Garmisch-Partenkirchen Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    The top of the mountain

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 16, 2013

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    A viewing platform settles down almost at the top of the mountain.
    The Zugspitze is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains. The mountain has two tops. The higher top of 2964 m is in Austria. The lower top of 2962 m is the highest top of Germany.

    You can watch my 1 min 29 sec Video At the top of the Zugspitze out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    The top of the Zugspitze The top of the Zugspitze
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    Zugspitze

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 15, 2013

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    When being in Garmish-Partenkirchen It is necessary to visit the top of the highest mountain of Germany.
    Rising on a cable car takes 10 minutes and costs 43 euros. The award will be magnificent views over the Bavarian and the Austrian Alpes.

    You can watch my 2 min 57 sec Video Climbing up the Zugspitze out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    The Zugspitze The Zugspitze
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    Chocolate box Bavaria

    by iaint Written Sep 11, 2012

    We didn’t make it onto the streets of Partenkirchen due to a thunderstorm, but we did manage to walk around Garmisch for a while.

    You will see some typical buildings on the town centre. In particular the “zum Schloapferer” house is worth a look as it goes back to the 15th century at least. It’s on Am Kurpark.

    Lüftlmalerei is the local name for the traditional exterior murals on the buildings.

    My photos show some examples. Pity it wasn’t sunny! In the background of the main photo you can see the storm clouds gathering over Zugspitze.

    on Am Kurpark zum Schloapferer across the street one of the oldest... close up
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    Eibsee trail

    by iaint Written Sep 3, 2012

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    A hiking trail runs all the way around the lake, and it took us just under 2 hours - without hurrying (no reason to).

    The views of the lake and mountains are amazing, particularly those of Alpsitze and Zugspitze. It’s all well signposted. You wouldn’t need trekking boots, but high heels wouldn’t do. Decent trainers would be fine in dry weather.

    We recovered gently back where we started at the Pavilion - but in the Biergarten this time.

    The Zugspitzbahn train stops there, so you could just go up to Eibsee for lunch and the walk. I think that would be the expensive option, but fun. You can also drive there, or get the local bus.

    what a view! another one from top of Zugspitze another fine view reward at end
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    Zugspitze

    by iaint Written Sep 3, 2012

    One of those things you’ll always remember.

    It’s the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962m (just under 10,000 ft). You can climb to the summit - my current house guest did it earlier this year, but found it “very scary”. Pretty much for mountaineers only.

    I’d love to do that (I think) but meantime I’ve been up the easy way.

    We took the Zugspitzebahn from the Kreuzeck Alpspitztbahn station just outside Garmisch. The train starts from the Garmisch-Paternkirchen mainline station in town, and we jumped on at the 2nd station on the line. It’s a “private” line, in that it’s not part of the DB network.

    At Grainau we changed to a cogwheel train to take us up to the last station up beside the glacier. The final 25 minutes was through a tunnel, and then you emerge at 2,600m. Amazing.

    That “terminus” has a Biergarten and assorted other sundry bits of fun, such as sledging on the glacier. The main thing from there (apart from the stunning views) is the cablecar to the summit. A 2 minute hop, but it’s a long way down...

    The summit is weird & wonderful. The views are wonderful. So is the air. The smell of Bratwurst at 10,000 ft is weird. Yes, more Biergartens. And restaurants. And souvenir shops. The summit is on the border with Austria, so you have one of each on each side. It’s like a wee shopping centre at 10,000 ft.

    From there we took the cable car down the sheer north face to Eibsee. 10 minutes, straight down. Best not to think too much.

    I plan other tips about Eibsee, but from there we just reversed the train journey back to our starting point.

    Apart from the touroid kitsch, I loved it. The scenery is amazing. The transport is fun.

    A few words of warning...

    It’s not cheap. We were about €110 for 2 adults and a 14 year old. That was for a day pass, so we could have “gone round” twice had we felt like it. The pass is also valid for other things, like the cable car up the nearby Alpspitze.

    Check the weather in advance. If it’s cloudy you may still enjoy it, but you may not see much. They’ll close the cable cars if the weather makes it unsafe. If you happen to be on the summit when it happens, you’re stuck there. Presumably they take care of you if that happens (staff will be stranded too), but it may be uncomfortable.

    I’m told the last service going down each day can be a bit of a zoo, so best avoided. Go early anyway, to avoid the crowds.

    The station we used (just outside Garmisch) was good because it has lots of free parking. I’m not sure how easy or cheap the parking is in the town centre.

    Vertigo sufferers should find something else to do.

    summit (with high flying crow) the start - waiting for train the end of the train line looking down from summit summit Biergarten
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  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Haus zum Husaren

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 5, 2012

    This picture is in every book about Garmisch and on many postcards: the painted window, two soldiers in uniforms from around 1800 leaning out and watching the world go by. One is a hussar, the other an infantryman. After the hussar, this house has been named "Haus zum Husaren". It hosts a restaurant - I did not eat there so I cannot tell how good it is, but it looked nice.

