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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 to visitMarch 28 to October 15, 9:00AM to 6:00PM, October 16 to March 27, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
- What is the price?Castle ticket prices start at 12€ for adults.
- Will I need a guide?*Your entrance ticket reserves you a tour spot. *
- How to get thereThe bus from the Schlosshotel Lisl or the horse-drawn carriage from the Hotel Müller will drop you close to the castle.
- Additional tipsNote 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 tours were punctual, informative and entertaining. We took the day tour to Salzburg the day before and followed that with the day tour to Neuschwanstein. Our tour guides, Susan for Salzburg and Roland for Neuschwanstein, were very knowledgeable and helpful. My son and I would like to thank you for this and keep up the great work!
You don't need to go into the castle!! Our tour guide tried very hard to pressure us into buying a ticket for the castle while we were on the train (€13 each), even singling us out in front of the whole group. But, he didn't tell anyone until we got there that the tour is only 35 minutes long and "you get herded like cattle and are lucky to get a good tour guide for the castle". There is plenty to do while other people tour, and if you want to hike for a bit (the road to the bridge is definitely accessible), you will get truly outstanding castle views and a good Alp experience at no additional cost. Overall our tour was great and very informative, but in the end we were very glad that we didn't get pressured into spending extra money. Also, our tour guide used the word "retarded" to describe several different things during the tour; not sure why that's still happening in 2017. Note- the roads up the the bridge are technically closed, but everyone goes around the barrier
Very well organised, Ursula our tour guide was very friendly and her knowledge was outstanding. The coach was very comfortable and the driver was very friendly. The castles were beautiful and the tours were very well organised.
Gunnar was a fabulous guide. The whole experience was great and we wished we had more time in Munich to book another tour. Well worth the price. Exceeded expectations
Jovanny (our tour guide) told us the history of the castle in an interesting way by breaking it into episodes, delivered at each pit stop along the hiking route. Everything was well-planned and went on smoothly. The castle was magical in wintertime although it was a tad bit cold up there. Nonetheless, recommending this tour to everyone!