Neuschwanstein Castle is the most iconic castle in Europe, if not the world! It looks like it is straight out of a fairytale with its many turrets and towers, and actually is the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella castles! It is nestled in the Bavarian Alps but what’s great is that you can easily visit it as a day trip from Munich!
How to get to Neuschwanstein:
The cheapest way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich is to get the Bayern train from Munich Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) train station to Füssen (the nearest town to Neuschwanstein) for €23 return. You then take the 10 minute bus ride from Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle. The price of this bus ride (bus number 78) is included in the train ticket so keep it handy. Taking the train is significantly cheaper than doing a guided bus tour from Munich, which are very overpriced and absolutely not worth it in my opinion.
If there is between 2-5 of you going, it is considerably cheaper if you go after 9am and buy the “Bayern ticket”, which is still €23 for the first person, but then €4 for each additional person. Leaving Munich after 9am however does mean that you won’t get to Neuschwanstein Castle until just before midday as the journey to Füssen takes just over 2 hours on the train. And I would recommend to try to get there early as it gets so busy during the day, and I find when somewhere is too busy it spoils the charm of the place – around 6,000 tourists visit this castle every day!
If you would rather more flexibility, you can hire a car and drive to Neuschwanstein early to avoid the crowds! It is a 2 hour drive from Munich, driving through many beautiful Bavarian villages and stunning countryside. One pretty cool fact is that most of the German motorway doesn’t have a speed limit!
To drive to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles (both castles are very close together, so worth a look at both of them if you have time) from Füssen, which is only about a 6km drive away, follow the signs for “Königsschlösser”. Parking is €6 per day to park at the castle carparks and they only accept cash! I only had my card, and I couldn’t find an ATM nearby, so I just parked on the side of the road just a few minutes walk before you reach the car parks, like other cars had done. There are just a few spaces here though and they get taken pretty quickly.
Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the late 1800’s for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Many people say the best view of the castle is from Marienbrücke bridge, which was actually built specifically so one could admire the castle view. It is a 15 minute walk uphill past the castle, however this bridge freaked me out as the wooden planks kept moving and even though it is safe I wanted to get off it as quickly as I could, PLUS the bridge was so crowded!
But if you cross the bridge and carry on uphill, you will be rewarded with a much better and quieter view. The view is similar, from the side of the castle, but you can frame your picture with trees and you don’t get the railings from the bridge in your picture, so it is much better in my opinion. Whilst it would be amazing to visit in the winter to see the castle and Alps covered in snow, Marienbrücke is often blocked off when there is snow or ice and so you may not be able to get the best view or photo of the castle.
If you want to go inside Neuschwanstein castle you should book tickets online (CLICK HERE to be directed to the official website) at least a few days beforehand, as to go inside you need to have a 30 minute guided tour of the castle booked and if you just turn up on the day it often happens that the tours are sold out. Tickets are €13 to go inside the castle and tickets need to be picked up 1.5 hours before your tour starts. You MUST collect tickets for the castle at the ticket centre at the bottom of the hill BEFORE you climb up to the castle – you cannot get tickets once you have climbed up to the castle!
The walk up to Neuschwanstein castle is about 30 minutes uphill from the car parks and ticket centre, but there is a bus and horse and carts available if you don’t want to walk. Once you reach the top of the hill you’ll be rewarded with beautiful mountain views and a view of Hohenschwangau Castle below:
Once you have come down, there are some beautiful fields at the bottom of the hill where you can get some nice pictures of the castle from a distance. I kind of felt like I was in The Sound of Music here!
Füssen, the nearest town to Neuschwanstein, is where the Romantic Road ends. It is an absolutely beautiful town surrounded by the the incredible scenery of the Alps, with Austria only a couple of kilometres away. It is really worth to spend some time here if you can before or after visiting Neuschwanstein – I was only here for an hour for lunch (and it was raining!) but would have loved to stay longer! There are lots of medieval and gothic buildings and baroque churches, some with beautiful murals/frescos on them.
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