Planning a trip to Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen? Discover the best time to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more!
Are you ready for a breathtaking adventure that will take you through crystal-clear waters and scenic trails? Then Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen might be the perfect destination for you!
Located in the Bavarian Alps, Lake Eibsee’s majestic beauty of snow-capped peaks and lush forests make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. This picturesque destination offers a blend of adventure and relaxation for every traveler.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what makes visiting Lake Eibsee such a unique experience. From how to get there to where to stay (including information about the popular Eibsee Hotel).
We’ll also explore some of the best things to do during your visit.
So whether you’re planning your trip or just looking for inspiration, keep reading to discover all that Lake Eibsee has to offer!
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How to Get to Lake Eibsee
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a beautiful corner of Bavaria, Germany, beckons travelers with its picturesque mountains and lake. It’s home to the highest mountain in Germany, Zugspitze, and Lake Eibsee – a breathtaking glacial lake surrounded by mountains. Straight out of a movie set if you ask me!
Once you arrive in Germany, there are a couple of ways you could get to Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The closest major city is Munich, so I would recommend planning your travels from there.
If you’re renting a car or have one available, driving is a great option. From Munich Airport, it takes approximately one hour to get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen via the A95 highway. From other cities such as Stuttgart or Frankfurt, expect around four hours of travel time with some traffic delays along the way.
Traveling by car will give you a lot of flexibility, but public transportation is also a great option if you don’t have one available. I did not have a car when I visited and I found public transportation to be a great option.
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If you’re a train lover (I am!) Deutsche Bahn (DB) trains offer direct service from Munich Central Station to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in approximately one and a half hours. Trains run frequently throughout the day so there’s some flexibility on departure and arrival. Tickets can be purchased online or at any DB station.
Several bus companies offer service between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen including Flixbus which offers both regular buses as well as express services which take just over an hour if no traffic delays occur during your journey. You can purchase tickets online or at any Flixbus station prior to departure.
Overall, getting to Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen is relatively easy and straightforward. There are several options to choose from depending on how you prefer to travel.
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The Best Time to Visit Lake Eibsee
The best time to visit Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen is during the summer months of June, July, and August.
The reason? Summer is the best time for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking around Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen. But on the flip side, the crowds are usually much larger during this time. So if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience then consider visiting in spring or autumn instead.
The average temperature in Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen during the summer months is around 20-22°C (68-72°F) during the day and 10-12°C (50-54°F) at night.
However, temperatures can fluctuate, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Also, don’t forget that the higher you go up in the mountains, the cooler the temperature gets, so it’s important to be prepared for a range of temperatures if you plan on exploring the surrounding peaks and trails.
Thruthly, every season in Garmisch-Partenkirchen has something to offer so the best time of year will ultimately depend on what types of activities you are most interested in.
In the winter, there’s skiing, snowboarding, and sledding, while in the summer you can enjoy swimming in the lake or exploring nearby trails on foot or by bike. Spring brings warmer temperatures which make perfect conditions for wildflower hikes while autumn offers stunning foliage views with colorful leaves everywhere you look.
Best Things to Do in Lake Eibsee
From hiking trails that offer stunning views of the Alps, to cultural experiences that will give you an insight into German life, there’s a wide range of activities to explore in the Lake Eibsee and Garmisch-Partenkirchen region.
If you’re a nature lover, hiking trails should be at the top of your activity list. The trail around Lake Eibsee is one of the most popular routes with breathtaking views of Germany’s highest mountain – Zugspitze – as well as other nearby peaks such as Waxenstein and Alpspitze.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take on one of the more challenging paths like Partnach Gorge. It provides spectacular scenery along with a good dose of exercise.
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If your visiting during the winter months, skiing in this region is a great way to spend a few days or even a week. I recommend checking out some of the resorts like Kreuzeckbahn or Garmisch-Classic Ski Resort for a full winter-wonderland experience.
Read more: Ski Trip Packing List (Must-Have Essentials!)
There are also plenty of great sightseeing spots in this area if your preference is more leisurely activities.
Visit the Linderhof Palace and Park — once home to King Ludwig II — for some local culture and history. You can even catch a cable car up to Zugspitze peak if you want to get a view of the area from up high without skiing.
For a culturally immersive experience, you can visit the Werdenfels Museum to get a glimpse into Bavarian life centuries ago or join locals for an evening of traditional music and food. Enjoy your beer stein while taking in the live performances that will make you feel like you’re part of the crowd.
If you’re coming by car, I highly recommend planning a drive to Neuschwanstein Castle located just outside Füssen town — it was once home to King Ludwig II before his mysterious death in 1886 so it definitely makes for an interesting visit. It’s about an hour’s drive but well worth the visit!
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Where to Stay in Lake Eibsee
When it comes to accommodation options in Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there are plenty of choices for every budget and preference.
