Neuschwanstein Castle’s bridge – views from Queen Mary’s bridge

Neuschwanstein Castle's bridge

Neuschwanstein Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in Germany, and the best place to view it from is Queen Mary’s Bridge.

Work on the Disney-like castle started in 1869 and was only partially completed in 1886 when King Ludwig II mysteriously died.

Since then, the castle has been open to the public, attracting more than a million visitors annually. 

Some tourists step inside for a tour of Neuschwanstein Castle, and some decide to take in the stunning visuals from Mary’s Bridge. Some choose to do both. 

This article shares everything there is to know about the bridge, which is locally also known as Marienbrücke.

1. About Marienbrücke
2. How to reach
3. Best time to visit
4. Mary’s bridge in winter
5. Photos from Mary’s bridge
6. History of the bridge

About Marienbrücke

Marienbrücke in Schwangau is a bridge across Pöllat gorge, overlooking Castle Neuschwanstein.

King Ludwig II built the bridge so that people could admire his castle from a distance as well. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Hxx1qI2_g

The bridge gets its name after Ludwig’s mother, Queen Mary, and Marienbrücke translates in English to Mary’s Bridge.

Since the bridge runs over the Pöllat gorge, it is often referred to as the Pöllat Bridge. 

There is no entrance fee to enter or cross the bridge, and you can spend as much time on it as you prefer. 


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How to get to Mary’s bridge?

There are two ways to get to Queen Mary’s Bridge – you can book one of the coach (or train) tours from Munich or drive down to the attraction.

The most popular Neuschwanstein Castle tour from Munich also includes a visit to Linderhof Palace.

If you have already seen Linderhof, opt for the shorter Neuschwanstein Castle tour.

If you are driving to Schwangau village, head for parking P4 directly underneath Hohenschwangau Castle (near the Alpsee).

Map of Hohenschwangau village
Download Map and tourist information about Hohenschwangau village. Courtesy: Hohenschwangau.de

From P4, you can open directions to Marienbrücke on Google Maps and start walking. 

After a 45-minute slightly uphill trek, you will reach Mary’s Bridge. 

The hiking trail up to Queen Mary’s Bridge is paved and well-signposted until you get to the top’s dirt trail. 

Signposts for Mary's bridge
Image: Hellojetlag.com

If you don’t fancy a trek, from P4 itself, you can board a shuttle bus that can drop you close to the Neuschwanstein bridge.

Shuttle bus to Marienbrücke

Visitors must get down from the bus and take a downhill walk of about 500 meters (1650 feet) to reach the bridge. 

From Mary’s bridge, a brisk 15 minutes walk can get you to the castle. 

Image: New-swan-stone.eu

The buses operate all year round without a fixed timetable, and you can purchase the tickets from the bus itself.

The uphill trip costs €2.50, the downhill trip €1.50, and the return trip is priced at €3.

Summer shuttle timings

First shuttle uphill: 8 am
Last shuttle uphill: 5.30 pm
Last shuttle downhill: 6.45 pm

Winter shuttle timings

First shuttle uphill: 9 am
Last shuttle uphill: 3.30 pm
Last shuttle downhill: 5 pm


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Best time to visit Mary’s Bridge

Neuschwanstein Castle’s bridge can get crowded on weekends, school breaks, and during peak summer months.

Crowd on Neuschwanstein Castle bridge
Almost everybody who visits Neuschwanstein Castle wants to see it from the Queen Mary’s bridge because of which it is almost always crowded. Image: Bigworldsmallbackpack.com

On such days, due to safety reasons, the number of people on the bridge is regulated by security guards. 

This leads to queuing at one end of the bridge, and the waiting time can even go up to half an hour.

Tourists waiting in line at Mary's bridge
However, the stunning view of Neuschwanstein Castle is worth the wait. Image: Hellojetlag.com

Visitors get only a few peaceful minutes to take in the beautiful views and also snap photographs.

To avoid crowds, it is best to visit during the shoulder season of May, June, September, and October.

You can also reach early or after 4 pm to avoid the midday crowds. 

You can also spot the long line of visitors waiting to get on Queen Mary’s bridge, in this Google’s Street View of the Bridge.


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Mary’s Bridge in winter

If you are visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter, you will find it all covered in snow. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEbt6fG7x-A

However, due to ice and snow, the bridge remains closed for visitors.

Even when the bridge is closed, access to Neuschwanstein Castle and the guided tours inside are continuously on. 


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Photography from Marienbrücke

Photography is not allowed inside Neuschwanstein Castle, and using a drone to take aerial photos or videos is also prohibited in the whole area.

That is why Mary’s Bridge becomes such an essential part of the Neuschwanstein Castle experience. 

This is precisely the spot from where the castle looks like it has been picked straight out of a fairytale book. 

Talking of fairytales, did you know that Walt Disney got inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle and built the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland?

Neuschwanstein Castle from Queen Mary's bridge
Image: Allisonwanderland.com

If you want to spend a lot of time taking photographs, it is better to visit on weekdays or non-peak months. 

If you don’t mind the risk, you can, however, try yet another viewpoint near the bridge. 

Follow the trail at the other end of the bridge and turn left after a few meters to get to the spot.

However, venture on this route only if you are wearing suitable footwear and feel sure-footed. 

Good spot to photograph Neuschwanstein Castle
If you are willing to explore, there are many more good places to take photographs of the castle. Image: Shewandersabroad.com

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History of Queen Mary’s Bridge

At this location, the first bridge was built by Ludwig’s father, King Maximilian II, in 1845.

However, the footbridge was wooden, unstable, and had to be repaired every few years. 

When Ludwig II became King and started work on his fairytale castle, he didn’t like the 35 meters (115 feet) long bridge’s aesthetics.

He wanted the bridge to match his castle’s extravaganza and decided to replace it with a filigree iron structure in 1866.

The construction was strong enough to last more than a century until the authorities restored it in 1984.

However, some of the original parts of the Neuschwanstein Castle bridge are still in use. 

# Neuschwanstein Castle
# Linderhof Palace
# Hofbrauhaus Munich
# Allianz Arena Tour
# Dachau Concentration Camp

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