In Germany, some of the most popular and stunning places are located in the deep south of Germany in the Bavarian Alps. The Zugspitze region is a perfect example and is famous for its hauntingly beautiful landscapes. It connects the German and Austrian borders and includes Germany’s highest peak.
Those missing the sensation of being amid or above the clouds can consider taking a trip to the Zugspitze region in Germany. Seeing the world from the top of the Zugspitze, at the very top of Germany could be a refreshing escape!
Table of Contents
- Know More about the Zugspitze Region
- Golden Cross on Top of Germany’s Highest Mountain
- Different Experiences in the Zugspitze Region
- Top Attractions in the Zugspitze Region
- 1. Zugspitze Summit
- 2. Garmisch-Classic Ski Resort
- 3. Hausberg (Garmisch-Partenkirchen)
- 4. Tiroler Zugspitz Arena
- 5. Romantic Road
- 6. The Eibsee Lake
- 7. Staffelsee Lake
- 8. Cemetery in Augsburg
- 9. Neuschwanstein Castle
- 10. Linderhof Castle
- 11. Old Town of Füssen
- 12. Mittenwald
- 13. Bad Tölz
- Things to do in the Zugspitze Region
- 1. Take a Plunge into the area’s History
- 2. Winter Activities
- 3. Kid-Friendly Activities
- Places to Eat in the Zugspitze Region
- Accommodation in the Zugspitze Region
- Final Thoughts
- What countries can you see from the Zugspitze?
- What’s the busiest season for the Zugspitze region?
- How many visitors does Neuschwanstein Castle get each year?
- What is the region of Zugspitze?
Know More about the Zugspitze Region
The Zugspitze Region is a collection of some of the tallest mountains in Germany that overlook Garmisch on the German side and the Austrian Cirque on the Austrian side.
If you’d like to walk along the tall ridge line and cherish the incredible view of both countries from a distance, you’re free to do so. Not every mountain range in the world has a walkable path at the top; thankfully, this one does!
Golden Cross on Top of Germany’s Highest Mountain
At the top of the highest point in the Zugspitze Region sits a 4.88-meter tall golden summit cross. Made of iron and 14 separate pieces, the cross marks the most elevated spot across Germany.
The golden cross was initially put in place in 1851 by an expedition of twenty-eight people led by Karl Kiendl. The idea came from a meteorologist and priest, Christoph Ott.
Due to severe lighting damages, the summit cross was taken down between 1881 and 1882 for repair. In August 1882, it was put back on top of the mountain range, but this time in a different place, on the western ridge, where it remained for 111 years.
In August 1993, the cross was again taken down and repaired for damages caused by the lightning (and an ill-disciplined American soldier who shot at the cross during World War II).
Since it could no longer be repaired, a replica was made and put in its original place in 2009.
Different Experiences in the Zugspitze Region
If you live in Germany along the A3 Autobahn, you’ll often see Dutch and German cars and caravans loaded with skis headed south to mountainous regions like the Zugspitze region and other German mountains.
If you’ve ever been stationed in Germany as an American or British soldier, you must have heard of people going to Garmisch for vacation. The Armed Forces Network, the famous American radio station for soldiers in Europe, gives out gifts to Garmisch for their prizes.
Also, skiing is a trendy sport and pastime for many Europeans, and most of them head to the Zugspitzplatt, Germany’s highest ski resort. It is best known for having great snow because of its high elevation.
See Related: Best Things to do in Munich
Top Attractions in the Zugspitze Region
1. Zugspitze Summit
Around 3,000 meters above sea level, the Zugspitze Mountain is Germany’s highest mountain. This reason is enough in itself to plan a visit to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Zugspitze’s summit mountain guides can give tourists an unrivaled outdoor tour. Surrounded by endless beauty and freedom, you will be greeted by a stunning panoramic view of over 400 summits.
A cable car and cogwheel trains can take you on a breathtaking journey to the summit. This is where you will get to see more than 400 natural snow-clad mountains spread across four countries, including Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.
There are three cable cars and five mountaineering routes or hiking paths to get to the peak of Zugspitze. You can pick any option to reach the top of this fantastic mountain.
Overall, it is one of the popular summer and winter sports destinations. You can try your hands on hiking, skiing, paragliding, tobogganing, and other activities.
