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If you're reading this, you probably already know that Bavaria's Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Disney's iconic castle. Here are five facts about King Ludwig II's dramatic palace that you probably don't know!
Ludwig grew up in Hohenschwangau, the medieval knights' castle that his parents owned. Ludwig's dreams of building a castle on the rugged hill above it began as early as childhood!
Upon first hearing Wagner, the teenage Prince Ludwig became a devoted patron. His dream palace was the stuff of the Germanic sagas in the great composer's operas!
Ludwig considered his vision too extraordinary to be realized by mere architects. Neuschwanstein was instead designed by Christian Jank, a stage designer from Munich!
Forced to abdicate by a frustrated cabinet, the popular but inattentive king was removed from his new home. The next day he went for a walk and was discovered dead hours later.
Ludwig was a reclusive king and had envisioned his dream palace to be a place of solitary refuge and reflection. Just seven weeks after his death it was opened to the public!
Neuschwanstein is open daily from March 28 to October 15 at 9:00AM until 6:00PM. From October 16 to March 27 it is open from 10:00AM until 4:00PM, except December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.
There are several modest hotels and pensions in the Hohenschwangau area. Alternatively, Neuschwanstein is also just a day-trip away from Munich!
It's possible to walk up the hill from Hohenschwangau but it's quite a trek! You'd be better off choosing between the regular shuttle bus departing from outside the Schlosshotel Lisl on Neuschwansteinstraße, or the more expensive horse-drawn carriage from the Hotel Müller on Alpseestraße. Note that both stop short of the castle for accessibility reasons, and the short walk from the shuttle bus stop might be too steep for the mobility impaired.
- When should I visit?
- March 28 to October 15, 9:00AM to 6:00PM, October 16 to March 27, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
- Is it expensive?
- Castle ticket prices start at 12€ for adults.
- Will I need a guide?
- *Your entrance ticket reserves you a tour spot. *
- How to get there
- The bus from the Schlosshotel Lisl or the horse-drawn carriage from the Hotel Müller will drop you close to the castle.
- Additional information
- Note that you will need to do some uphill walk, and be prepared! |
Book your tickets in advance! Tickets can sell out during peak times.
What people are saying about Neuschwanstein Castle
The pick up, coordination, and the guide all were excellent. Only guarantee to go inside the castle is with this tour because the regular ticket line was impossible. Go with this tour and avoid any problems. HOWEVER... the castle is located on top of a VERY steep hill and our guide let the group decide if they wanted to walk uphill or go in a bus. The group choose to walk. The guide gave NO OPTION for anyone who wanted to take the bus, to keep us "together". Yeah right... If your group also decides to walk, then be prepared to walk 50 minutes UPHILL at a 45 degree angle. No kidding... Walking uphill for 50 minutes, IS NOT for everybody, much less for older people or kids. There is NOTHING interesting to see along the way. Just trees and vegetation. So why just not take the bus on the way up! Now, when you reach the top and you see that magnificent castle and the view, you forget you lost all your energy getting there. It was a good trip, but BE PREPARED.
I don’t really like doing tours, but this was absolutely different. Having the chance to swim in the middle of forests and mountains with a view to the castle is something unpayable. The bike riding was great and relaxing, and the restaurant was spectacular, specialy the beer. Our guide, Ryan, is hilarious and gave us great advices and tips. The tour wouldn’t have been the same without him. I will definitely repeat this tour when I return to Múnich.
We had Sarah as our guide. She has great knowledge of Ludwig and his kingdom. She told “The Story” from childhood to cover every aspect of his life, and delivered in increments that made the journey to The castle seem effortless. Conscious of her team and time constraints, she made the tour a joy. I hate tours, though if I was guaranteed of a Sarah every time, I’d book one.
The journey was long and it was basically short. Unfortunately all our time was to stop in the very warm atmosphere because of the tickets and their timing. I really did not like it and I would not advise it to recommend that a person take a train and go alone. However, I thank the guide because he was keen to accommodate some of the words I do not speak fluent English.
Guide was very good and tour was well organized. It is a lot to get in and visit to Oberammergau was frustrating ... 40 minutes including bathroom stop was unrealistic. Four hours at castle could be reduced to 3 1/2 and Oberammergau increased to hour and fifteen. That being said could still recommend.