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Eibsee | © RoAll / Pixabay
Eibsee | © RoAll / Pixabay
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The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Picture of Anwesha Ray
Updated: 12 November 2017
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a Bavarian town that is accustomed to rendering travelers speechless with its unbelievable beauty. It is best known for Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze, towering over the town. This popular ski resort is paradise for winter and summer sports enthusiasts, and also has a host of culture, history, natural wonders, and day trips to offer. Here is our list of the best sights and activities in the region for a perfect holiday.

Zugspitze

Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany and a fascinating glacier, is by itself enough reason to visit Garmisch-Patenkirchen. A cogwheel train and a cable car take you on an unforgettable scenic journey to the peak of Zugspitze, where a vista of 400 snow-clad peaks across four countries await to take your breath away. Zugspitze is the country’s favorite winter and summer sports destination, with excellent conditions for skiing, tobogganing, snow hiking, summer hiking, paragliding, and a host of other sports.

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Partnachklamm: The Partnach Gorge

The Partnach Gorge, with gushing waterfalls, rapids, and calm basins is a jaw-dropping wonder of nature. It is 2,305 feet (800 meters) in length and 263 feet (80 meters) high. A safe pathway across the gorge allows visitors to feast their eyes on this beautiful alpine gorge. The Partnach Gorge is the starting point for some of the most scenic hikes in Bavaria, the most popular among which are Ferchenbachtal Valley, the Reintal Valley leading to Mount Zugspitze, Eckbauer, Hausberg and Kreuzeck.

Wildenauer Str., 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, +49 08821 9105360

Gondola rides

Gondola rides over Garmisch-Partenkirchen are the best way to enjoy the beauty of the region, and luckily you are spoilt for choice in this regard. You can take the Hausbergbahn Gondola that journeys up the Hausberghöhe (1,338 meters), from where the Kreuzwanklbahn takes travelers to the Kreuzwankln (1,550 meters). Alternatively, you can go for the Kreuzeckbahn, which takes you on a scenic journey from Garmisch up the Kreuzeck (1,650 meters). The Wankbahn Cableway runs from Partenkirchen to the Wank (1,755 meters). The Eckbauerbahn departs from the Olympic Ski Stadium and whisks travelers to the Eckbauerhöhe (1,236 meters).

Garmisch Gondola
Garmisch Gondola | © Meli1670 / Pixabay
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Olympiaschanze

Olympiaschanze is a ski-jump hill that hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics. This makes it an icon of the region with immense historical importance. A tour of the ski jumps and museum will deepen your knowledge about this landmark, and also offer incredible views from the top of the jumps. If you are lucky, you might catch a training session or a special program at the Olympiaschanze.

Karl-und Martin-Neuner-Platz, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, +49 08821 180700

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Michael Ende Kurpark

Michael Ende Kurpark (spa gardens) is devoted to the life and work of Michael Ende, beloved German author of children’s fiction. It is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It invites travelers to become one with nature by walking barefoot on pine cones, soft moss, and smooth pebbles. Alternatively, relax in a blissful environment, surrounded by 40,000 plants, gorgeous flower beds, and lily ponds, with goldfish and butterflies for company. Children would have fun climbing atop the turtle from The Neverending Story and finding their way out of the turf maze. In summer, concerts are held regularly in the grounds of the park.

Fürstenstraße 14, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, +49 08821 1807790

Wetterstein limestone cliffs

The Wetterstein mountain range is shared by Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald, Bavaria, and Seefeld and Ehrwald in Tyrol. Zugspitze is the most famous peak in this range. The Wetterstein mountains spell heaven for mountain climbers, trekkers and hikers. Even if you are not the sporty kind, the magnificent views of the Wetterstein mountain range from the ground make a trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen worth it.

From left, Alpspitze (2628 m), Blassenkamm, Zugspitze (2962 m) and Waxenstein (2277 m), which belong to the Wetterstein
From left, Alpspitze (2628 m), Blassenkamm, Zugspitze (2962 m) and Waxenstein (2277 m), which belong to the Wetterstein | © Octagon / Wikimedia Commons

Riessersee

Riessersee is a picturesque alpine lake that earned its fame as the venue for skating and ice hockey events at the 1936 Winter Olympics. The little lake is flanked by the majestic Alps and dense vegetation. This is a quiet, peaceful spot for a picnic or a stroll, in the midst of gorgeous nature. A café at the bank of the lake takes care of hunger pangs, while Riessersee Hotel is a popular hotel for an overnight stay in the region.

Eibsee

Eibsee is a mirror alpine lake resting at the foothills of Zugspitze, and unanimously agreed to be one of the most stunning lakes in Germany. This privately owned lake draws tourists with its crystal-clear, emerald-green water. It is an extremely popular spot for boating and scenic hikes in summer and skiing in winter.

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AlpspiX

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is all about breathtaking views that nobody can ever get enough of. AlpspiX provides another chance to treat yourself to a wonderful natural panorama. It consists of two inter-crossed steel beams that seem to be precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff, at a height of around 1,000 meters, just above the top station of the Alpspitzbahn lifts.

82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, +49 08821 7970