Germany's top winter sports destination, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a busy centre that has retained the charm of the older town of the twins, Partenkirchen. The pride of the city is the Olympic Ice Stadium and the larger Olympic Ski Stadium, which were built for the 1936 Winter Olympics and are still put to good use by winter sports enthusiasts. The area is picturesque and scenic, both in winter and summer. In summertime it is a popular spot for hiking and mountain climbing expeditions. A tourist office assists visitors in making the most of their visit and seeing the local attractions.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not the best place for novices, but intermediate and advanced skiiers will find plenty to enjoy with both classic and glacial runs in the area. There are about four black pistes, 25 red pistes, 10 blue pistes and three green pistes to enjoy and with pistes above 2,500 metres snow is assured throughout the season.
There are more than 450 shops in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, including some trendy boutiques, sports equipment outlets, and plenty of tourist shops selling local handcrafts like traditional Bavarian costumes. Visitors should not struggle to find souvenirs and anything else they might require on a ski holiday.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is consistently ranked highly for its restaurants, bars and nightlife and the resort is full of charming German architecture and has an old-world feel which makes it atmospheric. There's a lot to choose from for apres-ski drinks and socialising and there are facilities to entertain teenagers and children as well.
Apart from the majesty and beauty of some of Germany's highest mountain peaks, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also very near to the Partnach Gorge, just south of the resort, which is an area of spectacular natural beauty where the Partnach River surges through a narrow, mile-wide gap between high limestone cliffs.
Other attractions in the area include The King's House on Schachen, which is a small castle built for the famous Ludwig II of Bavaria. The lovely grounds of this castle contain the Alpengarten auf dem Schachen, an alpine botanical garden. Garmisch-Partenkirchen was also the birthplace of Richard Georg Strauss, the famous German composer, which is exciting for classical music enthusiasts.
Some of the ski lifts are a bit old but generally the facilities are good.