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Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Zugspitze, what to do!

Traveling to Garmisch-Partenkirchen

We traveled to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by train from Fussen, Germany. It is an incredible train ride, and takes you right along the edge of Germany and Austria. Even sometimes going into Austria itself! I’ve mentioned in previous posts that we primarily travel by train when we travel. It is usually the most direct route, and none of us want to drive! If you are familiar with train travel, then you know how difficult transfers can be, especially with luggage. Try to get the early trains in order to make your travel a little bit easier!

Garmisch-Partenkirchen honestly doesn’t give be the vibes that Rothenburg ob der Tauber does. If you are familiar with Gatlinburg, Tennessee, it kind of has the same feelings. While it has the traditional painted buildings, it almost feels like it could be located anywhere in Europe. It is a great place to travel if you are interested in outdoors sports though. Even in June, we saw people carrying skis! It is a nice little stop at the bottom of Zugspitze We dropped our bags off, threw on some coats, and headed to Zugspitze, which is the entire reason that we were there.

The highest point in Germany, Zugspitze!

I’ve wanted to visit Zugspitze for years, but just was never able to go. During this trip, we had planned to go before we even left the house. The quickest way for us to get there was just to get a taxi. A great tip for getting taxis while you are in German is to ask your hotel to call them for you. Typically, the taxi services do not speak English, and it is a task to figure out how to tell them your location. After about fifteen minutes, we arrived to the base of Zugspitze. Depending on the size of your group, you can get the group tickets which will save you a bit of money. With the tickets, you can choose to take the train to the top of the mountain, or you can take the cable car. The train takes about an hour and a half, and the cable car takes fifteen minutes.

Since none of us have a severe issue with heights, the cable car was the best option to be able to maximize our time at the top. After about 9,000 feet up, we finally arrived to the highest point in Germany. On a clear day, you are able to see four different countries! One thing I will say is that you will get cold! Even though it was warm in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it was about forty degrees on top of the mountain. One of the employees at the top even said it has snowed the night before we arrived. Seriously, there is snow everywhere! It is important to dress for the weather that is up there, especially if you plan on spending any amount of time.

What to do on Zugspitze

Other than taking in the insane views of Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany, there are quite a few things to do. A fun thing to be able to say is that you were in two different countries at once. Part of Zugspitze is in Austria, and the other part is in Germany. There are tons of platforms that offer views unique to that side of the visitors center. If you are planning on doing any shopping while in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then this is not the place to do it. While there are small shops offering a few items that you can buy, you are going to be better off shopping in town. If you walk over to the Austria section, there is a restaurant that you can sit inside and eat. There is also a window that offers some food as well on the Germany side.

If you head to the right, you can see the gold cross which marks the highest point in Germany. There is not much to do on this side, but you can get a view of the glacier, which I walk talk about next. A lot of this area was under construction while I was there which kind of sucked if I’m honest. A fun thing that you can do is take the cable car down to the glacier. This allows you to go sledding for a fee, has areas that you can go out and play in the snow, and even offers an area to have lunch outdoors. From here, you can choose to head back up via the cable car to take the cable car from the top back to the bottom. The glacier is also the place that you go to catch the train too! (Also, my grandpa wanted to be on the blog, so this is his crowning moment!)

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1 Comment

  1. July 18, 2018 / 6:48 am

    What a view! I love these posts about the smaller towns you visited – shows a lovely side of Germany that looks like a nice change of pace from the bigger cities like Berlin and Munich.

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