If you were to ask me for the best place in Germany to enjoy stunning natural views, I’d immediately suggest Berchtesgaden.
Berchtesgaden, tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, offers breathtaking views at every turn. Whether you’re gazing at majestic mountains or mirror-like lakes, exploring deep gorges or spectacular caves and mines, the scenery is simply stunning. Absolutely, it’s a place worth exploring for its truly stunning natural landscapes.
In my view, Berchtesgaden is Germany’s equivalent to Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen, often referred to as “Heaven on Earth”, or Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as the “Queen of the Dolomites”. The stunning sceneries from the different viewpoints in Berchtesgaden should prove that!
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The photos below provide you with a summary or glimpse of the stunning natural landscapes in Berchtesgaden. These images capture the beauty of Berchtesgaden at various times of the day and during different seasons of the year.
Good to know: In this post, I’ll guide you to the best viewpoints in Berchtesgaden. I’ll also explain the different ways you can reach these spots. If you might be thinking about where to stay, this hotel browser can help you find the best hotel deals in town. Check out my post, 12 Reasons to Visit Berchtesgaden, to discover more attractions within and around the town.
1. Eagle’s Nest
Eagle’s Nest, or “Kehlsteinhaus”, is a picturesque spot in Berchtesgaden with a rich history. In the early 20th century, it served as a social and official government venue for the Nazi Party. The name “Eagle’s Nest” was given by French ambassador André François-Poncet, who used it to describe his experience during a rare diplomatic meeting with Hitler.
Perched high on the ridges and subpeak of the Hoher Göll, at an altitude of 1,834 m (6,017 ft) above sea level, the Eagle’s Nest offers visitors a breathtaking view of the town of Berchtesgaden below. At such a height, one can only imagine the awe-inspiring scenery that unfolds to the left and right of the Eagle’s Nest.
The View from Eagle’s Nest
Here’s how I describe the view from Eagle’s Nest.
At Eagle’s Nest, one of Berchtesgaden’s most picturesque spots, you’re treated to a panoramic view of the entire Berchtesgaden Alps landscape. On a clear, sunny day, your gaze can stretch from Mount Jenner and Konigssee all the way to the city of Salzburg in Austria, which is about 25 kilometers north of Berchtesgaden.
You’ll find yourself at eye level with the towering peaks of Watzmann, Hochkalter, and Rotpalfen. It’s an experience that truly makes you feel on top of the world! The magnificent skyline of the Northern Limestone Alps scrapes the horizon, presenting a breathtaking sight.
The transition of the landform from south to north is spectacular, moving from rugged mountains to hilly terrain and then to flat lands. It’s a sight that’s sure to amaze you.
At the Eagle’s Nest, you can savor the scenery while enjoying beers and snacks served at the on-site restaurant. To enrich your visit, consider joining one of the Eagle’s Nest historical tours. It’s a great way to fill your stay with fascinating discoveries.
How to Get to Eagle’s Nest
To get to Eagle’s Nest from Berchtesgaden Hbf, you’ll need to take the RVO Bus 838 to Busbahnhof Kehlsteinhaus. Once you arrive, hop on the RVO bus 849, which will take you to the upper parking area on the mountain. From there, you’ll find a tunnel leading you straight to Eagle’s Nest.
Please note that private vehicles are only allowed up to Busbahnhof Kehlsteinhaus. The road to the upper parking area is closed to private traffic. But don’t worry, there are parking spaces near the bus stop where you can leave your car while you visit Eagle’s Nest.
Feel free to spend as much time as you want at Eagle’s Nest. Just remember that buses run every 25 minutes from 8:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. While the recommended stay is 1 to 2 hours, some travelers find themselves spending even more time there, captivated by the beauty of the place.
If you’re up for a bit of adventure, you can hike from Busbahnhof Kehlsteinhaus to Eagle’s Nest. The trail has an elevation gain of 848 meters and takes about an hour and a half to complete. Be prepared for a rocky and uneven path, and make sure to wear proper footwear.
Eagle’s Nest is open from mid-May until the end of October, weather permitting. It’s important to check the official Kehlsteinhaus website for announcements before your visit. You can also check the live camera to see if the weather is clear at Eagle’s Nest. This way, you’ll know whether you’ll be greeted with a view or a blanket of fog at the top.
