Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria Germany is often nicknamed the fairtail castle. It was built in 1868 by King Ludwig II. The exterior of this castle makes it one of the most visit castles in Europe but it is so much more than that. It is the inspiration for the disney castle and was the evil Baron Bomburst castle in chitty chitty bang bang.

Neuschwanstein Castle In The Sun, Germany | © Travels and Wandering
Neuschwanstein Castle In The Sun, Germany | © Travels and Wandering

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King Ludwig II – The Man Behind Neuschwanstein Castle

King Ludwig II was often referred to as ‘The Mad King’. His story is both wonderful and devestating. He built the castle after he lost his status and power to the Prussian empire. During his lifetime he was sectioned and pronounced insane, due to his erratic spending and obsession with the project. It was suppose to take 3 years to construct, but the elements had other ideas.

The construction started 1868. He fully moved in to the incomplete castle in 1884 but died 2 years later in 1886 and didn’t get to see his final creation. It was opened to the public soon after his death to recoup some of the debts that he had accumulated. The final part of his vision came to life years later with the completion of the tower in 1892.

I visited Neuschwanstein Castle as part of My First Interrail Trip.

To read more about my trip – Click Here.

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

Getting To Neuschwanstein Castle

To get to the castle from the village of Hohenschwangau you can either walk from the village up the hill, get a taxi or go by horse and cart. We opted for the traditional horse and cart. We quite enjoyed it and the horses were treated well. We were staying immediately below the castle in a B&B which the horse and carraige takes you straight to.

Booking The Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle | Cost of Entry | €13.00 for entry to Neuschwanstein

You can book online and direct to ensure you get to visit around the planned time or at least on the day or pay on the door. We did the latter but had to wait till our second day to explore the castle.

There are a few other options at a little extra cost from Viator. Get your guide has a few also but these were at a higher price so I’ve included the links to the Viator ones.

There are also a number of tours that go from Munich to the castle and via some other attractions. Here are the best value ones we could find by trusted operators and booking agents.

Please note you cannot take pictures of the inside the main rooms of the castle.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

If you are impressed by the exterior design of the castle and overall architecture just wait until you are inside. There are 14 complete rooms due to King Ludwig running out of money. Each room is themed around a fairytail or poem including a Tristan and Isolde room and paintings reflecting Hans Sachs. I remember one of my favourite rooms was his dressing room, just looking at the intricate carvings in the woodwork.

The pictures above are from the kitchen which is one of the few rooms you are allowed to wander and capture a snap. The views out of the windows are like landscape paintings especially when it snows where you can see over to Hohenschwangau (see below). You may be able to find some online from media that have been given exclusive access but I’d just reccomend really enjoying the decor.

What Else To Do Around The Area Near Neuschwanstein Castle?

Hiking The Trails Around Neuschwanstein Castle

On day one when we arrived and realised the area surrounding the castle has a lot to offer. We knew the castle was perched on top of a small mountain that towered above the plains, however we weren’t prepared for the stunning trails in the opposite direction. So we decided to opt for a gentle hike following the trail.

Along the trail the first part you will get to is a bridge over a beautiful Poellat Gorge and river (pictured above in left picture) with views of the castle on the right. Going further over this bridge there is a well maintained trail that we followed for a short while.

We followed the trail through the forest but eventually our curiosity got the best of us. We wanted to go a bit higher up so went off the trail and up the hill. The hill was steep but we wanted too get a bit more of a view over the area and we were not dissapointed. When we got to the top we could see for miles over the plains and the stunning castle to the right. To the left and behind us was mountains, the Alpsesbad Lake and trees shrouded in a moody grey mist (see picture taken on my old phone immediately above).

I immediately kicked myself for not bringing my camera out for a walk but planned to do that the following day (this didn’t happen when we woke up and realisedit was risky with our general walking gear). As I mentioned earlier we woke up on the second day and there was a blanket of fresh snow coming down which made everything look magical.

The descent down from this view point isn’t marked, is very steep and there were a couple of moments where we slipped (along with a moment where we almost wiped out another walker below but knocked rocks and twigs lose as we scrambled down).

I’d love to head back here and spend a few days exploring the hiking trails properly, as with most of mother nature, no pictures can quite prepare you for how stunning this place is. Please Note: We had appropriate walking boots and water proofs and we were both experienced in travel, expeditions and hiking.

The Village Of Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau Castle

Cost of entry – €21,00 | This castle was designed by King Ludwig II’s father, was where the king grew up and was one of the inspiration the Neuschwanstein castle. We didn’t get chance to go over and see this due to limted time but saw this stunning castle from a distance.

Museum Of The Bavarian Kings

Cost of entry – €14:00 | This museum is really popular amoungst tourist and groups visiting who want to learn more about the history of the Wittelsbach royal family (including King Ludwig II).

Other Places Worth Consideration

The Pilgramige Church of Wies, The Linderhof Palace, The Jagerhaus

Where to Stay When Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle?

We stayed at Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein (pictured below) which is in the style of traditional german architecture. This hotel and restaurant is the closest accomodation to the castle. I booked this partly due to time restrictions knowing we had two days and being close to the main attraction would save us time. It cost £60 for 2 of us for one nights bed and breakfast in a twin room. The breakfast was lovely, the service was fantastic and we had dinner here which was also really good. I’d really reccomend this.

If you don’t stay here you should at least try their fresh churos or waffles that you smell as you walk up to the castle. They also have a cart outside selling hot chocolate and Glühwein (mulled wine). Don’t forget to book ahead, we got the last room and booked it 7 months in advance.

Final Note

On my next trip these are the things I want to do:

  • Visit the castle again and see the extra rooms that were closed for restoration during my first trip Visit the Hohenschwangau castle
  • Hike the full Poellat Gorge trail and another trail
  • Head a little west and go canyoning in the nearby gorges and rivers
  • Go swimming in Alpseebad Lake or walking around the lake and finally go paragliding over this stunning area.
  • Another thing I’d like to do on my next trip is explore the near by town of Fussen, which is known for its stunning gothic architecture and charming atmosphere straight out of a storybook.

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Owner of Travels and Wandering | Lecturer by Day, Nomad at Heart Adventure Travel Tester | Outdoor Instructor | Mountaineering and Outdoors Researcher | Strength and Conditioning Coach | Yoga Instructor | Personal Trainer | Fitness Pro | Endo Warrior, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Spoonie

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