2. Garmisch-Classic Ski Resort
Situated in Zugspitzland, Upper Bavaria, Garmisch-Classic Ski Resort is one of Germany’s most popular ski resorts. This snow-loaded resort is sitting on a special place where three ski mountains – Hausberg, Alpspitze, and Kreuzeck – meet together.
This ski resort is breathtaking and suitable for all skiers. From family-friendly Hausberg slopes to the Kandahar black slopes, this winter sports destination offers complete skiing enjoyment for tourists with different tastes. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or new to the slopes, you can make the most out of your skiing experience.
Additionally, hundreds of tourists visit this stunning attraction every ski season.
See Related: The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List
3. Hausberg (Garmisch-Partenkirchen)
The Hausberg Mountain of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen township is arguably the most stunning mountain in the region because of its three glaciers. It ensures an exceptional fun time for all tourists, no matter the taste.
Sitting between Kochelbergalm and Bayernhaus, visiting this “house mountain” is an adventurous trip with a few steep climbs. You can also cycle up to the Hausberg through the broad forest track.
Additionally, this attraction is mainly used for ski alpinism and as a training area for skiing schools. It is also famous for hiking, mountain bike tours, and skiing in winter.
Moreover, you will have a stunning view of the Wetterstein Mountains and Wank Mountain from the top of the Hauseberg Mountain.
4. Tiroler Zugspitz Arena
If you’re looking for breathtaking 360-degree views and outdoor activities, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is the best holiday place for visitors. It is an ideal destination for mountaineers, hikers, and nature lovers.
Situated at the border of Germany and Austria, this attraction boasts a number of charming villages including Berwang, Ehrwald, Heiterwang, Lermoos, Biberwier, Namlos, and Bichlbach & Lähn-Wengle.
Though the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena features many attractions, the Zugspitze is the central point of interest. Besides that, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is surrounded by four spectacular mountain chains – the Wetterstein Mountains in the east, the Lechtal Alps in the west, the Ammergau Alps in the north, and the Mieming Mountains in the south.
The area offers several activities to fulfill every taste. For instance, this is the best spot for skiing in winter. Everyone, including kids, families, and professional skiers, can make the most of their time due to diverse ski runs and slopes. Tobogganing and cross-country skiing are other activities you can try in the winter season.
Similarly, biking or walking to glittering mountain lakes and exploring striking mountains on foot are some of the best summer activities. Also, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is well-known for its seven small ski resorts, served by 58 cable cars and lifts.
See Related: Best Ski Resorts in the US to Visit
5. Romantic Road
The Romantic Road is a famous tourist path that starts in Frankfurt, goes through Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and ends in Fussen. The route goes through Garmisch-Partenkirchen, one of the popular stops in the Zugspitze region.
Spanning 350 km or 220 miles between Fussen and Wurzburg, you will get to see various green forests, fairytale castles, mountain hikes, medieval walled towns, beautiful villages, and architectural masterpieces.
Overall, the Romantic Road is a year-round destination. Though summer is the peak season, the weather is pleasant in fall and spring. Also, Christmas time has its own uniqueness, with lights delighting the road to its fullest.
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6. The Eibsee Lake
Located in the Wetterstein Mountains, the Eibsee Lake is an incredibly stunning deep blue color lake. It is one of the most popular lakes in the area and can be seen from the summit of the Zugspitze.
Around 10 km (6.2 miles) southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Munich, the Eibsee Lake is one of the most fascinating lakes in Bavaria.
Planning a trip to Eibsee Lake can be one of the best parts of your trip to the Zugspitze region. Hiking around the lake is the most popular activity in the area.
Other fun activities that you can do here include swimming, kayaking, boating, paddleboarding, and canoeing. In addition, you can have lunch at the Eibsee-Hotel or book a room with a lakefront view.
See Related: What are Christmas Traditions in Germany?
7. Staffelsee Lake
Located in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district of Bavaria, Staffelsee is one of the most incredible lakes in Germany that offers stunning views. With a maximum depth of 40 meters, the lake’s surface is around 649 meters above sea level.
The lake features a unique view in every season. For instance, in winter, the trees around the shores of the lake get covered with white snow. Similarly, in autumn, everything is adorned with gold, red, and burnt-orange hues.
However, the best time to visit this picturesque lake is between mid and late spring, as the temperature is comfortable.
8. Cemetery in Augsburg
Augsburg is the birthplace of Albrecht Durer, one of Germany’s most famous painters. Ausburg features an impressive cemetery where Durer and his wife are buried, (obviously alongside many others).