If you find yourself at Eagle’s Nest, you’ll notice Kneifelspitze. This smaller mountain stands in front of the entire Untersberg massif, which is the northernmost section of the Berchtesgaden Alps.
Kneifelspitze’s peak reaches a height of 1189 meters above sea level, offering a commanding view of the Berchtesgaden Valley below. This mountain is located northeast of Berchtesgaden, about 3 kilometers away from the town center.
Like Eagle’s Nest, Kneifelspitze also has a restaurant at the top. Named Paulshütte, this eatery allows you to enjoy a meal while taking in the picturesque view from its sunny terrace. It’s a wonderful spot to relax and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
The View from Kneifelspitze
Learn more about the view from Kneifelspitze
Kneifelspitze, standing slightly apart from the Untersberg Massif, offers hikers and travelers a closer and more dramatic view of the town of Berchtesgaden and the southern Watzmann Mountain.
This spot is a favorite among photographers, who come to capture the spectacular crescent ridge formed by the peaks of Watzmann Mountain: Kleiner Watzmann, Watzmannkinder, and Mittel Spitze. The unique landscape provides a stunning backdrop for their photographs. It’s truly a sight to behold!
How to Get to Kneifelspitze
Unfortunately, there are currently no cableways or bus services that go directly to Kneifelspitze. The only way to reach it is by hiking one of two trails. These trails start from two popular tourist attractions in Berchtesgaden: the Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden, also known as the Salt Mine, and the picturesque Wallfahrtskirche Maria Gern, a beautiful church.
To get to these starting points, you can take a bus from the Berchtesgaden bus station. Bus 837 will take you to Maria Gern Church, and bus 840 will bring you to the Salt Mine.
I’ve put together a route to guide you from Maria Gern Church to Kneifelspitze. This intermediate-level trail should take you about an hour and 17 minutes to complete. I’ve chosen a winding path on the west side of Kneifelspitze because it’s not as steep as other routes. This should make your hike more enjoyable.
Click the square above the plus and minus zoom buttons to recenter the map.
If you’re starting from the Salt Mine, here’s the route you can follow. It’s quite similar to the hiking trail from Maria Gern Church. The main difference is that this route is a bit longer and includes a detour through a spot called Marxenhöhe.
Marxenhöhe is another viewpoint in Kneifelspitze. Although it’s slightly lower than the mountain’s summit, it offers views that are almost as stunning. There’s a bench and a swing at Marxenhöhe where you can take a break and enjoy the scenic view of Berchtesgaden and Watzmann. It’s a lovely spot to rest and take in the beauty of the surroundings.
Konigssee, located in Germany, is not just a scenic lake. It’s also the third deepest and cleanest lake in the country. This natural lake was formed during the last ice age. Today, it measures 8 kilometers long, 1 kilometer wide, and has a perimeter of 20 kilometers.
Here are some fascinating facts about Konigssee:
- The name “Konigssee” translates to “King’s Lake” in English.
- The water quality of the lake is almost at drinking level, making it incredibly clean.
- Since 1909, only electric-powered passenger ships, rowing boats, and pedal boats have been allowed on the lake. This rule was implemented by the government to preserve the lake’s cleanliness.
- The towering rock walls surrounding the lake create an echo that can reverberate up to seven times.
- Konigssee has only one island at its northern tip, called Christlieger. This island is home to the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, the patron saint against the dangers of water.
- There’s also a peninsula in the middle of the lake called Hirschau. This is where you’ll find the iconic church of Saint Bartholomew.
The View in Königssee
Here’s how I describe the sceneries in Königssee
Konigssee is a lake of such beauty that words can hardly do it justice. On a clear, sunny day, its crystal-clear emerald waters glitter in the sunlight, reflecting the towering mountains that surround it. It’s a sight so idyllic, peaceful, and serene, it could easily be mistaken for heaven on earth.
