Hohenschwangau is a village about 5km away from Füssen, Bavaria, Germany. At the bottom of the hill you can find the Hohenschwangau Castle, and the top of the hill sits the Neuschwanstein Castle. I’ve been here last year but the snow on early January caused the Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge) to be closed. Although everything was dreamy as what I have remembered, I still said, I am coming back here when the bridge is open, and maybe spend two days in the area instead of one. My main goal: to get a “Disney Shot” of the Castle from the bridge.
Day 1 (May 2, 2017) – Castles
The trip was a lil’ over 5 hours by train from our place. It was raining when we left Erlangen and thought it would really be a bad day for the trip but Gott sei Dank, the sun showed up by the time we reached Füssen… around 4 PM. That’s pretty late, so after we checked in, we headed straight to Hohenschwangau. We planned not to do the guided tours and just to stroll around the Castles. And of course, take a lot of pictures 😀 So finally, at the very first day, I obtained my goal. Here’s the “Disney Shot” of Neuschwanstein Castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Dreams do come true. The long train travel was all worth it to see this Fairy-tale Castle with my own eyes. The Neuschwanstein Castle of Late King Ludwig II is the inspiration of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Today, it is one of the most popular palaces and castles in Europe, hosting 1.4 million people every year.
Ahh.. Scaffolds.. 😦 Renovation work at the Gateway Building is scheduled for completion by autumn 2017. So a frontal photo with the Facade wouldn’t look too pretty. TIP: Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle Website before your trip. It’ll give you important information such as repairs and renovations, scaffolding, closing of Marienbrücke, etc.
And of course, it’s not just about the Neuschwanstein Castle. The view that you’ll see at the top of the hill is just beautiful.
So what about “the other Castle”? Hohenschwangau Castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II. Compared to Neuschwanstein, the palace hosts more than 300,000 visitors from all over the world each year.
Day 2 (May 3, 2017) – Wanderung and Alpensee
It was our last day in Füssen and was hoping for sunrise with the Alps. But gloomy skies, fog and rain welcomed us for our early morning walk. Turned out, the weather is just perfect for this picture of Lechfall. This was my first attempt of that “silky look waterfall”. Mind you, I had a book opened that time. 😀
And here’s the Old Town of Füssen at early morning.
And finally, the sun started to show up while we’re heading back to the hotel for breakfast and checkout. Really, that was a pretty short walk.
After checking out of the hotel, we headed to Hohes Schloss or High Castle. It dominates the cityscape of Füssen, like you can see the building almost everywhere. I know, it is one of the most important profane buildings of German late Gothic architecture in Füssen, but we just didn’t find it that great. If you are into Arts, there’s a mini museum at the top of the Schloss. But if you don’t have much time left, you can skip this place.
Afterwards, we headed out for a short Wanderung in the woods. The fresh air around the Alps is just Prima. And I’ve got a lucky shot of this fellow here.
It would be too late to go to Forggensee, plus there were no boat trips. So we decided to go back to Hohenschwangau and visit Lake Alpensee. And Oh!! That place is to behold. The Lake is just a short walk away from Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle. TIP: DO NOT SKIP ALPENSEE. After climbing the hills to the Castles and surviving the height of Marienbrücke, lay some time for recovery by the Lake. It’s really beautiful. The clear waters, the wild swans, the Alps, the vast trees… everything is just gorgeous.
And here’s to closing the trip. While waiting for the bus to take us to the Train Station, this happened ♥. Hooray for the fog, it made the Neuschwanstein Castle look so dreamy.
My Thoughts: As what I said, the very first visit of the Castles last year was so dreamy. The Snow, the Lights, the Glühwein… it seemed so perfect. But the second time around is a different experience. We wanted to stay two days around the area, but the mistake on our part this time was, we didn’t plan ahead of time. The second day was just bleh.. The Old Town of Füssen looks just like any other Altstadt in Germany, or even I would say, not that great. I mean, if you traveled across the world, I would not recommend strolling around the town. I would say, you can skip visiting: St. Mang Basilica, Hohes Schloss and Lechfall. There are more interesting things such as:
Forggenseeschifffahrt – Ship Tours on Lake Forggen. Round trips from June to October.
Tegelbergbahn – The Tegelberg is a distinctive mountain on the edge of the Alps, The tram is a little pricey but at the top of the mountain, you will see a unique panorama of the Allgäu and Tyrolean Alps. If you are into Sports, you can do Hiking, Paragliding, Toboggan.
I know this blog is pretty long already but if you’re planning to visit the place, here are my few TIPS.
- Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle Website before your trip. It’ll give you important information such as repairs and renovations, scaffolding, closing of Marienbrücke, etc.
- Weekends, Vacations and Holidays- The place is always full, that means: trains, buses, Marienbrücke, long lines for the Tickets for guided tours.
- Although buses run regularly, the last trip from the Castle to Füssen is around 8pm.
- If you don’t want to wait for buses, BIKE RENTAL is also available. You can avail it at the Train Station.
- If you are not staying overnight but got a heavy luggage with you, LOCKERS ARE AVAILABLE at reasonable prices at the train station.
- Book your hotel ahead of time if you are staying overnight. Although, if you walk a lil’ farther from the City Center of Füssen, you will still see Hotels and Inns, and probably at a cheaper price.
- Food at Hohenschwangau – The higher you go up the hill, the pricier it gets. At the very bottom of the Hill sits Königlicher Imbiss. Food is great and cheaper, plus unlimited Ketchup and Mayo for Schnitzels. Alpen Stuben Imbiss – Schnitzel was thin, hard, and tasted old. Pricier and will have to pay extra for condiments. Hotel Müller Bistro – Do not enter this place. The cakes were hard and sour, the Tea is cheap. I’m sorry, but the food just tasted bad. I even overheard the neighbors complaining about the food.
- Check out the following links:
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle by Public Transport (Bus and Train)
Ticket Center for Guided Tours and Reservations
As the Germans say: Reisen bildet or in English, Travels broadens the mind. So what have we learned? Don’t let the weather spoil your days of vacations. The weather around the Alps changes drastically. It rained and the fog was heavy during our stay in Füssen, but we still had fun.