Neuschwanstein: Real life Disney castle

‘Once upon a time….’ we all heard it before. It’s how all fairy tales start..and end with ‘happily ever after’ with their destined prince in a big, beautiful castle. Growing up, we all want to visit one, thanks to Disney for making our ‘dreams come true.’ We can now visit the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland around the world. But those ones aren’t actual castles. They are just replicas from fairy tales. What if i say, there is a real castle which is the inspiration to the disney animated logo that you see before the cartoon movie starts, the center piece of Disneyland, the place all young girls want to live in. The castle that influenced Walt Disney during his Europe trip and started all this miraculous phenomenon – Neuschwanstein castle! (for those not fluent in german, how bout we just call it the real life disney castle, safe some embarassment when speak to german people ;p)

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Follow your dream and get your own a castle!..or at least hold one in your hand! :p

First tip! To go there, and you’ll be thanking me later for this… so you’re welcome in advance… BOOK THE TICKETS ONLINE! With over 1.4 million visitors per year, and over 6,000 visitors per day during the summer, I am so glad that i book the tickets online. The lines for those who buy the tickets up front is almost as long as the queue at Disneyland, or even longer. There are various ticket packages, you can visit 1 castle only or bundle up the 2 castles Neuschwanstein with Hohenschwangau  and/or with the Museum of Bavarian Kings. The guided tour for each castle is about 35 minutes only due to securities reasons, available only in German and English, but don’t worry they have audio guides for other languages too. More info on the website: http://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/tourist/tours.htm

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Access to the castle yes please!

You know it’s going to be a good start when on the way you pass a certain train station with a romantic name.

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Reaching Fussen train station, there isn’t any sign showing where to take the bus to Neuschwanstein castle. But don’t worry, pretty sure everyone who comes here is also heading to the castle as well so just follow the flow. If you’re not sure, follow tourists with cameras or group of asians. But if you really want to make sure you can ask the people around there, in which i do and as i mentioned before about pronouncing the castle’s name, to avoid embarassment then you should say just ‘the castle’ instead of suffering to blurt the word ‘Noy-scha-wine-sa-tine’ out. However, before i even finish the sentence, they already know what i’m about to ask and point to where the bus station is (which is very near to the train station).

Within a short time…hollaaa Neuschwaa… wait what? Nope not at the castle yet. Going to the castle is not that easy. First, you get your tickets, in which you previously book the entry time for the first castle, then they will automatically suggest what time for the next one. Also, when you reach the bus station, make sure to check the bus schedule that heads down to Fussen train station to really maximise the time spent at this enchanting heaven.

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What a cosy pole
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Already feeling the Bavarian vibe, look at the waitress’s costume!

If you choose to see the 2 castles like me, they will suggest to visit Hohenschwangau first as it is nearer to the ticket booth, then follow by Neuschwanstein as you have to hike up the hill.

1.) Ticket booth

~15 minutes walk to

2.) Hohenschwangau castle (35 minutes guided tour)

~45 minutes walk to (other options are take the bus or horse ride, it’s about 1,500 m distance)

3.) Neuschwanstein castle (35 minutes guided tour)

~10  minutes walk to

4.) Marienbrücke bridge ( for the gorgeous view of the disney castle)

~ 30 minutes walk down to

5.) Alpsee lake

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This wooden painted map helps explain why it takes so long for us to move from one castle to another

Below is a clearer map provided by their official site

schwangau map

Hohenschwangau castle

Not far from the ticket booth, i reach Hohenschwangau castle with time to spare. So i walk around and observe the surrounding nature. In addition, photography is prohibited in the castle, therefore i can’t show you the interior photos, but i guarantee you there’s definitely a reason why millions of people fly across the globe to once-in-a-lifetime walk through the magnificent castle.

