It’s every child’s dream to visit the castles at Disney. Playing princess and shining night in armor in front of a stunning castle and marveling at its beauty. We recently had the pleasure of taking our girls to the real-life Disney castle, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. This is the one that inspired Walt Disney to create some of the magic we know today. If you are Disney lovers like us, you will want to follow along with us on how to visit this timeless castle with one of the most elegant views. The Bavaria Region in Germany has castles around almost every turn. We saw so many on our recent journey down the Romantic Road, but it was the Neuschwanstein Castle that we have been waiting to see all these years since our honeymoon in Europe over 13 years ago. So, when we decided to spend an entire month exploring Germany, this was a destination that we were not going to miss. Keep reading to find out where we stayed for the best views and what other tips, we can offer you and your family when you travel to the Neuschwanstein Castle with your kids.
We attribute the success of our trips with kids to how well we plan. Honestly, for this trip we did a horrible job. We decided to visit Neuschwanstein on a whim and didn’t do the hours of research we normally do. So this is going to be a post about the mistakes we made and how you can learn from them. Hey at least our somewhat stressful day will be worth it if it can make your trip a bit easier.
Here are our top tips for traveling to Neuschwanstein Castle with kids.
A lot of the people visiting the castle come just for the day. Its a pretty good option and you can find affordable packages from Munich and other surrounding cities. This would be a good pick if you are traveling to Germany and don’t have your own car. We opted to stay the night in Hohenschwangau as we wrapped up our trip down the Romantic Road.
When you visit a stunning place like the Neuschwanstein Castle you want to stay at the perfect place to take it all in. There really isn’t a lot close to the castle but there are even fewer with stunning views like this one. Thanks to my husband’s inquisitive nature, we found a perfect, quaint little bed and breakfast. We stayed on the top floor, the attic room, at the Romantic-Pension Albrecht and the view from the balcony was breathtaking. As you stepped out, up on top of the hill was the most flawless view of the Neuschwanstein Castle. There in all of its beauty, as if it was existing only for you.
The Romantic – Pension Albrecht is located within walking distance of some great restaurants and even more if you’re willing to travel a bit. The location of this charming Bed and Breakfast is ideal. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Hohenschwangau Castle and about a 40-minute walk to the Neuschwanstein Castle (I will talk more about this in the next section).
One of the perks of staying the Pension was the delicious breakfast included in our stay. We walked down to the charming dining room to be served a mix of breads and jams, cheeses, and meats. I just love German breakfast!
So why did we choose to stay the night versus just the day trip?
We wanted to cut down on our driving time.
We didn’t know how long we would be spending at the castle.
Staying the night would give us a fresh start for Munich the next morning
We didn’t want to feel rushed and wanted to be sure the girls got some down time
Seeing the castle at night! It was absolutely remarkable!
If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I constantly preach about scheduling in down time when you travel with your kids. I knew that we would have a very active day and wanted to make sure we weren’t pushing the girls too much. This was one of the good choices we made when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle with kids.
Do you need to spend the night in Hohenschwangau to take in all the area has to offer? Not really. But I wouldn’t change a thing about our trip. Staying overnight gave us plenty of time to soak in those amazing castle views.
Tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle
The biggest mistake we made by far during our trip to Neuschwanstein was not buying tickets in advance. And when I say advance I mean WAY IN ADVANCE! We planned this trip the week before and there were zero tickets available for the entire month let alone the day we were visiting.
The less popular Hohenschwangau Castle usually has some tickets available for last minute visitors but if you want to see Walt Disney’s muse herself be sure to get your tickets NOW!
You might want to also check out the museum of Bavarian Kings which is next door. They do sell packaged tickets for all 3 if you want to see them all. It can definitely be done in a full day if you hustle.
You will be assigned a time slot that you will be able to enter Neuschwanstein castle. You will meet in the front (to the left) and wait until your time is called. We visited in 2021 and there were modifications to their ticket process so be sure to double check their site before your visit.
Here are some of the most popular tours and day trips
Places To Eat
There are so many charming restaurants within walking distance of the castle. We were even surprised to see restaurants on our walk path up to the castle. I can't vouch for the food but I would totally hold out for the restaurant on the hike. Such pretty views!
What we did do was stop at a little convenience store at the bottom of the hill for some ice creams and a beer for me ;)
We knew it would be a long walk so might as well enjoy ourselves.
I was surprised to see how commercialized it was at the top of the hill next to the castle. You can get souvenirs, snacks, and drinks.
Look for the coffee mug deal: a coffee or hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, cookie, and you get to keep the mug! For only 5 euros. The only place we saw this deal was next to the castle so look for it there.
