Are you a lover of outdoor activities? If so, you've come to the perfect destination for exploring mountains, enjoying spectacular views and trekking near beautiful lakes. What could be better than a chance to visit Munich and see the great outdoors? Read on for how to see Alpine peaks – some an hour's drive away and others just requiring a train ticket!
Located in southeast Germany, Bavaria is the country’s largest, wealthiest and most visited state and is famous for its unique culture. Right in the center of all the action is Munich, Bavaria’s capital and one of the most important cities in the state and in Germany. Munich also happens to be a very popular destination. The city is home to some of the world’s most impressive museums and is the venue for the iconic beer festival known as Oktoberfest.
Most travelers come to Munich to drink some beer, experience the local cuisine and visit the different famous attractions in the city. However, those who are looking for something more adventurous will not be disappointed – the Bavarian capital is one of the best places to visit for trekking and hiking! In fact, Munich is considered an excellent gateway to the Bavarian Alps, which boasts some of the best hiking trails in the world and any trekker's dream destination.
For the most unforgettable trip, you should definitely visit the top trails and hikes near Munich. There is a diverse range of hiking spots that can be accessed from the city center. You don’t even have to have your own vehicle because these spots may be reached via public transport. There are also some interesting trails within the city limits if you don’t feel like going too far.
Trekking in and around Munich is a one-of-a-kind experience and an activity that you should include in your bucket list. To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled the 10 best hikes near Munich that you shouldn’t miss. So, grab your backpack and leave your extra gear at one of our bag storage lockers in Munich. Enjoy the trek with a lighter load and bring your camera!
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Munich
Found in Reintal Valley, just a short distance from the ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge), which is one of the most prominent day trips from Munich and a must-visit attraction in the Bavarian Alps. The Partnachklamm is a deep gorge that measures over 700 meters long and 86 meters deep that acts as a natural channel for the Partnach River.
Visitors can walk among the waterfalls and narrow passageways while appreciating the stunning limestone walls in the area. The Partnachklamm is a short hike and takes just about 40 minutes to complete, making it the perfect choice for first-timers who don’t have much experience with hiking.
One of the most popular hikes near Munich, the Herzogstand-Heimgarten trail is a must for trekkers and adventure-seekers. Herzogstand is a mountain situated northwest of Lake Walchen and can easily be reached from Munich via an hour-long train ride. The trail’s highest peak rises at 1731 meters above sea level and offers hikes unparalleled views of lovely Lake Walchensee and the German Alps (you can even see Munich from here on clear days!).
Hikers who are looking to traverse this combination trail have the option to either do a ridge walk (which will take about one and a half to two hours) or ride a cable car in a matter of minutes to the top of Herzogstand. Once you reach the ridge, you will trek for another three hours to reach the peak of Heimgarten, which is the highest point of the trail. Some guests choose to just do the trek up to Herzogstand without continuing to Heimgarten, which is perfectly acceptable, especially if you are not an experienced hiker.
Tegernsee is one of Bavaria’s loveliest resort towns and a major tourist spot near Munich; the town is a popular day trip destination as it is linked to the city center via train. One of the reasons why Tegernsee is so popular among locals and tourists is its proximity to the Bavarian Alps and the numerous hiking spots found in the region.
One of the classic hikes in town is the Neureuther Hütte, which is ideal for beginner hikers of all ages. The route has a distance of approximately five kilometers and will take about one to one and a half hours per way. When trekking the Neureuther Hütte trail, hikers will have to pass through a wide forest road that leads to a large sun terrace on top. Here, you get to take in a scenic view of Lake Tegernsee and beyond. Note: As one of the most famous day trips from Munich, you can expect big crowds in the area, especially during the weekends.
If you are looking for a less crowded and calmer trek around the town of Tegernsee, a great alternative would be the hike to Riederstein. This route is around 7 kilometers long and lasts for about four hours in total (two and a half hours climb and one and a half hours descent). Similar to the Neureuther Hütte route, the Riederstein trail also takes you through some wide and ascending forest paths.
The main difference is that the latter requires you to climb a flight of stairs (which takes approximately an hour to complete) in order to reach the peak. The trail’s summit sits 1207 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of the beautiful landscapes in the area.
Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest)
If you happen to be a history buff who also likes hiking, then you should definitely make plans to hike up to the Kehlsteinhaus. Also known to foreigners as Eagle’s Nest, the Kehlsteinhaus is a house situated atop the summit of Kehlstein, not too far from the Berchtesgaden National Park. The building played a significant role in Germany’s history because it was used by Nazi Party members as a meeting place during the Third Reich. Today, the Eagle’s Nest is a major tourist destination that operates seasonally as a beer garden and restaurant.
Although the summit can be reached via bus, the trail leading up to the Eagle’s Nest has grown to become one of the most prominent hiking trails in the area. The moderate hike has a distance of about 10 kilometers and will take about five to six hours, depending on which route you take. The pathway has plenty of signs and is easy enough to follow but can get really steep in some parts; once you reach the bus stop, you can choose to either continue to hike up for another hour or to ride an elevator going up.
