Munich to Zugspitze – Day Trip to The Highest Mountain in Germany

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

It’s hard not to feel small, standing on top of Zugsptize; mountains surround you in every direction, encasing you in awe and wonderment. A pristine glacier rests in the bowl below. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders play in a winter wonderland, while in the summer, hikers explore the wild terrain. Zugspitze Mountain, Germany’s highest peak, is an exhilarating day trip from Munich for the adventurous outdoor lover or anyone looking to experience views unlike anywhere else in the world! Just check out my photos and tell me if that isn’t one of the best views you’ve seen! This is definitely one for the bucket list and one of my favorite things to recommend to all my visiting friends and family.

Take an exciting day trip from Munich to Zugspitze, Germanys highest mountain, in the German Alps.

Day Trip From Munich to Zugspitze, Germany’s Highest Peak

The day trip from Munich to Zugspitze is the perfect way to see the Alps in all their glory, especially if you’re not a big skier or hiker. The day starts in Munich with a train ride to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. From there, you hop aboard a classic cogwheel train and climb nearly 3,000 meters to the highest peak in Germany. Spend your day exploring the glacier or just walking around taking photos of the stunning views. Take a break to grab some food at a traditional Bavarian hut and best of all, cross the border between Austria and Germany, as many times as you want! If independent planning isn’t for you, check out my guided tour suggestions, below. These tours include private bus transfer from Munich to Zugspitze and back. They also contain affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission based on booking at no additional cost to you.

Day Trip to Zugspitze Stats

Length of Time: 8 hours depending on your activities.
Timetable: 8:32 or 9:32 am train leaves from Munich Hbh, platform 29.
9:54 or 10:54 am train arrives at Garmisch Hbh
11:15 or 12:15 Zugspitzebahn leaves Garmisch Hbh for Zugspitze
12:28 or 1:28 pm Train arrives at Zugspitzplatt
Explore the area around the glacier
Gondolas to the peak leave every 30 min from Zugspitzplatt
Explore the peak, eat at the cafe, cross the border, etc.
Whenever you’re ready to leave get a fast pass ticket to ride the Eibseebahn down
The train back to Garmisch leaves every hour, with the last train at 5:15, do not miss this train!
Train back to Munich leaves every hour, 5 past the hour, last one at 11 pm.

Skill Level for Zugspitze: 20-50 HP. Great for the active adventurer, family, and most ages; you only hike or walk as much as you’re able and can.

Cost to get to Zugspitze: You can buy a DB train and Zugspitzebahn combo hiking ticket from the Munich Hbh DB ticketing station. This will include your entire transportation for the day and will run about 85 Euros a person. Bring extra cash for food.

Seasons: All. Hiking & sightseeing in the summer. Sledding or sightseeing in the winter.

Packing List:

    • Small backpack.
    • Water bottle or camelback.
    • Camera.
    • Check the weather and dress appropriately. In Summer bring sunscreen or a hat. In winter, a hat, gloves and a warm jacket.
    • Hiking boots or winter boots.
    • Your ticket reservation information.

Germany's highest Peak Zugspitze in the Alps Wandering Chocobo

Looking for a more active day trip from Munich? Check out Hiking in Tegernse or take a trip to the iconic Disney Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle

How to Get to Zugspitze from Munich, Taking the Train

Our adventure begins at the Munich Central Station, which can be reached by connecting to the U1,2,4 or 5 U-bahn lines or any S-bahn line. Trains to Garmisch leave every hour at half past, I recommend catching the 8:30 or 9:30, or you won’t have much time at your destination. Buy a Zugspitze hiking pass and Deutsch Bahn (DB) train ticket combo from the DB ticketing booth, which is located in the central station. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to purchase your ticket, expecting a line on weekends. This ticket can also be purchased online, but I recommend buying from the booth and talking to an attendant in person, to make sure you buy the right combo. The train leaves from platform 29 – usually, but PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR TICKETS, and takes a little over an hour and a half. Once the train arrives at Garmisch-partenkirchen Hbf you’ll follow the signs for the Zugsitzebahn, it’s down a set of stairs, through a tunnel and is a short walk 3-5 min walk. Exchange your DB ticket for a Zugspitzebahn ticket at the ticketing station and wait for the train at the small platform. The train runs through farmland and along the base of the mountains until it comes to rest at its final destination, the second train station. Everyone will be told to exit the train. From here you can take the gondola up, but it’s usually quite busy with skiers and those catching the morning runs, so I suggest switching trains here and riding the cog wheel train to the peak. This train is so much fun and it winds up the mountain with stunning views and eventually leads through a dark tunnel.

