The Zugspitze, One Mountain…Two Countries

The Zugspitze, One Mountain…Two Countries. The famous Zugspitze is the highest mountain peak in Germany at a height of 9718 feet (2962 meters). Did you know that the mountain is actually shared by Germany and Austria with the border for the two countries running over the western summit. You take a cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Grainau or Eibsee or a cable car from either the German or Austrian side. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you have spectacular views of Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

The majority of tourists who plan to visit the Zugspitze tend to stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is a modern town that also has a historic center. The town has lots of hotels, restaurants and shopping so it makes it a well-known tourist destination.

Click on any photo in the galleries below to see a slide show.

While Garmisch-Partennkirchen is very nice, my husband and I find that it is too touristy for our taste. Instead, we like to stay in the quiet village of Lermoos, Austria which lies at the foot of the Grubigstein, Wettersteingebirge, and the Zugspitze mountain ranges.

View Of The Zugspitze From Lermoos, Austria

View Of The Zugspitze From Lermoos, Austria

We enjoy staying at the Hotel Post. It has been a family run hotel since 1560. The rooms are wonderful, it has a great spa, absolutely delicious food and outstanding views which keep us coming back. What we really like about staying in Lermoos is its central location. It is very convenient for visiting both the Tirol region of Austria and the Bavarian region of Germany. After a day of touring the nearby regions, it is nice to come back to the hotel for a cocktail in the bar and a multi-course dinner in the restaurant.

If you read my previous post on Bavaria, you might be surprised that we did all our touring of Bavaria from Lermoos. When traveling by car, Garmisch is just a twenty minute drive and the castles of King Ludwig II are no more forty-five minutes away.

The Zugspitze is an impressive mountain shared by two beautiful countries. I do hope that you have the opportunity to visit the top of the world in this part of Europe. If you are planning on visiting the top of the Zugspitze, please be sure to check the weather at the top of the mountains as you want to go up on a clear day.

Cable Cars On The Austrian Side Of The Zugspitze

Cable Cars On The Austrian Side Of The Zugspitze

Pick A Clear Day To Go To The Top Of The Zugspitze

Pick A Clear Day To Go To The Top Of The Zugspitze

This is just the beginning of our adventure into Austria and the weather has been fantastic. I hope you will continue to follow along as we explore more of the Tirol…it a great place to visit.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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116 Responses to The Zugspitze, One Mountain…Two Countries

  1. Wonderful photos. So pleased you’re having a great time.

  2. lvaletutto says:

    What beautiful photos, Karen! What a lovely part of Germany-Austria to visit. I am so glad that you are having good weather so far on your trip. I hope you have a great time in Austria!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Laura, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you liked the photos…this really is a beautiful part of the world to visit. We are having fantastic weather this year and it really adds to the pleasure of traveling. Thank you for your nice wish.

  3. my those Zugspitze cable cars look so steep!! What a gorgeous collection of photos, hope you’re having fun!! x

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa, We are having a wonderful time thank you. You are right about how steep the cable cars are. I’ve gone up once and that is enough to last me a lifetime. :)

  4. I am so excited to see your pictures Karen. This is such as pretty part of the world. Your photos are just amazing. I can’t get over how long that hotel has been in business. Wow. Many years ago in early January we went to the top of the Zugspitze and I’ve never been so cold in my life waiting for the car to go up. Once there the sun was out and it was almost warm. We saw ladies sunbathing with fur stoles thrown over the back of their chairs. In the restaurant we had a Hungarian goulash soup that was to die for. Keep the pictures coming…
    Sam

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sam, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. We have had wonderful weather and that always helps getting nice photos…we haven’t even needed jackets for most of our trip this year. Goulash soup is a favorite of mine but I haven’t had it once on this trip.

  5. Larry says:

    Magnificent shots Karen.

  6. A_Boleyn says:

    The pictures are better than a travel documentary or the pictures in a travel magazine. It’s hard to believe that a place that lovely exists.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Boleyn. I really appreciate that you enjoyed the post and photos. This certainly is a wonderful part of the world to visit…it is beautiful.

  7. Oh my! I can’t think of one single thing that didn’t look fabulous! That little piece of chocolate swirly stuff is incredible!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelli, I’m happy that you liked the post…thank you. We really enjoyed the hotel, food and countryside. The dessert was as good as it looks. :)

  8. Dahlia says:

    Spectacular!!! What an amazing ride that must be in that tram!!!

