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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

Traveling to the German Alps with Kids: An Easy Mountain Escape From Munich

Updated: May 9

Mount Wank with Kids Garmisch Partenkirchen with children
Fun times at the playground at the top of Mount Wank

If you're traveling to the German Alps with kids and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (try to say that five times fast) isn’t on your radar, it should be. 

This Alpine town (which is actually two towns joined into one) is less than an hour and a half by train (and even less by car) from Munich, and boasts Germany’s highest peak -- the Zugspitze. It's also just so dang pretty!

Depending on the season, you can ski or hike, get up close and personal with cows and other farm animals and take gondolas up to heavenly mountain settings where, among other things, your kids can play around on mile-high playgrounds. Our favorite things to do in Garmisch?

1. Go to the top of the Zugspitze -- you’ll get stellar views of the German, Austrian and Italian Alps. We loved the scenic cafe Panorama 2962 (which happens to be that many meters above sea level) for some high-altitude schnitzel. 

Getting there is also half the fun. You can take a cog rail up (followed by a short gondola ride), or you can take a large gondola straight up to the top in 10 minutes.

traveling to German alps with kids Zugspitze
The view at the top of the Zugspitze, the highest peak in the German Alps

2. Take a gondola up to the top of Mount Wank. Love the name, right? And your kids will love the playgrounds and easy hikes at the summit. While it's not the highest peak in the area, you'll get a stunning view of all the other mountains. We did a little "mini hike" at the top with our kids, and it was a really a memorable adventure for them. And yes, they did yodel along the way.

Mount Wank hiking with kids German Alps Garmisch Partenkirchen
Our family hike on the top of Mount Wank

3. Pay a visit to Lake Eibsee, at the foot of Zugspitze. The water is so. dang. clear. We had lunch on the lake, but you can also rent a pedal boat, take a swim, or walk the lake’s perimeter. It's very stroller-friendly if you want to cruise around the perimeter (perhaps while your baby or toddler naps in the stroller?).

Lake Eibsee with kids Zugspitze with children German Alps
Could this water at Lake Eibsee get any clearer (and bluer?)

4. With older kids, check out Partnach Gorge. It’s a jaw-dropping (albeit slippery) walk, with water rushing beneath you. Just know strollers aren’t allowed.

5. A simple activity is also just to wander around the old town of Garmisch. Stop for ice cream, stroll through the Michael-Ende-Kurpark (a lovely green space in town), admire the old buildings, and have dinner at our favorite restaurant (we love the outdoor patio), Fischers Mohrenplatz.

Where did we stay?

On our last trip to Garmisch, we stayed at an apartment rental near the train station (that made it super easy to arrive and depart back to Munich) — it's called Moun10 Apartments. There are also some beautiful hotels in the area, or you can always make it a day trip from Munich (although it will be a long one).

How did we get there?

From the main Munich train station (Hauptbahnhof) you can hop on a regional train that will take you right to Garmisch-Partenkirchen — it's so easy, and will get you there typically less than an hour and a half! It's a beautiful ride, too. You start out going through the city suburbs, but soon enough pass through a number of mountain towns before you really get up close and personal with the Alps (in Garmisch).

Have questions about traveling to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, or wondering what else to do in the German Alps as a family? Drop me a question below!


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