Fussen is one of the most magical places to visit in Germany. Though once probably considered a hidden gem, it is now a popular tourist destination. Don’t let that steer you away – this is one popular destination still worth visiting! Lucky for you, there are also quite a few ways to get there from Munich, which is considered one of the best cities in Germany.
If you find yourself spending a weekend in the city, consider spending just 24 hours in Munich and then taking a day trip to the gorgeous Neuschwanstein Castle.
Luckily, there are a few ways to get to Munich from Fussen. Before you start planning your visit though, make sure you check out this post on 30 things you should know before visiting Germany!
The first and easiest option to get to Fussen is to actually just take a day trip. There are quite a few tour companies that do this. The nice thing about this option is that you don’t have to worry much at all about doing any planning on your own. This is the perfect option if you want someone else to do all the work for you, though it may cost slightly more because of it! Your whole day will also be planned for you, and you could meet other travelers on the tour.
Day tour prices range from $50 – $150, at least from what I can find, so you’ll have to choose wisely. Oftentimes, these tours don’t even include the admission price for the palaces. Some of the more popular options for tours are:
Option 1 – Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle tour with Mike’s Bike Tours. The nice thing about this tour is that it includes an optional bike tour as well! Tickets start at $56, but admission to the palaces aren’t included.
Option 2 – This is yet another popular option that I found that also includes a hike and a bike tour! The bike tour/hike even takes you up to a spot where you can go swimming in Fussen, which is pretty awesome. Tickets start at $60. Admission to the palaces isn’t included, but you can purchase them the day of from your tour guide.
Option 3 – The next option that I found brings you to both Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Castle, which isn’t even in Fussen! These tickets start at $65. This tour makes a stop in Oberammergau, another beautiful German town where you can shop for a while too! Unfortunately, admission to the palaces isn’t included for this tour either.
Option 4 – This last option is with Radius Tours, and tickets start at $60. From what I can tell, this tour brings you to and from the castle but admission to the castle is also not included. However, you can pay the tour guide for a ticket and he will give you a skip-the-line ticket so you don’t have to wait in line once you arrive to Fussen and purchase your own ticket. This could be a big time-saver.
Another possible option is to try to find a bus to take. I’ve found that buses in Europe aren’t always the most reliable, but you could still take one if you have the time and want to save major money. For example, the prices that I found on Flixbus for Munich to Fussen were only $9.99! That’s a pretty good price. It looks like with Flixbus the bus usually leaves around 8 a.m. and will have you in Fussen by 10 a.m., so you’d have a good chunk of the day to explore the gorgeous town and castles.
This last option is the option that I actually suggest, since it’s what I did. It’s quick, there’s amazing views, and it’s more affordable than a day tour!
To take a train, the first thing you’re going to want to do is purchase a Bavarian regional day pass, which is called a Bayern Ticket. This costs just €25, which saves you so much money! This pass can be used in the whole region of Bavaria. Plus, you can split it with other people if you just €7. For example, I was traveling with a friend, so we purchased the shared Bayern Ticket for just €32, or €16 a person for the entire day! You can do this with up to four people, but not more. I much prefer taking a train compared to a bus because the seats are way comfier.
One important thing to note about the Bayern Ticket is that you do have to write your names on the pass, or you could get in trouble/fined. That’s why it’s always good to travel with a pen!
After you get off the train in Fussen, you then have to wait for a bus to Schwangau, which is the town that the castles are actually located in. This should be either Bus 73 or 78. I suggest just following the huge group of tourists that are also going to the same place as you! Trust me, there’s sure to be a mob of people that you won’t be able to miss. If you purchased a Bayern Ticket, you can just show it to the bus driver and ride for free. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the bus driver a small fee. After about ten minutes on the bus, you should be in Schwangau!
Once you get off the bus, you’re going to want to rush to get your tickets. I suggest purchasing your tickets ahead of time online, which could be a time-saver once you get there. Either way, you still have to go straight to the ticket booth. It costs €12 to see inside one castle, but you could pay slightly more to see the inside of both. If you purchased your tickets ahead of time, you can join the fast line to just pick up your tickets for your tour. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait with the rest of the tourists to try to get one of the regular tickets. Be sure to pick up your tickets at least 90 minutes ahead of your tour, or else they won’t let you pick them up anymore!
