Germany travel guide: the city of Füssen.

Fuessen

Füssen (Germany) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Füssen with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

City of Füssen (Germany)

Füssen is a city in Germany in southern Bavaria, located between Lake Constance and the Bavarian Alps. It is known primarily for its castle and its close proximity to the fabulous Neuschwanstein, which is a few kilometers to the east. Füssen is a beautiful small town with a romantic atmosphere, which in the past was famous for its violins.

Things to do (Füssen):

Füssen - the romantic soul of Bavaria

€100 per excursion

Füssen – the romantic soul of Bavaria

Explore the medieval center of Germany’s southernmost city with a guide.

Geography and climate

Füssen is located in southern Bavaria in the historic Swabian region on the border of Germany and Austria. This tiny town sits on the banks of the River Lech, which forms Lake Forggensee in this area. Füssen has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold (quite snowy) winters. The city lies in a picturesque area in the vicinity of beautiful alpine lakes, the Ammer mountains and magnificent castles.

Panorama of the city

Panorama of the city

For tourists

  1. Population – about 14 thousand people.
  2. Area – 43.52 km².
  3. Currency – euro.
  4. Language: German.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. The time is Central European (UTC +1, in summer +2).
  7. In Füssen ends the famous Romantic Road. Also the city is a starting point for visiting the Tyrol.

History

Füssen has been known since the 3rd century AD as a Roman military camp, near which the road of Claudius Augustus ran. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, these areas were occupied by the Germans. In the 8th century St. Magnus founded a Benedictine abbey in Füssen, which became an important pilgrimage site. In the 14th century, the Augsburg bishops’ residence was built in the city. In the Middle Ages, Füssen prospered through trade (especially salt) and was an important religious center.

Fuessen

Füssen in winter

In the 16th century, violins and lutes began to be produced in Füssen. Local craftsmen were famous for their musical instruments throughout Europe. In subsequent centuries, the city lost its importance. The reason for this was the wars that severely damaged trade and its economy. At the beginning of the 19th century, Füssen became part of Bavaria. Now the city is known as one of the main balneological and natural resorts in southern Germany. A large part of the tourist popularity is also due to the proximity of Füssen to the magnificent royal castles.

How to get there

Direct trains run between Füssen and Munich every two hours, though perhaps the cheapest way to get here is by bus tours, which can be found in most Southern Bavarian cities.

From Munich to Füssen you take the A 96, then exit at Landsberg Ost and follow the B 17. From Augsburg to Füssen you should also take the B 17.

Attractions

The Alstadt of Füssen

Alstadt Füssen

Crochet Füssen has a magnificent old town (Alstadt), which is as if drawn by the hand of an artist. It is a beautiful historical ensemble, including Baroque churches, old Gothic houses and sections of medieval walls with towers. The historic center of Füssen is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved in all of Germany. It has the wonderful spirit of past centuries and the charming atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

One of the best ways to experience a new place is to head to a local bar. The Bierstube at the Hirsch Hotel is a charming, traditional Bavarian brasserie that serves local cuisine and excellent draft beer.

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

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Neuschwanstein (or “New Swan Castle”) is a fabulous neo-Romanesque castle built on a rocky cliff in the 19th century by the “mad” Bavarian King Ludwig II near the town of Füssen. This bizarre architectural creation is considered one of the symbols of Germany. The spires and towers of the castle rise above the forest and the lake. Behind them opens up a stunning panorama of the Bavarian Alps. The castle has luxurious interiors inspired by heroic legends and romantic literature.

Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau is a magnificent neo-Gothic castle in the style of the Romantic era, set amidst picturesque Bavarian forests. This building was built by the famous Bavarian king Ludwig II on the site of a dilapidated medieval castle. Hohenschwangau is famous for its magnificent interiors, decorated with scenes from medieval legends, as well as its original furniture from the 19th century.

