Where To Find The Best Views of Neuschwanstein Castle

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As you probably already know, Neuschwanstein Castle is the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was built in the late 1800s by Barvarian King Ludwig II who wanted to create his own fairy-tale world to live and rule in.

There are a lot of ways to view the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, many are free and easily enjoyed by all who do not mind a little walking. 

If you are anything like me, you may have seen some beautiful pictures of Neuschwanstein Castle that sparked your interest in visiting. While there is no doubt the castle is beautiful, what I came to learn after my visit to Neuschwanstein is that most of these viewpoints are completely inaccessible, very far away from the castle or simply do not exist.

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I am willing to bet most of the photos I saw were taken with a drone, which requires a special permit. The accessible viewpoints only show one side of the castle and many of the viewpoints are so far away you’ll need a 200-400mm lens to capture the castle.

Regardless, Neuschwanstein Castle is still worth a visit. 

Here are all the viewpoints I researched and attempted to check out while visiting the castle. Although I was not able to get the photos I dreamed up in my head, I am still glad I went and wish I would have stayed one more day in the area to do some more hiking and possibly discover some more hidden views. 

You do not need to purchases a ticket to the castle to visit any of the listed viewpoints. The only viewpoint that requires a ticket is the cable car. All of these viewpoints offer walking access. 

The Best View Points of Neuschwanstein Castle

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Paid Parking Lot P4

Here you can look up at the back side of the castle. You do not have to park in the parking lot, the road to the parking lot offers some lovely views and there is space to pull over for a quick stop, but I recommend going after 5 p.m when traffic has died down. It is labeled Parkplatz P4 in Google Maps.

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Stock photo of what this viewpoint looks like

Lower Viewpoint Front of Castle

This viewpoint is located along the castle road near the front entrance and lockers. There is also a viewing platform. 

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Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge)

This is the most popular vantage point and gets VERY crowded. I visited around 6 p.m. in April and found the crowds to be very manageable. 

To get to the bridge, start from the P4 parking lot. Take the gravel path labeled Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke) off of the paved road after about five minutes. It’s a shortcut to the bridge. There are signs once at the top of the hill. The bridge is pretty narrow and pretty crowded so It can be difficult to get a good photo of yourself with the castle.

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View from the overlook on the other side of the bridge

Make sure to walk over the bridge and follow the trail that leads to another view point. It is not a big difference from the view of the bridge but if you want to take a photo with the castle behind you, this area is often less crowded and is wide enough for a tri-pod (be careful as the trail is uneven) or a photographer to get the shot. Looking back, I do not remember why I did not take a selfie here. It really is the only place to take a photo of a person with the castle from behind. 

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St. Coloman Church field

You can see the castle in the background when looking at this church. There are free areas to park around this area

Cable Car Tegelberg

If this cable car is running, you can purchase a ticket and get views of the castle from inside the cable car on the way up. Just be prepared with a telephoto lens and know the windows of the cable car are not always clean. You will get fantastic views of the surrounding areas as well so it may be worth it even if your castle photos do not come out very well.

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You can see the ski lift area in this photo. It is the small hut at the apex of the trail. This area is great for hiking with views of the castle.

Reith-lift Ski Lift and Hiking Trails

There are some trails around this ski lift that offer views of the front of the castle. This area was closed when I was visiting in April. Normally there is a parking lot near the lift and trails but if it is closed you can still find limited street parking a few km away and walk closer to the lift to get better views of the front of the castle. 

In Google Maps, Parkplatz Colomankirche and Parkplatz Tegelberg Luß are two of the parking lots of interest. There are a lot of trails around the cable car and chair lift area that you can freely walk around for views of the castle. I suggest searching All Trails for specific routes and off line navigation.

Helicopter Ride from Munich

This is one unique way to see multiple view points of the castle. It is not cheap but if you have the budget, it could be a great option and one of the most memorable ones. There are a few companies and pilots that offer scenic helicopter rides from Munich including Hubschrauberflug and Senn Air. Get Your Guide also offers scenic flights including castle views. If you take this option, make sure to do your research and choose a qualified pilot!

Paragliding

For 200€ you can glide across the sky to not only get stunning views of Neuschwanstein Castle but also have the thrill of a lifetime. Fly Royal Paragliding offers professional tandem flights at Tegelberg mountain above Neuschwanstein Castle.

Forbidden Views

Front of the castle– This viewpoint is best captured with a special permit drone but can also be seen from the woods if you know what to look for. It is a very dangerous hike to this viewpoint and one I do not recommend. I would never attempt this trail alone but if I knew someone who had found it and knew the way, I would consider it. I linked a post from a photographer that did find the viewpoint (and almost died trying) for more insight into why it is so dangerous. 

Back of the castle from a cliff– this view from a forbidden overlook went viral on instagram and is one of the photos I saw that sparked my desire to visit Neuschwanstein. I did not know the viewpoint was “forbidden” at the time but upon further research I learned that you have to climb over a fence with no trespassing signs to get this shot (Photo on the left). It is a dangerous viewpoint because of the drop offs along the edge.

Many people mentioned that there was a break in the fence that led to a trail to this spot but when visiting in 2024 there was no break in the fence. They had clearly reinforced the boundary and warning signs were placed along the fence. I did not try to overcome the fence and do not recommend anyone else trying to do it either.

Tips for Visiting the Castle

If you want to go inside the castle, make sure you reserve tickets in advance. Entry is only with a guided tour. The cost is around 20€ per adult for a 30 minute tour. Many people choose to visit the Hohenschwangau Castle, located next door and the Museum of the Bavarian Kings on the same day. They are all located in the same area and easily visited in one day with advanced ticket purchase. 

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view of Hohenschwangau Castle from the paved pathway from Marienbrücke to the castle’s front entrance.

You are not allowed to take photos or videos while touring the castle. They use a timed entry system which means you have to be at the front castle gates at your entry time. During peak season, it could take two hours to reach the castle gates if using public transportation from the paid parking lots, so make sure to plan accordingly. 

You can walk up to the castle in about 30 mins (for free). It is along a paved path with moderate intensity because of the incline.  If you do not want to tour the inside of the castle I recommend walking to the castle viewpoints such as Marienbrücke after 5 p.m. The last castle tour is around 5 p.m. after which the crowds disperse. It will make your experience much better if you visit without the crowds and is a great area to watch a sunset.

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stock photo of what the castle can look like in winter. View from Marienbrücke bridge

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