A day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein castle, being the first place that pops up in any list of attractions in Germany, was one destination which I wanted to visit ever since I came to Germany. Even though the place was just around the corner from where I was living in Germany, it was almost after three years that I finally made a visit to the castle. Maybe the reason was that it was ‘just around the corner’, a local attraction which I could visit anytime. Anyway, the castle and the region were worth the wait and lived up to the expectations. I used to get generally disappointed with the over-hyped touristic attractions of Europe like Venice or Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. I was deeply hoping that this castle too shouldn’t hit the list of  such disappointments. The first view itself immediately after getting off the bus  was magical. The view got better and better concluding with the ultimate impeccable view from the Marienbrücke- a bridge constructed across a large gorge. I visited the place in  the mid of September and was the beginning of the fall season. It’s the perfect backdrop that contributes to the mesmerizing charm of the castle. From the pictures in the souvenir shops it was evident that each season offers a unique experience.

Neuschwanstein Castle from Marienbrücke

The castle is located in the region of Allgäu and the nearest railway station is Füssen. It’s a typical day trip from Munich. The cheapest and the easiest mode of transportation would be with train. A state ticket for the state of Bavaria would cover the return journey from Munich to Füssen by train and then the bus from there to the foothills of the castle.From the bus stop its a 45 minutes hike to the castle. Optional shuttle buses or horse rides were also available. The train runs once every hour from Munich and would take 2 hours. The bus journey further would take another 20 minutes.  We had spent almost 4 hours in the area, including the time my friend took to take the perfect matrimonial picture.

It is possible to cross the Marienbrücke and hike further up to get more far stretched views of the landscape and the nearby Hohenschwangau castle. Even though it was very foggy day and the alps were very only very mildly visible, the view of the lakes were amazing.

Tips:

  1. Travel – get the state ticket which becomes as cheap as 8€ per person for a group of 5 people. It covers the train and bus journey to the castle and also local transportation in Munich.
  2. Be prepared to spend around 4 to 5 hours in the area. Plan the day trip accordingly and carry enough water for the hike. The local restaurants offers eating options like curry wurst with normal rates.
  3. If it permits, choose a day with good weather forecast.  You can actually know how the place is looking like from the webcams in the area : Webcams in Schwangau, Webcam Allgau 
  4. Check in the official website about information about construction in the path or closure of  Marienbrücke : Official website
  5. The bridge remains closed in winters, however i heard you can jump over the barricade and go over to the bridge.
  6. From the opinion of friends who made a tour of the inside of the castle, the experience is nothing extraordinary and not recommended if you are not that keen about the architecture. It will cost you both money and lot of waiting time to get into the castle. So think about it.
  7. Try to cross the bridge and make a small hike further up. You will have better views, also without rush.  There exists a proper hiking path up-to a point which offers better panoramic view of the castle. Decide if you want to go further up after that, since the path is then more rocky and climbing down can be tricky, especially when it is wet.

Top view of the castle

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