If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, Hotel Zugspitze is one of the most popular places in town. Situated with a picturesque backdrop of the mountains and valley, Hotel Zugspitze offers an array of luxurious amenities such as spa treatments, a great restaurant, as well as pools and saunas.
If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly yet still comfortable then Dorint Sporthotel Garmisch-Partenkirchen is your best bet. Dorint Sporthotel has spacious rooms or apartment-style sweets with private bathrooms, plus common spaces such as a kitchenette and lounge — perfect for winding down after an exciting day discovering Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Finally, if an authentic Bavarian experience is what you’re after, then Gasthof & Hotel Zur Post is a great choice. The location is about 20 min drive away from Garmisch-Partenkirchen but if you have a car it could be a great option. This family-run guesthouse features traditional wooden furnishings throughout its bright and airy rooms plus they serve up delicious home-cooked meals each evening.
Where to Eat in Lake Eibsee
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a fun place to visit for foodies! Bavarian food is hearty, satisfying, and definitely worth exploring. Here are some of my top picks for where to eat when visiting Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
- Gasthof Fraundorfer: This traditional Bavarian restaurant at the Gasthof Fraundorfer Hotel, located in the heart of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, is known for its cozy atmosphere and hearty local dishes. Here you can enjoy classic dishes such as schnitzel, bratwurst, and spätzle, along with a selection of local beers and wines. The restaurant also features live music and dancing on select nights.
- Zum Wildschütz: This rustic restaurant, located in the village of Farchant just outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, specializes in game dishes such as venison and wild boar. The cozy interior features wood paneling and a fireplace, or an outdoor terrace if you prefer.
- Waldgasthof Buchenhain: This charming restaurant is located near the base of the Zugspitze mountain. The menu offers a variety of German and international dishes, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- Seehaus am Eibsee: This lakeside restaurant, located right on the shores of Lake Eibsee, offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear water. The menu features fresh seafood dishes as well as regional specialties such as Kaiserschmarrn (a sweet shredded pancake). The restaurant also has a large outdoor terrace, which you can enjoy during the summer months.
Lake Eibsee Packing Essentials
When packing for a trip to Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it is important to make sure you have the essentials. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, don’t forget to check the weather to get an idea of what kind of clothes to pack. But some of my recommendations for the area are:
Pack lightweight layers such as long and short sleeve shirts, sweaters or hoodies, and a packable rain jacket. I love moisture-wicking base layers for hiking as they keep you warm and dry when you sweat and it can be great protection from the sun if it gets warm enough to lose your outer layers.
Bring something cozy like a soft fleece jacket to prepare for cooler temperatures in the evenings.
Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes that will be good for walking around all day.
Accessories like hats and scarves (I love this super soft cashmere scarf) are also great additions if the weather calls for them.
Make sure you don’t forget your toothbrush, shampoo/conditioner, soap/body wash, razor/shaving cream (if needed), travel-size sunscreen (this one is my favorite), lip balm with SPF protection (I love this vegan and cruelty-free brand), and any other toiletries that you might need during your stay.
Don’t forget chargers for all of your electronics (and a universal adapter!) like phones and cameras as well as extra batteries if necessary.
Consider bringing a portable charger or power bank (I use this one for my iPhone) just in case there isn’t always access to outlets when out exploring the region’s many sights. Additionally, headphones (like these wireless earbuds with charging case) could come in handy if you want to listen to music or podcasts while on a hike.
Travel Documents & Money
Always remember travel documents such as passports or visas along with cash — Euros in Germany — but credit cards work in most places too. Also, consider making copies of important documents just in case they get lost or stolen during the trip — better safe than sorry.
Depending on when exactly you’re going within the Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen region, you may want to bring things like insect repellent (especially during warmer months), swimsuits, hiking gear, and a portable travel umbrella.
Lastly, don’t forget about snacks! A few granola bars (I love these high-protein bars!) will go a long way after a full day of sightseeing.
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FAQs: Visiting Lake Eibsee & Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is definitely worth a visit. It offers a mix of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and picturesque scenery. With its stunning alpine views, hiking trails, and ski slopes, it is the perfect destination for those looking to explore nature’s beauty while taking part in thrilling adventure sports. Additionally, you can enjoy local culture with visits to traditional Bavarian restaurants and markets!
Yes, you can swim in Lake Eibsee Germany. The lake is located near the Zugspitze mountain and offers stunning views of the surrounding alpine landscape.
It’s a popular spot for swimming due to its crystal clear waters and lack of motorized boats. Swimming is allowed from May to October each year, with lifeguards on duty during peak times. There are no showers or changing areas at the lake, so it’s best to come prepared with towels and appropriate clothing for when you finish swimming.
Hiking around Lake Eibsee is a popular activity among travelers. The total distance of the hike is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles). The trek around Lake Eibsee usually requires a couple of hours, depending on your fitness and speed.
It’s important to plan for enough time as there are several stops along the way with breathtaking views that you won’t want to miss. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks in order to enjoy this picturesque journey without feeling rushed or fatigued.
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