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If you're reading this, you probably already know that Bavaria's Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Disney's iconic castle. Here are five facts about King Ludwig II's dramatic palace that you probably don't know!
Ludwig grew up in Hohenschwangau, the medieval knights' castle that his parents owned. Ludwig's dreams of building a castle on the rugged hill above it began as early as childhood!
Upon first hearing Wagner, the teenage Prince Ludwig became a devoted patron. His dream palace was the stuff of the Germanic sagas in the great composer's operas!
Ludwig considered his vision too extraordinary to be realized by mere architects. Neuschwanstein was instead designed by Christian Jank, a stage designer from Munich!
Forced to abdicate by a frustrated cabinet, the popular but inattentive king was removed from his new home. The next day he went for a walk and was discovered dead hours later.
Ludwig was a reclusive king and had envisioned his dream palace to be a place of solitary refuge and reflection. Just seven weeks after his death it was opened to the public!
Neuschwanstein is open daily from March 28 to October 15 at 9:00AM until 6:00PM. From October 16 to March 27 it is open from 10:00AM until 4:00PM, except December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.
There are several modest hotels and pensions in the Hohenschwangau area. Alternatively, Neuschwanstein is also just a day-trip away from Munich!
It's possible to walk up the hill from Hohenschwangau but it's quite a trek! You'd be better off choosing between the regular shuttle bus departing from outside the Schlosshotel Lisl on Neuschwansteinstraße, or the more expensive horse-drawn carriage from the Hotel Müller on Alpseestraße. Note that both stop short of the castle for accessibility reasons, and the short walk from the shuttle bus stop might be too steep for the mobility impaired.
- When should I visit?
- March 28 to October 15, 9:00AM to 6:00PM, October 16 to March 27, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
- Is it expensive?
- Castle ticket prices start at 12€ for adults.
- Will I need a guide?
- *Your entrance ticket reserves you a tour spot. *
- How to get there
- The bus from the Schlosshotel Lisl or the horse-drawn carriage from the Hotel Müller will drop you close to the castle.
- Additional information
Note that you will need to do some uphill walk, and be prepared! |
Book your tickets in advance! Tickets can sell out during peak times.
What people are saying about Neuschwanstein Castle
The actual boarding process in Munich was very confusing & could be handled a LOT better. Even though two of their employees viewed our voucher, we ended up on the wrong bus & had to contend with a very rude & arrogant tour guide. When we arived at Linderhof Castle, I asked if this sort of mix up had happened before. His response, "Yes." When I asked how it was fixed, he responded by saying, "It cannot." I immediately made my displeasure known... quite vocally. By the time the Linderhof tour was over, this tour guide introduced me to another guide, who was from the correct bus, and we then joined the correct tour. From then on, it was great. The original tour guide was also observed in a heated discussion with a pair of American girls who'd been split off from their friends in Munich. I don't know what the outcome of their issue was, but I observed him bieng as rude and arrogant to them as he had been to me. In view of this, I would not recommend Grayline Tours to anyone.
If you're looking to see multiple castles in Germany, go for the VIP tour! We went with a group of 6, and we had a blast. The bus was roomy, comfortable, and stocked with snacks, drinks, and even happy hour wine and beer. Our driver was excellent and drove very carefully on some of the super-curvy roads - no Dramamine required. The schedule was tight, so you don't get to really wander much, but you do get lots of direction and everything is very efficient. It's not a tour for dawdlers or those who like to explore away from the group. The castles were gorgeous (even under lots of construction), and our tour guide was helpful and knowledgeable. One minor complaint is that there was a LOT of talking by our guide on the bus, pretty much non-stop for the entire duration of the tour, and I would have preferred some time to just drink in the scenery, enjoy some music, or chat with my friends without a constant drone of (semi-related) facts. That said, it was still a great time!
Most of the coach tours are Neuschwanstein paired with Linderhof, but we didn't want 2 castles. This is 2 churches, Neuschwanstein, and a cheese farm. The churches were both outstanding. The cheese farm had amazing views... and cheese. Our excellent guide, Arman, made sure we kept to the schedule, but didn't feel rushed.
The trip is well organized and the bus service is very comfortable. The itinerary felt a bit rushed as it would have been nice to spend more time at both the castles. The village stop in between was nice but would have preferred more time at the castles.
If you're not up to hire your own car, the price isn't too bad. The trip takes you safely to the castle and back to Munich in good time. The tour guide was amazing the day I went, and she was clearly passionate about the topics explored on the tour.