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Visiting Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen In Germany


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Hynda Spooner



Germany is a country known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and charming towns. One such gem is the picturesque region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, located in Bavaria. This enchanting destination offers a delightful mix of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences.


At the heart of this region lies the stunning Lake Eibsee, a hidden paradise surrounded by towering mountains and dense forests. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and breathtaking views, Lake Eibsee is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.


The town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen itself is a charming alpine resort town that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. It is renowned for hosting the famous Ski World Cup and offers a myriad of outdoor activities throughout the year.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature or craving a thrilling escapade, Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen have something for everyone. From hiking and skiing to exploring cultural attractions and indulging in Bavarian cuisine, this region promises an unforgettable experience.


In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of visiting Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, including how to get there, the best attractions to explore, accommodation options, dining and nightlife, and even some shopping recommendations.


So, get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Lake Eibsee and the charm of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Let’s begin this wonderful journey!


Getting to Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Getting to Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen is relatively easy, thanks to its convenient transportation links. The region is well-connected by road, rail, and air, allowing visitors to choose their preferred mode of travel.


If you’re traveling from within Germany, the most common way to reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen is by train. The town has its own railway station, which is served by frequent trains from major cities like Munich and Frankfurt. The journey from Munich takes approximately 90 minutes, offering scenic views of the Bavarian countryside along the way.


If you prefer flying, the nearest major airport is Munich Airport (MUC), which is well-connected to international destinations. From the airport, you can take a direct train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen or hire a car and enjoy a scenic drive through the Bavarian Alps.


For those traveling by car, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is easily accessible via the A95 and B2 highways. The town is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Munich, making it a convenient option for a day trip or a weekend getaway.


Once you have arrived in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, reaching Lake Eibsee is a breeze. The lake is located just a short drive or bus ride away from the town center. Local buses operate regularly and provide convenient transportation to various points of interest in the region.


If you prefer a more scenic approach, you can also hike from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Lake Eibsee. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on your pace, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.


Overall, getting to Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen is hassle-free, thanks to the excellent transportation infrastructure. Whether you choose to travel by train, car, or plane, you’ll have no trouble reaching this stunning region in the heart of Bavaria.


Exploring Lake Eibsee

Once you arrive at Lake Eibsee, you’ll be greeted by a landscape straight out of a postcard. The lake’s pristine turquoise waters, surrounded by lush greenery and towering mountains, create a truly idyllic setting.


One of the best ways to explore Lake Eibsee is by taking a leisurely walk or bike ride along its shores. The 7-kilometer circular trail offers stunning panoramic views and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings. You can rent bikes from various rental outlets near the lake and embark on a memorable adventure.


For those seeking a more relaxing experience, hop on a boat and glide across the calm waters of Lake Eibsee. Renting a rowboat or pedal boat is a popular activity, allowing you to soak in the tranquility of the lake and enjoy the breathtaking views from a different perspective.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Eibsee. These activities offer a thrilling way to explore the lake while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.


For nature enthusiasts, Lake Eibsee is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Take a moment to appreciate the diverse array of plants and flowers that line the lake’s shores. Wildlife lovers may spot various bird species and even the occasional deer or chamois roaming in the surrounding forests and meadows.


Those looking to relax and sunbathe can find peaceful spots along the lake’s beaches or rent a cozy lakeside cabin to truly unwind. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.


No matter how you choose to explore Lake Eibsee, be sure to bring your camera along. The breathtaking scenery and picturesque views are worthy of capturing and cherishing for a lifetime.


With its captivating beauty and serene ambiance, Lake Eibsee offers a truly unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. So, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of this hidden gem in Bavaria.


Hiking and Nature Trails

The region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous hiking and nature trails to explore. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced mountaineer, there are trails suitable for all skill levels.


One of the most popular hiking routes in the area is the Partnach Gorge trail. This scenic trail takes you through a narrow gorge, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, rock formations, and lush vegetation. It’s a must-visit for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.


If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking to the summit of Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze. The trail to the summit is a steep and exhilarating climb, rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Alternatively, you can take the cable car or cogwheel train for a more leisurely ascent.


For a more relaxed hike, explore the trails around Lake Eibsee. The lake is surrounded by a network of well-marked trails that cater to varying difficulty levels. You can choose to take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shores or venture deeper into the forests for a more immersive experience.


Nature enthusiasts will also enjoy exploring the many nature reserves and protected areas in the region, such as the Wetterstein Mountains and the Esterbergalm Nature Reserve. These areas offer a chance to observe rare plant species, spot wildlife, and soak in the tranquility of the surrounding landscapes.


It’s important to come prepared when embarking on a hiking adventure in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry plenty of water, and pack essential supplies like a map, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. Additionally, check weather conditions and trail conditions in advance to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


Whether you’re seeking a challenging ascent to a mountain peak or a leisurely walk amidst nature, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a plethora of hiking and nature trail options. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the stunning natural beauty of this region.


