FAIRYTALE CASTLES AND BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS: 2 days in Fussen and Zugspitze

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My friend was getting married in Germany, so this was the starting point of my Central and Eastern Europe trip.

After enjoying the wedding, we headed to Fussen, which is mostly famous for the Neuschwanstein castle (one of the castles supposed to have inspired Disney).

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We took it easy on our first day, walking around the cute city centre. In the evening we had a lovely dinner at Beim Olivenbauer (dinner for two including drinks and tip for 32€), a place filled with weird Roman-style knick-knacks serving their own beer and yummy food – and plenty of veggie and vegan options.

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The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel before heading out to get the shuttle to the castle.

Set in an amazing location up in the hills, it’s an impressive sight. We joined the tour of the lavishly decorated rooms, covered floor to ceiling with impressive detail.

Outside you can walk to a nearby bridge where you can get breathtaking views of the castle and mountains nearby.

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After a while exploring, it was time to head back to Fussen for lunch. We stopped at Zum Hechten which had good food but terrible service (lunch for two including drinks and tip for 26€).

For delicious and rich desserts we headed to Kurcafe (cakes and drinks for four for 25€).

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The next morning we left Fussen in the morning towards Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. The scenery on the road was amazing, and the views from the top should be great.

You get a train up the hill (from this December a cable car will also be available). When we got to the top we were surprised by snowfall and freezing temperatures, so the views were nowhere to be seen. We still got to ride toboggans and enjoy the early winter.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Stay: We stayed at Fantasia, which was great, centrally located and had great service (we paid 178€ for two nights plus 8€ for breakfast).
  • Visiting Neuschwanstein: To get to the castle and also Hohenschwangau (the other castle nearby) you need to take an hourly shuttle from Fussen’s station. Tickets cost 1.60€. That will take you to the ticket office – entry to Neuschwanstein costs 13€ per person and is part of a guided tour (it’s a good idea to book online in advance and skip the queues). From the ticket office to the castle it’s a 30min walk through a beautiful forest or you can take a bus.
  • Go: Fussen is in Bavaria and not too far from other cities in the region. We travelled by car which is an easy way to explore the countryside.
  • Visiting Zugspitze: The tickets to visit are expensive at 53€ from Eibsee – this includes the train up and back the hill. The trip takes about 40min each way and the service is regular. There are restaurants and cafes at the top, so you can have a meal with a view or warm up with a shot of schnapps.

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FAIRYTALE VILLAGES AND AMAZING VIEWS: Day trip to Les-Baux-de-Provence

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I hopped on a bus late in the morning and headed to Les-Baux-de-Provence, which is a highlight of any visit to Provence.

Les Baux is set high up in the Alpilles, a range of hills which makes the setting for this village absolutely magical. The village is small and full of cute little shops and cafes, all with amazing views along the way.

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The main sight to visit is the castle (ticket 10.50€), which is set in a huge site with views over the Alpilles on one side and the flat Provence countryside on the other. The castle is in ruins but it’s still very impressive.

But again the highlight are the views you get from the different towers – although it can get really windy when you’re going up those steep stairs.

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The images really don’t do it justice – the place is simply unbelievable!

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HOW TO DO IT:

Les Baux is 15km from Arles and 25km from Avignon. In the summer you can take bus n. 57 (you can check the itinerary and times here) from either city every couple of hours. The ticket from Arles cost 4€ return and the trip takes about 30min.

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