Day 2 – Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle, Munich
Read all about Day 1 – here!
I highly recommend Füssen for a stopover to visit Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles, and the beautiful surrounding area. What little we saw of Füssen seemed very nice. It’s what you think a small town in Germany will be like. I hope to get back there soon and spend more than the few hours we had.
Ruchti’s Hotel and Restaurant was a nice place to lay our heads, and the woman that checked us in was cheerful and was dressed in a traditional German dirndl. We paid €94 for our one night stay.
After we got the sleep we so desperately needed, we fired up the car, headed into Füssen, navigated a few roundabouts, crossed the Lech River, and about 5 minutes later we were pulling up to the parking lot for one of our trip’s main attractions – Neuschwanstein Castle!
Neuschwanstein, built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and completed in 1886, has been a must see for me since I was a kid, and I was very excited, especially with the Monday weather being absolutely perfect.
We got over to the castle early so we could take some pictures, parked the car in the lot at the bottom of the hill, and headed up the path to the castle.
We bought tickets (€12 at that time) and we were in the first group to enter the castle for the tour when it opened. All in all the inside tour was pretty cool, but being a history fanatic I had hoped to hear something on the tour about the significant role the castle played during World War II, but it wasn’t even mentioned.
If you’re wondering what history I’m talking about, or you may have seen the movie Monuments Men, I got you covered. Head on over to this post for the history you won’t hear on the tour.
If you go to the castle, plan on spending a few hours. You’ll need it to tour the castle and explore the trails all around. In all honesty, I enjoyed the outside of the castle and the surrounding area much more than the actual tour of the inside. The only downside to some of the views was that they were doing some exterior renovations at the time, so the tarps and scaffolding star in some of the pictures.
A must-do while you’re there is to hike over to Marienbrücke Bridge for the iconic shot of Neuschwanstein with Lake Forggensee in the background. We got lucky that there wasn’t a big crowd since it was still early and we were able to get some nice pictures.
Travel Realized tip of the day – get to Neuschwanstein before the tour buses arrive!!
The hike over to Marienbrücke has the added bonus of an incredible view down to Hohenschwangau Castle and the lakes and mountains beyond.
After we left the castle, we had some lunch at one of the small restaurants at the bottom of the hill, then we jumped in the car and looked for a place on the lower plain to fly our drone. We parked along Colomanstraße and tried to get a few shots of the castle. Unfortunately, the early afternoon sun was making the angle tough, so we weren’t able to get the shots we hoped for.
Personally, I would have liked to have waited all day for the perfect shot, but we were on a tight schedule, so the sun won this battle!
It’s worth noting that just around the corner from the castle, and the road we were flying the drone from, is the Tegelberg Cable Car Station. We didn’t have time to do it, but I can imagine the views of the castle and lake must be insane from the top of the mountain. There is also an Alpine tobaggan run that looks pretty cool.
When we were planning this trip we decided we wanted to have a car so we could stop wherever we wanted, but the reality is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to see and do all there is to do along the way.
After spending a few glorious hours at Neuschwanstein (I really can’t recommend it enough), we loaded back into the car, picked up the A95 and headed towards our next stop, Munich, about 2 hours and 120km east.
For me, just driving the back country roads in Germany and Austria was a lot of fun. There was never too much traffic, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. I grew up in Central New York State, and the rolling hills and small towns of Bavaria reminded me a lot of where I grew up. Traffic picked up the closer we got to Munich, but that was to be expected.
We had a one night reservation using 16,000 Choice points at the Star Inn München Schwabing by Comfort, just north of downtown Munich, so we found our way there, got checked in, and then headed out for some dinner.
Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned to spend much time in Munich either on this trip, but it’s another place I hope to see more of soon. The list of places to return to grows longer every day!
Next up – Day 3 – Dachau Concentration Camp, and then on to the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Salzburg, Austria