Prien am Chiemsee
Prien am Chiemsee is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the main gateway to Lake Chiemsee, largest lake in Bavaria. The market town Prien am Chiemsee is the biggest settlement on Chiemsee, the “Bavarian Seaside”. The town is a climatic health resort and only Kneipp spa in Upper Bavaria.
Prien had been founded in the middle of the 12 century (around 1158), as an administrative centre for the Count of Falkenstein. The western Chiemgau valley has, however, been a popular place of settlement for centuries, with both the Romans and Celts having settled here.
The name “Prien” comes from the Celtic word for the river that flows through Prien (“Brigenna” - the river that flows from the mountains). Prien was principally a settlement for craftsmen during the Middle Ages. All sorts of craftsmen came from all over the parish and from 1400 specifically from the crafts quarter called “Am Gries”. Through the centuries, these trades came to provide the economic backbone for the region.
For a long time, the population of the town remained relatively constant, with just 300 residents registered at the beginning of the 19 Century.
Town's modern population is around 10,000. This rapid rise in population happened after opening of the Munich-Salzburg railway line in 1860. Railway brought in the first wave of out-of-town visitors, and this trend only gained momentum when the King’s Castle at Herrenchiemsee opened to the general public in 1886. Chiemsee-Schifffahrt, the Chiemsee public boating company, expanded its operations accordingly.
Nowadays, tourism is the town’s main source of income.
Prien is situated 120 km from the Munich International Airport  (IATA: MUC; ICAO: EDDM) and 65 km from the Salzburg W.A. Mozart International Airport (IATA: SZG). There are also several Prien-based airport shuttle services, that can pick traveller up directly from the airport and bring to Prien.
Prien is a station on Munich-Salzburg railway line. Direct IC and IR trains stop at Prien station, as well as slower (but cheaper) RE and RB trains. Travel time from Munich is about 1 hour using IC and IR trains, 1 hour 15 minutes using RE or RB. See DB Bahn website for more details.
From Munich, follow the A8 Motorway to Salzburg and turn off at the Bernau junction, just a few kilometers away from Prien.
The best way to get around Prien is by foot. There is a special narrow-gauge Chiemsee train linking railway station to the Prien/Stock boat pier which runs during the summer season. The pier is otherwise about a 30-minute walk from the station. Chiemsee railway is still using vintage carriages and steam engine from 1887.
There's a restaurant of Herreninsel (part of old Augustinean Monastery), offering standard Bavarian menu of soups, stews, sausages and meats. It is reasonably priced and conveniently located next to boat pier. Number of "fisherman's shacks" on Frauneinsel offer freshly smoked local fish (trout, bass, pike etc.) to be consumed on the spot or to go.