Neuschwanstein Castle

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Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle Schwangau Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Neuschwanstein Castle May 05, 2013
Neuschwanstein Castle is an enormous, fairy tale castle in Bavaria. In fact, literally a fairy tale castle. It's entirely a 19th century fake, built on the orders of a mad prince with an unhealthy obsession with Wagner opera and medieval myths. It was even built to be more "authentic" than the medieval castle it replaced that's further down the hill, and according to one information sign, the original even older castle on the same site. It was built to be grander, more dramatic and lovelier than a medieval castle, and it succeeds in many ways, although it wouldn't stand up to a sustained siege for more than a day or two (castle nerd).

The site couldn't be lovelier, right on top of a dramatic rock with a commanding view of the entire Bavarian plain. It looks like it fell out of a Disney film (it was a major influence on Disney, in fact), whitewashed and imposing. The interior of the castle (where photos are strictly forbidden) is stunning. Only a few rooms were finished before the king died and the new government refused to keep paying for more new rooms to be built. But those include a Singer's Hall based on Parsifal and Tanhauser, a monumental throne room with a stunning gold ceiling and mosaic floor, and an entire fake cave based on the Venus cave from Tannhauser.

I am not a huge opera buff, but I have seen Parsifal, in English translation. It is very beautiful, but even translated it makes NO SENSE AT ALL and is ridiculously over the top. That sums the castle up nicely.

There is also some lovely countryside things to see - there is a tiny bridge over a deep gorge that gives you the best view of the castle, and there is a nice looking trail down to see the bottom of that gorge and look at the waterfalls. I would definitely allow enough time for some wandering about whilst you are there.

You must be exactly on time for your tour. Visiting the inside of the castle is only possible as part of an organised tour, and they won't wait for you as there are very small intervals between tours. Tours are offered in English, German, Russian and I think French.

Now, the practicalities of visiting.

My word, they know how to charge here. The tour is about 12 euros, and you are well advised to book in advance if you are going in high season. The queues are epic even in May, unless you are picking up pre-booked tickets. Then there is the charge for the bus from the ticket office to the castle, unless you are able to hike up. And by this point you will have paid for a train to Fussen and another bus from Fussen the village where the castle really is. And you have tourist mark up pricing on practically everything you buy.

Apart from charging, there is also the queuing, and the walking. The bus will take on so many passengers there's nothing to even hold onto, unusually for normally civilised Germany, and even then there will be a twenty minute wait. Then there is the walking down to the castle, so allow time for that - it's quite a long way from the car park where the bus lets you off.

There is a sign in the castle visitors centre saying that disabled visitors will find it hard. I vote impossible. There is a long walk from the bus to the castle, about 200 odd steps inside (and of course no lift, because this is a castle), and they are steep and narrow. It is just about possible on sticks (mum managed on a walking stick) but it's hard work. I wouldn't try it with a buggy either.

There is a nice cafe that does decent goulash and has a lovely view. And, of course, there is a gift shop. In fact two. For all your wooden sword and engraved stein needs.

If all this sounds negative, it's not to put you off. The castle is very lovely, even if it is bonkers and expensive. I would recommend a visit at least once, and especially the hike up to the little bridge.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
The inside is probably worth seeing once, if only as a really good example of why hereditary royalty shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the nation's actual treasury! It was impressive even if it was just one floor. :) I guess 12 euros isn't too bad- I just hasn't allowed for it to be 12 euros, plus a 30 euro train, plus a 5euro bus, plus another 3 euro bus again. It might be one of the few times when an actual tour might be a better deal? Still, it really is a lovely castle.
Posted on: May 24, 2013
HelenP says:
Sarah Elaine, very much enjoyed your review. Did not realize that the castle is unfinished. Sounds then more like its appeal is mostly the external visual..

