If you like castles, then Neuschwanstein will be the best castle to visit in Germany thanks to a combination of location, architecture and nature.
Either if it’s the beauty of the Romantic architecture style, the stunning location near the Alps perched on a hill or the amazing lake and florests that surround it, Neuschwanstein is simply one of the most amazing places in Germany and among the most visited, being a national icon of modern Germany. And of course being considered inspiration for Disney’s castle, no one can dispute its greatness.
HOW TO GET TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN
The best way to go to Neuscwhanstein is by car or bus from any of the big cities in Souhern Germany. For example Munich is almost 2 hours by car from Neuschwanstein. You can use parking at the village of Hohenschwangau and from there visit all the main attractions of the area, namely the castle of Neuschwanstein
Other alternative is to take the train from Munich, that will take you to Füssen, from where you would will need then to catch a local bus.
From the village of Hohenschwangau it’s an easy 1.5km hike upwards, taking around 40 minutes to Neuschwanstein through a beautiful florest scenery and several good viewpoints of the castle and mountains. There is also a shuttle bus that connects Schwangau center to a closer point to the castle for 3€ return and for the most classical there is a horse-drawn carriage for 7.5€ one way also stopping where the shuttle bus ends.
WHEN TO GO TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN
Even if you can visit it all year round, the best time to go to Neuschwanstein from May to September when the valleys are at its greenest and temperatures are warmer.
October and early November are also great moments to visit Neuschwanstein, when the Autumn colors set in to give a golden aura to the whole valley and mountains. In Winter some areas will be closed.
HISTORY AND KEY FACTS OF NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
it was ordered to be built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1868, just two years after Austria and Bavaria were conquered by Prussia, meaning Ludwig II wasn’t an effective king anymore from 1866, He was 20 years old only at the time.
Neuschwanstein was originally called New Hohenschwangau Castle, as it was meant to be a better version of the nearby Hohenschwangau Castle. Curiously the new name, that in english translates to”New Swan Stone” was not given until after King Ludwig II’s death.. This despite the inumerous allusions to the composer Richard Wagner famous work ” the Swan Night”
Ludwig II wrote to Richard Wagner, saying that he wanted to build a castle based on the old German Knights traditions and this soon was named the “fairy tale castle of his imaginary kingdom”. However his grand plan of 200 rooms fell short and only 14 were actually finished. The building took 26 years to be built and was finished in 1892 by his family relatives.
So the more than 1 million visitors that visit this castle every year, are all somehow impacted by this personal history of tragedy and fantasy. That’s why it represents more than a castle.
WHAT TO DO IN NEUSCHWANSTEIN
You have 5 great things to do in Neuschwanstein and surrounding area than I will describe to you.
SEE THE CASTLE FROM MARIENBRÜCKE BRIDGE
There are many viewpoints from Neuschwanstein castle but the best one for me is from the area of the Marienbrücke, 15 minutes walk from the castle itself.
If you keep walking 10 minutes more after the bridge you will even come to a more amazing vantage point, being higher than the castle hill.
For a full 360 capture of the valley and lake below plus the wonderful yellow Hohenschwangau castle just walk 100 meters to find a stunning viewpoint in a bend that has perfect clear views.
SEE THE CLASSICAL VIEW OF NEUSCHWANSTEIN AND TAKE IN THE SURROUNDING VALLEY VIEWS
EXPLORE NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
The interiors of Neuschwanstein are extraordinary but due to the need to preserve its interiors and marketing rights, you can’t importantly can’t take pictures inside the castle and posting them might cost you a fine. The tickets to enter the castle cost 13€ adult and gives you access to all rooms and areas of the castle with a guided tour and assigned time. Ideally you should buy the tickets in advance online here
OPENING HOURS OF NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
April to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm
16 October to March: 10 am-4 pm
open daily except 1 January and 24 / 25 / 31 December
WALK AROUND THE ALPSEE LAKE
The colors of this 4 km long lake will leave you speechless as the sun reflects amazingly on the water. Alpsee is even suitable for swimming for those brave enough to endure the 18 degrees or less!
VISIT THE HOHENSCHWANGAU CASTLE
Even if the attention is drawn to the main castle, Hohenschwangau is a very interesting castle to visit in combination with Neuschwanstein. Also the walk there is much easier and quicker.
Any other questions please contact me or drop here a comment.
My name is Renato Azambujo. I live currently in Hamburg, but was born and raised in sunny capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I also lived in Switzerland for some years, before settling in Germany for the last years.
I am huge passionate about travel, photographer and a global explorer, always looking to the next destination.
I have so far visited over 70 countries across the 5 continents, because I really love knowing about new places, interact with different cultures and get to know myself better after each journey.