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This article is a travel guide to Lake Eibsee in Germany, which is the most beautiful lake in Germany.
Eibsee is a lake in the state of Bayern (Bavaria) in Germany but it’s not just any lake. In fact, Eibsee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany. Located about an hour’s drive from Munich, the lake is nested within the Alps. With an impressive shore length of over 8 km (4.9 miles), the waters of this scenic lake perfectly reflect the blue sky and the tall mountains around it. Whether you hike around the lake, swim in its clear waters or visit the nearby Zugspitze, a visit to lake Eibsee will be the highlights of your trip to Bayern in Germany. Take a look at this ultimate travel guide to Eibsee to make the best of your visit.
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What is the Location of Lake Eibsee, Germany?
Eibsee is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany. It is located in the south German state Bavaria (or Bayern), roughly 100 km south of Munich city. It’s located almost at the border of Germany and Switzerland, which explains why the landscape here looks so unrealistic – like something out of a story book. It’s also super close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, just 9 km from this beautiful place in Bavaria.
How to Reach Lake Eibsee in Germany
Apart from being the most beautiful lake in Germany, Eibsee is also a popular tourist destination in Bavaria, Germany which is why it is well-connected. Take a look at the different ways to reach Eibsee.
Munich to Eibsee By Car
When me and my husband visited Eibsee in 2021, we drove from Munich to Eibsee in our friend’s car with them. Not only is the drive incredibly scenic and so pretty but it’s also an easy drive that first takes you on the Autobahn and then through idyllic Bavarian towns and villages. It takes 1 hour to reach Lake Eibsee from Munich by car. Moreover, if you’re traveling to Eibsee by car then you can park just a few meters from the lake which is quite convenient.
Munich to Eibsee By Public Transportation
To reach Eibsee from Munich city using public transportation, you’ll need to follow a number of steps, that are listed below:
- You will start at the Munich main train station.
- Purchase the ‘Bayern ticket’ which is valid till Grainau.
- From Munich train station, take a train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen station which takes 1.5 hours.
- From the Garmisch-Partenkirchen train station, take the Zugspitzbahn (Zugspitze train) to Grainau, the nearest stop to Eibsee.
- From Grainau, you will need to hike to Lake Eibsee which is a distance of 4.5 km that will take roughly an hour. This is a scenic hike through farms and other smaller lakes which is medium in difficulty so it’s more of a walk rather than a hike.
Garmisch Partenkirchen to Eibsee Lake
To reach Eibsee Germany from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you have multiple options. Firstly, you can take the bus to Eibsee which takes 40 minutes to reach the lake from Garmisch, costs €4.90 and drops you just 100 meters from the lake. From October to June, the last bus returns at 19:10 whereas in summer, the last bus plies at 20:00. Alternatively, you can take the Zugspitzbahn till Grainau, if you have the Bayern ticket, and then hike from Grainau to Eibsee . However if you cannot or do not want to hike, for whatever reasons, then you can take the train from Grainau to Eibsee for €3.20.
Eibsee Lake Parking
Eibsee has a large parking lot just a few meters from the lake as well as from the Eibsee Hotel. The parking lot is open from 5 in the morning to 10 at night. It’s important to note that to pay for parking, you will need to carry cash as the parking meter does not accept cards at present (in 2021).
|Early Bird parking from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.||2.00 euros|
|Parking for up to 4 hours (exit after 9:30 a.m.)||6.00 euros|
|Every additional hour up to max. 22:00.||1.00 euros|
|Parking after 10:00 p.m. is prohibited, surcharge for infringement.||50.00 euros|
Best Time to Visit Lake Eibsee, Bayern, Germany
Summer is the best time to visit Eibsee, naturally, in Germany because this is the time when you’ll see vivid greens and blues all around. Plus, you can even take a dip in the cool waters of the lake to get a respite from the summer heat while hiking around the lake.
That being said, we visited Eibsee in the Fall season in late September and it was still a good time to visit Eibsee Germany. Though the water is a little too cold for a swim, you can still hike around the lake, sit in the sun and see the clear blue sky reflecting in the water of the lake.
Alternatively, you should even come here in the shoulder seasons i.e spring (April, May) and fall (September, October) when there will be a significantly lesser number of people there and the weather will be pleasant enough to enjoy your visit.
Is Eibsee Worth Visiting?
Why don’t you quickly scroll through my Eibsee travel guide real quick, glance at the pictures of Eibsee and answer that question for me? Not only is Eibsee the most beautiful lake in Germany but it’s location – among the Bavarian Alps and all the other cool places to visit in Bavaria makes it worthwhile to visit Eibsee.