High Palace

High Palace

The High Palace rises above the medieval alleys of Füssen. This castle was formerly the seat of the bishops of Augsburg and was founded in the 14th century. It is regarded as one of the largest and best preserved late Gothic castle complexes in Swabia, offering a combination of rich history and a wonderful atmosphere. Also part of it is the chapel, which has the title of “the tallest in Germany”.

St. Magnus Abbey

St. Magnus Abbey

St. Magnus Abbey is a magnificent Baroque complex of the former Benedictine monastery, founded back in the 8th century. In addition to the basilica, which is the largest and most imposing of the many religious baroque buildings in the old town, the oldest surviving frescoes in Bavaria can be seen here. It is located in the eastern crypt and dates back to the second half of the 10th century. There is also a heritage museum within the abbey walls.

Church of the Holy Spirit

Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit is an attractive Baroque building with beautiful frescoes, built between 1748 and 1749.

Wieskirche

Viskirche

The Viskirche is an 18th-century pilgrimage church that is one of the greatest masterpieces of Rococo architecture. The church is located in the village of Vis and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interesting tours

Nuremberg through the ages

€95 per excursion

Nuremberg through the ages

Hear the history of the most interesting places in the Old Town and get valuable advice from locals

On both sides of the barricades: A walk through Berlin

€110 per excursion

On both sides of the barricades: a walking tour of Berlin

3 hours to discover Berlin’s history and see its key sights

Fussen, Germany: sights, how to get there

Füssen, Germany is a small old town located in the Algoy Alps at 800 meters above sea level. Ornate painted houses, medieval churches and ancient castles have made it one of the most beautiful cities in Bavaria, and the picturesque mountain scenery, the clearest lakes and natural springs make it a sought-after climatic resort.

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Embankment in Füssen

General information

Füssen, located on the banks of the river Lech in the Swabian state, is a cozy town with just over 15,000 inhabitants. Located in close proximity to the Austrian border, it allows easy access to the neighboring Tyrol and is a popular tourist destination in the Alps.

However, Fussen itself also has something to be proud of. Mineral water sources, curative mud and well-developed sanatorial and health-improving infrastructure have made it one of the best European resorts, which annually receives about 100 thousand people.

What is interesting, rest here is good at any time of year, because the quiet and windless weather in Füssen rarely presents unpleasant surprises. The temperature is around +26°C in summer and rarely drops below -5°C in winter. July is the hottest month, while January is the coolest. The rains are frequent, but not prolonged.

Monthly temperatures in Füssen

The moderate mild climate, pleasant atmosphere and an unhurried schedule of local residents make this place a good resort for both older people, and for those who are tired of the urban bustle and want to enjoy measured strolls and quiet contemplation of the city sights. But that doesn’t mean that only misanthropes and pensioners come here. Young and active tourists will also find something to do. There are good conditions for ecological tourism, as well as biking and sailing. In addition, with the onset of winter the town becomes a center of skiing holidays, where steep professional tracks are combined with gentle slopes for beginners.

View of Füssen from above

But the beautiful nature and the wide range of activities are not the only pride of this small town. The city of Füssen in Germany is famous for its unusual architecture and lots of historical sights, which cause constant tourist interest. On entering it you will be met with an unusual fountain, which is a huge stone pillars, splashing water directly on the sidewalk. In the intense heat everyone can take a refreshing dip under them. Most of the houses and public buildings of the city have unique window frames and bright triangular roofs. What’s more, they’re all decorated using the Lüftlmalerei technique, a traditional Bavarian-style mural, which involves painting Baroque paintings directly on wet plaster. This technique makes monograms, balconies, mirrors, galleries, clocks, and even entire paintings appear on the completely smooth walls of the facades. This makes the buildings look festive and ornate.

Attractions

Bavarians are very sensitive to their natural and historical heritage, so all sights of Füssen in Germany are in a truly ideal condition. Let us take a look at the most popular attractions.

Old Town of Füssen

Altstadt von Fuessen is the historical part of Fuessen, founded back in the days of the Holy Roman Empire. Here you can see everything that should have a classic German settlement – the remains of fortress walls, the town hall with the old clock, the city gates and a lot of beautiful buildings from the Middle Ages. There is also its own market square in the old town, which the locals nicknamed the Bread Market, and a luxurious palace, which now houses the Museum der Stadt Fussen, and the Franciscan monastery, and the ruins of a Roman villa.

