The Zugspitze, known as the top of Germany, is the highest mountain in the country, and you can expect spectacular views from the peak over neighbouring Austria, Switzerland and Italy. We’ve picked the best places to stay where you can warm your cockles after a long day of skiing – and they’re bookable on Culture Trip.
A shuttle bus runs straight from this hotel to the main Zugspitze ski area. Take your chances on the infamous Kandahar slope, one of the most thigh-burning runs of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, which is held here every year. Alternatively, if you fancy a break from downhill, borrow a complimentary pair of cross-country skis, a toboggan or snowshoes from the hotel for a spot of snow touring.
Climb aboard a horse-drawn sleigh, piled high with cosy blankets, outside the Werdenfelserei hotel; it is the best way to explore the area at a more leisurely pace than skiing. Back at the modern, chalet-style hotel, you’ll find two floors of spa, complete with a rooftop pool, so you can swim while enjoying views of the Garmisch mountains. Alternatively, step outside to use the Kneipp basin or explore the natural tranquillity of the grounds.
Ever been in a snow room? Well, now’s your chance. Alternate trips between the three hotel saunas with the frigid snow room for an invigorating boost to your immune system. Hotel am Badersee boasts a beautiful lakeside location with superb views of the highest mountain in Germany. If you fancy a break from skiing, try a spot of forest bathing with the hotel professional shinrin–yoku coach.
Watching the sunset while bathing in an infinity rock pool scores pretty high for romance. Surrounded by meadows, woods and a majestic mountain skyline, this pretty, chalet-style hotel on the Austrian side is the perfect getaway for couples wanting some together time. It’s been in the Spielmann family for four generations, so you can expect warm, friendly service and hearty Tyrolean food.
Traditionally decorated in a cosy alpine style, with Swiss stone pine wooden interiors and huge fires crackling in the fireplaces, you feel warm as soon as you walk into Parkhotel Wallgau. Hunker down in front of a roaring fire with your favourite tipple while you make your skiing plans for the next day and watch the snowflakes fall. The Zugspitze ski area is just a 35-minute drive from here.
Luxuriate in style at this five-star country house in Murnau, just 35 minutes from the Zugspitze. Located right next to the Murnauer Moos reserve, with fine views of the Ammergau Alps, this idyllic retreat offers you the very best in Bavarian hospitality. Wine connoisseurs beware – with over 900 fine wines on offer in the award-winning cellar, you may never want to leave.
Alpine mountain views come as standard here, as does good Bavarian food and friendly service. Located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the number one ski and sports destination in Germany, the hotel enjoys a prime position at the foot of the Zugspitze. It is just a few kilometres from the Lake Eibsee cable car, taking you up to 60km (37mi) of downhill ski slopes. Return to the hotel in the evening to enjoy a relaxing sauna or a wonderful healing massage for those aching limbs.
German bread is good, but the German bread baked in the in-house bakery at this hotel is extremely good. But don’t come just for das Brot – this hotel enjoys a peaceful setting in the quiet village of Grainau, in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. If you fancy some lively après ski, check out their Endstation bar, which offers cocktails, music and dancing long into the night.
It’s no wonder this hotel is called Panorama – it boasts one of the best terraces in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, affording incredible views over the valley and the mountain massif beyond. Originally a shooting range dating as far back as 1776, this traditional villa enjoys a prime location, surrounded by forest and little else. The only noise you’ll hear as you drift off to sleep is perhaps a distant church bell or the tinkle of a cowbell.
Overlooking Lake Heiterwang lake in the Austrian Tyrol, the hotel offers unrivalled views in a pristine setting. Whether you prefer a cosy, traditional alpine-style room, or a more modern feel with large picture windows and minimalist decor, Hotel Fischer am See accommodates all tastes. Breathe in the mountain air and relish the warm hospitality of the Bunte family, who’ll make you feel right at home. The hotel is just under 40 minutes from the bottom of the Zugspitze cable car.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.