Visiting the Neuschwanstein castle and the Schwangau village
The Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is one of the most famous castles in the world, not only for the beauty and location in the Alps but also since it inspired one of the most famous castles in the world, the Disney Castle.
Schwangau is the small village near the castle and also the name for the first castle in the area. Nowadays Schwangau is only important due to the location near these two castles, and it is mainly a touristic village.
Our trip is still considered, for us, one of the best we have made so far, the place is truly beautiful and unique. The Neuschwanstein is a beautiful palace surrounded by beautiful landscapes, mountains and waterfalls. You can go and relax or you can go for a run, there are many options and the city of Fussen also has a beautiful park.
The Neuschwanstein changes over the year, we went there in June and the landscape was green, but if you go another time of the year you will experience different colors of the landscape and maybe a different mood.
The throne room without throne
History of the Neuschwanstein
The Neuschwanstein castle was inspired by the Romanticism art and a king passionate by the Richard Wagner Operas. The concept of this castle was a modern work from scratch, it would be inspired by the best castles and there would be no specific basis.
The location was decided according the passion of King Ludwig II for a beautiful location that would remind the middle ages.
This explains why there are two castles in the same area and why the Neuschwanstein has not a defensive structure. It was purely an artistic structure without logistical use.
Since Bavaria was a rich country and king Ludwig had the love and the money for this project, he financed it, even against many advisers. He wanted the castle ready so he could live in it and he was available to buy the best materials.
Unfortunately for Ludwig the costs were astronomic and the Bavarian parliament rejected additional funds for the castles (Neuschwanstein was not the only one being constructed at that time).
King Ludwig II of the Bavaria was deposed before the end of the works of the Neuschwanstein, so the castle as we see it today never had a king to live in it and no throne in the specific room for the throne. The future of "Ludwig castles" was as artistic buildings visited by paying visitors.
Where can you find the Neuschwanstein Castle
The Neuschwanstein castle is located in south Germany, in the Bavaria region, near the German village of Fussen that is located just by the border with Austria.
The Neuschwanstein is located north of the Alps with the German side being plain and in the Austrian side there are the Alps rocky mountains.
The near biggest cities with international airports are Munich (120 km/75 mi to the city and 160 km / 100 mi to the airport) and Innsbruck, Austria (120 km to the city and airport).
How we got there
Originally we rented a car in the Munich International Airport and from there we made a circular trip.
We went to Schwangau by car after passing by Salzburg, Kufstein and other small cities. You can easily park in Schwangau and Fussen, but in the Hohenschwangau you will have to pay for parking your car in the village.
It is very easy and the staff is friendly and will explain the prices and where you should park. I cannot remember exactly how much we paid.
How to get there by public transportation
- How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle by public transp...
Step by step guide to the trains and buses to catch from Munich and Augsburg to visit this fairy tale castle in Bavaria, Germany. Includes guidance on the best value travel tickets to purchase.
The Hohenschwangau Castle, original castle of the region that was rebuilt.
Although it is called a castle, the modern architecture related with this turn it more into a palace.
Largest village near the castle.
Did you know the Neuschwanstein inspired the design of the Disney Castle
The Disney Castle and Neuschwanstein
It was the Disney magical stories and the need to have a castle where the prince lives that inspired Disney to search for inspiration in real world castles, Neuscwanstein was the main inspiration.
Disney has castles in their theme parks inspired by the Neuschwanstein for two famous Disney tales, the Sleeping beauty and the Cinderella. These are the theme castles
- Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland Park (California) and Hong Kong Disneyland
- Cinderella castle in Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland
A Castle with a million visits
There aren't many castles that can be proud to be visited by over a million people in just an year. The Neuschwanstein has days that more than 6,000 people visiting it.
Ticket Prices and Information
Tickets are only available on the Hohenschwangau ticket-center, near the castle. You have to buy it before you go to the castle and you also have to chose a specific time to do your visit.
When we went there, we left the hotel early in the morning and bought the tickets at 08:30. If I remember correctly we bought the Hohenschwangau tickets for the 09:30 visit and the Neuschwanstein tickets for the 11:00 visit.
The tickets are on sale at these hours:
- April to 15 October: 8 am-5 pm
- 16 October to March: 9 am-3 pm
Opening hours of Neuschwanstein Castle
- April to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm
- 16 October to March: 10 am-4 pm (except 1 January and 24 / 25 / 31 December.)
- 12 euros regular
- 11 euros reduced
- Children and young people under 18 are free.
Königsticket (King's ticket), for both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle on the same day:
- 23 euros regular
- 21 euros reduced
There are additional options on Neuschwanstein Official Website
The View from Neuschwanstein
The Hohenschwangau Castle and the Lake nearby
If you are going to visit the Neuschwanstein, I also recommend the Hohenschwangau. The interior of castle is probably better, since it was an used castle by the kings and it is a finished castle. It is also a simple Bavarian style castle with beautiful statues and well integrated in the forest.
The lake near the Neuschwanstein is the most beautiful lake, but it is calm and stays beautifully with the mountains and the green.
Our recommendation is to take a day in the Hohenschwangau village and take your time to visit all these places. The village and forest are worth to spend some time on it.
Are you Hungry in the area?
Don't worry, there are a few restaurants ans small kiosks that sell food. Try the Bavarian sausage in the beautiful Bavarian landscape.
When we were there we decided to eat a Bratwurst, bought in a small kiosk and then we took a walk around the village while eating it. The village is safe and everyone seems to be happy, probably because it is a great place to be on vacation.
The waterfalls near the Neuschwanstein
After we finished our visit to both castles we decided to take a walk around the forest. It is perfectly safe and there are many paths, most of them are good for walking without any special physical condition.
It is not dangerous at all, there are always people walking and the only problem we found was with some rocks where you could slip a little.
As you go walking by the forest you will find these beautiful small waterfalls with the big trees around it. The walking is very relaxing and you won't notice the time passing by. As a couple we loved the walk since it can get very romantic. We walked for about two hours and it was enough for us but for the most adventures you can go higher in the mountains.
We went there in June, which may explain the green trees and the always falling water.