Germany has no shortage of castles. It’s most well-known castle is arguably Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloβ Neuschwanstein), the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle. This fairytale castle is located in Schwangau, a village in the Bavarian region of Germany.
Nestled in the German Alps, the castle sits atop a rock with the perfect view of both the mountains and bright blue lakes. Neuschwanstein is young compared to most other castles in Europe, as it was built between 1869 and 1889, at the behest of King Ludwig II. It has played an important part in German history, particularly during World War II. During the war, it was used as a depot for stolen French Art until it was surrendered to the Allied Forces in 1945.
When visiting, tickets must be purchased on-site. Visitors can choose to take a guided tour or just take a shuttle to the castle and explore the grounds. During our two trips, we did not go inside the castle, but were told that the interior is quite fantastic! The castle is accessible via a shuttle that drives along the windy road leading to a drop-off point close to the castle. If taking a shuttle seems too basic for you, riding a horse-drawn carriage to the castle and hiking (ugh) are also options!
For the best view, check out the bridge (Marienbrücke) near the drop-off spot. You, along with many other visitors, are likely to be fighting for the perfect photo op, so beware! The bridge, which I’m standing on in the above picture, was excellently-placed to allow for a nice view of both Neuschwanstein and the town of Hohenschwangau below.
After checking out the bridge, a short walk is necessary to finally reach the castle. On the walk, breathtaking views of the Alps, Hohenschwangau, and Neuschwanstein are abundant. Visitors can easily witness the intricate details on the castle as they approach the large limestone structure.
The courtyard of the castle is another beautiful spot. Painted murals in the traditional Bavarian style are front and center, along with a clock on the adjacent wall. The exterior details are certainly no match for the interior. I plan to take an interior tour of the castle on my next trip there, just to make sure I can see the full beauty that King Ludwig II was so passionate about.
When visiting Neuschwanstein, visitors can actually visit two castles! The other castle in the area is Hohenschwangau Castle (Schloβ Hohenschwangau), the childhood residence of King Ludwig II. Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau can be seen from the other. Hohenschwangau Castle originated as a fortress in the 14th century and was later turned into more of a castle. Tours are also available for Hohenschwangau.
Why visit one castle when you can visit two?!
You can find info on purchasing tickets and more history about Neuschwanstein Castle here. For info about Hohenschwangau, click here. When visiting during winter, be sure to check the weather and possible restrictions to avoid disappointment.
Have you visited Neuschwanstein Castle? What was your favorite part? Let me know!
Until my next adventure,