Nestled on the western shore of Konigssee, about halfway along the lake, is the Hirschau peninsula. This is where you’ll find the famous pilgrimage site, Saint Bartholomew’s Church. Behind it, the longest mountain face in the Eastern Alps, the face of Watzmann Mountain, rises majestically. The sight of these landmarks mirrored on the clear, glittering surface of the lake is a breathtaking spectacle.
As you pass by the Hirschau Peninsula to the south, you’ll see the Schrainbachwasserfall cascading down to the lake through a limestone wall covered in lush vegetation. In photos taken from a distance, the waterfall appears like a white stick puncturing the emerald surface of Konigssee.
Konigssee is at its most picturesque during autumn, when the golden hues of fall foliage create a truly otherworldly scenery. However, the best time to visit is on a clear, sunny day, when the vibrant colors of the lake, forest, and mountains burst vividly into view. It’s a sight that will leave you in awe.
How to Get to Königssee
Getting to Konigssee from Berchtesgaden is a breeze. Simply hop on bus 841 or 842 from the Berchtesgaden railway station, and you’ll arrive in just 10-15 minutes. These buses depart from the station twice an hour, running from 05:50 a.m. until 7:15 p.m.
If you’re up for a bit of exercise, you could also hike from Berchtesgaden to Obersee. This walk should take you less than an hour.
It’s worth noting that Konigssee doesn’t have hiking trails along its perimeter. To visit other parts of the lake, such as the Hirschau peninsula, Kassel (an Alpine Pasture), and Salet (which links to Obersee), you’ll need to either take an electric motorboat or hike the mountains surrounding Konigssee.
Boat ride tickets can be purchased at the counters near the lake’s docks. For information on prices, schedules, online tickets, and any announcements, be sure to check the official Konigssee website.
4. Jenner Aussichtsplattform
Jenner is a mountain in Berchtesgaden that offers stunning views. It’s part of the Göll massif, much like the ridge where Eagle’s Nest is located. This mountain is not just about the views, though. It also boasts ski resorts and beautiful Alpine pastures, making it a fun place to visit in winter and a great spot to explore in summer.
At the summit of the mountain, which is 1874 meters above sea level, there’s an Aussichtsplattform, or observation deck. From here, you can see almost the entire Berchtesgaden National Park when you face the Watzmann Massif. This observation deck, known as Jenner Aussichtsplattform, has been dubbed “The Royal Look” because it overlooks the King’s Lake, or Konigssee, below. It’s a sight that’s sure to take your breath away.
The View from Jenner Aussichtsplattform
Here’s what else you can expect to see from Jenner Aussichtsplattform
From the observation deck on Mount Jenner, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the Watzmann Massif and almost the entire length of Konigssee below. Many say that this view is unparalleled in the region.
You can watch electric motorboats drift across the lake, or admire the massive rock walls of Konigssee from the Jenner Aussichtsplattform. A closer view of the rugged peaks of the Berchtesgaden Alps awaits you.
On lucky days, you might witness a sea of clouds over Konigssee, creating an even more spectacular scene. This phenomenon, where an overcast layer of clouds resembles a sea and turns the mountain peaks into islands, can make you feel like you’re in heaven.
Konigssee is at its most picturesque during autumn when the golden colors of fall foliage create a breathtaking scenery. Regardless of the season, it’s best to visit on a clear, sunny day when the colors of the lake, forest, and mountains are at their most vivid.
How to Get to Jenner Aussichtsplattform
Visiting Jenner, much like Konigssee, begins at Schönau am Königssee. From the Berchtesgaden train terminal, you can take either bus 841 or bus 842 to reach Schönau am Königssee.
Upon arrival in Schönau, look for the large car park located north of the Konigssee Dock and start walking eastward. You’ll soon see cable cars ascending the mountains. Follow their direction, and you’ll arrive at Jennerbahn.
Once there, ask for a ticket that includes the entire ascent to the top station. You can check prices or book online tickets from the Jennerbahn website.
When you reach the top station, you can begin an easy 15-minute hike towards the summit and the observation deck. It’s a journey that’s sure to be filled with breathtaking views.
5. Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen
Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen is a hidden gem in the Gotzen Mountains, easily accessible from Berchtesgaden. This scenic lookout is perched at an altitude of approximately 1740 meters above sea level, and 1125 meters above the surface of Konigssee.
