It’s hard not to feel small, standing in the middle of the majestic Alps; 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! This is one of my favorite trips if you’ve explored all that Munich city has to offer.
Day Trip From Munich to Zugspitze, Germany’s Highest Peak
This day trip from Munich to Zugspitze is the perfect trip 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!
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 leaves 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.
- Small backpack.
- Water bottle or camelback.
- 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.
Our adventure begins at the Munich Central Station, get there by any U-bahn or S-bahn lines. 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 DB train ticket combo from the DB ticketing booth. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to purchase your ticket, expecting a line on weekends. The train leaves from platform 29 and takes a little over an hour and a half. Once the train arrives you’ll follow the signs for the Zugsitzebahn, it’s through a tunnel and a short 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 through a dark tunnel.
After you arrive, 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 to the gondola which summits at Germany’s tallest peak, Zugspitze, your final destination.
The gondola to the peak runs every 30 minutes from Zugspitzeplatt, so when you’re done exploring head up even further to Germany’s tallest peak! My favorite part about exploring this area is that you can cross from Germany to Austria as many times as you want! 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.
After you’ve got 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.
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!
Don’t forget to pin to your favorite outdoor or German Pinterest board, so your friend experience this too!