Visiting Lake Eibsee Germany: Pros and Cons

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more about us.

You may be wondering, is visiting Lake Eibsee, Germany worth it? I’ve got you covered with my detailed guide based on 8 years visiting.

Morgan’s Lake Eibsee Germany Video

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Bavarian Alps, Lake Eibsee is not exactly a hidden gem.

But, it sure is an emerald gem of an alpine lake with picture perfect mountain peaks abutting the lake directly.

Pros and Cons of Visiting Lake Eibsee


  • Lake Eibsee is a stunning destination in Bavaria with exceptional views of Zugspitze.
  • The lake is located within close proximity with public transport to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Munich.
  • Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like stand up paddleboarding, hiking, strolling, going on the gondola to the tallest mountain in Germany and e-biking.


  • Lake Eibsee is crowded and pricey.
  • Parking is right on the lake, making it a nightmare to park and it’s expensive.
  • Unless you go very early or late (or off season) it doesnt feel serene until you hike to the opposite end of the lake away from parking.


Enveloped by crystal clear waters and exceptional views of Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain at 2,962 meters, the allure of Lake Eibsee is truly unparalleled. A trip to this stunning lake offers visitors an array of exciting outdoor activities and unforgettable experiences, revealing the splendor of the German Alps.

If you’re planning a visit to Lake Eibsee, you’ll be amazed by its location, as it lies approximately 9 km southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and nearly 100 km southwest of Munich. This picturesque lake is 973.28 meters above sea level, and its surface area spans 177.4 hectares.

As you explore Lake Eibsee, be prepared to discover a place unlike any other, brimming with endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure amid the pristine Bavarian landscape.

Geographical Overview

Location and Access

Lake Eibsee is situated in Bavaria, Germany, approximately 9 km southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and roughly 100 km southwest of Munich. Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, you’ll find this picturesque lake at the base of the Zugspitze mountain, which is the tallest peak in Germany.

To access this stunning location, you can drive from Munich in about an hour. Public transportation options are also available, connecting Garmisch-Partenkirchen with Eibsee via train and bus services.

Characteristics and Formation

The formation of Eibsee can be traced back thousands of years, when a massive landslide occurred, causing a nearby mountain to collapse and create the basin where the lake is found today. The lake is known for its crystal-clear, green-tinted water, which makes it one of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps.

The primary body of water is accompanied by several smaller lakes and islands, including:

  • Untersee
  • Frillensee
  • Sasseninsel
  • Braxeninsel
  • Scheibeninsel
  • Maximiliansinsel
  • Steinbichl
  • Ludwigsinsel
  • Schönbichl
  • Almbichl
  • Munition Island

Eibsee has an impressive shore length of over 8 km (4.9 miles) and sits at an elevation of 973.28 meters (3,193.2 ft) above sea level. Due to its altitude, the lake’s temperature can be colder than expected, especially during spring and autumn.

Nearby Attractions

While you’re exploring Lake Eibsee, take advantage of some attractions in the surrounding Wetterstein Mountains:

  • Zugspitze mountain: As the highest peak in Germany, the Zugspitze offers stunning panoramic views of the Alps. You can reach the summit using the nearby Eibsee cable car.
  • Hiking trails: There are several scenic hiking routes around Eibsee, allowing you to experience the lake and its neighboring beauty up close.
  • Water sports: In the warmer months, Eibsee is an ideal destination for swimming, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding, with crystal-clear water surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery.

Overall, Eibsee is an exceptional travel destination in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, providing you with plenty of opportunities to appreciate nature and enjoy various outdoor activities.

Visiting Lake Eibsee

Lake Eibsee is an alpine lake located in Bavaria, Germany, at the base of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. With crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, it’s the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. In this guide, we’ll cover the best time to visit, hiking options, activities and recreation, and photography opportunities at Lake Eibsee.

Best Time to Visit

Lake Eibsee has something to offer in every season. Summer months are ideal for swimming and watersports, as the water temperature is pleasant. Spring and autumn bring mild weather and colorful surroundings, perfect for hiking and exploring the area. Winter offers skiing opportunities and a unique, snowy landscape.

Summer: This is the best time for swimming and enjoying various watersports, thanks to the comfortable water temperature.

Spring & Autumn: Mild temperatures and vibrant colors make these seasons ideal for hiking and experiencing nature.

Winter: If you’re a ski enthusiast, winter offers a snowy landscape and nearby skiing facilities.

Hike Around Lake Eibsee

One of the best ways to explore Lake Eibsee is by taking a walk or hike around the lake. The Eibsee Loop Trail is a relatively easy and well-marked trail suitable for all levels of hikers. The trail takes you through beautiful forests, along the shoreline, and offers breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. The entire loop is about 7 kilometers and can be completed in 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace.

Activities and Recreation

Lake Eibsee offers a multitude of outdoor activities to enjoy. Some popular options include:

  • Swimming: During the summer months, take a dip in the lake’s clear waters.
  • Boat rentals: Rent a rowing boat or pedal boat to explore the lake at your own pace.
  • Hiking: With numerous trails in the area, there’s no shortage of hiking opportunities.
  • Skiing: In the winter, ski enthusiasts can take advantage of nearby ski facilities.


