Have you ever seen a real castle? This isn’t the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. No, this is an actual castle where royalty used to live. Neuschwanstein Castle is located near Munich in Germany, was built by King Ludwig II, (some people were calling him the Mad King Ludwig). His He wanted a replica of the medieval architecture, especially the Romanesque. The building of the castle was his way of paying homage to the operas of Wagner. The foundation stone was set on September 5th, 1869. When Ludwig II died in 1886, the castle was still not complete. Often, this castle is pronounced to be one of the most beautiful castles ever built.
Where is it
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular castles in Europe, located in the German State of Bavaria close to the Germany’s border with Austria. It is pretty close to the popular ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. If you are flying to Germany, it would be the best to lend on the Munich airport, which is 128km to the north east. Füssen im Allgäu is the name of the town where this magnificent castle is located. This German town is known for the Hohes Schloss and its Basilica and former Benedictine monastery of St Mang. The castle is situated just a couple kilometers to the north, on a rock that looks like a pedestal on which the castle rests. Perhaps this is the most famous piece of architecture, so some tourists come to see the castle only and don’t give a chance to the town. We suggest you, after visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, to make tour of the town. Natural lakes and breathtaking viewsand the “Kalvarienberg” which has the “Stations of the Cross” are a must see.
How to get there
You can take a train to the town of Füssen then departure and take the bus 9713 to Hohenschwangau. If you are going to go there by car take the A7 road to Füssen, follow the roadssigns to get to Hohenschwangau where you’ll find parking for a couple of Euros. To reach the castle you can walk for about half an hour or you can get on a bus or take a horse-down carriage that will take you up the hill. The prices for this kind of transport vary.
When to visit it
Neuschwansten Castle is gorgeous at every season. It looks as if you have stepped into a Brother Grim’s fairy tale in winter and as if you are part of a fantasy movie scene in spring or summer. The castle has precise dates when they are selling tickets and they are go from early spring to late fall. During the foggy or rainy days, getting inside the castle isn’t the best choice, because you will just waste your time. If you decide to enter inside the castle and take a look from the upper floors you won’t be able to see the town below and the nature that surrounds the castle. Ticket are sold from April till September from 9 am – 5 pm and October to March from 10 am – 3 pm. On Christmas and New Year’s the castle does not work. Children under the age of 18 can enter for free. For the adults, the ticket price is 12 Euros. Keep in mind that taking photos inside the castle is strictly forbidden.
The castle is very popular not only for German and European tourists, but for tourist from all over the world. Over 6000 people walk in and out of Neuschwanstein during an open day. The first time the castle was opened for public visits was only 7 weeks after King Ludwig died. Although the Castle was designed to look medieval, it didn’t lack hot air, running water and automatic flush toilets. From Neuschwanstein Castle there are great views of alpine lakes nearby, especially the Alpsee (only if the day is clear). The hiking trails abound near the Alpsee, and the one that rings the lake is protected as a nature reserve.
What to do
If you do not wish to go inside the castle, you can stay out and take pictures of it. You can get good pictures of the castle and waterfall from Marienbruecke (Mary’s Bridge). Between the bridge and the castle you can see the Hohenschwangau castle. If you still decide to enter, you can previously book an organized tour from the ticket center in Hohenschwangau. Make sure to be there earlier, because the tickets are limited for each tour. A ticket for a 35 minute tour inside both Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau castle have different prices (depending on the language you would choose – English, French, Spanish or Italian). We suggest visiting the official website of the castle for precise info, because the prices often vary. If you stay at a hotel in Hohenschwangau like the Hotel Muller the hotel staff can help you get tickets. After exploring the king’s private rooms, next you can take a breath and get a meal or coffee in “Cafe and Bistro” which is located on the second floor of the castle. Villa Ludwig Suite Hotel, Hotel Alpenstuben, Romantic-Pension Albrecht, and many others hotels offer good meals and drinks, if you choose to leave the castle and rest in the town below.