The center of the Altstadt von Fuessen is represented by the pedestrian street Reichenstrasse, through which in former times the great Roman road ran. Today it is the richest street in the city, teeming with old painted houses, brand-name stores, with souvenir shops and cozy restaurants offering the best culinary masterpieces of Bavarian and European cuisine. However, the most popular are the traditional German sausages with brezzel and sweet mustard, the apple strudel with vanilla cream and the meatloaf Fleischkäse.

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View of the Old Town

Other buildings in the Old Town include the one-nave Church of St. Nicholas, the interior of which is represented by ancient frescos, moldings, figures of angels, a beautiful marble altar and a sculpture of St. Nicholas of Myra, the main patron of the temple.

No less worthy of attention is the old city pharmacy, which is rightly called the most beautiful building of Altstadt von Fuessen. Its main characteristic feature is the old painting, which creates the effect of the full presence of Baroque decorations.

The Old Town ends with the St. Magnus Fountain, a five-meter tall structure in the shape of a stone bowl. In the center of this pedestal is a pillar, the top of which is crowned by the figure of a priest fighting a terrible dragon.

St. Magnus Monastery

Looking at the photos of Füssen in the tourist brochures, you’ll probably notice the monastery of St. Magnus, founded in the middle of the 12th century and named after the famous Bavarian missionary. Over the years the monastery building underwent several architectural changes. Thus after a couple of centuries a small basilica appeared which was decorated in the Italian Baroque style and is considered one of the most beautiful sights in the city.

The walls of this majestic construction are decorated with artistic paintings telling about the life and deeds of the great preacher, the lower tier – with marble medallions, and the vaults – with luxurious medieval stucco. But perhaps most historically valuable is the church crypt, located under the main altar. It is there that for centuries the main monastic relics have been preserved: the incorruptible relics of St. Magnus, as well as his cross, staff and chalice.

St. Magnus Monastery inside

Of equal interest are the other monastic premises – the Knights’ Hall with its columns, the Oval Library and the City Museum, which has hundreds of unique items on display. Among them, the most popular are a series of paintings “The Dance of Death”, an exhibition of ancient coffins and a collection of various musical instruments (violins, lutes, etc.). By the way, another surprise awaits music lovers – not only chamber, but also jazz concerts are regularly held in the Princely Hall of the monastery.

And also in the building of the city museum operates a small library, the ceilings and walls of which are painted by hand. There are many handwritten books, interesting medieval publications and ancient folios kept within its walls.

The location is Lechhalde 3, 87629 Fussen.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is literally the most famous castle in Füssen, with about 1.5 million visitors a year from all over the world. Located at the foot of the Alps, it looks as if it was written in a children’s book. Snow-white walls, sharp contrast to the red entrance gate, pointed towers, lots of carved balconies and semicircular windows – it was Neuschwanstein that became the prototype of the fairytale palace from Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Hours of operation:

  • 04/01 – 10/15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m;
  • 16.10 – 31.03: from 10:00 to 16:00.
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The castle is open every day except 24.12, 25.12, 31.12 and 01.01.

You can get into it only with a guided tour, the cost of which ranges from 12 to 26 € depending on the type of ticket.

Location: Neuschwansteinstrasse 20, 87645 Hohenschwangau.

For more information about the castle, see this article.

Lake Alat

Hidden in the middle of the Bavarian Alps, Lake Alat, 4.5 km from the city, is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Füssen, Germany. With its modest size (490/290 m) Lake Alat is more than 30 m deep. But its main characteristic feature is a 15-meter layer, inhabited by various representatives of flora and fauna. Particular attention among them deserves the photosynthesizing purple bacteria, which not only saturate the water with oxygen, but also dye it a beautiful purple hue. But everything that goes below is a dead zone – due to the lack of oxygen, there are almost no living creatures there.

