Updated: June 23, 2020
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In Mittenwald, Germany, we experienced one of our most beautiful vacations. The location of Mittenwald is uniquely nestled between some very high mountains in the German Alps. The views from any location are fantastic, which makes it hard to decide what to do and where to go next. During our short stay in Mittenwald, we took two rather long hiking trails. Both were fantastic and each led us over the mountains, through the valleys, forests and to beautiful hidden destinations. Mittenwald is a place where you can connect with nature and relieve stress by just enjoying the amazing views, by hiking through thick forests or indulging in some excellent local German food and beer. There are hiking trails for both old and young, for families and adventurers. If you decide to stay in Mittenwald, we are certain that an unforgettable vacation awaits you. Neither of us can really express how much we enjoyed our stay in Mittenwald. To sum up, we definitely recommend visiting this small town for a beautiful vacation during any time of the year, as there are always plenty of things to do and gorgeous nature to enjoy.
Our first day in Mittenwald was a disaster. We had a 3-hour delay on the road, no restaurants would accept a credit card, we couldn’t withdraw cash anywhere and our champagne bottle exploded all over us. Thankfully, that was the only bad day we had and everything was smooth sailing from there. In short, I’ve traveled all over the world and to this day, Mittenwald is still one of my all-time favorite destinations. The location is perfect for hiking and letting yourself get lost in your peaceful surroundings. On top of that, there’s plenty of delicious food, beer and incredible views. I always want to go visit someplace new, but I could definitely envision myself coming back here to try out some of the trails we didn’t get to take the first time.
I don’t know if I can express how much I adore Mittenwald, although I have to admit that it wasn’t love at first sight. The drive to Mittenwald was supposed to take 5 hours, but we ended up driving for 8 hours because of numerous traffic jams. This, as well as the fog and rain disguising the pretty mountains of the Alps deteriorated our mood quite a bit. I was worried that the weather would be like that for the entire 4 days that we were going to spend there. The weather cleared up the next morning and the rest of our stay was so stress-releasing and relaxing. The fresh mountain air, the delicious German food, the snow and all the nice moments of silence and nature were a great combination for an unforgettable vacation. I can highly recommend the town of Mittenwald, the surrounding area and the apartment we stayed in. If we ever get the chance, we will definitely come back and try some of the other incredible hiking trails.
Tips & Tricks
Considering Mittenwald is one of our favorite German travel destinations, of course we have a comprehensive list of the best tips and tricks to make the most of your time here. We’re going to cover transportation, accommodation, things to do and, naturally, beer and food!
There is lots to love about this magical German village, but we wanted to start off with the topic that should be a highlight of any vacation: food and beer! First things first, don’t forget to bring cash to Mittenwald. We couldn’t find one single restaurant that accepted payment by debit or credit card. Once we had cash in hand, however, it was game on. We were off to taste the delicious Bavarian food and beer of Mittenwald. There’s something magical about Knödel (potato dumplings) and boiled red cabbage that we can’t quite explain. Of course, Bavaria is also a meat lover’s paradise! You always have lots of great options in Bavaria, but we’ve decided to only include our top 2!
- We fell in love with Berggasthaus Ederkanzel. This restaurants is outside of town, located atop a hill nestled between the Karwendel, Wettersteinspitzen and the Arnspitze mountains. The restaurant is right on the border of Austria and has one of the best views that we have ever experienced. From our outdoor table, we could perfectly take in all of the aforementioned mountains and even had a view of the Solstein mountains that overlook Innsbruck. The location is fantastic and the food is equally as incredible. On their website you can find prices and directions to get there. As mentioned, we stopped there during our hike through the Leutasch Ghost Gorge. If you do plan on hiking to the restaurant, be prepared for a rather steep yet well worthwhile ascent.
- The Mittenwald Brewery is where the local beer is brewed in Mittenwald, so it’s obvious that you have to try it. We didn’t make it to the brewery itself because we were too busy hiking, but we bought two cases of the beer to take home with us. Yes, it’s that good! It’s common of German villages (especially in Bavaria) to brew their own beers, so you should always sample the local beverage!
Best Accommodation for Budget Travelers
We generally recommend staying at an apartment or a cabin instead of a hotel in Mittenwald, because of cost and convenience. This was our experience in Mittenwald, but of course, it is always good to check the hotel prices anyway. Here, we particularly recommend the apartment we stayed at in Mittenwald. In our opinion, this is the best accommodation for travelers on a budget. It is not only clean and cozy, but cheap and located very close to everything you’ll need.
