alpine Scenery At Königssee Lake, Berchtesgaden

Lake Königssee boasts Germany's third-deepest waters and is often proclaimed as the country's cleanest lake. Beautifully situated in the Berchtesgaden Alps right near the Austrian border, the lake and its crystalline alpine waters and stunning natural surroundings became a mecca for tourists and hikers, so to help preserve the peace of the place, the government has only allowed pedal, row, and electric-powered boats on the lake ever since 1909.

Indeed, what great job officials have done in protecting it and its serene natural splendor; it's a nature lover's dream and is undoubtedly one of Bavaria's most photogenic, tranquil spots. Despite being so quiet, there's still ample amounts to do; visitors can enjoy guided boat trips, many of which stop off at the twelfth century St. Bartholomä Church. It's also worth noting that there are no paths around the lake due to such sheer-and-sharp cliff faces, which means the only way to explore it is via boat (which isn't a bad thing by any traveler's standards!)

Related: 10 Unique Foods In Germany You Should Not Miss Out On

3 Marvel At Margravial Opera House

Referred to in German as Markgräfliches Opernhaus, the Margravial Opera House is one of Europe's handful of surviving theaters from the 1700s. Originally built between 1745 and 1750, this Baroque opera house is an official UNESCO World Heritage building and is a majestic remnant of its era. Although it has been renovated and restored in recent years, the establishment's interiors still reflect the enchanting old-world beauty of its time, making it worth a visit even if just to witness its marvel and soak up the atmosphere.

Visitors are invited to join guided tours should they wish to go inside, and although tours are solely available in German, there is a pamphlet handed out that details information and points of interest in English. Of course, the building still functions as a theater to this day, and one of the most enriching ways to experience it is by watching a performance. Therefore, travelers mustn't forget to check and see if there are any shows happening during their planned visit.

2 Eye-Catching Views At Eagle’s Nest

The Eagle’s Nest (known as Kehlsteinhaus in German) was originally constructed to become a private meeting spot for Nazi party members. However, in lieu of its shady history, it's now an attractive destination for both locals and tourists and hosts a sublime restaurant complete with a beautiful beer garden. Perched high up on a rocky outcrop overlooking Berchtesgaden town, rumor has it that Eagle’s Nest wasn't particularly favored by Hitler due to his vertigo, but today's visitors seemingly enjoy the place and its awe-inspiring vistas over the serene landscapes nonetheless.

To reach the Eagle's Nest, one can drive to the Documentation Center Obersalzberg car park and hike there, which takes about two hours. Alternatively, one can catch the bus and take an elevator up to the top. In addition, it's vital to know before booking a Bavaria trip that this spot is only open from mid-May to the end of October during the spring and summer seasons. Hotels book up quickly throughout this time, so be sure to reserve accommodation early should staying overnight here be on the bucket list.

Related: 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Munich's Oktoberfest

1 Discoveries Delight At Deutsches Museum, Munich

Guaranteed to be an epic day out for families and kids, the Deutsches Museum in Munich is an interactive science and technology center with a unique hands-on attitude and approach to learning. The inspiring property houses a vast array of diverse exhibitions, featuring everything from astronomy and technology to marine biology and more, and the best part of all, the focus here is all on interactivity. All activities and demonstrations are designed to fully engage and immerse all the senses for a truly spectacular educational experience like no other.

Open seven days a week, the Deutsches Museum and its entourage of immersive wonders in unmissable for anyone visiting Munich. And don't worry if those Deutsch language skills aren't quite up to scratch - most of the exhibit information signs and placards are displayed in both German and English.