8 Do’s and Don’ts: Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
It is the summer of 2015. It is probably the most warmest and hottest summer of all times in Germany. And my wife and I make plans to go to the most bestest, wonderfullest site for folks doing a once in a life time Eurotrip near Munich: A day trip to the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein castle. So let’s cut the superlatives and explain 8 Do’s and Don’ts Germany and of visiting the Neuschwanstein castle Germany.
1. Do inform yourself before the trip
The historical background of Neuschwanstein, that it was built by König Ludwig II, who came into power at 19 and had a mid-life crisis at 40, was no longer able to rule and died shortly after that. Or that the castle isn’t that old at all, in European perspective that is. Or that the castle is only 25% finished because König Ludwig II died at such a young age. I couldn’t even imagine what the castle would look like if he would have lived to at least 60 years of age…
2. Don’t inform yourself in line before buying tickets
So you’ve made it to Germany and you pretty much want to see and try “everything”. German potato salad, Kraut salad, Bratwurst, German beer, take a look at every castle in Germany possible… oh yeah and visit Oktoberfest…. in August? Good luck. And if you don’t want to look like the tourist you are. Please put away your 400 page pocket guide “Everything about Germany” book. Don’t read it in the restaurants. Stop walking around with it in the lobby of your hotel. And please just put that crap down when crossing the street. Every German and tourist-alike will be thankful.
3. Do plan time to wait in line for over an hour to get tickets
Ask an American. Ask the Japanese. Even ask the darn Germans. “What is the most well-known and most visited tourist attraction in Germany?” Yup… Neuschwanstein. So, assuming the whole world wants to be there, you need to get to the ticket waiting line ASAP…. Well the earlier the better. Being it the summer 2015 in Germany, we got there at 8:30am. And we waited until 10:00am in line to get our admission tickets. With it being around 90°F (Approx 30°C), every nationality got their fans out. The Japanese with their colorfully hand-painted pieces of art and mine…. I didn’t have one. Forgot the A/C I guess?
4. Don’t expect to spend a lot of time IN the castles
Yes castles. Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and the Bavarian Kings’ museum are all on the same vicinity. But there are only guided tours in each castle. Like at the DMV, wait for your admission ticket number to be shown and they only have a certain amount of time. 30 minutes in Neuschwanstein and 20 minutes in Hohenschwangau. But no worries, we spent 7 hours in total there. So basically we were actually in the castles for 1 hour and the leftover 6 hours; we were taking pictures. Watch out for them selfie sticks all over the place and stop making them duck faces.
5. Do load your camera and pack your hiking shoes
Fact is, you will be taking pictures about 75% of the time. No, that’s not completely true: you will be hiking as well. The distance from the ticket booth and Neuschwanstein castle is about a mile. And for those who have an extra buck or two; you can hop on the horse and carriage for 6 Euros a person or take the shuttle bus for 1.80 a person. The thing is, you will need the same amount of time for every option. There are no wait times to hike up the mountain, but there sure as heck are for the shuttle and carriage. You will need about an hour to get up that mile, without any photo shooting or selfie stick wars.
6. Don’t give your wife/ girlfriend your wallet at Neuschwanstein
Yes the Euro is a bit stronger than the US dollar at the moment but you should not be paying 12 dollars for a beer nor 15 for a pair of sausages. And this is the case at Neuschwanstein castle Germany. If you aren’t afraid to pack out that sandwich on the Alpsee (Alps Lake) then you better pack it, as if you’d be spending the day at Noah’s Ark, Six flags or a Disney amusement park. And if you forgot to pack, then I guess you don’t have any other choice than to fork over that wallet.
7. Do buy the “all-inclusive” ticket
Ordering your tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle Germany is like ordering in a Restaurant. The castle Neuschwanstein would be comparable to your main dish, the other castle “Hohenschwangau” and the Bavarian Kings’ Museum being an appetizer, dessert and drinks. So who goes into Denny’s or the Crackerbarrel and orders a meal without Pepsi, mozzarella sticks and a banana split? After spending so much on your flight, rental car and hotels, you should invest the money to be able to see everything on your once-in-a-lifetime Eurotrip. Alright, I guess I could do without the Pepsi…
8. Don’t disrespect the German rules
As disappointing as it may sound, you are not allowed to take pictures inside any of the castles. And as tempting as it may be, just abide by the rules. You are doing it for the sake of the castles and not for the lady who yelled at you and kicked you out of the castle. Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau have fairy-tale based paintings from Richard Wagner’s’ inspired pieces of music. And the original wooden furniture in the Hohenschwangau castle are breathe-taking. But its’ really not worth it getting sworn at in German. They are all just swearing the whole time anyways, aren’t they?
If you are planning your trip and need more traveling tips, please feel free to contact us.