Oberstdorf is Germany’s southernmost area and is located in the state of Bavaria. You’ll reach the alpine town of Oberstdorf in a small pocket of the Allgäu Alps surrounding the town from the south.
Best known for winter sports, Oberstdorf is a place for explorers and thrill-seekers. If you think the air is thinner than usual, that’s because Oberstdorf is located at +2,600 ft. (+800m) above sea level, making it one of the highest locations to live in Germany.
If you want to go higher, you’ll enjoy the marvelous view from the two popular summits of Fellhorn and Nebelhorn (can be accessed with a cable car).
We spent 4,5 hours researching the most popular things to see and do while in Oberstdorf!
10. Algäu Coaster
In the small town of Söllereck just two miles south of Oberstdorf, you’ll find the alpine luge for kids and adults. Cruise down the mountainside with up to 40 km/h, and enjoy the landscape during the half-mile ride. With room for two, you can ride alone or with kids from age three.
Unlike a rollercoaster, you are in charge of the speed, controlling it with the two side-breaks. And if the ride is not wild enough, you can get a VR set while on the ride as well! How cool is that?
9. Sturmannshöhle Obermaiselstein
Just northwest of Oberstdorf lies a hidden gem. The Sturmannshöhle in the small alpine town of Obermaiselstein, just half an hour walk from the town.
Even though the area provides you with stunning views, you’ll have the chance to discover this 120 million-year-old natural cave, inhabited by bats.
Carved by ice during the Ice Age, the cave is several hundred yards deep and steep, and if you have the stamina, you’ll descend almost 300 yards below the surface. Keep in mind that this cave is only accessible with the many guided tours, and you can book a tour every day from June to November.
Tourist Tip: Bring a jacket or warm shirt. The temperature in the cave is chilly, even with hot weather outside. Not recommended for small kids due to many steps and lots of walking.
The area is easily accessible for kids and even wheelchairs due to the flat terrain, so the destination makes a perfect afternoon trip.
Formed by the three smaller “ach” rivers Breitach, Trettach, and Stillach (melting water from the mountains), they run together in a confluence called Iller.
Ascending the mountain of Söllereck should be on your list, especially if you’re on a family trip.
The mountain is called “The Family Mountain” in German, and there is plenty of fun to do for the whole family. We’ve already covered the Algäu Coaster in this article, but the entire area provides fun. During Winter, you’ll access both beginners and advanced ski slopes. During Summer, kids will enjoy the two major playgrounds along with the “toy” snow machine SölliBully.
By taking the Söllereckbahn ski-lift, you’ll enjoy a smooth seven-minute ride to the top, where you can experience the area on foot, or just have a drink or meal at the restaurant.
Imagine visiting a crystal-blue mountain lake, the ones you only see in postcards? Wait no more, because Christlessee is your next destination.
From the small town of Trettach (yes the one with the river flowing into Iller), you’ll reach the lake on foot.
The natural spring is so clean that you could drink it. In fact, the year-round temperature is just above freezing level.
Enjoy a picnic or take some beautiful pictures, the Christlessee is a place for relaxation and being present. If you follow the river, you’ll see that it joins the Trettach river further down.
5. Heini-Klopfer-Ski jump (Audi Arena)
Ski Jumping is a national sport in Germany and during Winter the FIS World Cup swings by Oberstdorf for some world-class ski jumping at the Audi Arena as part of the famous Four Hill Tournament.
For tourists, you can either enjoy the show and marvel at the competitors flying more than 100 yards through the air, or you can visit the area during Summer and climb the hill yourself.
While Audi is the current sponsor, the facility has had many sponsors during the years and also goes by the name Heini-Klopfer-Ski jumping hill.
Built in 1973, there is a HS137 and HS 106 hill, where the number indicates the length of the hill when jumping.
Tourist Tip: Keep an eye on training times, where you could be lucky to see the athletes practice jumps!
Nebelhorn is one of the most famous mountains in the Oberstdorf area with its peak reaching more than 7,000 ft. You’ll reach the summit by taking the Nebelhornbahn, a brand new 10-person cable car.
From the summit you’re able to see far into the Alps to the south, and into the German hills and plains to the north.
During winter the mountain hosts adventurous free-ride skiing competitions and during the summer month, you can simply enjoy the view, spending time in the cool playgrounds with your kids, or try out paragliding if you dare.
The south of Germany is known for its many beautiful lakes, and the Freibergsee is no exception. You’ll find it above the ski jumping hill and contrary to other lakes in the area, the Freibergsee doesn’t run into other rivers.
Reached best by foot from the parking lot, the ascending hike takes ½-1 hour depending on your condition. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best lakes in Germany for swimming and fun. Arriving at Freibergsee during summer, the choice is yours whether you prefer to enjoy the view from the restaurant, taking a swim in the clean alpine water, or sailing in the raft pontoon. But be aware, the lake is 25 yards deep, so better know how to swim.
More info: Visit website
Fellhorn-Kanzelwand is the biggest ski area in the region and among the most popular ski resorts in Germany and is placed right at the Austrian border.
You can reach the summits by either taking the Fellhornbahn cable car or the Kanzelwandbahn cable car. Either way, you are in for some real action!
During winter you’ll access a true snow paradise with 25 miles of slopes in both Germany and Austria. During summer you’ll experience the vast meadows of beautiful alpine roses and a generally family-friendly hiking area.
We could write a whole article about this area, but for now, you only need to know that it’s a must-visit while in Oberstdorf.
Despite having action-packed sports areas and picturesque natural lakes, tourists agree that experiencing Breitachklamm is the most popular thing to do in Oberstdorf, and among the best things to see in Germany.
The Breitachklamm is the deepest rock canyon in Central Europe and offers breathtaking views, raging white water during summer, and frozen waterfalls during winter.
You’ll need to buy a ticket, and access the canyon via the upper or lower trail, and the hike takes roughly 1,5 hours. When you arrive, it seems like something taken out of an adventure movie, and you’ll walk on suspension bridges and steep, but secured hiking trails.
Tourist Tip: You might get wet, so bringing raincoats and good footwear is recommended.