Hilltop castles and green energy, beer halls and luxury cars, Alps and edgy art – southern Germany blends thigh-slapping tradition with clear-headed modernity like nowhere else on earth.
From the cloud-shredding Alps to the fertile Danube plain, the Free State of Bavaria is a place that keeps its clichéd promises. Story-book castles poke through dark forest, cowbells tinkle in flower-filled meadows and medieval walled towns go about their time-warped business.
If one word could sum up Germany's southwesternmost region, it would be 'inventive'. Baden-Württemberg gave the world relativity (Einstein), DNA (Miescher), astronomical telescope (Kepler), spark plug (Bosch), gas engine (Daimler) and zeppelin (Count Ferdinand). And where would we be without Black Forest gateau, cuckoo clocks and the pretzel?
These are the top experiences and sights in Bavaria & Baden-Württemberg, according to Lonely Planet.