Well we did it! My current travel companion and I made it to Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge) and were rewarded with this stunning view of Schloss Neuschwanstein. The castle is located in Southern Germany in the Schwangau region of the country and is nestled among the hills at the foot of the Alps. After taking a morning tour of Schloss Hohenschwangau (the summer residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria), we made the trek up to Neuschwanstein on foot. The frustrations that might surface when walking up such a steep incline in the summer heat are quickly abated by the surrounding views of the Bavarian landscape.
Some tips when visiting these castles:
Make a reservation and get there early
This is a busy tourist attraction – don’t waste your time standing in line! It is easy to book tickets for tours of both castles online. I highly recommend doing a combined tour of both castles – there was a lot of historical information given during our walk through of Hohenschwangau that was not covered in the tour of Neuschwanstein.
The guided tours are also run very efficiently so pay attention to your ticket number and the time of your tour – no refunds if you miss your scheduled time!
Give the tour guides a break
They are not native English speakers! Ask them questions – the tour guides we had were very knowledgeable and willing to expand upon the scripted information.
Pack a lunch
The surrounding countryside offers a plethora of picturesque picnic opportunities. Why eat in the castle cafe when you can take of your shoes and set yourself up at the foot of a waterfall?
Stay in Füssen
It is a great little town! Day tours from bigger cities like Munich are great but it’s much more relaxing to spend a day or two in the immediate area. The hills are full of great hiking trails and waterfalls. We stayed at The Old King’s Hostel and apart from the very loud snorer in our room I had no complaints!
No matter what type of weather the mountains throw at you enjoy it – experience it! These clouds rolled in with some rain while we were stopped mid-hike for a snack. I was damp, tired, and cold but still took a moment to appreciate the awesome sites.