2020. Corona. Travelling is a different game. Yet our Fernweh acted up too often. So we arranged a train trip to Germany and Austria. Specifically to Leipzig in Saxony, several spots in Bavaria and returning home with ÖBB‘s Nightjet from Innsbruck in Tyrol to Brussels in Belgium.
Ah, Schloss Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein Castle has been on my wish list for some fifteen years. It’s iconic. It’s thé princess’ castle. It did inspire Disney for its theme park castles. And its tragic backstory makes it even more attractive.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century romantic eclecticism palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.
The castle was intended as a home for the King, until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.
Of course in October 2020 corona limited travel so Neuschwanstein was not at all busy. But still. There were many people. We booked a tour in advance, costing 13 euros each plus 2.50 euros each handling fee. I always find handling fees odd with online print-at-home tickets.
So after a long but scenic train journey to Füssen, a bus service to nearby Schwangau and a little uphill walk, we were at the castle to wait our turn.
Corona meant only small groups can take tours. A almost personal guide shows you around. Dots on the floor show you were to stand.
No photos inside
The guide didn’t feel like being even slightly enthusiastic that day. Also you’re not allowed to take photos inside. Why? I don’t know. It’s a subject for a future post. Being a small group, you can’t take photos sneakily.
You can find photos online. On Wikipedia, for instance. Or YouTube.
No photos, a bored guide. We were out of the castle in fifteen minutes! What a let-down!
Yes, Neuschwanstein is like a fairytale. But the tour is not. Honestly, unless you’re really keen, don’t bother. It’s a shame because the castle is interesting enough. But the time you spend on site is not really worth the time you spend getting there.
- The delicious German state secret: dining onboard Deutsche Bahn.
- VIDEO | Leipzig Hauptbahnhof.
- Leipzig Bayerischer Bahnhof.
- EAST GERMANY | Zeitgeschichtliches Forum, Leipzig’s GDR museum.
- Hyperion Leipzig.
- By ICE from Leipzig to Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg Transport Museum / DB Museum.
- Novotel Nuremberg City Centre.
- Documentation Center NS Party Rallying Grounds in Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg’s Zeppelin Field with the Norisring.
- Memorium Nuremberg Trials.
- Nuremberg’s real-life Playmobil Imperial Castle.
- You need at least two full days in Nuremberg.
- DB Regio from Nuremberg to Regensburg.
- Thurn und Taxis princely palace museum in Regensburg.
- Eurostars Park Hotel Maximilian Regensburg.
- With Alex from Regensburg to Munich.
- BMW Museum & BMW Welt in Munich.
- Munich’s Olympiapark.
- Sofitel Munich Bayerpost.
- Deutsches Museum’s Verkehrszentrum or Transport Centre in Munich.
- Deutsches Museum’s main site on Munich’s Museuminsel.
- By train to Neuschwanstein.
- Nightjet Vienna/Innsbruck to Brussels, or how we got thrown off the train in Aachen.