Located on Haunstetter road in the Hochfeld district of Augsburg, this cemetery was founded by Augsburg City in 1534. This attraction is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe.
The cemetery’s administration building was built in 1700, and the chapel was built in 1825. Also, the morgue building was constructed in 1837. The Augsburg cemetery also features several monuments with Gothic Revival architecture and elaborate tombs evoking classicism.
One of the striking features of Augsburg Cemetery is its selection of ancient burial registers and grave books that point back to 1658. The cemetery is currently the oldest in Augsburg and is still operating for new burials.
See Related: Best Lakes in Germany
9. Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most popular tourist destination and was once built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Boasting a height of 213 feet, it is located on a hill in the Schwangau district of the Bavarian Alps. Formerly called New Hohenschwangau Castle, this castle is believed to be a recreation of Hohenschwangau Castle, where Ludwig II spent his childhood.
With deep blue turrets and white limestone facades, it is said that the castle from the Disney classic “Cinderella” (released in 1950) is the real-life inspiration behind Neuschwanstein Castle due to its striking resemblance.
More than 1.3 million people visit this gorgeous castle every year. July and August are peak summer months, with around 6,000 tourists coming to explore this attraction.
In addition, the fall season is said to be one of the best times to plan a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. During this period, the summer crowds start dissipating, the skies are mostly clear, and the mild temperature.
10. Linderhof Castle
Located in the Oberammergau district, Linderhof Castle is the smallest of King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s three castles. This beautiful piece of German architecture was built between 1869 and 1879.
Also called Linderhof Palace, this is one of the most captivating, dazzling, and glamorous castles in Germany. Featuring a luxurious interior design, beautiful ceilings with detailed, colorful frescos, marble sculptures, tapestries on the wall, and more, this is definitely a fairy tale place worldwide.
The castle is full of surprises, but the Hall of Mirrors is the highlight of this splendid attraction. Photography is prohibited inside the castle.
Surrounded by gorgeous mountains and greenery, the palace features a vast park with multiple walking trails. You can click incredible pictures in this outer section.
You will have to buy an entrance ticket to enter the castle. However, you don’t have to pay anything if you only want to walk around the park.
11. Old Town of Füssen
The Old Town of Fussen is one of the most attractive squares in the whole region. Around 700 years old, this town is located in the middle of some of the best holiday destinations in the Alps.
Featuring a beautiful fountain in the center, the old town square is surrounded by half-timbered houses. The natural beauty and cozy atmosphere make it a major attraction for locals and tourists.
With high mountain peaks and a stunning lake landscape in the backdrop, this town is between 800 to 1,200 meters above sea level. It is an incredible attraction with colorful architecture and charming old town squares.
No matter when you visit, the town conducts regular tours of the city, churches, and museums all across the year to keep visitors occupied and entertained.
See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit
Mittenwald is a popular tourist destination located in the foothills of the Alps. It contains many traditional houses and is home to a famous music academy.
The town is famous for its violin-making history and colorfully painted houses. On top of the art of crafting classical instruments, and charming painted cottages, it is home to cute cobbled streets, lovely guesthouses and restaurants, and breathtaking mountain landscapes.
Featuring cobbled stone lanes and a backdrop of gorgeous mountains, Mittenwald is worth visiting with artsy houses that attract tourists to it.
13. Bad Tölz
Acting as a gateway to the Bavarian Alps, Bad Tölz is a stunning small town to the south of Munich. It is located in the Bavarian Forest and was once part of one of Germany’s oldest pilgrimage trails.
The path starts at Mariensee Lake, goes through the Schlossberg Forest, and ends at the pilgrimage church in Bad Tölz.
Marktstrasse (Market street) is the main attraction in Bad Tölz. The street features beautiful houses constructed in the Baroque style, decorated with frescoes. It was home to upper-class burghers and wealthy merchants in the Middle Ages.
Take a trip to Bad Tölz and be ready to cherish scenes of the cozy, quiet, historic, and picturesque Bavarian province.
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Things to do in the Zugspitze Region
1. Take a Plunge into the area’s History
If you’re someone who loves to explore the history of every place you visit, a tour of the historical sites of Zugspitze can take you through its rich history.
From time-honored buildings to parks to monuments and more, there are several places to learn about the past of this glorious tourist destination. You can consider taking a tour of the mountain lakes and Australian villages to know the culture of the Zugspitze region closely.
