One of the major highlights of our Germany trip was the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle and the Bavarian Villages. The Neuschwanstein Castle is a beautiful castle, located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. We booked for a day tour with Pure Bavarian Tours to take us there.
The Bavarian countryside was a pleasant surprise. We didn’t know what to expect and with the castle on our minds – we didn’t think much of the Romantic Road or the picturesque towns and farms. But at the end of the trip (and as I am writing this post), the beautiful countryside and the pouring rain is what I miss.
- Pure Bavarian Tours (here) provided us with the van and took us around.
- Pick up point was our hotel in Munich
- The day trip can be done in 8-9 hours. (with the guided tour in the Castle.)
- Entrance fee (13 euros) for the Castle was not included in the tour.
- Entry to the Neuschwanstein Castle is only through the castle’s guided tours.
So we started our day at 7:00 am at the morning. After breakfast in our Munich central hotel, we hopped on to the van and embarked on to the Romantic Road of Germany to reach Fussen in the afternoon.
The Romantic Road is a stretch of highway between Würzburg and Füssen (which is about 350 kms) in southern Germany. Along the route, the highway is lined with a number of picturesque towns and castles. This route was used for trade purposes in medieval times.
It rained all day when we ventured on this day tour. Bavarian countryside was very serene and beautiful. It definitely didn’t disappoint us.
Our first stop on the Romantic Road was Rottenbuch. We explored the church of Virgin Mary- Pfarrkirche Maria Geburt. It is the former monastery church of the Rottenbuch monastery.
The interior of the church was beautiful with stunning frescoes.
After the church, we continued towards Fussen and Bavarian Alps. Tiny Bavarian houses and farms looked gorgeous in the beautiful rain.
Each of the tiny village that we crossed had a beautiful Cross at the village entrance, marking their belief in the Lord and His blessings – protecting their houses and crops. Many of these houses shared their space with farm animals. Farm animals occupied the ground floor and the humans the top floor. You can actually smell cheese if you take a walk around those stunning villages!
During the spring-summer seasons, these houses and lanes are decorated with beautiful flowers.
As we made it closer to the castle, we could see the beautiful clouds and the stunning Bavarian Alps.
You can view the beautiful castle from a distance. This spot (image below) is perfect for pictures, with the alps and the castle in the backdrop.
Neuschwanstein Castle grounds has parking areas, souvenir shops and horse-carriage rides to help you reach the hill-top. To reach the hilltop and view the castle, you can either walk/hike (20-25 minutes and free!), opt for bus rides (3 euros) or take horse-carriage rides (7 euros)
My husband and I decided to walk. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the castle entrance. We had booked for a tour of the castle. Photography is strictly prohibited inside. And guided tours are managed by the Bavarian Palace Department. There are guided tours available every half hour.
Here is the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle
The castle is indeed, very beautiful, inside and out. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat from public life. He ascended the Bavarian throne at the early age of 18 years and was inexperienced in matters of war and administration. He paid for this palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing. The castle was left incomplete after Ludwig II’s untimely death.
The guided tour inside the castle was okay. You will have to take a guided tour to access the castle, so there is no way out. There are restoration work going on when we visited the castle (March 2017).
As you reach the castle, you will see another castle – smaller in size and yellow in color – that’s the Hohenschwangau Castle.
Hohenschwangau Castle was built by King Maximilian II of Bavaria who was Ludwig II’s father.It was his childhood residence. King Ludwig II enjoyed living in Hohenschwangau, and in some ways this childhood castle paved the way to building his own castle, Neuschwanstein, on the site of the old Schwangau fortress, high above his parent’s castle.
The Royal family still reserves the right to reside in the Hohenschwangau Castle. Guided tours are available to this castle as well.
Neuschwanstein Castle is the most visited castle in the world and the Bavarian state receives a lot of revenue from the 3 castles that King Ludwig II built. Not to mention Neuschwanstein tops that list in incurring revenue for the state.
The image above was captured from Marien Burke or Mary’s Bridge. Hiking or walking up the rugged hill towards Neuschwanstein Castle will give you stunning views of Fussen and the surrounding areas. We witnessed waterfalls, bridges, horse-carriages, green fields and tons of scenery as we made our way to the castle.
We spent about 3.5 hours in Fussen and then returned to the Romantic Road again, and this time for lunch. We visited a cheese farm and their owners presented us with delicious cheese and sausage platters.
This platter of cheese was more than enough for the two of us. You can request to create any kind of platters and all within reasonable budget (8 euros to 20 euros, depending on size of platter)
Here is a view of the Cheese farm and their restaurant – KaseHaus.
Couple of hours in to our road journey and it finally stopped raining. Our last stop for the day was the Pilgrimage Church of Wies.
The Pilgrimage Church of Wies is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an rococo style church, designed in the 18th century by brothers John Baptiste and Dominikus Zimmermann. It is located in the foothills of the Alps, in the municipality of Steingaden in the Weilheim-Schongau district.
The interior of the Pilgrimage Church of Wies is gorgeous with its frescoes and the golden intricate details.
As its a UNESCO site, this place is frequented by visitors, unlike the baroque style church we visited in the morning. There are restaurants and gardens within the church grounds, for visitors to access.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a newer castle as compared to many of the castles and palaces that you will see in Europe. It does live up to its expectations of – medieval charm and style. The location of the castle, with the beautiful Bavarian Alps is a scenery to behold and remember. You should include 1 day of your German itinerary to visit Fussen and the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle <3