While Bavaria is indeed so much more than just the Oktoberfest, one cannot omit the largest popular festival in the world when talking about it. Every year, over six million visitors come to rendezvous over beer and pretzels. But it's not just the famous big points and events that make Bavaria so endearing. "Live and let live" is the motto of Bavarian conviviality.
The state's versatility is reflected by its seven administrative districts, each of which has its own competencies when it comes to business, science, networks and education. The variation in cultures and dialects gives each region in Bavaria a personal charm entirely of its own. And those cultures and traditions are preserved in traditional pass-times, such as "Fingerhakeln" finger-pulling competitions and the card game "Schafkopf". There are also clubs centred around traditional dress that host local customs and events all the year round and are happy to invite guests to participate. Festivities are just as much a part of day-to-day Bavarian culture as is the traditional food featuring one-of-a-kind regional specialities.
The State of Bavaria provides more than 500 million euros in annual funding for cultural programming. And it pays off: More than 20 million guests visit some 1,150 collections and museums every year. There are 200 active theatres, opera houses, operetta houses and musical theatres among the cultural offerings. The numerous cultural festivals featuring outstanding theatrical and musical performances, some spanning over several weeks, set international accents. More than five million people are drawn to some 45 state-owned palaces, castles and residences every year - with the world famous edifices of King Ludwig II topping the list.
Hardly any other region unites economic strength with agricultural attractiveness like Bavaria does. Numerous lakes - such as Chiemsee, Lake Starnberg, Grosser Alpsee, Tegernsee and Staffelsee - contribute to the state's recreational opportunities, as do the striking mountains; among them: Zugspitze, Bavaria's best known and Germany's highest mountain.
You can find cineastic impressions of Bavaria in its wide variety here.