Fraueninsel Chimsee

Day trip from Munich to Chiemsee

Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by Ingrid & Alex

For several years, I worked for a big insurance company headquartered in Munich and would travel extensively to the city. However, I somehow never had the chance to go from Munich to Chiemsee.

Years later, when we planned our three months in Germany, we decided to stay near the famous Bavarian lake. After our first visit to Chiemsee, we knew we had made the best choice – the area is terrific and offers many things to do.

Thus, a day trip from Munich to Chiemsee is always a good idea to escape the big city and relax in nature.

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How to get from Munich to Chiemsee

Getting there from the city is easy: by train, car or organized tour.

By train

The good news is that there are plenty of train connections. Look for Prien am Chiemsee, the main town and train station close to the lake.

From Munchen Hauptbahnhof to Prien am Chiemsee, the train takes less than 1 hour.

Munich to Chiemsee train option
Munich to Chiemsee train option

Bus 481 links Prien am Chiemsee train station to Chiemsee-shipping Ludwig Feßle (the boat terminal). The bus ride is less than 10 minutes long.

Also, the distance between the two locations on foot is less than 25 minutes.

In addition, there is a traditional train called the Chiemsee Bahn, which links Bahnhof Chiemsee-Bahn Prien to Hafen Prien/Stock.

By car

If you are traveling by car, it is worth knowing that the lake has more than one ferry terminal.

We preferred taking the boat from Gstadt am Chiemsee. However, Prein am Chiemsee is the most popular starting point, and it is closest to Munich.

Munich to Prien am Chiemsee by car
Munich to Prien am Chiemsee by car

Parking is possible at Parkplatz Hafen Stock S2—Herrenchiemsee in Prien am Chiemsee, close to the ferry.

driving from Munich to Gstadt am Chiemsee
Munich to Gstadt am Chiemsee by car

To get to Gstadt am Chiemsee by car, you must pass through Prien, which adds a few minutes to the trip.

We loved Gstadt and found it less touristic than Prien; thus, it was worth driving 8 minutes more.

By tour

A guided tour is the best way to see a place without worrying about transfers, timetables, or anything else.

Whenever we travel to a new place and don’t have too much time or don’t want to rent a car only for a day, we choose a guided tour.

This guided tour is convenient and includes the ticket for the train and a guide that will tell you everything you need to know about the region. On top of that, you will need to cover the ferry and the Herrenchiemsee Palace entrance fee.

What to do in one day in Chiemsee from Munich

Chieming at Chiemsee Lake
Chieming at Chiemsee Lake / Ingrid

There are so many things to do around Chiemsee, and we never got bored despite visiting it repeatedly. We explored more than just the main attractions and would like to share all the hidden gems with you.

Take the ferry and visit the two islands

Chiemsee ferry
Chiemsee ferry

Before we talk about the islands, here are a few facts you might want to know about the ferry:

  • When you take the boat from Gstadt, you will spend the shortest time on it. The trip to Frauen Insel is 10 minutes long, and the journey to Herren Insel takes another 10 minutes.
  • Ferries also leave from Chieming, Seebruk, Ubersee, or Bernau, but they are less frequent and take longer to travel. However, going from Seebruk or Chieming gives you a better view of the lake and mountains.
  • We traveled with a 5-month-old baby and did not have to pay for her, but children over 6 years old must pay half price. There is also a ticket for families with at least 2 children. You can check out the complete price list here.
  • Additionally, we’ve seen people traveling with dogs or bikes. It is worth knowing that there are fees to pay for each.

Frauen Insel

Frauen Insel
Arriving on Frauen Insel / Ingrid

We took the ferry from Gstadt am Chiemsee and purchased a ticket that stopped at both the Frauen Insel and Herren Insel islands.

As the ferry stopped, we got off, explored the first island, and got on the next ferry to Herren Insel. We were traveling with a small baby, so one hour was enough for us, and the island was small enough to be explored quickly.

Frauen Insel Monastery
Frauen Insel Monastery / Ingrid

As soon as we approached the “Women’s Island,” the imposing Monastery was the first thing that caught our attention.

The small island is basically split into two sections: the part occupied by the Abbey and the small village with a few beautiful houses and restaurants.

When we visited, a wedding occurred at the church and one of the local restaurants. It was interesting to see people wearing traditional costumes.

If you have more time and are more flexible than us, you should stop for a meal with a view.

We stopped at the tiny Edeka supermarket, got some pretzels and something to drink, and enjoyed them on a bench overlooking the lake. A group of ducks greeted us and kindly “asked” to share our meal.

