Friday, November 14, 2014

Füssen, Germany: A Perfect Day Trip from Munich

Neuschwanstein castle
Neuschwanstein Castle
While my family and I were visiting Munich a few weeks ago we decided we wanted to take a day trip out of the city to explore more of the country. After some research, we decided the perfect day trip for us would be a quick excursion to the city of Füssen, Germany: home of Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.

train to Füssen, Germany
train ride to Füssen, Germany
Getting to Füssen and both of the castles is relatively easy. From the central train station in Munich, you simply purchase your round-trip train ticket and hop on board. The entire journey takes about two hours, and you are given the opportunity to view the German countryside as you go along. The closer you get to Füssen, the more you begin to see less of rolling hills and more of the mountains. Because the train only takes about two hours, it is the perfect day trip when you are trying to get out of Munich and see more of what Germany has to offer.

Hohenschwangau castle fussen
Hohenschwangau Castle
When you arrive in Füssen, you can either take a bus ride closer to the castles or walk. We decided to take the bus towards the castles (2 euro a person) and then depending how much time we have to walk back. The bus is a relatively quick ride- only about 5 minutes or so- but you cover a fair amount of distance. Once you hop off the bus, you will first see Hohenschwangau Castle, the first of the two castles in Füssen. Hohenschwangau Castle (or Schloss Hohenschwangau) was built on the remains of Fortress Schuangau, which was first mentioned in history texts in the 12th century. The Fortress fell to ruins until Crown Prince Maximilian began reconstruction in 1832. After reconstruction was complete, Schloss Hohenschwangau was the official summer and hunting residence of Crown Prince Maximilian and his family. Once we had viewed Schloss Hohenschwangau, we began our trek up the mountain towards the Neuschwanstein Castle!

fussen germany castles
View of Schloss Hohenschwangau from halfway up the mountain
Before heading up the mountain, we looked at purchasing tickets for the guided tours of the insides of the castles. A tip for this process is to order your tickets online and reserve them- then, you simply pick them up. Because we had not done this, the line to tour the castles was about an hour, and in the end we would not have had enough time to tour the castles. Instead, we decided to just view the outsides of the castles and the views of Füssen. 

getting closer to Neuschwanstein Castle!
my family in front of Neuschwanstein Castle
Walking up the mountain towards Neuschwanstein Castle took us around 45 minutes to an hour, moving at a pretty good pace. Once we arrived at the castle, it was definitely worth the walk! Neuschwanstein Castle was built in 1869 by Crown Prince Ludwig II, the son of Crown Prince Maximilian. Neuschwanstein Castle is well-known for being the inspiration for the Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle. Currently, 1.4 million people visit the fairytale castle every year. 
one of the Castle towers
grounds inside the Castle walls
ivy along the castle
As we wandered about the castle, we overheard a tour guide (speaking English) telling his tour group where to go. He sent them along a short hike, telling them that they would pass a waterfall and eventually be led to the "best views of Füssen and Neuschwanstein Castle". Based off his description, my family decided to follow the crowd and head towards these terrific views. 


On our walk, we passed this waterfall. At first, we each commented on "if that is all the views are, these can't be that great!" However, and fortunately- we decided to continue on with our journey! Eventually, we reached a line of people. While we weren't sure quite where the line went, we correctly assumed that the line led to the terrific views. Eventually, we saw that the line led to a bridge- admittedly, a quite scary bridge to traverse. When we finally got on the bridge, WOW were the views ever worth it!


Füssen castles
view of Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle
Second view of Neuschwanstein Castle
 As we stepped out on to the bridge, we could see terrific views of Neuschwanstein Castle and the backdrop against German countryside. In a word, it was simply stunning. All along the bridge, various people had also placed love locks.

waterfall in Fussen, Germany

Looking over the opposite side of the bridge, you could see some of the clearest, brightest blue water cascading down the mountainside and into a pool at the bottom, before continuing it's journey down the river. The bridge itself was slightly scary to be on- various planks of the wood would move and bend as you walked along. Because of this, we quickly got our pictures and got off that bridge!

bridge in Füssen, Germany
the bridge we walked out on
After walking out on the bridge, we walked back towards the Neuschwanstein Castle. Once we reached the castle, we could spot the bridge we had just walked out on. Amazingly enough, it looked even more perilous in person than in the above picture! The bridge is located right about in the center of the picture.

mountains in Fussen Germany
view of the mountains
Hohenschwangau Castle, Fussen
another view of Hohenschwangau Castle
Füssen, Germany
looking out over the German countryside
After we felt we had seen all there was to with both the Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle, we decided to walk back to the train station. The walk took us quite a while, maybe 1.5 hours or so, but was very pretty and a nice way to get fresh air. Overall, we completely loved our day in Füssen viewing both of the castles. It was the perfect day trip from Munich, and a trip I would highly recommend to anybody passing through the area or visiting Munich! Have you ever been to Füssen, or visited other famous castles?

