Growing up, I always used to wonder about Disney princesses in their large beautiful castles, having separate rooms for almost every function, with towers on all wings of the castle, and mesmerizing views of the landscape all around the castle.
Schloss Neuschwanstein is supposed to be the castle based on which Walt Disney modeled all of his castles. And given that we had four days in Munich, deciding to make the three hour journey to the castle was a fantastic idea.
The castle is situated north of Munich, in Bavaria, near a small town called Füssen. There are several tour companies that offer to take you up there, but my advice is to go on your own, especially if you’re a frequent traveller. For those who don’t travel much, I recommend the tour groups – they tell you where to get on the train, where to get off, where to change, where to be at all times, and you can literally just concentrate on taking photos.
We went by ourselves. A Bayern ticket is perfect if you’re in a small group. It costs only €29, and up to five adults can travel on the same ticket. Trains from Munich leave every hour or so, and you’re in Füssen in around two and a half hours with one change at Buchloe. It really isn’t all that complicated. The views on the way to Füssen don’t really change much – grasslands, a few houses, and the Alps in the background.
When you reach Füssen, buses #73 and #78 go to the village of Hohenschwangau, and your Bayern ticket is valid for this bus as well.
The ride to the ticket center for the castles is approximately ten minutes. After our long journey, we were disappointed that we still did not get a good glimpse of the castle. Surely its a big castle? Someone in the bus got all excited at one point and everything thought the castle was in view, but before we could stick our heads of out the bus to have a look, it was gone, whatever it was. But there was another bend where I managed to snap the following photo. Not much to get excited about, if I’m being honest.
Queues at the ticket center are long but move fast due to the number of counters, and there is a tour every 15-20 mins, so there’s no need to panic when the large ‘sold out’ signs begin flashing for a particular tour. We still couldn’t see the castle from where we were, which was slightly frustrating.
There are several options to go up to the castle – on foot, by horse carriage, or by bus. I would definitely recommend taking the bus up to the bridge (only €1.80 per person), from where the views are so stunning. This was our first look at the castle in its entirety, and we were left speechless for a few minutes.
Looking at the castle, I felt like a Disney princess. I’m not kidding. The bridge is an absolute must, great spot for photos.
The walk to the castle from the bridge is hardly ten mins. Tickets to the castle cost €12 for adults, and to be extremely honest, its not worth it. The tour barely lasted 30 minutes and we hardly saw four to five rooms. Additionally, the castle is incomplete, so you’re better off trying to capture stunning photos from all kinds of angles instead.
From the castle, we could see views of the Alps and the Alpsee, and realised just now nearby it was. We could also see the bridge where we earlier were.
A model version of the castle:
Coming down, either by foot or by horse carriage – both follow the same path, so if you’re tired (which you will be after those stairs!), pay €3 and take the carriage down. There’s another castle as well if you want to see it, much smaller of course. We didn’t bother since we were exhausted climbing those stairs. But here’s a picture – its called Hohenschwangau Castle, or Schloss Hohenschwangau.
Further down the road was a huge lake, the Alpsee. We walked until the beginning of the lake, and the breeze really allowed us to relax and cool down (we were in Germany in July) while simultaneously admiring the Alps and the Alpsee. We didnt realise what a huge tourist spot the Alpsee was, and honestly did not know it was so near Schloss Neuschwanstein, which was a pleasant surprise.
This is how the castle would look during winter: