That a city is located in the middle of the mountains in a fairytale landscape is reason enough to visit it, but if on top of that city houses among those mountains one of the most mysterious and emblematic buildings of the contemporary history of Germany, the visit becomes essential.
Berchtesgaden has wonderful landscapes and also houses the Eagle's Nest, Adolf Hitler's famous refuge that was destined to become the Führer's retirement home. The place is located on the border with Austria, but also just under an hour from Munich, making it an accessible destination and one of the best attractions in the vicinity of the city.
A day trip to the Berchtesgaden Mountains and the Eagle's Nest
You will travel by bus through the Bavarian Alps to the Austrian border to see one of the best landscapes in Germany and the former refuge of Adolf Hitler.
The best way to visit Berchtesgaden is an organized full-day tour. This usually includes round-trip transfers. This is the option to get the most out of your visit to the Bavarian Alps without having to buy everything separately and prepare it on your own. You will travel from Munich by bus and at your destination you will visit the National Socialist Documentation Center and the Eagle's Nest.
There is only one way to get to the Eagle's Nest and that is by a special bus that takes you to the base of the mountain. There an elevator takes you up to the peak of Adolf Hitler's retirement home, which is located at an altitude of almost two thousand meters, at one of the highest points of the Bavarian Alps. On the organized excursions, which last approximately ten hours, you will be assisted by an expert local guide.
Recommended if... you want to combine enjoying the alpine nature with a visit to one of the places that marked the history of World War II.
How to book an excursion from Munich to Berchtesgaden?
The easiest and most convenient way is to book online the excursion to Berchtesgaden. This way, you can secure a place for the day that suits you best. In addition, tickets to the Eagle's Nest are included
Ideally, you should book your tour to Berchtesgaden in advance, but always taking into account, as far as possible, the weather conditions on the day of your visit, because if there is ice, snow or heavy storms that prevent the operation of the transfers to the top of the Eagle's Nest, you could replace that visit with a tour of the salt mines.
Berchtesgaden is a popular destination both from Germany and Austria, as it is very close to Salzburg, one of the Austrian cities that receives more visitors every year. In fact, excursions to Salzburg from Munich are highly recommended if you have enough time.
- Price... Organized tours start at approximately 52 euros, to which the entrance fees to the Eagle's Nest must be added.
- Duration of the tour... The organized tour from departure from Munich to return takes approximately ten hours.
- Usual place of departure... From the historic center of Munich, usually from Karlsplatz. Some tours include hotel pick-up.
How long is the trip from Munich to Berchtesgaden?
On average, tours last ten hours, including the return trip to Munich after the tour.
The bus ride to Berchtesgaden usually starts from the historic center of Munich, with a meeting point at Karlsplatz, but some services also include hotel pick-up.
The journey from Munich to Berchtesgaden takes about two hours by bus, on an uphill route that will take you into the heart of the Bavarian Alps.
The last part of the journey will pass briefly through Austria and then return to Germany, as you cannot get directly to the Eagle's Nest without traveling a stretch of Austrian roads.
Once in Berchtesgaden, you will visit the National Socialism Documentation Center on a guided tour that takes no more than an hour and then the Eagle's Nest, with a break for lunch and visiting the terraces of the site at your own pace once the guided tour is over. In total you will stay about three hours at the mountain refuge.
This is an interesting option if your stay in Munich is short, because you will get to know an emblematic site in a tour that will take you only one day. Here is a list of what you can see and do in Munich in two days.
What will I see on a trip from Munich to Berchtesgaden?
On your tour to Berchtesgaden you will enter the Bavarian Alps and see the Eagle's Nest, which was designed during Nazism as the Führer's retreat and retirement home.
It is built on top of the mountain to impress visitors, but interestingly Adolf Hitler himself suffered from vertigo when he looked out over the balconies and that upset him a bit.
Berchtesgaden also has breathtaking scenery and the route up the mountain to the Eagle's Nest that you can travel in a special bus is very nice.
The weather in winter can be a bit cold but one of the great attractions of the place is to discover it bathed in snow. The height of the refuge will ensure that you can make out the mountain peaks and surrounding lakes.
Discovering one of Germany's most mysterious and iconic buildings, which was also untouched by the damage of World War II, will leave you speechless, especially if you have the assistance of an expert local guide.
Tips for a tour from Munich to Berchtesgaden
I recommend that you book in advance, especially if you are visiting Munich in summer. If you do it in winter have warm clothes handy because temperatures are usually very low when it starts to snow.
Keep in mind that during the winter season Berchtesgaden also receives many visitors from Austria, so buying your tour in advance can prevent you from missing the tour.
It is important to keep an eye on the weather on the day of your visit, as ice, heavy rain or snow may prevent you from climbing to the top of the Eagle's Nest.
On organized tours, when inclement weather occurs, this tour is replaced by a visit to the salt mines.
Berchtesgaden and the Bavarian Alps are places to enjoy in peace and quiet. The tour is organized so that you can get to know them in one day and that can be a bit hectic but you will also have time for lunch and to explore the sites at your own pace.
Take time to look out over the mountains from the top of the Eagle's Nest and don't miss the view from the hut balconies.
How much does a trip from Munich to Berchtesgaden cost?
Organized excursions to Berchtesgaden with round-trip transfer from Munich start at approximately €52. This price does not include entrance fees for the National Socialist Documentation Center, which cost approximately 15 euros, and for the Eagle's Nest, which costs from 28 euros.