Lake Eibsee is a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning landscape and ever-changing light. Some popular photography subjects include:

  • Reflections: The clear waters of Lake Eibsee provide beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains.
  • Sunrise & Sunset: Capture the first light of day or the vibrant colors of the setting sun over the mountains.
  • Nature: The diverse flora, fauna, and forests around the lake are a photographer’s delight.

Remember to bring your camera and a tripod to capture the beauty of Lake Eibsee during your visit.

Transportation and Accessibility

Public Transportation

To reach Lake Eibsee in Germany, you can take advantage of the excellent public transportation system. From Munich, hop on a Deutsche Bahn train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Once there, you can transfer to the regional bus, Eibsee Bus, which will take you directly to the lake. Alternatively, Flixbus offers connections from Munich to Grainau, a nearby municipality, where you can catch another bus to Eibsee as well.

Arriving by Car

For those who prefer driving, you can rent a car at Munich Airport or in the city center. Lake Eibsee is just an approximate 1:30 hour drive from Munich. Once you arrive, expect to pay an €8 parking fee, but remember that if you get there before 9:30 am, the fee might be cheaper.

Trails and Hiking Access

One of the best things about Lake Eibsee is its accessibility to various hiking trails, including those leading to the Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest peak. At the lake, you can find the Zugspitze Cable Car that travels directly up to the peak. The Eibsee Circular Trail is also available year-round, providing beautiful views during both summer and winter. In January, especially when the lake is frozen, it gives the landscape a magical touch. However, be cautious of potential landslides in the area, which can impact trail accessibility.

Accommodations and Dining

Hotels and Lodging

When visiting Lake Eibsee in Germany, one of the best places to stay is the Eibsee Hotel, a 4-star superior hotel located right beside the Eibsee lake and at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain. This hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a modern spa, and numerous recreational opportunities for you to enjoy during your stay.

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly accommodation options, consider staying in the nearby town of Grainau. One popular choice is Gunglstubn, which provides affordable and medium-range lodging options.

Restaurants and Culinary Options

While staying at the Eibsee Hotel, you can dine at several on-site restaurants. The Eibsee Pavillon offers a variety of delicious dishes in a beautiful setting overlooking the lake, while the Spezialitaten Taverne serves tasty regional cuisine. If you’re craving something closer to the town of Grainau, you can head to Restaurant Jagerstuberl, just a 15-minute drive from the hotel.

For a more casual dining experience, consider visiting a local beer garden. These establishments typically offer a variety of German beers, regional cuisine, and a relaxed atmosphere for you to enjoy.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

Attractions Near Garmisch-Partenkirchen

When visiting Lake Eibsee, you’ll find yourself just 10 kilometers away from the charming town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This town offers many interesting attractions to explore, such as the historic Partnach Gorge. With its breathtaking natural rock formations, you can hike through dramatic scenery along the Partnach River. Additionally, the surrounding area is known for its excellent hiking trails, which lead you through the magnificent Waxenstein, Alpspitze, and Zugspitze mountains.

Natural Beauty and Scenic Spots

Lake Eibsee is situated at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, and offers crystal-clear emerald waters in a picturesque Alpine setting. The lake has a surface area of 177.4 hectares and is surrounded by lush forests, creating an idyllic backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and boating. With a shore length of 7.96 kilometers, there are various spots to discover and enjoy the exceptional natural beauty of this region.

As you explore the area, take note of the scenic islands within the lake that add to its charm. The water temperature varies depending on the season, and its surface elevation reaches 1,000 meters above sea level. This pristine lake offers several options for water-based activities, including stand-up paddling and creating memorable experiences on rented boats.

Don’t forget to visit the local souvenir shop near the lake to find unique gifts and reminders of your Lake Eibsee experience. The surrounding Bavarian Alps promise an unforgettable adventure and an appreciation of the stunning landscape this region has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to reach Lake Eibsee from Munich?

To reach Lake Eibsee from Munich, you can drive, take public transport, or hike. Driving takes approximately 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then catch the Eibsee bus or hike to the lake. The entire journey by public transport should take around 2.5 hours.

Are there any hotels near Lake Eibsee?

Yes, there are hotels near Lake Eibsee, including the popular Eibsee Hotel, which is located right on the lakeshore and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. There are also alternative accommodation options in nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

What are the popular hiking trails around Lake Eibsee?

The Lake Eibsee Circular Trail is a well-known and easy hiking route that takes around 2-3 hours to complete. The trail offers beautiful views of the lake and the nearby Zugspitze mountain. For more challenging hikes, you can venture into the surrounding Bavarian Alps, where numerous trails await.

What activities can be done in the Eibsee area?

Lake Eibsee offers various activities such as swimming, paddling, stand-up paddleboarding, and rowing. In addition, the lake’s clear water and surrounding scenery make it a popular spot for photography. During winter, you can access nearby skiing and snowboarding areas.

What is the ideal time to visit Lake Eibsee, considering the weather?

The best time to visit Lake Eibsee, weather-wise, is from May to September, when temperatures are warm, and the days are longer. If you enjoy winter sports, visiting between December and February is recommended.

Is swimming allowed in Lake Eibsee?

Yes, swimming is allowed in Lake Eibsee. The clear, emerald green water and breathtaking surroundings make it a popular swimming destination. However, be aware that the water can be cold, especially outside of summer.

We hope this Lake Eibsee Germany guide has given you the proper information to plan your visit to this not so hidden gem in Bavaria!

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.