In Bavaria you can see a lot, Eibsee is in our opinion one of the most beautiful places to discover. We even dare to say that Eibsee is one of the best sights to see in Europe. This is because the location is breathtaking. The water is crystal clear and when the sun shines it turns beautiful blue. But especially the mountain range with the highest mountain, the Zugspitze, makes it so unique.
In this article, you can read all the tips for visiting Eibsee, what the best things to do there are, how to get there, where to park, and more.
Things to do in Eibsee, Germany?
Eibsee is located at an altitude of about 1000 meters and is surrounded by mountains and forests. Because of this environment, you can do many fun activities. Continue reading to discover the 6 best activities to do in Eibsee.
Tip: use the map below to see where the best things to do in Eibsee can be found. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. On the map, you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you are at your destination.
#1 Walk around the lake
Our favorite hike to do at Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the walk around Lake Eibsee. We liked the views that you have while walking. We went two times in the morning and during this period you can see different animals because it is not crowded at this moment of the day. By walking around the lake you get the chance to discover the best areas of the lake.
The hike starts at the Eibsee parking lot. We recommend that you do the hike counter-clockwise, so start the hike on your right. The route starts at the front of the parking lot, so you walk behind the Eibsee Hotel. After 10 minutes you arrive at a bridge when you cross it you arrive at the best part of Eibsee, especially if you go in the morning because the sun shines beautifully on the lake on your left. We recommend that you walk for 5 to 10 minutes and then walk down the path and walk along the water. Here you can take a seat and enjoy the moment. Watch how the sun wakes up all the animals and enjoy the ultimate silence. We were there at sunrise, so we didn’t hear or see anything besides the animals. The feeling we had then is difficult to describe, the only thing we want to make clear is that when you come during sunrise you will be enchanted.
After relaxing along the water you can get back on the path and continue on the road. The route is easy to follow. During the route, you will come across several coves and viewpoints where you can enjoy a different perspective of the lake. The route is not difficult because when you walk counterclockwise it goes up gradually and at the end, it goes down a bit steeper. We thought the first 3/4 part of the route was beautiful, only in the last part do you walk a bit higher in the mountains, so you can see less of the lake. This also makes it better to walk the route to the right, because the part is more impressive to see.
If you follow the route you will eventually return to the parking lot. The route is not difficult and can be done by anyone.
- Distance: 7 km
- Duration: 2 hours
- Ascent/days: 127 m ascent / 184 m descent
- Start and end point: parking Eibsee / parking Zugspitze
If you want to read more about other hikes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen we recommend reading our article via link.
Tip: dogs are allowed but need to be put on a leash.
When you walk around the lake as we indicate above, when you are almost at the end you walk along a beach. From there you walk for 5 minutes towards the parking lot and you will see a small lake on your right that is surrounded by trees, this is the Frillensee. The nice thing about the Frillensee is that it is visited by a few other people, so it’s better to look for peace here.
#3 Water Activities
When the weather is nice and temperatures are pleasant, you can enjoy the water by going on the water with a rowing boat, sup, or pedal boat. Sportbetriebe am Eibsee is located along the water where you can rent these things.
You can also sit down with a towel along the bridge and go for a swim. Keep in mind that the water comes from the mountains, which makes it very cold. In the southeast of the Eibsee, there is a small beach where you can sit comfortably if you want to relax.
#4 Lunch at the Eibsee-Pavillon
If you are hungry and want to find a nice terrace along the water, there is only one option, which is the Eibsee Pavillon. They have a large terrace where you have a beautiful view of the lake. If you want to have lunch here, we recommend trying the Wiener Backhendl. This is fried chicken with potato salad for €14.90 ($16).
We walked past it and thought it looked nice but we prefer to bring our food and eat it along the water while enjoying all the silence. The terrace is great but also crowded.
#5 Taking pictures
If you like photography, you can’t be lucky enough when you are at the Eibsee. Make sure to be there at sunrise because this is the best time to walk and take pictures. The nice thing about Eibsee is that you will come across different places during the walk where you can take beautiful nature photos. If you look at the photos in this article you will hopefully be inspired.
The most important thing to know is that when you visit the Eibsee during sunrise, you have to walk counterclockwise because then you will have the sun on your left. This allows you to see the sun shining through the trees over the water. If you walk around the lake to the left, you are a lot higher in the mountains, so you miss this effect. If there is still a bit of fog you can consider yourself very lucky.
Most people travel to this area not to visit the Eibsee but to visit the Zugspitze. With a height of 2962 meters, the Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. The best thing about visiting the Zugspitze is the view. It’s hard to describe how magical it is. From the top, you can see a large part of the Alps which is impressive. The advantage of the Zugspitze is that it is accessible to everyone because of the ski lift.
We can tell you a lot about the Zugspitze and the best way to visit it. Read our tips on visiting the Zugspitze here.
