The Neuschwanstein Castle is indeed one of the most spectacular intact castles I have ever seen and visited in Europe. It is a must see. It will take the entire day to get to and visit the castle from Munich; a great day trip!
We started our visit by taking the long, very steep, very difficult walk up to the castle. If you are handicap, need assistance walking, unhealthy, out of shape, or just don't like walking up steep, long hills, then this walking trek is not for you, instead, opt for the horse carriage that takes you up to the castle and pay the $6 euros (2013); it will save you, your family and vacation! The horse carriage takes you nearly to the top, leaving you with only 100 feet or so to the top. There is a fee to get into the castle. I opted not to go into the castle as I have been and seen several castles and after you have been to one, in my case several, you have seen them all. Savings: You can buy a castle discount ticket that covers both King Ludwig's castles.
On the way back down, we stopped at the restaurant 1/4 of the way down. Awesome restaurant! Lots of food choices that can be accompanied by their splendid gluhwein or an awesome German beer. Lots of places to shop at the bottom of the hill. Suggestion: Do your shopping after you climb or ride up to the top so you don't have to carry your newly purchased fun items.
If time permits, be sure not to miss the quaint, sweet, little town of Oberammergau and do some shopping away from the "tourist" shopping places. Walk into town, that is where you will find the best shopping and food.
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