The trip to the Eagle’s Nest is part of our Germany-Czech-Austria itinerary.
The nest is Hitler’s second seat of power after Berlin, built in 1939 both for purposes of relaxation & also a meeting place of Nazi officers to shape what would be one of the darkest moments in history. Although many people believe that the Eagle’s Nest, or Kehlsteinhaus in German, was a gift to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday, it is not. The name was also coined by an ambassador invited by Hitler to stay at the place, who called the place “Eagle’s Nest”. Located 8,238′ above sea level, it sits on the mountains bordering Germany and Austria. The road to get there is one of the highest in the country.
Driving in Austria:
When driving in Austria, make sure there is a vignette sticker for your car. You should have one by the time you enter the country so you don’t pay a hefty fine of up to €400 while crossing highways. It is Austria’s version of tolls. You have two options how to get it:
- You can purchase it online, but it only becomes active 18 days after purchase. Make sure you plan this accordingly. This is the preferable choice.
- If you were not able to purchase one in advance and you’re already in Austria, you can buy one from any petrol (gas) stations, post offices, or automobile clubs as soon as possible.
Make sure to stick it on your windshield. The cost of the vignettes are as follows:
- 1 year validity €93.80
- 2 months validity €28.20
- 10 days validity €9.60
We did this as a day trip from Salzburg, an easy 40-50 minute drive. Upon arrival in the parking lot, pay for your parking ticket first & leave the stub in your dashboard. 5 Euro pays for the whole day parking (exact change and cash only). Follow the signs and purchase your bus tickets. This is your only round trip access to Eagle’s Nest(unless you plan to hike back and forth).
The ticket also indicates the time and bus number that you have to go back and catch the return trip. If you miss it, you have to let the bus driver know. They will board all the scheduled passengers first and if they don’t have seats for you, the other buses will try to accommodate you. Ticket prices will vary based on your group size. We are two adults and one teenager and we paid $58. For more information, click here. As of posting, masks are required in both buses and the elevator in Eagle’s Nest.
Upon disembarking the bus, you will see an entrance to a marble lined tunnel and this is the entry point. During Hitler’s time, high officials were driven through this tunnel, after which the driver would go back in reverse since there was no space for a U turn.
Posted in the waiting room in front of the elevator:
“Every official visit to the Kehlstein House was choreographed. The guests waited in this room for access to the Tea House by way of the elegantly appointed elevator. The sequence of rooms, landscape, antechamber with sacred character and finally the ride up to the Kehlstein House was staged with utmost precision.”
Upon exiting the elevator, you will see restrooms straight ahead and the start of your tour to the left. This is also the place where you will return to for your bus trip back to the parking lot. How much time you need here depends on your interests. We took our time taking photos, appreciating the views and also had lunch here so we intentionally missed our scheduled bus return.
For more information and questions on Eagle’s Nest, check this out.
After Eagle’s Nest, we drove back to our hotel for dinner and a Mozart concert- a must do when in Salzburg!