    The facade was painted in 1801. The ornaments around the windows show the neoclassical elements that were popular then. The house is almost 200 years older, though. The background story involves the wars between Napoleon and the Emperor, France and Austria. In 1800 a group of French hussars and Bavarian infantrymen had to be billeted in the house. The landlord was not happy with them, though, and to get rid of them he showed them a secret path over the Wetterstein mountains to the next valley where the troops of the Emperor were camping.

    To find the house and the picture, you have to cross Loisach river and explore the quarter around the Old Church of St Martin. Haus zum Husaren is located in Fürstenstraße in the curve and on the corner of Lazarettstraße.

    Haus zum Husaren
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    Old Church of St Martin

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 5, 2012

    The Old Church of St Martin is the oldest church of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In the middle ages it used to be the one and only parish church for the whole valley. Its history dates back to the 12th century, probably even to around 800 A.D. The present church was erected in the late 13th century and extended in the 15th and 16th. There were no more changes in early modern times because the church lost its role when the new, bigger parish church was built on the opposite side of Loisach river in the 1730s.

    Old St Martin is located North of the river, a bit away from what is now the centre of Garmisch. You will spot the pointed steeple. This quarter is quiet and has some beautiful painted houses, for example "Haus zum Husaren".

    The church's main attractions are the medieval frescoes on the walls inside. Most remarkable: the picture of St Christophorus, 7 metres high. The Northern side wall shows the Passion of Christ in two rows of scenes. Then there is the Last Judgment and the row of the apostles above the arch towards the choir, the church's patron saint, St Martin, sharing his coat with the beggar on the right, and pictures of several other saints.

    The church is open in the daytime.

    St Christophorus Passion of Christ
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  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Partnach Gorge in Winter

    by Kathrin_E Updated Feb 2, 2012

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    The gorge is probably most impressive in winter when the rocks are covered with snow and ice and long icicles are hanging from them. The best time to visit is the late morning: Around 11:30-12:00 there is a rather short interval when some sunlight falls into the Southern/upper end and makes the ice shine and glitter (photos 4 and 5).

    The idea of a winter hike in the icy gorge sounds scary at first. However, the trail is well taken care of and it is really tourist-proof, cleared and sprinkled with gravel. Most of the trail within the gorge runs under rocks and through tunnels so it is dry. At spots where water is dripping there can be some ice on the ground, so watching your steps is a good idea. The trail is not suitable for wheelchairs, prams and strollers, or bikes.

    Shoes with good soles are necessary, more on the trails outside the gorge than inside, snow chains or spikes under the shoes are nice to have. Dress warm, inside the gorge it is notably colder than outside.

    There is another advantage about visiting in winter: When there is ice, most of the water is frozen, so there is not much dripping. While you need rain gear in summer to avoid being soaked, in winter you won't be hit by more than a few occasional drops.

    Getting there: Take the bus 1 or 2 (free with Kurkarte) to the ski stadium and follow the small road that passes the stadium on the right. There are signs pointing the way to "Partnachklamm". There is also a signboard at the beginning of the road by the stadium which tells whether the gorge is open or closed. From there it is a walk of about 20 minutes to the beginning of the gorge. This small road is in theory closed to traffic (so if you arrive by car, park in the big parking lot at the ski stadium) but I encountered a remarkable number of cars on the way.

    Entrance fee: 3 € for adults, with Kurkarte reduced to 2 €, children 6-16 1.50 €.
    Opening hours: 9.00-17.00

    More information, geological and historical background in their flyer (in English)

    More of my photos in the travelogues!

    Partnachklamm The narrowest point - note the Madonna on the rock Icy tunnel Sunlight falling in A glimpse through a rock window
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    Watch Ski Races

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 2, 2012

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    Being a centre of winter sports, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the location of many competitions in almost all winter disciplines. Of course there are the big World Cup events, like the downhill races on the famous Kandahar track and the ski jumping on New Years Day. These are announced well in advance and require buying expensive tickets. However, top athletes don't drop from heaven. It takes a lot of work in training children and teenagers to lead the best of them to top level. Many competitions are held for children and teenagers, boys and girls in the different age groups.

    So if you hear a loudspeaker somewhere, have a look what is going on. When I passed the ski stadium on the way to Partnach gorge there were slalom races for kids going on on the slope of Gudiberg. Those kids were really good. The first photo shows one of the participants, a girl of maybe 11 or 12 years, already in the same race suit as the professionals.

    A young ski racer Slalom race for kids Ski track on the slope of Gudiberg by the ski jump
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    Ski Stadium and Ski Jump

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 1, 2012

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    The new ski jump on the slope of Gudiberg, which substituted the old one in 2007, is a landmark of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The daring architecture is amazing at daytime but even more impressive at night when it is illuminated from inside.

