German Sights
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Kochel am See, Germany

Where is Kochel am See?

Kochel am See is a smaller town situated on the lake of the same name (the Kochelsee).

It is located at the bottom of the steep pass and the transport route which links the town to the Walchensee lake to the south.

The German Alpine Road runs through Kochel from near Mittenwald heading towards Bad Tölz.

View of the Kochelsee
View of the Kochelsee

How to get to Kochel am See

Closest airport to Kochel am See

Visitors to Kochel am See have a decision to make based on season, weather and arrival mode.

Distance to Innsbruck Airport: 68km
Distance to Munich Airport: 107km
Distance to Memmingen Airport: 135km
Distance to Salzburg Airport: 147km

Innsbruck Airport is the closest option and has a good range of destinations for a regional airport. Those arriving and picking up a car might be tempted to use the scenic route over the Seefeld plateau and past Mittenwald and the Walchensee. However, public transport connections and the motorway routes could make the slightly more distant Munich a more appealing option.

Train station in Kochel am See

Kochel am See is served by a regular regional train service from Munich which takes the route via the Starnbergersee lake.

The train station is a five-minute walk outside the central part of the village but on the opposite side of the settlement to the lake.

Where to stay in Kochel am See

Kochel am See includes the picturesque lake in its name but much of the town is away from the lakeshore, with the central part of the village being a good fifteen minutes' walk from the water.

Most of the accommodation is near the shops and transport options in the centre, with a few establishments located down by the lake.

Kochel am See accommodation map

If you know when you are planning to go but haven't decided on accommodation, then use the map below to get an idea of which properties are available and to compare prices during the period you wish to travel.

Enter your proposed dates and use the '+' to zoom in on a location and reveal more properties. Click on the price above a property to see more information.

(Please note that this selection will also include some guesthouses, pensions and self-catering apartments for those who are interested in that form of accommodation!)

Check Kochel am See accommodation availability

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History of Kochel am See

Excavations around the Kochelsee have discovered evidence of ancient settlements near the present-day power station.

The town was once the location of a convent but this was destroyed by Hungarian invaders and, following their expulsion, the area came under the control of the nearby Benediktbeuren monastery.

Kochel am See town
Kochel am See town

The traditional trading route over the Kesselberg was formalised with the construction of a proper road in the 15th century.

Although the commercial benefits were undeniable, the improvement of the connection between Munich and Innsbruck also made it easier for the armed forces of various states to travel backwards and forwards.

The states of Bavaria and the Tyrol were historic rivals and part of Kochel's local history stems from the disputes between the two over the years.

A 'wonder' is supposed to have occurred when the Tyroleans were planning to attack Kochel across the frozen lake and the inhabitants' prayers were answered by a sudden warm spell which melted the ice.

And the statue in the centre of the village is of the famous "Kochel smith", almost an allegorical figure representing Bavarian resistance to foreign invasion (alternatively the 'smith' is supposed to have fought valiantly against the Turks in former Yugoslavia in the 17th century or against the Austrians at the gates of Munich a century later).

Natural mineral springs were discovered in the 19th century and the town became a resort for the nobility to take the waters with the 'Bad' ('spa') designation. The waters ran out in the early 20th century but by that time tourism had gained a foothold with the construction of the train line from Munich.

Kochel was also known as the home of the Expressionist painter Franz Marc and there is a museum dedicated to him and other members of the "Blue Rider" artists group in the town.

The hydro-electric power station at the foot of the pass just outside the town is one of the largest of its kind and was built in the 1920s. It has a visitor information centre which is open all year round.

A ferry service around the lake is operated by small motorised boats in the summer months visiting the power station and the nearby lakeshore village of Schlehdorf.

View of Schlehdorf on the Kochelsee
View of the village of Schlehdorf on the Kochelsee

Kochel am See tourist office

The tourist office is located in the train station a few minutes' walk outside the town centre. It is open Monday to Friday year round and on Saturday mornings in the summer high season: