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Open-air museums in Bavaria

Discover the charm of Bavaria's open-air museums, where tradition comes alive. Experience rural life, ancient crafts, and seasonal festivities amidst historical settings.

Living like in the old days

Blick auf eine Mühle. Daneben ein Weg den mehrere Personen lächelnd hinuntergehen.
Freilichtmuseum Glentleiten © Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleite

Over the last two centuries, life in the countryside has changed dramatically. What was once done by draft animals and human hands is now handled on a large scale by powerful machines. As a result, much knowledge has been lost. Who today knows how to milk a cow by hand or bake sourdough bread? All this and more can be learned and experienced in open-air museums. Workshops, holiday programs, craft demonstrations, and thematic walks are integral parts of the museum's offerings - for families with children as well as adults of all ages.

Open-air museums in Bavaria – Cultural history under the open sky

Ein Mann mit Lederschürze schmiedet ein rot glühendes Stück Eisen auf einem Amboss.
The crafts also attract attention in the museums. © Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleiten

In spring, museums offer highlights like Easter celebrations with guided tours and egg painting workshops, as well as the German Mill Day. Regional specialties take center stage. Various crafts such as pottery, blacksmithing, spinning, or the healing power of wild herbs can be experienced through various activities. Farmhouses, courtyards and alpine buildings are central to the museums, alongside farm animals and agriculture. Most of the historical buildings have been translocated, painstakingly relocated and reconstructed in open-air museums.

Here, we present some open-air museums from Bavaria:

Fünf Kinder stehen um eine Handgetreidemühle und betrachten ein Mädchen, wie diese sie bedient.
© Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Fladungen
Ein Herr mit Strohhut flechtet lachend einen Strohkorb.
© Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Fladungen
Ein alter Zug fährt durch ein Feld voller gelber Blumen.
The Rhön-Zügle, the museum railway of the Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Fladungen (Franconian Open Air Museum Fladungen), near Heufurt. ©  Jens Englert

Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Fladungen (Franconian Open Air Museum)

Located in the northernmost corner of Lower Franconia, the Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Fladungen (Franconian Open Air Museum) offers a glimpse into Franconian village life of yesteryears under the open sky. Historical buildings like the old village school and the brewery stand amidst gardens, orchards, and fields, where old livestock breeds graze.

Blick in eine alte Schlafkammer mit zwei auseinanderstehenden Betten.
© Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim
Vier Männer in traditioneller Kluft bearbeiten Holzbalken.
© Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim
Mann fährt in einem historischen Sägefahrzeug durch das Museum.
© Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim
Zwei Fachwerkhäuser. Vor dem Gartenzaun des gelben Fachwerkhauses stolziert ein Hahn.
Photo: Fränkisches Freilandmuseum (Franconian Open Air Museum) Bad Windsheim © Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim

Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad-Windsheim (Franconian Open Air Museum)

The Fränkisches Freilandmuseum (Franconian Open Air Museum) is divided into six building groups, arranged by regions and themes. A highlight is the "City" group, located in the heart of the old town of Bad Windsheim.

Ein Mann pflügt ein Feld mit zwei Pferden.
A team of horses at work in the field in Neusath-Perschen, © Günter Moser
Zwei Männer unterhalten sich und schärfen dabei zwei Sensen.
© Florian Trykowski
Blick auf einen Weiher, in Hintergrund am Weiher gelegen steht ein Fachwerkhaus.
Rauberweihermühle © Florian Trykowski

Freilandmuseum Oberpfalz (Open Air Museum Upper Palatinate)

The 50 or so reconstructed buildings illustrate building, living and farming in the Upper Palatinate. The museum grounds of the Freilandmuseum Oberpfalz (Open Air Museum Upper Palatinate) are still farmed using traditional methods.

Blick auf ein altes Bauernhaus mit umzäunten Bauerngarten.
The Glentleiten Open-Air Museum is a picturesque place © Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleiten
Detailaufnahme von zwei Händen beim Töpfern auf einer Drehscheibe.
© Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleiten
Blick auf eine Kuh beim Grasen auf einer Alm. Im Hintergrund erkennt man einige Holzhäuschen.
© Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleiten
Drei Kinder betreten lachend eine historische Stube. An der Wand stehen auf mehreren Regalen Geschirr und Krüge.
The Glentleiten open-air museum has a wide variety of farmhouses, farms and barns to discover, © Bezirk Oberbayern, Archiv FLM Glentleiten

Glentleiten Open-Air Museum

The Glentleiten open-air museum is the largest of its kind in southern Bavaria, offering a comprehensive insight into the rural everyday life of the people of Upper Bavaria. Especially noteworthy are the alpine sheeps, which graze here.

Take a look at the beehive in the Amerang Farmhouse Museum! © Bauernhausmuseum Amerang
© Bauernhausmuseum Amerang
Foto: Bauernhausmuseum Amerang
© Bauernhausmuseum Amerang

Amerang Farmhouse Museum

Take a look inside the beehive at the Amerang Farmhouse Museum! With its 17 historic buildings, the museum invites you to take a stroll through the past. A special feature is the beehive from the district Ebersberg.

© Freilichtmuseum Massing
© Freilichtmuseum Massing
© Freilichtmuseum Finsterau
© Freilichtmuseum Finsterau

Freilichtmuseum Massing (Open Air Museum Finsterau)

The Freilichtmuseum Massing (Open Air Museum Massing ) offers insights into rural life in Lower Bavaria and tells the story of life and work in the region.

Dairy management, © Schwäbisches Bauernhofmuseum Illerbeuren
© Schwäbisches Bauernhofmuseum Illerbeuren
© Schwäbisches Bauernhofmuseum Illerbeuren

Schwäbisches Bauernhofmuseum Illerbeuren (Farm Museum)

More than 30 buildings and numerous objects from over four centuries tell of the hardships of life in the countryside at the Schwäbisches Bauernhofmuseum Illerbeuren (Swabian Farm Museum Illerbeuren). For families the activity days are particularly interesting.

The presented museums together form the network of Open-air museums in Bavaria (external link, opens in a new window).

Discover open-air museums in Bavaria!

Fancy some fresh air? The open-air or open-air museums in Bavaria offer plenty of it... And while strolling through fields and orchards, you can discover historic farm gardens and other rural buildings, inviting young and old to travel back in time.