  9. Norma Chang says:

    Glad you are having fantastic weather, makes for a much more pleasant trip. I am continuing my journey with you and enjoying every frame of your gorgeous photos. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Norma, We have really been blessed with the weather this year…we have only had a few drizzly and cloudy days. I so happy that you are enjoying following along on our adventure. Thank you as always for your nice compliment.

  10. I’ve never been at this time of year. We’ve always done Spring but I’m eager to give Autumn a go! What beautiful photos, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maureen, We have traveled to Europe in the spring but prefer the fall, the weather usually is very nice. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos…thank you.

  11. Sue says:

    Oh dear…..I’m actually CRYING as I look at this. Oh, do I miss it! I’ve been to all those places. You lucky LUCKY lady!
    The one neat thing about Garmisch is watching the cows come in at night from the hills. Quite a sight to see them go to their homes—they know where they live. I have a photo of my mother standing in the street while they filed around her—very determined to get home in time! :D

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, I enjoyed reading your lovely compliment and I’m happy that it brought back such nice memories. I smiled because cows were heading home on the little lane behind the Hotel Post…so I knew exactly what you were talking about. :)

  12. Just delightful! The Zugspitz is so very stunning and your weather was perfection. The food looked amazing, most especially the sorbet in that marvelous chocolate ring.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tin Man, We are having spectacular weather this trip…and it certainly makes traveling such a pleasure. I agree with you about the food, everything has been terrific.

  13. David says:

    The Zugsptitze was my first mountain. I had never seen a snow-capped mountain before, and was amazed I was walking in snow in August! Back then (1972) Garmisch-Partenkirchen didn’t seem too toursity to me, but I imagine as an adult I would prefer the quiet of Lermoos. Atop the mountain, I remember eating Leberkäse with an egg, and how kind the waiter was to us young American boys – he was worried we didn’t know what we were ordering and that we woudln’t like it! (We loved it!) I look forward to returning and taking Mark – I know he will love it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, Seeing the Zugspitze for the first time really is a memorable moment. You would probably not recognize Garmisch-Partenkirchen except for the historic center as it has grown quite large. I tend to agree that you would enjoy Lermoos as it is such a beautiful spot and perfect for touring the nearby areas.

  14. kitchenriffs says:

    So, so nice. I get boring saying thanks for sharing your adventures with us — but thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I would never call your comments boring and I’m happy that you are enjoying following along with our travels. :)

  15. What a stunning place with magnificent views. Thank you for taking so many photos to share. When we returned from D.C. a couple weeks ago I realized I did not take nearly as many photos as I should, especially of the food. The chocolate ‘wheel’ in the dessert photo is impressive. Looking forward to your next post.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Judy, for your nice compliment…I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. I always worry that I may bore my readers with too many photos. The places we tend to visit are so beautiful that it is hard not to share what I’ve been seeing. I’m glad you are following along on our travels and enjoying it.

  16. Your images are absolutely beautiful, especially the Zugspitze – what a picture of perfection!

  17. Karen I am so excited to learn about this mountain. What a stunning view. I would not be traveling up it though…but the views from below and the food look amazing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post about the Zugspitze. I’ve been to the top just once because I’m not comfortable with heights.

  18. viveka says:

    Wow, what a scenery – just amazing … some beautiful places you have chosen for your trip.
    Food looks excellent to .. but that big thick spring of mint in the dessert – looks totally wrong .. who could a chef such nice dessert look that clumsy, but it has nothing to do with the taste.
    Of all the places you have shown your meals – visual this is the weakest … Between the tuna and rabbit .. nearly the same layout – very green both of them. And both wrapped. Now I pick.
    The food wasn’t priceless … I guess, but the views are. So envy. *smile

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, You are so right…the scenery is truly amazing. I think we have been traveling to some of the most beautiful places. The food at the Hotel Post really is good but I know that your chef’s eye sees things differently when it comes to plating. I think the chef had to use the mint sprig to hold a cherry that was suspended in liquid inside the little marzipan cake. The views definitely make up for anything that you might not like at the dinner table.

      • viveka says:

        Okay .. than I understand why the mint was to thick .. I really like the reading of that dessert, love marzipan. The chef is forgiven.
        The views are … so fantastic and after all it’s the taste of food and the company that is most important. Only me being picky .. probably because I’m full of envy. *smile

      • Karen says:

        A chef is expected to be picky…that is how they become good. :)

  19. Such a beautifull mountain,i guess i hadn’t enought guts to be in the cable cars…
    lil scarry but i guess it will be paid off once reach the top of the mountain…..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dedy, Don’t feel bad, I’m afraid of heights as well. I’ve gone to lots of high places that I’m not comfortable with at the time but did it because they were once in a lifetime moments…the Zugspitze being one of them. Once at the top, it was amazing. :)

  20. Mad Dog says:

    Amazing mountains and the food looks very good ;-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mad Dog, I can’t believe the mountains in this region…as you say, they are amazing. This is the second time we have stayed at the Hotel Post and the food has always been delicious.

