If you decide to visit Southern Germany, we highly recommend that you stop in the charming little town of Füssen. First of all, because it is the best place from which to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. And second, because it is very pretty and worth a visit on its own.
We certainly loved strolling through the Old Town of Füssen on our trip to Southern Germany. And we found that you can easily spend a few days in the area because there are so many things to do.
If you’re thinking about visiting, then here is your list of all the best things to do in Füssen and its surroundings.
Best Things to Do in Füssen
#1 Walk through Füssen Old Town
The town of Füssen is around 700 years old. Go for a walk through the Old Town to see the medieval town centre with its many pastel-coloured houses.
The Füssen Old Town might be small, but we recommend that you take your time. It took us ages to walk through the streets because we stopped every few meters to enjoy the view.
If you want to buy souvenirs, the historic centre is a great place. Or you can stop in one of the many cafes and restaurants. We tried amazing Bavarian food in Füssen.
In the Old Town, you can also find the High Castle (Hohes Schloss). You can’t properly see it while walking through the town, but the castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Bavaria. If you have enough time, go inside and admire the illusionary paintings in the courtyard.
#2 Visit Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle
Füssen is the perfect base if you want to visit Germany’s most famous castle, Neuschwanstein. The castle is so close that it only takes a few minutes by bus or by car. Or you could even walk there, which will take you around 50 minutes.
In order to get to Neuschwanstein, you first have to get to the tiny village of Hohenschwangau. From here, you can either walk up or take a horse cart to Neuschwanstein castle. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out very quickly. You can always read or guide on how to visit Neuschwanstein castle to find more details!
While in Hohenschwangau, you should also visit Hohenschwangau Castle. This yellow castle is sitting just above the village, and the inside is far more interesting than in Neuschwanstein.
The Bavarian King Ludwig II, who built Neuschwanstein in the late 1800s, never properly got to enjoy the castle. He died in mysterious circumstances after only having spent a few days living in Neuschwanstein. Therefore, the castle remains incomplete from the inside.
Hohenschwangau Castle, on the other hand, is where he grew up. So make sure to take the guided tour inside to learn more about him and his family.
#3 Enjoy the outdoors
Füssen is the perfect base if you want to go hiking in the Alps! From here, you can go on many walks that range in length from an easy afternoon stroll to challenging multi-day hikes.
Near Füssen, you can find ten lakes with marked hiking trails taking you past the water. And if you drive a bit, you get to the starting point for hiking to Germany’s highest alpine lake!Want to swim in Germany’s highest lake? Then check out our guide to hiking to Lake Schrecksee!
If you need hiking poles (highly recommended for some of the steeper hikes), you can rent them in the tourist information. Besides that, keep in mind that wild camping is not allowed in Bavaria. You can find plenty of mountain huts, though, where you can stay on your multi-day hikes.
You’re not a fan of hiking? Then rent a bike and explore the cycling trails near Füssen!
Or come in winter, when you will find multiple opportunities for outdoor activities. You can find multiple ski resorts close to Füssen. They might not be big, but the views of the snow-covered Alps are stunning. You can also rent a horsedrawn sleigh and enjoy the scenery while gliding over frozen Lake Hopfensee.
#4 Sample traditional Bavarian food
Füssen is the perfect town if you want to eat traditional Bavarian food. You can find lots of restaurants in the city centre. Yes, some of them might be touristy, but the food we tried was very nice.
Bavarian cuisine is very heavy on meat. One of the most famous dishes abroad (which you can’t just find in Bavaria but all over Germany) is the Schweinshaxe, a pork knuckle.
But Bavaria also offers lesser-known and less heavy dishes. You can find a variety of sausages, with side dishes like sauerkraut or dumplings. Go for the white sausages, and order them for breakfast if you want an authentic experience.
Don’t feel like eating meat? Then we recommend Käsespätzle, a German kind of pasta served with cheese. I used to order this over and over again as a child when I went on winter holidays with my parents, and we’d have lunch in a mountain hut.
You could also try one of the many Bavarian sweet dishes. Kaiserschmarrn is essentially a pancake cut into smaller pieces, usually served with apple sauce. Or go for the Germknödel, a yeast dumpling filled with plum sauce and served with vanilla sauce.
#5 Visit Linderhof Palace
Remember King Ludwig II? The guy who built Neuschwanstein? He started many construction projects during his short life but only lived to see one of them completed – Linderhof Palace.
You can find this cute palace only 26km from Füssen, although driving here will take you around 50 minutes since you have to take the long road. It is worth it, though, to see the palace and the elaborate gardens.
