Almost every country or region in the world has a magnificent natural roof that everyone wants to conquer. Vietnam is home to the Fansipan at 3143 meters or Nepal and India has Everest in the Himalayas at an altitude of 8848 meters that all trekking lovers want to visit once in their lifetime. In Germany, there is also a mountain like that with a very impressive landscape – Zugspitze the true roof of Germany.
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So, can you hike Zugspitze, how to get to the Zugspitze, how to visit Zugspitze, what to do in Zugspitze, how long to climb Zugspitze and how to climb Zugspitze? Let’s check out our Zugspitze blog with the fullest Zugspitze travel guide for a spectacular Zugspitze trekking trip (Zugspitze trip, Zugspitze hiking) as follows!
Where is Zugspitze? (#zugspitze blog)
Zugspitze is considered the highest mountain in Germany. At an altitude of about 9,718 feet or 2,962 meters, Zugspitze stands out from the rest and is definitely one of the most interesting places for trekkers or mountaineers.
The mountain is located in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region, and on its western side is the German-Austrian border. Due to the fact that both are part of the Schengen, traveling across the border is totally possible.
The majestic Zugspitze is considered a symbol of the Bavaria land, South Germany. The mountain has a serene beauty mixed with a unique poetic charm, making any first-time visitor astonished and amazed.
Right at the foot of the mountain is the town of Garmisch and Partenkirchen known for their beautiful little houses running along the small roads around the mountain. When winter comes, the whole village is dressed in a white snow color while the winding mountains are covered with snow like a scene portrayed in fairy tales.
How to get to the Zugspitze? (#zugspitze travel guide)
Once you have entered Germany, the travel route will be different depending on the place of departure.
- From Berlin: If you depart from Berlin, you can choose to take the train heading to Bavaria. Although the journey is quite long, you can certainly admire the most beautiful fairy lands right before your eyes on the ride to Zugspitze.
- Departure from Munich: The time to travel from Munich to Zugspitze is about 80 minutes. The cost of the train is not too different than going from Berlin. However, you should remember to book train tickets early or you can reserve tickets through an intermediary, which will cost you a little more (about 2 Euro/ticket).
- Upon arriving in Bavaria, you can easily catch a bus or taxi to reach the foot of Zugspitze Mountain. The distance is short, so it saves a lot of money and you don’t have to worry about travel time.
Which hotel to choose if you want to stay overnight? (#zugspitze travel blog)
In fact, if having the finances and time, you should consider staying overnight in this gorgeous and dreamy town. You will have quite a few choices for your trip. You can ask for a stay at a local home, rent a beautiful homestay to spend the night, or book a room at a hotel right at the foot of the mountain. Here are a few suggestions for you:
- Alpenrose: The hotel is easy to find because it is located right by the foot of Zugspitze Mountain. Simple traditional rooms with car rental service and a cafe, Alpenrose also offers a breathtaking view. (Agoda, Booking)
- Rusticana: This is a motel opened and run by the locals, but the quality is great. The rooms are quiet and of course, have a direct view of the Zugspitze Mountain. (Agoda, Booking)
If you have the opportunity to come here in the cold season, you will witness a fairy-tale scene when the first snowflakes fall. It will be totally romantic to enjoy the wine while watching this astonishing and peaceful snowy landscape of the mountain through the prism of the window.
Tips for trekking on the Zugspitze (#zugspitze trekking)
- It will take you around about 8 to 10 hours to complete the trekking journey to discover Zugspitze. If you are in really good health, you can go for around 6-8 hours. Noted that you should start as soon as possible to complete it in one day and catch the last cable car to return to the starting point.
- The exact operating hours of the cable car are from 8:30 am to 5:35 pm in July and August, and 8:30 am to 4:45 pm in all the remaining months. If you want to trek in one day, make sure you get there before the last cable car ride. The cost for the cable car is rather expensive, about 37.5 euros (about USD 41.23).
- If you want to follow the route passing the Partnach Canyon, note that it is currently open at 8 am from June to September. Only those who are healthy enough can go on this route, reach the top of the mountain, and make it back by the time of the last cable car.
