A day trip to Chiemsee from Munich

Herreninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Chiemsee is a freshwater lake located around 110Km from Munich. It was formed about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. It is also called the Bavarian Sea, because seriously, it is huge. When driving past the lake you would think it is the sea, especially during summer when it’s packed with boats.

The lake has a few islands, the three most famous ones being Herreninsel (Gentleman’s Island), Fraueninsel (Ladies’ Island) and Krautinsel, which is inhabited. It is possible to visit the first two by boat that goes between the islands and mainland every half an hour.

Living in Bavaria for over 4 years, it was only last weekend that I finally had the perfect opportunity to take a day trip to Chiemsee from Munich. To be honest, I don’t know why it took me so long to go, and I certainly regret not doing it sooner. The place is stunning, open all year round, offers breathtaking views, several activities during the summer, and you still get to visit one of the three castles built by Ludwig II. For those who don’t know, the same king that built the so famous Neuschwanstein.


Getting to Chiemsee from Munich can either be done by car, like we did, taking the A8 motorway. Or by train from Munich to Priem am Chiemsee. Both take around 1 hour to get there.

Parking: there is a parking lot with plenty of space right in front of the port in Priem am Chiemsee, where you can buy the boat tickets.

Chiemsee, Germany

The boat ride

You can buy your boat tickets at the port in Priem am Chiemsee or onboard the boats. There are a few different rides you can take, I recommend the Inseltour West, which allows you to visit both Herreninsel and Fraueninsel and back to mainland. The prices you can see here.

Good to know

  • Dogs are allowed on the boats, but should pay a fee of 3€;
  • At the port and on the boat you can get a map of the lake and timetable of the boat rides, this way you can plan your visit better. I recommend to first go see the Herrenchiemsee Castle on Herreninsel, then from there take the boat to Fraueninsel;
  • The boats are very confortable, some are bigger than others, but there are places to sit inside and outside, as well as bathrooms and snacks.


The Herreninsel

Chiemsee, Germany

The Herreninsel is the largest island on Chiemsee by far. On your arrival, go to the ticket center and buy the ticket to visit the Herrenchiemsee Castle, which also allows you to visit the Augustinian Monastery.

From the port to the castle takes around 20 minutes by foot or you can go with a carriage (from mid-April until end of October), just like at the Neuschwanstein. The walk between the tall trees is stunning, and the castle, well, breathtaking.

Herreninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

I have visited all three of Ludwig’s II castles, the Neuschwanstein, the Linderhof and now the Herrenchiemsee. If you ask me which one I loved the most? The third one. Of course, the Neuschwanstein is stunning from the outside, but from the inside I don’t even need to think hard, the Herrenchiemsee is absolutely amazing even though it wasn’t completely finished.

The Herrenchiemsee is a copy of Versailles in France, and it was one of the most expensive constructions of Bavaria’s history. This place will leave you mouth opened! Unfortunately it’s not allowed to take pictures on the inside, but this way you will be surprised by its beauty even more.

Herrenchiemsee Castle, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Castle, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Castle, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Castle, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Castle, Germany

Since it’s already included on the castle’s ticket, take a little moment and visit the Augustinian Monastery. There you will find some original documents of the Second Word War, paintings and radio transmissions of the wartime.

Herreninsel, Chiemsee, Germany


The Fraueninsel

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

I’m going to say from the start that I completely fell in love with this little island. Each of its houses has something special and is prettier than the other. There are also a castle and a church, as well as, cosy restaurants and biergartens by the lake. In the island you can rent a place to stay, and I’m seriously considering going there during summer to enjoy the warmer days by the lake.

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

Chiemsee, Germany
The Fraueninsel from the Herreninsel

You don’t need much time to explore the island, in probably half an hour or less you can do a complete turn around it. I recommend finding a place to eat and relax. They are famous for their craft beer and smoked fish.

Extra tips

  • One day is totally enough to see what you need;
  • In summer is more packed than spring, so if you can, try to get tickets in advance;
  • For more information about the Herrenchiemsee Castle check the official website;
  • For information regarding the boat tours click here


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Chiemsee, Germany

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • It looks so stunning Allane – sometimes I do the same thing and end up neglecting or putting off the places that are nearest to me and then wondering why I didn’t go sooner. I’ve been to Neuschwanstein but would love to visit more of the Bavarian castles one day 🙂

    • I know, right? I think when we live in the place, we always postpone the visit nearby places. There are still lots to see around here. I hope you come again and visit other castles 😀

  • This is so breathtaking Allane. Those castle are surreal!! Such a great post!

