Berchtesgaden is one of the best day trips from Salzburg and my personal favorite.  Lake Königssee, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, the salt mines, and countless hiking trails are just a few of the things to do in Berchtesgaden and the reasons why Berchtesgaden is worth visiting.

Berchtesgaden is a small, sleepy in Bavaria Germany, just across the border from Salzburg. In this article, you will find out everything you need to know to cross that border and visit Berchtesgaden on a day trip from Salzburg. In this article, you will find out how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg by public transport.

The best way to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg is bus 840. Bus 840 leaves the Salzburg train station every hour and only takes 50 minutes to reach Berchtesgaden. There is no need to transfer and the day ticket for bus 840 only costs about €11,-. The ticket is valid for the entire day and, therefore, also covers your return from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg.

How far is Germany from Salzburg?

You might wonder why we include a German town on a guide that is all about Austria. The city of Salzburg borders Germany. There is a German border crossing five kilometers from Salzburg’s old town, with the city actually bordering the town of Freilassing in Germany. When we travel from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden, however, we travel in a different direction, to the south, but the border crossing to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg is also only 10 kilometers away.

Because you are crossing an international border on your way to Berchtesgaden you have to carry your passport but there are no checks since we are in the European Union and in the Schengen zone.

Getting to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg by Bus

The stop for the 840 bus in Salzburg is at the train station where all the other buses leave but in a slightly different location. Bus 840 leaves from stall J which is located in front of the Akakiko Restaurant, across the street from where the taxis park. Here you find the exact location on Google Maps

how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg by public transport with bus 840

The 840 bus leaves every hour. For the next departure time, it’s best to search on the ÖBB website. It starts at the train station but then travels through the stops at Mirabell square and the Rathaus before leaving the city south in the direction of the German border and Berchtesgaden. These stops are closer to the old town and closer to many of the accommodation options in Salzburg.

You get the so-called “Watzmann-Express” ticket for bus 840 directly from the bus driver. Buying tickets from the bus driver is cash only, so make sure to carry enough cash. The day ticket for bus 840 is valid for the entire day and, therefore, includes your return from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg, if you are on a day trip and not staying in Berchtesgaden overnight. If you are planning to stay in Berchtesgaden, you of course purchase a single ride and pay about half the price.

The ticket also includes the rides on bus 838 to the Documentation Center of the Eagles Nest and bus 841 to Schönau at Lake Königssee, the two best places to visit around Berchtesgaden. You can learn more about that in the section on getting around Berchtesgaden.

Getting from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden by Train

Taking the train from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden has many downsides with one upside.

Let’s look at the downsides first. You must transfer trains to Freilassing in order to reach Berchtesgaden by train from Salzburg. As a result, the train journey takes longer. Furthermore, the train costs a few euros more than the bus, and the scenery on the train is nothing compared to the bus. The bus will take you through a valley that runs along the impressive Untersberg mountain on the right and the mountains on the Austrian-German border on the left.

The only advantage to taking the train would be that it runs until later in the day. In the evening, the last bus leaves Berchtesgaden at 6:15 pm, while the last train leaves at around 10 pm. In the summer when the days are long, that would be especially convenient, as you could spend the day at the Eagle’s Nest or at Lake Königssee, and then spend the evening in Berchtesgaden.

In case you miss the last bus from Berchtesgaden, the train would also serve as a last resort. Please don’t miss the bus from Königssee back to Berchtesgaden either. Many travelers I have met have encountered this situation, and in such cases, the only way to get back to Berchtesgaden is by taxi. From Berchtesgaden to Salzburg, however, you can avoid the cab by taking the train.

In case you take the train, you get the ticket from the ticket machine at the train station. There is no need to reserve in advance since the trains don’t book out but make sure to get to the train station early enough to figure out the ticket machine and buy your ticket. Buying the ticket on the train is not possible.

Things to do & getting around Berchtesgaden

When traveling to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg you, of course, have to have a look at the town of Berchtesgaden but that’s not the main destination for most travelers. Most travelers visit the Eagles Nest, the Berchtesgaden salt mines, or Lake Königssee on a day trip to Berchtesgaden. Therefore, in addition to finding out how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg, we also have to find out how to reach these popular activities and attractions in Berchtesgaden.

