Reutte is a marketing town (Marktgemeinde) lying adjacent to the Lech River approximately 45 miles northwest of Innsbruck, Austria and southwest of Munich, Germany. Reutte is the Capital of the northwestern (Ausserfern) region of the Austrian Tirol.
Important note: Throughout the pages of WIKITRAVEL, you will often see the letter 'ß' in German language written form. This is known as the 'Eszett' and actually refers to the use of the double 's'. For example, in this the current article on Reutte, you may see the word meaning villa or estate written as 'Schloß' or 'Schloss'. Both forms are correct.
The center of commerce for the Außerfern, Reutte is a vibrant, historic and charming place that can be easily reached from nearby Füssen and many of the holiday villages surrounding Reutte. Reutte and its environs are characterized by the grand Alpine mountains of the region (Lechtaler Alps, Tannheimer and Ammer Mountain ranges) and many family farms. Agriculture and small shop ownership remain the primary means of employment for many of those living in or near Reutte.
Reutte as an entity was first referred to as "Reutte near Breitenwang" as early as the 13th century. As roads became built and improved over the centuries and a bridge over the lech River was completed (1464), Reutte became known as a central trade district for the region. By 1488, it was given the right to conduct a weekly market. In 1491, Reutte was granted the status of a free town by Emperor Maximillian 1. In 1604, the fortress castle Ehrenburg (which sits atop a mountain overlooking Reutte) was given to Reutte. Reutte became the capital city of the 'upper Inn Valley' in 1754 and many smaller villages fell under the governance of what was growing into the 'Bezirk (region) Reutte'. This growth has continued over the years until today, as Bezirk Reutte now encompasses 37 villages and towns.
From Füssen, one should travel via route 189, passing the former customs building at Weisshaus on the border with Austria. Turn left before crossing the lechbruecke (Bridge over the River Lech) and take the winding village road through Pinswang. Head south from Pinswang via the Kniepass and through Pflach. Make a left where the thin residential street through Pflach ends in a 'T'. Drive straight into Reutte. You can also drive from Füssen via Schnellstraße E99 (also known as Route 7) southwest through the tunnel connecting Germany and Austria. You will now be on Schnellstraße 179 (on the Austrian side of the border)There are a gas station and a rest stop with a restaurant on the Austrian side of the tunnel where you can stop for information about Reutte. There are several exits into Reutte from the Schnellstrasse. If coming from regions south of Reutte, take Schnellstraße 179 north either over the Fernpaß (a lovely mountain pass drive) or where it connects with the road from Garmisch, Germany. You will know that you've reached the first exit into Reutte when you've seen the Ehrenberg Castle (Schloß Ehrenberg) on the mountain to your left.
Reutte is connected to Munich (München) and Innsbruck. Note that from Austria, you may have to ask to go "ueber Innsbruck" otherwise the computer system will likely route you through the (more expensive and longer) Munich route. Also, since Reutte is a small city, it may be most effective to clarify "Reutte in Tirol" as this is the way it will show up in the train system directory.
The rail service to Reutte is provided by German Railways (DB) and not Austrian Railways (OeBB).
If you cannot or do not wish to use a car, there is a bus system. The Österreichisches Bundesbahn (ÖBB)  Postbus is the main local bus systems that goes throughout all of Austria. There are buses that travel to and from Reutte. You can obtain information about routes, timetables and prices as well as special excursions and charter bookings by calling: +43(1)71101 from outstide Austria and 0810-222333 when in Austria. There are also several commercial tourist bus lines that can take you from almost any point in Austria or Germany to and from Reutte.
To get a general idea of Reutte and any locale you may visit, it is always handy to have a good city map (Stadtplan) on hand to help guide your way. You may find a Reutte Stadtplan at: .
It is not viable to hike from Reutte to many places, as they are separated by many kilometers. However, there are many good hiking trails for recreation, if combined with another transportation method.
You can rent or borrow bikes for use on the plentiful biking trails (Radwanderwegen). For this option, make sure that you have a good map, and are in good physical condition. With the lack of good landmarks, and plentiful paths, it is easy to become lost. Be warned that there are some places where biking a short distance along the highway is required to rejoin the trails. If you have to do this, ride on the right, as far to side as possible. Be careful, go as fast as you can safely, and have faith - German and Austrian drivers are generally cautious and skillful. Be sure to watch for the next possible point to exit the road.
