Neuschwanstein Castle is considered to be one of the most beautiful breathtaking castles in the entire world. It is located in Bavaria, Germany near Munich.
The castle was built in the late 1800s as an order of King Ludwig II, who was rather an eccentric king. He had the castle built to be far away from people and to live a private life. Its purpose wasn’t to be a royal castle, but more like a private getaway where the imagination could run wild. The construction was originally planned to take only a few years, but the king was never fully satisfied. There were always things to be changed because the castle had to be perfect. He lived there for only a few years and after his sudden death, the castle still wasn’t finished.
This fairytale castle became an inspiration for Walt Disney, who based the castle in Sleeping beauty off of it.
I got the chance to visit Neuschwanstein Castle a few years ago with my family when we visited Germany. We stopped there on our way to Vienna. We drove here from Munich which was about a one hour and a half drive. There is another way to get here as well. You can take the train from Munich to Fussen which is a little over 2 hours ride. After your arrival in Fussen, take a bus to Neuschwanstein.
The castle sits on top of a hill and its majestic presence overlooks a small village called Hohenschwangau. The place is full of small shops where you can buy souvenirs, cafés, and restaurants where you can try traditional German food. We explored this area on our way back from the castle.
How to get to the castle
There are 3 different ways to get to the castle:
- Walk up: It takes about 40 minutes to reach the gates of the castle.
- Take a shuttle: The shuttle leaves from the parking lot on a regular basis. The tickets are purchased directly at the shuttle and you cannot book them in advance. The way up costs 2,5€, the way down 1,5€ and the round trip 3€.
- Go by carriage: If you want to get the full magical experience, definitely take the carriage. The price for the ride up is 7€ and 3,5€ for the ride down. The tickets are purchased directly at the carriage. The carriages leave from the Hotel Müller located on Alpseestraße.
I definitely recommend walking at least once, doesn’t matter if it’s on your way up or down. There are certain points along the way that offer mesmerizing views of the village, Hohenschwangau Castle where Ludwig II lived during his childhood, and the surrounding area.
The tour of the castle
There are two ways to purchase tickets for the tour:
- Directly at the Hohenschwangau ticket office: Keep in mind, there is a limited amount of tickets available per day. There is a possibility you might have to wait in queue for hours and still not get tickets.
- Book a tour online: This allows you to buy your tickets in advance and to book a time slot according to your preference. This way, you won’t have to worry about standing in line for hours.
The price for adults is 54€ and for kids 25€.
The tour takes about 30 minutes. The interior of the castle is just as beautiful as the outside. The castle has over 200 rooms but only 14 rooms were fully decorated before Ludwig II died, others remain in their former state. Each room is decorated in a gorgeous sumptuous way with intricate details. During the tour, you will get to see for example the Throne Room, which is undoubtedly the most impressive room in the entire castle. It is fully decorated in the neo-Byzantine style with a 4 meter-high brass chandelier. Fun fact, there actually isn’t a throne here, because Ludwig II died before the room was completely finished.
If you want to have the best view of the castle and its surrounding area, you have to go to the Marienbrücke viewpoint, which is actually a bridge. The views are truly mesmerizing from here. You won’t only get to see the whole castle in its beauty, but also its surroundings.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more gorgeous and magical castle. I definitely recommend visiting this place at least once in your life. It was such a surreal experience and I am still in awe whenever I think about it. I cannot wait to visit Neuschwanstein again.
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