Wanting to practice your German and wondering if Bavaria is a good place for it? Then this post is for you! I will tell you all about my experiences speaking German in one of the most beautiful areas of Germany: Bavaria!
Things you should know:
- Bayern is the German name for what we call Bavaria in English.
- Bavaria is situated in the South-East of Germany, bordering Austria and Czech Republic. It’s also close to Liechtenstein and Switzerland!
- They love to drink beer! The yearly Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Bavaria!
- There are beautiful lakes, green hills, wooden cottages and happy cows all over Bavaria. What else could one want?
- Bavaria has it’s own dialect: Bavarian.
Is Bavaria a good place to practice your German?
In short, YES! I’ll explain you exactly why from my own experiences.
In this post I will tell you what you need to know if you are considering coming to Bavaria to speak German. Things we need to consider are:
Reason #1: It’s one of the most beautiful regions of Germany
I spent a couple of days in Munich and Tegernsee (both in Southern-Bavaria). It’s worth mentioning that both these places are AMAZING!
Munich is a lively city with beergartens, breweries and bars where you can try out Bavarian beers in 1L jugs! If you prefer to chill in nature that’s more than possible in this beautiful city. There’s a river that crosses the city and many people spend their summer days next to it on the sand banks. Other people sit down in the Englisher park with their friends and take a dive in the fastflowing river there. Some people even surf in it! If you’re more into culture, now that there are plenty of churches, musea and palaces to be visited in Munich and Bavaria.
Tegernsee is a small town next to one of the most beautiful lakes in Bavaria, only 1 hour away from Munich. It is very authentically Bavarian with its wooden cottages and town events. When we visited the town, there was a local market and a orkestra playing. Definitely considering visiting this place if you want to be astounished by nature and like to get to know another side of Bavaria.
Reason #2: People are very friendly and easy to talk to!
Of couse, we can’t nor shouldn’t generalize, but I can say that I had some great interactions with locals. I was pleasantly surprised by their willingness to help me (in German! :O) and their sense of humor. (One man even joked to me about me that I should pay for his 1L beer jug at the beergarten). Whenever you go to a restaurant, bar or shop, you tend to be welcomed with a smile.
I was also suprised by how respectful and considerate locals were! We went to a concert and were astounished to see everyone was very aware of giving others around them enough space and they would apologize if they’d accidentally bump into you.
On top of that, it’s so easy to start a conversation in Bavaria, since tables are oftentimes shared! For example, at beer gartens and breweries or even ice salloons there might not be enough tables and sharing one is a common practice in Bavaria.
Reason #3: There are easy to understand and use Standard German
Even though Bavarian might be spoken here and there between locals or in the rural areas, I did not hear any Bavarian. I was approached several times by locals thinking I was German, but they would always use standard German never the Bavarian dialect. Standard German seems to be the main language in Munich. On top of that, they don’t have a strong accent at all (if any!), therefore, making it a great place to practice your German!
Reason #4: They stick to German if you want them to
I was so happy to really use my German! People weren’t surprised to see I spoke it and didn’t change back to English. There were only 2 conversations in which the person asked if I wanted to switch to English, and when I said I was trying to improve my German, they were happy to continue in German. Everyone else just found it normal and natural that I wanted to speak German. I think this is a MAJOR point to come to Germany (or Munich in specific) to practice your German! People are happy to speak German with you and don’t mind if it’s a bit broken. My German is far from perfect, yet, it was no problem whatsoever for the locals! Even in a touristy city like Munich! My experience is that in most touristy places around the world, English becomes the go-to language. Here, most people will be able to speak English if you need it, but they find it natural to communicate in German if you can.
I was pleasantly surprised about how beautiful the Munich area is, how nice people are and how natural it was to speak German in Bavaria. I even started to think in German and speak it to my husband who doesn’t speak it (oops) because of the immersive experience! If you are considering visiting Bavaria and getting your German ready, contact me for a 1-1 coaching session and personalized learning plan so you can start speaking German and mingling with the Bavarians in no-time!