A frequent sight of Neuschwanstein Castle on Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds drew us all the way to Bavaria from Budapest. A perfect road trip of our life. Neuschwanstein is one of the most well-known castles in the world. This fairytale castle, built on a rugged cliff against a scenic mountain backdrop, with its majestic exterior and spectacular alpine setting, was Walt Disney’s inspiration for sleeping beauties castle and it’s not difficult to see why. Neuschwanstein’s beauty draws over a million people to its grounds every year.
Neuschwanstein is the number one tourist attraction in Germany, particularly in the summer season. This castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in Bavaria, Germany.
People from all around the world come to see Neuschwanstein. Nothing spoils a visit to Neuschwanstein more than spending precious hours in line to purchase the tickets.
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Tips for Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle:
1. Try to get there early:
The best way to purchase your tickets for the first tour of the day is by arriving one hour before the opening time. This is best to do because it will be easy for you to find parking, there will be no queues, and your tour may not be completely booked. The castle will be calm and quiet, just the way it is meant to be seen. Arriving midday can lead to standing in queues of 90 minutes or more just to purchase tickets. And even then, you may be purchasing tickets for a tour which is scheduled two to three hours later in the day!
2. Purchase your tickets in advance (before climbing up the big hill):
If you’re sure about your visit dates and times, you can make your reservation online. By doing this, you can avoid the lines and the long waits.
The climb up to the castle is about 45 minutes by foot, and once again, there is no way to purchase tickets up there, so make sure that you have your ticket and tour reserved before you make the trip up.
3. Can’t arrive early? Arrive late:
After 3 pm, things begin to quiet down, as day trippers make their way back. But in peak season tours can sell out by early afternoon. So I would still recommend to purchase your tickets in advance for the last tour of the day.
4. Visit Neuschwanstein during off season:
The months from November through April this places sees the lowest crowds (except during the holiday seasons of Christmas and Easter). The weather may not be ideal but on a bright sunny day you will surely get a beautiful view of the peaks covered in snow.
Also visiting this place during Fall (August, September and October) can be a complete different experience with pleasant weather.
Getting up to the Castle:
After the arrival in the village of Hohenschwangau, one can get to the castle by walking 30 minutes uphill on a paved, shaded path or there are horse carriage rides which will take you directly in front of the main entrance (no walking at all). Alternatively, there are shuttle buses that can take you till Mary’s Bridge and then walk 10 minutes downhill to the main entrance of the castle. Horse carriage rides cost €6.00 to go uphill and €3.00 to go downhill, whereas the shuttle buses cost €1.80 for uphill, €1.00 for downhill and €2.60 roundtrip. We chose to visit the castle by bus as the queue to purchase the bus ticket was shorter. But during the peak season the queue can be considerably long.
After the tour to the castle is complete, don’t forget to visit Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrucke) and the plains beyond for the postcard view of Neuschwanstein, which spans the spectacular Pöllat Gorge over a waterfall just above the castle.
All in all, Neuschwanstein may be one of the most touristy attractions in Bavaria, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a gorgeous castle, ripped straight from the pages of a storybook!!
Where to Stay:
One of your biggest travel expenses and time-consuming tasks is booking accommodation, and we all want to save time and hopefully some money when searching for deals online.
Whilst there are plenty of websites these days to help you search for accommodation, some are more trustworthy than others, and some are easier to navigate than others.
I’m sure you are already familiar with Booking.com, they are my all time favourite with lot of different types of accommodation you can book on their website: Hotels, Apartments, Resorts, Villas, B&B and Guesthouses.
In my opinion, not only are they are the best hotel booking site, but the best accommodation website.
Our Choice: The Mammhofer Suite and Breakfast at Oberammergau is one of the top rated hotels in Booking.com. It had an excellent breakfast buffet that served bread, marmalade, sandwich meat, juice, and other traditional German breakfast foods.
And if the above options aren’t enough for your style or budget, you can even book Lodges, chalets, luxury tents, campsites and more.
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Explore more around Neuschwanstein:
1. Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain peak: approx. 47 km – 1 hour drive.
2. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, home of 1936 Winter Olympics, is an excellent home base for exploring Bavaria.