Nestled in the Wetterstein mountain chain at 2,962 metres above sea level, the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest point. At that elevation, it’s well above the grey, rainy sky that can make winter in Germany feel interminably miserable. Wildly blue skies, puffy white clouds, and snow as far as the eye can see from November to Easter make the Zugspitze a magnet for skiers.
What are the runs like?
If you’re an accomplished skier, the runs on the Zugspitze are basically out of this world. Take a look at the trail map, find out which ones suit your skiing skills best, and then check here to see which runs and lifts are open. There are 89 lifts and more than 200 kilometres of paths, so unless it is the beginning or end of the season, there should be plenty available.
How to get there
If you’re staying in Munich, you can go to the HBF with your ski boots on, arrive at one of several Zugspitze train stations and walk straight on to the chairlift. Alternatively you can rent a car and drive from Munich or you accomodation closer to the mountain. For those on a super-budget, a Flixbus goes from Munich HBF and costs just €6.
Where to stay
If you’re vacationing with a group of people, not all of which love skiing, then it’s perfectly feasible to stay in Munich and commute to the mountain daily. If everyone is OK with staying in a mountain village or a ski resort, then there are literally hundreds of places to choose from. Check out Airbnb for self-catering options, or choose accommodation from this list. You could also stay in an igloo. Luxury chalets are available, but in the main, the vibe is clean, serviceable, and fairly priced.
Who can ski there?
Anyone can ski the Zugspitze, but since it is a big boy mountain where professional ski races happen, most of the thrill is for experienced skiers. Skiing is a family activity in Germany, though, so there are ski schools at the bottom of the mountain that will happily take your beginner child or partner and give them lessons. There is also a Kinderland with easy slopes at the Hausberg train station. A special Kinderlandticket is available at all Bayerischen Zugspitzbahn ticket offices and includes use of the Hausbergbahn lifts as well as the Kinderland.
How much does it cost?
Compared to North American ski resorts, skiing the Zugspitze is pretty cheap. A day ticket including transport on the Deutsch Bahn from Munich, all the lifts, and skiing is just €56.
Without transport, adults pay €45 for a day ticket, €83 for two not-necessarily-consecutive days. Children pay less and there are all manner of family price combinations. A full table is available here.
Since one side of the Zugspitze is in Austria, it is also possible to by a Top Snow ticket that means you can ski from Mittenwald, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Zugspitze and Garmisch-Classic), Grainau, Ehrwald, Lermoos, Biberwier, Bichlbach, Berwang or Heiterwang as you fancy. An adult two-day pass is €88.