Pack Your Bags: Neuschwanstein, Germany

Munich is a fun city…
And while it does offer some really exciting things,
I prefer to use the stay there as a base camp
for day trips away from the city.

Plus, I get to go to the train station in Munich more this way...
and I love the train station in Munich.

It has, like, eight bakeries in the main terminal.
No joke.

But back to the top of day tripping from Munich.
One of the best day trips from Munich is to Neuschwanstein….
Ah, yes, the “Cinderella Castle.”

It’s two hours away from Munich,
And fills up the majority of a day.

It takes you from the city center of Munich
and deposits you at the beginning of the alps…

Almost straight across the Austrian border.

Visiting the castle feels a bit touristy, 
and at some points a bit generic….
But, oh my goodness, it really is breath taking.

You have to go once just to see the castle in person.

Here's how you do it.

Take the train to Fussen from Munich.
The trains run pretty much ever hour.
 It’s right at a two-hour journey there.

 Once you arrive in the tiny & charming town of Fussen,
 you’ll buy €4 for a return ticket on the bus parked outside the station.
Take either the Bus 73 or Bus 78.
Either one will take you to the castle.
Well, almost to the castle.

It will drop you in the tiny town of Hohenschangau 
where you buy your tickets from the ticket office.

 The ticket will be for an assigned tour time in your language, 
as you aren't allowed to enter except for in a tour group. 

When you realized you have over an hour or more to wait,
 you can fill your time with grabbing something good to eat 
from one of the many restaurants in town.

After you’ve wiped the mustard off your chin and are ready to go, 
you’ll have three options on how to get up to the castle:

1.     Hoof it. It’s about a thirty minute walk. It’s beautiful. It’s what most people do.

2.     Hoof it. Well, take a horse-drawn carriage and let them do the hoofing. 
It’s not a romantic couples carriage covered in fake roses.
 It’s a large cart with as many random groupings can fit it.

3.     Take the bus up. This cost €2.60 for a return ticket. It takes you up past the castle to the overlooking bridge, but as it runs every 20 minutes and is very popular, can lead to a long wait.

We walked it. It was fun, and I got to stop and take pictures…. which you can’t do in the carriage or bus. Plus, after sitting for so long- it felt nice to walk.

Up we went...

When you arrive, 
you can spend a bit of time overlooking the valley below...

perusing the gift shops for various trinkets...

playing with any puppies you find leashed up around the castle...

or taking silly pictures.

About five minutes before your tour starts, 
head through the castle gate and wait in the courtyard
until your tour number is posted.

They'll take it over from there...

The historically-light tour may have you feeling a bit under-informed as you leave,
but upon exiting the castle, take a left.

This path will take you up to the bridge above the castle
and offer brilliant views that round out your day in Neuschwanstein perfectly.

The views of the lake & castle are stunning.
Absolutely breathtaking.

You'll feel like you are looking at the box lid to a puzzle at your grandma's house.

 From there, you can take the bus down
{just buy your ticket directly from the bus driver}.

You can also walk back down to the castle to hop a carriage or walk down.

Before you leave, spend a little time in the base town of Hohenschwangau.

Grab a drink to enjoy on the deck in the sunshine
or maybe polish off your day with something sweet.

Then work your way back to Fussen via the bus.

The return trains run almost every hour,
so you'll be fine whenever you leave.

You may even want to spend some time wandering Fussen.
It's a perfectly German village with plenty of shops & restaurants.

But whatever you do,
don't forget to look out the window on the way back.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy