Neuschwanstein Castle had been at the top of my Germany bucket list for quite some time, ever since I saw a photo of it somewhere in the depths of Instagram.
When I found out that it was cheaper for me to fly from Barcelona to Munich, and then take a bus from Munich to Prague (to meet up with my family) than it was to fly directly from Barcelona to Prague, I jumped at the chance to visit this infamous castle myself!
Fair warning though, Neuschwanstein Castle is not anywhere near Munich. You can drive there yourself if you decide to rent a car while in Germany, or you can take one of the many daily tours that will shuttle you to and from the town of Hohenschwangau where the castle is located.
The Journey to Neuschwanstein Castle
I opted for the second option, seeing as I only had a few days in Munich, and sometimes it’s just nice to take a tour and not have to worry about any of the logistics. I’ve done a couple of these tours before and they’ve all been great.
My tour with Mike’s Bike Tours was no exception! It was reasonably priced for a 12 hour excursion, our tour guide was fun and knowledgable, and it allowed me to visit the castle I’d been dying to see for so long with no hassle!
While there were no actual bike rides involved on my tour, seeing as it WAS the middle of December, we traveled in style in a very comfortable luxury coach, and I enjoyed watching the German countryside (and snow at one point) go by.
We made 3 additional stops before reaching the castle. One at the Ettal Monestary, one at the Linderhof Palace, and finally the town of Oberammergau for lunch.
Then it was time to reach the main event! Neuschwanstein Castle, aka the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
THE Neuschwanstein Castle
The castle itself sits pretty high up in the mountains, so we had to hike quite a ways in order to reach it (though you can always wuss out and take the horse-drawn carriage to the top if you so desire). The palace was created for King Ludwig II, also known as the ‘mad king’, in the 19th century. He only stayed in the castle for a grand total of 172 days before he died, and, almost immediately after his death, to recoup some of the exorbitant costs of building the castle, the Bavarian government opened it to the public. These days, more than 1.3 million people visit the castle annually!
While you can’t actually take any pictures inside the castle itself (total bummer), it’s the outside, and the view from the grounds of the castle, that you’re really there for anyway.
I can see why Ludwig II wanted to build his home here!
Unfortunately it was a cloudy day while we were there, and the famous bridge that boasts the best views of the castle had been under construction for months and was closed, so my own pictures aren’t as good as those you might find on the internet (so I definitely recommend doing a Google search of this place for optimal appreciation for how pretty this castle is!).
However I am so glad that I was able to make the day trip out to see it for myself, and enjoy the spectacular Bavarian countryside at the same time!
What’s your favorite castle you’ve ever visited on your travels?