Cradled by six mountain ranges on the Austrian Border, the alpine village of Berchtesgaden is teeming with Bavarian charm. Discover remnants of a Nazi stronghold amongst a weave of cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured chalets and mountain wilderness.
Things to do in Berchtesgaden
Visit Eagle’s Nest, a mountaintop retreat built for Adolf Hitler during the Nazi reign. Known locally as “Kehlsteinhaus”, the chalet is perched 900 metres above the valley floor with views of the Bavarian and Austrian Alps. Today, the retreat functions as an Alpine tea house where you can dine above the clouds.
Sail across the emerald Königssee, Germany’s deepest lake. Sparkling waters are framed by steep mountains and thundering waterfalls. Stop off at the famous red-domed Church of St. Bartholomä and take a steep hike to the Ice Chapel, a year-round glacier with a natural ice cave.
Reflect on Germany’s National Socialist period at the Dokumentation Obersalzberg. The museum details all facets of the Nazi power, from Hitler’s forced takeover and resistance movement to his racial policies and the death camps. After exploring the museum, descend into the underground bunkers to uncover a series of hidden tunnels.
For more family fun, join a tour of Salzbergwerk and learn about the historic salt mine that dates back to the 16th-century. Slip into a miner’s jumpsuit and swoosh down a 35-metre-long wooden slide that brings you into the depths of the shaft. Witness the glowing salt caves and take a wooden boat across a 100-metre-long subterranean salt lake.
Getting around Berchtesgaden
Fly into either Salzburg Airport or Munich Airport. Berchtesgaden is a one-hour bus or 30-minute taxi ride from Salzburg and a three-hour train ride from Munich. Once in Berchtesgaden, the village is easily explored on foot, with regular buses departing to attractions.