As a way to celebrate the beginning of the christmas holidays, my boyfriend and I decided to finally visit Schloss Neuschwanstein (or Neuschwanstein Castle). Somehow, everyone except us two had already seen this iconic tourist attraction. So, on a snowy Sunday in December, we got into the car and drove to Schwangau, where the castle is located. After a two hour drive from Munich, we arrived around midday and parked our car (6€ per day) at the foot of the castle hill. We were surprised that there were nearly no signs leading up to the monument, but once we got there, we just had to follow the heaps of people.
We made our way up the hill by foot, and I was very glad that everything was covered by some layers of snow. Firstly, it looked really magical. Secondly, we didn´t get too hot while walking. And thirdly, the smell of horse dung wasn´t that bad. The thing is, that there´s one street for people and carriages. So…you should keep your eyes open, otherwise you might ruin your shoes and your mood. On the hill right beside Schloss Neuschwanstein, you´ll also be able to see Schloss Hohenschwangau. Both can be visited, but only with a guide. In the end, we didn´t regret not touring the inside of the castle. However, if you´re interested in the lavish lifestyle and furniture of the royalty, I´m sure it´s worth the money. We just wandered around for a bit, took some photos (for other people and of other people taking pictures of themselves) and then went back to our car. Sadly, the famous “Marienbrücke”, a bridge overlooking the castle, was closed for construction. Well, I´m sure I´ll be back some other time!
You do have to be aware of the fact, that it is very touristy. The village at the foot of these castles live off the countless buses that arrive every day and you can feel that. As pretty as it is, the atmosphere could certainly be better.
Before driving back home, we wanted to go out for lunch in a restaurant at a lake called Forggensee. It´s only a ten minute drive from the castles, but it took quite some time until we found a restaurant that was open. Then, we went for a walk around the lake, aka we did a bit of a photoshoot. I´m still surprised I didn´t get a cold after that!
Shortly before sunset, it was time for us to leave and end our mini-holiday. After all, we did still have plans to bake some biscuits that evening.
Some random tips:
- Arrive as early as possible, otherwise there will be tons of other tourists.
- The toilets around the parking area cost 50cents, while the ones up in the castle are free of charge.
- If you can walk, walk! The horse-drawn carriages are neither romatic (in my honest opinion), nor necessary. You can walk the distance in around 20 minutes and don´t have to wait in line.