Sitting on the Loisach valley near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is Mount Wank, which offers trekkers an excellent opportunity for hiking and sightseeing. One of the easiest hikes near Munich, Wank’s summit sits around 1,780 meters above sea level and is home to a mountain hut called the Wankhaus, which offers both food and accommodation. The site also features the Wankbahn, a cable car system that takes tourists directly up to the summit. However, it is operational only during the summer season. On a hot summer day, be sure to take advantage!
The route leading up to the summit is not too difficult and features a network of foot trails. Traversing it takes approximately six hours in total, with three and a half hours for the ascent and two and a half hours for the descent. Once you reach Wank’s summit, you will be rewarded by incredible views of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Bavarian Alps and the surrounding regions.
Höllentalklamm Gorge (Hell Valley Gorge)
Another one of the gems found in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the Höllentalklamm Gorge, also commonly referred to as Hell Valley Gorge. Despite its name, however, this natural wonder actually resembles heaven more than hell; this gorge features striking turquoise waters flowing through rock walls and waterfalls coming down from the river.
The hike leading to the Höllentalklamm Gorge is an easy one (with the exception of passing through electrically-illuminated tunnels); the route begins at the Hammersbach Village and has a distance of a little over eight kilometers (round trip). The entire trip to and from the gorge will take just about three hours, making it an excellent beginner-friendly activity and one of the best day trips from Munich.
The Priener Hütte is an Alpine Club hut found in the Chiemgau Alps in the district of Rosenheim, which is a little under two hours away from the Munich city center (via a combination of train and bus ride). Open all year round, the Priener Hütte is one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the region.
Unlike some of the other hiking sites nearby, the Priener Hütte does not offer cable car rides up to the summit, which means visitors have no choice but to traverse the pathway to reach the peak. Luckily, the Priener Hütte trail is fairly easy and features a forest path that rises 700 meters in altitude. The summit, which is 1411 meters above sea level, can be reached within two and a half hours and offers panoramic views of the Kaiser Mountains.
Situated near Urfeld, just a little more than 80 kilometers outside of the city, Jochberg is one of the top hiking day trips from Munich and a great option for hikers of all levels of experience. Standing 1567 meters tall, the mountain provides visitors with jaw-dropping views of the Alps and the nearby lakes of Kochelsee and Walchensee. The trail up to the peak of Jochberg starts in Kesselberg, with a distance of about 10 kilometers and an elevation gain of 750 meters.
Even though the hike is generally easy, there are some parts of the trail that get really steep and may require more effort than usual. However, once you reach the summit, you’ll easily know that the energy was worth spending: from the top of Jochberg, you get to witness some excellent views of the surrounding region. All in all, the hike would take about four hours to and from the summit.
As Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze should be part of every hiker’s bucket list. Located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the mountain’s summit sits at 2,962 meters above sea level and provides trekkers with unbeatable views of the Bavarian Alps and other regions. Munich is a great base for travelers who are planning to conquer the highest point in the country.
Technically, you can easily reach the summit by riding a cable car to the top. However, for those who want to enjoy the scenic but challenging route, the Zugspitze has several trails of varying levels to choose from; these can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. Once you reach the summit, don't forget to reward yourself with a pint from Germany's highest beer garden!
Easy Hikes in Munich
There are plenty of hikes in and near Munich that are highly recommended for beginners and trekkers who have little to no experience. One of the easiest hikes in Munich is the Partnachklamm, which takes just about an hour to complete. Another easy hike near Munich is the Hirschberg, a classic trekking destination in Tegernsee. The entire trek takes only three to four hours total, which makes for the perfect day trip hike from the city. You'll have plenty of energy left to check into the unmissable things to do in Munich at night!
Intermediate Hikes in Munich
If you have some experience hiking and would like something a little more challenging, your best bet would be the numerous hiking trails within the Bavarian Alps. One such option is the hike to the top of Mount Wendelstein, which has a summit of 1,838 meters above sea level. The mountain has several paths, including one suitable for intermediate hikers that lasts for about 4 hours.
Difficult Hikes in Munich
For experienced hikers and adventure-seekers who are looking to challenge themselves while in Munich, the top choice would be to conquer the Zugspitze, which is the highest mountain in Germany. Climbing up the Zugspitze involves a long hike that can last up to 12 hours. Or if you’re a hardcore trekker who wants to experience the hiking trip of a lifetime, consider traversing through the Maximiliansweg, a long-distance hiking trail that runs from Lindau to the Bavarian Alps.
The Ideal Destination
With its strategic location and excellent roads and public transportation, Munich is the perfect base for locals and tourists who want to explore the natural beauty of Bavaria. No matter how outdoorsy you are or how much experience you have when it comes to trekking, you will surely find a couple of trails and hikes near Munich that are suitable for your skill and preference. To help you plan for the perfect trip, don't forget to check out our guide on where to stay while here!