Because it was my brother’s birthday on Monday, July 10th, and we all had the day off, we decided to take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. Despite having lived in Germany for all of our lives, we never managed to visit this most iconic castle.
Here are the most important Do’s and Don’ts for visiting the busiest place in Germany:
Do: The early bird
Arrive as early as possible! Whether by train or car, make sure to leave on time.
Don’t: Forget to bring enough liquids
The air up there is a bit thinner, and a lot of walking is involved. Make sure to bring at least 1L of water and stay hydrated.
Do: Buy a ticket for visiting the inside of the castle
I’d recommend booking the tickets online so you can skip the line at the ticket counter and you can decide which time you wanna visit. Especially if you can’t arrive there early. We didn’t book them online, but we planned to arrive there quite early.
Do: Book an audio guide tour
If the guided tours don’t fit your schedule, the audio guide is a good alternative.
Don’t: Forget to bring your umbrella…
…or cagoule since the weather can be unpredictable, even in summer.
Don’t: Stand in line for the carriages for ONE HOUR!
I actually wanted to take the horse carriages up to the castle, but the line would take 1 hour. Plus the animals looked quite exhausted :/ Better to walk or opt for the busses which are also cheaper (1,80€).
Do: Visit the Alpsee lake
You can find this lake right away after buying your tickets. It is very close to the bus stop. The lake is utterly beautiful and worth spending the whole day there, just enjoying the view.
Don’t: Skip the Marienbrücke
Although you might get a shock from how filled it is, just brace yourself and go on that bridge to take that postcard picture. Be careful though, and hold on tightly to your camera.
Do: Go beyond the Marienbrücke
Try to walk across the Marienbrücke and climb up the little ledge if you trust yourself and have some firm walking shoes made for that.
Eat something small and simple like a pretzel. Also a great photo idea together with the castle :)
Don’t: Forget to take photos of the architecture
You will probably have plenty of time before your tour begins, so this leaves the opportunity to snap a lot of photos of the castle from every angle imaginable.
Don’t: Take photos inside the castle
It’s not allowed in the first place. Also, don’t play on your phone but absorb the surroundings and the intricate details of each room you are guided to.
Do: Visit a gift shop
Take your time to visit the second gift shop after the castle tour. The first, bigger one is overpriced and I didn’t like the stuff offered there. There is a second, smaller gift shop and they have some beautiful bookmarks there as well which I bought (5€). Also, there is an observation terrace after the castle tour where you can get the most awesome views on the two lakes and the Marienbrücke. Another reason to book the castle tour.
Do: Have dinner at the Schloßrestaurant
When you choose the walking path down from the castle, you will come across this beautiful restaurant. They have great food, especially their sweet stuff smelled divine <3 I ate vegetarian cheese dumplings swabian style (It’s said that they were created there)
Do: Walk all the way back downhill
Back down is easier than up. You can also do both if you are fit enough :) Plus, it saves you some money.
Don’t: Loose your car at the parking lot
Remember exactly which parking lot it was that you used, and how you walked to the ticket counter. If you still end up loosing your car, ask one of the workers there, they will, strangely enough know exactly where you have parked :’D
Do: Explore the oldtown of Füssen
If you are not too exhausted, and the weather is nice to you, drive downtown and explore the cute, colourful oldtown. Sit down at one of the street cafes, or get yourself a Schneeballen, a sweet treat that is famous for that part of Germany.