On Saturday, my friend and travel buddy Laura and I left Munich proper and trekked out to Füssen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle. If you’re going to Munich anytime soon, I’d highly recommend the day trip – it was my favorite part of the weekend! Here’s some tips on how to get there:
- Don’t fall for the money-sucking tourist traps offered by hostels or other tour groups offering day trips to the castle. Transportation alone will cost you 45 euros, and we did it for MUCH cheaper.
- The trick is purchasing a one-day, multi-person “Bayern card.” For 2-5 people, it costs 29 euro and is valid from 9 am to 3 am the following day and is valid on all regional trains, buses, and underground networks. Don’t buy another bus ticket once you get to Füssen to take you to the small village where the castles are located.
- Save another 12 euros by just checking the castles out from the outside – they’re not famous for their interiors, anyway.
The views of the castle were pretty breath-taking, and it was interesting to see the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in person. I had learned about this castle in a Media Studies class I took senior year of college – the professor talked about how this castle is basically a simulation of a castle – it doesn’t have any real purpose now other than for tourists to come take pictures outside of it and note that they’re not only visiting a castle – but one that looks like a different, and perhaps more famous, fake castle! Gotta hand it to Walt Disney, though, as he was basically the first real mash-up artist in terms of where he drew inspiration from and how he synthesized so many divergent elements together to create a unique and dynamic amusement park, among other things.
Another amusing anecdote – when Ludwig II went nuts creating castles throughout Bavaria, he severely strained the region’s economy and he was declared mad at one point for doing so. Now, however, these castles are major cash cows for Bavaria. Funny.
Anyone have a favorite castle in Europe or anywhere else?