In winter on the Zugspitze
Even if they don’t have sporting ambitions, visitors in the winter months can still soar up Germany’s highest mountain filled with anticipation. The 360° panoramic view of more than 400 snow-topped Alpine peaks exceeds all expectations, especially on clear days. Ideal combination for explorers: the round trip with the Cable car Zugspitze, the Gletscherbahn cable car and the almost 90-year-old cogwheel train.
At exactly 2,962 metres, the Zugspitze is a the highest elevation in the country – an imposing high-Alpine domain which, thanks to Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, is not just reserved for hardened mountaineers. Day trippers and winter fans from all over the world enjoy a unique panorama of four countries and some Alpine sun on the viewing terrace near the golden summit cross surrounded by snow. If the wind and weather are a little rough, simply take one of the premier seats in the many areas of the summit restaurant Panorama 2962. Stylishly decorated with large areas of glazing, it emphasises Bavarian hospitality and culinary delights from the Alpine region.
Family-friendly offers with direct snow contact can be found one stage lower on the 2,600-m-high Zugspitz Plateau, which can also be reached in comfort on the Gletscherbahn cable car. Why not take a pleasant walk around the Sonnalpin glacier restaurant or visit Germany’s highest church, the Maria Heimsuchung Chapel. Thanks to sledge rental, there’s nothing to stop you enjoying a thrilling sledging session on one of the three toboggan slopes either. Sun worshippers and foodies gather on the terraces of the excellent mountain restaurants, and if your desire for mountains, snow and adventure is still not satisfied, you can even spend the night on the Zugspitze in the igloo village. The ice hotel is rebuilt anew each year and is open from New Year’s Eve to Easter depending on the snow, offering highlights like a snow bar, a hot tub and temporary artworks made from ice.
You can combine delightful rail experiences with the Zugspitze Ticket to marvel at Germany’s number one peak and the technical masterpiece of its development from every angle. The ticket includes travel on the cogwheel train from the Zugspitz station in Garmisch-Partenkirchen via Grainau and Eibsee to the Zugspitz Plateau, and from there on to the summit with the Gletscherbahn cable car. Travel back down with the Cable car Zugspitze, enjoying spectacular views of Lake Eibsee, before the cogwheel train takes you back to your starting point in comfort. The cogwheel train is celebrating its 90th year of operation in 2020. As the last large cogwheel train to be built anywhere in the world, which has been nurtured and maintained with the greatest care over the years, it has a nostalgic charm and holds passengers spellbound as it passes through the 4-km-long tunnel.