Garmisch-Partenkirchen Things to Do

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    by ChristaV
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Most Recent Things to Do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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    Old Church of St Martin

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 5, 2012
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    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.

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    Partnach Gorge in Winter

    by Kathrin_E Updated Feb 2, 2012

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    Partnachklamm
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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!

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    Watch Ski Races

    by Kathrin_E Written Feb 2, 2012

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    A young ski racer
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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.

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    • Skiing and Boarding

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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.

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    • Skiing and Boarding
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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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    Pfarrkirche Garmisch St Martin
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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.

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    Schachen

    by iaint Written Sep 12, 2011
    about halfway
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    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.

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    Königshaus am Schachen

    by iaint Written Sep 12, 2011

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    the rear view
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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

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Zugspitzbahn

    by carrie.kindred Written Apr 25, 2011

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    Zugspitzbahn Tram; April 2011

    40euro per adult gets you a roundtrip via tram to the top of Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze. There you'll be treated to a veiw into three countries. Skiing and snowboarding are possible on the mountain.

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    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Hiking or Lounging by Lake Eibsee

    by carrie.kindred Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    view of Zugspitze from Eibsee; April 2011
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    A half hour tram ride via the Zugspitzbahn takes tourists to Eibsee, the lake at the base of the towering Zugzspitze. The view is breath-taking! Pack a picnic lunch, or enjoy the lakeside restaraunt. Hike or bike the various trails through the surrounding forest, walk the path round the lake, or relax on the shore. However you choose to spend your time here, the experience is unforgetable.

    The lake is also accessible by car with nearby parking. Swimming in the lake is allowed, but there are no lifeguards on duty.

    The tram ride costs 8euro per adult round trip.

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    Zugspitze in winter 2007/2008

    by witness_wannabe Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Zugspitze (2,962 metres (9,718 ft)) is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located in Bavarian Alps at the Austrian border, near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
    You do not have to climb it in order to get to the top.
    The round-trip ticket from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the top that includes a tour on the cogwheel train (Zahnradbahn), glacier cablecar (Gletscherbahn) and Eibseebahn (Eibsee-Seilbahn) is 37.50 euros per person (adult fare), or 29.50 euros per person (adult fare) if you came to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by a DB train and you show your DB ticket at the Zugspitz ticket office.
    The Zugspitz train station (Zugspitz Bahnhof) is located about 100 meters away from main train station in Garmisch and the directions to it are well marked.
    Not all of the trains that leave the Zugspitz Bahnhof are cogwheel-enabled and, for that reason, sometimes you have to switch trains in Grainau, but no need of being alert. They would let you know in Grainau, if that is to happen.

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    Look up!

    by Beausoleil Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mountains outside Garmisch

    As you walk through Garmisch looking at all the cute stores and beautifully painted buildings, don't forget to look up. The town is surrounded by magnificent mountains. When you get lost in thought and suddenly look up, it's a bit of a shock to see these huge mountains looming over the town.

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    Winter Walking

    by PaulKirk Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Beer Frame
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    Whilst some people think snow is great for skiing Garmisch is graet for those who just want to get out and walk. Virtually all the paths are cleared so you don't have to wade through the stuff. The ski areas are best avoided but there is still lots of choice. And with all the paths clearly signposted it couldn't be easier. Get out early in the morning when the sun's out and enjoy the best of the sunshine. Take some extra clothes with you for later. it can get cold when the sun goes down behind the mountains in the afternoon. And take your wallet with you. If you choose the right route there are plenty of places to stop for a beer or two or six!
    I'll post the details of some favourites later.

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    Have a beer

    by PaulKirk Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Whose round is it?
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    One of the things I really like about Bavaria and Garmisch in particular is the beer! Ther's plenty of choice and it's rare to get a bad one. And it's not all lager. Try a dunkel or dark beer like a Konig Ludwig or a Josefi Bock in a Mittenwalder supplied bar. The Mittenwald Brewery also makes a dark Christmas beer. Best of all in Wintertime the Ettaler brewery have a beer called Curator. Well worth finding! Weissbier or wheat beer is worth trying. It's a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it! As for the hell beers, you can actually taste the difference unlike the Eurofizz we get in England. My favourite is Paulaner but with Lowenbrau, Hacker Pschorr, JW Augustiner, Ettaler and Mittenwalder I'm sure you'll find something you like and it's great fun finding out which you like the best.
    In the town itself there aren't as many places to sit outside as you might expect. There are a few tables set up but in the main most places don't have the room.
    I have to say that most ordinary bars are quiet and they usually close around 1130 to midnight. There are music bars that are busier and they stay open later.
    My favourite bars are up in the hills. Most of them have terraces and when the sun's out what could be better especially if you've spent a couple of hours building up a thirst. The views of the mountains make a splendid backdrop. Most of the mountain bars close in the early evening so do them during the day and the bars in town at night.
    Cheers!

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