Germany- Bavarian Fairy Tale Castles

On Saturday, April 11th, I took a day trip from Munich to the fairy tale castles of Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein. To get to the castles, I took an early morning 2-hour train ride to the town of Fussen, located in the very southern part of Bavaria. From there, I got on a bus that took about 15 minutes to get to the location of the castles, which happened to be located within walking distance from each other. I also had to get back to Munich that night to catch a train to Switzerland, so I was a little bit pressed for time.

I arrived at the village located at the base of the two castles at about 10:30am. I started first with the Hohenschwangau Castle. It had a much shorter walk up to it, about 10 minutes from the base, and it was much less impressive than the other castle, but tremendous none-the-less. The Castle was originally built in the 12th century, but heavily restored in the 19th and it is where King Ludwig II spent his childhood.

I got up to the castle and took a look around its courtyards and different areas that were accessible without paying for the actual tour. It was a little expensive to tour the castle, and I have toured my fair share, so with my lack of time and money I decided to pass on the guided tours of both of the castles. I did get good views and pictures of the other castle though too.

After a little time at the Hohenschwangau Castle, I walked back down to the village and checked out how to get up to the other Castle. It sits much higher up on the mountain, but I was sure it had to be walk-able. I saw a lot of people loading up on buses and horse-drawn buggies to go up to it, but I read somewhere it was only a 25 minute walk, so I found the right path and started my hike.

The Neuschwanstein Castle is the ultimate storybook turreted castle. It also happens to be the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. King Ludwig II began construction on it during the 19th century, but it was left incomplete at his death. The castle is absolutely incredible. It sits on top of the rugged hill in the middle of the mountain range and is an astonishing view from every angle.

It was a perfect weather day outside, and after my nice hike up to the Castle I spent some time getting pictures of all sides of it from the outside. I read somewhere that this Castle is the most photographed building in Germany. Since it was such a nice day today, it was pretty busy, but I also read that it receives something like 6,000 visitors a day during the summer. It was busy enough on this day and I’m sure there was maybe only half of that there at that point of the day, so I am glad I was there when I was and not during the summer. The only negative about visiting this time of year is the lack of surrounding scenery. I have seen amazing pictures of the Castle during both snowy winters and green summers that look stunning, but at this time of the year the trees still lacked leaves or fall color, but the Castle was still an amazing spectacle.

I then made it inside the Neuschwanstein’s front gates and had a look around the courtyards, passageways and other areas that were allowable without paying. I took a ton of pictures of the Castle, myself, and the surrounding areas and mountains while up there. After a while of exploring the Castle, I headed back down to the village to get something to eat (beer n’ bratwurst) and catch a bus back to Fussen.

Once getting back to the town of Fussen I had about 40 minutes to kill before my train back to Munich. I used this time to walk around the town and explore. I wasn’t expecting much from it, but I found a nice little bustling ped-mall like area that was filled with tourists, which makes sense seeing how this is the base town for one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. After wandering around this area for a while I headed back to the train station and got aboard my train to head back to Munich, where I would then catch my train out of Germany to Switzerland.

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