Neuschwanstein Castle is the most beautiful palace in Germany -or in the world- and is located above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria, surrounded by mountains with wild forest and two large lakes.
Schloss Neuschwanstein has appeared in many films and was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle, located 120 km from Munich, receives over 1.3 million visitors every year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
You can only enter the palace with a guide. The tour lasts about 35 minutes and it is very important to know that no photos are allowed inside!
Visits take place daily from morning to late afternoon – the hours change from season to season. Tickets cost 15 euros regular, 14 euros reduced. Children and young people under 18 are free but there is a booking fee 2.50 euros.
You should book in advance because it’s likely that when you get there you won’t find any tickets available.
How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle
To go to Neuschwanstein Castle, we booked a tour with a group from Munich, took a train to Füssen and from there a bus picked us up and took us to the village of Hohenschwangau, which is located below the castle.
If you are travelling alone, after arriving in Füssen by train, you can take bus lines 73 and 78, which go to Neuschwanstein Castle.
From the village of Hohenschwangau you can get to the castle in three ways. Either on foot (about 45 minutes walk and uphill), by carriage (costs about 5 € a ride), or by bus, which has a schedule around every 10 minutes. The ticket costs 3€ to get you up or 3,50€ for a round trip (we booked a return ticket, of course).
The bus drops you off at a point that is about a 5-7′ walk from the castle. There you’ll find a bridge from which you can enjoy a stunning view of the castle from a distance.
The history of Schloss Neuschwanstein
Responsible for the creation of the palace was the eccentric King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, who is known in history as the Mad King.
Because of his obsession with the Middle Ages, Ludwig built several impressive castles, and because of his appreciation for the Romantic poet, composer and musician Richard Wagner, there are frescoes of knights inside the castle depicting scenes from his works.
The works of this extravagant construction began in 1869, at a time when there was no longer any reason to build forts and castles. The efforts to create such an expensive monument, without purpose, was one of the reasons why the king acquired the nickname, the Mad King.
To build the Neuschwanstein castle, 465 tons of marble, 1,500 tons of sandstone and 400,000 bricks had to be transported up the hill. The construction was costly, costing twice the original budget, resulting in bankruptcy for the king and Bavaria.
This event resulted in the king’s death, as he was found dead in the lake. Although his death was attributed to suicide drowning, there are legends that the king was murdered.
Also, according to the doctor’s diagnosis, no water was found in his lungs. However, there are conspiracy theories that the king was diagnosed as mentally ill in order to lose his throne. Unfortunately, Ludwig II never got to see the palace completed.
The palace was originally intended to be the king’s personal retreat, but it was opened to the public for a fee shortly after his death in 1886, still unfinished.
A universal symbol of the Romantic era, the castle was the subject of a West German stamp in 1977, and later in 2012 it appeared on a commemorative €2 coin.
In 2007 it was a finalist in the online vote “The New Seven Wonders of the World”, and since 2015, Neuschwanstein Castle has been included in the German list of monuments for future inclusion in the Unesco World Heritage List.
In the village of Hohenschwangau, almost opposite Schloss Neuschwanstein, you will also find the Hohenschwangau Palace.
The Hohenschwangau Palace, located between the two alpine lakes of the village of the same name. This is where Ludwig spent his childhood.
This yellow palace, built by Ludwig’ father, is located in the centre of the village of the same name. It is included in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the region, which can be seen from Neuschwanstein Castle.