Nestled in the breathtaking Bavarian Alps of Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle is a true fairytale come to life. Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century, this enchanting castle draws visitors from around the world with its majestic spires, romantic allure, and captivating history. Every year, over 1.4 million visitors are spellbound by the charm of Neuschwanstein Castle, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Neuschwanstein Castle, often referred to as the “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” was constructed as a homage to the romanticized medieval past, serving as a retreat for the reclusive King Ludwig II. It’s located near the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, Germany. The castle’s design is so iconic that it served as the inspiration for the Disney Sleeping Beauty Castle. Its captivating history, stunning architecture, and the breathtaking surroundings of the Bavarian countryside make it a must-visit destination.
TIPS FOR VISITING NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE:
Plan Ahead and Book Tickets
To ensure you have a seamless visit, book your tickets in advance. Neuschwanstein Castle is a popular attraction, and tickets often sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. You can purchase your tickets online or at the ticket center in the village.
Arrive Early at the Ticket Center
Arriving early at the ticket center is essential, as it’s where you’ll collect your reserved tickets. This will also give you time to explore the village of Hohenschwangau and its surroundings. Be prepared for a decent uphill walk to the castle entrance. The walk was one of our favorite parts when we visited, because the castle was so densely covered in fog at the time, that the reveal felt magical as we got closer and closer.
Guided Tours Only
Visits to Neuschwanstein Castle are conducted exclusively through guided tours. Joining a guided tour is the only way to explore the interior of the castle. These tours are available in multiple languages and provide fascinating insights into the life of King Ludwig II and the castle’s history.
The Best views
If you’re like us, you’ll skip the interior tour and go straight for a view of the entire scene. Make your way around to the right side of the castle when you walk up the initial path and you’ll find yourself amongst a series of trails. One of the best views you’ll find on this trail is from a suspension bridge that hangs over the ravine near the castle. You can see the bridge in the first picture above and the second photo was taken from it.
How To Get There:
1. By Car:
If you’re traveling by car, there are parking facilities available near the ticket center. Please note that once you reach the village, you’ll need to hike or take a shuttle bus to reach the castle entrance. We wanted to get to the castle really early to be able to capture photos without a crowd, so we had to walk from the town of Hohenschwangau because the shuttle bus was not operating yet.
2. Public Transportation:
Trains and buses connect major cities in Germany to the nearby town of Füssen. From there, you can take a short bus ride to the ticket center. Be sure to check the schedules and plan your journey accordingly. On our trip, we took a train from Cologne to Füssen where we spent the night and then took an early bus over to Neuschwanstein, which is a fairly short ride.
Where to Stay:
Füssen, the nearest town to Neuschwanstein Castle, offers a range of accommodations. It’s a charming Bavarian town with colorful houses and cobblestone streets. While in Füssen, explore the historic town center and visit nearby Hohenschwangau Castles, where King Ludwig II spent his childhood. Our favorite part of Füssen was trying Schneeballenträume, roughly translated to “Snowball Dream.” They’re essentially a fried bread, rolled into a ball, and covered in chocolate or powdered sugar among other toppings. I think they looked tastier than they were, but still worth a try!
Staying in Hohenschwangau allows you to immerse yourself in the castle’s history. This village is located at the base of the hill where both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles are situated. Enjoy panoramic views of the castles and the stunning Alpsee lake.
Schwangau offers a variety of accommodations and is known for its proximity to the Pollat Gorge. This natural wonder is perfect for hikers and nature enthusiasts. It’s only about a 4 minute drive to Neuschwanstein.
A visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is a journey into a fairytale world, where history, architecture, and stunning landscapes intertwine. As you explore the castle’s interior and gaze upon the picturesque surroundings, you’ll understand why this enchanting landmark continues to captivate travelers from across the globe. Whether you’re drawn by its royal history or its magical allure, Neuschwanstein Castle promises an unforgettable experience that will transport you to another time and place.