Deep down in the Bavarian countryside of Germany a Mad King decided to build a fairy tale like castle in order to widhraw from the public view and enjoy a quiet lifestyle. With no strategic nor defense purpose, the Neuschwanstein chateau became not only an escape from reality for the Kind Ludwig II but also a great inspiration for Walt Disney who portrayed the grandiouse castle in some of the most famous movies such as The Cinderella and The sleeping beauty and it soon became the symbol of Disneyland around the world. If the castle looked familiar to you but you never heard of it now you know where you might have seen it.
Despite its initial purpose of relaxation and privacy, the castle with a complicated name gained popularity really fast and started to attract million tourists every year. The Mad King would have gone even more mad if he could have witnessed this frenzy around his beloved resting place.
The castle became viral in the cabin crew comunity as well when due to reduced flights during Covid period we got to enjoy longer layovers in Múnich. Bored of grocery shopping and with the Christmas market canceled for the second year in a row, I decided to take an adventurous trip to an unknown location, together with few other romanian colleagues. Luckly the weather was on our side as well, blessing us with a sunny day and 5 degrees Celsius for the last week of November.
How to get to the castle
The best way to find the castle is by renting a car and drive alongside beautiful bavarian mountains all the way to the picturesque town of Fussen. You can take advantage of the discounts offered on ISave and rent a car starting from 60 euro for a manual one or 150 euro for an automatic car. The trip takes alroximately 2 hours with few stops on the way to admire the beautiful scenary.
If you decide to use the public transportation you can take the Metro from Arabellapark towards the main station Hauptbanhop (U4) and then a train to Fussen city, followed by the bus no 78 to the castle.
The town of Fussen
A cute little town, surronded by mountains, where the temperature drops considerably but the Christmas decorations bring joy and warm in your soul, Fussen is a place that will remind you of childhood dreams. A place that smells like mulled wine, ginger bread, cinnamon and fresh pine trees. In order to enjoy the german flavors of hot wine, gulash soup and juicy sausages don’t forget to bring some cash with you as most of the restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards. Also, a proof of vaccination is required to access the indoor areas.
Up the hill in the
Once you arrive to the foot of the hill where the castle is located you can take a bus to the top, hike for 20 minutes or enjoy an exclusive ride with a carriage for 7 euro. Of course I chose the last option because… once a princess, always a princess isn’t it? I do not wish to harm any animal during my trips, however those horses seemed to be really cared for and in good shape, a bit chubby to be honest. Few minutes of exercise wont kill anyone though, reason why we decided to return by foot and I would advise anyone to save their 7 euro as the hike is pleasant and doesn’t require any effort.
Book your tickets days in advance
The best spot for an instagramable memory is said to be the Marienbrucke (Queen’s Mary bridge) which is curently closed due to… pandemic of course. Also in order to respect the social distance and the hygenic measures imposed by the authorities, the tickets to visit the castle are limited and sold out if not booked in advance.
Carriage pulled by horses, a fairy tale like castle and an unbelievable view. What else to you need to be a princess for a day?
We were happy enough to visit the outdoor area and breath some fresh air but the interior of the castle doesn’t dissapoints as the Mad King fitted it with the latest technology of the time, featuring a lift, hot water, telephone, an electric bell for the servants and much more.
It’s about time for the carriage to turn into a pumpkin and we rush toward the rental car left in the parking lot, driving back to Múnich while a full, bright moon is lighting our way.
Good bye Mad King! We, as cabin crew, understand your desire to be left alone up on your hill, surrounded by mountains and the loud sound of emptiness.