The Eagles Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) in Berchtesgaden, Germany was one of the top sites we visited on our trip to Bavaria in June 2015! Truthfully I was iffy about going or not and almost didn’t go, I did tons of research, talked to people who had been and we ended up deciding that if it was clear (a requirement for it being worth it) we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity and regret it, and I’m SO glad we checked it out! The Eagle’s Nest was a gift to Hitler for his 50th birthday but probably not a great one considering his fear of heights, he only visited it a few times.
One of the reasons I was a bit iffy about it was the cost, because it is a bit spendy. We had 4 adults and 3 kids in the group but they now offer family passes so it was €51,10 for all 7 of us. Which is still a bit pricy for me but I considered it a once in a life time experience and was ok with it.
To get to the Eagle’s Nest you must park and ride the bus up from Obersalzberg, that is where the cost comes in as it’s free to walk around the top BUT in order to get up there you have to ride the bus.
There were several parking areas around the bus station however they were so full when we arrived around noon, we headed out to P3 which ended up being free to park and was only an 800 meter walk to the bus station. Make sure if you are driving and will be crossing into Austria you have a vignette sticker, more info in the Know Before You Go section below.
We only waited a few mins in line to buy our tickets, and we literally only had to wait a few mins for the next bus to take us up, we had had time for a quick bathroom break and then we loaded up. It was so quick in fact that I didn’t even get time to snap a photo!
The bus ride was an adventure in itself! If your scared of heights a window seat is probably not for you. The windy steep roads next to the tiny wood guard rails are not for the feint of heart. I loved the ride however a few in the group were not quite as thrilled. The bus also had NO AC so the 15 ride both up and and then again down were hot. Apparently the heat got to my brain and again no photos as I was enjoying the view and wishing for AC 😉
When you get to the top and exit the bus make sure you get in line to get your return trip down as they book up fast. We gave ourselves 2 hours but you can also get on an earlier bus if there is room. If you wait until your back down to try to get a ticket you may be supposed to find the next available time is not for a few hours. It took us an hour to go up the elevator, climb around the top, and take photos.
After getting your return trip time you can get in line to take the elevator up, we had to wait about 10 mins to get on to go up but coming down it was only a 4 minute wait. Plus waiting at the bottom was nice and cool and we didn’t mind standing in the cool area after the hot bus ride!
Once you get to the top the views are amazing, provided that you went on a non-cloudy day.
We got some great photos and the kids & Mr. B had fun climbing all over the boulders and exploring.
Good walking shoes are needed! The stairs and steps can be uneven and clunky so if you have limited mobility it could be challenging to explore up past the restaurant.
The kids really had a great time, much more so than I was even expecting.
I am sure these views would be amazing when the Alps are snow capped too, however its only open May – Oct so maybe at the beginning & end you could see snow caps.
Bea & her cousin loved sitting and chatting overlooking the valley below.
There is also a restaurant that you can eat at as well, we just got a pretzel for a snack as the small stand to hold us over. I’d also recommend bring water and carrying it in a backpack.
After the bus ride down you can stop at the Dokumentation Obersalzberg and see the bunkers and some other historical WWII exhibits, there is a fee for this. We decided to skip it so that we could hit the Luge Sommerrodelbahn on the way to the Salt Mines.
This ended up being one of the top sights we seen by all members ages 11-50+! You’ll have to decide if it’s a good fit for your family. We are glad that we decided to make it part of our trip. We were there for 2 hours total.
Know Before You Go
What: Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
How To Get There: It’s about 6 hours 35 mins from the Spangdahlem, 5 hours 35 mins from Ramstein and 2 hours 30 mins from Garmisch. How to find it: By car take the A8 and exit at Bad Reichenhall or at Salzburg Süd to Berchtesgaden and from there the Obersalzberg road to the Hintereck parking area at Obersalzberg. Also know if your taking the route through Austria (we did) make sure to stop and get a vignette at the first gas station over the border. We seen Polizie pulling people over and fining them for not having them! The vignette is only €8,80 for 5 days.
Parking: There was lots of parking but it fills up quickly and is €3, if you get there later in the day look for P3 which is about 800 meters out and free.
Cost: Adults €16,10, kids ages 6-14 €9,30 and they have a new family card for €35.
Traveling with little kids: This is not a stroller friendly site, make sure you bring carriers for your littles.
How long: Plan on at least 2-3 hours to take bus up & down, walk the top and take photos. More if you plan on eating in the restaurant and visiting the Documentation center at the bottom.