Fussen or Schwangau?

Old Jul 28th, 2003, 09:11 AM
  #1  
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Fussen or Schwangau?

We are going to Germany and Austria for our 25th anniversary in September. Renting a car in the Salzburg/Alps area for one week but not in Germany. Want to go from Munich to the castle area and spend 2 nights in either Fussen or Schwangau so I have some questions regaring hotels and transporation:

1. Which town is better for a base? We will NOT have a car in this area. 2 nights really only means one full day to sightsee (tour the castles).

2. Hotel recommendations (wouldn't mind having a room with a castle view!)

3. If we stay in Schwangau what is the best way to get there from the Fussen train station? We travel light and don't mind walking but would rather not if it is more than a couple of miles or on very steep roads.

4. Should we buy advance castle tour tickets via their internet web site?

Any other advice would be much appreciated!

abbekit is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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The best hotel with Neuschwanstein views is the Hotel Mueller (no relation). We stayed there a few years ago and had a beautiful classic view of the castle from our balcony (also from the bathroom, believe it or not). The hotel is right at the foot of Hohenschwangau, which was Ludwig's ancestral home. Also, the lake that you see in so many Neuschwanstein foregrounds is about a ten minute walk from the hotel.

Although Mueller's are a dime a dozen in Germany, they got a kick out of an American Mueller staying at the hotel. They upgraded our room because the hotel was only about one-third full.

Their website is
http://www.hotel-mueller.de/45.html

I would not plan on walking from Fussen with luggage.

If you are going within a week or two of Octoberfest in Munich, I would consider getting castle tickets in advance.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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We stayed here last year (late June). Best breakfast we had in all of Europe.

http://www.neuschwanstein-hotel.com/
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 01:42 PM
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I would stay in either Fussen or Hohenschwangau. If you stay in Fussen, then you just need one cab or bus ride to Hohenschwangau to see the castles and then return. If you stay in Hohenschwangau, you also need just one cab or bus ride from Fussen to your hotel or pension (and then return at the end). If you stay in Schwangau you need cab or bus to Schwangau from Fussen. Then cab from Schwangau to Hohenschwangau and back. And then to Fussen again.

There are several nice pensions and hotels in Hohenschwangau within walking distance of the ticket center. We stayed at Pension Albrecht--64 euro double with breakfast, modern bath en suite, free parking (for those with cars), and Neuschwanstein overhead.

Definitely stay in either Fussen or Hohenschwangau. By the way, a car would be very nice as there's a lot of things you can see in a short time by car that you won't be able to see otherwise.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for the hotel suggestions. In looking at the websites for all recommedations it looks like we can get a suite at the Pension Albrecht with a balcony with "fantastic castle view" for the same price as a standard non-view room at the Mueller or Lisl.. Since this will be the last few days of our trip we don't want to spend too much money so I'm tempted by that deal. Any more info on the Albrecht (called the "Romantic Pension Neuschwanstein" on www.albrecht-neuschwanstein.de)??

I think the advise to pre-book castle tickets is good since it's Oktoberfest time (and also we will be there on a weekend). Should I assume that early morning or late afternoon tours will be less crowded? Are English language tours offered all day long?

Thanks again.

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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 08:17 PM
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I would definitely recommend staying in Hohenschwangau. We stayed at the Pension Weiher (tel & FAX: 08362/81161) with a possible website of
www.bavariaben.com/pensionweiher.html
It too has a fantastic view of Neuschwanstein from the room balcony. Cost us 54E for two in May this year. You don't need fancier hotels. Hohenschwangau is only three streets by three streets and these pensions offer you the best view of Neuschwanstein.

There are MANY tours of the two castles. The tour of each castle is only 30 minutes long and tour groups are criss crossing each other - that's how many there are. Defnitely get the tickets first, as you may not get the ones you want if you plan on buying them on site.

You should probably do Hohenschwangau first - then you are given about one and a half hours to get to the other castle, Newschwanstein. You will need this time, whether you walk, go by bus, by carriage, etc. It's a long hike, so have good walking shoes. I also recommend walking, especially along the paths that are only for foot and bicycle traffic.