It’s a must-visit spot in the Berchtesgaden Alps, offering a unique view of Konigssee and Watzmann. The breathtaking scenery from this vantage point is truly something to behold. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.
The View from Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen
Here is more information about the view from Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen
At Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen, you’re treated to an unobstructed, eye-level view of Watzmann Mountain, the longest mountain face in the entire Eastern Alps. The entire face of Watzmann Mountain stretches out before you. This lookout also offers a downward view of the Hirschau peninsula, home to the Church of Saint Bartholomew.
On a clear, sunny day, you can clearly see the spectacular color gradient where the peninsula meets the lake’s waters. It’s a sight that’s sure to take your breath away.
If you look closely, you might notice that the peninsula appears like molten earth that flowed from the mountains and solidified upon touching the water. It’s an interesting observation, isn’t it? Well, that’s just a bit of imagination at play! It’s these kinds of imaginative observations that make exploring nature all the more fascinating.
How to Get to Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen
Hiking is the only way to reach Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen. You can find several trails to get there. But most trails need intermediate or expert hiking skills.
To save time and energy, start your hike from one of two Jenner cable car stations. This avoids the steep parts of the trails. Within 4 to 5 hours, you should reach Aussichtspunkt Feuerpalfen. Then you can see the epic views of Konigssee and Watzmann.
You can try the following:
- Jennerbanh-Mittelstation to Feuerpalfen (round trip)
- Jennerbanh-Mittelstation to Feuerpalfen to Obersee (end in Salet)
- Jennerbanh-Top station to Feuerpalfen to Jennerbanh-Mittelstation
- Jennerbanh-Top station to Feuerpalfen to Obersee (end in Salet)
Suppose you want to see two more scenic spots near Feuerpalfen. I suggest you continue hiking to Obersee. Below are two sample hiking routes from Komoot. They show what the routes to Obersee could look like.
Note: To see the full routes, click the square button above the plus and minus signs.
From Jenner Mittel Station to Feuerpalfen (roundtrip):
From Jenner Top Station to Feuerpalfen to Obersee:
You can click the “Elevation” dropdown to change the view of the graph to “Waytypes & Surfaces.”
Before following this hiking route, check with the tourism office. Make sure there are no current path restrictions. This is very important.
When hiking to Feuerpalfen, know there is a mountain hut called Gotzenalm near the viewpoint. You can spend the night there or rest if you need to. Here is the Gotzenalm website to learn more. And here is a Google Maps link showing where Gotzenalm is located.
If you want to end your hike with a boat ride on Konigssee from Salet, secure a one-way ticket at the ticket counters first. Currently, we can only book roundtrip boat tickets online.
Obersee is another beautiful place to visit near Berchtesgaden. It’s a smaller lake, just about one-tenth the size of its neighbor, Königssee. Obersee lies southeast of Königssee, and between the two lakes, there’s a ridge of land called a moraine. This moraine makes it seem like these two lakes were once a single, giant lake.
The name Obersee means “Upper Lake” in German, and it’s an appropriate name because Obersee’s surface is about 10 meters higher than Königssee’s.
Despite its beauty, Obersee has never been inhabited because it’s located in a remote area, tucked away in a valley behind another lake. However, there is a small cabin called Fischunkelalm that’s open during the hiking season for those who want to experience the tranquility of this secluded spot.
The View in Obersee
Here’s how I can describe Obersee
Just like Königssee, Obersee boasts an idyllic landscape that will leave you awestruck. However, nestled amidst towering mountains, Obersee offers an even more breathtaking panorama. On a clear, sunny day, prepare to be mesmerized by a spectacular 180-degree view. The lake’s serene surface mirrors the majestic mountains that surround it, creating an otherworldly panorama.
Standing beside Obersee, you’ll feel transported to a heavenly realm. Words cannot fully capture the beauty of this place, but the 360-degree image below offers a glimpse of what awaits you.
How to Get to Obersee
Reaching Obersee involves two options: hiking or a boat ride. If you’re up for an invigorating hike, follow the trail I’ve outlined for you. Alternatively, opt for a scenic boat ride across Lake Königssee. From Schönau am Königssee, purchase a boat ticket directly to Salet. From Salet, take a short eastward hike, and you’ll find yourself at Obersee.