After you depart the cogwheel train at the top of the mountain, make sure to take time to explore the area around the glacier. Germany’s highest church is here, along with an igloo village. If you’ve never seen a glacier before, you’re basically standing on one! Pretty cool, huh? When you’re ready, make your way over to the gondola which will bring you to Zugspitze, your final destination. These gondolas run every 30 min and sometimes more during peak season, so plan your ride up, accordingly.

Skiing at Zugspitze Germany's tallest mountain in the Alps

Skiing at Zugspitze glacier Germany's tallest peak in the Alps

What to do at Zugspitze Mountain

My favorite part about exploring the peak is that you can cross from Germany to Austria as many times as you want! I think I crossed about 10 times! Don’t miss the crystal hut where you can learn all about snowflakes and crystals, but mostly, just enjoy the view. If you’re hungry there is a cafe and Alpine hut, serving up hearty food! Even after growing up in Alaska, among mountains, this has to be one of the best views I have ever seen! Enjoy the photos, but make sure you get out and see this for your self, as they do not do it justice.

Zugspitze Germanys tallest peak

Freistaat Bayern at Austrian German border

Freistaat Bayern sign at the border of the German and Austria Alps.

Returning to Munich from Zugspitze

After you’ve had your fill of the gorgeous view, grab a fast pass ticket at the Eibsee Bahn, unless there’s not a line, and wait for your number to be called. This is one of the world’s highest gondolas, so buckle in for an intense ride! If you’re scared of heights, you can always take the train back down the same way you came, but this ride is a blast! Continue your trek the same way you arrived, getting on the Zugspitzebahn at the Eibseeplatz and heading to the Garmisch Hbh and in no time you’ll be on your way to Munich.

Recommended from a reader: If you have extra time, take a few minutes to visit Eibsee, which is just a short easy walk away from Eibsee platz. You’ll find a lake with stunning mountain views.

Book an Organized Tour to Zugspitze from Munich

Getting yourself to Zugspitze and back is a bit complicated. It involves several transportation options that only run at certain times of the day, requiring you to keep an eye on the time, so you don’t miss the last trains back into Munich. While I highly recommend the self-guided route for independent and confident travelers, it isn’t for everyone. So, if you don’t like the idea of keeping an eye on train schedules and figuring out how to get from the train to the cogwheel to the gondola and back consider booking a guided tour package to Zugspitze. Here are two of the best options:

The first option, Full Day Tour to Germany’s Highest Peak: Zugspitze, includes a motorcoach transfer to and from Munich, the cogwheel train, the gondola ticket and ride and even a bobsledding adventure in the Alps. Lunch is not included. This is the best bang for your buck and there are no additional hidden fees, so you can just sit back and relax.

The second option, Zugspitze: Full-Day Excursion to Germany’s Highest Peak, appears to be cheaper but does not include the cost of the gondola, which is an extra 49 Euro, so it is more expensive in the end. It also does not include the bobsled ride.

Pin to your Germany Planning Board!

I hope you enjoyed checking Zugspitze off your bucket list! This view really has no comparison and no trip to Germany is complete until you’ve experienced this day trip from Munich to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak!

Looking for even more day trips from Munich? Don’t miss Skiing and Snowboarding in the Alps and Andechs Monastery and Brewery

Don’t forget to pin to your favorite outdoor or German Pinterest board, so your friend experience this too!

experience the best day trip from Munich to Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. See panorama views of the German and Austrian Alps.Summit Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, with this thrilling outdoor day trip from Munich to Zugspitze. Walk on Zugspitze glacier in the German Alps, take in breathtaking views, ride a cogwheel train and ride one of the world's highest gondolas. Do not miss this day trip from Munich to Zugspitze! #munich #zugspitze #germanalps #alps #germany #europe #munichdaytrip

25 Comments

  1. Rob Taylor 2017-03-01 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Yes!! The views are awesome! I feel like this is one of the first articles I’ve read about trips out of Munich that includes skiing, but that completely makes sense and is an awesome reason to travel there!

  2. Carola 2017-03-02 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I love your photos! I’m German and I’ve never been to the Zugspitze but your photos give me itchy feet…

    Happy continued travels!
    C

  3. Cory Varga 2017-03-04 at 11:08 am - Reply

    As the pictures with those beautiful mountains. We want to visit Hamburg from Munich. Planning an euro trip this summer (by land) and want to visit around Germany. <3 This is epic

  4. Eva 2017-03-04 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Amazing! Wish I’d gone on this day trip when I was in Munich.

