Berchtesgaden Germany Travel Guide
Berchtesgaden Germany Travel Guide

Berchtesgaden, Germany:

 

Officially Founded In: 1102 AD; Joined Bavaria in 1810.
Language: German (Deutsch), plus a little English.
Suggested Length of Stay: 1 to 2 Full Days.

 

Sought as the ultimate Alpine retreat by Austrians and Germans for centuries, the Bavarian village of Berchtesgaden is an unspoiled, magical place.  The charming Berchtesgaden is enclosed by a series of mountain including the picturesque 8,900 foot tall Watzmann which is the 3rd highest peak in Germany.  These mountains work together to provide amazing views, a long elegant fjord, and protection to Berchtesgaden’s old Bavarian charm.  Enjoy our Berchtesgaden travel guide!

Berchtesgaden Germany Travel Guide
Historical Overview of Berchtesgaden:
The area was first used as a small settlement until the Augustinian monastery and town was officially established in 1100. Like other local powerhouses such as Salzburg and Hallstatt, salt was quickly discovered in Berchtesgaden and from 1200 through the Middle Ages this white gold brought wealth to the village.  Since the 1500 the village has back and forth on whether it is part of greater Salzburg or Bavaria, but has retained as much sovereignty as possible.

Because of its beauty many leaders has longed for Berchtesgaden, from the Bavarian Royal family that has held a permanent residence here since 1810 and even Hitler who made the area the 2nd seat of government for the 3rd Reich during WWII.  When the Nazi’s lost WWII the region was in search for an identity and decided to join neighboring cities to form Berchtesgadenland.

Since WII some of Berchtesgaden’s Nazi past has been turned into wonderful tourist attractions to help make sure the event of the past are never repeated.  These attractions include the Documentation Center Museum complete with its underground tunnels and the mighty Eagle’s Nest providing views of up to 120 miles.  Throw in the amazing experience of a boat ride the enclosed Königsee Lake, the views and skiing from Jennar Mountain, and charm of Old Town’s market and beer halls all capped off with the tower Watzmann peaks and you have a village that needs to be on your must visit list.

 

Visiting Berchtesgaden:
Berchtesgaden can be an amazing day trip from either Salzburg or Munich, but is even more fun if you can stretch your visit to two days with an overnight stay.  A busy day here can be very rewarding, but since life moves at a little slower pace in Berchtesgaden, you’ll be able to feel the full magic of the village slowing down your pace as well.

We’ve come up with some helpful guides to help you maxim your time and make sure you are able to see all the main sights of Berchtesgaden during your visit.


Historical Overview of Berchtesgaden:
The area was first used as a small settlement until the Augustinian monastery and town was officially established in 1100. Like other local powerhouses such as Salzburg and Hallstatt, salt was quickly discovered in Berchtesgaden and from 1200 through the Middle Ages this white gold brought wealth to the village.  Since the 1500 the village has back and forth on whether it is part of greater Salzburg or Bavaria, but has retained as much sovereignty as possible.

Because of its beauty many leaders has longed for Berchtesgaden, from the Bavarian Royal family that has held a permanent residence here since 1810 and even Hitler who made the area the 2nd seat of government for the 3rd Reich during WWII.  When the Nazi’s lost WWII the region was in search for an identity and decided to join neighboring cities to form Berchtesgadenland.

Since WII some of Berchtesgaden’s Nazi past has been turned into wonderful tourist attractions to help make sure the event of the past are never repeated.  These attractions include the Documentation Center Museum complete with its underground tunnels and the mighty Eagle’s Nest providing views of up to 120 miles.  Throw in the amazing experience of a boat ride the enclosed Königsee Lake, the views and skiing from Jennar Mountain, and charm of Old Town’s market and beer halls all capped off with the tower Watzmann peaks and you have a village that needs to be on your must visit list.

 

Visiting Berchtesgaden:
Berchtesgaden can be an amazing day trip from either Salzburg or Munich, but is even more fun if you can stretch your visit to two days with an overnight stay.  A busy day here can be very rewarding, but since life moves at a little slower pace in Berchtesgaden, you’ll be able to feel the full magic of the village slowing down your pace as well.

We’ve come up with some helpful guides to help you maxim your time and make sure you are able to see all the main sights of Berchtesgaden during your visit.


  • MAB Voyager

    I am looking to do a daytrip to Hallstatt but would like to combine a boat ride at a lake as beautiful as the kings lake in Berchtesgaden, is there another such lake that offers boat rides near Hallstat? How does St Wolfgansee qualify and can i go there by public transport on my way to Hallstat?

    • Berchtesgaden hands down has the very best Alpine ferry/boat ride int he area you are going, the other ones aren’t really close to as good even though they are fun.
      Saint Wolfgan Lake is decent and you can get to it by bus on the way to Hallstatt, however, a day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg will fill up a full day in itself. From The Ice Caves, 5 Fingers Lookout to the Village/Bone Chapel/ect would fill out an itinerary and with not much time to do anything on an enjoyable time frame. While in Hallstatt you can ride the ferry across the lake to the train station and back which is very relaxing. You can also rent a paddle boat for an hour or two to head out on Hallstatt’s lake yourself.

