Like many little girls, I fantasized about being rescued by a prince and living in a castle. Unfortunately, as an adult I learned that I had to kiss several frogs before finding my prince. Thankfully, I found him, but I’m still waiting for that huge castle BTW! Walt Disney created dreamy fairytales to feed our imagination. On a trip to Bavarian castles, Walt visited Neuschwannstein and he knew that was to be his model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. FYI Schloss means castle in German.
Of course, Bavaria has many amazing castles, but the most famous are the ones built by King Ludwig II, aka Crazy Ludwig. He was born in 1845, became king at age 18 and died in 1886 under mysterious circumstances. Ludwig lived in his own fantasy world, slept during the day and was awake at night. I won’t go into the history, suffice it to say the guy was batshit crazy and wasted tons of money! Next time you are in Munich, visit one or all of these, they are all easy day trips of no more than an hour or two away. Also, don’t miss Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich, where Ludwig was born.
Amazingly, Schloss Linderhof is the only one of the Bavarian castles that Ludwig lived to see competed. This castle is located south of Munich in Ettal between Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The drive or train ride to Ettal is very picturesque. The only way to see it is by taking a tour, which is offered in English and German throughout the day and lasts about 25 minutes. Price is €8.50 for adults, kids 18 and under are free! Hours are April-October from 9:00 am-6:00 pm, and from October-March from 10:00 am-4:30 pm.
For more information about Schloss Linderhof Click Here
Another one of the famous Bavarian castles is an easy day trip is Schloss Herrenchiemsee, known as the “New Versailles”. Ludwig idolized the French King Louis XIV, and copied many features from Versailles. It even has a hall of mirrors. Herrenchiemsee in south of Munich on an island (the Herreninsel) on the Chiemsee lake. A quick hour away, take the A8 towards Salzburg to the Bernau exit and follow the signs to take a ferry to the island. Or, take a train from Munich to Prien am Chiemsee, and walk to the ferry. Hours are 9:00 am-6:00 pm from April through October, and 9:40 am-4:15 pm from the end of October through March. Cost is €9 for adults, kids 18 and under are free! TIP: castle tickets are only sold at the ferry!
For more information on Herrenchiemsee Click Here
Unquestionably, Neuschwannstein is the most famous Bavarian castle in Germany, you have all seen pictures of it. Construction began in 1869 and was never finished since Ludwig died in 1886. Located in Schwangau, it is a gorgeous drive or train ride to Schwangau. You can either walk up to it, which takes about 30-40 minutes, or take a horse carriage which will drop you off about a 5-minute walk from the entrance. Be sure to walk around the back of the castle and across the footbridge for the most AMAZING photo op! During the summer, be sure to reserve tickets online because it gets busy. Tours run all day in English and German and are about 30 minutes long. Hours are 9:00 am-6:00 pm from April through mid-October and 10:00 am-4:00 pm from mid-October through March. Price is €13 for adults, kids 18 and under are free. There is a nice Café and Bistro for lunch or coffee and cake!
For more information about Neuschwannstein Click Here
One more thing, if you are planning to visit all three castles you can by a Kombi-ticket (combination ticket) for €26 and lasts for six months!
Be Cinderella, get those glass slippers and go visit these castles! Have you been? Before planning a trip to Germany, be sure to read How to Travel By Train in Germany, Ultimate Munich Food Shopping Experience and Magical Christmas Markets In Europe. Feel free to email me or leave a comment or question below.
Keep traveling my friends!