Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski area

Useful travel guide visiting Zugspitze

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For many travelers, the #1 reason to travel to Bavaria is to visit Zugspitze. Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany which is impressive to visit. When you stand on top of the mountain and look over the Alps mountain range, you realize how beautiful nature is. If you love nature visiting Zugspitze is something you don’t want to miss.

In this article, we share everything you need to know when you visit Zugspitze and we give useful tips.


What can you do at Zugspitze?

Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany at 2962 meters. If you are on top you can see the whole region which is amazing. Below you can read the 4 nicest things you can do at Zugspitze. You can also read how best to get to Zugspitze, where to park, where to stay, and more.

Tip: Use the map below to see where all the important things are at Zugspitze. Click on the top right corner to view the map larger. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the folder, you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you are at your destination.

#1 Enjoy the view

Of course, it speaks for itself, but the reason to visit Zugspitze is because of the view. When you arrive at Zugspitze, you can walk around the platform and enjoy the view from various points. Inside the building is a museum located which explains the entire history of Zugspitze. This museum is free to visit. It is recommended to have a drink at Panorama Lounge 2962 because the view is awesome together with a drink.

It is important to know that it is a lot colder on top of the mountain than in the valley, so bring something to keep yourself warm.

Tip: always check the Zugspitze webcam before you go up how the view is. When we were down the sky was clear and we thought it was worth it, only when we got up we saw nothing and we were in a cloud. If the view is terrible, it is better to go at another time. We were lucky that there was a cloud at the Zugspitze, but not at the slightly lower ski area, so we could still enjoy a fantastic view.

Zugspitze view with clouds

#2 Hike to the Golden Cross

When you arrive at Zugspitze you are officially not yet at the highest point, because it is slightly higher at the golden cross. If you like a bit of adventure you can climb up so that you can say that you have officially been to the highest point in Germany. We were not able to do the climb ourselves because there was all snow and it would have been much too dangerous. We did understand from the locals that it is not difficult, you can use ladders and chains for support. If you are afraid of heights or have difficulty walking, you should not do this because it is dangerous.

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#3 Hike from the valley to Münchner Haus

Many travelers visit Zugspitze by using the cable car, but you can also hike up to the top from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The hike is difficult and is therefore only recommended for hikers who are in good shape and who are used to hiking in a mountain area. You can do the hike in 1 day, but it is better to do it in 2 days and stay at Münchner Haus. Münchner Haus is the mountain hut. If you want to know more details about the walk, we recommend reading more about the hikes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

ski area Garmisch Partenkirchen

#4 Visit the ski area

Once you’ve walked around the platform of the Zugspitze, it’s fun to take the cable car down to the ski area. At the ski area, you can walk around, have a drink or rent a sled and go down the mountain. Also, visit the old Lady Chapel on the mountain. It is certainly not the most beautiful building in the world, but it is special to see a religious chapel in this environment.

The ski area is also nice to visit for travelers who have never been on a winter sports vacation. This gives you a good idea of what it is like to go on a winter sports vacation.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski area

How do you get to Zugspitze?

You can visit Zugspitze from the German or Austrian side. Prices used to be cheaper on the Austrian side, but it has now become the same price. We recommend visiting Zugspitze from the German side (near the Eibsee) because then you can go down with the Bahnhof Zugspitzplatt (mountain train). Actual prices and combinations for families can be found here. Don’t be in shock, but to visit Zugspitze costs €52 ($55) per person. With the ticket, you can use the facilities of Zugspitze all day.

What we did: we parked the car at Parkplatz Seilbahn Zugspitze and bought our tickets at the ski lift. You can use the lift from 08:30 am to 04:45 pm, we were at the ski lift at 08:30 am. After we had visited Zugspitze we went by cable car (gletscherbahn) to the ski area (Zugspitzplatt glacier). Here we had something to eat at Gletscherrestaurant Sonnalpin and then went for a walk around this area. After this, we went back to Eibsee with the Bahnhof Zugspitzplatt, which is a mountain train.

train Zugspitze

Parking at Zugspitze

If you visit Zugspitze from Garmisch-Partenkirchen you can park your car for free at Parkplatz Seilbahn Zugspitze. When you arrive in the morning you can park your car without any problems. If you arrive later in the day, this can be more difficult. If the parking lot is full you can use the beside parking lot of the Eibsee.

