CultureEastern Bavaria is still home to more castles than anywhere else in Germany: Some medieval castles remain only as ruins, whilst other castles such as Falkenstein Castle have withstood decline and are open to visitors. The expansive spruce forests in Eastern Bavaria have given way to the Bavarian Glass Road, as they supplied the wood and quartz sand –the key raw materials – for the very first glass foundries. Spanning some 250 kilometres, it is one of the most picturesque holiday routes in Germany. Those choosing to travel along the route will learn all about the 700-year tradition of glass production and glass as a form of art. The route, which begins in Neustadt an der Waldnaab and leads to Passau, features glass foundries, galleries and museums, all packed to the brim with interesting facts about the traditional handicraft. Some Eastern Bavarian companies are keeping the tradition alive to this day and export to countries ranging from the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America. The largest towns in Eastern Bavaria include Regensburg, Landshut and Passau. The city of Regensburg, which was first founded by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, has retained its medieval centre to this day. The Old Town of Regensburg together with Stadtamhof has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. Landshut is the prototype of an old Bavarian town. Above all its town centre, which features gabled houses, decorative façades, oriels and arches, is one of the most beautiful squares to be found in the whole of Germany. The three-river town of Passau, which was built in the Italian baroque style, achieved early wealth thanks to its participation in the salt trade and was a place of border crossings due to its location on the border with Austria and just 30 kilometres from the Czech border. Other Eastern Bavarian towns such as Weiden Neumarkt i.d.OPf., Dingolfing, Deggendorf, Straubing and Amberg are, of course, also fantastic places to experience true, authentic Bavarian life.
NatureAn area of forest, which is around 230 kilometres in length, stretches between the Fichtel Mountains in the north and the River Danube in the south – the northern part of the mountain range constitutes the Upper Palatinate Forest, whilst the southern part is the Bavarian Forest. Eastern Bavaria also borders the Bavarian Jura Mountains. Calm rivers and streams, resplendent Jura rocks and a unique world of flora and fauna are characteristic for this part of the world.
Together with the Bohemian Forest, the Bavarian Forest forms the largest continuous area of forest in Europe. In Eastern Bavaria, hikers have four different long-distance walking trails to choose between. The Goldsteig is the best-known: 660 kilometres in length and situated between Marktredwitz and Passau, it is a trail of certified quality and is listed amongst the "Top Trails of Germany". It is not just walkers who can enjoy the region: Eastern Bavaria has developed into the largest E-bike region in Europe. The Bavarian Forest and the Bavarian golf and spa landscape rely on the environmentally friendly addition to the classic bicycle and feature a good network of bike hire and charging stations especially for electric bikes.
Meanwhile, those who prefer things to be a little more peaceful will find all they need in the Bavarian spas and on the golf courses local to the region. Health resorts and spa towns such as Bad Füssing, Bad Griesbach and Bad Birnbach, as well as the Danube spas of Bad Gögging and Bad Abbach, have been spa destinations since long before the recent boom in wellness breaks. The traditional spa towns look back on a long history and have carefully refurbished their hotels and their offerings to suit modern requirements.