What there is to see in Bavaria
The Bayern Ticket is an amazingly cheap way to do day trips from Munich. It allows you to travel anywhere in Bavaria on the regional trains all day (only from 09:00 weekdays). It costs €43 for a group of up to 5 people, and €23 for a single. Make sure you buy it from the machines as there is a €2 surcharge if you buy it from the ticket office. There is also the Schönes Wochenende Ticket, which is valid everywhere in Germany, but it is only valid at weekends. It costs € 42 for a group of up to 5 and is also restricted to the regional trains.
Andechs Monastery — If you miss the Oktoberfest, it is worth travelling to the holy mountain of Andechs. It's a monastery up a hill from the Ammersee. Take the S5 from Munich to Herrsching and then either hike up the hill or take the bus. When you are there have a look at the old monastery church and the gardens before focusing on the excellent beer and Schweinshaxen in the beer garden or in the large beer hall. Makes a great day trip which can also be combined with some swimming the Ammersee. The hiking trail is unlit, and a good 30-45min. After dark, a flashlight is mandatory.
Chiemsee - Bavaria's largest lake, with beautiful views southwards towards the Alps has two islands. Herreninsel houses a beautiful but unfinished Palace fashioned after Versailles by Lüdwig II called Herrenchiemsee. Fraueninsel houses a monastery. This beautiful lake is only one hour away from Munich.
Dachau offers a daytrip of a different kind. Prepare to be shocked of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Third Reich era displayed at the Dachau concentration camp memorial site. Aditionally you can visit the Old Town of Dachau, where you can find especially a former Wittelsbach palace with bloomy gardens and a great view towards Munich and the Alps and besides a couple of galleries as it has been a famous artists' colony.
Füssen is nestled in the Alps of southern Bavaria. A train from Munich Central Station will take about two hours with one transfer at Buchloe (purchase the Bayern-Ticket option mentioned above which is valid for all trains and bus journey to the castle). The town is famous for King Ludwig II's "fairy-tale castle" Neuschwanstein. It also houses the castle where Ludwig II grew up (Hohenschwangau). If you go there, buy a combined ticket for both castles. Neuschwanstein is a must-see, but Hohenschwangau is historically more interesting, and the tour is so much better.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze. About 1.5hr by regional train (from Munich Central Station) or by car on autobahn A 95. The rack railway train to the top of the Zugspitze leaves regularly from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen railway station.
Königssee This emerald-green lake is surrounded by steep walls of rock, with the 1800-metre east wall of the Watzmann towering above its western shore. Take one of the ships to St Bartholomew's Church and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this jewel of the Bavarian Alps.
Schloss Linderhof Linderhof palace is another palace of Ludwig II and the only one which was fully completed. The small palace was build in honor of King Louis XIV of France and features spectacular interiors and a great garden. One of the highlights is a surreal artifcial grotto in which Ludwig went to retreat from reality.
Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg) — Nuremberg is Bavaria's second largest city with a population of about half a million. In the middle ages, the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation had one of their residences in the Nuremberg castle, which today is open to visitors. Nuremberg's vast medieval city center including parts of the former city fortifications are well maintained and worth a visit. It was also in Nuremberg where some of the leaders of the Nazi regime faced justice.
Regensburg - A beautiful medieval city and university town at the shores of the Danube. It's historical city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also the gateway to the Bavarian Forest, a wooded low-mountain region, parts of which form the Bavarian Forest National Park.
Salzburg (Austria) - The birth place of Mozart is an easy day trip from Munich. Trains run from Munich Central Station just about every hour, and take about 1.5hr. The Bayern Ticket is valid all the way to Salzburg.
Lake Starnberg makes an easy daytrip and can be easily reached by S-Bahn. Lake Starnberg is a fantastic place where you can swim, hike, cycle or simply enjoy a drink in a Bavarian beer garden. Empress Elisabeth, better known as Sissi, grew up in Possenhofen at the shores of this lake. Lake Starnberg was also the location of the mysterious death of King Ludwig II and his psychiatrist. The area around Lake Starnberg is the wealthiest community around Munich and one of the richest in Germany.
Tegernsee is the centre of a popular recreation area 50 kilometres south-east of Munich. Resorts on the lake include the eponymous Tegernsee, as well as Bad Wiessee, Kreuth, Gmund, and Rottach-Egern.