Even if you don’t do any of the things to do at Eibsee, Germany or skip visiting the other places nearby, then even just a simple visit to the lake is enough. The crystal clear waters showing a bed of white rocks underneath, perfect reflection of the Alps in the lake and greenery all around is a relaxing view. Whether you hike or boat or swim or just sit around the lake – it is bound to quench your wanderlust.
How Much Time to Spend at Eibsee Germany?
Eibsee is the most beautiful lake in Germany so I suggest spending a good half a day here. It might seem like a lot of time to be spending on one lake but you’ll understand when you get there. However, if you have a lot on your itinerary, try to spare at least 2-3 hours to spend at Lake Eibsee.
Things to do in Eibsee Germany
Given the massive size of the lake, its beauty and popularity, there are a number of things to do at Eibsee, Bayern. Take a look at some of the activities you can do at Eibsee.
There are two broad options for hiking at Eibsee. First of all, you can hike from the train station at Grainau to Eibsee in just over an hour. While this hike may not involve views of the lake itself, it is still a scenic hike. Secondly, you can hike around Lake Eibsee itself. If you’re wondering how long it takes to walk around Eibsee then the answer is 2 hours, give or take. It takes around 2 hours to walk the 8 km shore length of Eibsee. Not to mention that you will be walking among nature with stunning views of Eibsee and seeing the mountains nearby being reflected in the lake.
2. Boating at Eibsee
Once you exit the parking lot at Eibsee, walk towards the left hand side. After a couple of minutes, you will come across the boat rental point at Eibsee. Here you can rent a pedal boat, a stand-up paddling boat, a rowing boat or even take a 30 minute tour on a motorboat for a charge. Additionally, if you’re staying at the Eibsee Hotel then you will have access to a number of a variety of boats, kayaks, canoes etc for free of charge at the Eibsee hotel. Plus you will even get a discount on the motor boat ride from the Eibsee hotel if you’re a guest there.
3. Swimming at Eibsee
Wait, can you even swim in Eibsee? Duh!! If you’re visiting lake Eibsee in summer, then you can take a dip in its waters. Be warned though that due to its extremely close proximity to the Alps, the waters of the lake are cold even in summer. The lake has a vast shore – spanning over 8 km which means that it will never be too crowded for comfort. Just make sure that you are wearing or carrying a swimsuit while visiting Eibsee in summer. If you’re coming to the lake in any other season then unfortunately the lake will be too cold for a swim.
4. Explore the Instagram Locations at Lake Eibsee
Due to the popularity of Lake Eibsee, Germany you will see countless pictures of it on Instagram, that are taken at a select few locations around the lake. If you want to grab these instagramable pictures of Eibsee then you must arrive early in the morning to get the perfect reflection in your photos and to skip the crowds. There are many articles on the internet revealing the instagram locations at Lake Eibsee.
5. Grab Coffee with a View
If you follow me on Instagram (@thespicyjourney), then you’ll know how much I love dining with a view. So it comes without a surprise how much I loved having my coffee with gorgeous views of lake Eibsee. You can grab a coffee in the restaurant at lake Eibsee that you will find at the left-hand side once you enter the lake premises from the parking lot. It’s hard to miss the restaurant as you’ll see it the moment you exit the Eibsee parking lot.
You can combine a visit to lake Eibsee with Zugspitze – the topmost point of Germany. You can see the summit from the lake and the cable car for Zugspitze starts near the Eibsee parking lot. For the adventurous ones, there are 4 trails to hike Zugspitze whereas for the lazy ones like me, there’s a cable car that goes all the way up to the top of the summit. You can buy tickets for the Zugspitze cable car on site but it’s better to purchase them online up to 3 days in advance. Check the prices for the Zugspitze online on the official site.
Where to Stay near Eibsee Bayern – Eibsee Hotel
The Eibsee Hotel is the perfect hotel near lake Eibsee due to its location and for the views from the hotel, not to mention the many amenities they offer. Apart from the many types of rooms facing either the lake or Zugspitze or the forest, they also have a restaurant on-site, a sauna, meeting rooms, and many nature activities to offer. Book a stay at the Eibsee hotel for a getaway among nature and for the best views of lake Eibsee Germany. Checkout hotels in Grainau !
Where to Eat – Eibsee Restaurant
There is an option for dining at Eibsee at the south-east part of the lake. There is a kiosk where you can order coffees or simple snacks, an ice-cream parlor, a beer garden in the summer and a lake-facing restaurant serving dishes from Bavaria, and other German specialties apart from various soups and salads.
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