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Mittenwald's chief attraction is the town itself, its most notable feature being the painted houses that line the main street. The village can be explored in about an hour and a half. In winter it's a picture postcard of snow-laden charm, and in summer a mass of flowering facades with pots of geraniums, clinging to houses with their richly decorated gables.

The town's museum, which contains a workshop, has exhibits that trace the history of violins and other stringed instruments from their invention through various stages of their evolution. The Geigenbau- und Heimatmuseum, Ballenhausgasse 3 (tel. 08823/2511; www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de), is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm in the high season, and 11am to 4pm in the low season. Admission is 4.50€ for adults, 3.50€ students, and 2€ for children. The museum is closed November 5 to December 10.

In the surrounding countryside, the scenery of the Wetterstein and Karwendel ranges constantly changes. Some 130km (80 miles) of hiking paths wind up and down the mountains around the village. You can hike through the hills on your own, take part in mountain-climbing expeditions, or take horse-and-carriage trips and motorcoach tours to nearby villages. The Karwendelbahn Mittenwald (tel. 08823/8480; www.karwendelbahn.de) is a cable car operating in winter and summer, costing 22€ round-trip and running daily 9am to 4:30pm, and until 7:30pm in summer. It climbs to a height of 2,244m (7,360 ft.), where numerous ski trails become hiking trails in summer. In winter, the 7km-long (4-mile) Dammkar downhill slope offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding around.

In the evening, various inns offer typical Bavarian entertainment, such as folk dancing and singing, zither playing, and yodeling. Concerts during the summer are held in the music pavilion.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.