Try and fit in Marienbrucke at the end. This is the bridge that affords you a fantastic view of Neuschwanstein.

You should plan on four to five hours for both castles as a minimum. That's why staying in Hohenschwangau - at least for the night before the tours - would be a good idea.

This is a very remote and beautiful part of Germany.

If you can, read ahead about Wagnerian operas, about Parsifal in particular as he was the Swan (Schwan) Knight. The guides do not have the time to explain the beautiful paintings to you.

Enjoy your visit! Great castles!
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:06 AM
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Wherever you end up staying, if you want an unobstructed castle view be sure tht you specify exactly that. It's not likely that every room in any of these places has that perfect view.

What else would you like to know about Pension Albrecht?
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the new info. Do I need to specify WHICH castle I want to be able to see from my balcony, I guess I assumed that "castleview" would mean Neuschwanstien. The room at Pension Weiher sounds perfect. I just figured out Bavarian Ben's new website is www.bensbauernhof.com and there is a review of the Weiher. Does anyone know if all other their rooms have castle views and balconies? Also same question for the Albrecht Neuschwanstein.

Another question about the castle tours. Since we are staying two nights does is make sense to only tour one castle each day? Or perhaps one in the morning and another in the afternoon? I see it's a little cheaper to get a one day combo ticket but maybe it would be less hectic to spread out our touring.

Also thanks for the suggestion on Parsifal. We are opera goers but not big Wagner fans but have seen the Ring Cycle but not Parsifal.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Both castles can easily be done in one day unless you are infirm in some way. Trying to remember the layout of the Albrecht--I know several rooms do have a view of Neuschwanstein, but don't think all of them do. Though, to tell the truth, we spent so little time in our room that beyond enjoying the sight of Neuschwanstein for a few minutes each morning will my Frau applied her warpaint, it wouldn't be a huge deciding factor for me if I went again.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Not infirm, but after a two weeks of travel including a week of hiking and sightseeing in the Austria Alps we will be ready for a slower pace. We are the exception to the rule, we actually DO spend time in our hotel so we like having a nice place to stay. Not necessary to have an expensive resort but do like charming ambience. Do you recall if the Albrecht has nice areas in the main part of the house (or outside if the weather permits) for reading and relaxing?

Would be nice if we could avoid some of the daytripper crowds at the castles so still trying to determine the best time slots to book for our tour tickets.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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The Albrecht had a nice garden area with a view of the castle. As we're the type who spends very little time in and around our lodgings, we didn't really see anything inside other than our room and the breakfast room--however those rooms were very nice, and our bathroom was modern.

As to times, I would guess that early or late in the day would be best--before the Munich groups arrive and after they leave.

If you do know which day(s) you will be there, you can make your reservations online once you decide the times you want. It would be very easy to do one castle in the morning and one later in the afternoon. We walked to Hohenschwangau castle, and it wasn't bad at all (we're both in our mid-50s and not athletes). But I would definitely suggest taking the shuttle bus to Neuschwanstein--that is a real hike.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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You should clarify which castle is in an advertised "castle view," because Hohenschwangau is in the immediate vicinty of Schwangau. The Hotel Mueller, for example, has rooms with views of both and their room descriptions usually specify which, if any, castle is in view.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:36 PM
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Hi Abbekit!

I don't know if all of Pension Weiher's rooms face Neuschwanstein, so it's probably best that you ask them for one that does when you make your reservations.

Neuschwanstein was all lit up at night and the view looking way up from our balcony was fantastic! There was also a big storm brewing with huge dark clouds - very Wagnerian!

Sorry, I meant to say Lohengrin was the Swan Knight. Lohengrin supposedly was the son of Parsifal - ergo my confusion. Forgot which one was the son which the father - lo! Also in Hohenschwangau there are paintings of the Swan Knight which has to do with neither Lohengrin nor Parsifal - just to confuse matters!

You will find scenes from the Ring at Neuschwanstein as well. Believe I saw a frame with Fafner in it.

