If you are thinking about coming to Germany to see Neuschwanstein Castle, you are not alone. In fact Neuschwanstein Castle is the single most popular tourist destination in Germany. Chances are also good that you’ll do some research online (hopefully you will read my blog after stumbling upon it). Now if you didn’t stumble upon this blog, you would probably think like every other tourist – I’ll stay in Fussen because its close to the castle – or maybe Munich because its the biggest nearby city.
But luckily you found my blog and I can help you make better choices. So let me make some general suggestions and observations that will certainly help make your visit better.
- This is my reviews of the guidebooks people typically buy for visiting Neuschwanstein/Füssen
Lonely Planets Germany, Austria, Switzerland Best Trips ( 33 Amazing Road Trips ) is currently a big hit. But NOT amazing. Sadly it is very shallow. It will tell you a few of the obvious highlights you already know of – it tells you they are there! Wow! Missing is the how-to. Well if you need a book to read instead of watching a documentary on TV on a cold winter night, to fantasize about your summer vacation, then that’s up to you.
Rick Steve’s Germany (Austria and Switzerland) guidebooks are more interesting, detailed and worthwhile. If you already have a Rick Steve’s book (which I recommend), then you are probably the type that likes to tour on your own, independent of the crowds. Then why not augment it with the details and hidden gems you’ll find only in my Neuschwanstein Black Forest Road Trip Tour. Its perfect for the independent traveler and a perfect complement to Steve’s guidebooks.
- Tours of Castles in Germany
Neuschwanstein is unique in many ways; it was never used as a fortress, it was King Ludwig’s private palace built in the 1800s – which is pretty recent in castle terms. Neuschwanstein is the real-life inspiration for Disney’s Snow White Castle. Its no surprise its a favorite tour destination. However, many other castles and castle ruins can be found on almost every mountaintop in Germany. These castles served some sort of fortification function. Most were originally constructed beginning in the 1200’s and have long sordid histories with colorful owner’s names like Jeorg der Borse ( George the Evil ) – think Lord of the Rings rather than Snow White. I recommend that you don’t overlook the many really interesting historic castles that dot the German countryside. My Neuschwanstein Black Forest Tour will also take you to some of those interesting castles.
My Neuschwanstein Black Forest Road Trip Tour is not a tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle! My tour is a road trip tour of the surrounding countryside – the best way to see the Neuschwanstein/Füssen area. Read about my Neuschwanstein Black Forest Tour at the link so you know that I show you everything in between Lake Constance to the west and Füssen in the east.
In between these locations lies the Algau or Bavarian Alps. Its an area that you will think came right out of a movie, with fantastic green valley’s, lakes and farmhouses with cattle grazing, and with breweries and cheese shops in almost every town, all surrounded by those amazing Alps. You gotta see it and taste it to believe it.
You can skip Füssen. Its a rather bland and over-touristed town that is well suited for the young backpacker and bus tour. There are dozens of better towns to visit and/or stay in the area.