The night before we had stayed a two-hour drive from the Neuschwanstein castle opting for a very early morning rather than paying outrageously expensive hotel costs to sleep near the very touristic castle.
I must confess that before visiting I knew very little about Neuschwanstein Castle. During the tour Anita completely shook her head at herself for not recognizing sooner that Schwan means SWAN in German. Neuschwanstein, meaning New Swanstone Castle, Ludwig’s love for swans is very apparent with the many swan decorations and carvings placed throughout the entire castle.
This castle seems to be full of inspiration. King Ludwig II of Bavaria built this surprisingly young castle (built in the 19th century) to replicate the beloved middle ages. Created from inspiration itself, Neuschwanstein is most well known for being the inspiration to the famous and beloved Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. You know the one, right? 😉
Here are a few tips I have to share after my enjoyable visit.
Reserve a Ticket Online (Min. 2 Days in Advance)!
Though it’s easy and possible to buy tickets when you’re there, expect to wait at least 30 minutes in line, plus the waiting time for the next available tour could get long.
You can buy tickets online up to two days before. Don’t misinterpret that like me, thinking you can only buy them max two days BEFORE, but rather, anytime up to two days before. The line can be very long, especially later in the day so try to get there early. When we arrived at 8:45am, around opening time, we waited at least 30 minutes in line, staring at the torturously empty “reserved tickets” line. DOH! I will definitely not mess that one up next time. When we called the castle the night before to ask about buying tickets, he informed us that we could only buy them at the info center and that at the current time (11:00am) people buying tickets at the window could expect to wait until 4pm for the next available tour. We bought ours at around 9:30 and our tour was at 10:40am. That gave us just enough time to buy a bus ticket, take the bus up, see the Marienbrucke viewpoint, walk down to the castle and be there for the tour.
Go Pee BEFORE the Tour:
The tour is only about 50 minutes but if you’re on the edge of whether to use the bathroom or not, I advise you to use it because there are no toilets during the tour. Thank gosh I decided to go in the last minute with my pregnancy bladder.
Best Route for Minimal Walking But Still Gives a Taste of Everything:
Looking at the map it is easy to mistake the uphills and the downhills. Considering I am pregnant and my sister in law’s hip was acting up after a week of too much exploring, I was really lucky to have clued in to the fact that the horse would drop us off BELOW the castle, whereas the bus drops you off above the castle.
For minimal walking and to get a taste of everything, first take the bus for €1.80/person up to Neuschwanstein, DON’T miss the famous Marienbrucke viewpoint before taking the short walk DOWNHILL to the castle. Don’t forget to leave yourself some time, because the tours are all tightly scheduled. After your 50 minute tour of the Disney-inspired castle take a short stroll downhill where you will find a horse and carriage waiting for you for €3/person. Once at the bottom, take another horse carriage (horse or walking are the only options) for 4.5€/person to the Hohenschwangau Castle, Be aware that the horse carriages are going to both castle so be sure you’re on the correct horse…we had a couple end up at the wrong castle. I just hoped they weren’t going to miss their tour because of the mistake. The walking trail to Hohenschwangau Castle says 20 minutes on the map but it takes about 5 minutes going downhill. Car parking is €6 and the entry fee to only Neuschwanstein is €39/person. They sell package deals depending on what sites you want to see while there but the bus and horse fees you pay directly to the driver or at the bus ticket window.
Factor in a Minimum of Four Hours for Your Visit:
To give you an idea, it took us a total of four hours from the time we got there, bought our tickets, got up to the castle, did the Neuschwanstein Castle audio guided tour and saw the outside of the second castle, Hohenschwangau Castle. Give yourself at least four hours, more if you are interested in going inside both castles, seeing the museum, and especially if you prefer to walk the trails or if you arrive later to buy tickets at the counter as you may get a later tour time.
Wishing you a wonderful trip to a magical place.
Ps. My biggest achievement of this trip? After all the planning and research leading up to and during this visit, I can FINALLY spell Neuschwanstein =)
Categories: Savannah Grace