There are times when my 8.5-year-old son decides not to step out at all from the apartment during our travels. And then there are times when he gets up as early as 5 am during the holidays because he has read about World Wars and Hitler in his books and it becomes irresistible for him to see Hitler’s home. Eagle’s nest was on his bucket list precisely.
So, in Munich, we both decided to take a day’s trip to Eagle’s Nest. With Ocktober fest going on, all the bus tours from Munich were going full. So, we decided to take 2 trains and then 2 buses to finally reach Eagle’s nest. It’s really not that difficult as it sounds. In fact, this was comfortable and cheaper.
How to reach Eagle’s nest from Munich
Buy a Bavarian ticket (or Bayern ticket) for a day, costs EUR 23. Bayern ticket allows you to travel unlimited in the Bavarian region for a day. Children ride free on adult’s Bayern ticket. You can purchase Bayern ticket either online or directly at the ticket machines at metro stations or main train station in Germany. Once bought do validate the ticket.
Advantages of Bayern ticket
- Travel with up to four fellow passengers per ticket for as little as EUR 3 per additional passenger.
- From Monday to Friday from 09:00 until 03:00 on the following day
- On weekends and on public holidays the ticket is valid from midnight
Please note its validity before you make the plan, I had forgotten to check. I boarded the train earlier than 9 am and as we say German precision, I had to pay extra for the exact number of minutes till 9 am in addition to my Bayern ticket.
Route to Eagle’s Nest
Munich to Freilassing by train. Freilassing to Berchestgaden by another train.
At Berchestgaden, just outside the station, you will find Berchtesgaden RR bus stop. Take bus no 836 from there that leaves for Obersalzberg. (your Bayern card gets you till here). Note that even your private bus tour will drop you till Obersalzberg only.
At Obersalzberg, you would need to buy a ticket for another shuttle bus + elevator, a two-way ticket (not covered under Bayern ticket) for Kehlsteinhaus. There are special buses that operate in this region to reach eagle’s nest and the only way to go. Besides no other vehicle is allowed
Once the bus reaches Kehlsteinhaus, you would need to mention the return time of your choice, at the small bus office. Then, you take the elevator and reach the summit of Hitler’s mountain, the Kehlstein. And this is what you would see.
Story behind Eagle’s Nest
Soaring over 6,000 feet in the Bavarian Alps, Eagle’s nest, the mountaintop chalet, was once Hitler’s 50th birthday present, provided by his inner circle. However, Hitler made only 14 official visits to Eagle’s Nest. He was claustrophobic and had vertigo issues, so he rarely stayed atop Kehlstein mountain.
As a matter of fact, it was Obersalzberg in Berchestgaden, the alpine ski town below that acted as Hitler’s second seat of government and his last resort.
Between 1923 and 1945, Obersalzberg was transformed from a peaceful romantic mountain into a Nazi Shrine and finally became Hitler’s headquarters. For 20 years, this is where Hitler created cataclysmic schemes maturing into decisions and orders leaving gargantuan impact world over.
When the rule was collapsing, Nazi leaders took refuge deep underground in these Bavarian mountains. Till mid-1944, Hitler’s underground world in Obersalzberg was operational with a channel of tunnels and a vast system of bunkers. It was only after the massive attack on Obersalzberg by Britishers, that everything came down to rubbles.
For six decades, all this was under a veil, people could only guess what was beneath the partially collapsed tunnels until the state government allowed probing into the underground cavities to bring the reality of Hitler’s mysterious underworld to public view.
What to see in Obersalzberg
- Documentation center at the Obersalzberg complex (from where the shuttle is provided for Eagle’s nest)
- Tour of remains of the bunker system
- The Eagle’s nest – a chalet at the top for views of Bavarian Alps
On one hand, you would have a glimpse of the underground meeting rooms, archives of the government and Hitler’s lavish hideout all connected with four miles of tunnels, leaving you marvel at the German engineering excellence. While on the other hand, you would have amazing views to soak in once you reach Eagle’s nest.
Majestic Alps in the beautiful Bavarian region combined with the underground world of Hitler, one of the most infamous and ugly characters of History, makes Eagle’s nest, a place worth experiencing paradox. My son sure loved the place.