After you pick up your tickets, you’ll have to find out how to get up to Neuschwanstein Castle!
There are actually a few ways to get up to Neuschwanstein Castle!
The first option is to walk. I chose this option because it was free and I had nothing else to do that day. I had quite a while until my tour started, so I figured why not. If you choose to walk, know that it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour depending on how quick you walk. We stopped often to take pictures like the ones above. Be sure to stop along the way to get some of the best views of Neuschwanstein Castle!
The second option is to take the shuttle bus. When I was there, the price for the shuttle bus was €2.50 uphill and only €1.50 downhill, because obviously it’s a lot easier to walk down than it is to walk up. Unfortunately, the weather was too bad the day I was there, so I didn’t even have the option of taking the shuttle bus.
The last option is to take the horse-drawn carriage to the top. There really aren’t many seats in the carriage obviously, so if you choose this option, you’ll have to wait a while for your turn. This option is €6 uphill and about €3 downhill, at least at the time that I visited last year.
Luckily, once you reach the top, you do get a wonderful view like the one above!
This castle was built by the “mad king” of Bavaria, King Ludwig II. The castle is extremely beautiful, but actually never got finished since he was mysteriously found dead with his therapist when they once went on a walk! Crazy right? He was king for about 40 years, despite being seen as mad. Ludwig was building Neuschwanstein Castle for himself, while his father’s castle was Hohenschwangau. He did live in Hohenschwangau while he was waiting for Neuschwanstein to be finished. From what I remember on my tour, there were supposed to be almost 200 rooms in this amazing castle. Unfortunately, only 14 actually got finished, and those are the ones that you get to see during your tour.
Unfortunately, you can’t take any photos on the inside of the castle. There are a few spots before and after the tour where you can take some pretty amazing photos though, so keep that in mind! You’ll also be with a tour guide for the entire time that you’re inside the castle; you can’t necessarily just wander around on your own. The castle is really beautiful though, so you’re going to want to see the inside!
It truly is one of the best fairytale castles of Germany.
Though it was unfortunately closed at the time that I visited the castle due to construction, you absolutely must visit Marienbruke Bridge. This is the bridge that gives you amazing views like the one shown above. It’s where to go if you want the postcard-perfect picture! It takes about 15 minutes to get to the bridge. Unfortunately, it can be super busy at times, and can look like the photo to the left!
If you’re not a big fan of heights, then it might not be the best option to go onto the bridge. You might have to wait awhile to fully get to the perfect spot to take the photo too, without everyone else being in your shot!
Hohenschwangau Castle was King Ludgwig II’s father’s castle, King Maximillian II. I opted to just tour Neuschwanstein Castle, because I didn’t know that you could visit both in one day. It’s actually completely possible! If you book the comprehensive tour then you get to tour Hohenschwangau first then hike up to Neuschwanstein after for another tour.
This castle actually was first mentioned in old records around the 12th century, but was acquired by the Bavarian royal family in the 16th century. At the time that they got it, it was actually just ruins! They turned it into the beautiful castle that it is today. For a while, it was commonly used as one of their summer residences.
Though I didn’t pay to tour the inside, I did go up and explore the outside of the castle when I was done with Neuschwanstein Castle. The whole area was completely empty by the time I visited since the castle had already closed, which made it really fun to explore. It’s a beautiful yellow-orange color and it photographs so well. I personally loved the view from the castle too, which can be seen below. You get to see the beautiful lake if you look one way and if you look the other you can see Neuschwanstein Castle up in the alps. It’s magnificent!
I highly suggest sitting in one of the many benches in this area and taking in the view if you have time!
I chose to eat at this great restaurant which is actually located on the way up to Neuschwanstein Castle! I stopped there on my way down after the tour, and the food was great. If you’re lucky, you can be seated near one of the windows where there’s some great views. They serve traditional German food too. I tried spaetzle for the first time and it was amazing!
Though I didn’t eat here, I’ve heard great things about their food. They also serve German delicacies that you’ll definitely want to try. Supposedly their patio has some amazing views of Neuschwanstein Castle! Definitely ask to be seated there if you can.
This is another great German place to eat. The food is extremely good quality and they sometimes even have local bands playing! They even have a beer garden.