German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the difference between in den Bergen and auf den Bergen? We say in die Berge fahren and in den Bergen sein. What about auf die Berge? Does it only refer to mountain climbing and getting to the very top?

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Auf den Bergen (1)

literally means on top of/on some mountains, whereas

In den Bergen   (2)

is denoting a mountaneous region.


(1) Auf dem Berg gibt es kein Gipfelkreuz.
(1) Auf den Berg klettern.
(1) Auf diesen Bergen gibt es kaum Bäume.
(2) Wir verbringen unseren Urlaub in den Bergen.
(2) Ich bin in den Bergen aufgewachsen.
(2) In den Bergen wandern gehen.

An exception would be:

In den Bergen gibt es viel Salz.

On the other hand, a singular version of (2) can only refer to a mountain's inside.

share|improve this answer
Yes im Berg certainly refers to something inside the mountain (like mining etc.) – Ingmar Aug 2 '14 at 6:15

You would use "auf die Berge" to emphasize getting on the top of mountains - by foot, by bike, by cable car or by something else doesn't matter much.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.