Hiya friend! Thanks for stopping over the blog! While I primarily blog about my recent family and newborn sessions, behind-the-scenes tidbits from the studio, and a sprinkle of personal posts, I love to share where I’ve recently traveled to.
After our first month living in France, Alex and I decided it was high time to begin our European travels – before we bundled down and began our winter hibernation! Our first stop in our European travels after moving to Strasbourg was the most magical little town in Germany:
Combine an enchanting little town nestled amongst a cluster of blue Bavarian mountains, sprinkled with a sparkling river running through its center, and the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle just down the road.Add some gothic fortresses, another castle – and you’re set! It’s majestic, magical and like you’ve escaped into the storybook of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
But there is so much more to this town than meets the eye…
Located a quick one-hour train ride, or a 3 hour bus, from Munich, Fussen is the perfect place to get away from the city, step back in time and experience a real-life fairytale.
A quaint city center that is easily walkable – cars are not allowed – with every shop and museum being a 5-10 minute walk away, it’s easy to wander and see the entire village in an afternoon. Alex and I were delighted to mill about this 700-year-old town, and we stumbled upon baroque churches, gothic houses, a medieval town wall as well as a town castle. Pastel, cotton-candy shades color the facades, which made it hard for me to put my camera down!
After wandering the cobble-stoned alleyways and pastel-toned shop fronts, Alex and I decided to have a delicious traditional German meal – Käsespätzle! And it is a specialty you must try! Cheese is the star of many of Germany’s delicacies, and this dish is essentially a German-inspired mac and cheese. YUM! We devoured our meal outside while people-watching along the cobblestoned alley-street and listening to a violinist play our favorite songs – including our most-beloved Pirates of the Carribean!
After our meal, we strolled over to the Kurcafe to try the local 19th-century specialty, the “Sissi-Torte”. If you love chocolate, be sure to try this!
After grabbing our torte, we walked right into the Art Nouveau style Hotel Hirsch and took the stairs up to the roof. The hotel is the fanciest and most expensive in town, so we didn’t stay there. Alex and I enjoyed our chocolate torte, chatting with another couple that was staying at the hotel, on the rooftop terrace which overlooked the mountains and the old town of Füssen. The purple and pink fog began to sweep through the town at sunset, making it a romantic spot for a glass of wine at the end of the evening! We fell asleep early that evening, with our big hiking trip to the castle the next morning.
Of course, Alex and I ended up missing our alarm and sleeping in, making us miss our morning time to see the castle. We were hoping to skip the tourists and crowds and go bright and early around 7:30, but I’m so glad we didn’t! A dark, thick fog engulfed the castle that morning, and luckily it cleared up by the afternoon, making it easier to spot the castle.
After Alex and I waited for 10 minutes for the local bus from the village to take us to the castle, I, impatient as usual, stuck out my thumb and we hitched a ride to the castle from a local 20-something. He told us wonderful stories about his time growing up in Fussen, and how he worked at the snack kiosk just below the castle! So, naturally, we had to buy a pretzel from him later, and it ended up being the best pretzel I’ve ever had.
Upon waving off to our new friend, Alex and I went off in search of the Tegelberg cable car. After a 40 minute hike, we were told it was a 3-4 hour hike up one way, which would make us miss time to actually see the castle from the famous bridge lookout point. Inside of hiking all the way up to Tegelberg, we followed the dirt path up the mountain for as long as we could, spotting the most tranquil waterfalls spilling out from the forest. We sat on some rocks alongside the waterfall and ate our lunch of croissants and cheese – plenty of red lipstick marks on my croissant included. 🙂
The crowds at Neuschwanstein are intense. Especially if you plan to visit the iconic bridge to take some photos, the line can be long. I always recommend going bright and early in the morning, but if the weather forecast doesn’t look too great, wait until golden hour. Despite us going at the absolute worst time with the peak crowds, Alex and I had a blast getting lost in the forest. The wooded areas, Bavarian mountains and waterfalls leading to the castle are an absolute dream to witness in-person. At the end of the day, it truly doesn’t matter. Witnessing the castle in real life beats any Instagram picture.
It was fate that we ended up going to the castle in the middle of the afternoon, as I was able to take proposal and engagement photos for a couple!
I hope this personal travel post inspires you to visit the awe-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle and the most magical town of Fussen. Let me know if you end up visiting!
2016 - 2019 Helena Woods | Helena Woods Portraiture is located outside New York City in Fairfield County Connecticut and travels worldwide for her clients. Helena Woods is New England and Connecticut’s premier family, children, baby and newborn photographer specializing in modern classic custom family photography with a timeless look that's always in style. As a professional photographer, Helena captures maternity, newborn, baby and family portraits in NYC, Westchester, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norfolk and all Fairfield County surrounding areas.