Bavaria, Germany – Neuschwanstein Castle

Hi friends, welcome to my Germany and Austria series 🙂 On our third day in Germany, we left early and headed to the Tegelberg mountain gondola located about an hour drive from our hotel. The drive over was so beautiful and idyllic. I loved passing by all the little villages dispersed throughout the rolling hills, it was exactly how I pictured this part of Germany would be. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to go up the cable car, but we appreciated that the employee told us there wasn’t a view before we bought our tickets. I feel like some places would just try to take your money.

The Tegelberg cable car was about half a mile from Neuschwanstein Castle so we headed over to the parking lot and grabbed some coffee. We didn’t realize the German iced coffee “Eisakaffee” is essentially an affogato, so at 10am we had our iced coffee with a big scoop of ice cream. I don’t usually have ice cream for breakfast, but this worked out because it gave us plenty of energy for the steep trek up to the castle. I’d say from the parking lot it took about twenty minutes to reach the castle entrance, but we were booking it. Jon set a fast pace up and we had plenty of time for pictures and the restroom before our tour. I’d definitely recommend leaving yourself at least thirty minutes for the trek because they are very strict about people joining the right tour, and the only way to see inside the castle is with a tour. You can also pay to take a bus up part of the way to Mary’s Bridge, and then walk about ten minutes downhill to the castle, or take a horse carriage.

We enjoyed the views of the town from the landing  just below Neuschwanstein Castle. We even saw some paragliders enjoying the beautiful day.

The creator of this castle, Mad King Louis (Ludwig II) who I’ve mentioned in previous posts, came to rule Bavaria at the age of 18. Growing up in Hohenschwangau Castle (next post) he loved to read fairy tales and always envisioned creating a storybook castle himself. When he became the king, he finally had the funds to start building Neuschwanstein Castle in 1869. He lived in the castle for only 172 days before being declared mentally unfit to rule at the age of 40, and evicted from his beloved home. Two days later he was tragically found dead in Lake Starnberg and nobody knows if he was murdered or committed suicide. Construction stopped in 1886 after his mysterious death and only about one third of the interior was finished. The castle opened to the public seven weeks later and remains an incredibly popular travel destination to this day.


You’ve probably seen this castle before because it was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. This castle also served as a storage area for the Nazis in WWII hiding 49 railcars worth of artwork! Nowadays it amazes an estimated 1.4 million travelers a year.

The tour lasted about thirty minutes and was a nice overview of Ludwig II and the rooms we saw. No pictures are allowed during the tour except for the bottom floor, but we saw about fifteen rooms with original furniture and fixtures. I’d highly recommend getting your castle tickets as early as you can because it does sell out online, and you’re not guaranteed a ticket onsite.

The views from the castle balcony overlooking Alpsee were unbeatable, I can easily see why King Ludwig II would want to build his castle here. The yellow castle in the pictures below is Hohenschwangau Castle where he grew up.

After touring Neuschweinstein we headed to Mary’s Bridge for the iconic photo spot. This bridge gets very crowded, but we were lucky to get a picture! It’s hard to believe this castle just exists seemingly in the middle of the Bavarian Alps!

You can hike down through Pollat Gorge for a more scenic view, but it was closed when we went, so we took another trail down. Stay tuned for Hohenschwangau Castle and our walk around Alpsee coming up next 🙂

Posts in my Germany & Austria series:


36 thoughts on “Bavaria, Germany – Neuschwanstein Castle

  1. Oh you guys – you look so happy 🙂 So glad you got to Neuschwanstein, and looks like you enjoyed it. I know I keep banging on with my nostalgia but I can’t help it because your posts bring back so many memories – when I was little we got a horse and cart from Hohenschwangau to the Castle, and I was about 5 or 6 but an old lady just grabbed me and threw me off the cart! One of my earliest memories haha!

    1. We were so happy! We loved this part of Germany and being able to visit the castles. That is a very crazy memory!! What a crazy old lady haha.

  2. Awesome photos! My husband has been here but I haven’t… but we have a picture of it hanging in our living room so I see it every day and wish I could go haha. I’m sure it’s even more impressive and enormous in person.

    1. Thank you! I think you need a trip to Germany to see this and hike some of the Bavarian Alps. It is even more impressive in person 🙂

  3. There’s nothing wrong with ice cream for breakfast, Lyssy. The iced coffee in NZ is the same and we enjoyed it every chance we could. The castle looks like a dream, but to poor Mad King Ludwig, it became a nightmare. Fabulous views for sure. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. Very true, ice cream is always a good idea! It always tastes better on vacation too. Poor Mad King Ludwig had a great idea, but sadly couldn’t see it finished.

  4. I have always admired this fairytale castle and its history. What a thrill for you to get to see it in person! Your photos show it off very well. I would definitely have ice cream for breakfast. When in Rome…

    1. I was wondering why the coffee was noticeably more expensive than the other types of coffees and then it all made sense haha. It’s such a beautiful castle and so incredible to visit!

  5. How many people can say they live in a house overlooking the house in which they grew up? That’s kind of cool, no matter how insane Ludwig was. A shame he only enjoyed his castle for six months – I’m sure it took a lot longer than that to build. The kitchen (which I assume is in the basement) looks more modern than the period. And St. Mary’s bridge… the view of the castle may be iconic from there but I’d be scampering back to solid ground as soon as the shutter clicked. I can feel the vertigo just looking at the bridge!

    1. Very true! It’s too bad they exiled him and he couldn’t finish his plans. They did say he had a state of the art kitchen and the castle was very modern for its time. They just redid the bridge, so it felt pretty safe except a few boards. It was closed for quite a while so some people didn’t get a chance for this iconic view.

  6. I didn’t realize the inside had never been completed. That sound like a fun day and ice cream sounds like a great way to start any vacation morning.

    1. Ice cream on vacation always tastes better 🙂 It was a bummer he didn’t get to see it completed, but it was pretty awesome to walk through!

  7. The views from the castle are amazing, and that bridge, it’s all so scenic and atmospheric. Looks like a beautiful area for walks and hikes. Ice cream for breakfast sounds good.

    1. It was all so beautiful and hard to believe it exists! I wish we could’ve spent more time here hiking through the mountains.

  8. You can eat ice cream anytime of the day or night! Great info! I’m going to be in Munich this December, we were thinking about visiting this castle. There will be 8 people in our group so we will probably need to book some sort of a tour with transportation. It looks like a great place to visit. Too bad that you can’t take photos inside though.

    1. You are very right! How exciting, I’d highly recommend visiting this castle! I believe there are lots of tour options, maybe with 8 people you could get more of a private one. Enjoy!

  9. I share your enthusiasm for Neuschweinstein. On my first visit at Easter, it started to snow lightly and so when I looked out of the window there was this optical effect of going up into the sky. This is the place for this kind of dream.

  10. Gorgeous pictures! I visited this castle a while back in March so it was really cloudy and there was snow everywhere (and the castle was also being renovated)! I absolutely loved the tour and inside of the castle, it was such an interesting visit!

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