Germany

6 Fabulous Reasons to Visit Fussen, Germany

February 9, 2016 (Last Updated: January 25, 2022)
by Carolyn
Brightly painted buildings.

Many travellers overlook Fussen Germany as they pass by on their way to the region’s most popular tourist attraction, Neuschwanstein Castle. In this Fussen travel guide, I’ll tell you why Fussen is worth visiting, where to eat and stay, and six fabulous things to do in Fussen.

Things to Do in Fussen Germany

Fussen, Germany, is a charming Bavarian town rich in history and beauty. You’ll find scenic drives, outdoor adventures, Bavarian architecture, lovely cafes, and, of course, castles! 

After spending a few days exploring this area, I’ve found at least six fabulous things to do in Fussen.

People wandering the streets of Fussen Old Town.
Fussen’s attractive Old Town is lively during summer when cafes set up tables in the street.

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Stroll around pretty Fussen Old Town

One of the first things you should do when you visit Fussen is wander the streets of the Old Town. The pedestrianised Altstadt (Old Town) is a pretty blend of brightly coloured buildings, many of which are adorned with frescoes.  

The typical Bavarian architecture and cobblestoned streets give the town an old world charm (the town is 700 years old, so that might explain it!) whilst it still offers all the services you’d expect in a modern town. 

Whilst you’re admiring the architecture, be sure to visit one of the numerous baroque churches, the medieval city walls, and the former Benedictine Abbey of St. Mang.

For something a little different, pop in to the Fussen Museum where you can see one of the finest collections of historical violins and lutes.

Brightly painted buildings.
Wandering the quiet streets of Fussen, you really appreciate the brightly painted buildings.

Admire the High Castle of Fussen

Next stop on your Fussen Germany sightseeing itinerary should be the High Castle of Fussen, officially called the Hohes Schloss.

Once the summer residence of the Lord Bishops of Augsburg, the late-Gothic style Fussen castle features a courtyard adorned with 500 year old trompe l’oiels and an attractive clock tower with a brightly painted facade. 

Facade of the High Castle of Fussen.
Beautiful facade of the High Castle of Fussen.

Visit King Ludwig’s royal castles

Everyone loves a fairytale and the story of King Ludwig II of Bavaria is a real-life fairytale from the 1800s – albeit one without a happy ending – and a visit to one of Ludwig’s castles is one of the best things to do near Fussen.

I won’t give you a history lesson on the so-called ‘Mad King’ (you can read about him here) but it’s worth knowing that Ludwig was a romantic who loved opera, French culture (in particular, King Louis XIV) and swans, and he set about spending his generous royal salary building the lavish palaces of Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. He died tragically at the age of 40.

Whilst they aren’t technically castles in Fussen, Germany, they are so close to the town that they are commonly referred to as Fussen’s castles.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale-like castle which supposedly inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, attracts thousands of visitors each year but three of Ludwig’s other castles, Hohenschwangau, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, are also worth visiting as day trips from Fussen.

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau (where Ludwig spent his childhood), are situated close to each at Schwangau, just a few kilometres from Fussen. Linderhof, which Ludwig built as his personal hideaway, and Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig’s Versailles-inspired castle, are a little further away but well worth the drive.

Exterior of Linderhof Palace.
Linderhof Palace is just one of King Ludwig’s famous castles near Fussen that you can visit in the area.

TIP: If you’re planning a visit to any of the castles, tickets for entry (which include a guided tour) must be pre-purchased for set entry times. The ‘Konigsschlosser’ ticket, which includes admission to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee is good value at around €24. The ticket is valid for six months.  

If you are short on time, a great option is to take a half day tour of the castles from Fussen.  Click here to check prices.

You can also include a horse-drawn carriage ride with your visit to Neuschwanstein.  Click here to check details and prices.

Drive along the Romantic Road

Fussen sits at the southern end of one of Germany’s most popular scenic routes, the Romantic Road, so it makes a great base from which to explore the other towns and villages that are dotted along this picturesque stretch of road.

One of the highlights is the pilgrimage church, Wieskirche, a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts about a million people every year. Built in the early 18th century to house a statue of Christ that was seen to be weeping, the Baroque church is one of the best known in Bavaria. (Parking and entry fees apply).

If you’re interested in exploring the Romantic Road further, I highly recommend a visit to the fairytale town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  

You can also read my guide to visiting six must-see towns – including Fussen – on the Romantic Road.

TIP: Fussen is also located on the scenic German Alpine Road which crosses Bavaria from Lake Constance in the west to Berchtesgaden in the east.

Church in a green field with a cloud-covered mountain behind it.
Neuschwanstein Castle overlooks the beautiful Bavarian countryside just outside of Fussen.

