Welcome to the ultimate travel guide to Lake Königssee, one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany!
It’s not just one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most visited lakes in entire Germany and this guide will tell you everything you need to know!
I had the opportunity to visit this spectacular location twice already and I am here once more to give you all the tips you need so you’ll have an amazing time at Lake Königssee in Berchtesgaden!
Lake Königssee is an emerald green lake in the National Park of Berchtesgaden and is often referred to as Germany’s most beautiful Alpine lake.
Any outdoor enthousiast will have an amazing time here cause this area in Berchtesgaden is filled with adventurous activities. Not just because of the beautiful nature but there are just so many things to do around Lake Königssee. You can go hiking, biking, swimming, visit a waterfall with an infinity pool and search for hidden viewpoints. You won’t even get the chance to be bored!
The Perfect Visit of Lake Königssee in Berchtesgaden
Imagine crystal clear water surrounded by lush trees and mountain peaks as far as the eye can see. In the morning you’ll see the fog rising up from the lake which is a sight you simply can’t miss. And once the sun rises above the mountains they will be shimmering in a yellow golden hue.
That is the beauty of Lake Königssee in Berchtesgaden and this travel guide will tell you exactly how to have the best time here!
How to get to Lake Königssee
Lake Königssee is located in Berchtesgaden which is in the Southeast of Germany in Bavaria.
The closest airports are Salzburg airport (25km) and Munich airport (185km). Both of these have international flight connections and offer car rental services.
BY CAR – There is a huge parking lot located 5 minutes walking from the lake and the boat docks. You can pay up to 3 hours maximum at the same time or opt for a day ticket for €5.
BY BUS – From the Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof you can take bus #839, 841 or 843 to the parking lot at Lake Königssee.
When is the best time to visit Lake Königssee
The most popular time to visit Lake Königssee is during the Summer months. So if you want to skip the big crowds try to avoid going in July or August.
From April to October there are daily boat tours that allow you to cross the entire lake and visit both Saint Bartholomeus and lake Obersee.
Outside of those months the electric boats keep on running but only to Saint Bartholomeus.
So the best time to visit Lake Königssee, in my personal opinion is either in May, June or September. This way you get to skip the crowds and still see the most beautiful places at Lake Königssee.
How to visit Lake Königssee
The steep mountains surrounding the lake forbid the development of any trails or roads around Lake Königssee making it unique among Central Europe’s larger lakes.
But this also means that the only way to visit Lake Königssee is to hop on one of the electric boats that run from the boat dock.
There is a year round boat service unless if the lake is frozen.
PRICES – A return ticket to Saint Bartholomeus is €18.50 and to Salet it is €21 for a round trip.
The prices have increased this year due to Covid-19 and all of the additional restrictions that come with it. The amount of people allowed on the boats is limited and wearing a face mask is obligated.
You can buy your ticket at the ticket booth in front of the boat docks which opens 30 minutes before the first boat leaves. As of now they also accept payment by card and this is actually preferred!
Make sure to keep your ticket on you cause you’ll need it for the way back. If you can’t show your ticket you won’t be allowed back on the boat.
October – May: The first boat to St.Bartholomeus departs at 9:00 am, and the last boat returns at 6:05 pm.
June to September: The first boat goes at 8:00 am, and the boat returns at 7:05 pm.
Make sure to not miss the last boat back cause there is no possibility for accommodation and like I said before there is no trail from Saint Bartholomeus to Schönau am Königssee.
Where to stay near Lake Königssee in Berchtesgaden
I had the pleasure of staying at the Berghotel Rehlegg in Ramsau and would go back in a heartbeat! All of their rooms come with a view over the mountains and their breakfast buffet is so delicious and diverse that I could have had it for lunch and dinner as well.
Book your stay here.
Hotel Bavaria – A charming hotel set in the historic town of Berchtesgaden. Spacious rooms are traditionally dressed with light wooden floors, pine furniture and exposed beams.
Hotel Edelweiss Berchtesgaden – A family run hotel in the center of Berchtesgaden.
Things to do at Lake Königssee
Go on a boat tour on Lake Königssee
Take the first boat out and don’t get off yet at Saint Bartholomeus but stay seated until you reach the second stop Salet. Most people will visit Saint Bartholomeus first which means that you’ll have the area around Obersee almost entirely to yourself.
