Berchtesgaden National park is the only National Park in the German Alps and the most famous gem in this park is the Eagle’s Nest! Situated at the top of the Kehlstein Mountain, you get to see the prettiest landscapes of the National park from here. If you are visiting Munich or Salzburg, taking a day off to visit this spectacular viewpoint can reward you with varied landscapes and breathtaking beauty of the Berchtesgadener Land.
The ‘Eagle’s Nest’, often referred as Hitler’s tea house, was a gift from Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann to Hitler on his 50th birthday. The Eagle’s Nest didn’t suffer any damage during the war, and it looks just like it did back in April 1945. The place is open to visitors only between late April and early October. The exact dates depend on the weather. Make sure to check online if the place is open when you are visiting. I would recommend carrying a jacket as the top of the mountain can get quite cold.
Getting here: Eagle’s Nest is closer to Salzburg than Munich. You can take a bus or train from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. If you are travelling from Munich, take a train from Munich Central station to Salzburg and then a bus to Berchtesgaden. From here you have to change to a regional bus to Kehlstein bus departure point at Obersalzberg. All of this travel is covered by the Bayern ticket. Click here for more information on how to get here.
From this point (Kehlstein bus departure point at Obersalzberg), only the Eagle’s Nest buses are allowed. The bus ticket costs 16 euros. The journey to the top is quite steep with a lot of hairpin bends. After getting off the bus you will need to get your ticket stamped at the counter and reserve a spot on the return bus. I would recommend 4 hours to nicely enjoy the view, have lunch or beer at the restaurant, to look around and take pictures. But if you are on a schedule 2.5 hours is also sufficient. Getting here early in the morning (at least 9 am) is highly recommended since months between June and August can be pretty crowded and there maybe waiting times to board the bus and the elevator.
From here the journey continues through a chilly tunnel leading to a brass elevator which covers a distance of 124 meters in 41 seconds! The elevator doors open into the restaurant located at the top of the peak. The restaurant can be a little pricey depending on your budget. We carried a small picnic lunch with us.
The view outside the restaurant is just incredible. One of the best feelings when you are so high up in the mountains is to be within the clouds from time to time! You also get a stunning view of Königssee from here. The path continues leading higher up the mountain and the view just keeps getting better. Make sure you are back on time for the designated return bus.
To read about the other highlight of Berchtesgaden National Park, check out my article on Königssee. To explore and plan a day trip to another famous montain lake in Bavaria, you can read my article on Walchensee.