I have always been absolutely fascinated with fairytale destinations (If you haven’t noticed by now). When planning my European adventure last summer one of the top places I knew I had to visit was Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria, Germany. It was a castle I had been pinning on Pinterest for years and that my mother painted on canvas for me to admire when I was a kid.
I turned up in the village of Füssen, Germany which was a short bus ride from the castle. The village was one of the most beautiful I had ever laid eyes on. The architecture looked straight out of a story book.
Shortly after I arrived and checked into my accommodations and headed back out into the village the sky opened up and flooded the streets. It was one of the heaviest rainfalls I have ever seen, and that is saying something since I grew up in Seattle. This threw me completely off guard as it had been clear moments before which caused me to duck under a roof with other shocked visitors until the worst of the storm had passed.
The rainfall continued throughout the night. I escaped the rain with an incredible Greek dinner at Kelari (complete with complimentary ouzo) and spent the rest of the night in bed with my laptop.
Early the next morning I picked up a chocolate croissant and vanilla latte at Bäckerei Brunners and caught the bus over to my dream residence. Neuschwanstein castle sits above the tiny village of Hohenschwangau. My guided tour was not scheduled until later in the day so I toured Museum der Bayerischen Könige to learn more about King Ludwig II who lived in the castle during its construction. Unfortunately photographs are not allowed inside the museum or the castle (but that just means you will have to visit for yourself, right? 😉 ). It was also in this museum gift shop that I found my absolute favorite necklace of a large tooth wrapped in metal.
There was a lake outside the museum with swans, canoes, and tiny cabins dotting the shores. The village was filled with quirky German tourist shops and restaurants serving up sausages and pints of beer. I helped myself to a bratwurst to eat on the walk up the hill to the castle.
The approximately 20 minute walk up the hill was through the woods, over bridges and passed a tiny waterfall. The path was crowded with other visitors and the occasionally horses pulling a carriage of visitors.
The castle, which was the inspiration for the Disneyland castle, was breathtaking with incredible views from both the outside and in. The insides held painted ceilings and royal rooms filled with grand dining tables and royal beds. The most mesmerizing room was the Throne Hall which was mean to hold the throne of the king but was never finished. We were only allowed to photograph the kitchen and views from the large balcony overlooking the lake.
Unfortunately the bridge (with the iconic Neuschanstein view) was shut for the season during my visit so I was unable to capture the castle from above. Maybe I will have to paraglide over it next time around to make up for it?
On my stroll back down to the village I stopped at a street vendor placed outside a busy tourist shop and restaurant not far below the castle. I picked up three warm Krapfen (also known as Berliners in other regions of Germany) and walked back down the mountain to catch the bus back to Füssen.
Back at my hostel I met a German and another Californian to go out for pints of beer and more local German cuisine. We ate at nearby restaurant and went back to the room for an early night.
The next morning I wandered the village to get some photographs of this adorable village. The sun was shining so I ordered a salted caramel gelato and wandered to a nearby park filled with crumbling structures of the past.
After taking in the sunshine I met back up with my new Californian friend and we jumped the train to what happened to be both of our next destination – Munich.
Have you ever visited Neuschwanstein castle?