It’s Not Just About Neuschwanstein Castle. Exactly What To Do In Spectacular Füssen For An Incredible Vacation

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This guide is your ultimate companion to discovering the rich tapestry of experiences that Füssen, a gem nestled in the heart of Bavaria, has to offer. Most famous for Neuschwanstein Castle which inspired the Disney Castle, Füssen has so much more to offer than this and is worth more than a brief stop.

From its breathtaking landscapes to the historical monuments that whisper tales of bygone eras, we’ve rounded up the top ten activities that make Füssen a must visit destination – and will ensure you want to do more than just visit the famous castle.

Compiling this list wasn’t just about skimming through the surface of popular tourist attractions. We delved deep, conversing with locals, and immersing ourselves in the town and surrounds to unearth the true essence of Füssen.

Our exploration led us from cobblestone streets echoing with history, up the windswept trails of majestic mountains, and into the heart of castles frozen in time. It’s an amazing place.

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Füssen, with its alpine vistas and fairy-tale castles, feels like a world suspended between reality and fantasy. Hiking up rugged hills, marveling at medieval architecture, and soaking in the serene beauty of crystal-clear lakes, you’ll find a town that offers more than just picturesque views. It invites you on an adventure, a journey through time and nature, where every corner tells a story, and every experience leaves a lasting imprint on your heart.

Located at the end (or beginning!) of the Romantic Road, Füssen is also a natural place to visit on your journey through Bavaria.

As we walk you through these top ten Füssen attractions and activities, our aim is to offer more than just a travel itinerary; we’re here to guide you through living stories, exhilarating adventures, and tranquil moments of reflection.

Let us help you weave your own unforgettable narrative in the spectacular setting of Füssen. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply in search of a peaceful retreat, prepare to fall in love with this quaint Bavarian town.

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A Brief History of Füssen

The history of Füssen, a picturesque town nestled in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border, is as captivating as its landscapes. Its origins trace back to the Roman era, evidenced by the Via Claudia Augusta, an ancient Roman road that served as a vital link between the northern plains of the Po River in Italy and the southern regions of the Danube in Germany. This strategic location laid the groundwork for Füssen’s development through the centuries.

In the Middle Ages, Füssen flourished as a center for trade and craftsmanship. The town’s reputation for producing high-quality lutes and violins during the 15th and 16th centuries marked its significance in the musical instrument industry, attracting craftsmen and artists from far and wide. This rich cultural heritage is celebrated in the town to this day, with museums and workshops dedicated to its preservation.


Perhaps the most transformative chapter in Füssen’s history came with the construction of nearby Neuschwanstein Castle in the late 19th century. Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, this fairy-tale castle not only transformed the surrounding landscape but also catapulted the town into global consciousness, drawing visitors eager to explore the castle and its enchanting environs.

Through the years, Füssen has retained its old-world charm while embracing the influx of tourists drawn by its historical sites, natural beauty, and cultural significance. The town’s past, steeped in tradition and innovation, continues to be a beacon for those exploring the depth and breadth of Bavaria’s rich historical tapestry.

Top 10 Incredible Things To Do In Füssen

1. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

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Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is not just a monument; it’s a journey into a fantasy realm. Created by King Ludwig II in the 19th century, this castle embodies the romanticism of the era, mixed with the king’s love for the operas of Richard Wagner.

Perched on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen, its spires and towers emerge from the misty Bavarian forests like a scene from a fairy tale. The interior is also interesting, with intricate designs and lavish furnishings that reveal the king’s vision of a medieval knight’s castle.

The guided tours offer insights into Ludwig’s eccentric mind and the castle’s innovative architecture, making it a masterpiece that has inspired countless tales and even Disney’s Cinderella Castle. Its enchanting allure and breathtaking surroundings justify its spot at the top of the list.

And while I recommend you do far more in Füssen than visit this castle, it is definitely a must visit attraction in Füssen.

