Zugspitze and the border between Austria and Germany

The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the Austria–Germany border runs over its western summit. At one time there was a passport control and currency exchange at the summit.

It is possible to ascend from both countries, and ultimately you are at the summit. There are two separate terraces — Bavarian and Tirolean — connected by walkway, regional lander signs predominate here, with the exception of one Germany sign. The buildings on the German side are older and include the Deutscher Wetterdienst, a weather station established in 1900. It also has the highest Beer Garden in Germany. Both sides have terraces and restaurants. and the Austrian side has a small museum.

Both sides have communication towers, and there are amazing panoramic views. The climate is officially Tundra and you can observe the only glacier in Germany.

The Border

The Summit

The Summit Cross

The German side has the famous Gipfelkreuz which is accessed via ladders and chains and for a moment you can be the highest person in Germany.

Ascent and Descent

There are several options of getting to and from the summit, we chose the Eibsee-Seilbahn  which takes you directly to the summit in 10 minutes. We returned in 2 stages, firstly the Zugspitz-Gletscherbahn and then the Zahnradbahn (cog -wheel train) back to Eibsee. This is the third highest railway in Europe and the highest in Germany.

Date of Visit: 15/08/2015

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