Have you ever heard of Neuschwanstein Castle aka the Sleeping Beauty castle? This lovely castle, approximately 1.5 hours south of Munich is arguably the most famous castle in Germany. It was also Walt Disney’s inspiration for creating Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I was eagerly awaiting this trip, especially with all the hype surrounding the castle.
We decided to go in the winter to avoid the crowds and sweltering heat, and thought it would be more picturesque. The only thing to remember is that Mary’s bridge is closed during the winter because it’s too dangerous. We saw people making their way past the sign and crossing the bridge, but I don’t regret missing this opportunity. Overall, going in the winter was the right decision. The fresh layer of snow added a romantic back up to the two castles. Did I not mention there’s another castle within walking distance?
Hohenschwangau Castle is where King Ludwig II actually lived. If you drive to the castles, it is easily visible from the parking lots. Even though I was not aware of this castle’s existence prior to visiting, I really enjoyed the tour and the castle’s interior. If you are visiting Neuschwanstein, make sure you combine it with a visit here as well.
After leaving Hohenschwangau Castle, we took a horse-drawn carriage up to Neuschwanstein. It’s not as romantic as it sounds – the horses take about 10 people at a time and the drivers don’t leave until the carriage is full. You can also walk or drive up there. The horses don’t bring you to the top, so you still have to walk another 5-10 minutes to the reach the castle.
King Ludwig II said, “I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others.” Well, mission accomplished. Not only are the circumstances of his death a mystery, but I also found the fascination with the castle a mystery as well.
The castle isn’t complete, since Ludwig died mysteriously – there is speculation that he committed suicide, but no one knows for sure. Neuschwanstein is also fairly modern compared to other castles and features “luxuries” such as toilets, hot and cold water and heating systems. The tour is very quick – about 20 – 30 minutes – and the tour guide just recites a script with built in jokes that lack proper delivery.
Would I recommend going out of your way to see the castles? Not really. But I’m glad I was able to cross it off my bucket list and our time in Fussen was really beautiful. Check out some photos from our visit and let me know what you think.
What are your thoughts about Neuschwanstein? Is it on your must see list?