Because a majority of the tourists leave on busses around 4 or 5pm most of the dining options close as well. There are one to two restaurants that are open so be sure to make a reservation.
The voyage to the Castle
The walk to the Neuschwanstein Castle takes about 40 minutes and is uphill 100% of the time. Now taking the walk to Neuschwanstein Castle with kids can take a even longer. Ok maybe not a lot longer, but it can be a bit of a challenge for little ones. It's not a difficult hike but it is pretty tiring. There are benches alone the route so be sure to use those. We also use a few tricks to make the hike a bit more enjoyable for the girls.
We told stories about the castle. I didn't know much history so I just started making something up about King Ludwig and dragons and the girls loved it.
We played games like eye spy and Simon says.
We stopped to look at bugs, birds, little waterfalls, anything that interested them really.
All of these things made the time pass even faster with only a few complaints.
About 15 minutes into the walk we saw a horse and carriage and realized that it was an option to take this instead of walking, but the views while walking up were too beautiful to pass up.
We also learned there is a bus which drops you pretty close to the castle as well.
So you have two great options if walking with your kids really isn't your thing.
The walking path was paved so if you are considering a stroller I would say bring it!
Seeing Even More Than The Castle
Since we planned this visit last minute, we were not able to get tickets into the Neuschwanstein Castle. I was sad but that didn’t stop us from having a fun time and enjoying the ambiance. I had plans to visit the bridge on the other side of the castle to get another great view with the alps in the back, unfortunately when we got there the bridge was closed for repairs. I was heartbroken, but I didn’t want my girls to see how sad I was, so we made the best of our experience anyhow.
If you plan to visit the castle be sure to visit Marienbrücke in Schwangau. You will have to walk past the castle for about 10 minutes and you will see a sign. You can get the best castle pictures from this stop
While walking back down the hill we came across a footpath and decided to follow it along. I wasn’t exactly dressed for this hike, I was wearing a dress and tennis shoes, and everyone else was wearing hiking clothes. What we saw when we came out of the woods made all of the missed opportunities worth it. The most beautiful little stream along a shore of rocks with the Alps as the backdrop. Amazing!
To get to this secret spot you will want to go past the entrance to the bridge and you will see a small staircase in the brush on the left. It could be hard to find so just keep your eyes open. Its a spectacular spot so I would definitely put in the effort to find it.
The girls were able to take their socks and shoes off and play in the water and enjoy the breathtaking views. I usually let my kids explore a bit but they took a rock path across the river to the other side which I was not comfortable with. After asking them to come back closer they realized the rock path was not stable, and wouldn’t you know it, one fell into the ice cold water. Thankfully I had worn a sweater that day, so that turned into a make-shift coverup for the remainder of the hike.
The Best Time To Visit
The weather at the Castle changes with the seasons. The summer’s are very mild, but that is usually the busiest time of the year. And although the castle would look stunning with a coat of snow on it, I don’t think the hike up the hill would be very easy with snow on the ground. In my opinion, fall would be the best time to visit as the temperatures in September and October usually stays around 60 to 70 degrees. I was surprised that even in August it got pretty cool in the evenings so be sure to pack some warmer clothes or dress in layers.
Here are some other important things to pack:
Sneakers are a must!!
Dress in layers, the temperature changes a ton
bring a small bag or fanny pack for snacks/money
A water bottle would definitely be a good idea
Poncho or rain coat
And don't forget your camera!
When visiting Germany, you should factor in certain Covid requirements for each place you plan to visit:
Everyone must complete a digital registration form before travel. People arriving by plane must provide either a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of travel, or be able to provide proof of completed vaccination.
In order to be able to be a guest at the Romantic-Pension Albrecht you must either show proof of vaccination or recovery. When entering the guest house you will be required to wear a facial, nose and mouth, covering and observe a minimum distance.
If you plan to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle, which I would highly recommend, just make sure you book tickets in advance, you will need to either be vaccinated or have recovered from Covid. You will need to provide proof of either of these, and bring a valid ID. In addition you will need to bring along proof of a negative Covid test. Children under 14 years are exempt.
Visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle has been a dream of mine ever since Scott and I came here on our honeymoon 13 years ago. It was well worth the wait. It truly was a dream coming here, especially bringing our kids with us. Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle? Do you have some fun stories about it too?
Diana Blinkhorn is a professional content creator, social media strategist, and owner of TheGrayRuby.com. Her site caters to the everyday mother, sharing the real and raw side of motherhood. She loves to write about trave,l with a focus on cruising and Disney, and sharing her everyday life raising 3 young girls. With over 6 years of experience in social media marketing, Diana has built a business in this ever-evolving industry. She has been featured in publications such as Tampa Bay Parenting, HGTV.com, and HuffPost Parents.
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