Fairy tales come to life at Neuschwanstein Castle. This Bavarian castle may look familiar to you—it’s the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.
Neuschwanstein was built for King Ludwig II in the 1860s and ’70s and is set amidst an isolated backdrop of alpine lakes and forests. You can tour the fantastically designed and well-preserved castle from the inside, or simply admire the exterior and grounds.
While at Neuschwanstein, brave the truly terrifying Marienbrucke bridge, a precarious-looking bridge that crosses over a steep gorge. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the castle, if you can bear to open your eyes. If you’re still in the castle mood, the nearby Hohenschwangau, where King Ludwig II grew up, is also worth a look.
Where is it? Southwest Bavaria, Germany, in the village of Hohenschwangau. The closest international airport is Munich (check prices).
Where to stay? Stay nearby at the Hotel Muller, located at the end of the Romantic Road.
What else should I know? The castle is undergoing renovation, so expect to see some scaffolding until the end of 2012.
Who’s it for? Princesses and princes, Disney-lovers, and history buffs.