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Rita Oct 8th, 2002 01:31 PM

has anyone been to the newchwanstein castle?what did you think of it?
I have been to Europe a few times but never really considered going to Germany but now after seeing pictures of the newchwanstein castle I really would like to go see the castle. Unfortunately, I can only go after New year, so will it be open then? SO far I have planned a trip for Italy and France so can I add this to my itinerary?

Pat Oct 8th, 2002 01:35 PM

Hi Rita,<BR>I really enjoyed it. We did it on a day trip from Munich. It was during July. It was a beautiful drive there and we liked the little village. I don;t know if it is open year round though. It is a steep climb up to the castle (you ride a bus or horse and carriage) and then you climb up to the castle itself. If it is open I would go. I love castles, my husband and then 9 year old don't, but even they really enjoyed it.<BR>Pat

Susan Oct 8th, 2002 01:40 PM

Hi Rita,<BR>I was there, admittedly it was nearly 15 years ago, but I loved it, the setting was beautiful, especially at night, and the tour was interesting. We didn't reserve anything in advance, but found a little guesthouse right in the village that faced the castle, and had a view of the castle all lit up from our window that night . It was a highlight of the trip. There are other castles and gardens you can visit in the same area.

Maira Oct 8th, 2002 01:45 PM

It was a dissapointment. The castle is absolutely gorgeous to look at from a distance, but the indoors was left unfinished and it is not much to "brag about". I did enjoyed the foot bridge nearby (great pics of the castle from there) and there was a restaurant across the entrance that was very good. It you have the time, do not miss Linderhoff Castle. It also belonged to King Ludwig, it was actually his favorite summer residence. How much time you have? France and Italy can certainly fill your plate with castles sights. Germany may warrant a trip on its own. It is a gorgeous place to visit, specially in the late Spring.

Snoopy Oct 8th, 2002 01:48 PM

Tough question. I enjoyed it, though like Pat said it's a tough climb. It is open year round and during Jan it's open from 10:00 to 4:00pm. My wife said it was a waste of time, but she's not a fan of guided tours and we had to wait for almost 30 minutes to get in once we had hiked up the hill.

jjj Oct 8th, 2002 01:49 PM

Was just there 2 weeks ago. Was a nice day trip from Munich. The castles have a website (can't find it right now, but all I did was a general search for Neuschwanstein to find it)<BR><BR>I think they are open year-round as long as busses & cars can get there. <BR><BR>If you have time; see both castles, Neuschwanstein is really oppulant compared to the castle Ludwig grew up in, but the smaller on feels more homey.<BR><BR>They have carriage & bus rides available to take you up to the gates of the castles, I really recommend this for Newschwanstein espcially, Hohenswangau is an easy walk compared to the other. <BR><BR>The only thing that I was dissapointed with is that the tours (especially Neuschwanstein) are so big and so quick, they are just trying to get people through the castle as fast as possible. You really need to buy a book so you are familiar with what you are seeing or have seen (I bought mine after the tour, but wished that I had one to look at before, so I was at least familiar with what I was seeing on the tour)<BR><BR>Overall it was well worth the trip and the train ride from Munich is nice too.

Linda Oct 8th, 2002 02:53 PM

If you go to Bavaria, it is hard to resist the castles. They are beautiful, set in wonderful surroundings and very opulent. Neuschwanstein was interesting, but very odd. Even the exterior is remarkable. One side was Disney's inspiration for Cinderella's castle, the other side is more fortress-like. Linderhof was my favorite. If you make the trek to Germany, see one or more of King Ludwig II's castles.

