How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make commission from.

How to Visit Neuschwantstein Castle from MunichEveryone dreams of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace near Munich in the southern Bavaria region of Germany. It’s not wonder, of course. It’s one of the most beautiful castles in the world.

If you’re visiting Germany and you’re close enough to visit Neuschwanstein castle, you absolutely should make the effort. It’s very much worth it. You can easily visit from the nearby major cities. In this post, we will show you how to visit Neuschwanstein castle from Munich.

First, a little about the castle, in case you don’t already know. King Ludwig II was apparently a bit of a recluse. He built the castle in order to escape from the public eye. But just a few days after his death in 1886, his beloved castle was opened to the public, and it is now the most famous castle in Germany, and the most visited castle or palace in Europe.

According to the Neuschwanstein visitor website, “every year 1.4 million people visit ‘the castle of the fairy-tale king’. In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.”

→ Going to Oktoberfest in Munich? Check out our Oktoberfest guide for newbies to learn everything you need to know about the festival.

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

One of the highlights of a trip to Munich and the surrounding area is a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s a fairytale palace that is rumored to be the inspiration for the castle in the Disney classic, Cinderella. You can see it for yourself with just a quick trip from Munich and a little pre-planning to secure your tickets.

How to Buy Neuschwanstein Castle Tickets

If you want to do what we did and go from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle, it pays to plan ahead, since you’ll be competing for the available daily tickets with the other 5,999 visitors that day.

It is free to walk around the grounds of the castle and to view it from the bridge. No ticket is required to do that. However, you will need a ticket if you intend to go inside to see the Neuschwanstein castle interior. And really, why would you go all the way there and NOT go inside?

To go inside the castle on a tour, you absolutely must book your tickets in advance. They sell out fast, especially during peak times. The best way to book your tickets is online, directly with the ticket office. Skip the line tickets bought through a 3rd party seller are way more expensive for the same thing and not all of the tickets are accepted as valid at the box office.

Ticket Office for the castles
Ticket Office for the castles (Photo from Flickr by Isriya Paireepairit)

Best Way to Purchase Tickets

Tickets for the tour can be purchased at the ticket office in the village below the castle. Tickets are limited to a certain number each day. I highly encourage you to prebook your tickets here, so you can avoid the line, and the obvious disappointment you’ll feel when you learn there are no more tickets for the day.

PRO TIP: You must purchase online tickets no later than 3pm (Germany time) and at least 2 days ahead. I don’t recommend you wait that long to book, especially if you want a specific time slot. This cut off time also applies to any changes you wish to make to your reserved time. You cannot make changes after this time.

If you show up the day of and they still have tickets available, there is no guarantee when the entrance time will be. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to pick your first choice time slot, unless it’s in the dead of winter or no one else is there. That doesn’t happen very often. So be prepared to stick around all day waiting.

If you’re going to follow our train instructions to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle, you cannot reserve tickets before 2:30pm. This is because you must pick up your tickets at least 1.5 hours before your reserved time, and you won’t arrive at the ticket booth until 12:30pm at the earliest (if you take the cheaper 9:52am train mentioned below).

Price for Tickets:

  • Neuschwanstein Tour Only: 13 euros regular for adults, free for under 18
  • King’s Ticket (includes both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau): 25 euros regular

Hours of Operation:

  • Tickets on sale at the Ticketcenter:  April to 15 October: 7.30 am-5 pm; 16 October to March: 8.30 am-3 pm
  • Opening hours of Neuschwanstein Castle: April to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm; 16 October to March: 10 am-4 pm
  • Open daily except 1 January and 24 / 25 / 31 December

How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle From Munich

It’s really easy to get to the castle from Munich. You can rent a car and drive, but we found that the easiest method for reaching the castle is to take the train that leaves from the main train station (Haupbaunhof) in Munich. It will take you the entire day to get there, spend time looking around, and get back on the train, but it is both inexpensive and easy to do.

