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Climb to Castle Neuschwanstein

We are about nine weeks out from our RS tour which will include Mad King Ludwig’s castle. Definitely a bucket list here, I’m really looking forward to this itinerary stop. Ok...both of us are in pretty great shape for our retired ages and are RS veterans. That means (depending on the guides)we know the schedules can be challenging . I work out with weights six days a week at the gym and do 30 to 45 mins of card daily. I should have no problem tackling the 30 to 40 minutes climb.

This morning my husband raised the issue of altitude. OMG...we live at sea level. Two years ago we hiked in Yellowstone and I was fine at a slowish pace. Recalling previous RS tours...the average pace was NOT slowish, but neither were they at higher altitudes.

SO...if there is anyone out there who has participated in a RS visit to Neuschwanstein could you share what I can expect? My goal is to NOT be that person who can’t do it. Lol.

Thanks. Julie
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Posted by
6868 posts

Do you have access to a stair master? The hill is pretty steep from what I remember. I went in my early 30s so it wasn't difficult.

Posted by
1179 posts

I had no problem. I was mid 50s at the time.

The castle is at 3000 ft elevation. If you have altitude problems under those conditions then you need to see a doctor ASAP!

Posted by
13042 posts

The average elevation in Yellowstone is around 8000 feet. At that altitude, even fit people will slow down.

300o feet should cause no problems for you.

Posted by
4637 posts

It's not really climb. Just a walk uphill. Maybe 30 minutes. I don't remember exactly. I did it when I was sixty one. Not a big deal. And you don't have to do it. There is a shuttle bus going almost there. The castle is by far not that high that anybody can get high altitude sickness there.

Posted by
381 posts

I think it is a non issue for you. We made this stop five years ago when we were 62 and 63 and I literally do not remember it being an issue. I also lift weights and cardio so you should be fine.

Posted by
956 posts

It is a looooong steeeeeep hill. Even though I had been walking and stair climbing at the hospital it took me a while to make it up the hill. I am overweight and not in great shape. I quit smoking cigarettes but I smoked for 40 years. I was the last of our whole group to make it to the top. I'd walk for five minutes, stop for 2-3 to breathe and look at the beauty of the woods. We started up about 45 minutes-1 hour before our entrance time and I was there a couple of minutes early, having some time to take some photos. So, if I can make it up there I am SURE that you can! Oddly I had no trouble climbing all of the steps up to Hohenschwangau afterwards. THAT is the real treasure of the stop there, that and looking at the beautiful turquoise lake.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
2458 posts

When we went we were about 55 and my husband was still smoking then. We made it up no problem, walked slowly, talking, people watching. You should be fine.

Posted by
977 posts

Hi. I just did this in December on an RS tour. I am in your general age range. I was obsessed with getting my 10,000 steps in all summer and autumn. Although I was apprehensive regarding the steep, continuous hill, I had no difficulty making the climb. In December, I found the slightly icy conditions and the fact that it was dark when we left more of a challenge than the walk uphill. I made it up there about a 1/2 hour before our ticket time. The half hour wait in the cold with very little shelter was worse than the climb. Take an umbrella or waterproof windbreaker in case you get there ahead of your ticketed time. I did not notice anything I would attribute to altitude.

Have fun.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you all. I feel much less apprehensive. I’ll be prepared for cold and rain with my ScottEvest jacket and waterproof windbreaker. I guess I never thought about Yellowstone being 5000 ft higher than this alpine place. And I am very excited about this upcoming venture. 😁

Posted by
6614 posts

The walk up the hill to the castle is longer than the tour inside the castle, as I recall.

Posted by
5106 posts

The shuttle bus is quite low cost and leaves you off near Mary's Bridge. You can visit the bridge and then walk a short distance down to the castle. I took the shuttle bus up and walked down. You can walk both ways if you want. I didn't see any reason to do so......

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks. Carol in Washington. I know I could probably hop the shuttle, but since I’ll be on a tour with people who are usually encouraged to stay together, I just want to stay with the group. Also, I probably will need a workout after a few days in Munich with lots of beer. Lol.

Good to know it’s there, though. Wonder if they pickup along route. 🤦‍♀️ I’m just relieved to know that the altitude is not what I was dreading.

Posted by
3982 posts

Hope the weather for you is better than it was for us. It was so foggy we could hardly see the castle from the waiting area to get into it.

Posted by
325 posts

I would take the shuttle up the hill and save your energy for the walk from the bridge to the castle and all the steps you will climb in the castle, plus the rest of the day. That is what we did, and for reference, this morning we hiked quite easily 6 miles in and above Old Faithful geyser basin.

Have fun! I enjoyed the castle, but I loved the views from the bridge!

Posted by
210 posts

Last May our MSV group was bussed to Mary's Bridge area because of time issues. The continuation of the hike to the castle was steep. I was a little winded by the time I got to the top, but recovered quickly. I too go to the gym several times a week. I am 63 with bilateral hip replacements.....y'all will be fine. Go for it!

Posted by
3017 posts

Don't take the shuttle up. Walk up! You'll notice that most people walking up are fairly entranced by the castle/Schloss and have their eyes on it as they arrive. The people who took the shuttle up -- especially those who have already been to Mary's Bridge first -- are looking at their phones, the co-travelers, etc as they approach the Schloss because they've already seen the best views and have lost their awe.

Posted by
1218 posts

You can walk up the same road the bus takes, or take a right turn close to the beginning of the road which leads to a walking path. The gradient is slightly steeper than the main road (fewer bends) but you'll come across fewer people, always a plus for me. My wife walks alot but she struggles with inclines, including this one. However, if you can manage the ascent easily enough, consider crossing Marienbrucke and continue to walk up through the woods. You'll eventually come upon a clearing (15-20minutes?) from which you can take some nice photos of the castle from high above.

Posted by
6 posts

Dear Julie,
I work as a tour guide all over Germany and have visited Neuschwanstein very often with groups. The village Schwangau where you will leave the bus/car is at an altitude of 2610 ft, the castle is at 3070 ft above sea level. That means you'll have to conquer 460 ft. The road leading up to the castle is a proper tarmac road, towards the end it gets a bit steeper. For someone with your workout routine, the hike is a piece of cake, so don't worry about it. Inside the castle, you'll have to do stairs, but if you managed hiking in Yellowstone, you will be absolutely fine. Enjoy your tour in Germany!
Susanne

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you Suzanne and Gunderson and John and everyone else. You inspire me The altitude thing seriously was a concern because 1) I do recall being short of breath in Yellowstone and 2) the RS tours we’ve been on usually involve walking at a really fast pace. I did pull a hamstring in Berlin the first day out a few years ago. I managed but that first day wasn’t pleasant. Maybe the pace uphill won’t be as rigorous as the 20 something local guide in Berlin set us out at. Lol.

So..weather permitting (and I know it’s been a hard winter this year for much of Europe) I plan to give it my best shot. 😻