This ticket includes the transfer of the special bus that drives to the base of the mountain to take the elevator to the top.
Meals are not usually included in the price of the excursion, and you should keep in mind that in case of unfavorable weather conditions such as ice, snow or storm that prevent the ascent to the refuge, this visit will be replaced by a tour to the salt mines, so I recommend that you take into account the weather on the day of your visit when organizing the itinerary of your trip.
Some tours have hotel pick-up and others depart from Munich from some point in the historic center.
Organized bus tours include the permanent assistance of an expert local guide. Guide tips are not included.
Details of interest
- Price of the organized excursion... From 52 euros with round-trip transfers from Munich and the assistance of an expert local guide.
- Price of the entrance ticket to the Eagle's Nest... From 28 Euros including transfer in the special bus.
- Ticket price for the Documentation Center... From 15 Euro with the assistance of an expert local guide.
What to pack to visit Berchtesgaden in winter?
There are plenty of things to do in Munich in winter, but the general temperature in Germany drops substantially during December and January and in the Bavarian Alps the weather can be hostile.
I advise you to pack winter clothes in your suitcase to enjoy your visit without inconveniences.
In addition, during the winter, snowfalls are almost permanent, so warm thermal and waterproof clothing will substantially improve your experience. Don't forget to include comfortable shoes, since Berchtesgaden is a mountain destination and most of the tour will require hiking.
Here is a list of items of clothing that I advise you to include in your luggage so that you can feel comfortable during your visit to Berchtesgaden during the winter:
- Winter coats
- Waterproof and comfortable boots
- Thermal socks
- Waterproof and tactile gloves
- Woolen hats
- Woolen scarves
- Wool sweaters
- Fleece pants
- Thermal fleece
Why is it advisable to take a trip to Berchtesgaden?
Berchtesgaden is a mountain town nestled in the middle of the Bavarian Alps and at the top of one of its highest points the Eagle's Nest crowns the attractions of the town.
It is not easy to find Nazi-era buildings still standing in Germany, as many were severely damaged during the bombings of World War II and many others were demolished after the war.
It is for this reason, and for the natural beauty of its surroundings, that visiting the Eagle's Nest is visiting a historical site... If you are interested in other World War II sites in Munich, you can also visit the Dachau Concentration Camp.
What are the alternatives to get to Berchtesgaden on my own?
While the organized tour is the best option because it optimizes the journey to Berchtesgaden, there are also alternatives to arrive by train, public transport bus or rented car, although they may be inconvenient or a bit expensive options.
Traveling by car from Munich to Berchtesgaden
If you have rented a car in Munich or plan to do so to tour southeastern Germany and the Bavarian Alps, you can use it to travel to Berchtesgaden, although it will be a bit expensive. In this case the best option is to take the A8 highway. You can also take the A8 combined with the B305.
The trip by car at normal road speed should not take more than two hours and once in Berchtesgaden you can tour the city on your own or hire a guided tour to see the Eagle's Nest and the Documentation Center of National Socialism.
On the way back to Munich you can enjoy the Bavarian trails.
- Price... Renting a medium-sized car starts at 75 euros per day.
- Duration of the tour... It will depend on the intermediate stops, but if you travel from Munich direct you can reach Berchtesgaden in less than two hours.
Traveling by train from Munich to Berchtesgaden with transfers
If you are traveling on your own you can choose to take the RE 79009 train service from Munich Central Station to Freilassing and from there the S4 service to Berchtesgaden Hbf.
Tickets can be purchased on the official Deutsche Bahn website or at the station ticket office, but in either case you will need to change trains.
The Berchtesgaden train station is about ten kilometers from the Eagle's Nest, so you will have to hire a special bus to get to the refuge. You can also opt for a guided tour. Please note that the train ride can be a bit tiring.
The journey takes about two and a half hours and on the first leg from Munich you will have to take the same train that ends its journey in Salzburg.
- Price... Train tickets start at 47 euros.
- Duration of the excursion... The train ride takes approximately two and a half hours in total.
- Departure point... Munich Central Station.
Bus trip from Munich to Berchtesgaden with change of terminus
You can travel by bus to Berchtesgaden, but there are a few things to keep in mind: you will have to go first from Munich to Salzburg, then change terminals and finally take another bus to Berchtesgaden.
Of course, it will be the cheapest option you have access to with tickets starting at twelve euros.
From Munich Station you can take any of the FlexiBus or Arda Tur services to Salzburg South. Once there you should go to Salzburg Ginzkeyplatz, which is about seven blocks away, to take bus 840 to Busbanhof.
In Berchtesgaden you can make the most of your visit by hiring a tour guide through the Eagle's Nest.
- Price... Bus tickets start at twelve euros.
- Duration of the excursion... The bus trip takes approximately three hours in total.
- Departure location... Munich Central Station.
What are the advantages of taking an organized tour vs. visiting Berchtesgaden and the Eagle's Nest on my own?
Berchtesgaden is not too big a city, so you can visit it on your own but the assistance of an expert local guide will make sure you don't miss any detail, especially in the Eagle's Nest, a building that hides secrets and mysteries since its construction.
In addition, although it is possible to tour Berchtesgaden on your own, it is an inconvenient destination to reach by public transport, so you will lose time and you will not get the most out of your visit. A guided tour will allow you to organize yourself better and save money.
I recommend that if you have the possibility, do not miss the opportunity to tour the refuge with the assistance of a guide. And you, are you ready to get to know Berchtesgaden?