The Bavarian Alps in Germany offers hiking and adventure for all levels, plus the unbelievably majestic King Ludwig II’s castles set with mountain backdrops.
Below you’ll find everything from one-day tour recommendations, to my top three recommendations of where to stay if you plan on hiking and have a few days or longer that showcase the best of the Bavarian Alps.
Top 1-Day Tour Recommendations for the Bavarian Alps in Germany
If you’ve only got limited time and are staying in Munich, here are my top 5 tour recommendations for day trips to the Bavarian Alps. They make it super easy and convenient for you to explore my favourite part of Germany:
Zugspitze: Visit Germany’s Highest Peak.
It takes one very long or two days to hike the highest mountain in Germany. Fortunately, if that’s too intense, you can still reach the 2962 meter mountain peak by cable car. Enjoy a beer at Germany’s highest beer garden. This tour includes pickup from your hotel in Munich.
Partnachklamm – Visit one of the most beautiful gorges in all of Germany.
On this day trip from Munich, you’ll walk alongside a raging river and majestical waterfalls.
It’s one of my favorite hikes in the entire Alps. The dramatic scenery far surpasses the effort. You’ll eat lunch at a mountain hut. Something every traveler to Bavaria should do to experience traditional Bavarian-style hospitality and unique alpine culture.
Eagle’s Nest – Visit Hitler’s Mountain Retreat.
This tour offers something for both history buffs and nature lovers.
You’ll leave from Munich and travel on one of the most scenic roads in the German Alps to Berchtesgaden. One of only two national parks in Bavaria. The panoramic vistas of alpine peaks are among the most dramatic in the country. I’m a huge fan of Berchtesgaden!
Try a boat ride on the Königsee and discover the salt mines.
Take a day trip from Munich to discover the beautiful Königssee. You’ll enjoy the unique pleasure of listening to an echo show where a musician will use the lake’s echo to create musical effects. Then, you’ll explore Bartholomä island before heading on to the salt mines of Berchtesgaden to see the mysterious glowing salt grottoes.
Take a day trip to see Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles
Enjoy a luxury trip to two of King Ludwig II’s famous castles. This King of Bavaria is well-known for building beautiful and luxurious castles. Make a stop in Hohenschwangau where King Ludwig grew up and enjoy a detour in Oberammergau. These castles are set in two different and stunning locations in the German Alps and this tour will give you an opportunity to see the subtle changes of the landscape.
Where To Stay in the German Alps When You Want to Hike and Have a Few Days or Longer
It’s definitely worth spending at least a few days, or even a week or longer in the German Alps. Here are my top three recommendations of where to go for what I think is the most stunning scenery in Bavaria, especially if you plan to hike.
Berchtesgaden National Park
This is one of only two national parks in Bavaria and is home to the famed Lake Königssee. This is a great choice if you’re seeking stunning Alpine scenery, want to be around one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany and a variety of hiking trails from very easy to more advanced hikes.
What To Do in Berchtesgaden
You’ll definitely want to take a boat ride across the lake to St. Bartholomew, visit the Eagles Nest for a breathtaking panoramic view of Hitler’s mountain retreat. You’ll find lots of hiking trails and could easily spend several days here or even up to a week.
Where To Stay in Berchtesgaden
Most of the accommodations are in smaller family-run places called “Ferienwohnungen” (vacation apartments). See VRBO vacation rentals in Berchtesgaden National Park where you’ll find many “Ferienwohnungen”. Airbnb is usually my top choice for stays of 2 or more nights or if I’m travelling with a small group of friends.
Or, if you’d rather stay in a guesthouse, check out our two top recommendations below:
Located in Berchtesgaden, the Gästehaus Bergwald offers you charming accommodation with well-equipped rooms, stunning mountain views and friendly staff.
Surrounded by panoramic views of the Berchtesgaden Alps, the Gästehaus Sägfeiler offers comfortable traditional Bavarian accommodation.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of my favourite places in the German Alps. It’s a great place to base yourself if you’re looking to stay in a larger town. It also some of the most spectacular hiking in the Bavarian Alps including the difficult hike up to the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. You can also reach it by cable car.
What To Do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Explore the charming town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which was previously two separate towns. I’d also recommend checking out nearby Mittenwald. It’s known for its colourful painted houses and violin making which dates back hundreds of years. It’s just a short train ride away and offers spectacular views of the German and Austrian Alps.
One of my favourite easy day hikes in all of the Bavarian Alps is in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Höllentallklamm (Hell Valley Gorge) (mentioned below) at the foot of the Zugspitze, and a circular hike up through the Partnachklamm with lunch at one of the restaurants or huts. It’s one of the best hikes in Germany where the scenery far surpasses the easy hiking.
Mittenwald also offers some spectacular hiking. A great easy hike in Mittenwald is the Hoher Kranzberg. It’s a circular loop that passes two lakes, so be sure to bring your bathing suit.
If you like skiing, Garmisch-Partnekichen by far offers the best skiing in all of Germany in my opinion.
Where To Stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
I think the best places to stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are also Ferienwohunungen (vacation apartments). See vacation rentals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to find one that’s right for you.
Or check out one of these traditional Bavarian guest houses.
With its traditional Bavarian decor and charm, the family-run hotel, Gästehaus Maria is the perfect place to stay while visiting Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
With its unique Bavarian style with modern touches, Das Nordberg Guesthouse offers comfort and relaxation just 10 minutes from the heart of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The Allgäu Alps have a romantic charm and idyllic charm about them that keeps visitors coming come. I recommend staying in Germany’s most southern village, Obertsdorf for its charm and accessibility to 200 km of hiking trails of every difficulty level.
What To Do in the Allgäu Alps
You’ll find a variety of hiking trails that you can do all year long, or in winter check out the 130 km of ski slopes or 75 km of cross-country ski tracks. And don’t miss a hike to the Schrecksee (pictured above). It’s considered to be the most beautiful high alpine lake in all of Germany.
Where To Stay in the Allgäu Alps
Check out these vacation rentals in Obertsdorf available on Airbnb. Or check out one of our recommended hotels.
This charming boutique hotel is for adults only and is quietly yet centrally located in Oberstdorf, next to a hiking and cross-country ski trail. Boutique Hotel Gams offers free WiFi, a small café and a sunny garden,
My Favourite Hikes in the German Alps
Keep checking back as I have a ton of hikes that I still need to add to this ever-growing list. I hike in the Bavarian Alps almost every weekend and frequently post my photos on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there at @Laurel_Robbins for the latest updates.
What can I say, I hike faster than I write :). I also don’t write about every hike. If it’s just so-so, I don’t write about it.
My very favourite hike is the Höllentalklamm (Hell Valley Gorge) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen! Take a look at the photos, and you’ll see why! I also love the Partnachklamm, especially in winter. The huge icicles add to the drama!
The Partnachklamm can be easy if you just decide to hike to the gorge and back. You can make it slightly more challenging if you hike to the nearest hut. Alternatively, you can choose one of the much longer extensions! You can also reach King Ludwig’s Mountain Hut by passing through the Partnachklamm. This destination is also available as a tour from Munich.
For views, you can’t beat the Herzogstand to Heimgarten. It’s a fantastic ridge walk offering great views of the Walchensee. It was a favorite among Bavarian royalty! Warning, this hike is not for you if you’re afraid of heights. Fortunately, it can be modified. You can still hike up to the Herzogstand, and skip the ridge walk to the Heimgarten.