Has anyone visited Neuschwanstein in the winter? I will be there in early February, and was wondering about anyone's experience during this time of year, and how any weather issues may have impacted the hike up to the castle. I am taking my mom, who is in her 70's, and was hoping it would be safe for her to walk to.
I have only been there in late September. From what I recall the shuttle bus doesn't take you all the way to the top. We hiked to Mary's bridge from the drop off point and that was quite a hike so I'd say that would certainly be out, but getting to the castle might be ok. You might want to try e-mailing them and asking. email@example.com
My recollection is that it is a very steep and fairly long hike.
Would you consider Linderhof. To me, it was a much more interesting visit. Linderhof is really 'over the top' in terms of decor.
I enjoyed Linderhof much more than Neuschwanstein myself. And George remembers correctly, it is a long and fairly steep hike up to Neuschwanstein. I was there with a school group in January, and it had recently snowed which made it slippery going. It was also so foggy by the time that we got to the top that there was no view. You might want to keep in mind also, that much of Neuschwanstein is unfinished and not on the tour. The tour of Linderhof is wonderful and there is a lot to see there.
I have a question that goes along with this question. In Ricks Germany & Austria book it says that getting to Linderhof without a car is a headache and to skip it. Is it really that big of a headache?
I guess I'm disappointed if Rick said that because it's not true. I just did it in October. It's not much different than taking the bus to Neuschwanstein from Füssen, except you start from Oberammergau. I took a bus from the Oberammergau Bahnhof at 10:20, and I was at Linderhof at 10:50. I got to relax and look at the scenery instead of having to watch the road, and I didn't have to worry about making the right turns. It was €5,90 RT.
Maybe he meant it was difficult from Füssen. It would be a little more difficult that way; you'd have to change buses in Oberammergau. But I wouldn't call that a headache.
The bus schedule can be found at http://tinyurl.com/37ssga. Go from Oberammergau Post/Bhf to Linderhof Schloß. S and F at the top of the columns are for school days and non-school days respectively.
By the way, there are horse drawn carts that take passengers up the road to the castle. They start at Hotel Mühler, on the right just up the hill from the ticket kiosk, and let you off just below the castle. The trip is €5 pP up; back down is €2,50.
For more info about the horse carts: www.hohenschwangau.de/553.0.html
The other castle, Hohenschwangau, is right there in the village of Hohenschwangau, close to the ticket kiosk. It's far easier to get to. It was Ludwigs boyhood home and was a real lived-in castle. I liked it better than Linderhof.
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I think that our visit will ultimately depend on the weather; if it is too snowy and icy, then we will look at visiting some of the other castles. My mom really wants to go to Neuschwanstein though, so hopefully it will all work out. Thanks!
We were at Neuschwanstein over Thanksgiving weekend. They had an early snow that was melting away. It was Friday Nov 23. The buses were not running that I have taken before. We did take the horse drawn carriage. If they are there in February, that should do your mother well. I believe previous writers are correct on the price. The walkway to Marienbrucke was closed. We did go anyway (Americans!) as did many others. It was snow covered and slippery but what a view! Should anyone go to the MarienBrucke be sure to follow the pathway on the other side of the bridge back towards the castle for another awesome view.
Gross Got and Gute Fahrt!
(I think that is the correct spelling)
The section on transport possibilities on the Hohenschwangau website specifically says, "Buses only operate in suitable weather (no snow or ice)."
Nothing is said about the horse carts not running due to weather, and I am sure I first noticed them in front of Hotel Mühler was on a cold, snow covered day in January (2002).
And, God is not Gross. Try Grüß (pronounced Gruess) Gott.
We are planning our first trip to Europe, and Neuschwanstein is a must stop (My daughter was raised on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Are the horse carts available all year round, or just in the winter? Also, could we take the shuttle to MarienBrucke, take pictures, hike around, and then down without actually going into the castle? It doesn't sound like there is much to see inside.
I just sent off an email to the Castle Administration offices asking about this and will post their response as soon as I have it. I plan to be there about a month after you, so it applies to me, too!
I heard back from Neuschwantstein. The horse-drawn carriages will be available. She did warn me that they often have ice and snow at that time of year, however. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip with your mom.
I can't imagine a more beautiful time to visit Neuschwanstein than with a blanket of fresh snow. Yes, summers are beautiful and the lake is sparkling, but I've seen pictures of the winter at Neuschwanstein, and it looked like a fairy-tale land.
Please do try to go to Linderhof also. It is a splendidly beautiful palace as well. However, if you go in the winter I think the fountains may not be operational which would bad to miss.
It really is a steep hike. Take the bus up. It stops above the castle, see Marienbrucke before seeing the castle. If it's not icy, you can hike down. If it is icy, take the bus back. I was there in late October, it was clear and colder than normal, the trees had great color and no trace of snow on the ground.
In case of snow or ice, get your mom an expandable metal walking stick and some rubber/metal grips to put on her shoes.
I travelled with my 70ish mom. She did well with 2 caveats. She needed food at regular meal times. She hit a "brick wall" every afternoon. When it happened, we found a taxi to the hotel, ate dinner, then I continued to explore while she relaxed in her room.
Even if your mom is a good hiker, at her age she will only have so much energy to expend each day. Budget it carefully. Pace yourself and plan ahead when you will need to expend energy and when there are alternatives (bus, train, taxi).