  • Arka Dutta

    Hi, I am writing for a suggestion. I want to come to Berchesgaden from Hallstatt, starting early morning. Do the Konigssee lake tour and probably the eagle nest trip and move to Salzburg for the night. Is it doable?
    Probably will avail a rental car for transportation.

    • Since you have a rental car that is a very doable route. Hallstatt to Berchtesgaden by train or bus is a little bit of a pain as most routes take you through Salzburg anyway and have a few transfers, but it is only 75 minutes by car. You’ll take Highway 166 over to A10 then cut over to Berchtesgaden at Hallein.

      If you are going before October (end of busy season) you’d want to leave Halstatt for Berchtesgaden by around 830am at the latest so you can go right to Konigssee Lake to ride the ferry as lines start getting longer between 10-11am. There is a large parking lot and it is also right by the lift for Jennerbahn. From there drive up to the Docuement Center parking lot to get the Eagles Nest Bus (its the only way to get there), after that you will already be close to the Luge, can drive down to the Salt Mine, can check out Market Square (and eat).

      I assume you will have 1-2 full days in Salzburg once you get there?

      • Arka Dutta

        Thanks a lot. I will be visiting late October. Will be reaching Salzburg on 20th. Going to Hallstatt on 22nd. Stay and explore the region on 23rd and while coming back on 24th will visit Berchesgaden.

        • Sounds good, since you have a car that schedule will work great. I would still leave for Berchtesgaden from Hallstatt so you can get there early and get breakfast right on Kings Lake before heading out on the ferry. The boat is covered so don’t worry if it is raining. I would Kings Lake, possibly Jennerbahn, then head up to the Eagles Nest since the days start to get shorter when you are visiting. It is also the very last weekend the Eagles Nest will be open this year before closing for the Winter so you just made it schedule-wise.
          Check out the top day trip page and our Sound of Music page in the Salzburg section for other stops worth seeing nearby since you have a car.

          • Arka Dutta

            Thanks a lot. Too bad there is no bus from Hallstatt along highway 166. We love to avail public transport.
            I have been through the pages for last 2-3 days. This is super helpful site. Perfect for independent travelers, travelling without the tension of car rental companies. Have very little idea about reputation of car rental companies in Salzburg. However I am planning to go ahead with Avis for the time being

          • Have you already locked down your hotels? If you haven’t I would almost just book your hotel in Salzburg for all of your nights in the area based on your schedule. This will have you some time checking in and out, plus Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden are a fairly short drive by car. You would then stay in Salzburg on day 1, pop over the Hallstatt day 2, Stay Salzburg again day 3, pop down to Berchtesgaden day 4, with the ability to adjust your days with the weather.
            Without a car you can easily do the same schedule using public transportation, but the car will give you more flexibility, will cut the transport time, and will be easier with luggage. Avis and any other big brands are solid, just have to book early for the best pricing.

          • Arka Dutta

            Yes. I have done booking but its like “pay when you arrive”. This is our plan till now:
            We will catch the morning train from Vienna to Salzburg on 20th. Check in at the hotel, do a walking trip post lunch.

            Next day we plan to enjoy Salzburg. On 22nd we plan to drive to Hallstatt, stay at Obertraun (again a booking like pay when you arrive). Explore the area on 22nd and 23rd. On 24th go to Salzburg via Bechesgaden. On 25th leave Salzburg to Wien and to Budapest by train.
            However I am interested in your proposal. What do you propose?

          • I am going to move my reply to this to http://www.bigboytravel.com/europe/austria/salzburg/suggested-itineraries/ as it more relates to that page

          • Arka Dutta

            And should I be worried about the weather. I heard sometimes there can be constant rain due to clouds getting stuck up around the mountains. But I read generally October has the lowest number of rain days

          • No i wouldn’t worry about the weather, most likely be decent. The reason why we like to have a little flexibility with Berchtesgaden is because the Eagles Nest is known for it’s amazing views so if you end up with 1 day rainy/foggy and the next foretasted to be clear you can change up your plan. Last year in late-September we were there on a rainy day and it was still fun.

        • As far as your Hallstatt schedule goes, here are some things to think about. The Salt Mine funicular opens at 9am and you can get great views of the lake in the early morning light, the last at site mine tour starts at 3:30 and you have to be there early. Because you can drive over the the Ice Caves (3 miles away) you wont have to worry about getting the last bus back. The cave tours in October run from 9am-4pm with the last cable car back down the mountain at 5pm. You can get dinner or a drink at Market Square when you get in the night before. Just make sure to give yourself some time to relax as it is a slower town, visiting the bone chapel and getting out of the lake in a row boat are both pretty awesome! http://www.bigboytravel.com/europe/austria/hallstatt/