Where is Bavaria?

For those of your who are wondering just where is Bavaria?

Well, bascially, Bavaria is a state in Germany, making up the south-east quater of this central European country. To help you get a little more acquainted with Bavaria, here are 8 fast facts on the geography of Germany’s prettiest province.

1. Size of Bavaria

green-volkswagen-beetle-in-germany
GREEN: A classic Volkswagen
Beetle in the city of Neuerg an der Donau,
Bavaria.

Bavaria is Germany’s biggest state (Bundesland) with an area of 70,548 square kilometres (27,200 square miles). That’s about a fifth of Germany’s total land mass.

It’s in Germany’s south-eastern quarter and has a population of about 12.5 million people.

2. Co-ordinates of Bavaria

Munich sits at the co-ordinates 48 8′ 0″ N, 11 34′ 0″E, putting it at a similar longitude to Paris in France, Quebec in Canada, Seattle in the USA, Ulan Bator in Mongolia and Vienna in Austria.

3. Rivers of Bavaria

Where is Bavaria on the map? Click here to see an interactive
Bavaria map
and check out where its neighbours are.
The largest rivers that flow through the state are the Danube and the Main. The Danube (German: Donau) cuts a jagged line across Bavaria from Ulm/Neu-Ulm in the west to Passau in the east. The Main flows further north.

Both rivers are occasionally dubbed the “Weisswurst Equator” – the imaginary northern frontier of Bavarian culture and all it entails (including the famous white sausages).
Where this border really is depends on who you ask – vehemently traditional southern Bavarians will say it starts further south!

bavaria-alps-mountains-obersdorf
A MOUNTAIN SOMEWHERE: In the Bavarian Alps near Obersdorf.

4. Alps

Bring up Bavaria and many people will think of Alpine glory a la The Sound of Music. Actually only a small part of the state’s surface – the “deep south” – is alpine. It’s nonetheless a glorious area.
The Bavarian Alps include Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze at 2962 meters (9718 feet). Popular mountain getaway areas include Obersdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden.

5. Time

The whole of Germany is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and sits in the Central European Time (CET) time zone. This means that it’s normally six hours ahead of New York, eight hours behind Melbourne, an hour ahead of London and the same time as Cape Town.

Between the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October it falls under Central European Summer Time (CEST), two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

6. Neighbours


Bavaria borders on the German states of Baden-Württemberg to the west and Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony to the north. Directly to the west lies the Czech Republic and Austria, and to the south is the Austrian province of Tyrol.
Bavaria has a maritime border with Switzerland on its south-western corner, across Lake Constance (German: Bodensee).

7. Regions

bavaria-map-admin-districts

Bavaria is divided into seven administrative regions, these being:
- Lower Franconia
(Unterfranken),
- Upper Franconia
(Oberfranken),
- Middle Franconia
(Mittlefranken),
- Upper Palatinate
(Oberpfalz),
Swabia
(Schawben),
-Lower Bavaria (Niederbayern) and
-Upper Bavaria (Oberbayern).

Perhaps surprisingly, Upper Bavaria is actually south of Lower Bavaria. It gets the name from its higher altitude.

8. Cities

The largest cities in Bavaria after Munich are Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Augsburg, Würzburg, Regensburg.
The suffix “berg” comes from the German word for mountain, and “burg” means fortress or castle, as they were all historically well-fortified cities. See here for an introduction to the biggest cities in Bavaria outside Munich.

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