This post's overview:
- 1 How to get to Bad Reichenhall? Do you need a car to explore German Alps?
- 2 How many days should you stay in Bad Reichenhall?
- 3 Where to stay in Bad Reichenhall?
- 4 10 amazing things to do in Bad Reichenhall:
- 4.1 Go hiking in The Alps
- 4.2 Visit the Thermal Baths
- 4.3 Discover lake Thumsee nearby / swim if it’s summer
- 4.4 Have a beer in one of the authentic local “Stuben”
- 4.5 In case it’s winter, go skiing!
- 4.6 Explore the towns nearby & take The Sound of Music Tour
- 4.7 Cross the German-Austrian border walking
- 4.8 Go cycling
- 4.9 Visit the famous Eagle’s Nest
- 5 Here are some other articles that you might find useful:
In this article, I will share 10 amazing things to do in Bad Reichenhall, the prettiest spa town in Bavaria (or maybe even the the whole of Germany).
If you’re new to this blog, hi, I’m Liza! I’m currently living in London and exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world, one place at a time. However, I have family in two different countries, including Germany, and Bad Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden are two places I keep revisiting all the time. I’ve visited Bad Reichenhall over 5 times now and I keep discovering new places and amazing things to do in both cities!
Before we start with the absolute best things to do in Bad Reichenhall, I’ll try to answer some of the frequently asked questions!
How to get to Bad Reichenhall? Do you need a car to explore German Alps?
Bad Reichenhall is easily accessible from Salzburg airport. It’s actually way closer to Austria than it is to any other large cities in Germany (from some parts of Bad Reichenhall, you can easily walk to Austria in about 15-20 minutes). However, if it’s easier for you to fly to Munich, you can take a train from there. You can check the prices of the trains here.
If you’re wondering if you need a car to explore Salzburg and Berchtesgaden, I would say yes, however, I recommend hiring a car later, when you’re ready to leave Salzburg. That’s because Salzburg is a very walkable city and you’ll get the best experience by staying in the city centre. There, hotels don’t usually have parkings. Salzburg has wonderful connections with the airport (it’s just 15 minutes away by a public bus), so getting back to the airport to rent a car would be easy.
We always recommend Rentalcars.com for hiring a car because of their third-party insurance. It always ends up being cheaper than renting from any car provider. Also, in 20+ times we rented a car with Rentalcars.com, we never had a problem with them, which is why we recommend the service.
How many days should you stay in Bad Reichenhall?
If you’re wondering, how many days you should spend exploring Bad Reichenhall, I would say – as many as you have. If you’re okay spending 7 days in the South of Germany – that’s perfect, you will find things to do! 4 days, however, are enough to visit the area and see some of the main highlights as well as travel to beautiful Salzburg in Austria that is just around the corner!
If you want to spend more time hiking, cycling and swimming in the lakes, then you can probably stay even for 10 days! Also, if you’re staying for longer, you can go on a trip to visit Hallstatt, the most beautiful village in Austria!
Where to stay in Bad Reichenhall?
Bad Reichenhall has a lot of amazing hotels for any budget. Some of the best-rated and best-located hotels are:
Ibis Styles Bad Reichenhall – the newest hotel in Bad Reichenhall, we stayed there on our most recent trip to Berchtesgaden and Bad Reichenhall and really liked it!
Villa Sonnenhof – the best-rated hotel in the area
Hotel Bürgerbräu – if you’re looking for a beautiful historical property
Okay, now, lets talk about the top 10 amazing things to do in Bad Reichenhall and nearby!
10 amazing things to do in Bad Reichenhall:
Go hiking in The Alps
Hiking is probably the best activity out of the things to do in Bad Reichenhall. It’s actually very easy to get to the Alps and there are countless hiking routes! There is even a trail that starts not more than just 30 minutes walking from the city centre. I always recommend using All Trails to look for hiking routes. Also, keep in mind, that between February and April, it might be a bit dangerous to hike because the snow is melting in the mountains.
There are plenty of very scenic routes. Here are the examples of the panoramas you can see from the mountains.
