Why are these castles so famous ?

Neuschwanstein Castle is the most famous castle in Bavaria worldwide! Perched amidst the mountains, it appears as though it was placed there, deep within the forest. The view from the outside is also the most recognized in the world, so you won’t be alone when visiting this castle.

Built by Louis II in 1868, it overlooks Hohenschwangau Castle, where he spent his childhood. Driven by a passion for medieval culture, Neuschwanstein Castle pays homage to that era: through it, he sought to recreate a period he wished to revive.

The castle is constructed in a medieval style but with the refinement and modern conveniences of its time. Unfortunately, it was never completed due to Louis II’s premature death.

The downside : crowds and the Marienbrücke

The drawback of being the most famous castle in Germany and worldwide is the density of tourists per square centimeter! So, brace yourselves: unless you go in the dead of winter or completely off-season, you’ll be far, very far from being alone!

Perhaps most striking is the queue to access the tiny suspended bridge of Marienbrücke. If you visit during peak season and in the middle of the day, be prepared for hours of waiting just to get onto the bridge, all for that long-awaited photo of Neuschwanstein Castle that everyone sees everywhere.

The worst part is that this bridge leads to nowhere! It’s solely for taking your photo! Moreover, it’s made of wood… and frankly, it doesn’t look very sturdy at all! We didn’t feel too confident standing on it. Apparently, there’s a counter supposedly showing the real-time number of people on it for safety reasons, but we didn’t see anyone actually monitoring or regulating this supposed count.

Of course, we still got our photo! Our advice is to go late in the day when the castle is about to close and the crowds are almost gone!

That being said, the view from this bridge is still breathtaking.

How to get to Marienbrücke and the castles ?

To reach Neuschwanstein Castle, you have two options:

  • By foot: You can hike through the forest or take the road, but be aware the ascent is very steep, taking about 1 hour.
  • By bus: The bus departs directly from the town and is a paid service. The ride takes about ten minutes, but be prepared for tight quarters—it can get crowded! Claustrophobic individuals might want to reconsider.

Once you’re at the top, everything is well signposted: the castle and Marienbrücke. It’s a 5-minute walk to Marienbrücke, assuming there’s no queue, and about 20 minutes on foot to reach the castle.

To visit Hohenschwangau Castle, you also have two options:

  • By foot: This is the most practical and economical option. The incline is manageable, taking about 15 minutes.
  • By horse-drawn carriage: It’s a charming but paid option.

Can you go with a stroller ?

Yes, but if you’re taking the bus, you’ll need to fold it! The road to the castle is stroller-friendly, but strollers are not allowed inside the castle. It’s advisable to inquire locally; if your stroller folds easily, there are lockers available at the castle’s base where you can securely leave it.

How to organize your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle ?

Plan ahead!

That’s the key takeaway from this article! Unless you plan to visit in winter or off-season, it’s essential to make arrangements well in advance.

You really can’t imagine how crowded it gets there! On our end, we booked our visit time slots directly on the official website through online reservation.

⚠️ Be cautious, as there are numerous websites selling tickets for the castle, often operated by tour companies, and prices can be higher.

We recommend booking directly through the official castle website. There, you can reserve tickets and time slots for both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, as well as for the Museum of the Bavarian Kings.

If possible, start with Hohenschwangau Castle and finish your day with Neuschwanstein Castle. The later in the day you choose your time slot for Neuschwanstein, the fewer people you’re likely to encounter 😉

Practical information

Here are all the practical details, but in short, here’s what you need to know:

  • Parking: Accessible during the day only for motorcycles, cars, buses, and adapted vehicles. Fees start from 10 euros per day for cars. Spaces fill up very quickly, so arrive early in the morning.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle is open every day except around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
  • Hohenschwangau Castle is open from March to October.
  • A combined ticket for both castles costs around thirty euros.
  • Visits to the castles are guided tours only and require reservations.

What to do around Neuschwanstein ?

Füssen, its atmosphere, and its painted houses.

Füssen is located about a 20-minute drive from the castles. It’s a beautiful little town that you absolutely must not miss. With musicians scattered throughout the city, painted house facades, and biergartens, it’s a delightful place to wander around. Also, don’t miss visiting its castle perched on the heights.

The magnificent and tranquil Alpssee lake.

Another wonder of nature. Turquoise waters, forests as far as the eye can see, and absolute tranquility. To avoid the crowds near the beginning of the lake, put on your hiking shoes and follow the path that circles around it. Within minutes, you’ll find yourself alone; the walk is superb and very enjoyable after the crowds at the castles.

If you wish to swim there, we also recommend avoiding the start of the lake and continuing further along the path. You’ll discover private and paid beaches that are stunning and with very few people.

Neuschwanstein castle in a motorhome

If you’ve read our previous articles, you’ll know that Bavaria is well-suited for motorhome stays, and these castles are no exception.

Upon arrival in Schwangau, someone will direct you straight to the designated motorhome parking, P2. The parking fee ranges from 13 to 15 euros.

Overnight stays are prohibited, and they do enforce this rule! However, there are nice spots nearby if you head back towards Füssen, or two paid motorhome areas with services directly in Füssen.

Where to eat while visiting the castles ?

There’s no shortage of options!

Along the street leading to the castles and the lake, you’ll find numerous snack bars for takeout and restaurants. However, be cautious as many are tourist traps with high prices and mediocre quality. We recommend trying Alpenstuben: they offer specialties at reasonable prices, excellent service, and friendly staff — we had a great meal there.

If weather permits, picnicking by the lake is ideal if you’re able to.

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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