Reutberg Monastery Brewery
© / Peter von Felbert
This is Upper Bavaria

What makes us special

Upper Bavaria is more than just a series of highlights. Upper Bavaria offers a unique diversity. From hop-heavy cultural and alpine natural landscapes to urban centers. Playful river valleys, progressive city districts and secluded valley heads - all this is a natural part of Upper Bavaria. Traditional arts and crafts meet one of the most relevant innovation and start-up clusters in Germany. Young nightlife culture meets classic, but also modern high culture. A pub culture that feels so simple and yet is so unifying. Upper Bavaria is constantly creating something new from this communication and dialog, a constant change and integration, a live and let live. Without losing its core. Traditions are alive in their development. Upper Bavaria connects and integrates this unique, colorful and multifaceted diversity.

Between lakes & mountains

Upper Bavaria is framed by the majestic Alps in the south and the blue ribbon of the Danube in the north.

Experience special highlights in Upper Bavaria: Lake Chiemsee, the largest lake in Bavaria, is located here. The Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, towers over the region. And the Hallertau, the largest contiguous hop-growing region in the world, is the origin of Bavarian beer enjoyment.

There are 133 nature reserves, 248 landscape conservation areas, 148 FFH areas, 27 EU bird sanctuaries and at least 580 geotopes in Upper Bavaria. The Ammergau Alps are currently the largest nature reserve.

Top in Germany

Upper Bavaria achieved a gross domestic product of almost 268 billion euros in 2017. In Germany, Upper Bavaria is the region with the second-highest gross domestic product per inhabitant. The state capital of Munich and its surrounding area form one of the most dynamic economic regions in Europe and the center of economic activity in Bavaria. Upper Bavaria combines an advantageous geographical location and ideal conditions for companies with a range of leisure and recreational activities that is hard to beat.

The economy in Upper Bavaria is characterized by a healthy mix of high-tech and craftsmanship. This is what it stands for:

  • 388,550 companies at the IHK Munich and Upper Bavaria
  • 79,400 craft businesses
  • Large-scale industry in the Munich area (with BMW, MAN, Siemens), in the Ingolstadt area (with Audi and Airbus Defence and Space) and in the southeast Bavarian chemical triangle (with Wacker Chemie)

When it comes to research and development , Upper Bavaria is one of the leading regions in the European Union:

  • four universities and four universities of applied sciences
  • twelve Max Planck Institutes
  • four Fraunhofer Institutes with headquarters in Upper Bavaria
  • Top ranking for patent applications in Germany and Europe (6,420 patents, as of 2017)

With over 42 million overnight stays, Upper Bavaria regularly ranks among the 20 most important tourist regions of all 27 states in the European Union.

Experience diversity

We could now simply rehash clichés about Upper Bavaria. Pictures of traditional costumes, beer and mountains. Or urban images from Munich. Art, culture and hip city life. But none of this does justice to the diversity of Upper Bavaria.

Upper Bavaria is city and countryside and everything in between. Upper Bavaria is tradition and new beginnings. Upper Bavaria is rural seclusion and cosmopolitanism. Upper Bavaria is the Bavarian Alps and hilly landscapes, lakes and river valleys. It is precisely this mixture that makes Upper Bavaria so attractive for us. Contrasts and apparent incompatibilities create an overall picture. A real Upper Bavaria.

Upper Bavaria comprises three independent cities and 20 administrative districts. The Duchy of Upper Bavaria was first created in 1255 under Ludwig the Strict. The borders changed again and again and have only been stable in their current form since 1972.

Between superlatives and gimmicks

Upper Bavaria is a region of superlatives. But to be honest, that's not really important to us. Numbers are above all gimmicks for us. The enjoyment of landscapes, the togetherness of people and the experience of cultures is our focus. Nevertheless, we don't want to keep our most exciting figures to ourselves.

  • 370 kilometers of slopes in family-friendly ski resorts
  • 1040 Foundation of the oldest brewery in the world (Weihenstephan State Brewery in Freising)
  • 19 liters of beer (66.7 kg): current world record for carrying a beer mug
  • Experience 1,200 km Wasser-Radlwege
  • Discover over 90 mountains
  • 133 Nature reserves to explore

© Munich Tourism / Frank Stolle


Upper Bavaria is more than just a buzzword. As a place to live and experience, Upper Bavaria is home to not quite 5 million people on an area of a good 17,000 square kilometers. Of this, 80,000 hectares are designated as nature conservation areas - a total of 133 sub-areas. The landscape of Upper Bavaria ranges from sustainably managed alpine pastures and the natural Isar floodplains to mosses and felts.
Numerous initiatives are working to make your stay in Upper Bavaria even more sustainable. You can safely leave your car behind, as Upper Bavaria is equipped with reliable and comprehensive public transportation.