Parking at Eibsee
At Eibsee there are two parking places called Parkplatz am Eibsee and Parkplatz Seilbahn Zugspitze. Parking at Eibsee costs €7 ($8) per day (in the morning until 09:30 am you get a few euros discount). If you park at Zugspitze it is free, only you must have officially visited the Zugspitze. We have parked at Zugspitze once visit Zugspitze without any problems (officially this is not allowed). However, this was in the morning and we were gone again at 09:00 am.
Please note that parking at Eibsee can be difficult if you come at busier times. If the parking lot is full, you can park the car at P2 and P3 in the village next to Eibsee called Grainau. From Grainau it is a 4 km walk to Eibsee.
Free car parking at Eibsee: on the road to Eibsee and Zugspitze you can park your car for free 1km away from Eibsee. At 600 meters before you turn left to visit Eibsee and Zugspitze you will see an extra road on the left side of the road where cars can be parked. Here you can park your car for free. You can see on our map at the top of this article where it can be found (marker is called free parking).
Where to stay at Eibsee?
If you want to stay close to the lake you have to stay at Eibsee Hotel. This is a four-star hotel with magnificent rooms. The big advantage is that you stay at one of the best locations in the area. Read more information about Eibsee Hotel here.
Our advice is to stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen because you are closer to all facilities. You can also find many accommodations in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which means that prices are a lot lower. We recommend the two places below to stay.
Location, luxury, atmosphere, complete
We stayed in Hotel Zugspitze and loved it. Firstly, the location is great because you are within walking distance of the cozy authentic center where you can find nice restaurants. The rooms are neat and fully equipped. You can also enjoy a fantastic breakfast in the morning. If we come back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen we would stay here again.
Excellent value for money:
The great advantage of Garni Brunnthaler is that, just like Hotel Zugspitze, it is close to the lively center, only that it is more economically attractive for many. If you are looking for accommodation with a good price-quality ratio, you should go for this place.
Visit Eibsee independently or with a tour?
Sometimes you read on the internet that it is recommended to visit Eibsee with a tour, we do not recommend this. You can easily visit Eibsee yourself. It’s more fun because you can do it at your own pace, plus it also saves you a lot of money.
Tip: read our hiking guide for starters that explains everything about how to find the best hikes and which preparations are important.
Where to eat at Eibsee?
Around Eibsee you can only eat at Eibsee Pavillon, we recommend this place for travelers looking for a spot to have lunch. We prefer to make our lunch and eat it at one of the many seating areas around the lake. The nice thing about this is that it is cheaper, quieter, and more authentic. When the weather is nice, it can be busy at Eibsee Pavillon, making it difficult to find a free table.
If you want to eat something in the evening, it is best to drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Here you can find most restaurants, which gives you more options compared to other places. We stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and enjoyed the evenings at Zum Wildschütz, Shaka Burgerhouse and Ristorante Pizzeria Trattoria Calabrese. Read our article about Garmisch-Partenkirchen to get to know more about our favorite places to eat in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
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How do you get to the Eibsee in Germany?
Eibsee is about 10 to 15 minutes by car from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In most cases, people visit Eibsee from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. If you travel by public transport, you should first travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen because this is the best accessible in the region. Below you can read first how to travel from different places to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then how to get from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Eibsee.
Travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen: you can reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen by plane, public transport, or car. Garmisch-Partenkirchen has a station that has good connections to surrounding destinations. Most travelers come from Munich, Innsbruck, Füssen, or Berchtesgaden but you can easily reach it from many more places.
If you want to travel to Garmisch-Partenkrichen by public transport, it is best to use the train. Check the actual travel routes of the German Railways here. You can also travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by car, this is easy just put the address in the navigation. You can park your car in many accommodations, which makes traveling by car comfortable.
If you travel by plane to Germany and are looking for a rental car, you can rent it via Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to make a trip by car to discover a new destination. They are easy to use and book, you get a clear overview from which to choose.
Traveling from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Eibsee: You can reach Eibsee by bus, train, or by private car. With your car is easy, you are at Eibsee in +/- 15 minutes.
If you want to travel to Eibsee by public transport, you can take the train at the station to Eibsee Zugspitzbahn. Travel time is 30 minutes and from the station, it is a 5-minute walk to Eibsee. You can find the train times table here.
You can also travel by bus, you have to use the bus EibseeBus. It departs every hour and takes about 40 minutes. Ask at the accommodation where you are staying what the nearest stop is to get on and when the bus passes because these can change per period.
Discover more in the region of Eibsee
Eibsee is one of the main sights for travelers to visit this area. In addition to the Eibsee, the Zugspitze is also great to visit. We stayed 4 days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and from there we did many activities around the region. Read here the best things to do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
If you like walking, you can do more hikes in addition to the walk at Eibsee. Discover the best hikes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen here.
If you are orientating yourself to put together a trip, a trip through Bavaria might be something for you. In our Bavaria itinerary, we share all our tips to make an amazing trip of 10 days. You can use this itinerary for inspiration and build your itinerary.
What do you think of Eibsee? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Disclaimer: the prices mentioned in this article may differ from the current situation. We regularly update our articles. Would you like to help us to provide to best possible insights to help other travelers leave a comment with the latest information. Thanks!
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