  • Mabel Kwong

    Herrenchiemsee looks so beautiful, especially the houses and the castles. Didn’t know you could see it all in one day. Very convenient. It all looks so quiet and peaceful there for nice relaxing walks.

    Haha, like you I have a habit of no visiting places that are not too far from me until after a long time. They can just be as beautiful as the places that are far away 😀

    • I think during summer must be very busy and not so quiet anymore, but I certainly loved visiting it now during spring.
      Yes, you can easily visit it all in 1 day, which is pretty cool 😀

  • Looks beautiful! I can just imagine us enjoying the boat trip. I am so glad to learn more about Germany – I’ve never heard of Chiemsee!

    • So happy to introduce new places in Germany to you 😀
      I hope you guys come someday!!

  • I used to pass by a lot too, when going to Slovenia and Croatia, but never made a stop.
    I tell you, it’s worth the stop 😀

  • So cute! I could totally go for a boat ride and a hike – Moscow still hasnt gotten the memo that it’s SPRINGTIME! It also reminded me about The German teaching me that there’s no word for “lake” in German – that everything is a SEA!

    • hahaha ohh no!! But guess what? As I read your comment, it’s snowing in Munich, oh God!! Crazy April weather!
      Yes, that’s true, everything is a sea hahaha

  • Ooooh I loved Chiemsee when we went!! But it was soooo unbearably hot that day! Would looove to go again!

    • Ohh noo, really? For us was a bit cold and rainy, but it still was beautiful 😀

  • Phoebe Thomas

    I love boat trips, especially on calm lakes and not wild seas! This looks like a lovely place to visit.

    • Me too Phoebe, I love boat trips!
      It is a lovely place, next time you’re around I can highly recommend it 😀

  • I think that one has escaped me! I’ve visited Neuschwanstein and Linderhof but not this one! the grounds are amazing and the island is very picturesque indeed!

    • Next time Anna 🙂
      There is only one of Ludwig’s castles for you to visit, and I tell you: it’s stunning on the inside.

  • Kathleen (Kat)

    What a beautiful place! I understand what you mean by not visiting this place even though you have lived in Bavaria for 4 years – there are still many places in Malaysia that I haven’t visited yet. The castle indeed looks like Versailles 🙂 #MondayEscapes

    • I think that’s what happens when you live in the place, right? I used to live by the beach and didn’t go often, now I really wish I could go every day 😀

  • How lovely! The Fraueninsel looks so cute.

  • There are!!! Bavaria is a paradise, I hope you do come and take the kids along 😀

  • Yes!! And here in Bavaria there are so many castles, it’s unbelievable, I don’t think I will ever manage to visit them all! haha

  • Thank you Kare 😀

  • hahaha exactly!! I think we always use the excuse of ‘I can go whenever I want’ and end up not going haha

  • Thank you 😀

  • Truly beautiful! 😀

  • I know, right? And in the end they often surprise us 😀

  • It was the first time I ever visited an island on a lake hahaha, so cool 😀

  • Thank you dear 😀

  • I was so impressed by that… and right at my doorstep!

  • Yes!! I’m hoping to go during summer and take Enzzo with me 😀

  • It was indeed wonderful Trish 😀

  • Ludwig had great ideas for castles haha, on an island? Why not? 😀
    It’s a lovely place, I hope you visit it someday!

  • I hope you visit it someday 😀

  • Around Munich there are many, many lakes, so if you ever come here, you surely will visit some 😀

  • Thank you Sally 😀
    I hope you do visit it someday!

  • I know right? I wish that too!! It’s amazing on the inside!

  • THAT IS INSANE! Ok, at least it’s just rain over here :)))))

  • hahaha that’s wonderful Rosie, so happy that after years you discovered the name of the place 😀 soo happy to bring you back happy memories!!

  • Yes, surely very busy!! Yess, you should definitely visit Neuschwanstein, but if you have time, also visit Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee, the 3 castles of Ludwig II 😀

  • hahaha thank you dear!! I hope you visit it when you are around… definitely worth it! 😀
    There is indeed lots to do around here!!

  • Thank you dear 😀

  • It looks veeeery similar to Versailles on the inside, it’s incredible 😀

  • It’s a lovely place!! Oh yes, Bavaria has several castles, hard to visit them all!!

  • hahahaha it does doesn’t it?!
    Comeeeeee Vlad, waiting for you here!!

  • Thank you Tracey 😀

  • It is very beautiful indeed!! I hope to come back some time soon when it’s warmer 😀

  • Thank you dear 😀 always a pleasure!

  • Yess, you should go next time you are around!!! It’s a beautiful place worth the visit!!
    Thank you!!

  • hahaha thank you dear 😀
    Yes, it’s a lovely place!!