Chiemsee: visiting Herreninsel and Fraueninsel

Recently we were in Bavaria for four days, and spent three of the days hiking (you can read about that here). I felt a bit sad on the last day that we did not go for another hike, but our friend was keen to visit the lake Chiemsee, and indeed, it was probably more relaxing than rushing up the mountain, considering we’d have to catch a train around 5:30! So we packed all our things and hurried off to catch a train to Prien. There are lockers at the train station at Prien where you can leave your luggage. We did this and then walked down to the lake, where you can catch a boat to the islands in the lake as well as several cities around the lake. Our aim was to visit Herreninsel and Fraueninsel.


Herreninsel is home to the palace Herrenchiemsee, built by the famous King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who also built Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for the Disney castle. Because he spent too much money (although it was his own personal funds), this king was declared insane and a few days after he was deposed his body was mysteriously found in a lake at the young age of 40 – however the evidence suggests he did not drown. Ironically, the palaces he built are now among Bavaria’s biggest tourist attractions and bring in a lot of money for the state. The Herrenchiemsee palace was modelled on Versailles, but it is only half finished inside as he had not yet finished it when he was deposed. We didn’t go inside on this occasion, but enjoyed wandering around its grounds.

Afterwards we hopped on another boat to Fraueninsel, which is a delightful, peaceful island to wander around, with a few small beaches, lots of moored boats, artist shops, restaurants and shops selling smoked fish. Although it’s a small island, we enjoyed wandering around so much that the time flew by quickly.


Soon it was time to take the boat back to Prien. With about an hour to spare, we took a quick ride on an electroboat to try it out. Our ride took us in the direction of Herreninsel again, where we could see where King Ludwig could have pulled up to shore on his boat for a visit to the palace.

After that it was time to catch the train back to Berlin. Chiemsee was definitely a great place to relax on the last day of our weekend, and Fraueninsel was especially idyllic. Check it out if you’re in the area and feel like a day out!

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