Fussen Germany (Neuschwanstein Castle)

We are driving to Fussen, Germany for a few days and want to use it as a hub to explore the area. Any suggestions on day trips? How many days would I need there?

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

You can see Füssen and the nearby castles in about a day. How long you need to spend in the area depends on how many day trips you wanted to take. The best hiking in the area, in my opinion, is around Garmisch-Partenkirchen. You can ascend to the top of the Zugspitze from there. Mittenwald and Oberamergau are two cutesy Bavarian towns nearby. Depending what time of year you visit, you can also get some great vistas from the tops of the Fellhorn and Nebelhorn near Oberstdorf (wouldn't go there in the winter unless you're a skier). A little further west, you can check out Lindau on the Bodensee for a stunning lake/Alpine vista.

Posted by Jaq
Lafayette
11 posts

We are not so much into hiking and our trip will be in early May, but we do want to take in the BEST views. Is berchtesgaden germany an easy day trip from Fussen?

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Jaq, Some ideas include: Tegelbergbahn cable car and luge ride (Sommerrodelbahn) The Zugspitze from Ehrwald, Austria The Wieskirche
"Mad" King Ludwig's Linderhof Depending on where you're coming from (or going to), try to stop at Andechs Monestary. www.tegelbergbahn.de/tegelbergbahn.html www.zugspitzbahn.at/zugspitzbahn/en/ www.wieskirche.de www.schlosslinderhof.de/englisch/palace/history.htm I'd suggest 3 or 4 nights in Fuessen. We stayed twice at the Hotel zum Hechten in Fuessen. www.hotel-hechten.com We also think Fuessen itself is a charming old town. Paul

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi again, Berchtesgaden is not an easy day trip from Fuessen. About 3.5 hours or more each way. If you want to take in the best views, take the Zugspitze trip from nearby Ehrwald, Austria. It's about a 45 minute drive from Fuessen to Ehrwald, Austria. The scenery around this area (Ehrwald, Austria) is beautiful. www.zugspitzarena.com/en/summer/welcome/ Paul

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1508 posts

We spent 5 nights there but wasted a day foolishly driving to Liechtenstein & back (don't ask). With the rest of our time we saw the castles & hiked behind the castle & up the hill (very cool), & did a loop drive encompassing the Weiskierke (sp?) Ettal, Linderhof, and Ehrenburg castle ruins. 4-5 nights would be best, I think, though you could do the minimum with 3 nights.

Posted by JERRY
Naperville, IL, USA
285 posts

Don't get me wrong the castle is a thing of beauty, BUT excuse me for saying so, I would (w/o a doubt) SKIP the castle thing. IMHO it was a total ripoff. You have to wait until your number is called then once inside you're led around like an infant. And that's after you, have to either walk up to the place or catch a bus. Our return bus trip had about 200 people in it. The thing was totally overloaded. The weather was terrible and we all waited about an hour before we had a fighting chance to descend. I've traveled my share but this was one total tourist trap. Everything is roped off in the castle anyway. And only a minute portion of the castle is viewable. I would had rather spent the money at a good beer garden. It's what Germany is famous for. It's what they do best.

Posted by Kathy
Germany, Germany
800 posts

As a huge Disney fan, I regrettably also have to say Neuschwanstein was such a huge disappointment. After 4 years in Germany I finally made the time for a tour in November and it was 30 minutes long and there's only a couple rooms finished. There are hundreds of better castles in Germany. I know I'll get flammed here on the boards for saying so, but skip it. It'll free up time for other things like the Zugspitze, Garmisch, Oberammergau. If you're really feeling adventurous, head through the Fern Pass for great scenery, but really adventurous driving.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Just a word on how to get the most out of your time at Neuschwanstein... it's best appreciated if you pre-arm yourself with some knowledge of Ludwig's life and the operas of Richard Wagner. Knowing something about the characters Sigfried, Brunnhilde, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Tannhauser, Hans Sachs, Tristan and Isolde will help make sense of the elaborate decorations. For a modern day analogy, imagine if Obama decorated the White House with allusions to the Star Wars movies. Personally, I think the castles provide a fascinating window into the mind of one of Europe's oddest monarchs.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

We like hiking. If that's something you like, there are the Ehrenburg ruins. If you are willing to do a steep hike (and I do mean steep), you will leave behind most tourists. There are some pretty nice hiking trails too. One starts out of the far end of the Marienbrucke (look for the Warning: Danger of Death signs and yes there are more serious potential falls here than I can remember seeing anywhere else, although only if you wander off the trail). There are also the sled rides down the hill (I want to say Sommerrollerbahne, something like that) that is a fun family stop in the immediate area.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

James, Salzburg - agree. Kathy, The last time I drove the Fern Pass I swore it would be the last. And it has been. I've driven it probably 10 times, but the last one I got stuck behind a tractor which had two trucks, one from Turkey, between me and it. My car has great pickup and top notch handling and I am an experienced mountain road driver. None of us got past it for 20 minutes and when it finally pulled off I had the trucks the rest of the way to the dual carriageway. This was going north, BTW.

