7 Reasons to Visit Bad Kohlgrub

1) A Goldilocks Town

With just 2,500 people, Bad Kohlgrub is not too big, not too small — for a visitor, it’s just right. It has one grocery store, one bakery, one clothing shop, one doctor … you get the picture. There are painted buildings (this is Bavaria, after all) …

… beautiful woodwork …

… and houses festooned with flowers on every street.

And once you’ve left the three or four blocks of what might generously be called “downtown,” the houses rise peacefully up into the hills.

In other words, the town has everything you might need. It’s easy to navigate on foot and does not feel too precious — it’s just a nice small town with an outsized number of things to offer.

2) The Hörnle-Sesselbahn (aka Hörnle Schwebebahn) Ski Lift

There’s nothing like being whisked slowly up a mountain on a chair lift! You drift past farmland …

… and animals both domesticated and wild…

… as you make your way up to tremendous views of Bad Kohlgrub and the green landscape of southern Bavaria beyond.

The lift runs in both summer and winter, so you can look forward to it in any season. What a wonderful journey!

3) Hörnle

Awaiting you at the top of the ski lift is Hörnle, a three-peaked mountain in the Ammergauer Alps (the highest points is Rear Hörnle, at 1548 m). In winter, there are dozens of ski options, both downhill and cross country. In summer, spring, and fall, you can walk on footpaths that seem to go everywhere — and the views down into Unterammergau are amazing.

Though the Alps just to the south are much taller, you feel like you’re standing at the top of the world.

Most of the walking is pretty easy (though you can opt for straight-up-the-hill routes if you prefer) …

… and if you get tired, there are random (if damp and cold in mid-October) seating options along the way:

Should you feel the need for a warm beverage at the end of your walk, you can stop for a tasty cup of hot chocolate (with whipped cream, of course) at the Hörnldulhütte:

4) Churches & Chapels

If you want to pray — or just admire the architecture — Bad Kohlgrub has several attractive options. They’re not guaranteed to be open when you stop by, but they’re charming from the outside alone.

5) Frank

Can you fall in love with a grocery store? If so, you’ll fall in love with Frank, Bad Kohlgrub’s tiny jewel of a market. Fresh produce comes in every day …

… and you can get everything from flour and fresh walnuts to local spirits and Christmas cookies:

6) Never-ending Walks

Bad Kohlgrub is probably best known as a walking town. Strike out any southerly direction, and you’ll probably hit a path, a tiny road, or a trail.

Take your pick: fields, forests, streams, itsy-bitsy villages, steep mountain climbs — you’ll find it all.

Even in October, it’s still fantastically green.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded by cowbells along the way.

7) Location, Location, Location

If you have a car — and you’ll want a car — Bad Kohlgrub is the perfect place to be. It’s an easy hour-and-ten-minute drive down from Munich…

… and in less than an hour you can be in the Bavarian towns of Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Füssen …

… or Ettal.

You can also easily visit multiple castles (from the left, here are Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein, and Linderhof)…

… pull off the road and take spectacular walks …

… enjoy the lovely saunas at the wackily-decorated Königliche Kristall-Therme …

… and head up to the highest point in Germany — the Zugspitze — via cable car on “the world’s highest steelwork pylon for aerial tramways at 127 metres, the world’s greatest overall height difference of 1,945 metres over one section, as well as the world’s longest unsupported span, measuring 3,213 metres.” It’s crowded up there…

… but the views across the Alps can’t be beat.

And for a dinner treat, it’s less than 10 minutes from Bad Kohlgrub to Bad Bayersoien, where you can have an excellent meal at the Weissen Ross (Gasthof zum weißen Roß) — which has been around as a food and guesthouse since the fifteenth century.

Pro tip: If they’re on the menu, order these delicious veggie pockets (Google translate calls them “tollbags,” which cannot possibly be correct):

What a spectacular part of the world! It was wholly unexpected (for us, at least), and well worth a trip.


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