Visit the Thermal Baths
If you went hiking properly, I’m sure, on the next day, you would want to relax. Thermal Baths in Bad Reichenhall are awesome! The best part is outside and it’s especially amazing to swim in hot water when the temperature outdoors is below zero. I must admit that it’s probably my favourite activity out of all the things to do in Bad Reichenhall. I just miss these Thermal spas and I hope that they would be a thing in the UK!
Also, there is a great sauna complex but you probably need to know that everybody goes there naked: bikinis are not allowed. So if you’re brave enough – go on 🙂
Discover lake Thumsee nearby / swim if it’s summer
Lake Thumsee is located just a short walk away from Berchtesgaden and in spring or summer it’s totally worth visiting. You can either drive there or go for a walk – it takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour to walk all the way to Thumsee and the route is pretty amazing, especially in summer. However, I’d recommend to avoid it if it was raining heavily before, as the route might be very slippery.
If you’re visiting in summer or early autumn, you can actually go for a swim. Water is generally pretty cold in the Alpine lakes, however, lake Thumsee is not as bad compared to other lakes. Moreover, there even a special beach area with sun loungers and umbrellas (you need to pay for entering this area), but it’s a low price for high comfort, especially if you’re planning to spend there a couple of hours.
Have a beer in one of the authentic local “Stuben”
There are plenty of breweries, restaurants and taverns in Bad Reichenhall and all of them are amazing and very authentic. One of the oldest taverns, Aegedi Keller offers many beers most of which you won’t be able to encounter anywhere else.
My brother is advertising some local beer here, in this photo 🙂
In case it’s winter, go skiing!
Because you’re in the Alps, you can actually ski near Bad Reichenhall! You can take a bus to the famous Jennerbahn or to Schönau am Königsee and enjoy skiing in German Alps. I haven’t actually done it myself, so I can’t advise on prices and rental equipment, unfortunately!
Explore the towns nearby & take The Sound of Music Tour
Every single town in this part of Germany is very unique. And most of them are worth hiring a car/taking a train or bus and exploring them. Berchtesgaden is probably the best one (and has the most scenic views over the mountains). Also, you can go to Salzburg, one of the most famous cities of Austria by just taking a bus or train! Salzburg is just 20 km away from Bad Reichenhall. If you go to Salzburg, I highly recommend taking the sightseeing tour of Salzburg combined with The Sound of Music Tour!
Cross the German-Austrian border walking
Bad Reichenhall is actually located almost on the border of Germany with Austria. If you walk few hundreds of meters towards the town called Bayrisch Gmain, you’ll see the border yourself. The border is actually driving a bigger town into two parts: Bayrisch Gmain – the German part and Grossgmain- the Austrian part.
…and take one of the most scenic and incredible routes. You can even go to Salzburg by bike, it’s not so far as I already mentioned above, but the view you’ll see will be incredible. There are plenty of bike rental offices in Bad Reichenhall. None of them have websites (most of them are a little bit old-fashioned) and actually a lot of businesses in this part of Germany are not very digital-friendly. The best way to find a bike rental office is by asking someone at the reception in your hotel or heading straight to the tourist information centre.
There are plenty of amazing routes for cyclists, including the routes, where you don’t need to share the road with cars and have a separate cycling lane going through the beautiful Alps!
Visit the famous Eagle’s Nest
Eagle’s Nest or Kehlsteinhaus is connected to the Dark History of Germany and you can read about it more here (if you haven’t heard of it before). However, the views from Kehlsteinhaus are incredible!
You have two options, you need to either buy tickets for the bus to go up there (these tickets also give you the right to take the golden lift) – they cost around 27-28 euros or you can hike all the way up there. The hiking trail is amazing, but it can take around 2 hours to go all the way up. Some people buy just a one-way ticket (although, to be fair, the price isn’t significantly cheaper) and hike all the way back instead.
Up there, there is a nice restaurant and also a small cafe, where you can have some snacks (e.g. a Brezel or an ice cream), so consider your lunch sorted, especially if you decide to hike all the way there.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the top 10 amazing things to do in Bad Reichenhall!
Here are some other articles that you might find useful:
The best things to do in Berchtesgaden
Hallstatt – the most beautiful village in Austria
7-day road trip around South Germany and Austria
West Germany & Alsace road trip: the best of Rhine Valley
Cannstatter Wasen – better than Octoberfest! Visit this beer festival in Stuttgart