This 19th century castle is literally built into the side of a rugged hill located in southwest Bavaria. Credited as the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Neuschwanstein is in many ways a real fairy tale castle. King Ludwig II, who was known as the fairy tale king, had it built as his private domain. Wagner’s operas, Tannhauser, Lohengrin and Parsifal were his inspiration.
Despite the beauty of the castle, it was largely unpopular with the Bavarian people because its construction drove Ludwig II and consequently Bavaria into massive amounts of debt. Ludwig II was ultimately deposed and killed as a result of his fiscal troubles. After his death the castle was opened to the public and rapidly became one of Germany’s main tourist attractions.
When making the trip to Neuschwanstein, be sure to give yourself a full day to explore the castle and hike the surrounding hills for a better view. If you are already visiting Bavaria, this is a great day trip to take from Munich.
Take the train to Füssen and from there a bus to Steingaden/Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Schwangau to the stop Hohenschwangau/Alpseestraβe.