Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the surrounding area is known to be a tourist hotspot in Germany – mainly for tourists from Asia and the Arabic countries. If they like it so much, there’s got to be a reason, we thought. And decided to figure it out ourselves. Result: yes, you’ll find beautiful lakes, spectacular gorges, famous castles and the “top of Germany”: the Zugspitze, highest mountain of Germany
|Destination||Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany|
|How I got there||By car, 6-8 hours coming from Western Germany; also accessible by flights to Munich Airport (e.g. with Lufthansa), followed by rental car or train|
|Where I stayed and Hotel recommendations||We stayed at a nice large flat in the town center: https://www.traum-ferienwohnungen.de/210696/
There are lots of accommodation options in the area. Here are some suggestions that appealed to us:
|Restaurants||Gasthof zur Schranne
Pizzeria ColosseoFor all the restaurants mentioned above you should reserve a table ahead
|Things to do||Explore the gorges: Partnachklamm, Höllentalklamm, and the beautiful lakes: Eibsee, Alpsee, and many more!
Climb the mountains (or go up by cable car): Zugspitze, Tegelberg, Alpspitz
Visit the churches of the area (like the Wieskirche and the Ettal Monastery) and the castels (Schloss Neuschwanstein, Schloss Hohenwangau)
|Recommendations in a nutshell||Mountain nature at its best, and a little bit of culture, if you like|
|recipe||Knucklings of Pork with Bread dumplings|
The Bavarian Alps are famous for “picture postcard” nature settings. And it is true: turquois-green lakes, forests and snow-covered mountains in the back, and above the “Bavarian” sky in blue and white (the Bavarian “national colors”). Although: the weather is not always like this – on our first day it was in fact cloudy and grey. Nevertheless – this is the perfect weather for getting into one of the famous gorges. Because there you will get wet anyway.
Partnachklamm – a Gorge to remember
We chose the “Partnachklamm”, as it is the closest to town, just 5 minutes by car. You’ll have to leave the car at parking lot of the ski jumping stadium…
…and then either walk, which takes about 20 minutes, or take a horse carriage. After about 20 minutes of a nice walk along the small river Partnach
and colorful meadows…
…we reached the entrance to the gorge (entrance fee is about 8 Euros per person). And then the show started:
you’ll walk a narrow footpath next to the increasingly vigorous water:
And between high cliffs left and right. Water comes down everywhere – make sure you’re wearing something waterproof!
The sight is spectacular:
Amazing light effects included:
The path has been built into the cliff, partly even as a small tunnel – caution! Water from above and “opposing traffic” and no lights in the tunnel!
Finally, the southern end of the “Klamm” – the small black hole in the wall:
For the way back you either climb to the top of the cliffs (the way is pretty easy) or you’ll squeeze your way back along all the “opposing traffic” of tourists that come up the gorge.
Another highly recommendable attraction is the lake “Eibsee”, at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain. The lake is famous for it’s dark blue to light green color:
There’s a footpath, surrounding the entire lake, which takes about two hours. Including spectacular views behind every corner:
Depending on where you are, you’ll either see the lower mountains in the back or the Zugspitze, the highest mountain of Germany. Anyway, the views are great everywhere:
Even the woods…
…and the smaller lakes (this one being the “Frillensee”) nearby look phantastic:
Dinner options in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
In the evening, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a nice pedestrian zone (probably more crowded than below at higher temperatures)
and a large variety of restaurants for dining out. We tried the three restaurants that are mentioned above, and we liked all of them. The “Schranne”, a nicely renovated old house:
featuring a Bavarian style cuisine, as does the “Wolpertinger”, the latter one a bit more down-to-earth. Colloseo finally is a large pizzeria (but you still should reserve a table), with an excellent quality-price ratio. And huge, crispy pizzas!
The next day left us with improved, but not perfect weather (actually, it was a typical “bavarian sky: blue and white) – perfect for a visit the famous castle of Neuschwanstein (see the respective post: coming soon).
Zugspitze: “Top of Germany”
Finally, on our last day we were greeted by an immaculate blue sky, and therefore we decided to invest the money into the cable car trip to the “top of Germany”, the mountain Zugspitze, which is the highest mountain of Germany (but in fact with 2962 meters not among the “top thousand” – there are more than 1.000 higher mountains just in Switzerland):
There are three options to get to the top of the Zugspitze: either by cogwheel train or by the modern cable car, opened in 2017, from the German side…
…or by the older cable car from the Austrian side. We opted for the “Eibsee” cable car on the German side, due to the better view.
It features cabins for 120 persons – pretty large!
It’s not really cheap: 58 Euros per person, but with good weather it’s really worth it. In addition to the new Eibsee cable car, which replaced the old one from 1963, the mountain top station called “Schneefernerhaus”…
…was also remodeled. Nowadays, it is a huge station, built to accommodate several thousand visitors per day. There are nice terraces on the top floors, providing spectacular vies into every direction:
to the west:
to the east, including the Austrian part of the summit complex:
to the south:
and to the north:
Within the summit building complex, you’ll even have the chance to walk over to Austria, being just a few meters away:
From the Zugspitze top a smaller cable car goes down to the glacier which provides a “winter feeling” throughout the year:
Including a walk through the snow:
There are lunch options everywhere: either outside the glacier station:
In addition, there are several choices outside or inside the German or the Austrian side of the summit station. You can easily spend a few hours on the “top of Germany”. And if you’re lucky and manage to secure a space at the downhill side of the cable car cabin; you’ll enjoy this view:
Crispy Bavarian Schweinshaxe (knuckle of pork)
- 1 Knuckle of pork per person
- ½ teaspoon Salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper per pork knuckle
- onions, carrots and celery
- approx. 1 liter of dark beer
- Wash and dry the pork knuckles.
- Cut a rhombic pattern into the skin with a sharp knife or a carpet cutter.
- Mix salt and pepper and rub it onto the skin surface.
- Put the pork knuckles in a large flat casserole or baking tray and add dark beer until the meet is surrounded by approx. 2 cm of liquid. Add onions, carrots and celery, cut into small pieces.
- Pre-heat the oven with 180° centigrade and put the pork knuckles in the middle of the oven – baking time is around 2.5 hours.
- Brush the meat occasionally with beer.
- Approximately after two hours take the meat out of the casserole or baking tray, and place it on a grill.
- Raise the temperature to 200° and use the rotisserie in case the pork knuckles are not brown and crispy enough after 30 minutes
- Serve with bread dumplings (recipe: below and here), gravy and (if you like) cabbage salad.
Preparation of the gravy:
use the remaining liquid in the casserole or baking tray, and reduce a little bit.
recipe for the Bread Dumplings:
cut 4 dried bread rolls into small cubes, mix with 1 egg, 175 ml full fat milk, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, a little bit of pepper and 1-2 tablespoons parsley. Form small balls (this amount should yield 5-8 dumplings). Heat water until cooking, put the dumplings into the bubbling water and immediately reduce the temperature. Let the dumplings simmer with closed lid for 18 minutes – ready!
Greetings from Garmisch-Partenkirchen!