For my recent birthday, I had the pleasure to venture to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a beautiful town in Bavaria, Germany. I met a couple of photographers online who shared the same passion in travel and photography; some with more or less interested in other areas as well, such as nature, lifestyle, and an irresistible urge to connect to different people all over the world. What started as an idea to meet up, escalated into real life planning. Then one day I booked my ticket, and off I went without any expectations.
Knowing absolutely nothing about this region, let alone Germany, I was blown away with the natural beauty and fresh air. From different lakes to mountains, there were so many mesmerizing views that truly captivated my eyes. I’ve compiled 8 must-visits spots along with a customized Google Map for exact locations of all the mentioned photos below. It is definitely worth to experience yourself and also get some amazing Instagrammable shots like I did.
We wanted to visit Eibsee as our first sunrise spot to shoot in Garmisch, but unfortunately, we were greeted with layers of fogs along the lake. By the time we got to our spot, the sun had risen a little over the fogs and gave sharp lighting with quite a bit of shadow. We ended up visiting Eibsee again the following day for sunset and it made such a difference! The views were not obstructed and the colors were amazing! However, it got extremely dark quick so we had to quickly make our way out of the trail back to the parking log. Depending on where you want to admire Eibsee at, it could be anywhere from a 20-40 minute moderate walk. Definitely wear comfortable shoes!
This has to be one of my favorite places during this weekend’s trip! Why I haven’t posted any pictures from this spot on Instagram yet? I’m not so sure myself but this place has such a serene vibe and scenic view that any shots taken here are naturally picturesque. There is a small parking lot outside of the lake, where you can park and follow the straight path, and by choice, walk up the hills until you find a view worth eyeing. We visited this place around 10 in the morning; there was still a dense amount of fog, so the alps were not fully visible in my shots.
This was one of the smaller lakes we visited, and extremely easy to get to. Parking was a few meters from the lake itself where there was a restaurant with patio seating. However, I was standing on one of the wooden floats adjacent from the restaurant. I didn’t even bother to walk around the lake like everyone else did and that was okay for me. These pictures are justifications that where I was, was simply enough to take in the view and have some great shots!
The tallest mountain in Germany, approximately 2,962 meters above sea level, is located next to Eibsee. With an entrance fee of 58 Euros, there are two cable cars that allow you to stop at different area of Zugspitze. Taking the first cable will take you to the first stop, which isn’t the very top, but still pretty high up. There’s a small walkway section as a viewpoint and a little church. Taking the second cable car from that first stop’s location will take you all the way to the top of the mountain. Here, you will be literally stunned by the everlasting mountain peak views. But beware, it can be extremely cold and windy from the high altitude. There are several activities to do once you’re up here which includes walking across the bridge to Austria, a small exhibit you can check out, food, souvenir shops, and a section that allows you to climb to the remainder of peak to really be at the very top. I climbed this with proper shoes and still felt extremely scared as the area is very steep and slippery with little room for mistakes. Climb at your own risk with proper mountaineering gear!
On a nice sunny day, this would be the ideal viewpoint of the city. With the entrance fee of 26 Euros, you would take the cable car all the way to the top of the mountain. Upon exiting, walk to your left and there is a wooden platform that hang-gliders use, which also acts as an amazing spot to view Garmisch from above. Unfortunately, there was a lot of fog that day when I went and most of the view was blocked by the clouds. Walking to the right from the cable car area will take you on a nice scenic path with mountains and greens everywhere. There are nice huge swinging benches and telescopes to enjoy the view of the city on one side or the mountain views on the other side.
This was one of the locations that I personally didn’t get a chance to visit but would highly recommend adding to your list if you’re already here! There’s a small church at the top of the trail named St. Anna which you should stop by as well if given the time. One of the lovely people I met over the weekend, Viktoriya (@viktoria_08_08) had a chance to get a shot of herself from her boyfriend (@felixmelchner) in the picture below.
This wasn’t located within Garmisch but still close by, making it worth a stop for either leaving to or coming from Garmisch. It is one of the iconic castles in Germany that is seen all over Instagram in different perspectives. The walk up to the castle is a moderate incline that would be comfortable in shoes (I was in sandals and was fine). I got there about 2 hours before sunset and literally stayed until the very last light with unexpectedly amazing shots! To get to the viewpoints below in my picture(s) requires a bit of “off-roading” that includes climbing over (or in between) a wooden fence, and making your way through the trees a few meters from there. Make sure to check out my Google Map below for detailed information on how to get to these locations for your awesome photos.
This is the perfect stop if you’re heading to Neuschwanstein Castle since Highline 179 is only 20 minutes away from it. It is 114 meters in altitude above the Ehrenberg Castle. I didn’t get to visit this location on this trip due to a restricted time, but I would recommend visiting here for some nice suspension bridge shots, and the experience of course. One of my favorite Instagram blogger @katie.one got an amazing shot here during the winter season, while another blogger @carokarmann shot hers in the autumn season, both pictured below.
Check below on the customized Google Map I created that you can add to your Google Map. I’ve pin-pointed exactly the locations where all the pictures above were taken, so you wouldn’t have to spend your time wasting away and actually enjoy your adventures!
I highly recommend visiting this underrated region when planning a trip to Germany. I had not only amazing shots here, but everlasting memories with strangers that I bonded with and became friends till this day.
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