While looking at Linderhof Palace, it is hard to believe that the building was once a wooden hut where Ludwig II and his father used to stay during hunting excursions. After the death of his father, Ludwig II started re-modelling the interior to make the rooms as luxurious as in a palace
Eventually, the wooden outside did not fit the inside anymore. So what did Ludwig II do? He built a stone exterior around the building that made it look like a palace.
Plus, he designed the palace gardens, which are a reason alone why you should visit Linderhof Palace. You’ll find lots of fountains here, and you can go for long walks in the giant park that surrounds the palace.
#6 Eat a snowball
In the Old Town of Füssen, you can find a small shop selling snowballs. No, these are not made from frozen water. They are traditional baked goods that have been around in the area for at least 300 years.
Snowballs used to be made for weddings, but these days they have become so popular that you can find shops selling them. While most people will come across them in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you can also get them in Füssen.
Snowballs are basically cookies in a round shape. The chef cuts the dough into stripes and wraps them around a wooden stick to turn them into a ball shape. He then removes the stick and fries the ball in oil for five minutes.
Traditionally, snowballs will be covered in powdered sugar, but in Füssen, you can find many variations. How about one with chocolate on the outside or maybe even some alcohol filling? The good news is that the snowballs will keep for up to eight weeks, so you can buy a few here and try them later.
#7 Swim in a lake
I already mentioned above that you can find ten lakes near Füssen. Therefore, if you visit in summer, you should go and take a bath in one of them!
The Hopfensee often goes by the name “Riviera of the Allgäu region”. The lake is known for having the warmest water in the region, so if you’re like me and you get cold very easily, you might find it a bit easier to go swimming here. At the Hopfensee, you can also find a nice beach on which to relax.
Close by, you will find the Forggensee. This is the biggest lake in the area, so big that you can go for a boat ride and enjoy the view of Neuschwanstein Castle. Or you could try various watersports like windsurfing and kayaking.
The Alpsee close to Neuschwanstein Castle is known for its dark turquoise water, and you could go for a swim to cool down after having visited the castle.
We went to the Elbsee, a small lake a bit further north. While it takes a moment to get here from Füssen, this lake is not as overrun with tourists as the other ones.
If you visit in winter, by the way, enjoy the lakes by ice skating! The Hopfensee is a great starting place, but you can find many more frozen lakes nearby.
How to get to Füssen
You have multiple options for getting to Füssen. From Munich, you can take a regional train. Those leave every two hours and take around two hours. Make sure to check prices before you leave. Usually, it’s cheaper to buy the Bayern Ticket, which allows you unlimited train rides in Bavaria (high-speed trains excluded). It is an especially good deal if you’re travelling with multiple people, as you can add people to the ticket for just a few Euros.
If you have a rental car, you will need to drive there. Füssen is at the end of the Romantic Road, a route that takes you through many pretty towns and villages in Bavaria.
Coming from Munich, it’ll take you around 1 hour 45 minutes to drive to Füssen.
Getting around Füssen
Füssen is small enough that you can walk almost everywhere.
If you want to go to Hohenschwangau to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, you can take the bus nr. 73 or 78, and it’ll only take you a few minutes.
However, if you want to visit more sights in the area, we recommend you get a rental car. Buses don’t run very often in the German countryside, and a car will give you the freedom to go wherever you want without taking hours.
When to visit Füssen
Füssen is one of those places that you can visit at any time of the year. We went in the middle of summer, which meant great weather. Summer also gets very crowded, especially if you want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Make sure to visit your ticket long in advance, or you’ll be left looking only at its outside.
In winter, the whole region turns into Winter Wonderland. Instead of swimming in lakes, you will be ice skating on them or enjoying walks through the snowy landscape. This can be an amazing time to visit, and you will see fewer crowds than in summer.
Spring and autumn are also shoulder seasons with fewer crowds. In autumn, you can enjoy the crisp mountain air and see Neuschwanstein Castle surrounded by red-leafed forests.
So no matter when you go, it’s going to be great.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the best activities in Füssen. The whole area is so amazing that the five days we spent here were nowhere near enough. Was anything missing or do you have any comments or questions? Then leave us a comment below!
If you are planning a trip to Germany, we have lots of other information you will find helpful. Check out the following articles:
- How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle
- Germany Road Trip: The Perfect 7-10 Day Germany Itinerary
- Best Places to Stay in the Black Forest, Germany
- How to Hike to Lake Schrecksee
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