A Voyage to Zugspitze

By Victoria@celebratetheweekend
In Germany
Oct 18th, 2015
17 Comments
7174 Views

This post is written by my son Dennis, 16. Our European road trip last summer was packed with places and sights, but this journey to the top of Zugspitze  was his top memory from this trip.

 

Over last summer vacations my family went on a road trip through Europe, primarily visiting Germany. Along our route my father and I went for for a cable car ride up to Zugspitze, an experience I specifically requested prior to our journey.

What is Zugspitze?

Zugspitze is Germany’s tallest mountain, and it boasts views to match its height. It is situated on the border of Germany and Austria, in the German state of Bavaria, and you can cross the border at the peak, making for some clever photo opportunities.

Getting to the top

We made a day trip to Zugspitze from Ettal, Germany, our base in Bavarian Alps. First, we drove to the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

From Zugspitzbahn train station we caught a midday train  to the town of Grainau where we switched trains to get to our next destination, Lake Eibsee. From there we got onto a cable car and enjoyed a scenic ride to the peak.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

View from the cable car onto Lake Eibsee

Tickets for the entire journey were purchased prior to boarding at Zugspitzbahn (for schedules and fares, check out Zugspitze’s web site).

As someone who doesn’t fear heights the photogenic potential of the landscape on your way up is a marvel: I recommend shoving your way to a window to snap the best pictures. If you are afraid of heights however, Zugspitze may not be for you.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

Journeying to the top of Zugspitze

At the top

At the top, there is a multi-level complex with several gift shops and food vendors. While it was a little cloudy, it was not nearly enough clouds to hamper our enjoyment. The view down is amazing, and the surrounding mountain tops make for a spectacular sight as well.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

 

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

For the adventurous type, you can cross and climb a rocky outcrop to get to the German flag while gripping for your life on metal rungs implanted in the rocks.  (We did not dare!)

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

After taking enough photos we went for lunch, which consisted of a reasonably priced sausage and fries. A bar is located in the area as well, if you’re looking for a drink. We took a video of me crossing between the Austrian and German borders, which are conveniently labeled with opposing flags.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

Crossing into Tirol, Austria

 

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

Back in Bavaria, Germany

Tobogganing the Glacier

From the top, you can take a cable car to a slightly lower level: here we discovered the largest German glacier, Schneefermer. While there wasn’t enough snow to take advantage of the ski lodge and skiing tracks, we could ride some freely provided toboggans down the glacier. Although it’s a short ride, it was such great fun that I went down six times.

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

You have to carry your toboggan back to the top:

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

Even dad joined in on the fun!

Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

 

Getting back to the base

Our trip down was done by train: although it is possible to take a cable car back down, the long line acts as a strong deterrent. The train ride took a LOT longer that the cable car ride, so I even managed to catch some sleep on the way back. I would say if you find yourself in the area Zugspitze is a must see. Germany’s landscapes are breathtaking, and Zugspitze’s views were something I was thinking about in particular as we flew back home.

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Trip to Zugspitze mountain top in Germany, from a teen’s perspective

 

This post is part of the exciting collection of travel stories: #WeekendWanderlust at Casual Travelers, #The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes & Beyond   and #wkendtravelinspiration at Reflections EnrouteCheck them out for your next trip idea!

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17 Comments to “A Voyage to Zugspitze”

  1. Sarah Pittard says:

    Great article! Looks like a lot of fun. My kids would love it.

  2. Sarah Ebner says:

    Fantastic pictures – and love those toboggans, such fun to try out. I love mountains so this would be perfect for me.
    Sarah Ebner recently posted…Visiting the ancient Temple of Knossos (by Robert)My Profile

  3. Corinne says:

    I love the Zugspitze! There is something special about being able to sled down a hill in the middle of summer!
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – Paul TherouxMy Profile

  4. Robin says:

    What a fun border crossing! I would love to do this for the photos, as you said. How were your ears on the train ride down?
    Robin recently posted…The Mansion on Turtle CreekMy Profile

  5. Kirsten says:

    Thanks for sharing! We are heading to the area in November, and although it may be colder, we were considering a visit. I think all of my kids would love this!
    Kirsten recently posted…Safe Driving Is Everyone’s Responsibility and Michelin Sharing Safety GiveawayMy Profile

  6. I’d never heard of Zugspitze. Looks like you had a great time!
    Colleen Lanin recently posted…Peanuts Movie Giveaways and RecipeMy Profile

  7. I’m not sure I would have braved the walk up the rocky outcrop either (it looks rather treacherous!). I know my kids would love the cable car…and tobogganing down!
    Katja – globetotting recently posted…The Colourful Ancient Canals of Xochimilco, Mexico City, MexicoMy Profile

  8. Anda says:

    I’m not surprised that Zugspitze sticked with your son. It looks like a very impressive mountain. Besides, if he had some fun in the snow he can’t forget that.
    Anda recently posted…The Weekly Postcard: Exploring the Misty FjordsMy Profile

  9. eileen g says:

    We took a gondola to the top of one of the “smaller” peaks and boy was that high! I can’t imagine going all the way to the top of the Zugspitze. But I’m glad you did and that you had fun! the tobogganing looks great. though you look cold!
    eileen g recently posted…5 Top things To Do, See, Eat With Kids in NYCMy Profile

  10. Nancie Lee says:

    What a fun trip!! Your photos look wonderful. I would be stoked to see Austria and Germany from one point. Tobogganing down sounds fun, but I think I would only make one trip. haha Definitely want to visit there now! Thanks for the great post!
    Nancie Lee recently posted…The Beauty of the GlowMy Profile

  11. Linda Bibb says:

    I’d never heard about Zugspitze before, but I can see why it became your favorite memory, Dennis. It would be great fun to toboggan in the summertime – definitely something to talk about back home! Were you glad to descend to warmer weather?
    Linda Bibb recently posted…Enjoy the Panama International Air Show #TheWeeklyPostcardMy Profile

  12. Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

    Linda, it was incredibly hot in Europe this past August, so Dennis actually welcomed the coolness on the mountain top:)

  13. […] trips from Ettal: Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Linderhof Castle, Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, […]

  14. Sweet trip. Also awesome pictures.

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