Hi friends welcome back to my Germany and Austria series 🙂 The following morning we had planned to hike, but the sky was so clear that we easily decided to forgo the difficult hike and head to Zugspitze instead. We bought our cable car tickets for 63 euros a person, and then anxiously awaited our ride up the gondola. The ticket prices are steep, but the technology/structure and views make it worth it on a clear day. I personally wouldn’t pay to go up on a cloudy day, but plenty of people still go up for the experience. Also, the weather can be quite different up at the top so it’s a good idea to dress warmer than you think.
This cable car opened in 2017 and took six years to design and construct. Per the website, “Two fully glazed high-capacity cabins transport up to 580 passengers per hour to the peak, banishing queues to history. Along the journey, they traverse the world’s highest steelwork pylon for aerial tramways at 127 metres, the world’s greatest overall height difference of 1,945 metres over one section as well as the world’s longest unsupported span, measuring 3,213 metres. Three incredible records – without even mentioning the magnificent panoramic views offered by the spacious cabins with floor-to-ceiling glazing. Thanks to heated windows, unobstructed visibility can also be enjoyed in bad weather. Views extend even as far as Munich on clear days.” The ride took about ten minutes and was incredibly smooth.
Jon and I took some pictures, ate our pretzels from the hotel buffet, and then headed to the peak. I was definitely nervous for the short climb because the chains reminded me of Angels Landing, but I saw so many people that didn’t look like hikers doing it, so that gave me some confidence. Also, if you did fall you wouldn’t fall thousands of feet, more like twenty, so it wouldn’t tickle but it wouldn’t be catastrophic. We had to wait in a short line, but when we were leaving, the line had about thirty more people in it so definitely go early.
There is not a good two-way traffic system on this climb, so you’ll have to be patient and wait your turn. The language barriers are an added challenge of making it to the peak of the tallest point in Germany at 2,962 meters, or roughly 9,700 feet.
After safely making it back from the peak, we went inside and enjoyed some coffee overlooking the beautiful Eibsee. Inside there is a coffee bar and high-quality cafeteria-style café. The pretzel we snagged was holding us over, but the food looked pretty good. There are also lots of tables outside that were occupied by people enjoying a beer or coffee.
The brochure says you can see 400 mountain peaks in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland and see up to 250km on a clear day. We couldn’t have asked for a clearer day, it was spectacular!
The top of Zugspitze is also an international border crossing, so we went to the other side and walked right into Austria. There used to be a passport check and currency exchange, but that was removed as part of the Schengen Agreement.
I couldn’t get over the views and just how impressive it was that this cable car and station exist. I’d gladly pay to not have to hike up for these views 🙂
You can also take a cable car to the only glacier in Germany, but we had other things on our agenda and passed on this.
Jon and I went back down the cable car and then headed to Eibsee to get some more pictures with Zugspitze in the background.
We stuck our toes in the water and it wasn’t too chilly. The rocks were tough to walk on though so if you plan on swimming, water shoes would be a good idea. We were hoping that we could rent some kayaks, but they only had paddle boats and canoes.
It was so hard to tear ourselves away from this beautiful scenery, but we had more on our list to see before heading to Berchtesgaden the following day. Eibsee is a spot I would love to come back to one day. It was just so unbelievably beautiful and even more stunning in real life. If you’re ever in Germany, make sure you add this lake to the top of your list!
Stay tuned for the rest of our last day full day in GaPa!
Posts in my Germany & Austria series:
36 thoughts on “Bavaria, Germany – Zugspitze & Eibsee”
Those are great views from the summit but those ticket prices seem almost as high! 😉
The views were incredible! Luckily the dollar was about equal to the euro, so I suppose it couldn’t been even more of a sticker shock. When in Rome haha
An amazing ride though! 🙂
Plans were meant to be changed and when the skies are clear, you go for the high views. 63 Euros is certainly as steep as the ride, but they have a captive audience, so why not. Glad you got the experience Lyssy. Allan
I never really thought about clear vs. non-rainy days until we wanted to go up the cable car. Glad we finally made it up, the views and experience sure were worth it! We never had a chance to go up any other cable cars so it was definitely worth going up the biggest, baddest one.
