Bavaria: The 25 most beautiful photo locations
The high mountains, many lakes and gorgeous old towns make Bavaria one of the most scenic federal states of Germany. But what are the most beautiful photo locations in Bavaria? Which places are a must see for photographers? Apart from well-known sights like Neuschwanstein Castle, the Zugspitze or the old town of Bamberg there are many more insider tips for photographers, such as the Barmsee.
This is our list of the most beautiful photo locations in Bavaria in alphabetical order. Have fun browsing through our highlights. Do you know of another great spot that should definitely be on the list? Then just leave us a comment at the bottom of the page! By the way: with our e-book “101 Fotografien und die Geschichte dahinter”, you’ll be able to take the perfect landscape photo in less than no time.
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Without a doubt, the Almbach Gorge between Ettenberg and Maria Gern in the Berchtesgaden Alps is one of the most beautiful photo locations of Bavaria. The Almbach is a wild and romantic stream that has carved its way through the rocks in the course of thousands of years and has created a paradise for hikers and photographers.
Countless bridges, planks, stairs and tunnels lead through the Almbach Gorge, which is normally open from May to October.
Not far from the famous Neuschwanstein Castle – which is obviously part of our list, too – there’s the Alpsee. With its surrounding mountains, the lake is the perfect photo subject. From above the castle, you have an amazing view. Just cross the Marienbrücke and follow the hiking trail upwards for about ten minutes. From there, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the Alpsee. The location is especially impressive in autumn, when the trees are shining in the brightest of colours.
Ammersee – Stegen
Stegen at the Ammersee is a photo location that’s very easy to reach. Directly on the side of the road, there are a couple of boat houses that make for a great photo. But don’t take too much time – at nightfall, awfully bright streetlights are switched on and ruin the picture.
The Barmsee in the rural district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is among the lesser-known photo locations in Bavaria. The view from the north shore southwestward to the Karwendelgebirge is most impressive. You can reach said north shore after a hike of about half an hour. But don’t worry, the hiking trail is almost flat and easily walkable.
The Eibsee at the foot of the Zugspitze is a photo location par excellence, especially its north shore with a view of the Zugspitze. Close to the shore, every once in a while, you’ll stumble upon big rocks in the crystal clear water that make for a great foreground.
The Geroldsee – also called Wagenbrüchsee – is one of the most famous photo subjects in Bavaria. All around the Geroldsee – whose next-door neighbour is the Barmsee – you’ll find countless photo spots, from the shore of the lake to a pasture not far from the lake. From there, you can see many small wooden huts, the Geroldsee and even the Karwendelgebirge.
The hike up to the 1731-metre high Herzogenstand from the top of the Kesselberg pass (GPS N 47 37.232, E 11 20.942 → Google Maps) is no big deal. There are only broad trails leading you up to the peak. Sure, you’ll need a basic amount of stamina for the elevation gain of around 900 metres – but you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view.
The Hintersee in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park is an absolute hot spot for photographers. The most famous photo subject is just a few minutes on foot from the only houses by the lake at the northwest shore. It’s still worth, however, walking round the whole lake. The hike through the Zauberwald – which translates to enchanted forest – with its many waterfalls is stunningly beautiful and at the shore of the Hintersee, you’ll also find many interesting photo subjects.
The Höllental Gorge – Höllental, by the way, means Valley of Hell – is wet and loud, but extremely impressive. The water plummets into the depths and the steep rock faces are only a few metres apart. A well-secured trail leads through the Höllental Gorge, but the ascent does require a bit of stamina. You’ll be rewarded with amazing photo subjects.
Jenner at the Königssee
The 1874-metre high Jenner offers a fantastic view over the Königssee in the Berchtesgadener Land. The ascent to the peak is not that challenging, but you will need a bit of stamina. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, take the Jenner cable car. At the peak, there’s usually a bit of a crowd and you’ll rarely be alone here – no surprise with that view.
The hike up to the Jochberg is one of the all-time classics in the surroundings of Munich. The trail is well walkable and never exposed, so it’s also a great route for families with children. From the top of the Jochberg, you have a gorgeous view of the Kochelsee, the Walchensee and the surrounding mountains. This photo was taken by Maik alias Bergpixel.
