Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, approximately a two-hour drive south of Munich lies a familiar figure — Neuschwanstein Castle, arguably the most famous castle in the world thanks to Walt Disney. 

Immortalised in the company’s logo, it’s hard not to recognise the symbol that ignited many childhood dreams: the iconic Disney castle played at the beginning of each film and meant something wonderful was about to unfold over the next 100-something minutes, but if you’re looking to live out a fairy tale rather than merely observe, here’s everything you need to know about visiting the impressive premises…

Neuschwanstein Castle

Why Was Neuschwanstein Castle Constructed? 

The 19th century, cliffside castle was commissioned by the eccentric King Ludwig II as a retreat and homage to composer Richard Wagner. 

Paid for out of his personal fortune, the charming attraction was opened to the public after Ludwig’s sudden and mysterious death – and quickly became one of Bavaria’s most visited attractions. 

It’s said that the King had a life-long fascination with swans, so expect to see swan motifs featured extensively throughout the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Why Is Disney Connected With Neuschwanstein Castle? 

Ahead of the construction of the world-famous theme parks, Walt and Lillian Disney took a short but lasting trip to Europe where they visited Neuschwanstein Castle. 

Drawing inspiration from the architecture, the famous couple took and brought elements home, reimagining them in the Magic Kingdom’s iconic Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the centrepiece of Disneyland Paris. A marriage of the two resulted in the famous logo loved and recognised around the world today. 

It’s not just the Disney’s who were wooed by the wonder, the famous castle has also featured in other classic films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape.

Neuschwanstein

How To Visit Neuschwanstein Castle 

Travellers visiting Neuschwanstein Castle will need to head to the village of Hohenschwangau where the ticket centre is located. 

Tickets can also be purchased online well in advance, which is recommended as Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited sites in Germany. However, online tickets need to be collected at the ticket centre on the day of their visit.

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany

Touring Neuschwanstein Castle 

Everything about the palace – from its high towers to its grandiose architecture, charming inner gardens, walled courtyard and the grounds’ artificial cave – elates. 

The standout, however, is the two-storey Throne Room which represents Ludwig’s obsession with being king. 

Ironically, the space doesn’t contain a throne but does feature an elaborate floor mosaic and three-foot-tall chandelier.

Neuschwanstein Germany

Opening Times For Neuschwanstein Castle 

The fairytale castle is open daily between 9 am- 6 pm from April to September, and between 10 am — 4 pm from October to March. 

The castle is closed on the 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January.

Neuschwanstein Munich

Best Time To Visit Neuschwanstein Castle 

Neuschwanstein attracts some 1.5 million visitors a year, and most of them make the journey during the peak summer months when up to 6,000 people pass through each day. 

If possible, travel between November and April when you’ll have the castle almost all to yourself. 

If you are restricted to the summer holidays, arrive early or late afternoon when the crowds begin to thin.

Neuschwanstein Day Trip Munich

The Best Spots To Photograph Neuschwanstein Castle 

Want to impress your Instagram followers? Traditionally, the view of Neuschwanstein from Queen Mary’s Bridge is the best spot to photograph this neo-romantic masterpiece. 

Another great place to get an Instagram worthy shot is from the cable car up to the top of Tegelberg mountain, which is next door to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein castle disney

Getting To Neuschwanstein From Munich

Most travellers fly into Munich. From Munich, book a day trip to the enchanting European palace or hire a car and drive to the village of Hohenschwangau. 

To reach the castle from Hohenschwangau, catch a bus, take a pony ride – or embark on the 40-minute walk.

Keen to check out Munich after a trip to the castle? Discover the best things to see and do in Munich.

Choice Hotels in Munich