Best views and tips for Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

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.

đź’ˇ 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.

Castle Hohenschwangau

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 view from the balcony of the castle

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.

đź“Ť Close to MarienbrĂĽcke: Also MarienbrĂĽcke 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 MarienbrĂĽcke 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 FĂĽssen (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.

Schwerin – a day trip from Berlin

The castle of Schwerin

Only 2.5 hours takes the train ride from Berlin to the state capital of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. A town that is often forgotten and somewhat underestimated. Schwerin convinces with its charm and its architecture, such as its famous castle, its old town, and its proximity to the Baltic Sea.

Schwerin is one of these cities which turn out to be a nice surprise when you visit it. We did not really expect too much when we planned our visit but in the end, it convinced us with its charm and beauty. It has a really pretty old town and of course, its wonderful castle which characterizes the cityscape. You can find the palace in almost every picture if you google Schwerin. Palace Schwerin is located on an island surrounded by the same named lake. Therefore you can explore it eighter way from the water by renting a boat or taking a long walk around.

đź’ˇ Facts about Schwerin

Schwerin is the state capital and second biggest city (behind Rostock) of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (in German: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). It is located in Northern East Germany, approximately 225 km (140 miles) from Berlin. In the other direction, the seaside is not far. Schwerin is only around 30 km ( 19 miles) away from Wismar, a city directly located to the Baltic Sea. Therefore it is a perfect destination for a weekend or even a day trip.

Strolling through Schwerin
Schwerin Cathedral of the Old Town

You do not need a map, Schwerin is small and can be easily discovered on foot. The city also offers signposts to help you to orientate yourself. One other clue is the conspicuous tower of the Schwerin Cathedral which rises 117.5 metres (128 yards) above the old town.

Visit Castle Schwerin

The Palace Schwerin was the seat of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Nowadays the palace is not only a historian but also a political place. Since 1990 it has been used as the home of the parliament of the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The other side of the castle is a museum and can be visited by tourists. The entrance fee is 8.50 € (8.25 USD) but also offers a discount. Children (under the age of 18 years) have free admission. The park and gardens are also open to the public and can be visited for free. I would definitely recommend taking a walk around the castle.

🚌 How to reach Schwerin from Berlin by public transport
Schwerin is easily reachable by (regional) train or bus.

From Berlin, you can take RE2 in the direction of Wismar, it takes approximately 2:30 hours. The trains leave from many stations, including Berlin-Spandau, Zoologischer Garten, Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf), FriedrichstraĂźe, Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof and Ostkreuz. You can find all connections on the official page bahn.de.

If you want to go by bus, you can use for example the bus company Flixbus. They usually offer one direct ride a day which takes around 2:45 hours. Typically the bus is leaving from Berlin ZOB (close to Messe Nord/ICC).

Click here to find more blog posts about other weekend and day trips in and around Berlin.

You have read the blog post Schwerin – a daytrip from Berlin on My Travel Journal-Blog.

Good to know about Germany

You plan to visit Germany? Then you opened the right blog post. Here you find some “Insider” news, tips, help and other good-to-know-stuff about my home country. 

DSCN5680
Brandenburger Tor

Germany has a size of over 350,000 square kilometres and more than 80 million inhabitants. Our capital is Berlin, and of course, we speak German and pay with the Euro. Our head of government is a woman. Our country has a big historical background (and not everything was good), especially the Second World War is still an important subject in Germany and we were divided into two countries (with a wall between which even divided Berlin into two parts). The German reunification was on the 3rd of October 1990, it is our national holiday. We are less than half per cent of the world…

Shops are closed on Sundays: It’s cheaper to buy food in the supermarket and cook an own meal than go out to a restaurant. However, if you go to restaurants or clubs it is important to give the waiter tip (around 10%, in bars most time we just round the sum up) for his good service. But when the waiter was impolite or the service bad you do not need to give tip. If you want to buy food in the supermarket you should know that all shops and supermarkets are usually closed on Sundays. There are some exceptions on special days or special little shops. But the stuff will be more expensive there. If you need it anyway, you could be lucky at a petrol station or at shops in the train stations. Some bigger cities also have some markets, which are open on Sundays. One special attention for tourists in Bavaria (Munich, Nuremberg, castle Neuschwanstein) and Saarland: Supermarkets close here a little bit earlier, at the latest 8pm.

Extra money for plastic and beer bottles: In Germany, we have a deposit for most bottles. You recognise it through a little sign on the bottle, which shows a can and a bottle with a returning arrow. Most plastic bottles, but also cans and beer bottles have deposit. Most big glass bottles with alcohol (wine or spirits) are non-returnable bottles. Plastic bottles and cans have a 0.25 Euro deposit, beer bottles (glass) only 0.08 Euro. After you emptied the bottle you can bring it back to the supermarket and get your money back. This deposit system is part of the environmental protection of Germany and should help the recycling system. Furthermore, many homeless people in Germany collect bottles with a deposit from public parks.

DSCN5582 - Kopie
Bundestag

Public transport: Compared to many other countries, Germany has expensive public transport. Especially the local transport could be very expensive (price reduction for single tickets only for kids under 14 years). When you want to travel across the country you can use planes, trains (for long-distance travels, it’s cheaper to buy the tickets at least three days before – Deutsche Bahn or sometimes cheaper here), busses (f.e. FlixbusPostbus or Eurolines) or also take a ride with the car (f.e. Blablacar). The last one is a good decision when you want to travel spontaneously. There are different portals you can use and ask foreigners to take them for less money with you.

No speed limit: One cliche about Germans is, that German men love their cars more than their wives. I think this could be discussed. But true is we love to drive really fast. That’s why Germany doesn’t have a speed limit on highways.

Clean tap water: Our tap water in Germany is very clean. So you don’t have to buy water in the supermarket and can just use the tap to refill your bottle. Many people buy their water anyway in the supermarket. One reason will be that sparkling water is really in common here (but you can also buy water without carbonic acid).

Age Limits: Germany produces a lot of wine and beer. The age limit to taste this alcohol is 16 years. For any other alcohol or driving cars, you have to be 18 years old. With 18 you’re at your full age in Germany. But for some clubs and every casino you have to be 21 years old anyway.