Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival Palace on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Southwest Bavaria, Germany. Built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle was intended as a home for the king, until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. This castle is roughly 2.5 hours drive from Stuttgart and only 1 hour 45 minutes from Munich making it extremely accessible for tourists. During the Summer months you can expect roughly 6,000 visitors to visit here per day! The castle is actually so picturesque, The Sleeping Beauty Castle’s design in Disneyland was inspired by it!
Funnily enough, the only reason I ended up visiting Neuschwanstein was by pure chance! My boyfriend and I sat into our car in Viktorsberg, Austria early Monday morning ready to head to Bregenz. We were playing with the SatNav when we found ‘recent destinations’ and wanted to find out where the last person who rented the car had been. As luck would have it, Neuschwanstein appeared in the list and we thought ‘well, if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us!’ and off we went over 2 hours out of our way to experience the magic that this castle had to offer.
Arriving To Neuschwanstein
Driving to Neuschwanstein is your best way to get there, and even after arriving around mid-day (whereas usually when planned we would aim to be there first thing in the morning like in Sintra) we still got a space for parking easily, and at roughly €5 it wasn’t a bad price either. When driving, take the A96 highway, and leave at Landsberg Ost and follow the B17 road – you should see the castle in the distance as you arrive so you’ll know if you’re headed in the right direction. If you don’t drive, make your way to Fussen (the closest town) and hop on the number 73 or 78 bus.
Tours of Neuschwanstein
There is absolutely tonnes to do when you get to Neuschwanstein but the only way you can get into the castle itself is by a guided tour. These tours are short and sweet and a ticket costs €16.80 which you can purchase online here. On the 35 minute tour you get to see Ludwigs creation for Richard Wagner in all it’s glory. Guided tours are available in German and English, but there are audio tours available in French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Czech, Slovenian, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese and Hungarian.
Getting To The Castle
Walking around the grounds of the castle is beautiful, but also involves a decent level of fitness. The walk from the car park to the castle is signposted but takes roughly 40 minutes on foot and is predominantly up hill. Alternative ways to get to the castle are by horse and cart or by bus service but if you are able to do the walk I would recommend it as the scenery going up is stunning.
To get the best view of the castle, most people head to Marienbrücke bridge which gives an amazing unobstructed view of the castle itself. The one problem with going here is that the queue can be up to an hour long! When we arrived it was roughly 2:30pm and there were about 100 people ahead of us to get onto the bridge. Instead, we climbed through the barbed fence at the side and climbed up the sloped forest through the trees to get a view. We ended up walking a small bit further down the slope and found a clearing with no trees that gave an AMAZING view of the castle, with literally no wait at all! It is basically the same view as the bridge but from a slightly difference angle. If you are short for time, or simply just don’t want to wait I would recommend breaking the rules and going here instead to take in the view in peace and quiet – just be careful! It is blocked off from the public due to a very large cliff edge that is not blocked off.
When you arrive at Neuschwanstein Castle you will notice another yellow castle in the hills called Hohenschwangau Castle. This is a 19th century palace that was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II and was built by his father King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
Guided tours are held of this castle daily and tickets to enter are only €13 for an adult and children under 18 go free. According to their website you can only buy tickets at the destination, and must purchase your tickets the day you intend to go on the tour. Much like Neuschwanstein castle, entry is only allowed by guided tour. They offer combination tickets of both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle if you decide to visit both. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go inside either, but both were stunning to view from the outside!
Swimming at Neuschwanstein
At the other side of where the castle lies, there is a lake called Lake Alpsee. We visited while the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and after sweating from the walk around the castle we decided to take a dip. The further down towards the lake you go, the more people that there are lying in the sun and swimming so you shouldn’t be the only person indulging in what the land has to offer. The water is crystal clear but be warned it gets very deep, very quickly. You can swim here while enjoying the most amazing views of the Alps on one side of you, and the castle on the hill on the other – and best of all, it’s free!
Was It Worth The 2 hour Detour?
I can safely say that between seeing the castle, managing to find an unobstructed view away from the crowds and getting to swim in such a beautiful lake meant this was one of the best days of the holiday and it was all completely unplanned! If you are planning a trip to Munich or Stuttgart in the near future I would highly recommend adding Neuschwanstein Castle to your itinerary because it makes for such an amazing day out!
What was your favourite castle to visit? Would you detour to visit this castle? Let me know!