You know those locations you see photographed over and over again, until you just NEED to go there to see for yourself? Königssee and Obersee in southeastern Germany, right by the border to Austria, was one of those spots for me. And when I found myself flying into Munich and driving to Prague via Vienna, a boat ride across the lake fit in perfectly.

Bayerische Seenschifffahrt on Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

To fully experience Königssee, and to reach Obersee, you need to get on one of the many Bayerische Seenschifffahrt boats. The boat ride was around $20, and we lucked out by getting on a boat leaving within minutes after buying our tickets.

Bayerische Seenschifffahrt on Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

The entire boat ride to Salet / Obersee takes almost an hour, but the landscape around us was so stunning that it felt much shorter. When we were halfway across the lake our boat came to a stop, and one of the uniformed crew members opened up the windows before asking us all to be quiet. He proceeded to pull out a trumpet and play a short melody, which was echoed back from the surrounding mountains perfectly. I honestly thought we were listening to one of the other boats on the lake respond – that’s how good the echo was!

St. Bartholomä am Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

The first stop on the boat ride is St. Bartholomew’s, a Roman Catholic pilgrimage church from 1697. Since I was anxious to get on to Obersee before the forecasted rain came in, we decided to skip it, but it looked like a beautiful stop.

Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

Salet am Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

Fifteen minutes after passing St. Bartholomew’s Church, we finally arrived at Salet. While the signs told us to expect a 30 minute walk to Obersee, we arrived in 7 minutes, so again I guess they don’t have active people in mind when estimating walking times in Germany ;-)

Obersee by Nina Reed Photography

Pictures cannot do this place justice. The old boathouse, the crystal clear alpine water, the steep mountains covered in fog, with a hint of snow on the tops – I could have spent hours there exploring and taking photos. And while I’m not usually one for revisiting tourist locations, I would love to come back to Obersee in the summer to go on a proper hike of the area, as there are tons of trails leading off from where we went.

Obersee by Nina Reed Photography

Because I don’t know how to pose like a normal person, I decided that a yoga pose on a slippery rock was a good idea. Don’t worry, I didn’t even get my feet wet :-)

Königssee by Nina Reed Photography

After taking in the beauty of Obersee, we got back on the boat for a quiet ride across Königssee. From purchasing our tickets to arriving back at our car, we spent around two and a half hours at the lakes, and it was worth every minute!