37 comments:

  1. It looks like you all had a wonderful time. The castles and the scenery are just gorgeous. I would so love to visit here some day and do the castle tours. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Füssen was so amazing! I had been there once when I was about 16, but was still too young to really appreciate it. Just beautiful!

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  2. Such an amazing place with breathtaking views, this is definitely a must if my other half and I ever visit Munich. I'm sure someone sent me a postcard from this place too, I remember the castle and saying wow!

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    1. Fiona, I definitely recommend it! Füssen was so gorgeous, I was so happy to visit there again!

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  3. All of your photo are beautiful view and that place looks so peaceful and very nice.

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  4. I went to Germany back in 2007 and really wanted to go to that area, but we didn't make it. We stayed in Mannheim and spent most of our time there and in Speyer. My brother has friends there and he wanted to spend a lot of time with them. I hope to someday make it to Neuschwanstein Castle. Your pictures makes me want to go there even more!

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    1. Erin, I hope you are able to make it back one day! Bavaria in general, and Füssen, was so beautiful!

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  5. Germany is such a beautiful country and just love it every time i am there but i have never been to fussen and hope to one day. I have noticed that in most European countries have go to they seem to have love locks and not seen any in the UK oh well.

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    1. Miranda, that is interesting! I haven't traveled to the UK yet so have no personal experience, but yes throughout Europe love locks are so common!

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  6. Ahhhhh I saw this castle on a Germany trip as a kid! Thought it was the most boring thing ever since I was about 6 years old.... Now that I'm an adult & actually majored in history, I would love to revisit places like this & actually appreciate it :)

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    1. Courtney, I don't blame you since you were 6 years old! I visited when I was 16 and still wasn't impressed. So much history can't really be appreciated until you are older!

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  7. I've never seen a real castle before nor been to Germany but I'd go in a heartbeat. Your photos are simply stunning, I could look at them all day.

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    1. Terri, you definitely should visit Germany one day- it is such a beautiful country!

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  8. What amazing views! All the different colors of the countryside look so beautiful. Lucky you catching the directions to those breathtaking views!

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    1. Joy, our day trip from Munich was so perfect! The Bavarian countryside is simply gorgeous.

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  9. My goodness! The rolling landscape, the gorgeous cliffs, the beautiful architecture! I would be in absolute heaven. This one is going on my travel bucket list.

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    1. Echo, that is exactly how I felt about Füssen. So much beauty!

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  10. That is so...so...spectacular! I have never seen grass so green and everything is simply gorgeous. I am so jealous! ;)

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    1. Sharon, like you said, it was simply spectacular!

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  11. These are some of the most breathtaking and exquisite views I have ever seen. Munich is on my bucket list right now!

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    1. Sara, as it should be! Munich and the surrounding area is just gorgeous.

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  12. I actually visited Neuschwanstein castle before. It an amazing place and I would love to visit it again!

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    1. Eileen, what time of year did you get to go? I've seen it in the summer and fall, both times it was gorgeous!

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  13. the castles look so beautiful! we actually only hung out more on the countryside when i was living in germany.. we seriously only had one grocery store and one restaurant in the town i lived in.. so i definitely need to go back and explore the other areas.

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    1. Esther, sometimes small towns like that are the absolute best though!

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  14. The view of the castles looks so magnificent. The elegance and rich heritage of both castles surrounded by the raw beauty of nature. That's really something worth visiting.

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    1. Franc, the castle was definitely built in an ideal location!

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  15. Amazing views! Those castles are wonderful. Adding them to my Wish List of places to go to.

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    1. Paula, you definitely should add them- they were so beautiful!

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  16. What stunning photos! I bet it was breath taking seeing all these pretty areas! These photos make me want to pack my bags to go see for my self.

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    1. You definitely should one day. So much to explore!

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  17. Wow! I love those pictures. I wish we had visited more places when we were in Germany. My husbands grandparents live in Magdeburg so besides exploring there we visited Leipzig and Quedlinburg.

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    1. Kat, how cool that you have relatives in Germany! I'm sure the visits are so full of history and culture.

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  18. I am beyond envious! This looks absolutely beautiful and an amazing trip! I need to put this on my bucket list now!

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    1. You definitely should- Munich and Füssen is such a great area to explore!

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  19. This was extremely helpful. My boyfriend and I are planning to take a day trip from Munich next year & I was trying to get all of the information I could on it. It looks beautiful & I'm sure it looks even prettier in person. Thank you for sharing. :)

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