Reutte itself is small, however you will find many travellers have cars in order to access the sites.
- Ehrenberg Ruins/Schloßkopf The Ehrenberg castle ruins (three/four different castle ruins) provide a contrast to the highly touristed Königschlosser in nearby Bavaria. There is a small tourist village by the parking lot for these castles, but this can be avoided by taking a trail from the south of the parking lot(obscure), or by taking the trail north from nearby Ehenbichl. You will encounter a semi-strenuous moderately steep hike up to the Ehrenberg ruins (Burgruine Ehrenberg). If you are lucky, this small hike will have kept away enough people to allow you to have the ruins nearly completely to yourself. Enjoy the moment, it is so rare to see history as it is - to have hands on access to a historical site without it being roped off or accessible by guided tour only.
- Move on next to the Castle Schloßkopf (Festung Schloßkopf), on top of the hill. Perhaps you have seen this lit up at night on top of the ridge. The trail is steep once again, and it will take 30 minutes to reach the top, but it is again more than worth it to have a castle to yourself or with few others. The views from here are spectacular, allowing you to look out over the entire valley and into Germany.
- If you are in this area during the Summer months, you may want to explore Ehrenberg during the time of the famous Ritterspiel, the Medieval festival . Although very touristy and even abit kitsch, the festival is a splendid way to spend a day or two watching jousts and parades, attending concerts and having an overall enjoyable family holiday in the mountains. Of course, the view from atop the mountain overlooking Reutte is quite spectacular.
- Be sure to see the many beautiful churches and chapels in and near Reutte. Many reflect the beautiful Gothic and Baroque architectural influences that dominate the region.
- The Museum in the Green House  is one of Reutte's (and the entire region's) cultural jewels. The building itself is quite a treasure. It was first built in the second half of the 16th century. "Das Grüne Haus” was expanded upon and renovated from the 18th through the 20th centuries. It has been under Reutte's administration since 1986 and has become both a museum of local history (Heimatmuseum) as well as a center for visual arts and exhibitions. The 'Museum in the Green House' is located at Untermarkt 25, A-6600 Reutte. You can contact them for opening times and current exhibitions at: +43 05672-72304 or e-mail: [email protected]
- Take a walk though the center of historic Reutte. Most of the buildings you will see are centuries old; some bedecked with beautiful Luftlmalerei; paintings that give the impression of 3-dimensional solid objects (i.e., windows, columns, masonry, statues etc.) where none exist on the otherwise flat wall surfaces. Most of the buildings along both sides of Reutte's main street and adjacent by-ways are protected as historic structures.
As it is a market town, Reutte has a number of shops with items for both visitors and local residents. You can find many of these shops on the main road through Reutte. You can purchase delicious local Tirolean foods at an number of grocery stores, books, maps and souvenirs at local bookshops, electronics, clothing, really...anything in which you may have an interest.
- There are several gas/petrol stations (Tankstelle) located throughout Reutte. However, you will generally find the majority located near the ramps leading on and off the Fernpass Bundestrasse (179). You are also able to purchase food, drink and souvenirs at many Tankstelle.
- There is an abundance of excellent Inns, Cafes, Restaurants and places to grab a snack in Reutte. Some are in grand ancient buildings whilst others are housed in modern glass and metal building offering wonderful views of the town. Menues vary from traditional Tirolean to international cuisine.
- Oh yes...and there are the Austrian pastries....to paraphrase Mark Twain, "Eat 'em and weep for the Angels, cause they got none!" Whilst there are a number of wonderful bakeries in and around Reutte, one bakery that you must try is the Bäckerei Knittel, located in the northern part of the town (Obermarkt 29). Knittel has been a family bakery for many generations, and still provides some of the finest selections of baked goods..especially incredibly good pastries and torte.
- You can purchase fresh meats and produce at a number of shops in the area; everything from larger markets to small specialty shops. There is a Farmer's Market in Reutte in the main square close to the Church once each week. You can also purchase farmer's produce at a newly opened Farmers Shop (Bauernladen) located near the Fire House. It is open on most Mondays and Fridays from 9:00 until 12:00 and again from 14:00 to 18:00. It is also open on Saturdays from 9:00 until 12:00.