Posted by Jaq
Lafayette
11 posts

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post so far. I've gotten some great ideas and information. We are just newly retired and can't do the strenuous hikes or white-knuckled driving, but are interested in taking in all the scenic views (like the Sound of Music) that we can. We love waterfalls too.
I heard something about a trail through a gorge with rushing water and waterfalls, is that nearby?

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

Kathy, I've been in Neuschwanstein twice, and I can't agree with you. Maybe you had the abbreviated Disney fan tour. I saw two whole floors complete, the Singer's Hall on the top floor and his quarters on the next floor - his bedroom, the chapel, his living room, the grotto and his office, as well an almost compete throne room (without the throne). This wasn't a military castle, the rest of it wouldn't have been fortifications, it was to be servant quarters. In fact, we saw another completed room, the kitchen, in the basement, with water pipes going up from the stove to give him hot running water. I don't know what you expected.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Neuschwanstein is something you have to see once. Then its up to you if you want to return. Hohenschwangau was more interesting to me.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1508 posts

I can understand some people's negative reactions to the castles. If you've seen a lot of castles and enjoy imagining the grand military history within the walls (or ruins), you just have to remind yourself that these had NOTHING to do with that tradition. Think of them as grand houses built to look like castles. As such, they are a delight to visit and see.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Jaq, We liked the Hohenschwangau tour better than Neuschwanstein. Actually, we liked the tours (interior) of Linderhof and Herrenchiemmsee much better also. That said, I can't imagine going all the way to Neuchwanstein and not touring it once. We did. Would we do it again... no. But I'm glad we did it once.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

Sorry, just realized you aren't into hiking. Forget my advice. It's probably better to visit some lakes/mountain scenery in the area.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Jaq, With a busy day, you could see Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau (they are basically next door to one another) and Linderhof. Either make tix reservations to Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau in advance or get there before 9am to be done with both tours by lunch time. You could then drive to Linderhof and catch a late tour there. Herrenchiemsee is way out of the way from Fuessen. It's located on the Chiemsee, which is between Munich and Salzburg. Paul

Posted by Jaq
Lafayette
11 posts

"We liked the Hohenschwangau tour better than Neuschwanstein. Actually, we liked the tours (interior) of Linderhof and Herrenchiemmsee much better also." Referring to this...how many days would it take to see them in May?

Posted by Cari
Madison
30 posts

Hey, I am more in your age group and I must say that Fuessen is one of my family's favorite little spots. We stay in Hotel Kurcafe ~ only about a block or two from the train station ~ it has THE best breakfast buffet I've ever had traveling (20+ countries). Do reserve your Hohenshwangau & Neuschwanstein tickets online ~ makes it SO much easier to have them ahead of time. Definitely go through Hohenschwangau first ~ it preps you for the other one. Definitely would give the are at least a 2 night stay.

Posted by Amanda
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
45 posts

I really enjoyed the tour of Neuschwanstein. Although it was a bit disappointing that you couldn't take pictures, it was beautiful and the horse drive carriage ride was nice to the top. The best part was going up to Mary's Bridge and taking pictures of the castle from far off. Yes, it is true the castle is sectioned off by rope in several areas, but it was still nice to see inside the castle of such an eccentric ruler.

Posted by Shoni
Kirn, Germany
331 posts

I have been more often than I care to count to Neuschwannstein castle as every visitor we have to our home in Germany has it as a number one day trip priority. I first saw it, and had my only visit inside, in the late 70's when it was perhaps not so popular, or air travel was not so cheap or people were not so well off, or the Japanese had not discovered tourism. Suffice to say there were no queues. This all changed some years back and the car park was enough of a squeeze to put us off. Tourism at its worse. A total rip off and hours spent queuing and most of the rooms roped off. I can understand that you want to see it , as I did, but you don't have to go inside to appreciate it. As someone on an earlier post said if you can appreciate Wagner then you will appreciate Neu Schwannstein and perhaps get a better picture of it from a distant persective. It is something magical, but spoilt by hordes of visitors desperate to get inside when what is truly spectacular is its impact from a distance with the mountains as a back and the madness of King Ludwig as inspiration and the view costs nothing.

Posted by Jaq
Lafayette
11 posts

Hi Kim
You are correct about viewing the castle from a distance. Can you please tell me the "BEST" vantage point to view the castle in early May? And what time of the day.

Posted by Sherry
Burlington, USA
1 posts

HiDoes anyone know about trains between Fussen or Reutte and the Bodensee? I'm hoping there is a train from Bregenz to Reutteanyone know if there is one? and how long it takes? Thanks, Sherry

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Without a rental car, Reutte is difficult from Füssen, and frankly, isn't worth your trouble IMO if you're using public transportation. There are buses that make the trip, however, or an expensive taxi might work. I stayed in Breitenwang outside of Reutte a few years ago, but I didn't need public transport. It's a peaceful and quiet area with great mountain views, but there's really not much of a reason to stay out that far. Yes, I believe you can take a train from Bregenz to Reutte with a couple of changes...probably 3 plus hours. Lee is the expert...maybe he'll jump in with details.

Posted by Anneta
Hamburg, SH, Deutschland
21 posts

Sherry, I have tried the trip you suggest as well. I think the only options are a long trip and a good book or a cheap hire car. You could definitely pick one up in Fussen