Location: 87629, Fussen.

Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau Castle, whose name translates as high swan edge, is located near the village of Schwangau. Hidden in the middle of a dense coniferous forest, it is one of the most interesting sights not only in Füssen, but the whole of Bavaria. Visitors never tire of admiring both the facade with its elaborate bas-reliefs and the rich interior, with its medieval frescoes and original furniture from the mid-19th century. Visitors can only enter Hohenschwangau Castle in a group – the guided tour lasts 30 minutes and is conducted in English and German.

Location: Alpseestrabe 30, Hohenschwangau.

A detailed description of the castle with photos look at this page.

Waterfall on the Lech

The description of the sights of Füssen with photos completes Lechfall, an artificial waterfall that arose on this site during the construction of a dam. Passing all 5 steps, the turbulent waters of Lechfall fall directly into the gorge, which, unlike the dam itself, is of quite natural origin.

You can come to the waterfall on foot or by car. Nearby there is a fenced observation deck and a small kiosk that sells tea, coffee and other drinks. The Marienbrücke bridge over the river at the waterfall offers a beautiful view of Neuschwanstein castle.

Location: Fussen Outskirts.

Tip! Free maps and brochures for hiking trails are available at the Information Center, right in the center of town.

Where to stay?

Hotel in Füssen

There are plenty of hotels, hostels, campsites, guesthouses and apartments to rent for the day. Most of them are centrally located or within walking distance of the city’s main attractions. The cost of a 2-bed room in a 3 * hotel starts from 60 € per day. Apartments for rent for the same period will cost about 150 €.

How to get from Munich?

If you know how to get from Munich to Füssen, then take one of these ways.

It’s also worth noting that you can also get here by your own or rented car. In this case you should take the autobahn A7 and federal roads B310, B17, B16, and B179 (the last one is coming from Austria).

Advice! Deciding to come here with a Bavarian ticket, don’t forget to check the train schedule Munich – Füssen in advance. Due to the limited validity of this travel card you can leave Munich no earlier than 9 am and come back no later than midnight.

All prices on this page are for August 2019.

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Interesting facts

When talking about the city of Füssen, Germany, it is impossible not to recall a few curious facts about its history:

  1. Füssen is the terminus of the famous “Romantic Road” that runs through the whole of Bavaria.
  2. A commercial for Milka chocolates was filmed on the banks of the Lech.
  3. By the way, the cow is the main symbol of the city. Postcards with the image of joyful cows, as well as cow bells, are sold in every souvenir shop. Moreover, the bas-relief of this animal can be seen even on the central city square.
  4. Füssen’s most unusual theater stands on the shore of the island. Forgensee. Instead of the traditional curtains it has a glass backdrop, directly overlooking the lake, which at night is lit with powerful floodlights.
  5. Füssen coat of arms is a gold shield, on the background of which are drawn 3 running legs. The exact origin of this symbol remains unknown, but most historians link it with the old Roman road, which went through the Alps and played the role of a large trade route. However, opponents of this version claim that the feet on the coat of arms symbolizes either the course of history, or the rotation of the Sun.
  6. There are plenty of pubs, cafes, and eateries in the city, but most tourists look specifically for the Gasthof “KRONE”, a themed restaurant decorated in the style of medieval knighthood. Here it is customary to eat by hand, wiping dirty fingers on huge paper bibs.
  7. The first name of Füssen is Foetibus (from the German word for foot). During the 400-year history of the city it was changed five times. First it was Fozen, then – Fozin, then – Fuozzen, after him – Füzzen and finally – Füssen.

A visit to the souvenir shops in Füssen, useful tips and a bird’s eye view video of Bavaria:

Author: Olga Sheiko

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Thanks for the article! I’m about to go, wondering how to spend my time there in the most interesting way possible. Also found a lot of interesting things about Füssen and the surrounding area.

Hello,I would like to visit you with my son,now we are in Poland,thank you

Good day Alena! Unfortunately, we do not deal with any activities related to tourism or migration of citizens. On this site, we only provide information. You should contact another organization.

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