When traveling to Germany, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a must visit in any season – so worth it. I decided to travel there during autumn, and luckily weather-wise it was just perfect – golden October. It was a mixed trip discovering the highest mountain in Germany – the Zugspitze, an amazing gorge with a turquoise river, beautiful countryside with lakes surrounded by trees laden with colorful leaves. Here I share the best places to visit and how long it takes…
How to get there ?
The infrastructure coming from the northern part of Germany can be quite tricky. From anywhere else in the south (e.g. Munich), it’s very easy to get there with public transportation, either by train (Deutsche Bahn) or by bus (FlixBus). From Munich you can reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen within 1-1.5 hours. Once you arrive at the central station by either the train or the bus, you can catch a bus (Eibseebus, white-blue bus) or the Zugspitzbergbahn, but the Zugspitzbahn is more scenic and faster than the bus.
BEST HOTSPOTS AROUND GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN
From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there are many beautiful sights and activities within close proximity. Here I list the best ones:
The Zugspitze is the highest mountain of the Alps that reaches about 2,962 m, a must see in Germany. Luckily it was an outstanding clear, sunny day, perfect to to get the best view over the Alps. I was really amazed when I got to the Zugspitzalm. It was all covered in snow. The locals sit, relax, eat and drink beer and otherwise use a sleigh. From the Alm, you have to catch another cable car that takes about 15 minutes to go up to the peak. Walking around there was pretty nice and you can even go across to bridge to be in Austria. Ha ha – don’t worry, no border. I kept wandering around and tried to take in the incredible views over the mountains covered in snow, plus getting a beautiful view over Eibsee.
I had to overcome my fear of climbing to the summit, which I had just spotted and saw some others climbing up. I can tell you that it was not appropriate and didn’t help wearing my very used sneakers. On my way, it didn’t motivate me to see that I left an area where I didn’t have security, so I thought whatever happens happens. Everything was covered in snow and all I saw was the rope and a ladder to climb up to the summit. I really didn’t feel comfortable as I was worried about what would happen if I slipped. No matter what I decided to take the challenge and slowly made my way up along the rope and climbing up the ladder – I was now halfway there. The last part was also quite slippery but then I managed to reach the summit – so happy. On the way down I could see the Eibsee again from a closer view and it was outstanding. The beautiful multi-color leaves of the trees made it look like a hand-drawn picture – just wow.
This is how the climbing up the icy Zugspitze summit looked liked:
I really enjoyed going there and I can only recommend it. I also hung out with some people from India and we had fun together.
Get there: Take the Zugspitzbahn from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station and get off at the final stop, Zugspitzalm.
Duration: ca. 50 minutes
Price Cable Car: ca. 53 EUR return trip
Partnachklamm is an incredible gorge with a beautiful turquoise river in Germany, It is a very nice travel destination and it was lovely going along a small path through the gorge. From there I went up to the Partnachalm where I had a great view of the surrounding area of the chalet. I recommend going there early in the morning.
Get there: There is a bus (1) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station running 1x / hour that drops you off at the Olympic ski jumping park. From there it’s 20 minute to the entrance.
Duration: ca. 30 minutes
Price: 5 EUR
Wankberg mountain is an amazing spot to view the Bavarian Alps from a height of 1,765 m overlooking forests, tall trees and the Zugspitze. For more details, read my published article, Climbing the Wankberg in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Get there: Catch the bus (3 or 5) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station to the Schützenhaus and from there either hike up or take the Wankbahn (not recommended).
Duration: ca. 25 minutes
Price Cable Car: ca. 28 EUR
Garmisch-Partenkirchen itself is a smallish village in the mountains and offering many activities, fresh air and mountain views. I really enjoyed walking around in the fields sitting down and getting in touch with the locals.
Walchensee (additional, a little bit further away from Garmisch-Partenkirchen)
Walchensee is a beautiful turquoise lake at the bottom of Herzogstand mountain. I wrote a detailed article about the best parts that you can read here: Under or above the clouds, Walchensee is beautiful one.
Get there: Catch the bus (9608) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station and get off at Walchensee Herzogstandbahn. The bus runs every hour.
Duration: ca. 45 minutes
Price Cable Car: ca. 12,50 EUR return trip
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
I would recommend to stay at least two days if you are in a hurry. If you have more time, stay as long as you want. On the first day, I would try and do the Partnachklamm and Zugspitze; then on the second day I would hike up the Wankberg to experience the view over the Zugspitze from the opposite side, which is amazing. Make your way to Walchensee and up to the Herzogstand, incredible places to visit. You will have seen it basically “all” – well at least the best. From Walchensee you can easily catch a train to Munich.
Enjoy the mountains, the views and the fresh air.