Enjoy the great outdoors

It’s no surprise that the region’s natural beauty is what attracts so many to visit Fussen Germany. Things to do include walking, cycling and swimming, and with lush green fields, forests, lakes and mountains close by, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate this beautiful part of Bavaria.

Fussen attracts visitors in droves for its outdoor pursuits, but if you like to enjoy nature without working up a sweat you can take a lake cruise on Lake Forggensee or catch the cable car up to the summit of Mount Tegelberg for 360 degree views of Fussen and surrounds. 

If you plan to visit during the cooler months, skiing is one of the most popular things to do in Fussen in winter. The nearby slopes of Tegelberg and Breitenberg offer a variety of runs and cross-country trails.  Ice skating and tobogganing are other fun winter activities to enjoy in the area. 

There are also a number of well-marked winter hiking trails to enjoy, or for the perfect romantic winter outing, why not take a horse-drawn sleigh ride across snow-covered landscapes?

Suggested outdoor activities include renting a bike and ride from Fussen to Neuschwanstein – click here for more details.

Beautiful green countryside with trees and a lake.
The lush Bavarian countryside attracts many outdoor enthusiasts.

Visit the nearby towns and villages

Just a short drive from Fussen is the village of Oberammergau, famous for its wood carvers, frescoed buildings and the Passion Play that the village stages every ten years. 

The paintings on these buildings are known as ‘Luftlmalerei’. This three dimensional painting style dates back to the 18th century.

Quieter than Fussen but no less pretty, you could happily spend a few hours wandering the streets of Oberammergau (as we did) admiring the handcrafts of the local artisans. There’s also a Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop in town.

It’s just 45 kilometres from Oberammergau to Fussen, around 50 minutes by car.

A couple of kilometres further on from Oberammergau is the town of Ettal which you’ll recognise when you see the impressive Benedictine abbey as you enter town. The abbey also houses a brewery and distillery, and opposite is a wonderfully traditional Bavarian pub that serves up delicious meals.

A bit further afield (a further 21 km from Oberammergau) is the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze.  Its old town is well worth a stroll, Luftlmalerei featuring heavily on the buildings here, too.

If you’re making Fussen your base in the area but don’t have your own wheels, don’t worry.  A range of day and half-day tours from Fussen are available that include visits to Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, King Ludwig’s castles and Wieskirche. A couple of the most popular day tours from Fussen are:

Frescoed building in town with people walking by.
The pretty town of Oberammergau is just a short drive from Fussen.

Tip: If you’re planning on visiting Linderhof Palace by car, Oberammergau, Ettal and Garmisch-Partenkirchen all make convenient stops en route.

Where to stay in Fussen Germany

I stayed at the lovely Schlosskrone Hotel, which is perfectly situated at the end of the Altstadt’s main street. This 4* Superior hotel is furnished in the traditional Bavarian style but with all modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.

You can read my review of the hotel here.

Click here to check prices for Schlosskrone Hotel Fussen.

Other highly rated hotels in Fussen include:

To browse more hotels, read our guide to the top ten hotels in Fussen Germany.

Where to eat in Fussen

There are heaps of places to eat in the Altstadt. Bavarian cuisine is typically served, but other types of cuisine are also available. 

In warmer weather, the restaurants set up their tables and chairs outside on the pedestrianised main street.

Be sure to indulge in afternoon tea at Konditorei Kurcafe next door to (but part of) the Schlosskrone Hotel.  The cakes are to die for!

Where is Fussen?

Fussen is located in the southern German state of Bavaria. It is 133 kilometres from Munich,109 kilometres from Innsbruck (Austria) and 232 kilometres from Zurich (Switzerland).

How to get to Fussen

Below you’ll find a quick summary of how to get to Fussen. You can read our detailed guide on getting from Munich to Fussen here.

By car: The easiest way to reach Fussen is by car. It takes around 1 hour 40 minutes from Munich, 1 hour 25 from Innsbruck and 2 hours 30 from Zurich.

By train: If you’re wondering is Germany safe and easy to travel by public transport, the answer is a resounding yes! Regular trains travel from Munich to Fussen (2 hour journey time), making this a stress-free and relaxing way to get to Fussen.

By organised day tour: If you’d prefer to join an organised tour, day trips to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles are also possible from Munich however many of them don’t spend any length of time in Fussen.  Click here to browse tours and check prices.

Is Fussen Germany Worth Visiting?

Fussen, and the surrounding area, is definitely worth visiting and staying for a few days.

From admiring the attractive buildings of the Old Town to visiting the many nearby castles, exploring the lakes and mountains, or simply sitting at a cafe and treating yourself to a delicious meal and watching the world go by, Fussen is the ideal destination.

Discover more beautiful Bavarian towns to visit in our Bavaria Travel Guide.

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6 reasons to visit Fussen Germany