How to get to the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden from Salzburg?

The Berchtesgaden salt mines have their own bus stop when coming with the 840 bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. The salt mines stop is called “Salzbergwerk” and is located a few stops before the station in Berchtesgaden. Therefore, if you are planning to first visit the salt mines in Berchtesgaden, get off at the salt mines.

After your visit, you can easily walk to the center of Berchtesgaden in about 15 minutes. The direct bus connection from Salzburg makes the Berchtesgaden salt mines the most convenient salt mines to reach from Salzburg. Read this article for more information about the Berchtesgaden salt mines.

How to get from Berchtesgaden to the Eagles Nest?

To reach the Eagles Nest on a day trip to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg, you get off at the Berchtesgaden train station. That’s where the central bus station in Berchtesgaden is located and that’s where you wait for bus 838 to the Documentation Center of the Eagles Nest on Obersalzberg. Bus 838 is also included in the day ticket for bus 840.

From Obersalzberg you can either take the shuttle bus or embark on a strenuous 3-hour hike to the Eagles Nest. The shuttle bus is not included in the day ticket for the 840 bus and with a price of €28,- expensive.

The hike, on the other hand, is of course free and can make your day trip to Berchtesgaden and the Eagles Nest from Salzburg the least expensive day trip ever since you would only pay about €11,- for the day ticket for bus 840.

Whatever option you choose, make sure to also visit the Documentation center, since there is no documentation or any other kind of museum at the Eagles Nest itself. Read this article for a detailed guide on how to visit Hitlers Eagles Nest from Salzburg.

How to get from Berchtesgaden to Königssee

To get to Königssee from Berchtesgaden you change to bus 841 to Schönau am Königssee. Bus 841, like bus 838, leaves from the same place you get to when coming from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. It takes only another 10 to 15 minutes by bus to reach Schönau am Königssee and Schönau is right on the lake. Within 3 minutes of walking through the village, you can reach the lake and the docks.

Bus 841 is also included in the day ticket but when visiting Königssee, you should absolutely take the boat across the lake. The mountains at lake Königssee are so close to the shore, that you couldn’t walk around the lake. Therefore, the only way of actually seeing the lake is by taking the boat.


How much is a taxi from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden?

Taking a taxi to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg is of course convenient but expensive. Taking a taxi from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden would cost around €60,- which becomes more reasonable, the more people are in your group. Especially if you are 5 or more people, you could order a “Großraumtaxi”, a large capacity taxi, which fits 8 people. What’s interesting about these large-capacity taxis in Salzburg is that the price is the same as for a normal cab. Please also note that you have to pay for the cab twice if you are only on a day trip from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden.

How to get from Salzburg Airport to Berchtesgaden?

There is no direct way to get from Salzburg Airport to Berchtesgaden. You will first have to take the bus from Salzburg airport to the center of Salzburg before taking the 840 bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. Fortunately, the bus from the airport to the center only takes 20 minutes before you can transfer to the bus to Berchtesgaden. Here is a guide on how to get to Salzburg.

How to get to Berchtesgaden from Munich?

The best way to get from Munich to Berchtesgaden by public transport is the train. From Munich, take the train to Freilassing at the Austrian border, where you will change for a train to Berchtesgaden. The journey takes approximately 2,5 hours and is best done with a Bayern Ticket especially if you are traveling with several people. The Bayern ticket allows you to travel with regional trains in Bavaria all day and gets less expensive the more people you have, for up to five people. Here is our guide on how to use a Bayern ticket to travel to Salzburg.

Can you use the Bayern ticket to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg?

Bayern tickets can be used on the train from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. Although the Bavarian train ticket is not as cheap as it once was, if you are traveling with 3-5 people on the same day, it is still worth it. The return train ticket in 2022 costs €18,60 which makes 55,80 for three travelers from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden and back. The Bayern ticket is €26,- plus €8,- for each additional traveler. That makes €42,- for 3 travelers. The problem with the Bayern ticket is, that it’s only valid from 9 am.
On the bus, the Bayern ticket couldn’t be used, not because it’s not valid on the 840 bus but because it’s only valid in Bavaria and border stations. Salzburg is a border station but on the bus, there are several stops in Austria before you cross the German border.

Similar Posts