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Diversity: The World Through An 18 Year Old's Eyes ey, everyone! I'm Allie. I'm 18, and I do a lot of travelling for my age. I have a house in America, Germany, and I study in England. I see this as a great opportunity, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and life lessons with my fellow nomads. :

Do's and Dont's in Bavaria - 10 Easy Steps

GERMANY | Tuesday, 7 August 2012 | Views [32214] | Comments [7]

When you're travelling to Bavaria, there are a lot of things you might want to know. You could always dive headfirst into a world of Lederhosen, volkmusik and beer, but isn't it always a sigh of relief when you have a slim idea of what NOT to say? That's what I'm here for. So, sit back and bear with me as I try to explain my crazy Bavarian life the best that I can.

What NOT to do in Bavaria

Step 1: DON'T expect the roads to be easy.

Driving in Bavaria is a real treat. Its rolling hills and open sunflower fields are enough to make any sourpuss stop to snap pictures like a Kodak rep. However, things are not always as lovely as they seem. When the autobahn says "no speed limit", they're not kidding. However, don't think you have permission to speed. You may not see a cop around, but there are cameras galore. If you think you're getting away with it, just wait until a surprise ticket shows up at your door (personal parental experience).

Thankfully, German drivers are very safe. In my many visits, I've seen maybe three wrecks. And it was probably because of a deer. Another thing that some people might have an issue with are the curves. For the life of me, I cannot understand their problem with straight lines. Even if you are going through a completely flat valley, the roads twist and turn through invisible barriers. Just a warning for the easily-taunted tummies. 

Step 2: DON'T leave food on your plate.

Erm, or try not to. It's not the end of the world if you do, but every time I leave a spaghetti noodle in the bowl, I feel instant regret. I can just picture the waitress's face right now. "Was? Es war nicht gut?" And then there's me, with my stomach bursting from my pants, trying to explain that I'm just full, but that the food was "sehr lecker". It's a struggle for them to understand, so you'd be better off eating when you're truly hungry. And a side note: good table manners receive a silent thumbs up. Keep those elbows off the table!

Step 3: DON'T get totally wasted.

Bavarians love their beer. And you can find some GREAT beer over here. If you're coming during the much loved Oktoberfest, (which is actually in September, for those of you booking your tickets a month too late) you can certainly meet great people and enjoy a night with the some fine Paulaner. But, public drunkenness is not appreciated. Germans are civilized and personal people. They don't want to hear you singing outside of their windows at three in the morning. They don't want to see you making a fool of yourself, for your sake AND theirs. 

Step 4: DON'T wait to go to the restroom. (And always have change.) 

Public restrooms? Forget about it. You're lucky if you find one somewhere other than a train station and in small towns you might as well just go on the side of the road (which is very common, by the way). Many of the restaurants will not let you use their water closets unless you are a paying costumer. So, why not make an adventure of it? Go to a cafe, drink a delicious Eiskaffee, and then use the restroom as many times as you can. Oh! And ALWAYS have small change on you, because I would say 80% of restrooms charge (20 to 50 cents, give or a take). 

Step 5: DON'T be afraid to meet new people.

Bavarians are great. I complain about the grouches a lot, because there are plenty of them, but overall they make for a good experience. The Bavarians seem to appreciate it when you speak to them in German, but don't be offended when they reply in English. Many of them 40 and younger are familiar with the language and want to practice their skills as well. Being friendly with others, and saying "Grüssgott" as you walk down the street, will likely put a smile on their faces. But, be warned. Bavarians are probably not going to do the same to you. They're private people; it can take years to officially be considered someone's close friend. They also won't appreciate it if you try to share life stories upon the first meeting. Just give it some time. You never know what kind of fascinating people you'll meet! 

What TO DO in Bavaria

Step 1: DO know the rules.

There are a lot of unlisted Bavarian rules. For example, please be quiet. Especially on a public train. In my home town, there are even "quiet hours" during the night. I believe they start at 10, and if you are being too rambunctious, the police have a right to come. What happens after that? Hopefully, I'll never know. Also, pick up your dog's stuff. And don't litter. The Germans love planet Earth. 

There are also some important laws to know. Flipping someone off is a serious offence. Keep the bird in it's cage until you're back in the airport. Don't jaywalk. I believe it's a 100 euro fine, and certainly you'd rather be spending that money on Bavarian chocolate. Keeping your car unlock is a no-no. Can you believe it? Cops can come and check to see if your doors are open. And if they are... 

