Where To Ski Near Munich? [Expert Guide!]

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It’s called the “winter sport capitol of Germany” and with excellent reason. If you love being on the slopes then Munich’s got plenty of powder for you! Whether you prefer the traditional Alps or want to venture further afield, there’s something here for everyone. With over 150 million years of history, it’s also a city rich in culture. During the school year, you’re sure to find yourself in the company of eager and friendly students – but aside from class, what are you going to do in Munich during the winter months?

Top Ski-in/ski-out Skiing Locations

With 150 million years of history, it’s not surprising that Bavaria is one of the most famous ski regions in the world. There are 17 ski areas spread across the whole region, not counting the ski-in/ski-out village of Arpil in the south. Throwing off the steam of the summer season, the winter sport is at its best here. Every slope is covered in snow, providing endless opportunities for skiing.

Although there are no snowflake shaped trails in Munich, you will find a plethora of blues, greens, and whites – making for some fantastic skiing experiences. The resorts are spread out enough so that you can maintain some level of activity no matter where you are during the day. When you’re not on the slopes, you can find cafés and bars serving beer, wine, and delicious hotpots – ideal for the winter sport sport.

Biggest Snowflake Ski Resort

Located in the Southern part of Bavaria, just north of the Austrian border, Gastein is one of the biggest and most popular ski resorts in the world. The last skiing resort that was built before the Second World War, Gastein was the first real European ski resort. Home to the largest snow park in the world, it’s not hard to see why this place is so special.

The best way to enjoy your ski holiday in Gastein is to take a day trip to the nearby village of Lech, which is filled with history. Visit the St. Niklaus Orphanage, built in 1882 and still run by the order of Saint Niklaus. It’s one of the first orphanages of its kind in Europe, and the only one of its kind in Germany.

The history of skiing in Gastein is interwoven with that of Lech. The founder of the modern ski industry, the Baron de Hirsch, built a ski lodge in Lech in the 1950s, which then became a village and eventually the largest ski resort in Germany. It’s named after him – The De Hirsch Ski Resort.

World Cup Winners Ski Resort

Located in the south of the country, Freising is another of Germany’s premier ski resorts. Nestled in the Bavarian Alpine foothills, it hosted the World University Ski Championship in 2012, which was attended by over 200 competitors from around the world. It also hosts the European Masters Ski Championship each year, which provides further evidence of its popularity.

The town of Freising is also home to Germany’s oldest ski resort, opened in 1924. With only one chairlift, it doesn’t offer many high-speed thrills. However, what it does offer is beautifully maintained charm, cozy bars, and an incredible panorama. If you visit in the winter, be sure to catch a ball game at the Stadion Ebbingen on Saturday afternoon, when Freising’s own soccer team plays against another famous German side, Schalke.

Children’s Ski Resort

Located just outside Nuremberg in the southern part of Germany, the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a paradise for children. Covering an area of just over 9 km2, this Bavarian resort features a snow park that dominates the skyline with its unusual sculpted snow sculptures. With themed slopes and spectacular chairlift, the kids will have a blast.

Besides the snow park, Garmisch-Partenkirchen also features a large ice rink, a supertrail, and a bungee jump. Nearby, in the Thuringian Forest, you will find one of Europe’s largest outdoor paintball games, with participants coming from all over Europe. For those who want to continue their weekend with a dip in the Black Forest’s infamous mineral water springs, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the place to be. The resort features numerous bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to settle down for the evening with a drink. With a total of 17 ski slopes, it really is “just out of the town of Nuremberg”.

Nightlife

Although it’s not really a part of the winter sport, Munich’s nightlife comes alive during the winter months. With the city closed down, there’s a whole different atmosphere to the streets, which are filled with people enjoying themselves inside fashionable nightclubs and bars. If you’re looking for an exciting night out then Munich is the place to be – and it doesn’t get more exciting than inside a nightclub.

During the day, you’re more likely to find kids playing in the snow or adult skiers taking a rest in between turns. However, as soon as the sun sets, the bars and nightclubs come alive, turning the streets into a lively spot for people looking to have a good time. With live music venues, dance clubs, and bars, there’s always something going on outside the theme park.

Festivals

Each year, the Bavarian capital celebrates the winter sport with a slew of festivals. The world’s biggest skiing marathon, the Tirreno–Adriatico, starts and finishes in Munich and it’s a must for any true winter sport enthusiast. Held in the first week of February, it was first run in 1950 and is named after the Italian town of Tirreno, which is located at the foot of the Alps. During this ten-day event, athletes cover a distance of more than 300 km and compete in a variety of skiing events, including slalom, giant slalom, and supertrail.

Munich also hosts the Gettow Festival, featuring the best of German and international performing arts, in March. In the winter, you will find numerous ice rinks and winter festivals going on in the city, ensuring that even the warmest of winter days are experienced as something special.

Another festival worth visiting is the Oktoberfest, held each year in Munich from the end of September to the beginning of October. The city empties as thousands of people flock to the beer tents and festival spirit is in the air. For anyone who has visited the city during the festival, there’s no other way to describe the experience other than “magic.”

If you want to learn more about Munich and its surrounding area, then you should certainly consider taking a look at the Lonely Planet guide to Germany, which is filled with useful information and great tips. Remember to bring your own gear, as rental costs can be high. With only a few ski resorts in Germany, you’ll need to make the most of what you have. Aside from the obvious need for snow, the other factor which determines the quality and intensity of a ski resort’s skiing is the infrastructure. It’s a good idea to research the ski resorts on your travel agenda, so that you can have an idea of what to expect.

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