  5. Anisa 2017-03-04 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    These mountains are really breathtaking. I am not that much of a snow person, so I would love to do this trip in the summer and do some hiking!

  6. Emily 2017-03-04 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    This looks beautiful, and that train to the peak sounds awesome. I keep telling myself I need to give skiing another go, but I’m such a disaster with everything sports-related!

  7. Karen 2017-03-04 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Wow, this looks amazing. I had NO Idea this was so close to Munich, but I will definitely include this when I visit, hopefully this year. ūüôā

  8. Karin 2017-03-05 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Those views are amazing! It must be a blast hiking among those giants <3 Can I visit you in Munich one day? ūüėÄ

  9. Anna Hammerschmidt 2017-03-06 at 1:41 am - Reply

    I love Bavaria! I was in Munich during the Summer but it looks absolutely enchanting in Winter. I hope to go skiing there one day.

  10. Morgan 2017-03-06 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Incredible views! Adding this to my long list of areas I want to ski in Europe. xx Morgan

  11. Cory Varga 2017-09-24 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Ah those views are ideal. This only reiterates that fact that we need to move to Munich. We know it’s expensive and all, but at the same time, it looks perfect!
    And doing this as a day trip <3 omg, it's perfection. Even more amazing that you can just take the train, so no need to drive

  12. Jill at Reading the Book 2017-09-24 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Oh wow, those views!! It does sound like a perfect day out – a bit of train journey, a bit of hiking and a bit of coffee/food… Definitely something to put on my wishlist!

  13. Katie Dickinson 2017-09-24 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    So pretty! I like that you mention that it’s for all skill levels… I’m a decent hiker, but pretty awful at snow sports ! And you’re able to cross between Germany and Austria?! That’s really cool…. I love sneaky borders that aren’t marked- it really shows how arbitrary they are

  14. Kelly 2017-09-24 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Wow!! The Alps are so beautiful and I had no idea this was so close to Munich or that this was the highet peak in Germany. Also glad that its not just for skiers or snowboarders because I don’t do either very well. Love your descriptions too. Made me feel like I was there!!

  15. Lucy 2017-09-24 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos and great detailed useful information! I haven’t been to the German side of the Alps, only the Italian side, but it looks like I should try it out. Love the idea of igloo village!

  16. Magda 2017-09-25 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I love your photos! I was in Zugspitze once but only in summer, but your pics make me wanna re-visit in the colder months as well ūüôā I still remember these magnificient views, definitely one of my favourite hikes in the Bavarian Alps!

  17. Jamie 2017-11-26 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks k you for this excellent travel guide!

    I will be using it for my visit next week.

    JB

  18. rasha 2018-06-27 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Thanks for the valuable information. It is highly beneficial .
    I was only wondering about two things:
    1) would it be easier if we took the day trip with a tour from Munich where it is 90 Euro per person?
    2) is the village Germisch far away from Garmisch Hbh?

    Thank you
    Best Regards

  19. Zoe 2018-07-07 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Those views are gorgeous, definitely something I would have done if I knew it was doable in 8 hours from Munich!

  20. I went last century on a school trip and loved it …. time to revisit!

  21. Dani 2018-07-07 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Great idea! When we were in Munich we did a brewery tour and a trip to Neuschwanstein! If we go back, we know where to go now!

  22. Holly Hazel 2018-09-19 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for such a detailed guide on how to do this day trip from Munich! <3

  23. Eugena 2018-11-07 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Hi! Thank you so much for your post. I had the hardest time figuring out the different trains, tickets and paths up the mountain. Your post was so clear and concise. The information is still accurate as of Oct 2018, except that the Zugspitzebahn (cable car from bottom to the peak) was out of service when i went. Thanks again…and, for your readers, I recommend stopping at Eibsee after descending the mountain and checking out the lake there. It’s a short walk from the train station and the view is gorgeous!

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2018-11-08 at 8:22 am - Reply

      I’m so happy I was able to help you have an awesome day. It is great to hear from one of my readers who also tried this trip. I’ll check and see how long the cable car is out of service and look at updating my post as needed. Stopping at Eibsee is such a great recommendation. I’ll have to add that tip into the post as a recommendation from a reader. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Germany!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.