While on tour in Europe in October we (Nick & I, not the royal "we") ended up with a day off in South-Eastern Germany and decided to drive to Cesky Krumlov, one of our favorite Czech towns, which we visited and fell in love with a decade ago, on tour.
The plan was to drop off our suitcases in Landshut (strategically chosen, as it is perfectly located between Munich & Cesky Krumlov), drive to Cesky Krumlov, spend the day there and come back and crash at our Landshut hotel.
But as we were driving into the historic center of Landshut, we discovered how adorable this little Bavarian town was and realized we'd miss out on exploring if we were to drive to CZ. So we saved ourselves a 4 hour roundtrip and stayed in Landshut. And I am so glad we did!
A FEW FACTS ABOUT LANDSHUT:
Pronounded "Lahnds-hoot" (not land-shut).
Founded in 1204, population 70k, capital of Lower Bavaria (Germany), located in the Alpine foothils.
THE HOTEL: Altstadthotel Marktschlösschen (see it on googlemaps)
I found the hotel based on amazing reviews.
Its name is super long (for us English-speaking folk), but after spending time in Germany I can sort of decipher it: Oldtown Hotel Market Castle something). :)
Located in the old center of Landshut, Altstadthotel Marktschlösschen is the perfect spot to explore the town, even for an hour (which was the original plan). Everything is walking distance, including the castle. The hotel itself is amazing. It is owned and run by three generations of really nice people: Andrea, pictured below in her traditional Bavarian outfit, her daughter and her mom. Nick & I got to meet and hug all three. We couldn't help but be smitten by this family.
Parts of the hotel are modern but decorated in a traditional Bavarian style. As the story goes, on the last day of the allied bombing in WW2, the building was hit. Still, some parts of the hotel remain original (including the incredible restaurant downstairs) and are quite old. Here are a few pics:
And here is our room - Andrea upgraded us to the Honeymoon Suite, it was just beautiful and had a lovely balcony.
One of the many cool things about historic Landshut is that you can walk everywhere. With our hotel as our perfect base, we walked and walked and walked!
We stopped for lunch (based on great reviews) at Isar Klause Restaurant:
We sat on their patio by the Isar river, had some food, drank local Riesling and enjoyed a perfect warm October afternoon. After several days of non-stop travel/touring it was especially lovely. We just sat, relaxed and enjoyed life.
There was a wedding happening at the river section of the restaurant. We people-watched in fascination. Everyone was wearing their traditional Bavarian garb. We tried to be respectful and took this photo without showing the happy couple's faces:
Then we walked by the river:
Then we found (via GoogleMaps directions) a nice way to walk up to the Trausnitz Castle (from 1200s):
And look at these amazing views from the castle grounds:
We happened upon an old bakery (Cafe Belstner - from 1868) and had some treats:
For dinner, we asked Andrea (our hotel proprietor) for her recommendations. She suggested the restaurant that she owns - next door to her hotel. It didn't have great reviews at the time (only 3.9 out of 5 on Google**) but we decided to take a chance after having walked through there earlier and after meeting Andrea's family. We thought the worst case scenario we would not enjoy it. But we liked Andrea and the hotel and gave it a shot. You know what? It was really, really great. The vibe - historic (it is a multi-century old space). The food - traditional German, prepared with care and made from quality ingredients. The service - super friendly.
Nick & I split the wild boar dish (OMG - incredible! And humanely/sustainably hunted) and had local beer and wine.
We walked around at night (to walk off the dinner), and enjoyed the town in a different light:
The complimentary breakfast at our hotel was not only delicious, but it was beautiful. The scenery, the presentation, the view. And Andrea's mom made me a cappuccino. It was amazing. I really and truly did not want to leave.
We loved Landshut and hope to return again soon. I am so glad we came here. Pleasantly, we didn't see any tourists (only a few German ones at breakfast at our hotel). Even at the townhall/visitor center nobody spoke English. I liked that :)
Have you been to this beautiful town? Do you know of any other beautiful small towns in Germany that aren't spoiled by hordes of tourists?
I'd love to hear!
A FEW NOTES:
1) I carefully research restaurants, places to stay, activities, historical sites, etc, taking into account reviews on several platforms as well as friend suggestions. But, I often just stumble onto places randomly. It is the beauty of traveling!
2) While I see/do a lot more than I post, I choose to post only about my favorite experiences, unless something is so awful it deserves to be called out (which is rarely the case).
3) One of my favorite and most useful tools while traveling is GoogleMaps. I follow many travel blogs and each time I see something I'd love to visit/experience, I mark it on GoogleMaps as "want to go". It's in green color and it's very helpful when planning a trip.
4) Speaking of GoogleMaps. As always while I'm traveling, if I see something I like - I just walk over and check it out. If I ever get lost, then the good ol' GoogleMaps is my best friend! Asking the locals is part of the fun: being in a tourist/childlike-state of ignorance. Just be nice and cute and the locals will guide you. It is awesome.
** As much as I rely on Google reviews, their customer ratings don't always reflect the true nature of a business/hotel/restaurant. Many people who take the time to review are upset and they're letting the world know. One of the many reasons I started leaving reviews was the fact that some of my favorite places had (and only a handful of) negative reviews. I'd go to their Google or Yelp or TripAdvisor page and leave a 5 star review because I thought they deserved to have better ratings. So I take ratings & reviews with a grain of salt but do count on them as well. A little of both :)
Things to do in Bavaria, beautiful German towns, top things to do in Landshut, boutique hotels, travel tips