Just an hour’s drive outside of Salzburg lies the alpine town of Berchtesgaden and the historic Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Adolf Hitler’s mountaintop chalet and the former southern headquarters of the Nazi party. Perched atop Mt. Kehlstein, Eagle’s Nest offers a dark history and panoramic views of Germany’s Bavarian Alps.
To reach the chalet, an opulent elevator decorated with brass, leather, and Venetian glass rises through solid rock to the summit. At the top, visitors can explore almost-untouched rooms, visit underground bunkers, and dine at the site’s cozy panoramic restaurant and beer garden. Take a day trip from Salzburg or Munich to relax and enjoy the scenery on your way to Eagle’s Nest, and learn about the site’s history from an expert tour guide. Visitors who want to get an overview of the region can opt for a combo tour to see Eagle’s Nest along with nearby highlights such as King’s Lake and the 450-year-old Salzburg Salt Mines.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring comfortable shoes, sun protection, and dress in layers; weather can change quickly at high altitudes.
- The Eagle’s Nest restaurant and beer garden is open to the general public. Reservations are not required for individuals, but groups should book in advance.
- The restaurant and parts of the garden terrace are wheelchair accessible; accessible ticket options are also available.
How to Get There
Berchtesgaden and the Eagle’s Nest are located on the Austria–Germany border, roughly one hour from Salzburg and two hours from Munich by road. Parking is available at the Hintereck parking area near Obersalzberg; from there, visitors can hike two hours to the summit or take a paid shuttle bus.
When to Get There
Due to the region’s harsh winters, the Eagle’s Nest is only open from May through October. The site can be quite crowded in the summer, so make sure to book your tour in advance.
The Eagle’s Nest, Then & Now
The lodge was built in 1939 to celebrate Hitler’s 50th birthday, and was originally intended to serve as a retreat and meeting house for the Nazi Party. It was seldom used for its intended purpose, however, due to the outbreak of World War II. Today, visitors come from all over the world to learn about German history and enjoy summer weather at the on-site restaurant and beer garden (biergarten).