If you have not seen Neuschwanstein Castle yet, it has to go onto your bucket list!
It’s a must-see for everyone – so much more than just a castle, it’s full of mystery, secrets and wonder. Its beautiful architecture with its multiple slender white towers remind us of a fairytale castle and its magic has inspired poets, artists and great names like Walt Disney to develop their own versions of this unique romantic castle. No wonder it has been nominated to become UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
Diving into the history of famous Neuschwanstein Castle reads like an unresolved murder mystery encouraging many to raise their own speculations as to the founder’s mysterious death in the lake in 1886. The founder was no less than King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
King Ludwig II, also called the fairytale king, was a known to be a dreamer who loved art and music more than everyday politics. He channeled his fantasies into the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle, making it a romantic refuge for himself as well as homage to his admired composer Richard Wagner. He had always longed to own a true knight’s castle and Neuschwanstein was meant to become his very own expression of such a castle.
King Ludwig never intended to show Neuschwanstein to the public. Yet, only weeks after his unresolved death, the not even fully finished castle was opened to visitors. More than 1.3 Mio visited it last year and yet, it’s surroundings of mountain paths, forests, clear lakes and picturesque villages are still completely unspoiled.
In fact, its setting couldn’t be more idyllic. The majestic Alpine mountains are wrapped around it like a strong arm offering protection. The views from Neuschwanstein range from peaceful green rolling hillsides with clear blue lakes to the quaint village of Schwangau, the historic medieval town of Fussen and the imposing Alpine mountains.
The regional government of Schwangau have done a superb job of preserving the area and its Bavarian traditions and architecture, only making it even more attractive to visitors from all over the world. Where else in a first world country can you still see the local farmers with a whip on a bicycle guiding their cows along the main roads to the pastures nearby. It’s a sight, I will never forget.
When you come to visit, plan to stay for at least 1 week, ideally 14 days to cherish all the region has to offer from Bavarian beer, rustic food, local music festivals, 4 castles, 2 preserved medieval ruins, 5 lakes for swimming and water sports (incl. wind surfing, canoeing, sailing), hundreds of kilometres for cycling and mountain tracks and cable cars for hiking and enjoying breathtaking views.
Where exactly is Neuschwanstein Castle and how do I get there?
Neuschwanstein Castle is a little more than 1 hour south of Munich in Bavaria/the South of Germany. It is only 5km away from the border to Austria in the village of Schwangau and closest to the town of Fussen. The best way to get there: If you come by airplane, fly to Munich and take a hire car down to Schwangau. If you come from Europe you can also fly to Memmingen/Allgaeu airport and take a hire car from there. Trains are possible, too, with the nearest train station being Fuessen.
From here you also have a great base for exploring the rest of Bavaria, Switzerland (only 1.5 hours away), Austria (5 min away) and even Italy (only 3 hours away)
What’s the best place to stay near Neuschwanstein Castle?
If you want a fabulous view of Neuschwanstein Castle from your apartment, and enjoy spaciousness and beautiful luxury interiors like in a 5 star hotel, go for Birkeneck Luxury Holiday Apartments (just Google it). If you prefer a more traditional Alpine style, you will find plenty of choice in the 3 and 4 star categories. Go to http://www.homeaway.co.uk and type in “Schwangau” to see a long list of holiday apartments and hotels to stay.