Explore Lake Eibsee in Bavaria: Travel Guide to Germany’s Most Beautiful LakeWhat to expect from visiting gorgeous Eibsee in the Bavarian Alps
Germany’s most beautiful lake
There’s no way around it: Eibsee is absolutely stunning.
With crystal clear waters and unparalleled views to Germany’s tallest mountain, Zugspitze (2,962 metres), Eibsee is a sight for sore eyes.
The first time we visited the German lake was in early October on a blissful evening and we returned on a misty morning that turned sunny the next day.
Since then we have been there twice – both in summer and spring during our stays in Garmisch-Partenkirchen – and we must say it’s one of our favourite places in the world.
In this guide, we’ll help you get the most out of your visit including what to do at Eibsee, the best photo spots, how to get there and more. Enjoy!
Where to stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen?
- Budget: Hotel Atlas Sport – One of the cheapest options for ensuite double rooms in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Free parking.
- Value for money: Biohotel Garmischer Hof – Amazing views, organic food and a spa and wellness centre. Our favourite hotel in GaPa.
- Luxury: Bader Suites – Luxurious, spacious apartments with everything you need.
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What to expect at Eibsee
Located just 10 kilometres (~ 15 minutes of driving) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Eibsee is easily reached by either your own wheels, public transport or (if you’re fit) by hiking.
The temperature drops a little bit up here as the lake is situated at an elevation of 973 metres compared to Garmisch-Partenkirchen at just over 700 metres, but it’s not too bad.
Arriving at Eibsee, the first thing you’ll notice is how incredibly beautiful this area is. We’ll let the photos do the talking.
Hiking around the lake
Follow the shops to start hiking around the lake’s southern part or walk across the parking lot to your right (when you arrive) to start hiking north towards the Eibsee-Brücke (Eibsee bridge) where the trail leads west around the northern part of the lake.
Walking all the way around the lake on the Eibsee Circular Route is about a 1,5-2 hour hike at 8 kilometres of length, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll take a lot longer as there are simply so many gorgeous vantage points to take photos from.
Zugspitze is located south of the lake, so the best views of the mountain are from the northern shores. Not that looking towards the north isn’t pretty, too.
We recommend walking all the way around Eibsee if you have the time.
Lake Eibsee is located roughly 10 kilometres southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and 100 kilometres southwest of Munich, the Bavarian capital.
Entrance to the lake itself is open 24/7/365 (as far as we can tell), but parking is restricted to between 05:00 and 22:00.
Entrance to Eibsee is free.
It’s possible to park by the Zugspitze cable car right next to Lake Eibsee.
The parking lot is open from 05:00-22:00. There’s a height limit of 2,20 metres.
There are possibly options for free parking on the road leading up to the lake.
How to get to Eibsee with public transport
Eibsee is easily reached by public transport.
You can take the Eibsee bus from Garmisch-Partenkirchen directly to Eibsee in about 40 minutes.
The last return during summer is at about 20:00. From October to mid-June, the last bus returns to town at 19:10.
From July to September, there’s a bus called the Eibsee-Express-Bus with the trip taking just 20 minutes.
In addition to the busses, there’s a rack railway from Garmisch-Partenkirchen that takes visitors about 300 metres from the lakeshore.
When to visit Eibsee
As with most places, the light is (usually) at its most spectacular around sunrise and sunset.
At these times, you also have the added bonus of fewer visitors in general.
We visited Eibsee in October and got lucky with clear skies and beautiful autumn foliage colours surrounding the lake.
In summer, it’s possible to bathe in the lake. It’s actually possible all year-round, but be prepared for a cold shock if you decide to jump in during winter!
What to bring to Eibsee
- Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
- A good camera – here’s a guide to the gear we use.
- Sunscreen (adlink).
- Hiking shoes.
- Swimwear and a towel if you plan to swim.
- Water and snacks.
Minimise your impact
To minimise your impact during your visit at Lake Eibsee, follow these guidelines:
- Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
- Avoid single-use plastics, including straws.
- Dispose of waste properly. While putting your trash in a nearby trashcan is convenient, wrappers and other small items are prone to get taken by the wind and end up in the lake.
- Check your sunscreen if you intend to swim. Many brands contain oxybenzone and other chemicals that are harmful.
- Take only photos, leave only footprints. Let everything stay in its natural place. No stone-throwing.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
- Respect wildlife.
Thanks for reading
Thanks for reading our travel guide to Lake Eibsee in Germany. We hope it has been useful!
What do you think about Eibsee? Is it the most beautiful lake in Germany?
If you’ve been to Eibsee, it would be awesome to hear your best tips in the comments.
If you haven’t been yet, please don’t hesitate to ask us anything. We’re happy to help you with your travels.