Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

The most famous castle in Germany—and one of the best known in Europe—Neuschwanstein is renowned not just for its fairy-tale architecture (which directly inspired the Disney Castle) but also for its creator, “mad” King Ludwig II. Begun in 1868, it wasn’t completed until four years after Ludwig’s death, in 1892, but was very advanced for its time, with larger-than-usual windows, central heating, an elevator, telephones, and indoor plumbing. However, it’s the castle’s mountaintop setting and soaring towers that really impress. When visiting, be sure to check out the paintings inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner—Ludwig’s friend and the person to whom he dedicated the castle. Also take in the stellar views from the Marienbrücke, and if you want to visit in style, consider a horse-drawn carriage ride back to your car. There’s a restaurant on-site, but plenty of cheaper options are in the town below.

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Evening at Neuschwanstein Castle

I have lived in Germany a long time, and have visited this castle many times but I have never gotten to walk on the Marien Bridge until this past Saturday. I finally got the view I wanted all these years. Best of all, no scaffolding! This castle is in constant maintenance so it’s a rare sight to see it in all it’s perfection. Because it’s extremely crowded with tourists we did not get close. I was happy to just have this view in sight. At 7pm there are no people around in this area. Love it!

Getting a perfect postcard picture of Neuschwanstein

Once I had experienced the obligatory tour of Neuschwanstein Castle (located in southwest Bavaria, Germany), I wanted to escape the masses and was particularly keen on taking my own “perfect postcard” photos of the castle. This was not difficult to achieve, but required a bit of extra hiking to Marie’s Bridge, where many amateur and professional photographers before me have had the same opportunity. From this vantage point, one can capture panoramic shots of the castle surrounded by a pastoral setting that includes two lakes (the Alpsee and Schwansee), where I later fed eager swans with bread from my lunch sack. The castle is worth a tour although it is overly crowded during the summertime (up to 6,000 tourists per day). The on-site gift shop provides books and pamphlets illustrating the sad life of King Ludwig II, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1886. It was Ludwig’s intention to build Neuschwanstein as a private residence for himself and favored guests such as the opera composer Richard Wagner, but immediately after Ludwig died, the castle was opened to the public and has been enormously popular with tourists ever since. I enjoyed taking several photos of the exterior castle, grounds, and surrounding landscape, but photos of the interior are not permitted.

Fairy Tale Brought to life

I had always dreamed of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. The mixture of mad king, striking architecture and prestige made this castle a really interesting piece of history to visit, Despite the crowds and travel time I think it should be included on any trip to Bavaria!

Relaxing in Bavaria

On my third trip to Germany, but my first trip to Bavaria, I took it slow for a few days, just enjoying the beauty of Füssen and the surrounding towns. One of the highlights was catching this beautiful rainbow on the outskirts of Neuschwanstein Castle. May is a beautiful time to visit.

Hohenschwangau - Mad King Ludwig's first home

Close to the famous Disney-esque Neufwanstein castle built by the mad king in a mideval style, Hohenschwangau is somewhat overlooked. I must confess too that although I didn’t overlook it when down in Bavaria, I didn’t visit it either since time was not on my side and the “Disney” one was just up the hill. The village and the rest of the area are mega-touristy which I’m not crazy about but what else could be done?! Mind you, I found it somewhat disorganized. To get to Neufwanstein, you have to walk 40 minutes or just take a 10 minute bus ride. First though, you have to go one place to buy your castle entrance ticket, then another one to get your bus ticket. One poor couple were standing in line to get into the castle and asked me where to buy a ticket. They had to go all the way back down into the village!

Amazing views of the Neuschwanstein Castle

Our tour guide took us onto a bridge to take these beautiful photos of the castle. After taking these drive over and go inside.

Follow in the footsteps of Mad King Ludwig

Few sights resemble the magical feel of the Bavarian Alps like Neuschwanstein Castle. The fairytale towers and turrets, vast halls and mountain-top setting bring out your inner child, transporting you back to a time of bedtime storytelling and fantasy dreams. Built as part of King Ludwig II’s thirst for opulent castles, the views of this emblematic structure make the journey worthwhile. Visitors can also explore the extravagant finished rooms (the castle is still technically unfinished), dine at the charming restaurant at the base of the castle and unravel the story of a mad king whose visions of fantasy helped create one of the most iconic and beautiful man-made sites in the world. Tip: book ahead of time to avoid the lines and consider taking a horse-drawn carriage to and from the castle to complete the fairytale dream. Well, Ludwig II would’ve done so!


What a gorgeous day it was in Bavaria!!

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