7. Röthbach Waterfall
Nestled at the edge of the valley where Obersee lies, we find another hidden gem worth exploring – the Röthbach Waterfall. Cascading down an impressive 470 meters, Röthbach Waterfall holds the title of the tallest waterfall in Germany.
Unlike its more popular counterparts, Röthbach remains relatively untouched by throngs of tourists, thanks to its secluded location. This graceful waterfall, fed by the melting snow from the peaks above, unleashes its most thunderous display in the spring, offering a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s raw power.
The View of Röthbach Waterfall
Here is the experience in taking the view of Rothbach Waterfall
Imagine a cascading white curtain, gracefully draped against a backdrop of towering mountain walls – that’s the mesmerizing sight that awaits you at Röthbach Waterfall. Your journey to this natural wonder takes you through an alpine pasture, where the gentle chime of cowbells mingles with the invigorating mountain breeze and the distant roar of the waterfall.
Before you reach the foot of the cascades, you’ll encounter a small, tranquil lake. This serene spot offers an opportunity to capture stunning mirror images of the waterfall, creating memories that will last a lifetime. While some travelers prefer the distant view from Obersee, nothing beats the awe-inspiring experience of standing beneath this towering giant, feeling the spray mist on your skin and the thunderous roar echoing through the valley.
Röthbach Waterfall, the highest in Germany, should undoubtedly be a destination on your bucket list. Its secluded location has kept it relatively untouched by crowds, preserving its pristine beauty and offering a truly unforgettable nature experience.tunesharemore_vertadd_photo_alternate
How to Get to Röthbach Waterfall
To reach the enchanting Röthbach Waterfall, nestled amidst the majestic peaks east of Obersee, embark on a scenic boat ride across Lake Königssee to Salet. From Salet, go on a moderately challenging 40-minute hike (assuming a steady pace) that takes you past the tranquil Obersee and up to Fischunkelalm. By the time you reach Fischunkelalm, you should already see Röthbach Waterfall cascading down the mountainside closely.
Hintersee is a stunning location, with a beautiful lake that you can easily visit from Berchtesgaden. The lake is 16 hectares and sits on the border of Berchtesgaden National Park near Ramsau.
Did you know? Hintersee has been attracting painters and photographers since 1850, as it offers an idyllic post-card image. Some famous landscape painters, such as Wilhelm Busch, Carl Rottmann, Friedrich Gauermann, and Ferdinand Waldmüller, have even made Hintersee the subject of their masterpieces.
It’s easy to see why so many consider Hintersee to be a true romantic lake, with its character and absolutely mesmerizing views.
The View from Hintersee
Here are some tips in getting the view in Hintersee
From the northern shore of Hintersee, facing south, you will be spellbound by the stunning image of the lake reflecting Berstesgaden’s towering peaks. Hintersee has emerald crystal-clear water and wildly tumbled rocks, suggesting a mystical creature lives in it — a playground of the fairies.
The scenery in Hintersee becomes even more alluring and spellbinding during early mornings. Sunlight illuminates the mist over the lake, creating the fairytale-like scenery seen in movies. The mysterious-looking forest near Hintersee deepens the story of the lake.
You should not miss seeing Hintersee, especially during dawn when the Hochkalter and Blaueiskar peaks are slowly painted with golden colors by the rising sun. The image of the mountains reflected on the surface of Hintersee is an absolute spectacle to see.
How to Get to Hintersee
Visiting Hintersee from Berchtesgaden is easy. To get there, all you need to do is board the RVO bus 846, which runs between Berchtesgaden, Ramsau, and Hintersee. The total travel time is approximately 30 minutes or less.
The mountains and the lakes aren’t just the beautiful places you can visit from Berchtesgaden. In this region, there’s a spectacle even in between the rocks!
Near the mountaineering village of Ramsau, we can find the gorgeous 200-meter long gorge, Wimbachklamm. It is a gorge created by the Wimbach torrent, which has been continuously carving the Watzmann Massif for more than 50 million years now.
