The term “fairy-tale town” might have been overused to the point of cliché, but there is really no better adjective to describe Oberammergau, a little town sitting in the lap of the majestic Bavarian Alps. Since 1520, Oberammergau has celebrated its native art of wood carving, and you can still see amazing examples of the handicraft during your visit. Also, be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor at the sight of the frescoes in the Parish Church St. Peter and Paul, and feast your eyes on Lüftlmalerei (façade paintings) adorning the town’s buildings. Take the Kolben-Chair-Lift from Oberammergau to the Kolbensattel to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking landscape. For those seeking adventure, Oberammergau also promises a plethora of summer and winter sports.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 19.2 kilometers (11.9 miles)
Germany’s third largest city, Munich, is filled to the brim with attractions, and exploring everything would take weeks. If you are there for a day, try to catch the highlights of the city, including the historic square of Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, Residenz, the English Garden, and Nymphenburg Palace. With limited time, it might be a wise idea to opt for a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 89 km (55.3 miles)
Dachau Concentration Camp
A visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp, standing as a memorial for the victims of the Holocaust, is sure to shake anyone to the core. Through several original and reconstructed settings and detailed information, the camp allows visitors to walk through the horrors of Nazism, including gas chambers, the paths taken by the prisoners, their sleeping chambers, and the chilling barbed fence that very few crossed alive.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 104 km (64.6 miles)
The captivating Austrian city of Innsbruck promises a day trip you will never forget. Explore the Old Town and admire Innsbruck’s most popular landmark, the Golden Roof. Stop by the Imperial Palace and Court Church. Don’t miss taking the Hungerburg funicular and the Nordkettenbahnen cable cars up the Nordkette mountain range (2,000 meters or 6,562 feet high) for incredible views. If there is time, drop in at the Alpine Zoo.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 64.3 km (39.9 miles)
Salzburg is another gem in Austria adored by tourists from all over the world. Along with its breathtaking beauty, it’s also Mozart’s birthplace and the shooting location of The Sound of Music, one of the most famous movies of all time. Spend the day seeing some of the main attractions of Salzburg, including the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mozart Museum, Mirabell Palace, Leopoldskron Palace, and Kapitelplatz. For incredible views of the city, take the cable car to Untersberg. And be sure find time to sample an apple strudel!
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 185 km (114.9 miles)
Ettal Monastery and Linderhof Palace
The Ettal Monastery, founded in 1330, looks more like a magnificent palace than a Benedictine abbey. Its grand interiors and grounds never fail to captivate visitors. Situated a few kilometers away from the abbey is Linderhof Palace, commissioned by the same eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria who built the world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Though smaller than and somewhat overshadowed by its more glamorous cousin, Linderhof has earned its fair share of accolades with its jaw-dropping interiors and beautiful grounds and fountains.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Ettal Monastery, approximately 14.8 km (11.9 miles); Linderhof Palace, approximately 25.7 km (15.9 miles)
Distance between Ettal Monastery and Linderhof Palace: 10.9 km (6.7 miles)
Ettal Monastery, Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz 1, 82488 Ettal, Germany, +49 08822 740
Linderhof Palace, Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal, Germany, +49 08822 92030
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Palace
Set on a rock cliff against the imposing backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is among the most iconic sights in Europe. Views of this fairy-tale castle from the Marienbrücke can only be matched in magnificence by its unbelievably gorgeous interiors. Hohenschwangau Palace is the childhood home of King Ludwig II and boasts a magical setting in the midst of thick forests. From the Marienbrücke, you can opt to take a killer selfie with the Hohenschwangau in the background. Visitors are also welcome to take a guided tour of the palace and explore its various rooms, towers, ballroom, and salon.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Neuschwanstein, approximately 64.8 km (40.2 miles); Hohenschwangau, approximately 64.5 km (40 miles)
Distance between Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau: 1.5 km (0.932 miles)
Neuschwanstein Palace, Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany, +49 08362 930830
Hohenschwangau Castle, Alpseestraße 30, 87645 Schwangau, Germany, +49 08362 930830
Mittenwald is a quintessential Alpine town that belongs in a glossy coffee table travel book. It is known for its superb hiking and trekking trails, adorable painted houses with flower boxes, mirror lakes, waterfalls, and violin-making history. Its narrow, romantic alleys are perfect for strolls.
Distance from Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Approximately 18.7 km (11.6 miles)