Garmisch-Partenkirchen Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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    Partnach Gorge

    by antistar Updated Jul 10, 2013

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    The Partnach Gorge is just incredible, and the perfect antidote to a stinking hot day like the last day I was in Gap. The water thunders through the crack in the granite rock and creates its own natural air conditioning system, funneling the cool mountain air and running it over the thrashing waters of the Partnach river. You can feel the temperature dropping as you approach the gorge, and when you are inside it is divine. Of course in winter the chill air will likely sap you to the core, but I've heard the views are even more spectacular then.

    The power of the water crashing through the gorge is immense. It creates a deafening noise that would probably drown out a gunshot. The thundering water that has carved a trough in the pure granite of the mountain also tears down whole trees and leaves them stranded helplessly in the turbulent eddies. It is simply amazing to witness this wonder of nature, and it isn't spoilt much by the tourist hordes that cram into the tight tunnel through the gorge. In fact catching sight of another human on the path serves to highlight the grandness of the gorge and put its size into perspective.

    The walk to the gorge is a delight in itself too. You can join the Partnach river near the station, and walk the path down to the old Olympic Ski Jumping Stadium. From there it is another 20 minutes walk to the gorge through beautiful yellow and green buttercup meadows so typical of the Bavarian Alps. After the gorge you can relax on a riverside beach of shingle, or take a walk up to the top of the Graseck and take the gondola ride back down. This is what I did, although next time I go on a 30+ degree day I'll take the gondola UP the Graseck and walk back down...

    The gondola ride itself costs 3.50 euros either way and takes you over the gorge in a scary old cabin that rocks like a cradle.

    Partnach Gorge, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Partnach Gorge, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Partnach Gorge, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Partnach Gorge, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Partnach Gorge, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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    Visit the Kurpark

    by lareina Written Apr 26, 2004

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    The Garmisch Kurpark's main entrance is located next to the Congress Center at Richard Strauss Platz. The Kurpark is a public park area with spots for walking, garden chess, dancing, and concerts. There is a restaurant and museum (in the Kurhaus) on the grounds. Admission is around 1E, free in winter. From about May to October, there are frequent concerts or bands playing. Also, some of Garmisch's fests are held in the Kurpark. It is lovely to eat dinner on the restaurant terrace and watch the cute old couples dancing!

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    • Museum Visits
    • Festivals

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    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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    St. Martin's Church

    by lareina Updated May 14, 2004

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    The pink spire of St. Martin's church is an easily-recognizable landmark in Garmisch. The church was built around 1720 in a Baroque Roccoco style. The interior is elaborate with golden saints and angels. The patron saint of Ga-P is St. Martin who was a Roman soldier who cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar and later saw a vision of Jesus in return for his kind act. Inside the church (and all around the town) you will see images of St. Martin. The grounds around the church are quiet and well-maintained--perfect for a stroll or biding time on a bench.

    St. Martin's
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    • Architecture

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    The Wank

    by antistar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Being an Englishman it is very hard for me to visit, let alone write about, a mountain called Wank without giggling like a naughty schoolboy. Travelling on the Wank train, eating at the Wank house, and seeing a sign for the incredulous 1780 meter Wank was just too much. Apart from the puerile attraction of climbing the Wank, the mountain itself offers spectacular views of the town below, and seems to be the perfect height to view the entire town in one, without being so far away that you can't make out any detail.

    You travel to the top on the Wankbahn, a gondola ropeway (cable car) that takes about 15 minutes and costs 16 euros return. The journey is fun in itself, and there are great views on the way up. Because it is a gondola system you are likely to get a cabin all to yourself, rather than getting packed like sardines on the Zugspitze aerial tramway. You can also stop off half way up if you want to take your time. The more energetic can also walk up or down.

    The Wankbahn station is on the far side of Partenkirchen and not easy to find. I had a map and still managed to wander all over the place. It's vaguely signposted, but I constantly found myself at forks in the road that could have gone anywhere. Basically head down Bahnhofstrasse past the Town Hall in the direction of the white Wallfahrtskirche St Anton in the forest on the hill. Take a left down Philosophen Weg (a dirt path through the trees) and stay on the level until you see signs pointing up to the Wankbahn station.

    Garmisch-Partenkirchen from the Wank View from the Wank, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Wank Bahn, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Wank Bahn, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Wank Haus, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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    Explore the Older Streets

    by lareina Updated May 13, 2004

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    There is much to discover on a stroll through the side streets of Ga-P. I like to head to the older streets and admire the Bavarian detailing. Look for carved doors, shutters, and fences and for the traditional wall paintings called luftlmalerei. There are a few fountains and watering wells. Also notice the well-kept window boxes bursting with geraniums.

    A watering trough on Fruhlingstrasse

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    Take a Swim or a Sauna!

    by lareina Written Apr 25, 2004

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    Treat yourself right at the Alpspitz-Wellenbad by indulging in a sauna while the kids play in the wave pool. No matter what the weather, I think that the pool is the place to go. In the summer people flock outdoors to lay on the grassy areas and swim in the outdoor pool. Good in any weather, there is another pool inside, a wave pool, a high-dive area, jacuzzis, and a restaurant. Pay a little extra to enjoy the upstairs sauna area. There are three saunas, steam rooms, warm pools (in and out), cold-plunges, and a cafe. It is incredible to soak in the warm pool on the terrace while snow swirls down around you!

    Cost for pools only: 3.60E for 3 hrs, 4.60E all day, less for children.
    Sauna cost (includes pool use): 10.80E

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    Zugspitze

    by ahoerner Written Feb 25, 2004

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    Once you get to Garmisch, you must take the funicular to the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany.

