Today in Garmish, Germany, we had our first significant snowfall of the season, much earlier than last year. I’ve had a few people reach out to me over the last year about how to ski in Garmisch. I’m going to break down skiing in Garmisch (Local style). I know the struggles of trying to learn to ski and figuring out where and how to learn to ski. (It’s overwhelming) Especially when you don’t live here!
If You Work For The United States Goverment
If you’re an American working for the US goverment, I highly suggest staying at Edelweiss. It has a familiar feeling but still the European vibe you visit Germany to get. (Hopefully, that makes sense) If you’re not part of the goverment community or would rather stay out in town, below are a few of my favorite local spots.
- Aja is centrally located and is right next door to the train station and the Zugspitze train. I’ve heard the pool and spa are fantastic. I’ve been wanting to take a staycation here for a long time.
- Moun10 Youth Hostel is in a great spot, located next door to the train station and Moun10 bakery, one of my favorite Bakers in Garmisch. This hostel is made with families in mind.
- Zugspitze Mountain Hotel, you would be staying in an ice hotel on the tallest mountain in Germany. If you want to stay in the ice hotel for more than one night, it might be an excellent opportunity to try something unique and fun.
How do you ski in Garmsich as a newbie?
When we moved to Garmisch in 2022, I had never skied before; I was 35 and learned how to ski in the German Alps. I’ve started from ground zero, I’m here to tell you how my children ages 10,8, and 4 years old along with myself and my husband all learned how to ski last year.
I took ski lessons at The American Lodge through Edelweiss, and my instructor was an American. My older two children also took lessons at Edelweiss.. We all took a 4-day, (15-total hour lessons) and could ski blues (easy runs) by the end of that week.
You can find out more information about Edelweiss’s classes here. If you need winter clothing, skis, boots, or helmets, you can rent them all at Edelweiss. If you need help dressing your children for skiing, check out my How To Dress Your Children For Winter blog post.
Ski Schools In Garmsich
Edelwesis Ski School
This is exclusive to US government employees.
- All the teachers are Americans. I prefer this because I like supporting Americans abroad.
- Edelweiss is the only ski school that has a backyard where you can learn how to ski. This is a HUGE advantage because during ski weeks, the kinderland gets VERY busy, and a lot of your time learning in Kinderland will be spent in very long lines.
- If you or your children take group lessons, everyone in the group will speak English. I find it a little awkward trying to learn as an adult in multiple languages. It’s also nice to speak in your native language and make friends.
- They offer equipment rentals.
- Ski service available
- Free shuttle to and from the hotel to the lodge.
- The upstairs is a huge lodge with a bar, restaurant, pool, tv etc (Not always open)
This is the private backyard of Edelweiss. This place comes in SUPER handy when it’s crowded on the mountain.
Garmisch Ski School "Red Ski School"
Garmisch Ski School is next to the Hausberg Bahn and is my favorite ski school next to Edelweiss.
- Cheaper than Edelwesis
- Teach children starting at age four years old.
- English, Spanish, Dutch, German, and probably many more languages are spoken here.
- The best place to get coffee!
- The cheapest place to rent equipment.
- The best ski rentals.
- They also service skis too.
- All ski lessons start at the top of the mountain in Kinderland.
Ski School Gapa "Green Ski School"
I have never done business with this ski school, but I thought I would include it in my blog post because it’s the 3rd ski school at Hausberg. The other ski schools are not located at Hausberg, which could be a little tricky if you have small children and have to rent equipment.
- Ski rentals are available.
- All ski lessons begin at Kinderland. I have seen them use Edelwesis’ backyard for some lessons. Again, it’s very busy in Kinderland during certain weeks.
- They offer ski lessons starting at four years old.
Where Do I purchase My Lift Ticket?
You’ll purchase your lift ticket/ski pass at the Hausberg Bahn entrance. You’ll see the cashier area and where to enter to go up the Bahn to the skiing area. You can CLICK HERE to learn all about the different ski passes.
What about if I have a child under the age of 5?
The American lodge will only teach children 5 and above to ski (something to do with their insurance), so if you’re looking to have your younger child learn to ski, I suggest visiting Garmisch Ski School; my 4-year old last year took a 3-month local course and was skiing at the end of the year. (As a newly turned 4-year-old) Most of you will not be in Garmisch for three months, but I recommend taking a 2-4 day group course over your holiday stay. They take children from 3 years old, and they all speak excellent English, German, and sometimes French and Spanish.
What type of ski pass do I need to purchase?
If you’re taking lessons at Edelweiss, the price of your lessons also includes the lift pass for your lesson. If your 3- or 4-year-old is taking ski lessons, you must purchase a kinder pass for your child before the lessons begin. You can find out all the information you need here. Please make sure with the ski school first that you need to purchase a pass.
Pro-Tip: if you take your child under the age of 6 skiing they will ski with you for free. If you send them with the ski school that is when you have to pay for their lift pass.
Where do I go to ski in Garmisch? Where do I park?
I want to ski, but I have a baby. Is there childcare available anywhere?
If you’re an American attached to a military base, you can sign your child up to stay at the CDC during the weekday on base. If you’re not in the military or work for the government, I would suggest skiing at Erhwald. Erhwald has childcare starting as early as three months. Erhwald is also a great place to ski and is usually a lot less crowded. This is where my family and I ski during the weekend.
Are there any places to eat on the mountain?
Yes! Hausberg has a few options for places to eat. Below are my top 2 places to eat!
D9– This is my top place and I frequent this place often! They have some really good french fries and hot chocolate. If you are a vegetarian, they have a great no-chicken salad! It’s AMAZING!
Hausberghutte– This restaurant is located right beside the Bahn or at the end of the ski run to the bottom. You can’t miss it! Great place to grab a quick bite to eat. Inside seating is limited but they have a ton of outdoor tables and huge tents. This restaurant has a little Apres Ski vibe.
What are some other fun things to do in Garmisch during the winter?
Edelweiss has night sledding; you can sign up with the resort. It’s a lot of fun; if you live in Garmisch, you can bring your sled; if you’re visiting, you can rent a sled with them.
You can rent sleds at Garmisch Ski School or Edelweiss and sled on the ski run closest to the hutte (restaurant) at the base of Hausberg.
Visit The Partnachklamm. Even if you’ve been in the summer, it’s so worth the trip in the winter! Everything is frozen, and it looks like something out of the movie Frozen. Make sure that you wear waterproof (ish) clothing and shoes. You also want to make sure that you’re dressing warm, too.
I hope this helps make planning your vacation to learn to ski in Garmisch easier; if you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments or to find me on Instagram at Brittany.McAnally
Few More Tips
- You can purchase day locker rentals for your skis and personal items. This way, you don’t have to leave personal items in the car. (I’m always worried about my car keys)
- Make sure you pack a snack.
- Always have at least 20 Euros on you for food and drinks. A lot of the huttes don’t accept credit cards.
- Don’t bring a backpack to carry while skiing, especially if you’re learning how to ski. It will mess up your form and balance. Not to mention can get hooked on the chair lift,