Fraueninsel Chimsee
Frauen Insel from the ferry / Ingrid

Toward one end of the island, there is a small shop selling smoked fish sandwiches, which I suggest you try!

Herren Insel

The Old Palace, Augustinian Monastery
The Old Palace, Augustinian Monastery / Ingrid

The ride from Frauen Insel to Herren Insel is short and takes no more than roughly 10 minutes. You can check out the ferry’s complete timetable here.

We started our stroll on the “Men’s Island” by climbing to the Augustinian Canons’ Monastery of Herrenchiemsee. This palace, together with the New Herrenchiemsee Palace and the King Ludwig II Museum, can be visited as part of a complete tour of the island.

Each museum can be visited separately. You can check the current prices and book your ticket online here. Alternatively, you can purchase your ticket directly at the ticket office on the island.

The monastery dates from 1125 AD and was updated and transformed into a baroque architectural gem in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1873, King Ludwig II bought the island and the complex and transformed it into “the Old Palace,” which he would stay in whenever he visited the works on the “New Palace.”

Herrenchiemsee New Palace
Herrenchiemsee New Palace / Ingrid

The Herrenchiemsee New Palace sits on the island’s western part and is known as the “Bavarian Versailles.”

Guided tours inside the palace are organized daily. In the palace’s garden, there is a cafe that serves local food and drinks.

Apfelstrudel and coffee at Herreninsel
Apfelstrudel and coffee at Herreninsel / Ingrid

On each of our visits, we could not help but stop here for a schnitzel and some apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce.

Book this convenient tour of the island and palace to learn more about the place’s history.

Have a coffee by the lake

Chiemsee Cafe
Chiemsee Cafe / Ingrid

Whenever we would feel like enjoying a coffee with a beautiful view, we would drive to Gstadt am Chiemsee.

That’s where we found the Chiemsee Cafe, a cozy place with delicious cakes and good coffee. Moreover, the owner is very nice and would turn on the suspended toy train for our daughter to enjoy.

KAVA coffee roasters | RÖSTHAUS Chieming
KAVA coffee roasters | RÖSTHAUS Chieming / Ingrid

Coffee snobs like me would always find a good cafe with specialty coffee. That’s how I came across Kava coffee roasters in Chieming.

While the cafe is not precisely on the lake, it is only a few steps away. They roast their coffee on the spot and have a fabulous terrace.

Go on a walk along the river or on the promenade

Chieming at Chiemsee Lake
Chieming at Chiemsee Lake / Ingrid

All the towns around the lake have a promenade or path in the woods that takes visitors along the water. Germans enjoy a good hike, and so do we.

Gstadt forest walk
Gstadt forest walk on a rainy day / Ingrid

We loved strolling in Prien, Gstadt, or Chieming, whether sunny or rainy. The locals would come with their bikes, dogs, and kids and ride around the river.

Have a picnic

Grab some local delicacies (pretzels with butter are always a good idea), bring a blanket, and spend some relaxing time by the lake. On sunny days, especially on the weekends, you will see plenty of people from the region doing just that.

Have lunch with a lake view

Prosecco at Chiemsee
Prosecco at Chiemsee / Ingrid

If you want a traditional lunch with a lake and mountain view, Chiemsee is the place for you.

On a sunny weekend day, we stopped at Hafenwirt Restaurant & Cafe, one of the main restaurants in Seebruk. It was spring (in Germany, that is “asparagus time”), and their specialties included fresh asparagus dishes.

Alex tried the asparagus soup, a traditional delicacy. We recommend giving it a chance, even though he wouldn’t add it to his “favorites” list.

Take a dip

Chiemseebad Seebruck
Chiemseebad Seebruck / Ingrid

During summer, the lake is also a popular bathing destination. Chiemseebad Seebruck is a public beach where you can tan and swim in the lake’s crystal-clear water.

Of course, there are also other places where people are allowed to swim.

Also, it is worth knowing that Chiemsee is popular for camping lovers, and there are many camping areas (such as Camping Lambach) along the lake.

Don’t miss a visit to Prien am Chiemsee

The first place we visited was Prien am Chiemsee, close to the well-known Bavarian lake. Strolling the streets in the city center, you could not tell it was a town by the water.

Be warned, though, that Prien am Chiemsee is considered a posh destination, home to many wealthy retirees. You’ll see what I mean when you admire the Ferraris and Bugattis parked near the yachting clubs.

I remember sitting in a cafe with our 5-month-old baby when a nice gentleman approached us and said how happy he was to meet a young family. It felt good to be young again, even for just a few minutes:)

The town is charming and worth visiting on your way to or from the lake.

I hope you’ll enjoy your day trip from Munich to Chiemsee.

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