Most of Ludwig's excesses involved pursuits popular among Bavarians, who shared his love for hiking, drinking, and over the top decorating.
― Susan Barnett Braun , Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II
Griasgood everyone! That's Bavarian for hello. There are over 12,000 castles in Germany, and a great deal of them call the southern Free State of Bavaria home. Millions of visitors travel to Bavaria every year to experience Oktoberfest. While the local beer and folklore are, without a doubt, worthy of a visit, the region's castles can't be overlooked, and are worthy of topping every traveler's bucket list.
Many Bavarian Castles go back for thousands of years, some of them are part of the fortifications built to protect the Medieval Romantic Road — an ancient Roman trade route. Others are medieval fortresses, and some of the most impressive, like the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, was erected as early as the 19th century.
Some are proper castles or burgs; others, the festungs, are heavily fortified buildings. Some are impressive manors, which go by the name of Schloss, and others are authentic palaces.
Here are the most remarkable and awe-inspiring castles to visit in Bavaria in three days, including what to see and eat along the way
Day 1: The Schleissheim Palace
Chances are your trip begins in Munich. With its pebbled downtown, the gorgeous city has earned the nickname of Toytown for its quality of life, safety and glee spirit.
There are tons of things to in Munich, from having a beer in the Hofbräuhaus beer hall to enjoying a beer in the Paulaner Bräuhaus. No, really, there's much to do and see in Munich besides tasting fantastic beer. The city is so dynamic you won't want to leave, but you must, because this trip is all about Bavarian castles.
Our first stop is just twenty minutes north of downtown Munich. Take the S-Bahn 1 in direction to Freising and get off at Oberschleißheim. Don't worry; you'll get used to the names in no time.
Visiting the Schleissheim Palace is a humbling experience. It was founded by the Dukes of Bavaria during the 17th century. The gardens and fountains are a sight to behold but wait until you see this authentic palace's magnificent interior. There's an Old Palace and a New Palace, but the entire complex is worth touring. Don't forget to enjoy a currywurst and a beer at the on-premise beer garden.
If you're into aviation history, you're in for a treat because the majestic Schleissheim Palace neighbors the Historical Aircraft Museum. Wait until sundown and take a ten minute cab ride to sense a swooning architectural contrast admiring by the glowing Allianz Arena Stadium.
Schleissheim Palace Tickets: Adults – 8 Euros
Deutsches Aviation Museum Tickets: Adults - 7 Euros
Day 2: Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau Castle
You'll have to travel two hours Southwest from Munich to visit our next set of castles. Don't fret, the day trip is worth every minute on the train from Munich Central Station to the town of Füssen, and then the ten-minute ride to the castles over the hill.
Neuschwanstein is the quintessential castle every little princess dreams of. The real-life Disney Castle. And trust me, you'll have to blink twice to believe your eyes. The design falls under the Romantic architecture movement, and it's inspired by Wagner's music. The building, a Gatehouse flanked by two stair towers, sits on top of a hill for the most dramatic scenery, so bring your camera.
If visiting Neuschwanstein weren't enough, the splendorous building neighbors the Hohenschwangau Castle, once the Bavarian King's summer residence, which, although smaller, is equally beautiful. Visit the royal bedrooms, salons and ballrooms to be transported to a 19th century high-browed gala.
Have a late lunch at Zum Franziskaner, in Füssen, before heading back to Munich. Try the hearty schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) or the decadently soft and warming schnitzel, these are the most traditional dishes in the region, and they're not to be missed — I'm sure you'll be hungry!
Hohenschwangau Tickets: Adults – 13 Euros
Neuschwanstein Tickets: Adults – 13 Euros
Day 3. Schloss Linderhof
Our last destination is as inspiring as Neuschwanstein. The Linderhof Palace, a dreamy construction built by the free-spirited King Ludwig II with French inspiration and baroque ornamentation, is one of Bavaria's better-known structures.
To get to the pearly white palace, take a bus from Munich Central Station to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which takes just over one hour, and then a cab to the Linderhof Palace.
The fountains and the vast gardens are insightful; the property is surrounded by evergreen mountains creating quite a scene. Yet, the palace's facade, the interior design and the lavish furniture are the real gems here.
Linderhof Palace Tickets: Adults – 8.5 Euros
If you like the mountains and have an Alpine spirit, you'll love it here. Spend the evening walking the picturesque streets of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the night at an idyllic chalette or at the fancy Hotel Staudacherhof.
No two Bavarian castles are alike, and they're all much more than impressive buildings. Each one has a unique story, and they all play a role in the region's history and culture. The verdant, impressive landscape surrounding the castles is a very welcomed perk, and the charming towns all around are the very essence of small-town Europe.
Enjoy the Bavarian castles, the region's hearty food, and the unbeatable beer available in every corner. But there's more. People in Bavaria are warm and friendly, and that's reason enough to visit.
A recipe for Wiener Schnitzel to remember Bavaria
Serves 4. Prep. time 15 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes.
Because enjoying food from your travels at home is reliving your adventures, here's an easy recipe for a heartwarming wiener schnitzel. Make these delicious cutlets for your friends and family and enjoy them while you tell them all about your favorite Bavarian castles.
- 4 veal cutlets, 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup lard for frying
- In a small, shallow bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly. In a second shallow dish, add the flour and salt well combined. In a third dish, add the breadcrumbs.
- Take a veal cutlet and cover both sides with flour, shake the excess. Dip the cutlet on the egg, and transfer to the third dish to cover with breadcrumbs. Press to adhere the breadcrumbs on both sides. Reserve and repeat with the rest of the cutlets.
- In a deep skillet, heat the lard over a high flame and fry the cutlets one at a time. 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy.
- Pat the cutlets dry with a paper towel to remove excess fat and serve with mashed potatoes or fries. Enjoy!