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  • Writer's pictureThe Kensington Diary

A German Tapestry of Adventures with Children: Bavaria and Munich

Bavaria may undoubtedly be one of the most beautiful parts of Germany which is why it's a destination we often return to. A region where luxury nestles in the folds of the lush German countryside and fairytales seem to leap off the pages into reality. From ornate castles perched on rugged hills to serene lakes reflecting the Alpine skies, Bavaria is a symphony of opulent experiences and natural grandeur that truly captivated us! Amidst the sky blue skyline of Bavaria, the capital Munich presents a kaleidoscope of experiences for families and represents a location that can easily be established as a landing point to explore the countryside. A city where every cobblestone whispers tales of old, and every modern marvel echoes with the sound of laughter from those young in years and at heart.

Join us as journey into Bavaria over a 10 day itinerary, where every moment is as precious as a gemstone set in a royal diadem, and family memories are crafted with the promise of lasting legacy

Munich: Bavaria’s Cosmopolitan Heart

In Munich, the region’s vibrant capital, luxury and heritage merge with impeccable grace. Stroll through the resplendent English Garden, larger than even Central Park or Hyde Park, and delight in private picnics with gourmet delights sourced from Viktualienmarkt, the city’s famed food market. As the sun sets, retreat to the city’s posh quarters, perhaps the Maximilianstrasse, where upscale boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants promise an evening of exquisite indulgence.

 As we strolled through this regal city, we uncovered a treasure trove of delights for our son. Our Munich tale unfurls in the sprawling greenery of the Englischer Garten, an urban oasis that rivals even the famed royal parks of London. As our young adventurer marvelled at the curious sight of urban surfers on the Eisbach wave, us parents basked in the serene landscape or partook in a traditional Bavarian picnic by the Chinesischer Turm, a structure that sings of Munich's cosmopolitan spirit.

In the city’s pulse, the Marienplatz, the Glockenspiel's chimes cast a spell of historical enchantment twice daily. In this enthralling scene, colourful figurines dance to the clock's bell, narrating stories of Munich's rich past—a spectacle that captivates and educates in equal measure.

From the sprawling Nymphenburg Palace to the Renaissance artistry of the Munich Residenz, Munich host regal stately homes that stand as testaments to a rich heritage of sovereign grace and beauty.

A journey to the Deutsches Museum unveils a playground of intellect and intrigue. It’s here that science and imagination intertwine, allowing children to unravel mysteries of the natural world through hands-on engagement. Nearby, the BMW Museum captivated my little boy with its sleek designs and technological wonders, igniting dreams of innovation in young minds.

For those moments of quiet contemplation, the art galleries of Munich invite young creatives to ponder the modern masterpieces within the Pinakothek der Moderne or take part in interactive activities at the Museum Brandhorst, bringing art to life for even the youngest of visitors.

As winter descends, Munich transforms into a Yuletide wonderland. The Christkindlmarkt enchants with its festive atmosphere, where families can indulge in seasonal treats and find warmth in cheerful crafts and heartwarming carols. Come summer, the city blooms into life, with outdoor attractions like the Hellabrunn Zoo, where wildlife conservation becomes an interactive lesson beneath the sun.

Recommendation: 2-3 night stay

King Ludwig's Castles: A Homage to Bavarian Opulence

Neuschwanstein Castle: The Crown Jewel

Just an hour and a half from Munich, ascend to the fabled Neuschwanstein Castle, perched atop its rugged throne in the Bavarian Alps. Known as the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle, this masterpiece of Romanesque Revival architecture is the epitome of fairy-tale splendor. Our second time here, we ventured within to discover opulent chambers that whisper of King Ludwig II’s vision, and balconies that offer sweeping views of the verdant valleys below—a true legacy of royal fantasy. perched atop its rugged hill like a scene from a storybook. While the interior's grandeur may impress older children more, the castle’s exterior promises a magical backdrop for the family album. It simply blows us away.

