If there’s one place you definitely must visit when you go to Munich, it’s got to be Neuschwanstein Castle. While I was impressed when I initially saw the photo of this iconic castle, gazing upon the actual castle with my own eyes completely blew me away. There is nothing quite like that view anywhere in the world, and now it’s permanently embedded in my mind.
My favorite spot was on the Marienbrucke Bridge, which is where I took this photo. From here, there is a great view of the castle, nearby towns, grassy fields, and lakes behind it. Altogether, it’s an incredible sight and looks like something out of a fairytale. They say that Neuschwanstein Castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom, and serves as the model for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. For some general information about this amazing place, here are some Neuschwanstein Castle facts I learned on my visit.
Neuschwanstein Castle Facts
- In 1868, King Ludwig II, known as the “Fairytale King” ordered the creation of Neuschwanstein Castle, located in Bavaria, one of the 16 states of Germany.
- Ludwig II was fascinated with the idea of living in a medieval fantasy world, which is why he created the castle, so he could live out his dream of being a true king.
- The castle was meant to be a recreation of Hohenschwangau Castle, a much smaller castle nearby where Ludwig II spent his childhood.
- From the highest tower, the castle is 213 feet high, and with 14 rooms. Originally, there were supposed to be hundreds of rooms, but the budget ran out.
- The castle has a beautiful throne room with a 13 foot chandelier, beautifully decorated floor, and huge murals of Jesus and his disciples painted on the walls. However, there is no actual throne, since it wasn’t completed until after Ludwig died.
- Ludwig II never saw the final completed castle, as he died suddenly in 1886 at the age of 40.
- Ludwig II said that he never wanted any strangers to be allowed into the castle. But only 6 weeks after his death, the Bavarian government began allowing visitors to visit the castle.
- Neuschwanstein castle is supposed to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s famous Magic Kingdom, and the model for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland.
- The German state of Bavaria currently own the castle, and they spend over 15 million euros each year to maintain it.
- King Ludwig only spent 11 nights total in the castle before his mysterious sudden death.
Neuschwanstein Castle opens from 9am-6pm from April to October 15, and from 10am-4pm from October 16 to the end of March. It’s open every day except for December 24, 25, 31, and January 1. For adults, the tickets cost 14 euros and include a guided tour at a specific time. For more specific information, check out the official Neuschwanstein Castle website here.
Neuschwanstein Castle Tour
For the Gray Line Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Tour, we left Munich at 8:30am, and arrived to Linderhof Palace, another one of Ludwig II’s creations, at around 10am. We stayed here for about an hour to tour the castle and the surrounding area. This palace is much smaller, but very beautiful as well, with amazing interior decorations, and an impressive garden in the front.
After this, we headed to the nearby town of Oberammergau, known for houses with unique painted murals. Originally, these painted houses were a display of wealth, but nowadays, they exist to keep the tradition of painted houses alive.
After spending about another hour here, we arrived in Schwangau Village, the base and ticket center for the two castles, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Our tour guide gave us 3 hours to spend here, which was perfect to have a quick lunch, view Neuschwanstein castle from the Marienbrucke Bridge, and do the guided tour of the castle.
From Schwangau village, we took the shuttle bus, which cost about 2 euros per person. It took us to the base of the Marienbrucke Bridge, from which there is a beautiful view of the castle from afar. Then we had a lunch that we brought there while admiring the amazing view. After that, we headed back down the road to the castle for our castle tour.
The guided tours are about 30 minutes long, with an audio guide in 16 different languages. It takes you through many of the castle rooms, including the kitchens, a giant hall, throne room, Ludwig II’s bedroom, and a cave-like grotto. Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures inside the castle, but it’s definitely worth seeing. After the tour, we walked back down to Schwangau village, which took about 30 minutes, to catch the bus back to Munich.
Munich To Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is about 100km southwest of Munich, and there are a few ways to from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle.
First, you can rent a car and drive there yourself from Munich, which is about a 2 hour long drive. Rental cars typically range from 50-100 euros a day, so if you’re traveling in a group of 4, this may be a good option.
You can also take public transportation, but the route isn’t as direct. From Hauptbahnhof station in Munich, you have to take a train to Fussen, a nearby town. Then take a bus from Fussen to Schwangau, which is the village that serves as the base for the castle. The hourly train to Fussen takes about 2 hours, and is about 55 euros round trip. From Fussen, you can take the bus to Schwangau village. Take either bus 73 towards Steingaden/Garmisch-Partenkirchen, bus 78 towards Schwangau, or bus 9606 towards Post/Bahnhof, Garmisch-Partenkirchen. These buses run regularly, and will get you to the village in less than 10 minutes. I recommend this option if you are traveling alone and wish to spend an entire day there. This way you can view both castles, see the towns, lakes, and also have the option to try hang-gliding!
The third option, which is what I did, is to take a tour from Munich. You can book a tour that goes to Linderhof castle and Neuschwanstein castle for about 55 euros. For a discount, download the Google Trips mobile app, and check out the discounts tab. There is usually a 20% off link for these tours. I took the Gray Line Company tour, and the bus left Munich at 8:30am in the morning from right in front of Hauptbahnhof station. It returned at around 6:30pm in the evening. The tour price doesn’t include the entrance tickets, which cost 14 euros for Neuschwanstein, and 10 euros for Linderhof.
The good thing about taking the tour is that you don’t have to wait in line to buy tickets, which can take up to 2 hours. The tour guide also explains everything very well, and you don’t have to worry about figuring out your transporation. On the other hand, I feel like it would’ve been nice to stay at Neuschwanstein for even longer. This way, I could visit the surrounding areas, which wasn’t possible on the tight schedule of the tour. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the tour, and it was well worth the money.
Overall, I really my tour to Neuschwanstein Castle. The view from Marienbrucke Bridge was just amazing; no words can describe the feeling I got from being there. The pictures don’t do it justice, the castle was incredible, and the grassy fields, town, and lake in the background were so perfect. I hope to one day return during the winter, and see how it looks all covered in snow! I hope you learned some Neuschwanstein Castle facts from this article, and that one day you get a chance to visit this magnificent place!
For some of my travel tips, check out these posts here!