Would a trip to Bavaria really be complete without seeing Neuschwanstein Castle? We didn’t think so! After exploring Germany by car along the Romantic Road we arrived in the beautiful town of Fussen. From there we discovered that Queen Mary’s Bridge has the very best view of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Join us for a short hike to Marienbrucke to see why so many travelers are attracted to this epic viewpoint!
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Drive from Fussen to Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
The parking lot where the hike begins is just a short 5-10 minute drive from Fussen, with many people biking and even walking to the entrance. On the drive up is when you will get the first views of both castles (yes there are two!) as they explode from the mountainsides.
We eventually chose to hike and take in the beauty of the castles before going on an actual tour of them. Know that there are plenty of all-day tours to book to get the full Neuschwanstein Castle experience.
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle vs Queen Mary’s Bridge
This decision is probably something you should decide before arriving from Fussen. Tours of the castles can fill up days or even weeks in advance. If you do plan to visit Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle, know that there are buses upon buses of tourists who will be making the trip with you.
This means it will take the better part of an afternoon to complete your visit! In our case, we were a little short on time and wanted to get out into nature a little bit after our long road trip. For this reason, we decided on hiking to Queen Mary’s Bridge for the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle from above.
Neuschwanstein Castle Official Website & Hohenschwangau Official Website
Arriving at Neuschwanstein Castle
At the base of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany there is an information center, and a couple of snack shops if you need to grab something before you head up to Queen Mary’s Bridge. The parking lots are packed, but it will only cost you a few euros to leave your car for the entire day.
As you ascend to the top, you’ll join the many other tourists making the trek to Neuschwanstein Castle and Queen Mary’s Bridge. Now despite us hiking, you should know that the majority of people heading to Queen Mary’s Bridge are taking the bus from the parking lot!
You can pay for the bus and take the short drive up, or if you don’t mind a little exercise hike your way up as we did. Either way, try to go as early as possible and be the first one on the bridge!
Hiking to Queen Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrucke)
The hiking trail up to Queen Mary’s Bridge is completely paved until you get to the dirt trail towards the top. Although the path is nice and smooth you should be aware it’s a very steep incline. Stay aware and follow the signs to Marienbrucke, which is the name for the bridge in German.
The hike itself is only about 45 minutes, but it’s an exhausting climb! We were shocked seeing mountain bikers going by us on the way up with how incredibly steep it was. Not realizing how strenuous the hike would be Brigitte wore flip flops… Big mistake! Definitely wear shoes if you plan to hike to the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany!
History of Queen Mary’s Bridge at Neuschwanstein Castle
In 1845, King Maximillian II of Bavaria ordered a footbridge to be built across the Pöllat Gorge. He named this bridge and incredible viewpoint after his wife, Queen Mary of Prussia.
The bridge was first constructed using timber which didn’t turn out to be the sturdiest of materials. It was replaced and reinforced multiple times, including by Maximillian’s son King Ludwig II using iron.
King Ludwig II, as you may know, is responsible for building the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. When you stand on Marienbrucke with upwards of 50 other people, you’ll be happy to know it has been restored as recently as 2016. However, the banisters you see holding it up are the same ones from back in 1866!
First Impressions of Queen Mary’s Bridge
When you finally get to Queen Mary’s Bridge you may be shocked to see it for a few different reasons. Remember that this was our experience being the first ones to arrive at the famous viewpoint! We can not stress this enough but get to Marienbrucke as early as possible.
The Size: Even though it sits at a harrowing 90 meters above the Pöllat Gorge, Queen Mary’s Bridge is actually quite short in length. This means it won’t take you very long at all to walk across, so savor your moments!
The Crowds: The buses we mentioned will seemingly pull up every 5 minutes with crowds of people rushing towards the tiny bridge. This makes it uncomfortable and a little bit difficult to get pictures, but do your best.
The View: Despite the crowded bridge, the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle Germany is remarkable and worth every second of the hike!
The Best View of Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
This is definitely the best view you will have of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany! However, we discovered another side we hadn’t read about after crossing the bridge.
Once you get to the other side Queen Mary’s bridge, continue on the path that runs up the hillside. About 10 minutes later you’ll find more glorious and undisturbed views of the castle.
This was such a nice way to escape the crowds and have a moment to ourselves and also one of the reasons we enjoyed the hike up. Most tourists definitely just come on the bus, snap a photo, on the bridge, and continue on their day.
Planning on hiking to Queen Mary’s Bridge for the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle Germany? Let us know if you have questions in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where to Stay Near Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
Ultra Luxury – Hotel Das Rübezahl – Set at the feet of the Bavarian Alps, this elite hotel will make you feel like a king or queen after visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. The hotel offers upscale rooms with sprawling views.
Fun Vacation – Hotel Alpenstuben – Located right at the entrance to both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle, it isn’t possible to get closer to the action. This means you can spring out of bed and start exploring before everyone else arrives for the day!
Hostel Life – Old Kings Fuessen Design Hostel – Unfortunately, there aren’t any hostels right at the entrance to Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. However, just a short distance away you will find accommodation in Fussen. This upscale hostel offers a warm local feel in the middle of all the Fussen action.
For more places to stay near Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany you can explore the latest prices here!
Germany Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can find everything from a Hamburg harbor cruise, to a Berlin walking tour, and day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle.
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Germany than driving or taking the train!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Germany road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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How can I go to the best view spot if the bridge is closed?
Good question! We’re not actually sure as you have to cross the bridge to get this view. Let us know if you figure it out
I saw a photo of the castle with the bridge in front of it. (Behind Marys bridge some where) I’m wondering if you can hike above to get a photo of the two or if it was taken with a drone possibly instead??
Hmmm not sure exactly where that photo was taken. If you cross the bridge there’s a hiking trail that continues where you can get many different viewpoints of the castle, but none that would be behind the bridge that we know of. Let us know if you find out where it was taken from though!
How can I go to the best view spot if the bridge is closed?
I will be there in October. Can we hike to the castle or is it just for the view. I want to hike plus see the inside.
Yes there’s a way to hike from the bridge to the castle below. You could definitely do both in the same day. Just remember you need to get your tickets for entrance to the castle in advance!
Thanks for the great information. Do you know if you can hike up at any time (i.e. before the castle is open) to avoid the crowds?
Hi Natalie! As far as we know you can go up at any time because it’s not actually connected to the castle. You should be able to hike up as early as you want and avoid the endless tour buses rolling up. There was an employee there just making sure not too many people were on the bridge at once, but we don’t think you’ll have any problems going early. Enjoy your trip!
Thank you so much, this was so helpful!