Melissa Oct 8th, 2002 03:09 PM

I just went earlier this year--I booked a Grayline tour to see Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. I thought it was worth it to have someone drive me, and do all the research about everything we passed. (In addition, the bus had refreshments for sale that were cheaper than the stores.) Linderhof was great, I really enjoyed it. I also liked Neuschwanstein, but I think the massive crowds were hard to take. I had no problem walking up the hill, but I could see some senior citizens along the way complaining very loudly! They should have taken the shuttle or the horse-drawn carriages up.

sherrye willis Oct 8th, 2002 03:18 PM

we visited the castle earlier this summer and it is quite a sight to see. fortunately, our guide did not stop us from taking inside photos (although they are forbidden) so we brought home some interesting shots from inside. it is a newer castle, and some rooms aren't finished. but those areas which are finished are pretty lavish.<BR>hope you enjoy.<BR><BR>sherrye willis

Russ Oct 8th, 2002 03:57 PM

Agree with Maira - amazing setting, but perhaps the most overrated tour in all of Europe. It's a fake castle with less than 2 centuries of wear on it and it never served any particular historical purpose other than to bankrupt Bavaria. Now, of course, Ludwig's folly has become one of the biggest tourist draws in Europe, so perhaps it wasn't a mistake! Take the "Germlish" tour (some guides have castle-wall-thick accents!!) only if you are really interested in the personal history of Ludwig and if you don't mind long lines, or if you just have to be able to tell your friends that you went there. But the truth is that there are many other more historically interesting and authentic castles in Europe and in Germany (Burg Eltz, maybe 800 years of real history and still intact, near Koblenz, for example.)

elena Oct 8th, 2002 05:30 PM

We enjoyed our day trip from Munich two yars ago during the week between Christmas and New Year. We took the train, had lunch at a charming restaurant, and then hiked up to the castle. It started to snow and it was as beautiful as could be imagined. It was a pleasant day to spend the day. We had dinner at a restaurant in Fussen and then took the train back to Munich. I had not originaly been that keen on going to Germany, but admit that I had fun and enjoyed the castle and another day trip to Salzburg.

John G Oct 8th, 2002 06:11 PM

The tackiest monstrosity I have ever witnessed, it reminds of those McMansions you see springing up all over Buckhead, built by tasteless people who made quick millions with dotcoms. You can see why Ludwig II was crazy. But, go anyway, because it has a strange attraction--just like watching a car accident.

jane Oct 8th, 2002 08:02 PM

you've seen the castle - it looks exactly like in the pictures from the outside - although it's difficult to get a good view of it except from a small bridge. The interior is a disappointment - barely furnished and barely interesting. The walk (or carriage ride) up to and away from the castle can be somewhat charming - but no more than a walk in a pretty forest anywhere. The town below the castle is unremarkable. If you have lots of time and just have to see it - then go of course. But if you are pressed for time - skip it. It's too far to go for what you get and there are far more impressive castles with amazing interiors to see. Have fun! And don't miss one of the great beer halls - those are definitely worth the trip!

Suzanne Oct 8th, 2002 11:45 PM

Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely worth seeing if you are going to be in southern Germany. We made Munchen our base and took a train down to Fussen (where the castle is located) and then a bus out to the castle. We went in January and it was freezing cold. Please note that the castle rooms are not heated so be prepared to wear layers on both your feet and body. My sister nearly froze her toes off - finding consolation finally by standing next to the gift shop's heater for 30 minutes at end of tour to thaw out. All in all, it is worth the trip as the views are pristine and the crowds minimal, compared to the summer.<BR><BR>From Munchen, you could go southward into Italia via the overnight train over the Brenner Pass and Austria into Venezia. It's about a 7-8 hour train ride.

VickiV Oct 9th, 2002 03:42 AM

Neuschwanstein is great in the winter, and if you'd like to try skiing there is a very small area right next to the castle. There are sleigh rides too. You can rent equipment for the day, and that too is a very resonable price. The tour lasts about twice as long in the winter, because the crowds are smaller and they can take more time talking instead of herding.

Tim Oct 9th, 2002 04:31 AM

The castles are nice to view from outside and the bridge above them are an added bonus, but, as others have said, the inside is not completed and may be a let-down. I'd recommend it as part of a trip to Munich/Bavaria, but not as a special trip only to this one location.

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