Berchtesgaden National Park: The 10 Must-See Highlights

Berchtesgaden National Park

Only German nature reserve in the Alps


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Berchtesgaden National Park in Germany is a mountainous place where Mother Nature still rules. It is the only German national park in the Alps. But it is a nature reserve with several unique attractions.

Germany only has a small piece of the Alps. But a visit to Berchtesgaden National Park is very worthwhile. You can clearly see how the steep Alps suddenly appear in the hilly landscape.

The park offers numerous hiking trails, as well as some cycle paths. And trails for mountain bikes. These are all signposted and easy to follow. You can choose whether you want to do a round of an hour or a hike of several days. Where you can also cross the border with Austria.

Many animals live in the nature reserve, such as chamois and golden eagles. But also countless other types of birds and animals such as fox, deer and badger. These are regularly seen by walkers, including the chamois. So keep your eyes open when you go out. These are the sights of the Berchtesgaden National Park. In addition, I have mentioned a number of excursions in this article.


The Königssee is a famous lake in Berchtesgaden National Park. The lake is located at the foot of the Watzmann, a mountain of no less than 2,713 meters. The lake is part of the municipality of Schönau am Königssee.

The residents think that the lake and the mountains look a bit like a fjord in Norway. And I understand. The rocks are remarkably steep, making it look like a fjord. Although this "fjord" does of course not end in the sea.

You can walk around the lake for a large part, but sometimes you come across rocks that you have to climb over. By the way, try the echo. It is more than special. Shout and just listen.

St. Bartholomew's Church

The pilgrimage chapel of St. Bartholomew is located on the edge of the Königssee. According to scholars, some parts of the church date from the 12th century, although it has changed considerably since then. The current Baroque form dates from the 17th century. The red domed roofs stand out from afar, as do the two round towers.

The church was named after the apostle Bartholomew, who was the patron saint of the farmers and shepherds in the Alps. This church is located on the Hirschau peninsula and is easiest to reach by boat.


The town of Ramsau is well worth a visit. It is often referred to as Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden, otherwise there can be confusion with the famous town of Ramsau in Austria. Make sure you don't miss the Parish Church of St. Sebastian and the Hintersee. You see them everywhere in the countless paintings and tourist posters in the town and surroundings.


Obersee lake in Berchtesgaden National Park.

The Obersee is much less known than the Königssee. But this is a wonderful natural mountain lake. It lies at an altitude of 613 meters and is beautifully situated between the mountains. You can reach it via a short walk of 30 minutes. On the spot you see the signs to the lake. There is a wooden boathouse on the edge of the lake. This one is perfect for photos.

If you continue you will come to the Fischunkelalm. This
alpine meadow is located on the southern bank. You will meet cows and a farm. Take your time for this hike, you will walk through the most beautiful part of the Berchtesgaden National Park.

Röthbach Waterfall

The Röthbach Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Germany at 470 meters. It has two steps and is very imposing. It is not the most famous waterfall. The reason is that it is a bit more difficult to reach. It is a half hour walk from the Obersee, you will pass the Talschluss.


The Hintersee is a small mountain lake in the Berchtesgadener Land. It is located near Ramsau and is easy to reach. The water is crystal clear, but very cold. You can swim in the summer, although it is still chilly.


The lovely Almbachklamm in Berchtesgaden National Park.

The Almbachklamm is one of the most beautiful gorges in Germany. A walking path has been constructed along the many waterfalls. It is a wonderful walk, especially after rain.

Cruise the lake with an electric boat

The electric tour boats sail all year round on the Königssee. And to be fair, this is the best way to explore the lake. The water is crystal clear, so you can see trout swimming. You can also take good photos from the boat.

During the boat trip you will encounter the famous echo wall. Usually the captain makes a sound with a trumpet or other instrument that echoes through the mountains. A call works too, try it.

Alpenweide in Berchtesgaden National Park.

Swimming in the Königssee

The Königssee is normally very cold. The lake is fed with glacier water and rain water. Only at the end of summer the temperature might exceed 20 degrees. The locals don't mind when it's cold. You'll see many people dive into it. 

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