Garmisch-Partenkirchen was founded by uniting the two towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen by a decree of Adolf Hitler to bring the 1936 Winter Olympics to Germany. The International Olympic Committee was going to pass over Germany as the host, because there were not enough hotel rooms in the host town, so Hitler forced the unification of Garmisch and Partenkirchen to create a larger town, which would be more appealing to the IOC.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is home to a large US military base.
Garmisch is less than an hour by car from Munich, and the ride is a beautiful stretch of Autobahn, unfortunately not the whole way. Expect to drive up to three hours on weekends and public holidays.
Buses connect Garmisch-Partenkirchen non-stop to Berlin (DB IC bus). Meinfernbus connects Garmisch-Partenkirchen with Innsbruck and Munich Hackerbrücke at competitive prices. All buses depart in front of the main train station
Also, trains leave to and from Munich every hour, and the (beautiful) ride lasts roughly 80–90 minutes on the local and 60 minutes on the rush hour express. The weekend ICE trains connecting Garmisch Partenkirchen to Munich and beyond are slower than the stopping train.
It is also a great end to a Romantic Road day trip beginning in Rothenburg, driving down the Romantic Road stopping at the various recommended heritage towns and ending in Garmisch for an overnight stay; or better still, a few days as it is a great base to drive out and back to Füssen (King Ludwig’s castles) and Innsbruck along some of the most spectacular mountain drives you will ever see.
Public buses in Garmisch-Partenkirchen area very efficient. Lines #1 and #2 run every 20 minutes (30 minutes on weekends) and head from the Klinikum (hospital) via Bahnhof (train station) to Kreuzeck (ski area) or Breitenau (US-facilities). Lines #3, #4 and #5 run in opposite circles from the neighbouring villages of Farchant and Burgrain via Bahnhof and Marienplatz back to their origins. Fares are €1.50 per trip or you can buy a weekly or monthly pass. Those who stay in hotels in town receive passes for free bus usage during their stay.
The blue line (Eibseebus) connects Garmisch every hour with Grainau and the Eibsee. This bus is helpful for hikers starting or ending trips along the valley trails and lifts.
Beside the train station is the terminus of the Zugspitze Railway(Zugspitzbahn). The cogwheel train (Zahnradbahn) takes you up to the Zugspitze mountain. The ride takes 1hr 20min.
Main stops for all lines are Rathaus (townhall), Bahnhof (trainstation) and Marienplatz (center of town). There is also a busstop of the RVO(orange buses) at the trainstation. Those buses connect Garmisch with Oberammergau/Füssen, Mittenwald and Krün/Kochel.
Taxi ranks can be found outside the Trainstation (ph:08821-1616) and at the Marienplatz (ph:08821-2408) right in front of McDonalds.