Neuschwanstein Castle

Sep 05

Neuschwanstein Castle

A trip to Germany is not complete without visiting a castle or two. Germany was my first solo adventure and I had the best time. From enjoying my time at Oktoberfest to taking a trip to Eagle’s Nest, it was a blast. My favourite is still probably Neuschwanstein Castle.

The most majestic of all the castles is Neuschwanstein Castle located near the village of Hohenschwangau and the town of Füssen in Bavaria, Germany. With over a million visitors a year, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular castles in Germany and all of Europe.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

The man behind the castle is almost as infamous: King Ludwig II of Bavaria. You may recognize him by a more well-known moniker: the Mad King Ludwig or the Fairytale King.

King Ludwig commissioned the castle in the mid-19th century as an homage to the great German composer Richard Wagner. Many of the rooms are inspired by Wagner’s operas as well as medieval Germany.  Sadly, Wagner never visited the castle as he died before its completion. Walt Disney fashioned his castle in Sleeping Beauty after Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

Building commenced in 1868 following the death of Ludwig’s grandfather (Ludwig I) which freed up money that was previously spent on the abdicated King’s estate. The great castle was never completely finished due to Ludwig’s perfectionism (it is missing the all important throne in the throne room) but Ludwig did move into Neuschwanstein Castle in 1884 but only spent 172 days total in it. Ludwig died in 1886 under very mysterious circumstances; he died together with the psychiatrist who had certified him insane, after being deposed only days earlier.

Neuschwanstein is located in such a fairytale location: situated in the Alps in Bavaria, on top of a hill overlooking a beautiful village and valley. On the day that I visited Neuschwanstein Castle, it was rainy, cloudy and misty. Unfortunately, I was not able to see the iconic views of Neuschwanstein Castle on the Marienbrücke (Marie’s bridge which was named after his mother, Marie Friederike of Prussia).

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle by Valerio Bruscianelli via Creative Commons

Neuschwanstein Castle was open to the public a mere six weeks after Ludwig’s death, filling the coffers of his successors.

Tips for Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

  • You may only enter the interior of the castle via a guided tour. I recommend to buy your tickets online to save time; the queue can get quite long. A reservation fee is required on top of the 12 euros to visit or more if you include the other castles and museum (1.8 euros which is reasonable to me) and you must purchase tickets online 2 days before your visit. Tickets can be collected from the Ticket-Center in Hohenschwangau (separate window for reservations) on the day of your visit (bring your written confirmation)
  • Guided tours are in English and German. If you do not speak these languages, you may purchase an audio guide in Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Slovenian, Russian, Polish, Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, Hungarian, Greek, Dutch, Korean, Thai and Arabic
  • Note for the hiking trail: it may occasionally be inaccessible due to rock-slides – this will not affect visiting the castle nor guided tours
  • No photography is allowed inside the castle and the tour lasts about 30 minutes

"Neuschwanstein Boden" by Lokilech - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neuschwanstein_Boden.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Neuschwanstein_Boden.jpg

  • Transportation to Neuschwanstein Castle is simple: train, bus or car
  • It is a steep walk from the ticket centre – it takes at least half an hour. You may shorten that by hopping on the horse-drawn carriage where you only need to walk about 10 minutes. Price is 6 euros up and 3 euros down the hill
  • There is also a shuttle bus but as with the horse carriage, it does not take you all the way to the top but stops a bit short. The bus takes you to the lookout point Marienbrücke so you have a short walk downhill to the castle. Departure point: Schlosshotel Lisl, Neuschwansteinstraße and the price is 1.8 euros up and 1 euro down (return 2.6 euros)
  • Opening hours: 28 March to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm and 16 October to 27 March: 10 am-4 pm
View of Hohenschwangau Castle from Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

View of Hohenschwangau Castle from Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

So have you been to Neuschwanstein Castle? Or how about some of the other castles such as Linderhof or Hohenschwangau? Bavaria has the best castles in Germany!

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Travel Blogging Course

Sep 03

Travel Blogging Course

I started this blog about a year ago and I was lucky enough to have help from my cousin in the setup. In particular, she was able to help with the self-hosting aspect of the blog. Over the course of the year, I simply posted articles on my travels and did not worry about much else. Lately, I have wondered more and more about making this blog a bit more successful. I recently finished a travel blogging course with Amanda from A Dangerous Business. Her Travel Blogging Course has given me some great tips and ideas on topics ranging from self-hosting to branding to media kits.

Travel Blogging Course

The Course

This is a 12 week course – Amanda emails you weekly lessons. There is also a private Facebook group so you may interact with current and former course participants. The weekly lessons also include optional assignments plus two skype one-on-one calls with Amanda during the course.

Some of the topics include: helping you set-up your blog and self-hosting it; don’t let your blog die; branding; crash course in social media; self-promotion; SEO and what you need to know; your blog as  a business; and creating a media kit and a solid pitch.

So head over to A Dangerous Business and sign up Amanda’s Travel Blogging Course. The next session starts September 10th and costs $249.

Who is the Course for?

You do not need to be a newbie blogger. I already had a self-hosted website, I was already on social media, and I had been posting for eight months so some of the early lessons were too basic for me but there was always a tip or two that I did not know and could use for my blog. The information in the later weeks is outstanding particularly media kits and breaking into the travel blogging community. I will start implementing some of the new ideas this fall and putting together my first media kit so you should be seeing changes in the next month.

Was it Worth it?

I was hesitant to pay $250 for a travel blogging course but I decided to go for it and it was worth it. As I mentioned above, the early sessions are basic for those who already have set up your blog and done some posting already. But there is always something in each lesson you can use to improve your blog: maybe it’s a plugin or a tip on how often you should post on social media. And the later sessions are essential to improving your blog if you wish to get into media kits and pitching companies.

Other Courses

If you want to focus more on branding or consider yourself more of an intermediate or experienced blogger, Amanda also has a second course, Working with Brands. I have not taken this course yet but I am planning to in the future (the next session is in October and costs $100). This course will focus more on making pitches to companies: what to include in the pitch and how your media kit should look.

Working with Brands

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
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