Step 2: DO pick up on some Bayern-Deutsch (before and during your trip).

Oh, so you speak German, do you? I thought I did as well. Think again. Bavarians do NOT speak the German you are taught in school. Their language is different, but it's unique. Many endings are left off and their fast tongues can startle even the strongest German speaker. But it's fun, it's silly, and it'll make you feel like a real local. 

Step 3: DO relax.

Bavarians, Austrians, heck ALL Europeans love to just take a break. In Bavaria, your dinner is NOT going to be an hour long. Strap yourself in real tight, because you may be there for four hours. And that's just the appetizers. Just kidding. Bavarians truly do love to take their time though. They let the food last and the memories last even longer. There are so many beautiful cafes and restaurants that it's hard NOT to sit and enjoy the view. If you're really itching to go because you have another church to visit, politely find the waiter and say, "Zahlen, bitte?" 

Step 4: DO enjoy the little things. 

Big cities like Munich, Regensburg, Rothenburg or Passau have amazing tourist destinations. So, go ahead and visit them! Make sure that you have time to take the road less travelled. Big cities and little cities alike have so much to see. There are hidden churches, amazing wine stores, and mouth-watering chocolate shops just calling your name. And they're just a little bit away from the city centre! And on that note, if you have the cash and time, go and try on a traditional Bavarian Lederhosen or Dirndl (My dirndl was 200 euros- cheap for the traditional garb)! You see them a lot in Bavaria. They're like cowboy boots in Texas. They wear em with pride.

Step 5: DO make the trip totally your own. 

Let's say you just woke up after spending all day on your feet in Munich. Your legs are sore, your head is aching, but you had plans to drive five hours to see King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein. Don't feel obligated to squeeze it all in one day. There are plenty of beautiful little towns scattered all over the German state. And if you DO want to go to see the castle that day, then go for it! The way I see it, everything in Bavaria is worth seeing. There's not a disappointment in sight. So, make the most of your trip. Make it totally and completely yours so that the memories are unforgettable. Take my words lightly; everyone's experience is different. And that's what travelling is all about.

Tags: alps, bavaria, dirndls, dos and donts, germany, lederhosen, relax, southern germany, travelling, trips

Comments

1

herp derp, firsties!!! but seriously. this is totally awesome! i think the classiness that is shown from the culture is surprising. for some reason all i thought of in terms of germany and europe is ridiculous drinking, funny clothes, and interesting landscapes. i hope the last one is the only true one. i think i may have to visit. and btw i love the guy with the mustache. thats way bad.

  xavier Aug 7, 2012 6:52 AM

2

Allie this is so awesome! After spending the summer here I can completely relate with everything you said. I am excited for the adventures you will continue to have and will be looking forward to reading about them :) I'm glad to have met you!

  Rachel Dance Aug 9, 2012 6:07 AM

3

I completely agree.. A Wonderful part of the world. I've lived in Burghausen, Eggenfelden, and just up the river on the Salzach, in Salzburg....as well as Ravensburg, in Baden-Wurttemburg, and worked all around the area...Living, or being a tourist, are all great...

  Edward Nov 23, 2014 7:55 PM

4

I think they have more curves in the roads because they know how to enjoy a ride (plus no speed limit)

  Mahmoud Jan 25, 2015 2:06 PM

5

Take my word for it, if you live out your life and never get a chance to go to Bavaria, there are no words to describe just how unlucky you would be! I went in 2012 and I think about it probably several times a week. In September and October its daily! We stayed in a little town called Grassau at the base of the Alps. I plan to go many more times.

  Steve Schneider Nov 1, 2015 12:15 AM

6

My boyfriend & I went last October 2015 and fell in love with Bavaria so much, that we are going again this May 2016. Munich was absolutely amazing-the history, people, cleanliness, etc. all left an indeminable mark. We were so impressed with how friendly everyone was, including those who could barely speak English. The owner of the Pfrontener Hof hotel was absolutely amazing. He told us about the most beautiful place, Am Plansee. Every turn on the winding road held a beautiful surprise awaiting your arrival. It was absolutely breathtaking. Life is to short to hold on to regret. If you have any German heritage, don't miss out. Bavarians make you proud to be of German decent. Thank you for your hospitality!

  Tracy R Feb 13, 2016 3:43 PM

7

Nicely written, thanks! My personal advice: If your schedule is not too tight, visit the smaller souther towns like Murnau Kochel Steingaden Füssen
Marvelous places to relax

  James Garn Apr 24, 2018 7:46 PM

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