Do you want to escape the bustling city of Munich for a day and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the German Alps? Then a day trip to Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, is just what you need. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for breathtaking views, a visit to Zugspitze will not disappoint.
An Unforgettable Day Trip from Munich to Zugspitze – Explore the Highest Mountain in Germany!
Are you in Munich and interested in skiing? Do you fancy a trip to the mountains? Then get ready! Zugspitze, located in the Bavarian Alps, stands at an elevation of 2,962 meters (9,718 feet) and is the highest mountain peak in Germany. It’s a popular destination for both tourists and locals, offering a variety of activities and breathtaking views. From the summit, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including a view of four different countries on a clear day.
How to Get to Zugspitze
There are several options for getting from Munich to Zugspitze, including driving, taking a train, or booking a guided tour. The quickest and most convenient way to get there is by train, which takes about 2.5 hours. Trains depart from Munich’s main railway station and arrive at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, from where you can take a cogwheel railway to the summit of Zugspitze.
Snow crunches under my feet, the air is clear and the sun tickles the tip of my nose. A beautiful mountain panorama opens up before me and I put on my skis. I have arrived. I’m back in the mountains! I can hardly wait to ride the first slopes of the year.
It takes just a little more than an hour to reach the mountains from Munich. So why limit yourself to a city break when it’s so easy to combine it with a ski trip? And you don’t even need a car! Just head to the main station, step onto the train and arrive in a relaxed way. No transfers, no stress. The best part? You can ski at Zugspitze from December to May (!!!).
Do I have to forgot my city trip?
Yesterday I was drinking at the bar. I even danced a little. Electro was playing, people were dancing. The usual. And now I am standing at the top of the mountain. It is 10 a.m., the air is fresh, and my feet make their first tracks in the snow. I feel free as a bird. The slopes are completely empty (it is Friday) and perfectly groomed – this is the way to enjoy skiing! At the sight of the mountains, I completely forget that I was a little hung over. That is the best medicine for a hangover, if I may say so.
When you plan a trip to Munich, you won’t miss out on the city if you go to the ski resort for a day. The best part: you don’t have to concentrate on the traffic. You can sleep 😉 Or find the best party for that evening. The trip begins between 6:30 and 7:30. Then you head back to the city between 14:30 and 15:30, so that you are back at Meininger Hostel between five and six thirty. That gives you enough time to freshen up and head into the city for dinner.
Spending two or three days in Munich? You will enjoy them even more if you go skiing in the mountains for a day. No one will be able to take those memories from you! J
Take the train to the ski resort: Who or what is Zugspitze?
Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain. It is a straight shot with the train from Munich’s main station. At 2,962 metres above sea level, not only can you enjoy a great view and wonderful Kaiserschmarrn (Bavarian funnel cake) or yeast dumplings, you can also enjoy great skiing and snowboarding. There is the Garmisch-Classic ski resort, with the popular, steep Kandahar ascent and the Zugspitze resort on the Zugspitz Plateau. It’s the highest ski area in Germany, and it is open until May. You can reach both of them with a direct train from Munich central station. If you don’t have skis, you can hire them in the valley or directly on the mountain. Alongside the slopes, there is even a sledging track. Hop on your sled and off you go!
Good to know: the town of Garmisch-Patenkirchen, at the foot of Zugspitze, was the location of the 1936 Winter Olympics. Since 1970, World Cup events have been held there annually, and the Alpine Ski World Championships were held here in 2011, along with the famous Kandahar Races – one of the most challenging racetracks in the Alpine Skiing World Cup.
The best descent and the best ski lodge in the Zugspitze ski region
You can ascend with the 6-person chair lift ‘Wetterwandeckbahn’, from which we ski down the blue slope number 4. That is the perfect way to start the day, and the breath-taking mountain panorama is always in sight – that is my favourite part of skiing at Zugspitze! You can continue down the mountain via red slope number seven, where the cool kids set up a couple of table football sets next to the slope. Of course I give them a try! After a few wild descents and photos, it’s time for lunch at the glacier restaurant Sonnalpin, where you can enjoy hearty soup and sweet Kaiserschmarrn. You can eat on the terrace, since the sun shines reliably up here. After all, I want to return to the city a little tanned.
