Chiemsee in Germany might not be your first choice to visit, but if you do, you will find it charming and with many things to do.
Germany is huge and that is why you can always find beautiful places, no matter how many times you have been traveling around Germany. Whenever we have traveled to Germany, we just passed the Chiemsee Lake, but in the last couple of years, we have already made two stops there. We love the area, especially in the summer, as there are many great things to do at Chiemsee Lake.
13 things to do at Chiemsee Germany
1. Admire the Herreninsel (Men Island)
The Chiemsee Lake is mostly known because of the castle of the King Luwdik II of Bavaria, which can be found on the Herreninsel in the middle of the Chiemsee Lake. The castle has never been completely finished and is a copy of the magnificent French castle in Versailles. Even though we have done the trip to Chiemsee Lake two times already, we still have not managed to visit the castle – we had a very bad weather the first time we were there and when we visited the Chiemsee Lake for the second time, it was closed due to a political gathering. Fingers crossed we will be lucky next time.
2. Walk around the Fraueninsel (Women Island)
The Fraueninsel is much smaller than the Herreninsel, what makes it even more perfect for an enjoyable and picturesque walk around the island. You will only need about 20-30 minutes to walk around it on foot. The main attraction on the island is the amazing Benedictine nun’s convent, which has been established in 782.
The Fraueninsel has around 300 inhabitants and what is the best about it, is the fact the island is car free, what sure makes it even more charming.
3. The Cabagge Island (Krautinsel)
You will find three islands at the Chiemsee Lake and the smallest among them is the Krautinsel. It is not populated and it got its name from growing cabbage and other veggies during the middle ages.
4. Tasting liquors and marzipan
You should never leave the Fraueninsel without tasting or buying its liquors and marzipan products. They are all made by nuns, living in the Benedictine monastery.
5. Take a boat ride
If you will be visiting the men or women island you will already be having a boat trip, but if you just want to enjoy the views, without any real sightseeing, you also have these kind of boat trips available. The Chiemsee Lake is huge and you will easily forget you are cruising on the lake and not the sea.
6. Numerous water activities
It is said that the Chiemsee Lake has a nice Christmas market, especially the one on the Fraueninsel, but we have not visited it yet. Maybe that is also the reason my favourite time of the year to visit the area is during the summer. The Chiemsee Lake has many water activities you can do. The water is cold and not perfect for swimming for everyone, but one of the best things are to rent a kayak, a boat, a SUP or even a sailing boat and explore the waters on your own.
7. The views from the Big Wheel
The Big Wheel can be found at the docks in Prien am Chiemsee. It is known to have amazing views down the Chiemsee Lake, what sure makes it one of the best things to do to enjoy the views.
8. Board on the old train
Before you judge, this really is not just one of the best things to do at Chiemsee Lake for kids, but it is also a super fun experience for everyone visiting the lake without children. The old steam machine is from 1887 and connects the main train station at Prien am Chiemsee to its docks.
9. Wander around the towns
The towns along the Chiemsee Lake are small, but with their old buildings and beautifully decorated houses, they should not be overlooked. We wandered around the old town of Prien am Chiemsee.
10. Cycling around the Chiemsee Lake
One of the best things about the Chiemsee Lake are its numerous biking paths. You can choose the length according to your fitness level. But one thing is certain – no matter how many kilometres you will do, you will enjoy the ride for sure. You can rent a bicycle, including with the electric ones, in many shops in the towns along the lake.
11. Playgrounds along the Chiemsee Lake
Whenever we do a trip with our son, we are always so grateful for the playgrounds. Having a playground means, we can drink coffee in peace and have a short break. Luckily, you will find some really nice playgrounds at Chiemsee Lake too.
12. Theme parks near Chiemsee Lake
We can find many theme parks in Bavaria and two of them are not far from the Chiemsee Lake either. Check out the Freizeitpark Ruhpolding and Märchenpark Marquartstein.
We unfortunately were able to visit just the Freizeitpark Ruhpolding, as the weather was so bad and rainny. This theme park is one of the best ones to visit in a bad weather too, as lots of attractions are under the roof.
But if it was not for the bad weather, we might never found the dream world for young and old. Hans – Peter Porsche Traumwerk is sort of a museum with an impressive old toy collection and amazing railroads model. There is even a large outdoor playground for kids, where they can enoy the train ride too, while adults finally have some free time over a cup of coffee.
13. Visit the Wasserburg town
Not far from the Chiemsee Lake (from Gstadt to Wasserburg is around 30 kilometers) is a beautiful medieval town. Many of its old and historically important buildings in the town’s old center are still intact, what makes this town along the Inn river a very unique place to visit.
Travel tips for Chiemsee Lake
How to reach Chiemsee Lake?
The beauty of the Chiemsee Lake is the fact you can easily reach it as a day trip from Munich or even Salzburg. The lake is very well connected with trains, so it makes it great to join it with your trip around Germany or Austria.
Where to park the car at Chiemsee Lake?
If you will be driving to Chiemsee Lake by car, you will need to park it when visiting the islands or its sights. You will find a large official parking place in every town along the lake – the daily tickets are available too.
How to reach Herreninsel and Fraueninsel?
Both islands are very well connected by boats. We once reached the Fraueninsel from Gstadt and once from the Prien am Chiemsee. During the summer the boats run every 30 minutes.
Accommodations at Chiemsee Lake
The area with the Chiemsee Lake is very touristy and that is why you will find many different accommodation options here – from hotels, camping spots to homesteads. We have visited the Chiemsee Lake twice and once staid at the homestead and once at the hotel.
Homestead Ferienhof Moyer
To really get to know the local life, one of the best things to do at Chiemsee Lake, is to stay at one of the tourist farms. We had one overnight accommodation at the Ferienhof Moyer, set at the outskirt of a small village Höslwang. You will get a warm welcome from the owners and a nice, clean room with a breakfast, containing local products.
Hotel Bayerischerhof Prien
The Hotel Bayerischerhof Prien is set in the middle of Prien am Chiemsee and has a great location for an evening stroll around the streets. It is also just steps away from the main train station, where the old green train departs for the docks. The hotel has a very nice, modern rooms, its own parking space and diverse breakfast. You will even find saunas in the hotel. You can find more reviews and photos at booking.com.
A few days at the Chiemsee Lake will be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of German cities. If you are visiting Munich and want to enjoy some nature, which goes hand by hand with history, make sure to visit the Chiemsee Lake too, as it makes it one of the best day trips from Munich.