About Neuschwanstein Castle: Sitting just outside of Füssen Germany is the crown jewel of Europe’s Fairytale Castles, Neuschwanstein. This over-the-top Alpine castle is so impressive that Walt Disney used it as his model for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. As you approach the dreamy castle from below, you’ll quickly understand why Disney loved Neuschwanstein (New Stone Swan) so much. It id not just one of the best castles in Germany, but maybe the best fairy tale caste in the World.
While the castle may look like it is straight out of the Middle Ages, it was actually the work of Bavarian King Ludwig II in 1869. Ludwig built his masterpiece on the ruin of two older castles through is obsession with the works of Opera composer Richard Wagner. The castle has everything from a man-made grotto cave to tons of grand rooms that only a theater mind could drum up. It was fitting that when Wagner went broke, Ludwig let him move into Neuschwanstein where he wrote some of his best work. One of our favorite things to do at Neuschwanstein is to explore Mary’s Bridge which spans a large waterfall behind the Castle.
Along with a guided tour into the depths of Neuschwanstein you will also get to tour King Ludwig’s boyhood castle (High Swan Fortress) which sits right next door. This beautiful bright orange castle was built by Ludwig’s father King Maximilian II on the ruins of an old fortress. We absolutely love the detailed paintings covering the interior, the family’s extensive silver collection, and interesting enough, their picturesque dining room. Visiting both castles together gives you a lot better insight into the King behind Europe’s greatest castle.
Just as fun as the castles is taking a paddle boat out onto nearby Swan Lake just like the young King Ludwig did in his childhood. As you leave it is crazy to think that in his day the citizens called Ludwig the Mad King and got upset about his grand projects. They even got so mad that they kicked him out of office after getting fed up with his over spending. As time has pasted, however, Ludwig has become beloved in Bavaria for the beauty of his projects.
Getting Here: Take train directly from Munich to Füssen then either bus 73 or 78 directly to the Castles’ ticket office. Important Ticket Tip: These are the crown jewels of world-wide Fairytale Castles and therefore are super busy in the summer, but if you call ahead for your tickets you’ll have almost no wait. They also take reservations online here but it is in German only and confusing. Reservations Phone Number: +49 (0) 8362-930830.