The Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest as it’s known in English, was supposedly a 50th birthday present to Hitler from his friends in the Nazi Party. In reality it seems that Hitler ordered it himself. They completed construction in record time – 13 months – given it’s location at the top of a rocky ridge, and the need to construct a new 6.5km road which climbs 700m.
While the number of home made movies by Eva Braun might give the impression that it was a frequent haunt for the Führer, he actually visited and stayed there only 14 verifiable times. Today the Eagle’s Nest opens as a restaurant and tourist attraction during the summer months. The food is average but made up for by the views.
Once I visited, I realised that I didn’t actually know what the Eagle’s Nest was. The Eagle’s Nest was only one component of a complex of buildings the Nazis had built in the area. It was a tea-house at the top of the Kehlstein Mountain and while it was used to entertain, it wasn’t equipped for ‘sleepovers’. Hitler’s main haunt in the area was the ‘Berghof’, a large house he had built on the Obersalzberg mountain.
The approach to the Eagle’s Nest is by bus along that 6.5km road, starting at the Documentation Centre at the Car Park at Obersalzburg. There you’ll get the bus which brings you to another large car park. From here you walk through a 124m tunnel before you enter an ornate brass lift which brings you the last 124 vertical meters. Prepare yourself for the views when you arrive.
- Entrance for 2017 costs €16.10 for adults and €9.30 for children.
- Families with 2 parents present pay €33.00 and if one parent is present then only €20.10.
- The first bus leaves the Documentation Centre at 8.30 in the morning and then every 25 minutes after that.
- The last bus leaves the Documentation Centre at 4pm while the last bus back to the car park leaves at 4.50pm.
The centre is happy to organise guided tours for 20 people or more. The cost is €23.50 including bus trip and the tour which lasts about 35 minutes. Tours can be in German or English. To organise you should call +49 08652 2969.
The Documentation Centre can be reached by car or by public transport.
Get there by Car
The trip to the Documentation Centre from Salzburg is about 40 – 45 minutes. From Salzburg head out the B150 in the direction of Berchtesgaden (down the Alpenstrasse). After you cross into Germany, continue on the B305 (the same road) for 12 km until you come to a left turn onto the Obersalzbergstrasse, or B319. From here carry on 3.2km to the car parks at Obersalzberg and the Documentation centre.
Get there by Bus
Salzburg to Berchtesgaden
Take the Regionalbus 840 from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof. The trip should take about 50 minutes.
Berchtesgaden to the Documentation Centre
From Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof you can take the 838 which will drop you to the Documentation Centre. You can find the timetable here, although this one is only valid until 27th May 2017. The trip should take about 15 minutes.
Hike to the Top
You can hike to the top from the Documentation Centre and it should take you between 2 and 2.5 hours. This will save you the cost of the bus.
If you click on ‘Directions’ on the map below, Google Maps will show you the route from wherever you are now.