Little history: Hohenschwangau castle was residence to King Maximillian with his wife and 2 sons. In 1864, King Maximillian passed away, his son Ludwig succeeded to the throne. King Ludwig loved living at the castle and decided to build his own castle near to this one, which you all know as Neuschwanstein castle. However, the new castle’s construction cost exceeded the planned budget lead to huge debt. By the time of Ludwig’s death, the castle was not finished, and he only slept there for 11 nights. Due to its isolation location, the castles manage to survive through war with no destruction.

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Schedule board infront the castle
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Mini fountain
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Look closely.. it’s a swan! Schwan is german for swan, so watch for more swans in the castle.. no not real ones.. the decor!
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A glimpse of Alpsee lake on the right…
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Ooh whose home is that i see on the left? *winkwink*
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Arrrrrr….. breathe it all in
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Let’s goooo!

Neuschwanstein Castle

1500m? Chill.. come on we can do this! Yes! But seeing horse carriages passby sometimes make you want to join them, but hey it’s a good exercise! Think of all the muscles huh! (Just me motivating myself) It’s actually not that far, if you take few stops and just look at the view, you’ll completely forget about the exhaustion. But tips for you guys who decide to hike up, water bottle is a must.

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No hitchhike available here, the horses won’t stop… and if you’re (un)lucky, they’ll poo along the way so watch your steps!
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Painted wooden map
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From time to time just look up, to check how close you are
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Peek a boo!
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Almost!
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Map of Neuschwanstein before heading in the castle
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Hi baby!

No photos from inside as mention, but i must say, everyone who steps in the castle will immediately fall in love! The gorgeous interior design with elegant decor, and the view through the window! What do i have to do to live here? Of all the places i’ve been, this castle just rise to the top of my all time favorite place. It’s just so spellbinding. It’s beyond expectation. Disney castle got nothing on this real one. Every little detail! Urghh!! Breathtaking…

I mean if you’re already stunned with its exterior appearance and its surrounding, the inside will make you lose your mind. I won’t doubt for a second if they said it’s god’s vacation home or something. I cannot believe that it’s actually manmade. A castle up on the hill that high, secluded in peace. Pure magic.

For the greatest view of the Neuswanstein take a short hike up to Marienbrücke bridge. (Where i happen to witness an Asian couple taking their pre-wedding photo, as romantic as it sounds, they seem to be at odds with each other, but thumbs up to the bride wearing the dress in this cold weather and hiking up the hill!)

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Photo taken from Neuschwanstein castle, you’ll see where i took the photo above.
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Gorgeous greenery
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An hour ago at Hohenschwangau..now up here at Neuschwanstein… can’t believe i walk up this high
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Numerous mountains and big lake in your ‘backyard’

View from Marienbrücke bridge

As expected with this stunning view, the bridge is fully packed, so be careful.

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A castle pops up in heaven
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Ladies and Gentlemen, i’d like to introduce to you…. my new home ❤ jkjk
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Love locks at Marienbrücke bridge
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Never enough of this view
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They have mountains, they have lake, And waterfall?!? This is nature lovers’ heaven!

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all… Alpsee lake takes you to paradise on Earth where time stands still and it’s only you and nature.

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View from the sign is already stunning..
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As you walk closer…your heart beats faster
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Lost my words
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Deep breath
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Keep breathing…
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How can you be so clear!!! Holy lake!
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Ray, a drop of golden sun
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☼ Chasing the sun ☼
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Ducks in a row
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Hi there little guys
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Never thought i’d say this, but for this moment, i’d like to be a duck and swim around this lake all day
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What a chill duck life
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You’re amazing just the way you are…
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Like seriously the best!
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and I’ll be missing you Alpsee ☀ ☁
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Hopefully i’ll get to come back with my future husband like this couple… *wink* ’cause this is just the perfect romantic getaway

What a wonderful place to be! The Royalties who lived here as well as the servants sure were lucky people!

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I’ll always look back my time with you Neuschwanstein!

It’s always sad to leave such a beautiful place, but baby you are truly one of a kind and i’ll come back for you one day! I promise!

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