Many hotels and hostels are available in Reutte and in the surrounding areas. There are signs within the city which will point the way to major hotels. There is a tourist information center on the way from the train station to the city center (just go around the train station and walk along the road toward the city). However, it may not always be open (especially if you arrive on a weekend), so it is good to have an idea where to stay before arriving.
When a hotel might not be your choice for overnight accommodations, you might consider staying in one of the many bed and breakfasts, rooms in private homes or local inns. There are many in the area. You can find the location and availability of many of these at the main Tourist Bureau in Reutte, which is located near the train station at Untermarkt 34. You can reach the Tourist Bureau by telephone at: +43 (5672) 62336 or e-mail at: [email protected]
- Visit nearby Pflach, Pinswang, Musau and Vils to the south. You can drive to these villages via the Bundestrasse running north through the center of Reutte or via the Schnellstrasse that skirts Pinswang.
- Pinswang is a quiet, lovely village sitting in a lush verdant Alpine valley about 5 miles to the south of Reutte and Füssen lying about the same distance to the northeast in Germany. Pinswang is one of the most ancient settlements of the Ausserfern, a main stopping point for those with an interest in Austrian culture and tradition, historic architecture and natural beauty. It is but a short walk through beautiful wooded trails to the famous castles of King Ludwig (Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau - see below) in nearby Germany.
- Head south from Reutte along the Schnellstraße (highway) to the Fernpaß (Fernpass), a gorgeous mountainous route between the northern Ausserfern and the lush verdant Tirolean countryside northwest of Innsbruck. See Schloß Fernstein, an imposing castle with hotel at one of the highest points along the Fernpaß . A short walk from the castle and you will find the romantic Schloßruine Siegmundsburg.
- Take the Schnellstraße north from Reutte to the German border. Just over the border, visit the ancient marketing town of Füssen.
- Konigschlösser/King's Castles  The famous castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are the must-see major tourist attractions in this region. They are closer to Füssen, so many tourists stay there or in nearby Pinswang. Take either the bus or drive to Füssen, then turn right (North), following the signs to the "Königschlösser". By bike the castles are approximately 1-2 hours from Reutte by the shortest path (via Gasthof Schluxen in Pinswang, not via Füssen), but the route is scenic. Ensure that you have enough time to make it back before dark, otherwise, it will become completely dark in the countryside, and you will have to call for a ride. Tickets are required in order to enter the castles. The cost is approximately 9 euro for one and 17 euro for a "Königsticket" which includes both castles. Be sure to get there early, as tickets may sell out and you will have to wait a long time for your tour. Also you may not be able to tour both castles if it is too late, in which case you should choose Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is a steep 30 minute hike up a wide paved-dirt trail (bus rides are available for an extra charge). On your way up (or down) make sure that you visit Mariensbrucke. You will see signs pointing the way. This is a very high bridge which provides the idyllic, postcard view of Neuschwanstein. A picture is mandatory.
- From Reutte, it is a short drive to the major cities of Innsbruck, Munich and Augsburg.
- Take a day trip to the beautiful Bavarian towns of Füssen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Ettal, Oberammergau. Also, don't miss a trip to Lindau - a jewel located on Lake Constance.
- See Schloß Linderhof, the lesser-known but one of the most elegant of King Ludwig's Bavarian castles. It is located in Graswangtal, near the town of Ettal (where you will find a beautiful Benedictine Abbey).
- If Departing Reutte by Train, very important note: the Reutte train station (Bahnhof) ticket counter is only open from 8-12 Monday through Friday. If you need assistance in buying your next ticket or wish to pay by credit card, make certain that you are at the station within these hours, or purchase a return ticket in advance at you point of origin. There is no automatic ticket machine at the Reutte Bahnhof. If you do not have a ticket, it is also permissable to purchase a ticket from the conductor on the train. You can buy a ticket to anywhere from the conductor, but this transaction is to be done using cash only. You should know the necessary transfers beforehand, as they can be only a few minutes away and trains run hours apart. Ask your hotel to look up an itinerary for you, or use the Austrian Rail Service site: . With itinerary in hand, it should be easy to buy the correct ticket, ("Ich mochte das" point to paper), even if your conductor only speaks German and you do not.
Katholischer Tiroler Lehrerverein, Bezirkschulrat Reutte (2004). Der Bezirk Reutte - Das Ausserfern. Hofen, Austria: Koch Buchverlage, Edition Artpress.
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