The magical Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is an absolute fairytale! Seeing the castle during my recent Eurotrip was an absolute dream come true. In this travel guide I share with you everything you need to know about visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the Alps in Bavaria, Germany. It was built for King Ludwig II who was the king of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. The castle is magnificently positioned on the top of a hill and overlooks the beautiful Hohenschwangau valley. The area is absolutely breathtaking and it was magical seeing it in the fall! I think the castle looks gorgeous in every season and based on photos I’ve seen online, I would also love to see it in the winter surrounded by snowy hills and valleys!
Getting to the Neuschwanstein Castle
We drove to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Innsbruck, Austria which took about an hour and half. We arrived in Hohenschwangau at around 10 am, grabbed coffee at a local coffee shop and then trekked up the hill to see the castle from close up.
Walking to the castle from town takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The path leads you right to the front of the castle. There is also a shuttle bus service that can quickly take you to Marienbrücke (a pedestrian bridge overlooking the castle). Horse drawn carriages are also available near the castle. However, I kindly urge you not to use the services of the horse drawn carriages because I’m extremely concerned with the welfare of the horses, especially in the summer when the temperatures are extremely hot and they have to trek the hill up and down with full carriages. If you cannot walk up the hill yourself, please use the very convenient shuttle service that drops you off near the castle itself. Personally, I enjoyed the walk to the castle and it was great exercise!
Tickets to the Neuschwanstein Castle
You do not need a ticket to see the castle from the outside. If you want to see the interior of the Neuschwanstein Castle, you can book a guided tour at the Ticket Center in town (Hohenschwangau) that lasts approximately 35 minutes. Note that you cannot purchase tickets to see the inside once you are by the castle! If you choose to see the interior, make sure that you give yourself enough time to walk over to the castle from the ticket center. It takes about 35 minutes to walk up the hill. You can also reserve your tickets in advance at the official Neuschwanstein Castle website.
Neuschwanstein Castle Up Close
The path from Hohenschwangau leads right up to the castle. We spent about 10 to 15 minutes here admiring the remarkable details of the castle and taking some photos.
If you are looking for that iconic view of the whole castle, you need to walk a little bit further, past the castle, to the Marienbrücke (referred to as Mary’s Bridge). The Marienbrücke is a wooden pedestrian bridge, about 15 minutes walking distance from the castle. It is named after Queen Marie of Prussia, the mother of King Ludwig II. Views of the castle from the Marienbrücke are incredible!
Note for the unwary: For those of you that are claustrophobic or afraid of heights, the bridge might be a little scary. It can get pretty crowded and you feel it sway at times!
If you are feeling adventurous and would like to see even more unobstructed views of the castle with great photography spots, you can continue your trek along the road and hike the trail even further up the mountain. These trails are on a dirt paved road so if you decide you want to proceed with this option, make sure that you are wearing the right shoes! We walked a bit further up, but since we were wearing booties and flats, we decided to turn around after 5 to 10 minutes of walking.
Funny Anecdote about the Castle
To this day I have no idea how to correctly pronounce “Neuschwanstein”. Throughout our whole trip, we just referred to the castle as the castle whose name starts with an “N”. Hahaha. If you know how to pronounce “Neuschwanstein” correctly please spell it out for me phonetically in the comments below!
Bavarian Villages near Neuschwanstein Castle
After visiting the Neuschwanstein and walking around Hohenschwangau, we decided to visit some Bavarian villages near the area. There is quite many to choose from, but we settled on Oberammergau and Ettal.
Oberammergau is a charming Bavarian village where you get to see unbelievably exquisite façade paintings (Lüftlmalerei) on the buildings. The Lüftlmalerei in Oberammergau include paintings of biblical scenes and fairy tales. We walked around the town, had dinner here and also visited a Christmas store.
The area surrounding Oberammergau is absolutely gorgeous. On the way to Ettal, we stopped by a river with hills and valleys in the background for some cute photo opportunities.
The gorgeous Ettal Abbey is just outside Oberammergau. In Ettal, we enjoyed the sunshine and walked the grounds of the Ettal Basilica.
Summary of Our Trip to Bavaria, Germany
Visiting the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle was an absolute dream come true. The Bavarian countryside was also really beautiful and cool to see! I would definitely come back here again. If you have any questions about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, let me know in the comments below! And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family on your social media platforms. It really helps me out!