2. Explore Hohenschwangau Castle

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Burg Hohenschwangau

Nestled within the same breathtaking landscape as Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau Castle offers a glimpse into the royal childhood of King Ludwig II. Unlike its more famous neighbor, Hohenschwangau exudes a lived-in charm and warmth, showcasing the daily life of Bavarian royalty in the 19th century.

The castle’s interiors are adorned with exquisite frescoes depicting Germanic myths, reflecting Ludwig’s fascination with heroism and romantic tales. A tour here complements the Neuschwanstein experience by providing background on the king’s upbringing and his vision that later shaped Neuschwanstein.

Surrounded by nature trails and the Alpsee Lake, Hohenschwangau stands as a testament to a legacy intertwined with the landscape and lore of Bavaria.

3. Take a Stroll Around Alpsee Lake

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Alpsee Lake, with its crystal-clear waters and encircling mountain scenery, is a natural wonder that captivates everyone who visits. The lake serves as a serene counterpoint to the grandiosity of the nearby castles, offering a place for peaceful reflection or gentle strolls along its shores.

Throughout the seasons, the lake transforms the landscape, from the lush greens of summer to the icy stillness of winter, making it a year-round attraction. The majestic backdrop of the Alps combined with the historical significance of the area enriches the walking experience, making every step a discovery.

Alpsee Lake’s undeniable beauty and tranquility make it a must-visit destination in Füssen.

4. Go Hiking or Take the Cable Car up Tegelberg Mountain

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Taking cable car up Tegelberg Mountain

Tegelberg Mountain offers an escape into the beauty of the Bavarian Alps, whether you’re up for an invigorating hike or prefer a more leisurely ascent via the cable car. The mountain presents a network of trails that lead adventurers through forests and meadows, unfolding stunning views and hidden spots perfect for nature lovers.

For those who wish to save their energy or simply enjoy the panoramic vistas without the hike, the Tegelbergbahn cable car provides a convenient and scenic ride to the top. Once at the summit, visitors are greeted with sweeping panoramas of the surrounding landscape, including Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles nestled in the distant valleys.

The cable car ride adds an element of accessibility and variety, ensuring all visitors can experience the mountain’s majestic beauty.

Whether you’re hiking up the trails or gliding through the air, Tegelberg Mountain is a destination that promises adventure and awe-inspiring sights.

5. Visit the Museum of the Bavarian Kings

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Museum of the Bavarian Kings

The Museum of the Bavarian Kings explores the rich history of Bavaria’s royal lineage, focusing on the Wittelsbach family which shaped the region’s destiny for centuries.

Positioned elegantly on the banks of the Alpsee, the museum presents an informative and engaging narrative of royal life, politics, and culture. Through a collection of personal artifacts, portraits, and interactive exhibits, visitors gain insights into the lives of influential monarchs, including King Ludwig II.

The museum’s modern design and picturesque setting enhance the learning experience, bridging the past with the present. Exploring this museum offers a deeper understanding of the historical context behind Füssen’s magnificent castles and the region’s royal heritage.

6. Indulge in the Old Town Charm

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Füssen Old Town

Wandering through Füssen’s Old Town is like stepping back in time. The area’s well-preserved medieval architecture, including the High Palace and St. Mang’s Abbey, serves as a vibrant backdrop to the town’s rich history.

The High Palace, one of Bavaria’s largest and best-preserved late Gothic castles, showcases remarkable Illusionist paintings on its exterior walls, while St Mang’s Abbey houses a fascinating museum dedicated to the town’s history and art.

The lively pedestrian streets, filled with cafes, boutiques, and artisan shops, invite visitors to leisurely explore and soak in the culture.

Füssen’s Old Town is not just a place but an experience, blending historical grandeur with lively contemporary culture.

7. Relax at the Lechfall


Just a short walk from Füssen’s center, the Lechfall offers a tranquil natural retreat. This small but picturesque waterfall marks where the Lech River cascades over rocks, creating a calming ambiance that’s perfect for unwinding.

The surrounding area, with its walking paths and viewing platforms, allows visitors to appreciate the natural beauty and the soothing sounds of flowing water.