You can also take a day out to visit gorgeous historic structures in the area, such as Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace.
2. Winter Activities
It’s pretty evident that the Zugspitze region offers a range of activities to its visitors, regardless of the season. If you’re planning to visit in winter, however, you will come across many exciting and thrilling activities. Some of them include:
- Skiing and ski biking
- Winter hiking
- Horse-drawn sleigh rides
- Riding cable cars up and down the mountains
You can choose to try any of these activities based on your interests.
3. Kid-Friendly Activities
If you’re visiting with your kids, you need to plan wisely by keeping everyone’s taste in mind. The place offers a range of things that you can try out on a family trip with kids. Some of them are as follows:
Play Mini Golf: Playing mini-golf with kids is not just a fun activity, but it can help your child develop balance, hand-eye coordination, and focus. These life-learning skills make it a must-try thing.
Practice Archery: You will find multiple spots to teach your children archery in Zugspitze. Again, your kids can acquire several new skills, including patience, balance, concentration, and strength, by practicing archery.
Visit the Petting Zoo: Taking a petting zoo tour in Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is another kid-friendly activity. The zoo is home to many animals, including rabbits, goats, and llamas. You and your children can have a great time with your favorite animals by petting and feeding them.
Places to Eat in the Zugspitze Region
There are a bunch of restaurants all across the Zugspitze region. Whether you want to try authentic German food or are looking for your favorite cuisines, you will get many places that can delight your taste buds.
Though there are several places to eat and drink, some of the best ones are as follows:
- Gletscherrestaurant Sonnalpin Zugspitze: 0 km from Zugspitze
- Panorama Lounge 2962: 1 km from Zugspitze
- Gamsalm Ehrwald: 2.9 km from Zugspitze
- Holzerstubn: 4.7 km from Zugspitze
- Anton’s Restaurant: 4.9 km from Zugspitze
Imagine mountain air, great views, and dining on the highest points! A trip to the Zugspitze can definitely provide you and your loved ones with an unparalleled experience. To take a more detailed glimpse into the region and its culture, consider visiting a German restaurant when in the area.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Innsbruck, Austria
Accommodation in the Zugspitze Region
There are thousands of options in popular destinations, cities, or villages when it comes to Zugspitze accommodation. You can choose between hotels, motels, rental apartments, resorts, penthouses, chalets, pensions, hostels, lodges, and campsites, as per your budget and preferences.
Some of the best accommodation options in and around Zugspitze are as follows:
- Zugspitz Resort: It is located in the heart of the Tyrolean mountains and the Zugspitze skiing resort.
- PURE Resort Ehrwald: The property is 4.4 km (2.7 miles) from Tiroler Zugspitzbahn Cable Car. It offers free private parking, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant.
- Hotel Stern: This hotel is in the middle of Ehrwald with attached balconies. Services include free WiFi and a free ski bus stop right in front of the building.
- Romantik Hotel Spielmann: Boasting an incredible view of the Tyrolean mountains, Romantik Hotel Spielmann is a family-run, historic place in Ehrwald, Austria. Facilities include free WiFi, a swimming pool, a spa & wellness center, and a bar.
- Haus Lorea Ehrwald: Featuring a mountain view and barbecue facilities, this apartment is around 2.8 km (1.7 miles) from Tiroler Zugspitzbahn Cable Car and 5 km (3.1 miles) from Zugspitze railway.
The Zugspitze region is a popular tourist destination, especially for outdoor lovers. Hopefully, this post gives an overview of the area with some must-visit highlights, restaurants, and accommodation options. There are several other villages and towns to explore, all with their unique charm.
Overall, the Zugspitze region is an excellent place for those who want to experience everything that Germany offers. Plan a trip with your family or friends to explore this stunning place and make lifetime memories.
What countries can you see from the Zugspitze?
You can see Austria, Italy, and Switzerland from the summit of the Zugspitze.
What’s the busiest season for the Zugspitze region?
The busiest season for the Zugspitze region is from May to October. This is when the weather is most favorable for outdoor activities.
How many visitors does Neuschwanstein Castle get each year?
More than 1.3 million people visit Neuschwanstein Castle every year.
What is the region of Zugspitze?
The Zugspitze region is a popular tourist destination in southern Germany that starts in Frankfurt and ends in Fussen. Along the way, it goes through Garmisch-Partenkirchen, one of the stops in the Zugspitze Region.