Here are the details:

  1. Take the train to Füssen from the Munich Haupbaunhof that leaves at 9:53 am. Why this time, exactly? There is a really cheap train ticket option called the Bayern ticket, which allows you to travel on all trains and buses throughout Bavaria Monday – Friday, from 9am to 3am the next day, for just €23. If you’re traveling with other people, it’s even cheaper because it’s only an additional €5 per person, up to 5 people.Note: If you’re planning to go on a weekend, the Bayern ticket is valid from midnight to 3am the next day, so you can take the 8:52am train instead.

    You have to buy the ticket from the station AFTER 9am. If you’re not already at the main Munich train station, you can use the ticket you just bought to get there.  Then get on your 9:52am train to Füssen. The first train leaving Munich after 9am is at 9:52am.

  2. The train departs from Platform 29. It’s the farthest train to the far right of the train station. It takes about 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach Füssen. (Pro Tip: Sit at the front of the train. When you get off in Füssen, this will allow you to beat the rest of the crowds to the bus that will take you up to the castle, saving you quite a bit of time and maybe earning you a seat for the ride.)
  3. When you get off the train in Füssen, walk around to the other side of the train tracks and you should see the bus waiting there. You want bus 78 to the castles. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes.
The bus to the castles in Fussen
The bus to the castles in Fussen (Photo by Savored Journeys)

Alternative to Doing This Trip Yourself

Although we’ve done our best to make this journeys as easy as possible for you to book and execute on your own, we know there will be some of you who don’t want to have to figure all of the details out. That’s totally fine. There’s an alternative to doing it yourself.

You can book this group tour that leaves from Munich. You’ll be with a tour guide the whole day, so they can help you navigate the train, the bus and the entrance tickets for the castle. This tour is very convenient, because it includes the cost of the train and the guide. They will secure the entrance tickets for you, for an additional €13.50, so you don’t have to worry about entrance times, or picking up your tickets on time.

Entrance to the castle is optional on this tour, so you can choose to do something else with your time, if you don’t want to go inside. The tour also includes a visit to the Hohenschwangau castle. It’s the best way to go if you don’t want to plan it yourself. The tour is only $55 USD.

Book the Tour here

What to Do Once You Arrive

  1. When you arrive in Hohenschwangau, you can follow the crowd up to the visitor center, up the hill to the right. If you have already reserved your tickets, you pick them up at a separate counter for “reserved tickets” at the Ticket Center. If you don’t have tickets and are hoping to get some, stand in the regular line.
  2. You have to pick up reserved tickets at least 1.5 hours before the confirmed entrance time or you forfeit them. If you don’t pick-up the tickets on time, you will also be charged a double service fee per ticket for the no-show. If you can’t make your reserved time, you have to cancel at least 2 hours before your time to not be charged for the tickets.

How to Get to the Castle

There are three possible ways to get up to the castle, which is perched high up on the mountain.

  • You can walk up (it’s a long, steep climb – 1.5km – a 20-30 min walk)
  • You can take a bus for just €2,50 uphill and €1,50 downhill or €3 RT (which you find just past the ticket office up the hill – pay on the bus)
  • You can ride in a horse-drawn carriage, which you also purchase and board near the buses (but think of those poor horses!). Uphill: € 4,50   Downhill: € 2,00

However you arrive at the top, you’ll be dropped off at the entrance to Marienbrücke, the suspension bridge that overlooks the castle, where everyone gets those amazing photos, like this one:

A view of Neuschwanstein castle from the Marionbrucke.
A view of Neuschwanstein castle from the Marionbrucke. (Photo by Savored Journeys)

Beware, the bridge can get extremely packed with people, all pushing to get the best view. There are more selfie sticks on the bridge than you’ll ever see again in one place.

PRO TIP: Don’t bother standing at the start of the bridge. Make your way further onto the other side of the bridge and you’ll have way more space.

The hordes of people on the bridge
The hordes of people on the bridge (Photo by Savored Journeys)

After you’ve taken all the pictures you can stand, you’ll head back down to where the bus dropped off, and head down the path on the right, which takes you about 600 meters downhill to the castle itself. There are some great photo-taking spots along the way, so leave enough time for gawking.

