Stepping onto the narrow, cobblestone street, I instantly fell in love with the charm and character of this little German town. With its colourful buildings and crystal clear stream running through the middle, I was very glad I decided to spend the better part of 2 days here.
Füssen is a place that attracts many visitors from all around the world, most of whom are on day trips from Munich to see the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle, you know the one that inspired Walt’s Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. And maybe just as I chose to visit The Magic Kingdom at Disney World to see the princess castle, I may have also chosen to visit Füssen for its proximity to the real life version. I am so glad that when planning this trip I opted to stay a night in town because from the moment I arrived I realised that it is so much more than just the castle.
To get to Füssen by train takes 2 hours from Munich – a beautiful, relaxing two hours with epic snowy views in my case. We travelled using a 1st class Eurail Pass and therefore both my husband and I had spacious comfortable window seats for the trip. Seat reservations in Germany are not compulsory, and you are allowed on the train whether you have a seat or not. I realised what this meant when I got up to use the toilet and found that the second class cabins were so overfull, many people were standing or even sitting on the steps leading to the second level where we sat comfortably in first class.
Moral of the story, 1st class rail passes are 100% worth it for comfort.
I sat back and enjoyed the views as we got closer and closer to the epic mountain range I could see in the distance, all while the snow on both sides of the tracks got thicker and covered the landscape. I remember thinking there was no place in the world I would rather be in that moment – I was most happily content.
On arrival to town, most people went directly across the road to catch the buses that would take them to see the castle, but for us, first we needed to check into our hotel. Situated near the main town square, Hotel Ludwigs was all old town charm. With no elevator and many stairs, we were glad we opted to leave our large luggage back in Munich. As soon as I walked into the room, I swung the shutters open dramatically sound of music style and leaned out, taking in the cool mountain air and the sheer beauty of the colourful street below.
It was a dreary, rainy day but in that moment, it didn’t dull the magic of the town I was to call home for the night.
Staying a night in Füssen allows you to get a real feeling for the area and there is so much to see and do, but I think if you tick off the below 4 things you will walk away feeling just as enchanted as I was.
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, of course!
A trip to Füssen of course means a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th Century. From the outside it is a spectacular sight, perched on top of a mountain, surrounded by more mountains. If you are really keen you can take a guided tour inside through the finished rooms. It is every bit as beautiful as instagram suggests and definitely worth the touristy crowds. While you are there, don’t forget to check out Hohenschwangau Castle which is close by and still very impressive – just overshadowed by it’s famous friend.
Eat all the bavarian food
A trip to bavaria would not be complete without consuming large meals and large beers. Because my visit was around Christmas time, there was of course a stall on the street selling Bratwurst and gluhwein, perfect for a quick lunch and to warm up from the chilly mountain air. For a heartier meal, there are many restaurants to choose from most serving up a range of pork and potatoes ensuring you won’t go home hungry. Don’t forget to try the local beer as most restaurants have a regional beer on tap that is often brewed just down the road.
Ride the cable car at Tegelberg
Just past the castles near Schwangau you will find a cable car that takes you up the Tegelberg mountain. Expect sensational views of the mountains, lake & of course the castles! My visit was in winter and we were greeted with fresh snow at the top which made for so much fun walking around and of course taking in that fresh mountain air. This was one of my favourite mornings, and I will write a seperate post with all of the details and even more photos!
Wander the colourful, narrow streets
Füssen is one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited. Each building is a brightly coloured, tall and narrow making it a pleasure to walk around and explore. The river that runs through the town has some of the clearest water I have ever seen and was such a bright green that I found it hard to believe it was real. I can’t believe that so many people would only see the train station here when the town alone is worth the trip. Maybe I just love coloured buildings more than most?
I absolutely adored my time in Füssen, and I strongly encourage that if Neuschwanstein Castle is on your must see list (or you are just planning a trip to Germany), that you make sure to spend a night in this magical little town in the mountains.