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10 great places for winter sports in Germany

1. Bobsled and Skeleton in Kleinstadt

Okay, if this video doesn’t terrify you, I don’t know what will. If you happen to be in NRW, you can visit the Winterberg bobsled track, the “Bobbahn”. The truly brave can even take a ride down the 5,250 foot track at 60 miles an hour.

No thanks.

2. Skiing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

There are plenty of runs to choose from in Garmisch. One day isn’t enough to explore everything wintery Bavaria has to offer!

© dpa / picture-alliance

3. Extreme Sledding in Oberbayern

The sledding track in Oberbayern is one of the longest in the world. It is over 4 miles long and nearly 3,000 feet high and it takes almost thirty minutes to slide down it. In a word: spectacular.

4. Indoor Skiing in Bottrop

© dpa / Roland Weihrauch

In case you would prefer to be inside for your winter sport experiences, Bottrop is your place. The alpincenter is the longest indoor slope in the world. At 640 meters, the slope takes a few minutes to get down and is certainly a unique winter sports adventure. Take a day trip from Dortmund or Düsseldorf all year round!

5. Ski jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

© dpa / Daniel Karmann

Okay, so you can’t just show up in Garmisch and expect to take a ride on the Olympic Ski Jump, but it’s still fun to watch, especially if you’re there during the Four Hills Tournament. Plus, after a few hours of watching jumpers, you can ride the slopes on your own!

6. Paragliding in Oberstdorf

This may not seem like a winter activity, but how could anyone resist these views? The Nebelhorn mountain is one of the highest peaks in Germany and is the gateway to some beautiful ski areas.

© dpa / picture alliance

7. Ice Skating in Essen

The Zeche Zollverein is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is an old coal mining facility in northwest Germany that, during winter, becomes a magical ice skating rink. It may seem crazy, but the beautiful old building is lit perfectly in the winter for a romantic turn around the rink.

8. Cross-Country Skiing in Reit im Winkl

Look at this snow-covered village. Who wouldn’t want to ski past it on a sunny day? According to legend, the first ever tourist to this tiny mountain village was King Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1858. Since then, it has been a popular site for Germans to get away to.

9. Snowshoeing in the Black Forest

Let’s be honest: snowshoeing is just hiking with more interesting footwear. Hiking through a blanket of snow through towering trees like in the Black Forest will make you feel like an extra in Frozen. In other words: amazing.

10. Ice Skating in Hamburg

As soon as the Outer Alster Lake freezes, the people of Hamburg come out in droves to skate on it. The fact that it doesn’t happen every year makes it even more special. This lake is located within Hamburg city limits, so it’s a quick trip for anyone visiting Germany’s north! If the lake freezes enough, you could be there to catch the “Alstereisvergnügen” festival, which translates to the Alster Ice Enjoyment festival.

© dpa / Malte Christians

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