Around the other side of the castle and up the steps is where the lines form for tours. You’ll see an electronic board displaying the ticket group number (which you’ll find on the face of your ticket).

When your number is displayed, you enter the line. The tour lasts for about 35 minutes.

The line that forms at the entrance of the castle.
The line that forms at the entrance of the castle. (Photo by Savored Journeys)

After the tour, you can walk back down or take the return bus. We chose to walk down. You’ll pass by a large area with benches and free wi-fi, presumably so you can send all those selfies out into the world – but there is no free wi-fi anywhere else, so take advantage, if you need to. There are also some pretty amazing views on the walk, like this one of Hohenschwangau Castle.

View of Hohenschwangau Castle from the walk down
View of Hohenschwangau Castle from the walk down (Photo by Savored Journeys)

Where to Eat Near Neuschwanstein Castle

About halfway down the hill from the castle is a restaurant with a nice view and an outdoor patio (for nice days), called Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein. The menu is pretty much the same as the restaurants at the bottom of the hill, so if you’re hungry and can get a spot, I would recommend staying there to eat.

Alternatives can be found in Hohenschwangau, on the same street with the ticket office. We passed up the restaurant on the hill, thinking it would be overpriced, but then wished we hadn’t, because the prices at the bottom were the same. But we did find a great restaurant, Restaurant Kainz, which had a great view of the castle from the far side of the outdoor patio, plus some really good food!

After lunch, we headed off to have a look at the second castle in Hohenschwangau.

Visiting and Touring Hohenschwangau Castle

Remember that Neuschwanstein isn’t the only castle to visit and tour in town. Another, smaller castle can be found by walking up the hill behind the ticket office.

Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle (Photo by Savored Journeys)

Hohenschwangau Castle isn’t as magnificent and storybook-looking as it’s bigger cousin, but it’s definitely worth a visit. The same ticket process applies to the tour of this castle. But the only way to get up there is by walking.

Note: You are not permitted to take photos in either castle.

When you’ve finished with your visit, head back down to the Visitor’s center to catch the bus back to the train.

A note about the train. When we were there, there were two trains we could get on –  one was a straight shot with no transfer, but the other involved a transfer. Take careful note of which one you’re on. The conductor will alert you that you must transfer at a specific point. When you exit the train, look for the signs to Munich to make sure you’re getting on the proper train.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the castle, keep in mind how easy it is to go from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s a great day trip, and very much worth the time.

Hotels Near Neuschwanstein Castle

If you plan instead to stay over a night or two to explore the area around the castles, here are a few recommended hotels near the castles.

Hotel Villa Ludwig – Located very close to town, with a fantastic view. The hotel is really well-appointed and a great choice for affordable luxury. The addition of afternoon tea is great. They can also make your castle reservations for you. Very easy walking distance to both castles. → Book a stay at Hotel Villa Ludwig or read reviews on Trip Advisor.

Hotel Mueller – This hotel offers one of the most convenient locations to the ticket office and the start of the walks up to both castles. It’s located right in the little town of Hohenschwangau, close to many restaurants and shops. → Book a stay at Hotel Mueller on Trip Advisor.

Conclusion

If you have extra time while visiting Munich, we highly recommend making this trip. It is true fairytale castle that you just must see. Plus, it’s so easy to get there from Munich. Why not! Have you been to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

Like this post? Why not share it on your Pinterest board!

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

23 thoughts on “How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Laura,

    Wow! How have I not heard of this place LOL? Inspired view and the story behind it is fascinating too. I’d have thought he wanted to build a showy castle of opulence – and maybe that was some of his driver – but being a recluse influenced his decision moreso. Like the German royal version of Howard Hughes. Neat how the place opened up to the public so quickly after his death. Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  2. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie says:

    This is such a timely post, Laura. I’m traveling to Munich with my family in December and considering a visit to the castle. I love the practical info about the trains and the advanced ticket purchases. Such great advice!

