Berchtesgaden

Travel Guide Europe Germany Bavaria Berchtesgaden

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Introduction

Berchtesgaden is located in southern Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 kilometres south of Salzburg and 180 kilometres southeast of Munich. One of the most famous visitors, Adolf Hitler, began vacationing in the Berchtesgaden area in the 1920s. He purchased a home in the Obersalzberg above the town on the flank of the Hoher Goll. The Party purchased and requisitioned land in the Obersalzberg when other top Nazi Party leaders such as Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, and Albert Speer also began to visit the area. To serve as an outpost of the German Reichskanzlei (Imperial Chancellery), Berchtesgaden and its environs (Stanggass), had a substantial expansion of offices, security, and support services, including a new railway station, with a reception area for Hitler and his guests, and an adjacent post office. The Berchtesgadener Hof Hotel, where famous visitors such as Neville Chamberlain and David Lloyd George stayed, was substantially upgraded. The Kehlsteinhaus (known as the Eagle's Nest among the Allies) atop the Kehlstein subpeak of the Hoher Goll was built as a present for Hitler's 50th birthday in 1939.

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Sights and Activities

Berchtesgaden is often associated with the Watzmann, at 2,713 metres the third-highest mountain in Germany which is renowned in the rock climbing community for its Ostwand (East Face), and a deep glacial lake by the name of Königssee (5.2 km²). Another notable peak is the Kehlstein mountain (1,835 metres) with its Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest), which offers spectacular views to its visitors.

The Berchtesgaden National Park was established in 1978 and has gradually become one of Berchtesgaden's most popular sites. Major tourist attractions are the Königssee, the salt mine, the Kehlsteinhaus (open seasonally as a restaurant). and the new Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg (built on the site of the former guest house "Höher Göll"). It is the first German museum of its kind to chronicle the entire span of World War II in one spot. An InterContinental Hotel Resort was built where the house of Hermann Göring stood, on the Göring hill.

Very few other traces of the Third Reich era remain in the area. The ones that remain include the former SS HQ at Hotel Zum Türken, Albert Speer's house, and a small part of the Platterhof.

Recreational and competitive sports have grown in importance. The town's ski slope is popular. The Königssee bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track has hosted ski-running and a number of international events and competitions. Berchtesgaden's most famous sports personality is Georg Hackl, a multiple Olympic medal winner. The city is home to the International Luge Federation (FIL).

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Getting There

By Plane

International travellers wishing to visit Bavaria and Berchtesgaden should have no problems to book a flight to Munich, home to a large international airport. Alternatively, if there is no direct flight to Munich with your airline, you could book a flight via Frankfurt and travel to Munich with the ICE high speed train. Alternatively you can fly to Salzburg in Austria and travel then to Berchtesgaden via train (70 minutes) or bus (40 minutes), both direct connections. The distances are only 20 kilometres from Salzburg and about 190 kilometres from Munich Airport. Crossing the German-Austrian border is no problem due to the Schengen Treaty.

By Train

Berchtesgaden Central Station is connected by the Salzburg–Berchtesgaden railway to the Rosenheim–Salzburg railway at Freilassing.

By Car

From the rest of Germany, you will need to head to Munich, and from there follow the A8 in the direction of Salzburg. At the exit Bad Reichenhall Sud, you follow Bundesstrasse 20 in a Southern direction for another 23 kilometres to reach Berchtesgaden.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The bus system in Berchtesgaden is as good as in the rest of Bavaria: buses run twice or once an hour and you can reach the outermost places with them. Be sure to get a timetable (”Busfahrplan“). As a guest in Berchtesgaden you have to pay a tourist-tax (”Kurtaxe“) which will give you a tourist-card (”Kurkarte“). With this card you can use most local buses for free and you also get a reduction for some public parking sites.

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Eat

You will find plenty of nice and original Bavarian restaurants as well as Greek, Chinese, Turkish and Italian restaurants. The pricing in most places is modest by German standards and international visitors will often view that as a bargain. Obviously being in Bavaria and in the middle of the alps you should try the local specialities such as Knödel, Schweinehaxe, wild deer (very seldom), Bratwurst, Leberkase, Weisswurst, Kartoffelsalat, Gulasch Bratkartoffeln, Kaiserschmarn, fish - and lots of more things.

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Drink

Bavarians love their beer and one of the most beloved is the wheat beer (Weißbier). It is a cloudy, unfiltered beer commonly consumed earlier in the day with a Weißwurst and sweet mustard. In the cold wintertime it is nice to finish your dinner with a local “Schnaps” from the Enzian Brauerei Grassl. It makes you feel nice and warm after a long day out on slopes.

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Sleep

There is a good range of accommodation ranging from budget to moderately expensive. Many local people enjoy “bed and breakfast” for a very good price. You can spot those places by searching for the signs that read “Zimmer frei” or “Zimmer zu vermieten”, or use the web link from Berchtesgadener Land. In the last years holiday flats became very popular, you will find them via “Ferienwohnung”.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.

Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.

Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.

The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.

Post

Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.

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Accommodation in Berchtesgaden

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This is version 10. Last edited at 8:41 on Jul 28, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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