Now the location of an upscale restaurant, the Eagle’s Nest was once a mountain getaway for Nazi officials, including Adolf Hitler himself (uh… yikes). Getting to the Nest involves a winding bus ride up the tree-lined Kehlstein Road, a walk through a long, damp tunnel, and a 124-meter elevator lift straight up through the heart of the Kehlstein mountain. Built in the late 1930s, the house has served a variety of purposes—retreat, symbol of political power, and meeting place, among others. The building itself, however, is relatively unassuming. All of the furnishings, save the stone replace, have been removed to avoid glorifying its history.
On clear days, you can gaze out upon the vast expanses of the Austrian and German countrysides.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the view from the top of the Kehlstein. On hazy days, you can experience the same panoramas of the Bavarian Alps that the Nest’s initial tennants experienced some 90 years before, and on clear days, you can gaze out upon the vast expanses of the Austrian and German countrysides. With walking paths leading to several viewpoints along the rocky summit, it seems that around every corner, beyond every crag, and up every scramble, there is an outlook to rival the last.
If you intend to arrive via public transport, prepare to spend a lot of time on buses. A round-trip ticket to the Eagle’s Nest costs about €26.10 and requires two transfers: the rst (€10) from bus #840 (which leaves from Mirabellplatz) to bus #838 at the Schießstättbrücke stop in Berchtesgaden, and the second (€16.10) from bus #838 to the Eagle’s Nest shuttle at Dokumentation Obersalzberg.
Once you’ve reached the end of Kehlstein Road, you will be asked to register your return time before exiting the bus. Allow yourself an hour, minimum, to explore the grounds, as the line for the lift will take about 20 minutes. Also, remember to pack layers, as the top is often several degrees cooler than the base of the mountain.
Antonia is spending her summer pretending she knows a lot about wine and collecting tourist keychains she has no use for throughout Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Germany. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she spends much of her time schlepping through the wilderness and enjoys backpacking, kayaking, and low-pressure longboarding (because she’s just not good enough to brake efficiently so crowds make her nervous). Catch Antonia eating carbs, looking fly in white Crocs (Crocs is the most innovative company in the world), and pleading for her mom’s REI dividend. Her interests include running a very dedicated Instagram for her dog @lily_the_alpine_pup. Stay tuned to watch her adventure unfold.