During my recent trip to Germany I made a Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. It's secluded in the hills above the village of Schwangau. The castle stands majestically surrounded by the Alps and the neighboring lakes Alp (Alpsee). Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, the fairytale castle was finally opened to the public. In 1869 King Ludwig II of Bavaria build Neuschwanstein Castle in order to cover himself from the public. Today 1.3 million people per year visit the hiding place of the King of Bavaria, even in the summer as many as 6000 visitors thronged these places every day. I visited back in December and it was much more quiet. I hope to show you this amazing castle, surrounding Bavaria as well as some tips and tricks for a visit.
Buying Tickets and Getting AroundUpon arrival in Schwangau you can park your car in one of the 4 parking spots. I chose the biggest one just before the Ticket center. Entrance tickets are 13 Euro and are available only at the Ticket center Hohenschwangau in the village of Hohenschwangau below the castle.You have to get to the castle somehow from down below. Cars and bicycles are not permitted on the roads up hill.
On foot: It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk from the ticket center to the castle (around 1.5 km on a steep uphill road).
By horse-drawn carriage: Departure point: Hotel Müller, Alpseestraße, Hohenschwangau (6 Euro up, and 3 Euro down/ per person)
With the shuttle bus: Departure point: parking P4 (below Hohenschwangau Palace) (this option was not available to me in December, it usually costs 1,80 Euro/ticket)
I got my tickets and waited for a while in a cafe nearby. It was very cold outside, so the warm tea was much needed. I will say though that the prices for drinks and food here are quite steep so make sure to bring some with you. My advice for the traveler would be to get up to the castle way before your entry time (each ticket reserves a special time and language for the guided tour), and wait there. There is another restaurant up there where you can cut the time. But taking shots of the outside is also fascinating.
The history of the castle is very interesting. The guided tour lasts 45 minutes. Neuschwanstein literally means ‘new swan castle’, referring to a character in one of Wagner’s opera Lohengrin the knight that goose. As in the castle in general, you can also find lots of chandeliers and gold-clad statue in Neuschwanstein, in addition, there is a garden surrounded by walls and artificial caves (addmitance to those parts of the castle were not allowed though).
Inside the Neuschwanstein CastlePhotography is not allowed inside the Castle, so I included these two photos from the internet to showcase the inside. Each room is specifically crafted with a story to tell. You can spend way more time inside then the guided tour permits. Unfortunately you can't explore the castle without a tour guide.
Views of BavariaFrom the Castle grounds the most amazing sights of the surrounding hillsides can be viewed. The Alpsee is surrounded by villages, the slopes of of the mountains dotted with pine trees. It's as idylic as can be. I have to say my drive from Munich to Schwangau was very scenic with many small towns and villages that leave nothing to be desired. I think one could do a whole road trip through south Germany and explore the castles, history and natural wonders.
Back in the valley I returned to my car and headed back to Munich. It was around 3 in the afternoon when I departed and the drive to Munich takes about two hours. From here there are also roads to Austria and Italy whose borders are close by. That's why this castle makes for a perfect day visit. Just make sure to arrive here early in the day (especially in summer and spring when it's most visited). Make sure to come early and visit nearby Hochschwangau castle as well.
Thank you for visiting. Next up will be my travel story from Munich, Germany.