If you visit Zugspitze from the Austrian side you can park the car for €5 ($6) at Parkplatz Tiroler Zugspitzbahn.

What do you take with you?

The most important thing is that in addition to your normal stuff, such as a bag with water and some snacks, you have clothes that keep you warm. Depending on the period, you determine its thickness. In the winter a winter coat is needed and in the summer a vest. The temperature difference is on average 15°C (59°F).

Visit Zugspitze independently or with a tour?

Our advice is that when you are near Zugspitze to do it independently. In terms of the price difference, it does not matter much, only the great advantage is that you retain your flexibility. It is also not difficult to visit Zugspitze.

If you’re coming from further away like Munich, it is better to book a tour, as it’s cheaper and faster. If you want to travel independently to Zugspitze from Munich, it takes a lot of time and is also a lot more expensive because of all transport and separate ticket. Check here for the best tour you can book from Munich.

Where to eat at Zugspitze?

At the Zugspitze, you can have something to eat and drink at Panorama Lounge 2962 or Panorama-Gipfelrestaurant. We had a drink ourselves at Panorama Lounge 2962 because from here you have a nice view over the area. If you want to eat something, it is better to go to the ski area because here you can sit outside, which in our opinion is a lot cozier.

Gletscherrestaurant Sonnalpin and Gletschergarten Restaurant are the two restaurants where you can eat at the ski area. Our recommendation is to eat at Gletscherrestaurant Sonnalpin because the food is excellent, but it is certainly not the best food you will taste in Germany. It is nice to visit because of the service and the terrace. If you sit outside, you can overlook the Alps while enjoying a burger and drink, for us this was the main reason to sit here.

What is the best place to stay at Zugspitze?

If you visit Zugspitze like most travelers on a day trip, it is not necessary to stay at Zugspitze. You can then stay at Eibsee or in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We recommend staying in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as this is a convenient place to explore the region from there. In addition, Garmisch-Partenkirchen has the most facilities and restaurants, which is handy. Our two favorite accommodations are:

Location, luxury, atmosphere, complete
Hotel Zugspitze

Hotel Zugspitze

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:
Garni Brunnthaler

Garni Brunnthaler

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 an accommodation with a good price-quality ratio, you should go for this place.

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When is the best period to visit Zugspitze?

It depends on what you want to do. If you want to go skiing at the Zugspitze, it is best to travel during the winter months. When we talk about time, it is best always to go as early as possible in the morning, in the morning it is often clear in terms of weather, so your view is the best. If you want to visit Zugspitze as a day tour, you can do this all year round. If you want to visit Zugspitze by hiking, the months of June to September are the best months.

Visiting Zugspitze FAQ

1. How much does it cost to visit Zugspitze independently or with a tour?

If you visit Zugspitze independently, it costs €52 ($55) per person. This price applies if you park the car at the Zugspitze cable car.

When you visit Zugspitze from Munich, in theory you can also do it independently. Costs are then €125 ($130) per person (€52 train Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen + €73 train Garmisch-Partenkirchen Zugspitze. If you book a tour this costs €101 ($105) which saves you a lot of time and money. You can easily book a tour here.

2. What else is useful to know when you visit Zugspitze?

If you are looking for specific information that we have not covered in this article, you may find it on the official website of the Zugspitze. Useful to take a look at.

Discover more in the region

Visiting Zugspitze is one of the best activities you can do in the south of Germany. Zugspitze is located near Garmisch-Partenkirchen where you can also do many fun things in addition to the Zugspitze. Read here what you can do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Tip: If you are looking for a Bavaria itinerary, you can open our article for inspiration.

What do you think of Zugspitze? 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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Hello, we are Cynthia & Alexander, the team behind Travel Your Memories! Traveling is our passion. When it comes to exploration, we love sharing our tips and adventures to inspire you. Welcome to Travel Your Memories, where we share our love for travel with you! Read our story.

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