Plus, the prettiest view of Saint Bartholomeus is actually from the boat itself.
The boat tour to Salet and back takes around 90 minutes but it’s totally worth it. As soon as you leave the docks you’ll be surrounded by the silence of the mountains.
On the way to the first stop the boatsman will blow on a horn to showcase the beauty of the echoes bouncing off the mountains.
Hike to Fischunkelalm at Lake Obersee
This hike is only possible from April until October when the electric boats go until Salet.
Once you arrive at the boat dock at Salet simply follow the trail that leads away from Lake Königssee. The first part of this hike is incredibly scenic with a few benches a long the way to have a pick nick or take in the views.
If you need to use the toilet after the boat ride you can do so at the boat docks. There are plenty of free toilets available here.
Once you arrive at the first cabin at Lake Obersee it is a 30 minute hike to Fischunkelalm.
The trail goes to the right and is flat for the most part but also includes rocky stairs halfway through. Make sure to wear proper shoes cause some parts of the trail can be very slippery.
Fischunkelalm is the perfect place to sit down for a while and maybe even enjoy a pick nick!
After sitting down and taking in the view it is time to hike back and since the electric boats run every 15 minutes you won’t have to wait long until you can continue your journey.
Hike to the Rabenwand viewpoint
Another beautiful viewpoint at Lake Königssee is located close to the boat docks!
When facing the water simply go to the left and walk behind the boat storages. After a few minutes you’ll already reach the first one called Malerwinkel, and while it’s beautiful it’s not as beautiful as Rabenwand!
To reach the best viewpoint you have to hike up a little more and some parts of this hike are more rocky and can be slippery so make sure to wear proper shoes!
Visit the Ice Chapel, also known as the Eiskapelle
The Eiskapelle is a spectacular glacier cave at the foot of the Watzmann mountain in the Bavarian Alps.
If you wish to take this trip before or after Winter, make sure you call the Tourist Information of Schönau am Königssee (+49-8652-1760) to ask whether the trail is accessible.
To reach the Eiskapelle you have to take one of the electric boats and get off at Saint Bartholomeus. The trail to the Eiskapelle takes about 1,5 hour and is 3km one way. Make sure to wear proper hiking shoes cause in the end you’ll probably have to hike through some snow!
Visit the natural infinity pool at Lake Königssee
To reach the natural infinity pool you need to follow the same trail that leads to Rabenwand. Only now you don’t stop but you keep on following the trail. It’s a little overgrown and not an official trail anymore so be careful.
Do not attempt this hike without proper hiking shoes!
After another 30 minutes of hiking you’ll end up at the waterfall and the small infinity pool.
DISCLAIMER – This spot quickly became very popular due to Instagram and because a lot of people left their trash and showcased dangerous behaviour the trail is closed off from Rabenwand.
Things to know before visiting Lake Königssee
Cash is king – On my trip through Germany I realised that in a lot of places they simply don’t accept payment by card. So always make sure to have enough cash on you! The restaurants on both Saint Bartholomeus and Salet only accept cash for instance!
Average time spent – If you want to do all of the activities mentioned above you’ll have the calculate in an entire day.
Where to park – There is a huge parking lot close to the lake. You can pay up to 3 hours maximum at the same time or opt for a day ticket (€5).
Planning a trip to Germany?
- Things to do in Berchtesgaden
- Where to stay in Berchtesgaden
- 3 Day Berchtesgaden Itinerary
- The Most Beautiful Places in Germany
Hey girl, I’m wondering for someone visiting during Winter, do you really recommend the boat tour is going and visiting the lake enough. I know sometimes these tours are just something to do and don’t necessarily add the the overall value or beauty of the place. I’d love an honest opinion on if you think I really need to do the boat tour. I’m a photographer (used to be a travel blogger as well!) and am visiting with my sister. LMK what you think!
Oh hell yes definitely do the boat tour! But do know that in the Winter it only stops at the church and doesn’t go all the way until Obersee. BUT! Behind the church there is also the start of the hike to the Eiskapelle, also known as an Ice Chapel. I haven’t visited it myself but it looks super cool to see and you can only visit it in the Winter!