    To me, looking up at the thing from the ground was enough. If you want to experience how the ski jumpers feel up there, there are guided tours to the top on Saturday afternoon. Enquire and sign up for a tour in advance at the tourist information office - details on their website.

    The ski stadium at the foot of the ski jump is worth a closer look. The cubic entrance portals, the oversized reliefs and statues have that certain *flair* that betrays them as Nazi architecture. Indeed, the stadium was built for the 1936 winter Olympics. The side entrance was open when I walked by so I was able to enter the stadium. I don't know if this is always the case but it is worth checking.

    The ski stadium is the starting point for the walk to Partnachklamm and various hiking trails. The base station Eckbauer cable car is nearby. From the town centre it is best reached by bus 1 or 2. The bus ride is free if you have a Kurkarte.

    Olympic ski stadium, 1936
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    Old Garmisch (2): Sonnenstraße

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 25, 2012

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    If you are looking for the oldest parts of Garmsich and streets with that certain old-world charm, Sonnenstraße is the second one worth mentioning in addition to Frühlingstraße. It is one of the streets in the old village respective town centre South of Loisach river. Just a few steps from Garmisch's most touristy area, Marienplatz and the pedestrian zone, it is nevertheless quiet. Some houses are part of an rather upscale looking apartment(?) hotel, others are homes.

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    Old Garmisch (1): Frühlingstraße

    by Kathrin_E Written Jan 25, 2012

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    Garmisch's history dates back to the early middle ages. Of course the present houses are not that old, but there are a couple of streets where you'll find an ensemble of historical houses in the typical style of the Bavarian Alps, with big roofs and wooden balconies over the gables. The prettiest of these old street is probably Frühlingstraße.

    The name translates to "spring street" and might refer to (my guess) its location on the "spring" or "summer" side of the valley on the Northern bank of Loisach river, the side that receives more sunshine than the Southern bank which remains in the shade of the mountains much longer. It is the second street parallel to the river, hence arleady a bit uphill. The houses line up on one side only, all facing Southeast - photos are best taken between morning and early afternoon. Towards the valley there are the declining gardens of the houses in Loisachstraße below. This topography makes Frühlingstraße appear like a sunny terrace.

    This street is easiest to find starting from Kurpark. Cross the bridge over Loisach river, then keep left (Fürstenstraße, the street that leads towards the old church of St Martin), then it is the second street to the left.

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    Pfarrkirche Garmisch St Martin

    by antistar Updated Oct 23, 2011

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    Just like Garmisch has all the swanky shops and attracts most of the tourist, it also has the better of the two parish churches. The church of St Martin's was built by the same Joseph Schmuzer who was responsible for the little gem in the hills above Partenkirche. Its pink and white wedding cake style, with its tall spire and traditional onion dome top look sensational when drawn against the snow covered mountain tops behind it. In a town that is somewhat devoid of obvious sights in the center (most of everything of interest is in the countryside around) this is possibly the most striking attraction to be seen.

    Pfarrkirche Garmisch St Martin Pfarrkirche Garmisch St Martin

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    Schachen

    by iaint Written Sep 12, 2011

    This is a great way to see the surrounding Alps, get off the beaten track, fill yourself with fresh mountain air, take some serious exercise... need I say more?

    The hike starts in a car park (a fee of €3) in Elmau, just south of town on the Innsbruck road. It takes you up to the Schachen at 1,870m, through forests and mountains, and takes about 3.5 hours on the way up. The descent takes just over 2 hours.

    The way is over forest roads and tracks, but they’re all wide and easily negotiated. You don’t need to be a mountaineer - just fit enough. It’s well signposted too.

    You will be rewarded with stunning views over the surrounding mountains and down to the town below. You can also get a beer and super lunch at the top, as well as seeing the palace - check my other separate tips.

    There are no toilets or water points on the route unless the Wettersteinalm is open - it wasn’t when we were there, the cattle having been taken down to the valley the week before.

    From that alm you have the choice of 2 routes to the top - an easy one and a tougher one. We took the easy way, so I’ve no way of knowing how tough the other is. We did it in early September, when it was 25c and sunny. Warm work.

    about halfway Wettersteinalm looking back on G-P getting close to the summit on the top, looking west
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    Königshaus am Schachen

    by iaint Written Sep 12, 2011

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    This is a “palace” built on a 6,000 ft mountain by King Ludwig II of Bavaria between 1869 and 1872. Ludwig was the builder of “must see” Neuschwanstein and of a number of other castle-palaces.

    Apart from its eccentric location, the other main feature is its lavish & ornate oriental style reception room. With a chandelier weighing 2 tons, one does wonder about the construction of it...

    It is reached only after a 3.5 hour walk from Elmau, or a longer hike from G-P. Check the website for current details. At the time of our visit, it was open May - October. A guided tour (€4.50) was compulsory, and groups limited to 30.

    Well worth the effort to get there

    the rear view Ludwig's view to the east his view to the west on the walk up
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