Re cost just come from visiting Mach Picchu and still punch drunk re how much it cost to visit; $60 each way on tourist train (only way to get there), $30 per day entrance fee and $18 for the twenty minute each way bus to the site.. So almost $170 for a day visit!
Posted on: May 23, 2013
davidx says:
Most informative. Pena Palace at Sintra is sometimes compared with this castle - but too many steps for me at both.
Posted on: May 22, 2013
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Mixal Mixal
23 reviews
Fairytale castle Sep 26, 2011
Everything about this castle is amazing - the location, the look from the outside & the inside, the view... It almost looks unreal. The nature around the castle is beautiful - just gren, green, green... You can also see Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge), it's stunning! Since I went as a part of the tour, I wasn't able to go there, but you can get there.

Make sure to take a horse carriage to fulfill the experience!

I only wish it was less crowded to have some more time to look at the interior...

Small trivia: the first sketches of the castle were not made by an architect, but Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Florian Florian
4 reviews
Fairy-Tale Aug 22, 2011
One of Germany's most popular tourists sights is Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately Ludwig II was not able to finish his personal dream. Only seven chambers of the castle are completed. The story behind the castle is at least as interesting as the castle itself. There are only tours to the castle with a tour-guide (english, german, french and spanish is common.

Near Neuschwanstein Castle is Hohenschwangau Castle where Ludwig II spent his childhood. It is possible to book tours to both castles. Do it! It is cheaper! ;)

Keep in mind that both castles are build on top of mountains, so wear comfortable shoes.

There is now chance in not waiting. There are tourists all over...
Schloss Neuschwanstein
view from the Marienbrücke
view from the valley
perfect platform for a picture
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Torero Torero
2 reviews
Amazingly located, beautifully lit Apr 26, 2011
The Neuschwanstein castle (and the neighbouring HohenSchwangau Castle) are a great location for a visit! They are very nicely located in the German Alps and beautifully lit at night. Definitely a place to visit and walk around. Plenty of hotels to stay in the neighborhood, reserve in time!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Ulitalo Ulitalo
2 reviews
Fairy-tale castle exists May 25, 2011
Neuschwanstein is definitely one of the most impressive castles from where you have a great view of the surrounding area. The interior of this castle is extremely beautiful.

For those who are interested in a tour of this castle, be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots or runners, as it's quite an uphill hike from the base of the mountain to the top of the hill where it's located. Don't forget to hike around and cross the Gorge Bridge and check out the waterfall and the lake at the foot of the mountain. You should also check out the neighboring castle of Hohenschwangau. Neuschwanstein is definitely worth seeing, if you don't mind all the tourists.
WalterC WalterC
391 reviews
Worth the trek uphill to see this one Mar 07, 2010
Located farther away from the town of Fussen, Neuschwanstein Castle is the more grander and famous of the 2 castles in the area. More on the history of the castle in the blog.

Getting to it, is a challenge. An uphill hike to the castle, where you may have to share the road with horse carriages. And during the busy season, there may be shuttle vans or buses running, which can be really crowded, from what I hear. But if you choose to walk to this castle, definitely watch out for manure. And give yourself at least 30 minutes, if you are in very good shape, and more if you are not, like me.

But once you make it to the castle, it will be well worth the journey. This castle can only be seen on a guided tour at your appointed tour time. You get this tour time at the ticket office, when buying tickets to the castle. The office is close to the other castle, Hohenschwangau Castle. DO NOT BE LATE! Because if you are late, you will not be allowed in, and I don’t think they will give refunds.

The guided tour is done mainly by audioguide, which is activated by a guide, each time your enter a different part of the castle. And you will only have a limited time in each one, resulting in a rushed tour. Plus photography is not allowed at all, while inside.

After the tour, there is a café, where you can get nice views of the surrounding countryside and Hohenschwangau Castle. And I think this is where photography is allowed. Then outside of the castle area, there are nice views of the Alps and Mary’s Bridge as well, with a viewing platform to see them and the castle itself.

