Picturesque, cute little town, greenery around, touristic, idyllic village, beer heaven are some of the adjectives you can think of when it comes to Fussen, a small town & the gateway to the famous Neuschwanstein castle. We flew into Memmingen and took a train to Fussen. The train ride included amazing Bavarian landscape and pretty German houses you must have seen only in kindergarten books. The town is surrounded by the mighty snow covered alps which would take your breath away. We fell in love with this picturesque south German landscape and are left wanting for more.
We reached Fussen around 9 PM and the sleepy little town had already shut down (that too on a Friday night). We had dinner at a pub and we got our fill of locally brewed German beer which tasted just grand. The town looked even more prettier at night with tungsten lights and we navigated through the small alleys, exploring the town.
The next morning we proceeded to visit Neuswanstein castle, which is 5 kms from Fussen. The bus facilities are quite good and it took us a short 10 min ride to reach another village called Hohenschwangau where we collected the tickets for the castle. A steep 30 minutes walk got us to the entrance of the castle.
Neuschwanstein castle is the inspiration for the castle shown in the animated movie – The Sleeping Beauty. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II – who had romanticized the idea of building an authentic castle in the old German Knights Style, and was built using the personal fortune of the king. The stylistic castle was built on the land where the medieval twin castles once stood. The construction of the castle took almost two decades but the King lived in the palace only for a period of 172 days.
The castle is grand and the king must have lived a kings life (duh…). He was quite a modern king as the facilities at the castle were way too advanced for its time (he even had a flush!) and he has splurged the money on making it look grandeur. It surely lives up to the hype and we thoroughly enjoyed the quick tour. The grand paintings, huge well decorated rooms will leave you awe struck. You can also visit the Marienbrücke, the bridge over the valley and overlooking the castle from the side. It’s a short, steep walk from the castle but definitely worth visiting.
Things to do at Fussen:
Visit Neuswanstein Castle: Book tickets online first. If you are visiting Fussen, use bus 73 (direction Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkrichen) or bus 78 (direction Schwangau) and exit at stop Hohenschwangau – Alpseestraße, which is close to the ticket center. Take the reserved tickets line and pay cash/card to collect the tickets. Make sure you are on time or well before the pick up time else they would cancel the order. Hike up to the castle or take one of those horse carriages to reach the top. Breath in the Bavarian beauty and assemble at the courtyard five minutes before the tour. The tours are very well organized and there will be a knowledgeable tour guide explaining the castle.
Visit the old town: Its a charming little town with quiet alleyways and beautiful bridges. Have a traditional German lunch at Hirsch and don’t miss the beer.!
Explore the Bavarian Landscape: A car would be ideal, but even if you don’t have one, just walk a little outside Schwangau (where the castle is located) and you will see this gorgeous landscape overlooking the castle.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at this guest house we found through booking.com. It was a very comfortable room and we were sad that we stayed there only for a night. The whole transaction worked on trust and we never met anyone at reception. Since we arrived late at night, the keys were kept in an envelope outside the main door and as we were leaving early, we left the money on the room table.