Hitler had his summer residence in Berchtesgaden, just across the border from Salzburg, in Bavaria 15 years before the war began. Almost all the buildings in that area had been leveled by bombs by the end of the war, but one had survived. The Eagles Nest, built for Hitler’s 50th birthday, was spared since it is located on Mount Kehlstein, a sharp rock that was hard to hit. Nowadays, the Eagles Nest and the surrounding area of Berchtesgaden is one of the three best day trips from Salzburg.

Can you visit the Eagles Nest without a tour from Salzburg? The answer is yes. Despite being in a remote location, the Eagles Nest is surprisingly easy to reach. In this article, I will tell you how to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg by public transport in 5 easy steps.

To get to Hitler’s Eagles Nest from Salzburg you take bus 840 from the train station in Salzburg to Berchtesgaden in Bavaria. When getting on the bus, you can get a day ticket from the bus driver. The day ticket also includes transportation on bus 841, from Berchtesgaden to the Documentation Center of the Eagles Nest. From the Documentation Center, you take the shuttle bus to the Eagles Nest, where you take the golden elevator to the top of the mountain.

Where is Hitler’s Eagles Nest?

Hitlers Eagles Nest is located in Obersalzburg near the town of Berchtesgaden in Germany at an altitude of 1834 meters above sea level. The Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden is located just across the border from Salzburg. The distance from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden is only 25 kilometers. Berchtesgaden can be reached by public transport from Salzburg within 50 minutes. Let me tell you how!

When is the Eagles Nest open?

Eagles Nest is usually open between May and October, but the exact date depends on the weather. The Eagles Nest is located at an altitude that makes it impossible and dangerous to reach if the weather is not right and there is still snow on the mountain. For updated information, please refer to the Kehlsteinhaus website.

In case the Eagles Nest is still officially closed, you might want to check this hike. These hiking tours are organized by my friend Claudio, who specializes in the Eagles Nest, and sometimes they are on before the season officially starts.

Since the weather is unpredictable during the offseason, hiking the Eagles Nest on your own would be dangerous, but Claudio knows all the ins and outs of the Eagles Nest. If the weather conditions are stable, you might still want to consider his organized tour, but you can also hike the Eagles Nest on your own.

How much does it cost to go to the Eagle’s Nest?

Getting to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg used to be one of the less expensive day trips because of the day ticket for the “Watzmann Express”, the public buses between Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, and the Eagles Nest Documentation center. You can take the bus 840 and 838 from Salzburg to the Eagles Nest documentation center and back to Salzburg for only €11,-, but you will need a shuttle bus from the documentation center (unless you are fit and willing to hike for 6 hours).

The return ticket for the shuttle bus used to be €16,60 but the price has been increased and is in 2022 as much as €28,-. Therefore, in 2022 it’s €39,- to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg by Public Transport.

The Eagles Nest doesn’t have an entrance fee. The fee for the Eagles Nest is the fare for the shuttle bus but there is also nothing inside the building except the building itself, which is now a restaurant.

How to spend less money on your Eagles Nest Trip

If you have a limited budget, you may want to pack your own lunch since the only food options are the restaurants at the Documentation Center and the Eagles Nest. The food at these restaurants is generally good but the prices are tourist prices.

Since the Eagles Nest itself doesn’t have an entrance fee, you can drastically reduce the cost of your trip to the Eagles Nest by embarking on a 6-hour hike instead of taking the shuttle bus from Salzburg. The hike is easy but long. Hiking the Eagles Nest doesn’t only reduce the cost of your trip to the Eagles Nest but also makes it endlessly more adventurous. Here is a detailed guide on how to hike the Eagles Nest.

How much does it cost to go to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg with a Guided Tour?

Together with the price for the shuttle bus, the price for tours to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg increased. In 2022 the Eagles Nest tours organized by Panorama tours are now €75,- which is expensive. A tour is not required but since you already pay €39,- for public transport from Salzburg to the Eagles Nest, a tour might be worth the extra comfort and guidance.