    It can be a little expensive but it definitely worths every cent you pay.

    If the funicular is for some bad luck reason not in service, try one of the many funiculars to other mountaintops. Just hiking or taking some good pictures will be more than enough.

    Weekend trip on the Alps
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    • Budget Travel
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Relive the '36 Winter Olympics at the Ice Rink

    by lareina Written Apr 26, 2004

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    Head down to the Olympia Eissport Zentrum and strap on your skates or catch a hockey game. It is a fun place to get a little excercise and imagine what the Winter Olympic Games of '36 might have been like in this little Bavarian town. On Tuesday nights there is disco-skating, complete with funky lights and packs of teens. Entrance is about 5E. The complex usually closes late April to mid-July, call ahead to check.

    Poster for 1936 Winter Olympics
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    Hiking or Lounging by Lake Eibsee

    by carrie.kindred Updated Apr 25, 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.

    view of Zugspitze from Eibsee; April 2011 Eibsee tram station; April 2011 back side of Eibsee; April 2011 forests surrounding Eibsee; April 2011
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    The Zugspitze

    by antistar Updated Jul 10, 2013

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    The highest point in Germany, at just shy of 3,000 meters (10,000 feet), is easily reached in about 75 minutes. At 44 euros for a return ticket the cost is quite high, but I found it worth the money. I know others would disagree, but perhaps I am paid too much or have low standards. This was the highest I've been, though, and my first time up a snow covered mountain in the summertime. The previous highest point I'd managed was about 2,400 meters on Mount Bromo volcano in Indonesia, and I don't believe that has ever seen a snowflake in eternity. You can also walk up the mountain for free, but if you are short on time the train is a convenient, if sometimes confusing, alternative.

    It took me a bit longer than 75 minutes to reach the top. I think the announcement system broke down just before the cog wheel train reached the Grainau stop. You see I was supposed to get out there and transfer to another train for Eibsee. As this isn't explained anywhere and only ever announced on the speaker system in the train, if the system fails to work properly, or the announcer speaks during a noisy spot on the journey, you are going to have to wait another hour or so as the train returns to GAP and comes back again.

    At Eibsee you have to leave the station and walk through the woods to take the aerial tramway to the top. If you look really, really carefully you might catch sight of a small sign pointing you in the right direction. Failing that follow the mob and hope they know where they are going. They didn't when I followed them and I ended up walking the long way around the car park. Once you reach the terminal you can jump into the cabin and rise rapidly and breathtakingly up the steep side of the mountain. Try and get on first, though, as they cram the cabin more tightly than a London tube carriage at rush hour and you may end up with a layer of people between you and the cabin's dirty window panes.

    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have missed the trip to the Zugspitze for twice the price, but the service leaves a lot to be desired.

    View from the Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen View from the Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen View from the Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Zugspitzbahn, Garmisch-Partenkirchen View from the Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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    Eibsee from the Zugspitze

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 16, 2013

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    Rise on the mountain begins from picturesque the Eibsee lake with clean green water. It is in a coniferous wood at height of 972 m. The area of this lake is about 2 square km, and the maximal depth is 32 m. There are several wood islands. You may float by boats.
    The picturesque Eibsee is located at the step of the highest mountain of Germany - the Zugshpitze. Walk around the lake perfectly supplements excursion on a cable car.

    Eibsee Eibsee
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    Spaghetti ice cream and lovely paintings.

    by Beausoleil Written Jul 9, 2006

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    You can make a day trip of walking around town looking at all the different paintings on the Garmisch buildings. Wander down side streets, explore the church and cemetery.

    When you are tired, stop downtown for a bowl of spaghetti ice cream. Yes, spaghetti. We kept seeing pictures and it looked like a big bowl of spaghetti with red sauce. We finally decided to see what this was all about. It is vanilla ice cream forced through a spaghetti machine (presumably) so it looks exactly like spaghetti. Then they put a delicious strawberry sauce on it for an authentic look. It is delicious . . . although a bit odd looking.

    Downtown Garmisch
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    Take a Hike!

    by lareina Updated May 13, 2004

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    Garmisch is paradise for a hiker. Germany has awesome, well-marked trails and you can find one by basically walking in any direction from the town center. Buy yourself a map at the bookstore or get one at the TI and head for the hills. If you are feeling less adventurous, explore the streets of Garmisch-P.

    View from War Memorial on Kramer
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    Views and Booze

    by PaulKirk Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    if like me you like a beer or two and want to admire some wonderful scenery at the same time then Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the place to go. All around there are many mountain bars with wonderful views of the mountains that surround the town. Some are easy to get to whilst others need a little more effort but they're all worth it. If the weather is good sit outside and soak up the sun and beer and admire the scenery. Every one of the mountain huts has a terrace and somewhere to sit outside. Most will provide some food ranging from cold meat or cheese plates to hot dinners and the beer is always welcome.
    Just look for the yellow and black hut symbols on your map, get the boots on and get ready for a few beers.
    My 10 reccomendations would be to get to the following mountain bars:-
    Hochalm
    Elmauer Alm
    Berggasthof Eckbauer
    Schone Aussicht
    Pfeiffer Alm
    Gasthof Pflegersee
    See Hotel Reissersee
    Gasthof St Martin
    Hinter Graseck
    Gschwanderbauer
    Apologies to the ones I've not included and why not see if you can come up with a better list. Remember they all close about 1800 hours and check the days they are closed.

    One down, nine to go! Eckbauer Hochalm Kreuzalm Sonnen Alm (Wank)
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