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Best day trips from Munich to Bavarian Alps
Step by step, I tackle my way up the steps through the forest to the top of the mountain. My breathing is laboured and I can hear myself puffing and panting. Then, a fantastic mountain panorama appears before my eyes. A lake to the left, a group of mountains to the right, and the summit cross straight ahead. Before I know it, all the efforts of the last hour are forgotten! Hello world!
Munich is located only an hour away from the mountains. So why not do both? How about combining a city break with a trip to the mountains? You don’t even have to schedule a whole day in for it! A sunset tour starts in the evening. Munich’s local mountains, the Jochberg and Herzogstand, are already waiting for you. If you have a lot of stamina, you can hike up the Jochberg. If you’d prefer to make the ascent by cable car, you can so do at the neighbouring mountain, Herzogstand. Whether you car-share or take the bus – both options will quickly bring you to your destination. In around 3 hours, you will be at the summit. You should plan a total of around 6 hours for the trip.
A quick trip to the mountains: up the Jochberg on foot
From the Jochberg, you get the best view with a short journey. It’s truly heavenly, even if you only visit the mountains briefly. Jochberg am Walchensee is one of the most well-known hiking routes in the Bavarian Alpine uplands. That’s thanks to its proximity to Munich and the breath-taking panoramic view of two lakes. The summit cross is at an altitude of 1,565 metres, but is easily accessible to most people. There is a path that takes you through the shady forest, but is sometimes covered with roots and relatively steep, so you should only attempt it in closed footwear.
The 720-metre ascent takes just under two hours, but if you’re in good shape you should manage it more quickly. When you arrive at the top, a clearing with a far-reaching view, summit cross, and amazing mountain peaks awaits you. The view of the Kochelsee and Walchensee makes all the effort worthwhile! And don’t forget: A photo at the summit cross is a must, of course!
Jochberg – directions:
By car: Take the A95 München Garmisch until the Kochel/Murnau exit, continue towards Kochel and then towards Walchensee; continue via Kesselbergstraße to its highest point, and the car park will be 100 m further down the road, on the right. Journey time by car: approx. 1.5 hours.
Address for sat nav/GPS: Kesselbergstraße 7, 82431 Kochel.
With public transport: Take the RB train to Kochel via Tutzing, and from there, take the 9608 bus towards Garmisch-Patenkirchen as far as the Kesselberg Passhöhe stop. Journey time from Munich Central Station: 1.5 hours.
A quick trip to the mountains: up the Herzogstand by cable car
At 1,731 metres, the Herzogstand is a little taller than the Jochberg, and is very easy to access by cable car. From the summit, you can see Munich, and on clear days you can even see as far as the Großvenediger – one of the highest mountains in Austria! From the cable car station, you can make the final ascent to the summit on foot within around 30 minutes. If you’d like to hike the whole route, you should plan a little over 2 hours for the 840 metre ascent. The path takes you past a waterfall and it is a beautiful nature walk without any taxing ascents. At the end, you can enjoy an ice-cold Spezi or a refreshing Radler at the Herzogstandhaus as a reward.
Herzogstand – directions:
By car: Take the A95 München Garmisch until the Kochel/Murnau exit, continue towards Kochel and then over the Kesselberg towards Walchensee. Journey time by car: approx. 1.5 hours.
Address for sat nav/GPS: Parkplatz Herzogstandbahn, Am Tanneneck 6, 82432 Walchensee
With public transport: Take the RB train to Kochel via Tutzing, and from there, take the 9608 bus towards Garmisch-Patenkirchen as far as the Walchensee Herzogstandbahn stop.
Journey time from Munich Central Station: 1.5 hours. A great place to stay there is our new hotel near Olympia Park
As close together as the Jochberg and Herzogstand are, you can start your ascent after 5 p.m. so that you can enjoy the sunset – it’s a particularly attractive option on weekends to avoid the crowds. Don’t forget to pack a torch or a fully-charged phone for your descent after sunset. If you make it to the bottom a little earlier during summer, you can take a dip in the Walchensee.
Journey to the mountains: prices, tips, and tricks
• Price of the train ticket: The cheapest option for train travel is the Bayern Ticket. It is available from €25 per person. A maximum of 4 additional passengers may also travel on the ticket. There is a charge of 6 Euros for each additional passenger. The ticket is valid on trains and buses. Therefore, 4 travellers will pay €43 in total, which is €11 per person. More information at: https://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/regio/regionale-tickets/bayern/bayernticket.shtml
• Train times: The last train departs from Kochel at around 5 p.m. As such, travelling for a sunset tour by train is not an option.
• Options for car-sharing or car hire: Car2go, DriveNow, Stattauto, Flinkster. Costs calculated per minute. Cheaper option: Sixt, Europcar. Costs calculated per day.
Discover the Alps by staying at our hotels in the center of Munich.