I'm looking for economical and reasonably efficient travel from Baden Baden to Fussen. I won't have a car, what I'm finding so far is that trains will take 5+ hours at a minimum. Am I missing a much better solution? Thanks!
"Am I missing a much better solution? Thanks!" No, that's about as good as you'll get via train. Baden-Baden and Füssen are two peripheral destinations that require transfers from slower regional trains. That's why it takes so long to go from one to the other. However, if the only reason you're going to Baden-Baden are the baths, realize that Baden-Baden is only one of several dozen spa health resorts in Germany, and if you ask me, not one of the more impressive either. Most towns that begin with the word "Bad" either are currently or were at one time known for their spas. There's probably a health resort somewhere else that would better fit your itinerary.
Susan, There are other options to consider. If you're only going to Füssen to visit Neuschwanstein, you might consider staying in Munich and visiting the Castles on a daytrip. You can either make the time-specific Castle reservations and travel there on your own, or go with a local tour company such as Radius Tours. Check their website for details. Regarding train options, you could (for example) use a departure from Baden Baden at 08:44, arriving Munich at 12:27 (time 3H:43M, 1 change in Mannheim). There are lots of other departures. One point to keep in mind regarding Baden Baden, is that the station is a few kilometres from the town. I believe there are Buses, but I find it much simpler to use a Taxi. If you'll be taking an early train, ask your Hotel to pre-arrange a Taxi. Except for local traffic with permits, cars are not permitted to drive in the main part of the city. While there are other locations in Germany with Spas, Baden Baden is a beautiful city with an interesting history and a great Casino. I found it interesting that some shops there have bilingual signs in German and Russian. Happy travels!
"There should be trains from Baden Baden to Karlsruhe. And I have taken the train from there to Munich." Looks like that is an option as well, except the quickest connections from Karlsruhe involve changes in Stuttgart, Ulm and Augsburg. Overall, no shorter than going through Mannheim. Seems counterintuitve, but there it is on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Ralph just because you have taken the trains between those locations does not mean that you're being helpful to the original poster, who's question was basically "is there a better (i.e. faster) option for getting from Baden-Baden to Fuessen?" And the answer is sadly, no. And I agree with Tom that if you're looking to save time, there are many towns (particularly this region) that have great baths that are on or closer to express train lines that would cut down travel time.
Ralph, that is what most people who are spending thousands of dollars on a trip would want to do, yes, spend a bit of time perusing your options.
Susan, Any route you choose from Baden Baden to Füssen is going to involve two or three transfers. Count on a day's traveling. Transfering in Karlsruhe means you'll have do it again in Stuttgart. Going from Baden Baden-Munich via Mannheim means you can do both legs on the ICE. Before transfering in Munich the main objective is doing both legs on the ICE. In Munich you change to Füssen. I would choose the Mannheim route if you're pressed for time. If not, I'd ride further to Frankfurt (better food court there) to transfer to Munich. Anyway you choose . you should be in Füssen by the late afternoon.
Thanks all for your helpful suggestions! Think it makes sense to go to Munich and day trip from there. Thanks again.