Lake Eibsee in Bavaria has become insta-famous in the past few years and is therefore often said to be the most beautiful lake in Germany. This year was my first time visiting and I was absolutely amazed! I think this is a must-see in Germany and an absolutely magical place. The alpine lake has crystal clear water shimmering in every shade of green and blue. In the early morning and during sunset you can see the reflections of the impressive Zugspitze mountain and the surrounding forest. During summer the lake is perfect for a swim or some water sports and in winter it becomes a magical landscape surrounded by snow and ice. In this guide to Lake Eibsee Bavaria, you can find everything you need to know for your visit – interesting facts, how to get there, when to visit and the best things to do at Lake Eibsee.
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Things to know about Lake Eibsee
Lake Eibsee belongs to the Eibsee Hotel but is accessible to everyone. It has a length of 2450 m and a width of 850m with a depth up to 32,5 m. In summer the water temperature is about 20 to 22 degrees Celsius but in spring and autumn, it’s much colder. It’s located in the Bavarian Alps, right at the foot of the Zugspitze, the tallest peak in Germany. Lake Eibsee is 1000 meters above sea level, so it’s a little colder than you’d expect, especially in spring and autumn. There are lots of activities at Lake Eibsee all year round, so don’t worry if you’re planning to come in winter.
How to get to Lake Eibsee Bavaria
Lake Eibsee is located in the municipality of Grainau and can be reached by public transport or by car.
By public transport
You can use the Eibsee bus which departs in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and drives through Grainau. From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it takes about 45 minutes and the ticket costs 1.70 to 4.90 Euro depending where you start.
Here you can find a timetable and a price list. The page is in German, if you want to look up the timetable, look up Fahrplan and if you want to find the prices, you can look up Tarife.
Getting to lake Eibsee Bavaria by car is easy and convenient, however, you need to pay for parking. There is a parking lot from the Eibsee Hotel right at the lake but it fills up quickly, so you should be there early or come later in the day. Alternatively, there is also one by the Zugspitzbahn but it’s 17 Euro for 4 hours and 1 Euro per hour after that. If you are also using the Zugspitzbahn, it costs 7 instead of 17. The parking at Eibsee Hotel is open from 5 am to 10 pm.
|5 am to 10 pm 4 hours
|after 4 hours per hour
(from eibsee.de, September 19, 2021)
When to visit Lake Eibsee
Lake Eibsee is beautiful all year round, however, I would suggest coming from May to September if you can. In May, temperatures start to get warmer (the water Is freezing though) and after September it gets colder. During the summer months, you can enjoy most outdoor and water sports activities at Lake Eibsee.
In spring, it’s too cold to swim but you can use the hiking trail around the lake and you might be able to go skiing in the area.
In summer, it’s the perfect time to relax at the lake, go for a swim and rent SUPs or boats. With Lake Eibsee being one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany, it’s also the most crowded time, so you should come early if you want a parking spot and have a less crowded experience. Also, try to visit in May or September to avoid the busy season.
In autumn, the water is too cold to swim (you can still try) but the hiking trail is accessible and you can enjoy the fall foliage.
In winter, you might be able to see lake Eibsee frozen and you can still hike around it. There are also lots of opportunities for winter sports in the area. This is also a great time to capture some magical landscapes if you’re into photography.
Where to stay at Lake Eibsee
There are a lot of hotels and apartments in the area. In this guide to Lake Eibsee, I would also like to show you how to travel Lake Eibsee on a budget. Of course, there is the Eibsee Hotel right by the lake. The hotel is very beautiful but it’s also a bit pricier. I would recommend to look for holiday apartments in Grainau or Garmisch-Partenkirchen. You can find great, affordable options on the tourism pages of Grainau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Cooking in your apartment also saves you lots of money as restaurants in Germany can be quite expensive.
A Guide to Lake Eibsee Bavaria – Things to do
With Lake Eibsee being one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany, there is a lot to do. The most popular activities are hiking, renting boats and SUPs and exploring the area, such as the Zugspitze.
The 7.5 km hiking trail around the lake leads you to some amazing spots where you can take photos or simply enjoy the stunning nature surrounding Lake Eibsee. The trail is easily accessible and takes about 2 hours. I would suggest walking counterclockwise. You’ll find the most amazing spots in the first half of the hike with the islands being close. You can also leave the path and walk closer to the lake, so you can always find a little secret place along the most beautiful lake of Germany to enjoy the views for yourself.
At Lake Eibsee you can rent paddle boats, rowing boats, SUPs and a boat tour. You can find the boat rental right at the beginning of the lake, on the left side of the lake when coming from the parking.
The pedal boats are suitable for up to 5 people and cost 15 Euro per hour. There are also pedal boats with a slide for up to 4 people and they cost 16 Euro per hour. A rowing boat fits up to 4 people and costs 12 Euro per hour. This way you can discover lake Eibsee from the water and visit the small islands.
SUPs are also a fun way to explore the lake!
|each additional started hour
(from eibsee.de, September 19, 2021)
If you don’t want to be active and are rather looking for a relaxing activity on the water, there is a tour boat, called Reserl offering 20 minute round trips costing 7,50 Euro for adults.
Things to do around Lake Eibsee Bavaria
Visiting Lake Eibsee is one of the best things to do in Bavaria but there is so much more to the area of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. You can find lots of Bavaria highlights in my blogpost about the best things to do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The Zugspitze – This is one of the closest and most impressive things around Lake Eibsee. Just a few steps away is the cable car to the summit of the Zugspitze, the tallest peak of Germany. The ride takes 10 minutes and you’ll get some impressive views. This is also where you’ll find snow all year round!
Other things not to miss are Lake Geroldsee, Hammersbach, the Partnach Gorge and a hike to the Herzogstand with panoramic views of Lake Walchensee.
What to bring to Lake Eibsee
To make this guide to Lake Eibsee complete, I thought I’d include a list with important things that you shouldn’t forget.
- jumper (it can get chilly in the evening)
- hiking shoes
- mosquito repellent
- warm clothes
- thermal wear
- winter hat
- hiking shoes (waterproof shoes)
This was my guide to Lake Eibsee Bavaria – the most beautiful lake in Germany
I hope this helps you to plan your perfect trip to Lake Eibsee! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did. If you have any questions or some tips for Lake Eibsee, leave it in the comments 🙂