Day 5 (September 14, 2016) Innsbruck


  We must leave early from Lindau this day as we need to be in Neuschwanstein Castle before 11:20 AM to take our booked tickets and the road trip can take around one hour and a half.

   After this visit, we’ll drive across the Austrian border to Innsbruck, where we’ll explore the Old Town and spend the night.

Route Lindau - Innsbruck

   The spots marked at map are:

 A- Lindau
 B- Neuschwanstein Castle
 C- Innsbruck


   At 9 AM we’re on the road. We leave Lindau early as we must take our booked tickets for today’s highlight, Neuschwanstein Castle, before 11:20 AM and there is a one hour and a half drive to there. We’re following the direction to Kempten and then we keep on motorway 309 waiting for the signs to Füssen or the castle itself. They take some time to appear.

   We feel the needing to stop by the road when we see the beautiful sky line of Nesselwang with its church in front of us.

View of Nesselwang

   Roads 309 and 310 go through the valley to the Alps and give beautiful landscapes with green grounds to mountains full of abets. It’s an area full of lakes and close to reach Füssen we’re amazed by the view of Lake Weissensee.

Alpine landscapeWeissensee Lake

   We go all through Füssen, passing by the start of its old city, which looks like deserving a visit by itself. But now we’re going directly to our goal, with it is now signed in the road. When we get there, the activity of the place has nothing to do with all the quiet places we’ve been these days: lines of coaches and cars converge to the entrance of a big car park, which we can see like a sea of vehicles.

   There, a single man is in charge of managing the endless line of vehicles and take the 6 euros for the parking. We go up to the shop area but we still will need to go to an upper level to the ticket box office. The queues for the tickets are very long but we’re saved from them thanks to our booking: we go straight to the box for reserved tickets and get ours by paying 27.60€. So, a bit before 11 AM we’re ready for our tour at 12:20 PM. From here we can already see the two castles: the white Neuschwanstein and the yellow Hohenschwangau.

View of Nueschwanstein CastleView of Hohenschwangau Castle

   The reason for having to pick up the tickets one hour before the tour is to allow people to reach the entrance of the castle. The line for the bus up there is long and this one is for everybody. We pay 2.60€ for each bus return ticket.

Bus rates for the way up to Neuschwanstein CastleBuses for Neuschwanstein Castle

   It takes almost 40 minutes for us to get down from the bus since we joined the line for it. Up there, the bus stop is just when the short path to Maribrücke Bridge starts, but we still have a walk to the get into the castle as we can see the back of it and we have to reach the gate at the front of it. It’s 15 more minutes, without stopping to enjoy the beautiful views, which we’ll be able to enjoy without rushes when coming back.

Back side of Neuschwanstein CastleBack side of Neuschwanstein Castle

   We cross that gate around 12 PM and, once inside you only can wait. You can do that in the gift shop or in the stairs up to the courtyard, as the most of the people do. The courtyard itself is nice, but it is fenced to avoid going further, so it’s just for the picture. A screen displays the time for the next tour. It seems there is one every 5 minutes.

Entrance to Neuschwanstein CastleNeuschwanstein Castle's courtyard

   When it is our turn, our tickets make us pass through the turnstile and we make a line in front of the door. The guard there makes us to pass in advance because the first thing to do is taking the stairs up for three floors, so my wife’s injured leg is going to make all the group slower on this and, this way, they can join us upstairs. There, once the group is together with the guide, we receive the audio-guide in the desired language.

    In this 30 minutes’ tour we’re leaded back down these three floors all through the halls in every floor. We can see the Throne Hall, bedroom, Hall of the singers, the Grotto… Those are impressive halls trying to emulate Wagner’s operas landscapes. No photos or videos are allowed in this tour, so I can show just a few of it here:

   As in everywhere, the exit is through the gift store. Then there is a cafeteria where we take our lunch. Prices are not expensive as one could think in a place like this, but the portions are small. I get a mini pizza with water and a piece of Black Forest pie by 12.30€ and Eva gets a Frankfurt with salad with water and the same pie by 14.50€.

   The pie is the best in this cafeteria, may be only overtaken by the views from the terrace. We can see Marienbrücke Bridge from here, where we’re going to be shortly.

View from Neuschwanstein CastleMarienbrück Bridge from Neuschwanstein Castle

   When we’re following the exit of the castle we pass by the only rooms out of the tour, where you can take pictures freely: the kitchens.

   Once out, we go one level down to take a picture of the front of the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle's kitchensFront view of Neuschwanstein Castle

   We walk back to the bus stop by the same path we did before, but enjoying the views this time. The landscape with the lakes is amazing.

Lateral of Neuschwanstein CastleView from the path to Neuschwanstein Castle

   When we reach the bus stop, where there is a line already, we head to Marienbrücke Bridge following the short path to it. The bridge is crowded and is hard to find a gap for your picture with the best view of the castle. It’s impressive as it is very high and you can see a small river below with some waterfalls. The highest fall is just under the bridge.

Waterfall under Marienbrücke Bridge
View of Neuschwanstein Castle from Marienbrücke BridgeWaterfall in Neuschwanstein

   It’s time to come back and we join the line for the next bus down to the visitor center. When we are in our way to the car it’s 3 PM already, so this visit has taken 4 hours.

   We had already seen the signs pointing the way to Innsbruck when coming and this time we follow them heading to Austria. I’m worried because I need petrol and the vignette, the toll sticker you need to use Austrian motorways, but I cannot find any gas station. When I get into a long tunnel I realize we’re crossing the border inside so getting the vignette is becoming urgent now. Somehow, this point seems to be thought already as the first sight of Austria out of that tunnel is a big gas station.

Austrian road to Innsbruck

   I find a reason for not having petrol stations before the border when I see the petrol is a lot cheaper in Austria. I fill the tank and get the vignette for 10 days, which is the minimum, by 8.80€. The woman behind me in the pump, who explained to me that is usual here to let the pump to the next car before going to pay, helps me to put the vignette on. She tells me it must be up in the windscreen and advices the left side.

Vignette for driving in AustriaInnsbruck's Old Town

   About two hours later we’re taking the right exit to reach our hotel in Innsbruck, which is in the city center. The traffic there, by the riverside, is horrible. In the hotel we’re welcomed and given directions to the parking place.

   After that, we only have to use the bridge across the river to reach the old city and be part of the live of Herzog-Friedrich Street. It is clean, with beautiful and well maintained façades, and we follow it until being in front of the most iconic place in this city: The Golden Roof.

Herzog-Friedrich StrasseHerzog-Friedrich Strasse

Golden Roof in InnsbruckCity Tower in Innsbruck

   The high mountains all around the city are giving a magnificent bottom to these beautiful streets. On this quick visit, made especially for Eva’s injured foot, we could already get the beauty of this city. Our hotel is one of the colorful houses in the riverside.

Herzog-Friedrich StrasseHouses along Inner River

   After some rest, we go out for dinner. Today is an exception for our light dinners due to the meager lunch we got today. We choose Cafe Piano's terrace because we like the look of the courses people are enjoying. It is full and we have to wait for 15 minutes to get a table.

   We pay 34.10€ in total for our dinner, which has cutlet, goulash and rosti in such a wonderful place.

Herzog-Friedrich Strasse by nightGolden Roof by night

   We go back to the hotel with a big smile to rest from an intense and amazing day.

Houses along Inner River