Top 3 Things to Do
Due to the village’s location right at the base of the Karwendel mountain in the Bavarian Alps and on the border of Austria, there are countless hiking trails you can take. We are of the opinion that each hiking trail around Mittenwald is special and well worth the hike. Since we did not have time to hike them all, we decided to hike the Leutasch Ghost Gorge and the Kranzberg. We particularly recommend the Leutasch Ghost Gorge hiking trail because it took us to the Ederkanzel restaurant that we mentioned above. Some access to this trail was limited when we were there, but if you have the chance to go through the gorge, you are likely to experience some spooky sounds to which the gorge lends its name. Another really nice thing about all of the hiking trails that Mittenwald has to offer, is that there truly is a trail for everyone. Whether you want to take a black diamond trail to the top of Karwendel mountain or if you prefer leisurely strolls with flat or only slight inclines, you will find plenty of accommodating options during your stay.
Check out the top 20 hiking trails in Mittenwald!
As with most mountainous regions, Mittenwald is also home to numerous winter sports options, such as skiing. We were there in mid-spring, so skiing wasn’t part of our plans, but ski fanatics will find their place in Mittenwald. Book Mittenwald accommodations early, however, as rooms fill up fast!
Take Day Trips
Mittenwald’s location on the German border of the Austrian alps makes it a great starting point for multiple day trips. Although we are of the strong opinion that Mittenwald, itself, has so much to offer that you should really spend all of your time there, you do have feasible options for visiting other nearby destinations. The highest peak in Germany, the Zugspitze, as well as the most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, are just short bus or train rides away. If you buy a Bavaria ticket from the Deutsche Bahn (German bus and train system), you could easily see both of these destinations in a single day. Neuschwanstein castle is located in Füßen, Germany and the Zugspitze mountain is located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Of course, the Bavarian capital of Munich is also easily accessible by train, although we suggest you take at least 2 days for that destination. If you have Austria on the mind, you can also take a short yet breathtaking train ride through the Austrian alps to reach the city of Innsbruck, where the winter olympic games were held in 1964.
Transportation to Mittenwald
Now that you know what to eat, what to drink, where to stay and what to do, the only thing left to figure out is how you’re getting there. Fortunately for you, we’ve got everything you need to know about transportation to Mittenwald. There are really only two ways you can get there: train or car.
- Getting there by Train: Mittenwald is not a very large city, which means that no major express trains will take you there. With that in mind, it’s pointless to spend so much money on “the fast train”. If you are already in Bavaria, Munich for example, you can buy the regional train ticket for Bavaria, which lets you take all regional and regional express trains within Bavaria for the entire day. This often also includes any local buses you may need. If you are traveling from a different German state, then the same is true if you buy the German day ticket. These are the most affordable and most convenient options for getting to Mittenwald via train.
- Getting there by car: If you decide to rent a car in Germany, then the road to Mittenwald could be quite unique for you. If you’re coming from the Northwest, then there is a good chance that the fastest route actually takes you through Austria, giving you wonderful scenic drives through the majestic Austrian alps. If coming from the Munich area, then you will have a pretty straight shot down to Mittenwald. There is a reason we’re not recommending a specific route and that’s because the German traffic situation is very unpredictable. Constant road work causes traffic jams in even the most unexpected of places. Therefore, it really is best to rely on a GPS to give you the most optimal driving route based on the current traffic conditions. It’s also important to understand how the speed limit works in Germany
To conclude, we really do love the flexibility and convenience of having a rental car. However, taking the train is a nice way to leave the driving to someone else and just take in the beautiful countryside. There’s no wrong way to get to Mittenwald, so we’ll leave that up to you. 🙂
If you’d like more information on getting around this country, then we recommend reading our article on transportation in Germany.
Mittenwald Facts and History
Mittenwald is located in the well-known German state of Bavaria right on the border of Austria. The Isar river, which flows through Munich, also flows through this beautiful village. The village was founded in the 14th century which is reflected by the enchanting old buildings in the city center. The pink colored church is a particular eye-catcher and worth a photo. Standing in the narrow and winding streets between these amazing buildings will make you feel like you have been placed in a fairy tale. Today, Mittenwald is home to a population of around 7,000 citizens, but still has everything a person could need. Grocery stores, gas stations, ATM’s, drug stores and restaurants can all be found within a short walking distance from wherever you stay.
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