Also Tristan and Isolde.

...altho the castles are supposed to be truer to the original myths and legends than to just the Wagnerian version of them, so reading up on the older Germanic legends might help in understanding the paintings as well.

It might be well to get the two slim volumes describing the castles from the ticket office the night before you make your visits. I wish I had had the time to read those volumes before seeing the castles.

As for splitting up the castles - that's a matter of personal taste. You have only 30 minutes per castle - far too little time to really enjoy them unless you are well prepared (thus, read those castle volumes beforehand). It's too bad that there are just hordes and hordes of tourists. In order to get everyone in it's like a cattle drive.

The human guides, at least for us, did not describe the paintings at all but focused on royal gifts, the wash basin (with the swan motif, of course) in the King's bedroom, etc. While all this is interesting, the wall murals are what make these such fairyland castles and it's a pity that they cannot be discussed in more detail, as paintings are in other castles.

There is also a half hour multivideo at the end of the Neuschwanstein tour. I also recommend that show.

Hope this helps!

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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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If you do end up in Hohenschwangau village and want a place to dine a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the area around the bigger hotels, ticket center, and tourist info office, try the restaurant at Alpenhotel Meier.

Schwangauer Str. 37
D-87645 Hohenschwangau
Tel.: 0 83 62 / 8 11 52
Fax: 0 83 62 / 98 70 28
E-Mail: [email protected]

It's on the outskirts of Hohenschwangau on the road to Schwangau. We had a very good southern Bavarian meal there. Dad was the chef and mom the waitindividual. They have indoor and outdoor dining. We dined under the stars to the sound of cowbells.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 09:06 AM
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Thanks to all for your help! I have booked the King Ludwig Suite at the Pension Albrecht Neuschwanstein. They promise a fantastic view (hope the weather is good!). A nice treat but not too much money (should be about $100 per night depending on the EURO conversion rate).

Thanks for the restaurant recommedation at the Alpenhotel Meier. I looked on their website and it looks very nice. I have e-mailed them to see if they can accomodate our vegetarian diet. Ususally we have no problems at tradional Bavarian restaurants since they offer noodle or potato dishes along with the veggies.

Looking forward to our trip. Now I need to start brushing up on some German!
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Good luck on your trip. We found that entire area of southern Germany and northern Austria to be very relaxing and mellow. It was easily the most calming part of our trip--perfect after the bustling Munich.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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We've decded to see both castles on the same day (our only full day there). Hopefully if we book morning tickets we may beat the day trippers. jason888-we will take your very good suggestion of visiting the gift shop the evening prior to pick up some reading materials.

Auf Wiedersehen!
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 11:18 AM
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Guten tag, abbekit!

Great choices! - Albrecht looks to have a fantastic view of the castle!
And going early morning, say no later than the 9:30a tour for Hohenschwangau will get you into the 11:30a tour of Newschwanstein. Believe the earliest tour is at 8 or 8:30a.

The place where we got the booklets was the TICKET office, not a gift shop. The ticket office opens at 7:30a.

Glad you are going to read up on the myths and legends. I feel a bit of regret that, because of the Disneyland association, so many people go to see just the OUTSIDE of these castles, whereas the INSIDEs are a tremendous pictoral repository of ancient Germanic myths and legends - the soul of a people.

But, either inside or outside, they are great!

Gute Reise! And please post your experiences here when you return!
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 07:00 PM
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Thank you for clearing up the shopping! I agree about doing some research about the history and the personalities of an area before we travel. It makes everything more meaningful to me. I've done some reading about Ludwig (mostly during my reading about Sissi when we went to Vienna a few years ago). And of course his relationship with Wagner.

For anyone else going to this area I recommend the castle website http://www.neuschwanstein.com/english/
which has good info, history and lots of photos of the castle's rooms.

Vielen dank for all the advice. I will post our thoughts after we return.

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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 07:48 PM
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We stayed at the Schlosshotel Lisl. The view from our balcony was Neuschwanstein Castle on the hillside above. Tours left from our door in the morning.
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