Exploring Wimbachklamm and seeing the fossils embedded on the gorge’s wall will transport you back in time as far as the Late Triassic period. Interestingly, during this time, some parts of Europe were still submerged under the sea! Boardwalks and footbridges in Wimbachklamm will be your path to the million-year wonders awaiting you in the gorge.
The View in Wimbachklamm
Here is how I describe the different sceneries in Wimbachklamm
Wimbachklamm is a natural masterpiece. The views inside the gorge aren’t just some rock formations, but they’re spectacular carvings of nature where water flows out of them. The scenery along the wooden trail in Wimbachklamm turns magical when the sunlight enters the gorge.
During that moment, the plants and grass on the rocks glow, making the entire place so pleasant to behold. Additionally, the milky Gatorade blue water rushing in the middle of the gorge should captivate your senses too.
How to Get to Wimbachklamm
Wimbachklamm is a narrow gorge located near the mountaineering village of Ramsau. It can be found at the entrance of the valley between Watzmann and Hochkalter. You can easily access it from Berchtesgaden by hopping on bus 846 and alighting at the Wimbachbrücke stop. When you reach the Wimbachbrücke, you should be able to walk to Wimbachklamm within 10 minutes to the south.
10. Eiskapelle (Ice Chapel)
Last but not least, on this list of scenic places to visit from Berchtesgaden is the spectacular Ice Chapel or Eiskapelle — the natural wonder that is different from all the other places mentioned above! Eiskapelle is Germany’s permanent ice field located below the eastern face of Watzmann mountain. It is also the lowest-lying snowfield in the Alps, situated at an altitude of only about 800 meters to a kilometer.
Today Eiskapelle is more than just a tourist destination, though. I think it is a thought-provoking natural wonder that exists all year round. That is, especially during summer when the snow line in the alps rises above 2000 meters.
Though Eiskapelle stays frozen all year round, it is not yet considered a glacier but rather just firn – the intermediate stage between snow and a glacier. Basically, it is a form of ice that has been left over from the past winter. And then has been recrystallized into a denser substance.
Based on some studies and observations, Eiskapelle stays in occurrence because it’s fed yearly with a lot of snow from the avalanches from Watzmann’s peaks. Nevertheless, what’s really interesting about Eiskapelle is the views beneath or inside its cavity.
The View Inside Eiskapelle
Here’s what you must know in taking in the view inside Eiskapelle
The view inside Eiskapelle is entirely otherworldly. The ice walls and ceiling of Eiskapelle’s cavity have enigmatic appearances created by its unique melting process.
If you enter and go slightly inside the Eiskapelle, you will see the shapes and forms of the melting ice emphasized by the light from the outside. Since Eiskapelle is reinforced by enormous avalanches every winter and reduced every summer, its shape, size, and location will forever vary.
If you want to go inside, please remember that Eiskapelle is always in danger of collapsing. There are already people who have died because they were buried alive in ice. Be cautious when entering, and don’t go too far inside.
How to Get to Eiskapelle
The only way to reach Eiskapelle or Ice Chapel is by taking the hiking trail that starts from Hirschau Peninsula, where the Church of Saint Bartholomew is located. You can begin your journey by taking a boat ride in Konigssee from Schönau, which stops at “St. Bartholomä.” From there, you can start the 1 hour and 30-minute hike to Eiskapelle. For more information about the route, see below.
Click the square above the plus and minus zoom buttons to recenter the map.
Map of Berchtesgaden Viewpoints
So, those are the top viewpoints in Berchtesgaden. Aren’t they spectacular? If you want to visit them, here are the locations of all the mentioned scenic spots in Berchtesgaden. This map should help you plan your trip if you want to visit three or four vantage points.
Places Similar to Berchtesgaden
If you’re looking for places with breathtaking natural views like Berchtesgaden, you’re in luck! In Germany alone, there are over a dozen destinations that offer stunning views of the Alps
The Bavarian Alps region in particular has so many beautiful spots that you could easily spend 10 days exploring. But don’t worry if you’re short on time — I’ve put together a 7-day and 3-day itinerary that cover some of the highlights, including charming towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberammergau, and Mittenwald. And of course, no trip to the Bavarian Alps is complete without a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle!
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