BootsnAll Travel Network

Fussen, Germany


May 17 – A miserable cold and rainy day.

Fussen is a cute little town 2 hours by train from Munich, full of coffee shops, restaurants, and tourist shops. It’s a bit touristy but still hasn’t lost its charm. The town is dominated by a castle – a very ordinary castle – which has some nice views of the Alps. Fussen is right in the foothills of the Alps, the mountains looming right behind it.

We were here mainly to see Kind Ludwig’s castles, the most famous of which is Neuschwanstein (the other is Hohenschwangau, his childhood castle). So, despite the weather, we took the bus from the Fussen Bahnhof (buses leave every 30 min) and arrived 15 minutes and 5 km later at the ticket center located just below the castles.

I don’t know how busy Neuschwanstein gets – but they’ve certainly made this complicated. You have to get tickets for one, or both castles, at the ticket center. With the tickets you get a tour (which is mandatory) at a specified time no less than an hour ahead. If you tour both castles you require 2 hours between tours. You can reserve your ticket by internet (at an extra fee). The good thing about reserving is that you skip in front of the line to pick up your ticket, plus you are guaranteed a ticket.

Summary: getting into Neuschwanstein requires more red tape then getting into Tibet.


We walked up to Neuschwanstein from the ticket center (20 min) and waited for our tour number. The number shows up at a electronic sign at the entrance (ie. kind of like waiting in line at the bank), at which point you go through an electric turnstile and proceed to the 2nd floor of the castle where you are greeted by your tour guide. What followed was a rudamentory, boring tour through the servant’s quarters, Ludwig’s bedroom, and a few extravagant halls. The setting is beautiful, you have great views through the windows (no photography allowed though!), but visiting the castle one realizes that Ludwig lived in a world of gay childhood fantasies. I’ve never heard anyone refer to Ludwig as gay, but it’s obvious to me. And I don’t mean it in a bad way – but who dedicates a whole room to another man? (in this case music composer Wagner, his big buddy). Sorry, I don’t care what century it was, but that’s gay. Ludwig had a cave room built (looks like a batcave at a zoo). Another hall is painted as a forest scene. All a little strange. Furnishings and paintings were also all a little off – kind of kitshy and amateurish. Lissette figured some of the artists were making fun of Ludwig. Anyway, after 20 minutes of this tour, our useless tour guide let us leave – of course the exit went right through the gift shop. Any museum that ends with it’s exit going right through the gift shop is crap. This tour was crap and I don’t think its worth the time or money.


After we walked 10 minutes further to Marienbrucke (Mary’s Bridge) where we had beautiful views of the castle and the countryside behind it. I think this was actually the highlight – Neuschwanstein is more spectacular for it’s exterior and geographical setting than anything inside. Having known this before I would have just visited Marienbrucke and the various paths around the castle instead. Overall though, the castles of King Ludwig were a bit of a disappointment.


We stayed in Alstadhoten zum Hetchen in Fussen. Very nice, modern, clean, with a balcony for about 90 Euros. Well situated, close to everything (not hard in Fussen). No breakfast included. They also have a nice Bavarian restaurant downstairs with several fish specialties from the region (Pike, from the Lech river). It was lissettes’s birthday and we celebrated with the Pike for her, pork roast and dumplings for me, lots of beer, apple strudel, and another dessert of dumpling stuffed with cherry served in a custard-like sauce. Was all great and we gained about 10 lds.
4 of 5 – we would stay here again anytime.


Next stop Reutte in Austria, just accross the border from Fussen.

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