The tours are especially worth considering if you would like to visit the Eagles Nest together with the salt mines and/or Königssee since that couldn’t be achieved by public transport from Salzburg. If you are looking into visiting all these places have a look at the supersaver tours.

How to visit the Eagles Nest without a tour?

Here are 5 easy steps to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg by bus:

Step 1: Take bus 840 from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden

Bus 840 to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg

The first step on your day trip from Salzburg to the Eagles Nest is taking a bus. The bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden, bus 840, departs from the bus stop in front of the train station in Salzburg; however, it leaves from stall J, not where all the other buses stop. Stall J is located across the street from Mc Donald’s, next to the Akakiko restaurant.

Bus stop for bus 840 on Google Maps

Bus 840 takes you to the town of Berchtesgaden in 50 minutes. Alternative to the train station, you could also catch bus 840 from Mirabell square or from the Rathaus bus stop which is closer to the old town and, therefore, also closer to many of the accommodation options in Salzburg.

Make sure to bring your Identity Card since you are going to cross an international border into Germany. There are no border controls but you should still carry your passport.

You ask the bus driver for a day ticket when you board the bus. The price for a day ticket for bus 840 is about €11,- in 2022. In addition to bus 840, the day ticket includes bus number 838, the bus you’ll need to take on your way to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg and also bus 841 which would take you to Königssee, another great day trip destination and one of the best things to do in Berchtesgaden.

You take bus 840 until the last stop, until the train station in Berchtesgaden.

You could also take the train from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden but in most cases, that’s the less convenient option. For more detailed information on how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg, read this article.

NOTICE: Bus 840 would, in theory, be included in the Bayern ticket but in practice, you can’t use the Bayern Ticket to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg by bus because (other than when traveling from Bavaria into Salzburg by train) most stops on bus 840 are in Austria.

Step 2: Take bus 838 from Berchtesgaden to the Documentation Center

The next step on your way to the Eagles Nest from Berchtesgaden is bus 838 to the Documentation Center. Bus 838 leaves from the same place where bus 840 dropped you off. It usually leaves shortly after the bus from Salzburg arrives.

Remember, you don’t need a bus ticket if you got the day ticket from the bus driver.

Bus 838 takes you to the Documentation Center on Obersalzberg in about 15 minutes. The Documentation Center is where you need to change to one of the Eagles Nest shuttle bus buses. 

Step 3: Visit the Documentation Center at Obersalzberg

Even if you are only remotely interested in history, you should visit the Documentation center before taking the shuttle bus to the Eagles Nest. At the Eagles Nest, there is the only restaurant, no documentation, and the only historic artifact is a furnace for heating. The furnace was too large for allied forces to take away.

The Documentation center had lots of historic material, a movie with eyewitness accounts of people who lived in the area during WW2 as well as parts of the bunkers that were under the Berghof and could be visited. The entrance fee for the Documentation center is a few euros and totally worth it.

As of the time of writing this article in 2022, the Documentation center on Obersalzberg is under reconstruction. Once it’s finished, I will have to revisit and update this article.

Step 4: Take the Shuttle Bus to the Eagles Nest Bus Parking

At the documentation center, there is a huge parking lot where everyone flocks to the shuttle bus ticket counters and parking. The shuttle bus is called bus 849. Bus 849 looks like a normal public bus but it isn’t. Except for the 3-hour (one-way) hike, Bus 849 is the only way to reach the Eagles Nest. The tickets for bus 849, the shuttle bus to the Eagles Nest, are priced accordingly and not included in the day pass.

The price used to be €16,60, but the return ticket costs €28,- for an adult in 2022, which is overpriced, thus making a day trip to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg expensive. There is, however, no entrance fee to the Eagles Nest. The Eagles Nest is a restaurant.

Summers can be very busy at Eagles Nest and queues for shuttle buses can be long at the ticket counters. That’s one benefit of taking a guided tour. Tour companies have a way of fast-tracking the ticket purchase but even on an organized tour, the shuttle bus will be the same as when visiting the Eagles Nest on your own.

