Hello geeks! In this article we’re going to leave nature escapades to one side (but not entirely). We move from talking about dreamy lakes to fairytale castles: Neuschwanstein. One of the most visited tourist attractions in Germany, due to its beauty and the natural environment that surrounds it. It is located in the Bavarian Alps, very close to the village of Füssen, built on a hill above Hohenschwangau Castle. We could talk at length about the history of its construction and the fall from grace of the king who had it built (Ludwig II of Bavaria), but for that we have an extensive Wikipedia article. Here we will focus on the practical aspects of how to get to the castle and what to see there

How to get to Neuschwanstein

To get to Neuschwanstein, we can use either public transport or our own car. For the latter, one has to head towards the town of Füssen. However, there is no easy option where we use only motorways without taking a fairly long detour. I recommend using a navigator to get there without any problems, although once you get closer to the castles, you will see that there are plenty of directions on how to get there. As for where to park, there are several options in the vicinity, depending on the time you arrive. As a personal recommendation, try to be in the area fairly early (especially during school holidays, public holidays and weekends). If we arrive early enough, the best car park is P4, as it is right next to the ticket offices and the place where we will start the ascent to the castle. Address here:

Parkplatz P4 Königsschlösser
Alpseestraße 27, 87645 Schwangau

If you want to go by public transport, you can leave from Munich Hauptbahnhof (central station). From there we take the regional train to Füssen. As for the ticket we need, it is included in the Bayern-Ticket, so it is very cheap if we are a group. After approximately 2 hours on the train, we arrive in the town, right on the Austrian border. From there, with the same Bayern-Ticket you take a bus (number 78) in the direction of Schwangau to the stop Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße. Once you get off the bus, you can see the impressive Neuschwanstein Castle and the Hohenschwangau Castle a little closer. This is where you have to buy your tickets, as once you are at the top, there is no way to get them

For both options, you have to bear in mind that this is one of the most important tourist attractions in Germany. This means that there will be many visitors and queues will be quite long, especially on public holidays and weekends. We recommend arriving as early as possible in order to get tickets without having to wait long. As with Herrenchiemsee, you have to choose a time and language, and you have to calculate the time it will take you to get to the top, lest you arrive late. Reservations can be made here.

What to see in Neuschwanstein

Once we have our tickets, it’s time to start the climb up to Neuschwanstein Castle. It is a relatively easy climb, but not suitable for everyone, especially the elderly. It is 1.5 km with a difference in altitude of about 100 metres. There are three main options for this:

  • Bus. If the weather is fine, there is a bus service from Parking P4 to the Marienbrücke (Marienbrücke), and from there it is downhill to the castle. If there is snow or ice, the bus does not run because of the steep gradient of the road.
  • Horse-drawn carriage. Throughout the year, it is possible to take a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle. This option is more expensive than the bus, but much more romantic. In winter you are given a blanket to keep you warm during the ascent. However, the queues for this service are always enormous, so you will have to be patient.
  • On foot. If you think it’s ridiculous to pay to climb a hill, walking is your option. The views are beautiful and the natural surroundings are breathtaking, so you can really enjoy it even when it’s snowy

More information about these three options: prices, opening times and availability, can be found on the following page. The actual visit inside the castle is not much, although the castle itself is very beautiful. For my taste, it is completely overrated, and you can’t take pictures inside. It is a short tour with an audio guide who narrates the highlights of the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria

Another must-see is theMarienbrücke (Marienbrücke). This is a small bridge built to admire Neuschwanstein Castle. From here you can take some beautiful pictures, if the crowds allow it. It is usually full to overflowing with tourists, so you don’t get to enjoy it to the full. However, there are a few routes from here which take you up a few more metres and give you a more unique view of the castle


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