Hohenschwangau Castle: The Kings Youthful Hearth

Undoubtedly underappreciated and overlooking the Alpsee, Hohenschwangau Castle stands as the childhood residence of King Ludwig II. Rich in family history and less trodden paths, this castle offered a more intimate look at the king's early life. The castle is adorned with scenes from German legends and mythology, an inspiration that would follow Ludwig, through to his own monumental creations.

Linderhof Palace: An Oasis of Opulence

In the seclusion of a mountain valley, discover Linderhof Palace, a jewel of royal retreat. This is a smaller yet no less impressive residence of King Ludwig II is set amidst an oasis of ornate gardens, where gold leaf and ivory create a ballet of luxury against lush backdrop of the Bavarian countryside. Here, families can enjoy exclusive guided tours that illuminate the private world of a king who lived amidst the wealth of beauty and art. This was undoubtedly one of my favourites from King Ludwig's collection.

Alpine Crescendos: Bavaria's Mountain Majesty

Zugspitze: Bavaria's Peak of Majesty

We stayed close to Zugspitze as our base and explored the highest peak in Germany, where the luxury of unrivaled views meets the thrill of Alpine heights. There is an option to take a state of the art cable car and ascend into the heavens where families can dine in the sky overlooking a kingdom of snow-capped grandeur. The mountaintop experience is elevated by the purest air and the promise of adventures in the snow, creating a winter wonderland narrative for all ages.

Lakeside Serenades: The Aquatic Gems of Bavaria

Lake Tegernsee and and Lake Chiemsee: Alpine Serenity

Venture to the shores of Lake Tegernsee, where tranquility ripples across crystal-clear waters. Here, luxury is found in the quiet moments: a family sailing excursion on the gentle waves, a mountain-side spa day with views of the Alpine panorama, or dining in lakeside restaurants that serve culinary masterpieces in the glow of the sunset.

Alternatively, opt for Lake Chiemsee, the base of Herremchiemsee Castle, a homage to the Sun King's Versailles and King Ludwig's grand statement of regality and romance. Here where we stayed at Gut Ising Chiemsee, a luxury family-friendly spa and wellness hotel that hosts a delightful equestrian centre for children. Here we enjoyed several rounds of golf, introduced our son to the driving range, went horse and pony riding and devoured delicious Bavarian delicacies at their amazing restaurants.

Berchtesgaden's Alpine Sanctuary: Nature’s Majestic Realm

Near the Austrian border, Berchtesgaden stands guard over a landscape untouched by time. The Berchtesgaden National Park invites families to private guided tours through echoing mountains and secluded paths. The decadent interiors of the Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden, with its panoramic terraces and world-class service, ensure that every need is whispered away before it’s even felt.

Timeless Tapestry: Bavaria's Medieval Cities

Würzburg: A Toast to Elegance

The refined city of Würzburg beckons with its Baroque and Rococo architecture, epitomized by the Residenz, a palace whose halls are adorned with frescoes and gilded ornamentation. The nearby vineyards of the Franconian wine country offer exclusive tastings of celebrated vintages, where the art of winemaking can be savored as a family affair.

Regensburg: The Medieval Mosaic

In Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, luxury lies in the authentic experience of its history. Private tours unveil centuries-old stories etched into the stones of its buildings and streets. The evenings here are best enjoyed in the quiet opulence of historic hotels that serve as portals to another era.

The Romantic Road: A Journey Through Time

Take a chauffeured drive down the Romantic Road, a storied route winding through medieval towns, pastoral landscapes, and past the majestic Alps. Stops at Rothenburg ob der Tauber, with its timeless charm, and Augsburg, a city of Renaissance marvels, provide an anthology of experiences, each chapter more captivating than the last.

In the Glow of Dusk

Bavaria is not merely a destination. As the day wanes, it's story does not end but rather pauses, inviting families to rest and reflect on the day's escapades. With the city of Munich's landmarks bathed in the golden light of sunset, and the mountains struck with golden light there's a promise of more to explore, more to learn, and more to cherish. München mag dich—Munich likes you, the city's motto, becomes a warm whisper, an invitation to return, to continue weaving your own Bavarian tapestry, rich with the threads of family memories crafted in this German jewel.

I hope you enjoy Bavaria as much as we do!

With much love


The Kensington Diary




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