Explore the Zugspitze by cable car (#how to climb zugspitze)
In fact, for individuals who are not too fond of climbing, exploring the Zugspitze by cable car is the best choice and reduces the burden of time. But taking the cable car depends on whether you choose the starting point from Germany or Austria.
The most popular departure point is from the town of Grainau next to Lake Eibsee (German side). From here, you can easily explore the Zugspitze by elevator at a cost of about 30 – 80 Euros (USD 32.98 – USD 87.96) depending on the season. But in January and December, the cable car may be closed for maintenance, so you should check for information before setting off.
On the Austrian side, there is a cable car from Ehrwald. You can easily buy tickets online about three days in advance.
And here is the journey by foot (#what to do in zugspitze)
What to prepare for the trekking journey? (#zugspitze blog)
It is recommended to wear the best trekking shoes, trekking backpacks, protective gloves, trekking socks, and comfortable clothes.
Mobile devices: You can bring your cell phone to take photos (absolutely don’t bring a camera because it is too heavy), gopro to record, and a portable battery if necessary.
The items in my backpack include:
- Light raincoat: Before setting off, check the weather forecast to make sure you need a raincoat or not.
- Sunscreen: In the summer, the sun in the mountains is extremely hot. Whether you have sunburned skin or not, make sure you bring sunscreen to protect against harmful impacts from the sun.
- First aid kit: Even if it is a small wound, the journey will be much more comfortable and safe when you receive first aid in time.
- Energy bar and some drinking water.
The car ride begins by passing through the Partnachklamm Gorge from the parking area in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A side note is that if you intend to leave before 8 am, you have to take the small road because the canyon is not open yet. After passing it, you can easily walk towards the Reinstall Valley.
Along the way, there are quite a few huts for you to take a toilet break or get some necessary items to fuel your journey.
After leaving Reintalangerhutte, the terrain will become more and more difficult. It requires you to have a certain technique and flexibility because the road will become steeper. From this part on, you should equip yourself with the best gear for trekking since the journey will continue to be rather difficult.
After reaching the Knorr Hutte at an altitude of about 2,052 meters, you will have two choices. Stay here and conquer the rest tomorrow or continue exploring if you are healthy and prepared. You can get more food here, rest a bit, and enjoy the view. At this height, you can still see snowfall around June or July. Continue walking until you will reach an altitude of 2,600 meters and that is the Zugspitze Plateau, the last station of the cable car.
From here, the remaining journey will be about 1.5 hours of walking. You still have to deal with quite a lot of difficulties because it is the steepest part of the road. If feeling exhausted, you can take the cable car. This area requires great technique and experience because the rocks here are thin and sharp. You must be really careful while moving.
When you reach the highest point of the Zugspitze, it’s time to rest and line up if you want to get your hands on the most famous cross here. Many of you may not like it very much, but please be patient to save this moment because you deserve it.
On the way back, one piece of advice for everyone is to take the cable car down at least at an altitude of about 2,600 meters. You don’t have to deal with the difficulties and the slippery terrain here. Upon arriving at the plateau, you can decide to walk back or choose the cable car and continue to go down faster.
For a side note, even with the rather poor conditions at the huts, if you want to stay and enjoy the Zugspitze for two days, you should make reservations weeks or maybe months in advance. The beds here are filled up very soon and it’s difficult to reserve a room in high season around May and June.
Visit a ski resort
If you have the budget and time, this is an absolutely great suggestion. On the Zugspitze Plateau at an altitude of 2,600 meters, skiing activities are very popular. It is also one of the most interesting experiences of my lifetime.
The journey to conquer the Zugspitze is not easy at all because the Zugspitze is the roof of Germany anyway with countless challenges along the way. The sights and experiences along the way will be unforgettable for you. After the pandemic, our desire to explore the world is even stronger. Let’s conquer the roof of Germany with us!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Zugspitze you can refer to
- Zugspitze Round Trip Cable Car/Cogwheel Train Ticket
- Zugspitze or Garmisch-Classic 1-Day Ski Pass
- 3-Day ZugspitzCardGold with Zugspitze Round-Trip Ticket
Read more Germany guide here.