The end of our Bavarian Adventure ended with a stop at one of the most iconic castles in the world. Neuschwanstein Castle was constructed in the late 1800’s at the request of Ludwig II of Bavaria as an homage to Richard Wagner. It was originally intended to stay as a personal getaway, but was opened to the public after his death in 1886. The castle sits in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, and overlooks the town of Schwangau. While this castle is not the only in the vicinity, it’s certainly the most elegant and enticing.
The castle itself inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Entering the castle walls feels like stepping into a medieval HBO series, as the castle is in pristine condition. Throughout the palace, there themed rooms and a performance hall, all inspired by the works of Richard Wagner. Pictures are not permitted throughout the tour, but their website offers a virtual tour of sorts full of images. You can book tours from Munich, but I really suggest you drive yourself and stay a night. Tickets are available for ~$15/person at the ticket center, which also sells tickets to the other castles and the Museum of Bavarian Kings. We didn’t do those, but hey, they seem nice.
There are a lot of iconic photos of this castle floating around on Pinterest, taken from the bridge that sits behind the castle in the hills. As our luck goes, the bridge was closed for construction so we had to *politely climb over the fence* to get the desired view. It’s probably finished by now, but if not, it was certainly safe enough to stand at the base and snap a few pictures.
The town is small, but there are a few restaurants and local bakeries aside from a gas station and grocery store. As usual, we opted for an Airbnb rather than a hotel. This proved useful yet again as the hosts were able to point us in the direction of some short hikes to make the most of our two days. There is a gorgeous easy walk around Lake Alpsee that I highly recommend. For a slightly more vertical hike with nice views, park at the bottom of the Tegelberg lift and following the walking trail up to the top!