Fussen: A Guide to Your Home Base for Exploring Southern Bavaria
Fussen is a town in southern Bavaria that makes an excellent home base for travelers who want to explore Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles or the Bavarian Alps, in general. The area around Fussen is gorgeous with the Alps all around you and the German countryside at your doorstep. Fussen has only a few attractions in its own right, but its convenient location and many services make it an attractive place to spend one or more nights. Tourists have many hotels, b&bs, and apartments to choose from, and the plethora of restaurants, cafes, shops, and gelato stands make for relaxing evenings after long days of sightseeing. Here are my recommendations for where to stay, what to see, where to eat, and what day trips to take.
Where to Stay in Fussen
While in Fussen, we stayed at Mein lieber Schwan, an Art Noveau home that’s now divided into a series of four apartments rented by a local family, who also lives in the house. They also own another building in town that contains two other apartments. We spent three nights in the Leda apartment, which was exceptionally large for European standards, nicely decorated with German antiques, and very comfortable. Our apartment had a bedroom, living room, eat in kitchen (with all of the appliances and amenities that you would ever need!), bathroom, and balcony with Alpine views. The apartment was exceptionally quiet and very reasonably priced. There is one free, but tight, parking space available, but instead, we chose to park (for a fee) at the nearby garage, located under the Theresienhof Shopping Mall. The apartment is located on a small side street in the middle of town, with less than a 5 minute walk to restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Sites in Fussen
Early evening is a nice time to walk around town to take in the sites. You’ll see everything in less than an hour. Here are the highlights. For a map of these locations, see the “locations” section below.
- In the center of town are Hotel Hirsch, a pleasant garden, and interesting water sculptures. Across the main street is one of only two stone towers from Fussen’s medieval town walls.
- Head down to the Lech Riverbank for a lovely walk, along Flosser and Stadtbleiche Streets.
- Stop at the Church of the Holy Spirit to take a look at its painted façade.
- Step inside the gates of a former monastery to see what’s now the Fussen Heritage Museum. Even if you won’t want to go inside the museum, step into the courtyard for a look.
- Climb up the hill to see the best sites in Fussen: St. Magnus Basilica and the High Castle. The former home and church of the Bishop of Augsburg dominate the landscape and provide amazing views of town. Be sure to walk into the castle’s courtyard to see how it’s painted to make flat walls look 3D.
Eating in Fussen
For dinner, I highly recommend the following reasonably priced restaurants in Fussen. We ate at both and enjoyed our food and experience tremendously! Both also have menus available in English and other languages.
- Restauarant Ritterstub’n – excellent authentic German food – if the weather is nice, sit in the cozy courtyard in the back
- Schenke & Wirtshaus – delicious traditional Bavarian dishes in very German setting
Eiscafe Hohes Scholoss (Gelato/Italian Ice Cream) – serves the best gelato in town. We went there all three nights that we were in Fussen! And if you’re dairy free, like me, they offer a large variety of delicious sorbets (sorbettos).
For breakfast, we choose to eat on the go. Each day, we stopped into the local REWE supermarket (located in the Theresienhof Shopping Mall) and bought freshly baked bread (they have a whole counter of bread and pastries baked in store!), German sandwich meats, fruits, and snacks to have a delicious meal to take with us. The market also sells pre-made sandwiches at the bread counter in the front of the store.
Day Trips from Fussen
Fussen is a less than 10 minute drive to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. This is extremely convenient because you’ll want to arrive at the castles when they open to avoid the hordes of tourists and tour buses that descend on the site by 9/10:00AM.
Driving distance from Fussen to other destinations:
- Oberammergau & Ettal Monastery – 1 hour
- Zugspitze – 1 hour
- Mittenwald – 90 minutes
Please see my other guides to destinations nearby Fussen:
- Neuschwanstein: How and When to Go
- Oberammergau: A Fairy Tale of a Bavarian Town
- Alpine Coaster Oberammergau: Thrills for the Entire Family!
- Ettal Monastery: Stop to Stare and Stay to Shop
- Mittenwald: Bavaria’s Prettiest Alpine Village
- Zugspitze How to Get to Germany’s Highest Peak and What to See There
- Wieskirche: A Little Piece of Heaven in Bavaria
Locations in Fussen
I have placed all of the locations listed above on a Google My Map that you can access by clicking here.
Alternatively, click on the names of any of the locations below to be taken to specific walking directions.
Mien lieber Schwan is located Augustenstrasse 3 .
Hotel Hirsch and the medieval tower are located at Kaiser-Maximilian-Platz 7.
The Fussen Heritage Museum is located at Lechhalde 3.
The Church of the Holy Spirit is located at Spitalgasse 2.
St. Magnus Basilica and the High Castle are located at Kemptener Str. 1-3
Restauarant Ritterstub’n is located at Ritterstrasse 4 – next door to the restaurant below
Schenke & Wirtshaus is located at Ritterstrasse 6 – next door to the restaurant above
Eiscafé Hohes Schloss is located at Reichenstrasse 14.
The REWE supermarket is located at Kaiser-Maximilian-Platz 5.