At the latest, Disney made Neuschwanstein Castle world known. Read all about how to get a ticket, what to expect from a tour and find the best viewing points to see the castle in all its beauty.
Neuschwanstein Castle is the most famous castle in Germany and probably also one of the most known in Europe. The castle was also used by Disney as an inspiration for Cinderella’s castle and can be found on the well-known logo of the company itself.
Last summer, I decided that it was finally time to visit the famous castle on my small trip through Bavaria and therefore to cross one of my must-sees from my travel bucket list. I found the perfect viewpoint and will share all my tips with you in this blog post.
💡 Facts about Neuschwanstein Castle
The construction work of Neuschwanstein started in the summer of 1868. The castle was built for the Bavarian king Ludwig II. and was designed as the ideal knight’s castle from medieval times. Nevertheless, the latest technic was used outside as well as inside for the construction work. The castle was even fitted with hot air central heating, running water and an automatic flushing system. The king actually also had a telephone available. If I remember it right he could only call the post with it.
The king only lived a few months inside the castle because he died in 1886 before the castle was completed. Therefore the construction work was never finished.
Tips for booking tickets
If you want to visit the castle from inside you should book your tickets already beforehand online to make sure you will be able to visit the palace. The tickets are often sold out days before, in summer even weeks before, especially if you plan on going on weekends or holidays. One ticket costs 17.50 EUR (18.60 US$) for adults and one Euro less for students, pensioners, and disabled persons as well as if you have the Gästekarte (you will get the Gästekarte in most hotels if you stay overnight, I even got it on my camping spot). If you want to bring your children make sure to also buy tickets for them, every child – even babies – need their own tickets. Tickets for children from 0 to 17 years cost 2.50 EUR (2.60 US$). The tours are available in English or German but you can also book a time frame to use an audio guide which is available in 19 different languages.
You can also combine the ticket to visit Hohenschwangau Castle and/or the Museum of the Bavarian Kings which you can find right around the corner just a few metres further at lake Alpsee. In case all tickets are already sold out during your stay, you should take a look at the online shop at eight o’clock in the morning. Sometimes you can be lucky and more tickets will be unlocked for the day. You can buy your tickets online in the official shop of Neuschwanstein.de.
In case you missed buying tickets online and you want to check the ticket centre, you can find it next to the parking slots. There is no possibility to buy any tickets at the castle. So do not make the mistake to go all the way up to the castle first.
You should plan around 45 minutes of walking from the parking slot and bus stop up to Neuschwanstein Castle. There is also the possibility to take a bus or a horse-drawn carriage but from both stops, you will need to walk a bit further to reach the entrance.
What to expect from the castle tour
Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public only seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886. This is a bit ironic since it was once planned as the retreat of the king. Until today more than 1.5 million people visit the rooms of the castle every year.
The inside of Neuschwanstein Castle can be only visited with a tour. The tour itself is actually quite short. I chose a guided tour which took not even 30 minutes in total. The reason is that only 14 rooms were completed before the death of King Ludwig II. Therefore the rooms on the second floor were never finished. Anyways, the rooms which were actually finished are worth a visit.
The picture cycles on the walls are inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner. You will find his different works and the medieval legends, they are based on, in all rooms of the castle. Another recurrent theme is the swan which is shown in different statues and paintings. The swan is also part of the name of the castle itself. Neuschwanstein means literally translated “New Swan Stone” – the German word “Schwan” is the animal swan. Also the town Schwangau itself in where you can find the palace has the animal in its name. The swan is used as a Christian symbol of purity.
I was most blown away by the Singers’ Hall and of course the grotto. The king let built his own artificial dripstone cave in his castle. It was designed by August Dirigl and had originally coloured lights and even a waterfall. The Singer’s Hall occupies the whole fourth floor in the eastern section of the palace. It was planned as a stage for theatre and musical performances but was never used in this way.
It is not allowed to take pictures inside the castle but you can see photos of all the rooms on the official page of Neuschwanstein.
Best viewing points around
📍 Behind the castle: If you visit the Neuschwanstein make sure to also follow the path behind the castle. It is really not an insider’s tip but you will have a really nice view of the backside of the castle as well as of lake Alpsee and Hohenschwangau castle.
📍 Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge): Marienbrücke is only a 15-minute walk from Neuschwanstein Castle. There is also a bus you can take from the parking slot to go up. The bridge itself is very popular and often crowded. It can happen that you have to wait around 30-45 minutes to visit it if you come during the high season. If you want to avoid the crowds come in the morning before or in the evening after the opening hours. I visited the bridge around 6 pm in the summer. It was way less full and in the end, I had the bridge almost to myself. The view is just perfect. You stand right upon the Pöllat gorge with the castle right in front of you.
The bridge can be closed during winter because of bad weather conditions such as ice and snow. You can check it beforehand online on the page Hohenschwangau.de.
📍 Close to Marienbrücke: Also Marienbrücke itself is a beautiful photo motive. If you follow the middle path from the bus stop you will have a quite nice view to see Marienbrücke and the castle without too many people around. There is even a sign that shows you the way.
📍 Your own personal spot: If you want to have a stunning view of the castle without tourists, you should just follow the way up the mountains and use them for a beautiful view down. When I visited Neuschwanstein Castle at midday in summer, the line of people visiting Marienbrücke was endlessly long so I hiked further uphill. There I had the view just for my own. The spot is not really a secret since you can find it on google maps but since you need to walk around 20 minutes upward you won’t see too many people. Follow the spot on google maps and enjoy your own beautiful view. But please take care to not go too close to the edge. Safety always comes first and should be more important than any nice view and photo.
🚌 How to reach the castles by public transport
|If you want to travel by public transport you can use a train to Füssen (for example from Munich central station) and from there a bus (bus number 9606 or 78) which brings you to the parking spot and ticket centre of the castles. The bus stop is called Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles, Schwangau. You can find all connections and buy tickets on bahn.com.
You have read the blog post Best views and tips for Neuschwanstein Castle on My Travel Journal-Blog.