A popular getaway for Germans and world travelers alike, Bad Tölz is perhaps most famous for the iodine-packed medicinal spring waters from which the town derives the first half of its name. This Bavarian retreat in the lower German Alps clings to regional traditions, showcasing its own distinctive medieval history through customary clothing and festivals, while simultaneously embracing newer visitors with striking views, cool airs, and soothing spas. Bad Tölz also serves as a gateway to the lush, mountainous Tölzer Land region–where adventurous hikers flock to discover spectacular trails, gentle rolling farmland, and emerald-green lakes–and to tourists on their way to or from Austria.
Location: Amongst the South German Alps
Bad Tölz straddles the banks of the Isar River, in the southern end of Germany’s state of Bavaria. Just 40 km south of Munich, and serviced by hourly trains from this Bavarian capitol, the town is quite accessible to international travelers. Nearby Alpine peaks reward explorers with spectacular views of the gorgeous lakes stretching across this region.
Culture: A Living Ancient History
The site of modern Bad Tölz has been settled since ancient times, and has seen the influence of multiple civilizations shape the town’s culture today. Stop by the Stadtmuseum (City Museum) for a closer look into the local history, or experience it yourself with a visit to the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche (Church of the Holy Cross, a magnificent baroque church atop Mount Kalvarienberg), or to the long-running farmer’s market. The Marktstrasse features some of the best shopping in town as well as excellent examples of Luftl paintings–houses whose exteriors have been decorated with realistic depictions of windows and doors.
Activities: Good Health and Good Spirits
Bad Tölz is a great destination for the health- and fitness-conscious. In addition to the relaxing spas, there are plenty of trekking opportunities in the surrounding mountains–as well as winter skiing and summer rides on the Alpine slide. Back in town, spend some time swimming and relaxing at the Alpamare water complex before taking in live music at the Tanzbar Kult–a warm and stylish bar set in an old brewery, complete with painted brick walls and barrel vaults.