Good to know: up here, at over 2,500 metres, the sun is stronger and the weather is usually better than in the valley! Grey fog in the valley? Up here you will find radiant sunshine!
Kaiserschmarrn: Shouldn’t be missed in the mountains!
Take the train to the ski resort: How do I get there?
There is a direct train connection from Munich to the Garmisch-Classic ski resort with the Garmisch ski ticket. From the MEININGER Hotel Munich City Center, you can take a 10-minute S-Bahn ride to the central station, where you can catch a train to Garmisch-Patenkirchen. Get off at the Hausberg stop and take the gondola directly to the Garmisch-Classic ski resort. If there is enough snow, you can even ski all the way back to the train station.
I love to go all the way to the top of Zugspitze, to the separate Zugspitze ski resort, to enjoy the gorgeous views, the wide ski slopes and the good weather. I get off the train at Garmisch-Patenkirchen and transfer to the rack railway, which goes straight to the ‘glacier train station’ Zugspitzplatt.
Take the train to the ski resort: Prices, tips and tricks
- Price for the Garmisch ski ticket: A combo ticket for the DB regional train and day ski pass for Garmisch-Classic (€48) or the Zugspitze ski resort (48€) is a fair price.
- Regular price: A regular ski pass – excluding arrival – costs €42 at Garmisch-Classic and €44.50 at Zugspitze ski resort.
- Availability: The Garmisch ski ticket is available from all DB sales desks, at the DB ticket vending machines and in the train for a 10% surcharge.
- Validity: The Garmisch ski ticket is available from the season opening on 1 December. The action ends on 2 April 2017 at Garmisch-Classic and 1 May 2017 at Zugspitze ski resort.
- Ski rental: The ski rental shop is on the Zugspitze Plateau at 2,600 metres, close to the exit of the rack railroad and directly under the glacier restaurant Sonnalpin. You can also find a rental shop near the gondola on the Hausberg mountain.
- Ski pass: The ski pass is included in the combo ticket price and available at the Zugspitz station Garmisch-Patenkirchen or at the cash desk of the Hausberg train when you present the Garmisch ski ticket.
- Here is a map of the slopes
- Departure from Munich central station: Sat+Sun 6:32 and 7:13, Mon-Fri 7:32
During the winter months, Zugspitze transforms into a winter wonderland and offers a variety of winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding. The slopes are well-maintained and offer a range of challenges for both beginners and experienced skiers.
From Munich to Zugspitze with the train: FAQs
Why consider a day trip from Munich to Zugspitze?
Zugspitze offers a respite from city life with breathtaking views, hiking trails, and skiing opportunities. It's the highest mountain in Germany, providing panoramic vistas of the Alps.
How can one travel from Munich to Zugspitze?
The quickest and most convenient way is by a 2.5-hour train ride. Trains leave Munich for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where a cogwheel railway takes you to Zugspitze.
What is the recommended itinerary for a day trip to Zugspitze?
Start early (between 6:30 and 7:30), enjoy skiing, and return to Munich by late afternoon (between 14:30 and 15:30) to still have time for evening activities in the city.
What skiing opportunities are at Zugspitze?
Zugspitze has two ski resorts, Garmisch-Classic and Zugspitze resort, which can be reached directly by train from Munich. Ski rentals are available at both places.
Can you tell me more about the Zugspitze ski region?
At Zugspitze, you can use the 6-person chair lift 'Wetterwandeckbahn', ski down various slopes, and have lunch at the glacier restaurant Sonnalpin.
What are the prices for skiing at Zugspitze?
A combo ticket for the train and day ski pass costs €48. A regular ski pass, excluding travel, costs €42 at Garmisch-Classic and €44.50 at Zugspitze ski resort.
When is the Garmisch ski ticket available?
The Garmisch ski ticket is available from 1 December till 2 April at Garmisch-Classic and till 1 May at Zugspitze ski resort.
Where can I rent skiing equipment at Zugspitze?
Ski rentals are available on the Zugspitze Plateau and near the gondola on the Hausberg mountain.
How is the weather at Zugspitze?
The weather at Zugspitze, over 2,500 metres, is usually better than in the valley. Even on foggy days in the valley, Zugspitze often has radiant sunshine.