Located close to the Austrian border and soaring to a height of 9,718 feet (2,962 meters), the snow-crowned Zugspitze is Germany's highest mountain and one of its most popular ski resorts. The views from the top are spectacular, spanning the German and Austrian Alps.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the starting point for scaling the Zugspitze. From there, trains run to the Eibsee, the lake at the foot of the mountain, where a cable car and cogwheel railway depart for the summit. A popular choice is to ride the cogwheel railway on the way up, then descend via the cable car, leaving enough time at the top to visit the Zugspitze exhibition and marvel at the 360° panoramic views.
Tours from Munich that follow a scenic route through the Bavarian Alps often include nearby attractions such as Neuschwanstein Castle or the Highline179 in Austria, one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world.
Things to Know Before You Go
- At the top of the Zugspitze there is a souvenir shop and two restaurants, the Glaciergarden and the Sonnalpin.
- Be sure to dress warm, as there’s snow on the mountaintop even in summer.
- The Zugspitze cable cars and observation decks are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get to There
Trains run from Garmisch-Partenkirchen via Grainau to Eibsee; from there, you can either ride the cogwheel railway up the mountainside or take the Eibsee-Seilbahn cable car to the top. Travel time from Garmisch-Partenkirchen is about 75 minutes by train, or 35 minutes by cable car. From the Austrian side, cable cars run from Ehrwald to the summit and take around 10 minutes.
When to Get There
It’s possible to visit the Zugspitze all year-round, but the best views are on clear days. The ski season runs from October to May, while those who enjoy hiking or climbing should stick to the summer months.
Outdoor Activities at the Zugspitze
The Zugspitze is home to Germany's highest ski resort, a great destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter. The Zugspitze Glacier Ski Resort also has toboggan runs, and a half-pipe and fun park for snowboarders. During summer, hikers can explore trails at the base of the mountain, as well as around the summit. Experienced climbers can also tackle one of several routes to the Zugspitze summit, stopping overnight at a mountain hut.