Chapel at the Lockstein
The chapel at the Lockstein is located directly in Berchtesgaden on a hill. From here, you have an amazing view of the Watzmann. Photographers love this spot. With the chapel in the foreground, you can take great pictures. If you can, visit this location when it has just snowed – the fresh snow will cover the very unpicturesque road directly in front of the chapel and you’ll be able to take superb photos.
Kochelsee – Kochel
You’ll find great photo spots all around the Kochelsee. It photographs especially well from Kochel at its north shore (“am seinem Nordufer”) with a southward view toward the mountains. The many boat houses and landing stages are a photographer’s dream.
Kochelsee – bridge over the Loisach
This winter image of the Kochelsee was taken from the bridge over the Loisach. This photo location and the picture come from Maik alias Bergpixel.
The Lautersee is mostly just known to locals. But for photographers, there are a lot of great photo subjects to discover at the Lautersee. The water is crystal clear and in the distance, the mountain peaks stand out. With these features, the Lautersee is one of the best insider tips for photographers.
The view of the church of Maria Gern and the Watzmann in the background is one of the classics. This scenery is especially impressive with fresh snow and in the morning or the evening. The best position for photographers is a meadow only a stone’s throw away from the church.
If the weather allows it, the Partnach Gorge is open all year round. In the gorge, there are countless amazing photo subjects. In the winter, there are huge icicles on the walls and you’ll hike past frozen waterfalls. On weekends, however, it can get quite crowded in the Partnach Gorge. If you’re carrying a tripod, you won’t really have much fun, because the trail through the gorge is occasionally very narrow.
The Rappensee is an extremely photogenic lake in the Allgäu Alps. The Rappensee is located at 2047 metres and only reachable on foot. Near the Rappensee, there’s the Rappensee Hut – a blessing for photographers, because the hike to the Rappensee is very long and requires a lot of stamina. The Rappensee is not suited for a day tour to take some photos.
The beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle is obviously the classic par excellence among the photo locations in Bavaria. The Marienbrücke is where you have the famous view of the Neuschwanstein Castle. But the castle is even more beautiful from the Hornburg, a small peak that can be reached in about an hour after a pretty steep ascent from the bottom station of the Tegel cable car. In some places, the trail is exposed and secured with a steel rope. Surefootedness is vital here. From the hiking trail up to the Tegelberg, you also have stunning views of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately, the cables of the Tegel cable car disrupt the view every now and again. If you don’t want these cables in your photo, you’ll have to retouch a lot in post-production, like I did with this photo here.
Postcard picture alert! The parish church of St. Sebastian in Ramsau is on countless postcards of the Berchtesgaden National Park. From a small wooden bridge directly next to the street, you already have a great view of the church and the Ramsauer Ache, a beautiful river. The view is even more impressive from a bit further down from the riverbank.
The Sylvensteinspeicher is located in the tributary of the upper Isar river in the municipality of Lenggries. If you didn’t know any better, you could think you’re in Canada. The huge reservoir and the wooded mountains are an extremely rewarding photo location, especially in spring and autumn.
The Walchensee is one of our favourite photo locations in Bavaria, especially the east shore. Here, every once in a while, you’ll stumble upon big stones and impressive rock formations in the crystal clear water. In the background, you can always see the mountains. It’s also worth walking at least along the east shore of the Walchensee. But you can also discover interesting photo subjects at other places around the lake.
The view from the Zugspitze onto the surrounding mountains is phenomenal. No matter in which direction you look, the area is teeming with photo subjects. If you don’t feel like hiking up the mountain on foot, take one of the cable cars onto Germany’s highest mountain. There are, however, countless hiking trails to the peak. One of the easiest routes starts in Austria and leads you up to the peak via the Gatterl.
Numbers and facts about Bavaria
- With over 70,500 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest federal estate of Germany in terms of surface area
- Almost 13 million people live in Bavaria. Only North Rhine-Westphalia has more inhabitants
- The biggest city in Bavaria is Munich with almost 1.5 million inhabitants
- With the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden National Park, Bavaria has two national parks
- Around one fourth of all German forests are located in Bavaria
- Traditional dishes in Bavaria include roasted pork or pork leg, Leberkäse (beef and pork loaf served in slices), veal sausage, bread dumplings and sauerkraut
- The Oktoberfest in Munich – the Wiesn – is the world’s largest Volksfest, a beer festival and funfair
- The ten highest mountains of Germany are all in Bavaria
- With 2962 metres, the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain
- The most visited tourist attraction in Bavaria is not the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, but the BMW Welt in Munich