Winter Activities in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen truly comes alive in the winter months, offering an array of exciting winter activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of winter sports or simply want to experience the magic of a winter wonderland, this region has something for everyone.


One of the main attractions during winter is the skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The town is home to the famous Garmisch-Classic ski area, which offers a variety of slopes catering to all levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. The area boasts 40 kilometers of groomed slopes, ensuring endless fun on the slopes.


If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, don’t worry! Garmisch-Partenkirchen has several ski schools where you can take lessons and learn to navigate the slopes with confidence. Experienced instructors will guide you through the basics and help you improve your skills, ensuring a safe and enjoyable winter sports experience.


For those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping adventure, consider trying your hand at ski touring. This activity allows you to explore untouched powder snow and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Bavarian Alps. Guided tours are available for beginners and experienced ski tourers alike, offering a thrilling and memorable experience.


If you prefer a more leisurely winter activity, try your hand at ice skating. The Olympic Ice Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a large ice rink where you can glide across the ice and have fun with family and friends. Ice skating is a popular activity for visitors of all ages and skill levels.


Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also known for its incredible winter hiking trails. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture into the snow-covered forests and mountains. Guided snowshoe tours are available, allowing you to explore the winter wonderland while learning about the local flora, fauna, and history of the region.


After a day of outdoor activities, don’t forget to warm up with a visit to one of the cozy alpine huts or charming cafes. Indulge in traditional Bavarian cuisine, savor a hot beverage, and soak in the cozy atmosphere.


Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or simply looking to experience the beauty of winter in the Bavarian Alps, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a winter wonderland that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Attractions in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not only renowned for its natural beauty but also for its rich cultural heritage and charming attractions. Here are some of the must-visit attractions in this Bavarian gem.

  • Olympic Ski Stadium: Built for the 1936 Winter Olympics, this historic site is a must-see for sports enthusiasts. Explore the stadium, take a guided tour, and learn about the town’s Olympic history.
  • Partnach Gorge: Venture into the magical world of Partnach Gorge, a natural wonder consisting of a narrow gorge and roaring waterfalls. The hiking trail through the gorge offers awe-inspiring views and is particularly enchanting in winter when everything is covered with a glistening layer of snow.
  • Ludwigstrasse: Stroll along Ludwigstrasse, the main street in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, lined with charming Bavarian-style houses, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. This pedestrian-friendly street exudes a delightful ambiance, perfect for leisurely shopping and people-watching.
  • Richard-Strauss-Institute: Delve into the life and works of the renowned composer Richard Strauss at this fascinating institute. Learn about his musical contributions and explore the exhibits dedicated to his life and career.
  • Werdenfels Museum: Immerse yourself in the local history and culture at the Werdenfels Museum. Located in a 17th-century building, the museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that depict the area’s rich heritage, including traditional costumes, crafts, and historical documents.
  • St. Martin’s Church: Visit the beautiful St. Martin’s Church, an iconic landmark in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Admire the stunning architecture and intricate details of this centuries-old church, and take a moment for quiet reflection in its peaceful interior.
  • Alpspix Viewing Platform: For breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Alps, head to the Alpspix Viewing Platform. Located on the Zugspitze summit, this platform offers a unique perspective of the mountain ranges and valleys below.

These attractions, along with numerous others, contribute to the cultural richness and charm of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or natural beauty, you’ll find something that captures your imagination in this remarkable destination.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation options, Garmisch-Partenkirchen caters to a wide range of preferences and budgets. From luxurious hotels to cozy guesthouses, there is something to suit every traveler’s needs.


If you’re looking for a touch of luxury and top-notch amenities, there are several upscale hotels and resorts in the area. These establishments offer spacious rooms, spa facilities, fine dining options, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Many of them are conveniently located near popular attractions and ski areas, making them an ideal choice for a luxurious and convenient stay.


For those seeking a more traditional and authentic experience, consider staying in one of the charming Bavarian-style guesthouses or bed and breakfasts. These accommodations often provide cozy rooms with unique decor, hearty breakfasts, and warm hospitality from the owners. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the charm of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


If you’re traveling with a group or prefer a homely atmosphere, renting a holiday apartment or chalet can be an excellent option. These self-catering accommodations come with fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to cook your meals and enjoy the comforts of home. Additionally, they offer more space and privacy, making them ideal for families or longer stays.


For budget-conscious travelers, there are also affordable hotels, hostels, and guesthouses available in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms at reasonable prices, allowing you to enjoy your stay without breaking the bank. Some of them may offer shared facilities, but still provide a comfortable and convenient base for exploring the region.


It’s worth noting that accommodation in Garmisch-Partenkirchen tends to be in high demand, especially during peak seasons like winter and summer. Therefore, it’s advisable to make your reservations well in advance to secure your preferred choice and to take advantage of any early booking discounts that may be available.