What an amazing adventure.
It was an incredible time! So glad the clouds cleared up.
Fabulous photos Lyssy
Thank you, Sheree!
You’re very welcome Lyssy
Your cable car ride to Zugspitze looked amazing! What a cool thing to get to do. Your photos made me feel like I was there with you. Love that you got to do this and share it with us!!
It was such an incredible experience! I am so glad my post makes you feel that way! It is so special being able to share these memories and have them written down forever.
Oh wow; you could not have asked for a clearer day! What fabulous views… though even photos of the climb were making me nervous.
It was the perfect day, we were so happy! The climb definitely looked scarier than it was, but once I started going it wasn’t scary.
Amazing views! 63 euros is a steep price for the cable car but seems par for the course for these tourist attractions. Even for the shorter cable car up to Squamish in British Columbia, Canada it is about $60 CAD per person. The Canadian dollar would be friendlier on your pocketbook though 😉
Hard to put a price on not having to hike all the way up, but it’s a steep one haha. I guess I’d rather pay and have them use the money for maintenance. That’s true it is nice paying things in CAD prices compared to the euros 🙂
Lovely photos Lyssy. I’d really like to take the Zugspitze cable car ride sometime too. When we were in Switzerland we took the Eiger Express up the Jungfrau and that costs 73 Swiss Francs which is a similar price I think.
Thank you! I hope this area is making it to the top of your travel list 🙂 I’d love to take the cable car up in Switzerland, we are planning to go there in August. I dream of paragliding in the Swiss Alps.
Sounds lovely. You’re just like me – always planning the next adventure. It’s the best way to live!
It sure is! It makes me so happy planning itineraries and researching new places.
Zugspitze is an impressive site and you show its potential very well. I agree that a clear day is necessary to fully enjoy it.
It is very impressive and such a cool experience.
Such an amazing site to see Lyssy. Beautiful images. ANITA 😁
Thank you, Anita! It was stunning there.
A steep price, indeed, but surely worth it for those views. It’s an amazing experience, Lyssy. I’d love to visit this part of Germany someday and dip my toes into that crystal clear lake.
Definitely worth it! We didn’t make it up any other cable cars because of clouds so I’m glad we got to do this one. You’d absolutely fall in love with this area!
Holy wow! Definitely worth the price for those views. You’d have to drag me off the summit haha
It was very hard to leave! You could hike up and take the cable car down too.
Wow I’ve never seen it so clear – your photos are stunning and I know aren’t even 10% on what it’s like to see it in real life!
It was just stunning!! We got so lucky with a clear day
The place looks heavenly and the view from the top seems absolutely breathtaking! What a stunning trip!
Zugspitze looks so magnificent, and I am truly in awe at these mountain ranges! This seems like a spectacular spot to hike, and thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos.
If you’d written “63 Euros for a cable car ride” and left it at that, I’d wonder if you were thinking clearly. But the photos more than justify the cost, not to mention the fact you stood at the highest point in the country. From a distance, the cables don’t look nearly strong/taut enough to host a ten-minute journey to the top. Major kudos to you & Jon for making the trek up the chains. I’m shaking in my shoes just looking at the photos. My mind overwhelms my body in those situations (even though I’m in relatively good shape). I’d be staying down at the cafe and simply asking, “How was it?” when you got back 🙂
Luckily I had heard about the cost so we didn’t have sticker shock, but it was definitely worth it on a clear day! It was absolutely stunning and the German engineering was quite impressive. I think about 50 people can fit in the car, so it’s relatively big. I understand what you mean, I’m the same way with blood. Even a finger prick makes me pass out…