Ski resorts near Munich

By Steve Rout

The long lines of cars heading south on the motorway and the crowded carriages on the trains in the "short platform" section of Munich’s main railway station are testament to the popularity of the nearby mountain ranges.

On a clear day, as the tourist office frequently maintains, you can see the snow-covered peaks from the city. On a clear winter weekend, many of Munich’s inhabitants will be up at various heights on those peaks – skiing, ski touring, snowshoeing or walking.

ski-resorts-near-munichSUBLIME SLOPES: There are some great places to ski in Bavaria. Pic: . xdfrog

Plenty head into Austria for the generally higher skiing, but there are enough resorts closer at hand in the Bavarian Alps:


Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the grande dame of German ski resorts, famous for the Winter Olympics and its yearly ski races on the World Cup circuit, and one of the more "traditional" ski areas in the Alps.
As you’d expect, the skiing is pretty impressive, with a fairly extensive range of slopes above the town, all linked by mountain railway.

These slopes are also where the World Cup racing takes place and there are some challenging descents to the edge of the town mixed in with the more flattering intermediate terrain.
The immediate disadvantage is the altitude. At only just over 700m, the lower slopes can get thin and icy in poor snow years. On the other hand, the high mountain ski area below the Zugspitze (2961m) would knock the socks of some of the specialist glacier areas in other countries.

skiing-in-garmischHIGH UP: A mountaintop view near Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The train journey inside the mountain or the cable car ride up above the lake (the Eibsee) are spectacular in their own right.

The costs are high in Germany’s equivalent to Austria’s Kitzbühel or Switzerland’s St Moritz but, whether a wealthy holidaymaker or a day tripper counting the cash, most visitors find that it is a price worth paying.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is easily reached by motorway or rail connections.


Oberammergau is, of course, famous for its Passion Play and woodcarving shops. This village in the mountains also boasts two small ski areas (one with very easy slopes and one with a serious and long down through the trees).

But the main winter attractions are the picturesque decorations on the houses in the village and the range of winter sports on offer. As well as the skiing, there are cleared winter walking trails and snowshoe routes up into the mountains.

And the cross country skiing in the valley down towards King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle is set in magnificent winter scenery. Getting to Oberammergau involves taking the same route south as Garmisch but cutting off to the west before the town (either train or car).


The Brauneck ski area near Lenggries (just south of Bad Tölz) is a relatively small area but also a surprisingly interesting one. The ski area rises to a height of 1700m and is filled with red intermediate runs.

There is also a black World Cup run down the face back into the valley. The main advantage of this resort is the convenience from Munich – it’s one of the closest decent-sized ski areas to the city and can be easily reached on public transport as well as by car.

Other Resorts

Skiers looking for further resorts might like to try the small area at the mountain village of Mittenwald near the Austrian border; the ski area which links the lakes of the Tegernsee and the Spitzingsee; the Sudelfeld area above Bayrischzell; and, for those who want to head a bit further afield, the resort of Oberstdorf to the southwest or Berchtesgaden to the southeast.

"Ski Resorts near Munich" Author Steve Rout is an ex-journalist who lives near the German border in Austria. He now runs the popular Ski Germany website.

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