Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 m (9,718 ft) above sea level and home to three glaciers, the Northern Schneeferner, the Höllentalferner and the Southern Schneeferner.
When I went there, it was winter, and we made a day trip from Munich.
We didn’t have much time to explore as I would like and I guess two whole days would be ideal, but at least we could enjoy the stunning views.
My recommendation is if you’ve never seen snow and would like to make a day trip, this place is perfect as it is easily accessed from Munich or Innsbruck.
Because the peak is right at the border between Germany and Austria, at the top of the mountain there are two separate platforms connected by a walk which used to be the frontier station.
The views are both breathtaking on either side of it.
What to do in Zugspitze?
In the summer, there is a variety of exciting activities like hiking trails, climbing routes, a glacier hike, summer toboggan, cycling paths, paragliding and many more for you to get occupied.
Also, a stop at the Eibsee lake should be considered as it seems that the lake is beautiful.
In the winter, the Glacier Ski Resort offers skiers and snowboarders 20 kilometres of pistes.
If you fancy the toboggan run, you can rent it the sledge (rodeln) at the Sonnalpin Glacier Restaurant.
If you are hungry or would like to get a bit warm, there are three restaurants on the mountain: Sonnalpin Glacier Restaurant (2,600m), Glaciergarden and Panorama 2962.
In the middle of the ski resort, there is an Igloo Village, the Iglu-Dorf, with around 15 snow houses, a bar/restaurant and pool.
The cool part is that you can even stay at the Igloo-Hotel. And to get warm, there is a sauna for the guests, and some of the rooms have a private jacuzzi.
You can visit their website to book a room here.
You can also visit the free Zugspitze-Exhibition which explain the progress of the Zugspitze history.
How to get to Zugspitze?
If you are in Munich, you can make a day trip as it is about 90 kilometres away.
By train from the Munich Central Station, it will take you 1h 22min to reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
By bus from central bus station ZOB Munich, it takes around 1h 15 minutes (depending on traffic).
If you are in Innsbruck, it is only 75 kilometres away.
By train from Innsbruck Hbf, travel time is 1h 20 minutes journey to reach Garmisch-Partenkirche.
By bus from Innsbruck Südbahnstraße, it is about 1h 10 min (depending on traffic).
When in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you have a few options to reach the mountain:
1. For those adventurous, there are many hiking and ski trails for you to choose from, each varying in difficulty levels.
2. Or if you are more like me and prefer the comfort of trains and cable cars, you can do as I did and take the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen up to Gletscherbahnhof Station at the 2,588 metres above sea level.
That takes around 75 minutes, but the views are magnificent.
The train also stops at Hausberg, Kreuzeck-Alpspitzbahn, Hammersbach, Grainau and Eibsee where you can take the train as well.
From Eibsee, for example, the train takes 40 minutes to reach the top.
From Gletscherbahn we took the cable car for 5 minutes to the top, the Zugspitz Plateau.
And then, at the end of the day, we took the cable car directly from Gletscherbahn to Eibsee.
But you can also go first by cable car, and them come back with the train or just by cable car. It is really up to you!
3. Or, if you are in a rush, you can take the cable car Zugspitzbahn directly from Eibsee, and you can reach the summit station within 10 minutes.
4. However, if you are in Austria, you can take the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn cable car from Ehrwald, and it takes just 10 minutes to reach it.
Prices for winter season 2019/2020:
Zugspitze, including train and/or cable cars and Skipass: Adults €48, 16 to 18 years old €38.50 and 6 to 15 years old €24.50.
Just for you to understand, there is also the Garmisch-Classic with 2,050 m of elevation, which is near Zugspitze, but it is from different cable cars to reach it, though you can buy a combo ticket for both of them.
Garmisch-Classic and Zugspitze, including train and/or cable cars and Skipass: Adults €61, 16 to 18 years old €48.50 and 6 to 15 years old €31.
If you want to go up and down for more than one day, the prices vary and best value for money. Check here the most suitable for you.
All rates were verified on Dec/2019.
I hope you have a lovely day!