There are good connections to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from nearly all German major cities. The Zugspitzbahn transports the visitor to Grainau as well as the white-blue Eibsee-Bus. A taxi from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Grainau costs approx. 15 € (status: September 2013).
From Munich take the motorway A95 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At the end of the motorway go ahead on the federal highway B2 and later B23 to Grainau. Follow the signposts to the Zugspitzbahnhof. There are enough parking grounds directly in front of the station.
Innsbruck airport in Austria is just 65 km away from Grainau. Take a rental car there or go ahead with the train via Innsbruck main station and Seefeld in Tirol.
Departures see schedules
Germany's highest mountain is a great experience both in summer and in winter. Glancing at the surrounding mountains from a height of nearly 3,000 meters (2,962 meters) is a MUST for any tourist in Bavaria!
The "Bayerische Zugspitzbahn" (Bavarian Zugspitze railway) carries numerous tourists up to Germany's highest mountain year by year. In Grainau starts the cog railway to the Zugspitzplatt - a plateau below the summit in a height between 2,000 and 2,650 meters (from here there is a funicular up to the peak). The "Eibsee-Seilbahn" (Eibsee Funicular) brings its passengers to a height of 2,950 meters – just below the Zugspitze summit cross. From here, anyone can enjoy the astonishing panorama.
When the weather is good, it's possible to have a clear view up to 250 kilometers, glancing at more than 400 peaks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
Anyone who wants to access the summit cross should wear sturdy shoes; every year there are accidents happening due to tourists wearing "flip-flops" in the lofty mountains. A warming jacket is a must as well: even if there is "bathing weather" down in the valley – in a height of more than 2,900 meters it's always cold! The average temperature while the summer is approximately 5 °C.
Check the weather report prior to going upwards – this helps to pick the best day!
There's a skiing area upon the Zugspitzplatt, established in 1949. Here one finds 13 slopes with intermediate difficulty (red slopes) as well as a composition of slopes with easy difficulty (blue slopes) on the northern glacier.
Get more info about prices, lift passes and departure times of the Zugspitzbahn here: http://www.zugspitze.de/
Grainau is a good starting point for exploring the Zugspitze and the surrounding area.
Tip: Enjoy the Bavarian cuisine!
Escape Address: Zugspitzbahnhof, Gumpenau 22, 82491 Grainau, Grainau, Bavaria, Germany
Visit the "Höllentalklamm" in Grainau. The "Höllental" (Hell valley) is a valley of the Zugspitze mountain, and the "Höllentalklamm" is a very significant part of this valley: a deep and narrow canyon between huge faces of rock. There are two hiking routes through the canyon: one is relatively comfortable and not so long - and it costs an entrance fee; the second one is free but longer and more burdensome.
Austria is just around the corner. Making a detour to Innsbruck is very recommendable. The city is just 60 km away from Grainau / Garmisch-Partenkirchen and accessible easily by car or train. Innsbruck is the tyrolean capital and Austria's fifth largest city. The world famous "Golden Dachl" (golden roof) can be found in the historic city center. Even people who are mad about sport gets their money's worth for sure.
The Bavarian Alps between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Reutte (Tyrol, Austria) are full of canyons; hence this area is very suitable for Canyoning. Being equipped like a mountain climber and coated in a warm wetsuit – there is no barrier that can't be overcome. There are numerous providers available in the area – it's your choice.
Mittenwald is just 25 km away, and there something very special can be viewed: the "Lüftlmalerei". This is a particular form of painting on the facades of buildings (similar to frescoes), natively in the Werdenfelder Land (which is the area around Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and Tyrol. In Mittenwald, there are numerous houses showing this kind of painting.