Garmisch-Partenkirchen is at the base of the Zugspitze — the highest point in Germany. There is an old-time cog railway train that will take you up to the summit in about 75 minutes, with lovely views for the first hour and then 15 minutes in a tunnel to make the final ascent. On our first day in Garmisch, we set out for for the summit.
Once you arrive at the end of the train line, there is a short cable car that takes you to the very summit. We were lucky with the weather and had clear views out over the Garmisch valley and the Austrian Alps.
Having made it all the way to the top, we felt somewhat obliged to do something other than take photographs, so we went in for the toboggan runs. Given the logistics of the whole “back to the starting-line” process, the grown-ups ran out of energy long before the kids.
You can come back down via the cog railway, but it’s more fun—and more vertigo-inducing—to descend 2,000m in about 10 minutes via the Zugspitze cable car.