Just south of Garmisch, Rießersee Lake invites you to swim and splash on hot summer days. Due to the low depth of the water, it heats up relatively quickly, which makes for agreeable swimming temperatures as early as springtime some years.
From early May to mid-September, the beach area at the north bank provides space to relax. You can find changing rooms, toilets, space for sunbathing as well as a kiosk offering drinks and ice cream. If you are hungry for something bigger, the lakeside terrace of Hotel Riessersee or restaurant Seehaus feature plenty of delicious meals with a view of the lake and the mountains.
Rießersee lake was artificially created at a forest glade in the Middle Ages. It is a popular destination in summer and winter alike. Competitions such as ice speed skating and ice hockey were held here during the 1936 Winter Olympics. The bobsleigh run, opened in 1909, was once known as one of the most dangerous in the world, and is now under monumental protection. At 'Bobschuppen' on the south bank you can explore numerous historic exhibits and original film and find out more about that time and the role this lake played for winter sports.
Up to this day, the frozen lake is a popular ice skating ground and is often used for ice stock sport (Bavarian curling). In 2011 and 2012, the lake was the venue of the first Pond Hockey Cup in Germany, which revolves around playing on a frozen lake or pond.
Things to do
You can explore the lake simming or on pedal and row boats that are for rent. If you don't enjoy water, simply walk around the lake on the 2 km pathway. During the winter, the lake is a popular ice skating ground.
- The swimming lake / beach's average water temperature during the summer season is 69 °F. The swimming lake / beach is normally warmest during August with an average water temperature of 71 °F. See the currently warmest Swimming Lakes / Beaches in Germany.
- It’s ok to bring your best friend to this dog friendly swimming lake. (See all dog friendly swimming Lakes / Beaches in Bavaria.)
- There’s no need to be starving! A kiosk and a restaurant cater for all tastes and needs.
- Families will love the nearby playground, ensuring some quality time for the parents and activity time for their kids.
- There are numerous parking facilities nearby. Restrooms where you may also get changed are available at the Swimming Lake.
Video about Swimming Lake Rießersee
How to get there
Take motorway A95 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen until the motorway ends. After having driven through the tunnel, just follow the signs. Via Partnach you keep driving on the St. Martinstraße, passing the central station. Just before the end of the town, turn left and continue towards the lake. Underneath the dam and opposite the hotel, you'll find car parks free of charge.
The closest train station is Garmisch-Partenkirchen. From Garmisch's town centre, you can walk to the lake within half an hour, or bike there to be quicker. Alternatively, bus line RB 5514 towards Reutte in Tirol goes from the train station to stop Garmisch-Partenkirchen Hausberg, which is a 20 minutes' walk from the lake.