austria, germany, salzburg, travel

Berchtesgaden: A German Winter Wonderland

March 10, 2020

I recently visited Salzburg in Austria, a city famous for Mozart and the Sound of Music. Please forgive me for saying this but I’m not the biggest fan of either of those things – I’m basically tone deaf, if that let’s me off the hook. What appealed to me most about Salzburg and why I wanted to visit so much was because of it’s central location to little towns further afield.

So when in Salzburg, I decided to go on a daytrip, as I often do. Most of the people I met said they’d be going to Hallstatt, and that was definitely on my to-do list. But I had an idea to visit somewhere else. Königssee Lake and the town of Berchtesgaden. The latter of which ended up being my favourite part of the entire trip.

Getting to Lake Königssee from Salzburg

The way I chose to get to Lake Königssee from Salzburg was by bus. It’s an easy route and I’d recommend simply out of convenience and price. All you need to do is catch the 840 bus. I caught it from outside the Mirabell Palace, across the road from St Andrew’s Parish Church. There are other places in the city to catch the 840, though.

It takes about an hour altogether, but the journey doesn’t feel as long when you’re passing by beautiful little towns all coated in a thick layer of snow. Oh, and the message I got on my phone when we casually crossed the border into Germany from Austria was mildly entertaining to me, too. But I love that kind of thing.

You’ll need to ride the bus till the last stop, the Berchtesgaden bus station. From there, catch the 841 to Königssee Lake. It’s one of the first stops so you won’t be going too far out of your way.

Lake Königssee

There’s plenty to do at Lake Königssee. It’s possible to take a boat around the lake and see the views of the surrounding mountains up close. Unfortunately, I was on a tight budget this trip and decided against the boat trip. Instead I walked around the lake and took some pictures. It sounds simple but my pictures came out nicely and I’m really happy with them.

The day was getting on and I decided I wanted to explore Berchtesgaden before sunset, having seen a glimpse of the small town on the bus and didn’t want to miss out.


I took the bus back and followed the signs from the station into the main town. The sun was already beginning to set and a pastel glow washed over all the buildings. In the cool, winter light, everything looked stunning and I couldn’t believe I had almost missed such a gorgeous town.

I normally don’t trust blogs that tell you to ‘get lost down side streets and alleyways’ as something to do in a place, but that’s all I did in Berchtesgaden and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I climbed a staircase and saw a beautiful view. I climbed a hill and saw a beautiful view. I climbed another hill and saw a beautiful view. All of this took about an hour and a half. The surrounding mountains elongated the sunset and the whole town was awash in the dimming light for the entire time I was there.

It made me question why Berchtesgaden isn’t more well-known and why so many people decide to visit Hallstatt or Hilter’s Eagle Nest as a daytrip from Salzburg instead. I hope I can be an advocate for the town of Berchtesgaden and my pictures do this magical little town justice.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Nina | Lemons and Luggage March 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Those pictures look so stunning. I’m glad you had such a good time.

    I went to Berchtesgaden on a school trip ages ago and didn’t really like it aside from our trips to the lake and Salzburg. But that’s why it’s so important to travel to a place yourself and not rely on other people’s opinions. A place that I found super boring turned out to be one of your favorites. And I think there’s so much beauty in how much people’s perceptions about the same place can differ.

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