You board the bus and take a 20-minute drive along the edge of the cliff to reach the Eagles Nest parking lot. I have a friend who never visited the Eagles Nest because she is scared of heights and scared of the bus driving on the narrow road with the mountain on one side and the abyss on the other. I find the shuttle bus ride exciting.

Step 5: Take Hitler’s golden elevator into the Eagles Nest

As soon as you reach the Eagles Nest Parking, you head to the information booth to reserve your time slot for the ride back. Otherwise, you might have to wait a long time when you come down from the Eagles Nest since everyone else has reserved their tickets and the shuttles are full.

When your reservation for the ride back is made, you head into the 126-meter long tunnel lined with marble that leads to Hitler’s elevator. The shuttle bus ticket includes a ride on the polished solid brass elevator with Venetian mirrors.

If you hike to the Eagles Nest, you are not allowed to ride the elevator and must hike for another half hour to reach the Eagles Nest from the parking lot. You should, however, at least give it a shot. In the low season when the elevator operator had time to check all the tickets, I was once not allowed on the elevator. However, in high season, there are so many people in the elevator that it would be impossible to check all tickets. Even if you hike, therefore, don’t have a shuttle bus ticket and are rejected at the elevator, you will be rejected in the elevator and have to hike but at least you saw the elevator from the inside.

How to visit the Eagles Nest with a tour?

Visiting the Eagles Nest with an organized tour from Salzburg is of course more convenient and efficient than going on your own. While a tour is not necessary, it allows you to visit the Eagles Nest in half a day, combine it with one more destination in Berchtesgaden like for example the salt mines and Königssee, and saves you from doing any research or waiting in any cues at all.

The biggest tour company in Salzburg is Salzburg Panorama Tours. They offer public tours as well as private tours to the Eagles Nest. A private tour is worth considering if you are a group of people but if you are traveling alone, you might want to hop on one of their public Eagles Nest Tours.

More Questions & Answers

What can you see at the Eagles Nest?

The Eagles Nest is a historic site, but there is not much to see there in terms of history, other than the building and an old wood furnace from the Nazi era. This is because the building was looted when it was taken by the allies. Today, Eagles Nest is a restaurant serving traditional Bavarian cuisine. The Eagles Nest does not charge an entrance fee, but you can buy books and other souvenirs inside. The main fee you pay to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg is the fee for the shuttle bus. If you would like to know about the history of the Eagles Nest, read this article instead.

Is the Eagles Nest worth visiting?

Yes, the Eagles Nest is definitely worth visiting. The area of Berchtesgaden is one of my personal favorite day trip destinations from Salzburg and the Eagles Nest besides Königssee is one of the best things to do in Berchtesgaden. The Eagles Nest is not only worth visiting for its historic significance and not as a museum (since there is no documentation on top) but more for the nature surrounding it and for the Panoramic views of the Bavarian mountains.

Can you hike the Eagles Nest?

Yes, you can absolutely hike the Eagles Nest. If you are physically fit and like hiking it’s a great idea to hike to the Eagles Nest. To do so, you would still take the 840 and the 838 bus to Obersalzberg from Salzburg but then hike from the Documentation Center instead of taking the shuttle bus. That also reduces your cost to only €11,- to get to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg. The hike is not scenic but leads you on pleasant forest roads to the Eagle’s Nest. To get a better idea of the Eagles Nest hike, read this article on the Free Walking Tour Blog.

How to get to the Eagles Nest by car?

You can not drive all the way to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg. If you are traveling by car, you can drive to the shuttle bus parking at the Documentation center but from there you also have to take the shuttle bus or hike. Only the shuttle buses are allowed on the private road to the Eagles Nest.

Can you take a train from Salzburg to the Eagles Nest?

Yes, you could also take the train to the Eagles Nest from Salzburg but in most cases, there are no benefits of doing so. The main benefit would be, that the trains run later in the day. For more details, please read this article on how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg by public transport.

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