Looking for a manageable day trip from Munich?
Wendelstein Mountain in the Bavarian Alps is a great option!
While planning out our trip to Germany, we built time into the schedule to explore Munich and some of the surrounding Bavarian countryside. Between the castles, medieval cities, and great hiking, there is so much to choose from. We ended up selecting Wendelstein mountain because it was much closer than the other destinations (90 minutes by train), considerably less touristy, and gave us a chance to enjoy the outdoors.
Wendelstein is the known for being the tallest, most accessible mountain, which was great because neither of us brought hiking gear! It's accessible in the sense that the stop, Bayrischzell, was only a train ride away from our AirBnB and once we got there, you could either take a small train, a cable car, or hike to the top. We chose to ride the cable car- only 7 minutes to get to the top!
The cable car is expensive (about $15 each way) but worth it for most travelers. It's the fastest way up the mountain- much faster than the 4+ hours it would take to hike it. It runs once every hour.
Once you exit the car, there's a variety of things to do on the mountain. You can peruse the small church up there, built in the 1800s, go on a short hike to the geopark to view rock layers along the side of the mountain, or grab food at the restaurant. Dain and I hiked to the peak, only about 20 minutes from the drop-off point, where we found stunning views and an observatory.
We decided to hike down after a quick lunch to get some exercise and soak in as much of the view as possible. On our way down, we watched parasailers and hang-gliders drift down and counted the number of crosses we could see marking the zeniths of nearby peaks. Like I mentioned, Wendelstein is nearly devoid of tourists, so the trails along the mountain aren't completely well-marked or paved, and for much of the day we were some of the only hikers on the mountain. The trail winds between cottages, farms, and a lot of cows- we even saw a few Llamas!