With its diverse range of accommodations, Garmisch-Partenkirchen ensures that every visitor can find a comfortable and suitable place to stay. Whether you’re seeking luxury, authenticity, or affordability, you’ll find plenty of options to make your stay in this Bavarian town memorable and enjoyable.


Dining and Nightlife

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not only a feast for the eyes but also a culinary delight. The town offers a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences, ensuring a memorable culinary experience.


If you’re a fan of traditional Bavarian cuisine, you’re in for a treat. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is home to numerous restaurants and taverns that serve hearty Bavarian dishes. Indulge in classics like schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and pretzels, accompanied by a refreshing glass of locally brewed beer. Don’t forget to try the delectable apple strudel or Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake) for a sweet end to your meal.


For those who prefer international flavors, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a range of global cuisines to satisfy your cravings. From Italian trattorias and French bistros to Asian fusion and Mediterranean restaurants, there’s something to please every palate. You can even find vegetarian and vegan options in many establishments.


After a delicious meal, Garmisch-Partenkirchen has some nightlife options to explore. The town has a handful of bars and pubs where you can relax and enjoy a drink with friends or fellow travelers. Grab a pint of local beer or savor a glass of wine while soaking in the cozy atmosphere. Some bars also offer live music, creating a vibrant and enjoyable ambiance.


If you’re in the mood for a night of entertainment, the nearby Casino Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers an exciting gaming experience. Try your luck at the roulette table or slot machines, and enjoy a glamorous evening in this stylish venue.


It’s worth noting that Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not known for its wild nightlife scene. The town tends to be more laid-back and family-friendly, focusing on providing a cozy atmosphere for visitors to unwind and enjoy good food and drinks.


Overall, Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s dining and nightlife scene offers a perfect blend of traditional flavors, international cuisines, and cozy establishments. Whether you’re seeking a hearty Bavarian meal or craving international delicacies, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds in this charming Bavarian town.


Shopping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a delightful shopping experience for visitors, with a wide range of stores and boutiques to explore. Whether you’re looking to purchase souvenirs, fashion items, or local specialties, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your shopping desires.


One of the highlights of shopping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the abundance of traditional Bavarian shops. These stores offer a variety of products that capture the essence of Bavarian culture, including dirndls (traditional dresses), lederhosen (leather pants), and embroidered garments. You can also find traditional Bavarian crafts, such as wood carvings and ceramics, which make for unique and meaningful souvenirs.


For fashion enthusiasts, the town offers a mix of international brands and local boutiques. Explore the designer stores along Ludwigstrasse or discover unique pieces in the smaller boutique shops dotted around the town. From trendy clothing and accessories to stylish shoes and jewelry, Garmisch-Partenkirchen provides ample opportunities to upgrade your wardrobe.


If you’re a food lover, don’t miss the chance to explore the local delicacies and culinary offerings. The region is known for its excellent food products, such as Alpine cheeses, cured meats, herbs, and local liquors. Visit the local markets and specialty food stores to find these delicious treats, which make perfect gifts for friends and family or for indulging in yourself.


Aside from traditional and fashion-related shops, Garmisch-Partenkirchen also boasts a variety of other establishments. You can find bookstores, souvenir shops, sports equipment stores, and more. There are also several outdoor and adventure shops where you can find hiking gear, ski equipment, and other outdoor essentials.


When taking a break from shopping, be sure to explore the atmospheric Christmas markets, which are held during the holiday season. These festive markets offer a magical ambiance with seasonal decorations, music, and an array of handicrafts, food, and drinks. It’s the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts and soak in the holiday spirit.


Overall, Garmisch-Partenkirchen provides a diverse and enticing shopping experience. From traditional Bavarian items to fashion, food, and more, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye and captures the essence of this enchanting Bavarian town.



Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a destination that truly has it all. From the stunning beauty of Lake Eibsee to the charming town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen itself, this region captivates visitors with its natural landscapes, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and culinary delights.


Whether you’re seeking adventure on the slopes, tranquility by the lake, or a taste of Bavarian culture and history, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a myriad of options to satisfy your desires. Explore the hiking trails, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and marvel at the breathtaking views. Take part in winter sports or embark on a leisurely stroll along Lake Eibsee’s shores. Immerse yourself in the local culture, try traditional Bavarian dishes, and shop for unique souvenirs.


The region’s convenient transportation links make it easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers. Whether you prefer to arrive by train, car, or plane, Garmisch-Partenkirchen welcomes you with open arms.


So, whether you’re planning a winter getaway filled with skiing and snowboarding, or a summer escape immersed in nature and outdoor activities, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the perfect destination. The region’s enchanting beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality will leave you with cherished memories and a desire to return.


Book your trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen today and get ready to embark on a journey of adventure, beauty, and discovery in the heart of Bavaria.