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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
We had Sarah as our guide. She has great knowledge of Ludwig and his kingdom. She told “The Story” from childhood to cover every aspect of his life, and delivered in increments that made the journey to The castle seem effortless. Conscious of her team and time constraints, she made the tour a joy. I hate tours, though if I was guaranteed of a Sarah every time, I’d book one.
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.
This tour was so much fun. Linderhof Palace is a lovely little place and the drive there was amazing. The view of the valleys and the Alps was breathtaking. Linda made the journey so much fun. Ahe is a massive assit to Grayline.