  21. megtraveling says:

    What an incredibly beautiful place! It’s so impressive yet peaceful too – beautiful pictures Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meg, I have to agree with you about the beauty of this area…it is outstanding. The nice thing about this trip was that the sun was out, so it really made for nice photos. Thank you for your compliment.

  22. Lovely photos. I especially like the last one of die Zugspitze!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Helen, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. The last photo is a favorite of mine as well as the sky was turning beautiful colors while the sun was setting.

  23. The mountain looks amazing and how great it must be to see views of the surrounding countries on a clear day. Gosh, a hotel which has been family run since 1560, it must be one of a kind and it looks lovely. Enjoy the rest of your trip. ;)

    • Karen says:

      Hi B, It reminds me of the song…on a clear day, you can see forever. Isn’t it incredible about hotels in Europe being run by families for so many generations. Most every hotel we have stayed in is family run and they really care about you having a wonderful time and returning.

  24. lizzygoodthings says:

    Karen, this is simply stunning! Just stunning! I love coming with you on your travels. When I went to Austria, I had my Hungarian cousins in tow and to them it was just another trip from Budapest to Vienna and they were not keen to ‘allow’ us the opportunity to explore further afield. You have inspired me to travel again. Many thanks xox

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Lizzy. I am thrilled that you enjoy following along on our adventures. You must definitely travel to Austria again…I think it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. :)

  25. As always your photos are exceptional and take me on a holiday with you :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  26. Beautiful pictures, Karen! I especially love the one on the bottom – it’s so green and paired nicely with the white on the mountains!

  27. Cable cars are not my favourite, nor are heights. But to have that view must be worth the anxiety! Although, I can understand why you’ve only been to the summit once.

    Have to say, you’re very savvy about choosing locations to stay. Then doing trips where and when you want them – very impressed!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Johnny, It sounds like you and I are alike. Being suspended high up in a cable car scares me to death but sometimes we just have to do it…but once is enough. :) I’m glad that you like the way I travel. I do put a lot of time and effort into the planning but the trips are very memorable.

  28. Gorgeous scenic photos.

  29. Hotly Spiced says:

    It’s very beautiful, Karen. I love how green the grass is – we don’t see that in Australia. And I love the mountains – we don’t have those in Oz either. I love the bar stools in that family run hotel – what a great place to stay xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, We have mountains an hour away from our homes in both New Hampshire and Maine but none as majestic as the Alps. Isn’t the grass amazingly green…my husband always jokes that it looks like you could drizzle it with olive oil and eat it. :) This was our second time staying at the Hotel Post and we love everything about it.

  30. I’m trying to think how to say this without sounding silly, Karen, but I will just jump in! These photos remind me of post cards. I’m not talking quality, because your photos far surpass an ordinary post card, but it’s the perfection of the settings. Each one is so what I would hope to find if I were in Austria. I want to start singing “The Hills are Alive.” Believe me, I know how corny I sound, but you’ve really managed to convey a true sense of just how special this lovely country is. I can really see why you would return and return. It’s truly another world. :-)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Debra, for your lovely and kind compliment. I think I am very lucky to have such kind readers such as yourself that enjoy my travel adventures. I smiled because my husband was humming “the hills are alive” several times during our drives through the hills and mountains in Austria. You don’t sound corny and I’m happy that my posts convey the beauty we are seeing.

  31. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for such a wonderful set of photos – the food being my favourite, of course. Such creativity!

  32. Hi Karen,
    We once traveled to the top of the Zugspitze via the cog railway. There were many locals on board carrying their skis as there was a glacier area at the top. There were also ice caves through which we could walk. The view from the top was exhilarating although I found the caves to be terrifying and eerie and very cold! I think we took that trip to the top around 1990. I would love to go back! Thank you so much for your gorgeous photos. The hotel sounds and looks very inviting and I will definitely put it on my list for the next time! Linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, Your trip to the top of the Zugspitze sounds just like my first trip…we went up on the cog railway and came down by cable car. If you ever get a chance to visit this area again, I can definitely recommend the hotel. It was our second stay and one I would return to again and again.