While harder to get to, I think Neuschwanstein Castle is the one that is more worth going to. Not only for the castle itself, but also for views of the Alps and surrounding area, which I find better since it is located higher than Hohenschwangau Castle.

And Disney fans may want to give this a visit, as this was the inspiration for the castles in the Disney theme parks.
view from the castle
upper part of castle
view of castle on top of hill
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
dithsky dithsky
3 reviews
Grandioso Oct 09, 2010
I love this castle Neuschwanstein which is actually near Fussen where we stayed in a small hotel. The hotel is kinda old but the lakeview is magnificent. This castle is the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty. I feel like a princess, should have worn a gown :) The 2 hour trip from Munich is worth it, what with the beautiful countryside.
That breathtaking view
at 8 in the morning
The castle
melissak melissak
35 reviews
Nov 22, 2007
It is very easy to get to the castle from Munich, it takes a couple hours but it is totally worth it. We went on a small tour, but doing it again I would say do it on your own. We walked around the bottom of the castle area for a bit and saw another one of Ludwigs castles nearby. We took a bus from the bottom of the hill to almost the top(we got off at the bridge for the most famous views of the castle). It was gorgeous, I am a huge Disney fan and the fact that Walt Disney used this castle as his inspiration made me want to go here very badly.

The tour of the inside of the castle is pretty bad. Its only 30 minutes long and our tour guide was a bit strange. But there is a lot of interesting history inside the castle that was fun to learn. I'd say if you are in Munich, the castle is definitely a must see, it is amazing!
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
dithsky says:
WE walked to go to the castle and I thought 30 minutes was too long, but it was worth it. The trip from Munich is about 2 hours but the view is magnificent on the countryside
Posted on: Oct 09, 2010
beachbabe9 says:
yes the castle was beautiful, but unlike you, we did not take the bus up to the castle!!! :( we walked, it was a crazy climb!!!!
Posted on: Nov 23, 2007
melissak says:
oh yeah! i forgot about that part of the castle, that was really cool
Posted on: Nov 23, 2007
akuder akuder
1 reviews
Aug 02, 2007
Isn't it every little girls dream to visit Cinderella's castle in the flesh? Well when I was traveling with Explorica Educational Travel on a trip through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, I was afforded just that.

As you are driving through the flatlands in that area, up to the base of the looming mountains, look to your left and there it is, huge as life. It is quite a hike to get to the entrance, so be prepared or take the horse ride up to the top. However you get there, it's worth it.

We took a guided tour which was great because we learned all kinds of history that we would have never gotten otherwise. While it was quite large, I was surprised to learn that much of it was unfinished due to King Ludwig's early and mysterious death, so we did not see as much as I was expecting, but what we saw was great. Make sure to look out the windows because the view is the best part of it.

-Allison Kuder

Program Consultant with Explorica Educational Travel (
mellemel8 says:
i went here last year in the fall. it was overcasted :(
Posted on: Aug 08, 2007
Africancrab Africanc…
777 reviews
A Historical King's Residence Indeed Aug 12, 1998
It was worth going there to see the Castle. My curiosity got the best of me when we got to Bavaria. Located on top of a hill in Schwangau, this was the residence of the reclusive King Ludwig of Bavaria. Construction began in 1868, the architect was Eduard Reidel. Words can not begin to describe how beautiful the interior is.

It is a little expensive to go on a guided tour, but if you can afford it, please do. You get to see whats worth your money. The King spared no expense building his vacation home, in fact he bankrupted the treasury in the process. Once you are in, you can see why!

No, of course you do not have to pay for a tour, you can go on a self guided tour which limits you a little. It does get crowded, it is a popular attraction. Getting to the castle is an adventure in itself. Getting to the bridge is tough, but once you are there, you get the best views; a photographers heaven indeed. Great shots from the bridge.

This is one of the most beautiful and most popular of Germany's castles. I recommend booking your tickets online, saves time and prevents frustrations.

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