Neuschwanstein Castle, or possibly better known by some as “Sleeping Beauty Castle,” has always been on my list of places to visit. When I made the trip to Munich, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to make a side trip the famous castle. Yes, it’s a very touristy spot, but I think it’s one of those tourist attractions that’s definitely worth the visit! If Neuschwanstein Castle is on your list too, there are a few things you should know before you go.
First, some background information about the castle. It’s situated on top of a rocky ledge in the village of Hohenschwangau, which is near Füssen (which is where you’ll arrive first if travelling by train). The castle was built for the “Mad King” Ludwig II in the 19th century. Unfortunately for him, he died before it was finished. Neuschwanstein opened after his death as a museum.
Castle Tour and Photography
The interior of Neuschwanstein Castle can only be seen through a guided tour, which lasts about 30 minutes. One thing to remember during the tour is that photography isn’t allowed. When I visited the castle, I went with Sandemans New Europe on their Neuschwanstein Castle tour. Our guide with the company told us to be creative in trying to get pictures. (Example: You can take a picture of the outside through the window, so I suggest quickly taking pictures as you turn from the window.) If you decide to try the creative route, remember to keep an eye on the castle tour guide.
Getting to Neuschwanstein Castle
If you’re traveling by train, you’ll get off in Füssen first, then take a bus Hohenschwangau. It was pretty easy to get there from Munich by train. Try to go to the castle early in the day, and visit on a weekday if you can. Once you’re at the village, there are three 3 ways to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from the village: walk, shuttle bus, or horse carriage.
If you decide to walk (which I recommend if you have time and are able), it’ll take about 40 minutes to get the castle entrance, going up a somewhat steep hill. Walking give you a chance to take amazing pictures from several different viewpoints. One of the best photo spots is from the Marienbrücke Bridge (if you’re brave enough to venture out onto the middle of it).
Buying Your Ticket
Try to book your ticket to Neuschwanstein Castle in advance, and if you can’t keep in mind that tickets can only be bought at the foot of the hill, not at the castle entrance. If you buy your ticket online, you can reserve a specific time slot for your tour for a small fee. If you don’t do this, you’ll be assigned a time when you pick up your ticket in Hohenschwangau. Yes, you still have to wait in a line for your ticket, buy it’s usually much shorter.
If you don’t reserve a time in advance, definitely try to get there as early as you can. Otherwise, you could end up waiting a long time for your tour, depending on how many people are before you. Also make sure to pay attention to the time on your confirmation if you do decide to reserve a tour time, and when you need to pick up your ticket by.
Also, if you have some extra time, explore Alpsee or Hohenschwangau Castle (or “Swan Castle”). The town of Füssen is also a great little town to just walk around.