Having sampled the charms of Munich in just 2 days, make your third and final day a little different by skipping out of town and heading south into Bavaria to see "Mad" Ludwig's two imposing castles. It doesn't take long to visit either Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau, but you'll need to allow plenty of time for reaching the castles of "The Fairy-Tale King," plus long waits to gain entrance in summer. Neuschwanstein is the single most visited and popular attraction in all of Germany. Plan on a luncheon stopover in the little town of Hohenschwangau.
If you have time for only one castle in all of Germany, make it Neuschwanstein, which you can see in the morning, saving Hohenschwangau for the afternoon. Neuschwanstein is like a fantasy castle created by Disney except it's real, complete with battlements, gables, lookouts, spiral stairways, towers, and gates, even courtyards. You're taken on a guided tour, lasting 35 minutes. Keep your eyes open wide and your mouth agape. If you have time before lunch after your view of the castle, you can wander through the surrounding forests, enjoying the panoramas. Those with stamina and lots of time can climb the mountain in 2 hours for the photo op of two lifetimes.
To the sounds of a Wagner opera, King Ludwig II designed the fairy-tale kingdom of Neuschwanstein, his romantic masterpiece. But he actually grew up at Hohenschwangau down below. In a heavy Romanesque style, the castle dates from the 12th century, when it was the headquarters of the kings of Schwangau. But Hohenschwangau in its present format was constructed between 1832 and 1836 by Ludwig's father, who transformed it into an elegant palace.
After visiting both castles, you'll still have time to make it back to Munich for the night.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.