  33. Wow again – I feel as if I just visited with you. The mountain being shared by Austria and Germany reminds me of the ending of the Sound of Music where the family is walking over the mountain to escape. I am glad you are having a wonderful time.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Southern, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and photos. So much of Austria reminds you of the movie…we are heading to the lake district where many of the location shots for the Sound of Music were filmed. I think you will recognize some of them. We are having a wonderful time…thank you!

  34. adinparadise says:

    Fabulous photos, Karen. Those mountains are really beautiful, and the dessert looks delicious. :)

  35. Sophie33 says:

    Spectacular & magnificent photos & What great views you got, Waw….

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment, Sophie. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…there is definitely a wow factor when enjoying the Alps. :)

  36. NativeNM says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos, Karen! I can envision the colorful landscape through your eyes! Bet you don’t want to come home anytime soon!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jan, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and photos…it certainly is a beautiful area. It’s always hard time leaving such beauty behind. :)

  37. wok with ray says:

    Oh my goodness that mountain is enormous and what a view! Stunning places, Karen!

  38. Gorgeous photos. Sounds like you had a great time Karen!

  39. I am sure you have had great weather! And you got to see snow :) Have a super trip

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, We have been very lucky with the weather on this trip. There was snow to make things pretty, sun and mild temperatures, with just a few drizzly days. Thank you for your nice wish, we are having a great time.

  40. What a delightful time you’re having, thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures.

  41. What a lovely long trip you are enjoying. Beautiful vistas & beautiful food. The perfect duo.

  42. I am glad you are having a great time!

  43. Rosa Mayland says:

    A beautiful mountain and region. I’d love to visit Austria.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  44. Gorgeous images – as always – and a beautiful mountain. Thanks for sharing.

  45. barbaralilian says:

    Oh Karen. what beautiful scenery. I think I would have to push my fear of heights to the back of my mind, & be brave, to get up there. but to miss seeing those views would be sinful. What wonderful memories you will take back home of this fabulous trip you have organised.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. I’ve been doing exactly what you said because this trip has lots of heights involved. This will certainly be a very memorable holiday.

  46. You are in the mountains Karen, a favourite place of mine to be. Something about seeing snow capped mountains in the distance with green fields all around and sunshine too! Something truly magical and spectacular.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claire, Yes, we have lots of beautiful mountains to visit on this trip. We can see the mountains from both our home in New Hampshire and the cottage in Maine but they are nothing compared to the Alps…they are spectacular.

  47. cabinet stew says:

    WOW! what a mountain! breathtaking really! You should really write a travel guide!! Wonderful!

  48. Such an imposing mountain. Love your images. Wonderful trip!

  49. afracooking says:

    Such stunning views! And so beautiful to read how much you appreciate it all!

  50. ohlidia says:

    What stunning photographs Karen! Looks like you guys are having a wonderful time.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lidia, We are having a wonderful time…especially as the weather has been so nice this trip. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. Thank you!

  51. mjskit says:

    WOW! Those mountains define “Majestic”! Gorgeous pictures and a gorgeous place!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you MJ, for your nice compliment. Having sunshine while traveling in of Austria made for some nice photos…I’m glad you enjoyed them. Majestic is the perfect word to described these beautiful mountains.

  52. Your photos are so stunning. I have taken just one trip to Germany and Austria and after reading your post I see there is some pretty spectacular scenery I have not seen yet.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. This is our fourth visit to Austria and we keep discovering more wonderful areas that we enjoy.

  53. Kristy says:

    That last photo is breathtaking! Truly. I love how colorful the European towns always are – they look so storybook.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kristy, That is one of my favorite photos as well…the sun was starting to set. I have to agree with you about the towns looking like they are out of a storybook. They are so picture perfect.

  54. Karen, you’ve really captured the beauty of this area but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to seeing it in person. I know my husband would shame me into getting on one of those cable cars, but I would be the person sitting on the floor in the middle of the car whimpering.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Diane, for your lovely compliment. You are right, a camera can never capture scenery like it is in real life. You had me laughing so hard about riding in a cable car. If we were traveling together, we would both be sitting on the floor. :)

  55. Becki Jacobs says:

    Beautiful! It is interesting how similar Austria and Germany look, but the terrain changes with the mountains. The Zugspitze is absolutely breathtaking!

  56. For me, one of the great things about the German countryside is the architecture. Thank you for capturing it so perfectly!

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