Almost impossibly picturesque, Ludwig II’s masterpiece of turrets and white walls is perched like a fairy tale above an Alpine valley.
Neuschwanstein Castle seems to exemplify the aesthetics of the European Middle Ages, which is always surprising given that the castle was built in the 19th century. The crown jewel of “Mad King” Ludwig II’s architectural exuberance, it is a masterpiece of Historicist Architecture, and is today one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Brave the crowds to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, a truly unique building.
Climb the hill from the village of Hohenschwangau. Before entering, continue on to the Marienbrücke, the bridge that provides classic photo opportunities and views of the castle. It emerges almost like magic from the mountaintop on which it stands.
Join a tour of the building, which Ludwig was never able to see completed. Notice the homages to Richard Wagner. An exuberant blend of Byzantine, Gothic and Moorish architecture decorates each room, especially the throne room.
Imagine the work that went into the carving of Ludwig’s bed by 14 carvers working over four years. Leave breathless with awe, astounded one more time by the Alpine views just beyond the castle’s walls.
Neuschwanstein Castle is located just outside the small village of Hohenschwangau on the border between Germany and Austria. Drive from Munich in about 2 hours or from Innsbruck, Austria, in 1.5 hours. From Hohenschwangau, walk uphill for 40 minutes to reach the castle. Bus shuttles and horse-drawn carriages are offered for a fee.
Access to the castle is only available on the tour, which is 30 minutes long. Purchase tickets from the ticket desk in Hohenschwangau, though it is possible to reserve a visit time in advance online. Not reserving in advance may result in a wait of several hours.
The ticket office is open daily from early morning to early evening, with shorter hours in winter. The castle is open daily year round, during regular business hours.