From the Alps to the Black Forest, Germany offers some of the best ski resorts and winter sport opportunities in all of Europe. The country features miles of slopes that reach heights of 1,600 miles. From lightening fast downhill runs to leisurely cross-country skiing in stunning snow-capped scenery, German ski resorts are the ideal winter destination. And all of this comes at fairly affordable prices with ski passes ranging from as little as €3 to 49.
Explore world-famous Germany's ski resorts at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its epic Zugpspitze (the highest mountain in Germany) or skim over the snow-topped ridges of the Black Forest. As early as October possibly all the way til April, it is time for snow (check the snow forecast here). Here is the guide to the top ski resorts in Germany.
(NOTE: In summer, many of these German winter sports transform into equally impressive locations for hiking and climbing.)
For the 1936 Winter Olympics, the two German ski resorts Garmisch and Partenkirchen joined forces and became the most famous ski resort in the country. Located in the foothills of the German Alps, skiers can enjoy 47 miles of downhill runs and 7 miles of cross-country skiing up to 7,000 feet. This includes the famous Kandahara and Olympic slopes, which are used for the annual World Cup Ski competitions.
Also be sure to check out the Olympiaschanze, or Olympic ski jumping hill. This local landmark was built in 1923 and is still in operation for a New Years ski jump every year.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one hour south of Munich and one hour away from Innsbruck’s International Airport.
South of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you’ll find the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. The almost 10,000 feet high mountain, which borders Germany and Austria, offers fantastic glacier skiing with 13 miles of downhill runs and a fun park for snowboarders, all with spectacular panoramic views.
Close to the summit, there is a restaurant, a sundeck, ski slopes for all grades, and a half pipe for snowboarders. Thanks to its high elevation, you can usually ski at the Zugspitze from November until May.
The Zugpsitze is about 1 hour and 15 minutes south of Munich.
Well-known for its tradition of wood-carving and the Oberammergau Passion Play, this little village in the German Alps turns into a paradise for cross-country skiers come wintertime. Over 60 miles of cross-country trails lead you along breath-taking monasteries, castles, and churches through Bavarian landscape.
Oberammergau is about one hour southeast of Munich.
The many resorts located in Germany's Black Forest make up the biggest ski resort outside of the Alps. This is home to Germany’s oldest ski club, dating back to 1895, and the first ski tow ever built.
The Black Forest’s vast expanse of hills, valleys, and forests center on Freiburg and stretch from the posh spa town Baden Baden to the French and Swiss border, covering an area of 4,600 square miles. Beginners can start on Vogelskopf and work their way up to its highest peak at Feldberg Mountain which reaches a majestic 5,000 feet with a scenic cable car.
Choose from more than 170 ski lifts, 155 miles of downhill slopes, and 22 ski jumps, while cross-country skiers can glide down over 1,000 miles of trails to explore the Black Forest.
The Black Forest is about 2 hours south of Frankfurt.
Nebelhorn in the Allgäu region has 7.5 miles of snow trails and six lifts with elevations up to 2,224 meters. The resort is divided into three sections. These trails are topped with a 400-peak panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and has been called the "grandstand of the Alps". It is generally open from December until the first weekend in May.
Nebelhorn is 2.5 hours northeast of Munich and about an hour east of Augsburg.
The ultra modern Arber ski resort in Arberland is within the Bayerische Wald (Bavarian Forest). Family, friendly, it has over 6 miles of downhill skiing with 8 individual pistes and 6 ski lifts, plus a 6-person gondola. The altitude is fairly low so it has a short season, but it is still the tallest mountain in the area and is termed the "King of the Bavarian Forest".
It is two hours northeast of Munich and about 1.5 hour east Regensburg.
The Ore Mountains (or Erzgebirge in German) in Saxony and Thuringia are a lovely site to ski at discount rates. Oberwiesenthal is the highest town in the area with the resort Fichtelberg offering 10 miles of slopes and terrain. It is also very highly rated and great for families with its Fichtelchens Winterland which has a ski carousel, six magic carpets and a terrain park with easy obstacles.
Fichtelberg is about an 1.45 southwest of Dresden.