  3. RaW | Ramble and Wander says:

    This is the 3rd blog post I’ve read today about Germany and it is the only western European country that I haven’t been to. If this is not a sign, I don’t know what is already, heh! 😉 But yeah, Munich & Berlin are two of the top German cities that I’d love to visit one day, and Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely in the list! I esp. love the photos of the castle from the suspension bridge, beautiful! And the tips about to move on further ahead on the bridge is just gold!

  4. Sophie says:

    I didn’t realise you could visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich – this gives me all the more reason to go! And that Schnitzel looks really good!

  5. Laura Lynch says:

    I guess you’re going to have to plan a trip to Germany! In contrast, it’s the only country I’ve been to more than once or twice. I’ve been at least 10 times.

  6. Megan Jerrard says:

    Neuschwanstein Castle was my favorite day trip from Munich – I was there in winter many years ago and it was an absolutely magical sight to see it covered in glistening snow. I would love to head back and visit during summer too 🙂

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I was thinking I would love to see it during the winter! I bet the carriage ride is also very pretty during that time!

  7. Jamie says:

    Wow, your post was extremely help!!! You answered many of my questions. Just have 1 for you…If you are planning on going to Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavarian Kings Museum , and Hohenschwangaun Castle how long do you anticipate seeing this to all take? If I’m understanding correctly, you can only get 30 minutes (via the tour) to actually be in Neuschwanstein Castle? You cannot just walk around inside when your tour ends? Thanks!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Hi Jamie, you are correct that the visit inside the castle is limited in time, however, you can walk around outside the castle for as long as you like. Same with Hohenschwangau. We would say that typically you can expect to spend about 1 hour at each place, plus transit time in between can be up to 30 minutes. So may be 5 hours all in.

  8. Nicole says:

    Hi Laura, Thanks for the info, very helpful. I am unclear as to the weekend train tickets. Can I purchase a train ticket the day prior to taking the train?
    Thanks for your help!!
    Nicole

  9. Chhaya says:

    Hello Laura, your post is what I was looking for as I am planning an ahead right now as I finalise my trip to Munich just to go to Neuschwanstein Castle. Just a question about the time slot you had booked to visit the castle, since you have to pick up the ticket 90 min in advance, what was your tour time you booked? I am assuming I would need to take similar time slot. Thanks a lot, Chhaya

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Chhaya, it depends on what time you leave Munich. If you go at 10am as suggested, it will be a minimum of 3 hours before you can get to the castle, so don’t book tickets before 1:15pm. If going a 8:52 on a weekend, you can get tickets for as early as 12:15pm.

  10. Pingback: Munich Oktoberfest Guide for Newbies (Updated for 2019) | Savored Journeys

  11. Pingback: EXCHANGE: Log 68-70 – your love is eternal

  12. Mark says:

    Hi Laura, fantastic helpful article here, thank you. We’re going to be in Munich this June and the trip to Neuschwanstein is high on the list. I’ll have a check on the train timetables but assuming the 9.53 is still the go and sticking to your itinerary of bus up to the castle and so on, what time would you recommend booking the castle tour for? Thanks in advance, Mark

  13. Jenny Maria Ribe says:

    Thanks for helpful post! Ihave a question regarding the times. Did you book your ticket for 2:30 or so? Since your pick up time were 12:55.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Hi Jenny, yes, if you take the 9:52 train, as suggested, you’ll get there around 12:30-45. You have to pick your tickets up at least 1.5 hours before, so the earliest tickets you can get are for 2:30pm

  14. Angie says:

    This article was so helpful! Just visited Neuschwanstein Castle and loved it! Here’s a beautiful drone video of the castle in winter I thought I’d share 🙂

    https://www.airvuz.com/video/Neuschwanstein-castle–winter?id=5c38f1c96c8ced339574dd8b

  15. Pingback: 21 of the Best Cities to Visit in Europe – fiverr demo 7

  16. Pingback: 21 of the Best Cities to Visit in Europe – My Blog

  17. Pingback: 21 of the Best Cities to Visit in Europe - youneedknow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.