The Lechfall is a testament to the power and beauty of nature, providing a serene spot for reflection and relaxation, away from the bustle of tourist attractions. Its accessibility and natural charm make it an ideal stop for visitors seeking a moment of peace.

8. Experience the Wieskirche


The Wieskirche is a jewel of Rococo architecture, set amidst the verdant meadows of the Bavarian countryside. This Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour is famed for its miraculous statue of Jesus Christ, which has drawn pilgrims since the 18th century.

The church’s interior is a masterpiece of rococo art, with elaborate frescoes and stucco work that dazzle the eyes. Being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Wieskirche is recognized not only for its spiritual significance but also for its architectural beauty and artistry.

A visit here offers a glimpse into the deeply-rooted faith and cultural heritage of Bavaria, making it an unforgettable part of the Füssen experience.

9. Enjoy Water Activities at Forggensee Lake

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Forggensee Lake, as one of the largest lakes in Bavaria, provides a playground for water enthusiasts. During the warmer months, the lake comes alive with activities ranging from sailing and windsurfing to leisurely boat cruises.

Its expansive waters are bordered by picturesque cycling and walking paths, offering various ways to explore the area. The lake not only provides recreational opportunities but also serves as an important reservoir for the region.

The changing water levels reveal different aspects of the landscape throughout the seasons, adding to its allure. Forggensee’s combination of natural beauty and recreational diversity secures its spot on the list of top things to do in Füssen.

10. Delve Into the Violin Making Tradition

Füssen’s legacy as a center for violin and lute making dates back to the 16th century, marking it as one of Europe’s earliest hubs for string instrument craftsmanship. The town’s museum dedicated to this art form offers visitors a unique insight into the skilled craft that defined Füssen’s cultural and economic life for centuries.

Through historical instruments, live demonstrations, and interactive exhibits, the museum celebrates the town’s contribution to music history. Exploring this tradition provides a deeper appreciation for Füssen’s cultural heritage, highlighting the intertwining of craftsmanship, art, and history.


How To Get To Füssen

Traveling to Füssen from elsewhere in Germany offers an enjoyable journey through some of the most beautiful landscapes the country has to offer. Nestled at the foothills of the Alps, near the Austrian border, Füssen is a gateway to majestic castles and breathtaking natural sceneries.

If you’re starting your journey from Munich, the regional train (Bayerische Regiobahn) can whisk you directly to Füssen in about two hours. Trains run frequently, offering a comfortable and scenic route. Gaze out the window and watch as the urban landscape gradually gives way to lush Bavarian countryside and alpine vistas.

For those coming from further afield, consider making your way to Munich or Augsburg first. Both cities are well-connected by Germany’s extensive rail network. From there, you can catch one of the regular trains heading to Füssen. It’s an easy connection, making the trip straightforward no matter where you’re starting.

Driving to Füssen offers its own rewards, with the German autobahn providing a swift and efficient way to travel. The A7 highway leads directly to Füssen, offering stunning alpine views as you approach. Remember, though, to check for any vignette requirements if your journey takes you into Austria, even briefly.

If you prefer bus travel, check out the long-distance bus services that connect major German cities with Füssen. Comfortable and cost-effective, these buses can be a great alternative, especially for those on a tighter budget.


Final Words

In your exploration of Füssen, you’ll discover that this quaint Bavarian town offers more than just a stepping stone to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. It is a treasure trove of history, natural beauty, and cultural richness waiting to be uncovered. From the serene lakes and majestic mountains to the historical castles and the vibrant old town, every moment in Füssen feels like a page from a storybook, promising unforgettable experiences at every turn.

Whether you’re scaling the Tegelberg Mountain, marveling at the craftsmanship of ancient luthiers, or simply soaking in the panoramic views, Füssen is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart, beckoning you to return to its charm time and again.

Find more guides to Southern Germany here or click here to read about Würzburg which is also on the Romantic Road or here for Augsburg. If you love the outdoors, don’t miss our guide to the best national parks in Germany here. You can also read our cheeky guide to why you shouldn’t visit Bavaria here.

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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