A Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle – The Most Romantic Place in Germany
Here is everything you need to know for your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle – a castle where Disney dreams come true – find out about the best things to do at Neuschwanstein Castle and more.
I would be lying if I said that I am totally into Disney or have always dreamt of being a little princess. When it comes to royalty or fairy-tales, I am quite down to earth.
However, visiting Neuschweinstein Castle (Schloss Neuschweinstein in German) had been on my list for a while and I was excited to finally visit. It is more or less the end of my “Romantic Road” Road trip through Bavaria (another popular stop of the road trip is pretty Rothenburg ob der Tauber) and quite close from Munich.
This place may seem to be too pretty or too unreal, but I can confirm this castle is real. Located on a hill, it is an impressive castle and probably one of the prettiest in the world.
In this post, you will find some important travel information: Things you need to know before visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.
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Travel Tips Neuschwanstein Castle
Here they are – the travel tips you need before visiting the castle.
How to Get There
If you arrive by car, you will have to head to Hohenschwangau. It is well signed once you are in Bavaria (if you are doing the Romantic Road road trip, it will be the first or last stop).
You can park your car in the big parking area. A parking ticket for one day costs 6.50€ (even though it says 6€).
Train / Bus
There is no train going to Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castle, but you can get to towns like Füssen and then take a bus from there to the castle.
If you prefer guided tours where you can just lay back and relax, then check out the prices for the different tours available.
Guided tour from Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle for a guided day tour from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle
Find out more about a guided tour from Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle
Sights and Attractions at Hohenschwangau / Castles/Museums/Lakes
You have two castles in the area (which can both be visited in one day).
Neuschwanstein Castle – the castle that makes hearts beat faster
Hohenschwangau Castle – another gorgeous castle, though it is in the shadow of Schloss Neuschwanstein
Museum der Bayerischen Könige / Museum of the Bavarian Kings: A museum where you can find out about the history of the Bavarian royalty.
Alpsee is a lovely lake just next to the Museum der Bayrischen Könige and should be on your list as well.
Read more: The most beautiful places in Bavaria
What Tickets to Buy
If you have booked guided tours, tickets for the castles might be included. However, you will most likely need to buy tickets if you want to visit the inside of the different castles and museums.
If you don’t go inside, you will not need a ticket (btw: the Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung does a great job of maintaining the castles and garden without making people pay if they just want to stroll the area, though parking is a bit pricey here, but oh well).
You will need separate tickets for each of the castles and the museum. Prices are around 13€ for each castle (and 11€ for the museum), but you can buy a combo ticket for both castles on one day for around 25€ (yep, saving you only 1€).
Tickets need to be bought online or at the Ticket Center (well signed). These are the only official tickets that guarantee entry. During peak season, tickets might be sold out, so getting here early – if you want to see the inside – is a must.
You cannot book tickets days and days in advance (online tickets can be booked only two days in advance – but must be ordered before 3 pm two days before) and must be picked up at the Ticket Center.
You can only buy tickets at the Ticket Center for that day.
You cannot buy tickets at the castle, so before hiking up (or driving up), make sure you have your tickets.
People under 18 years of age have free access.
If you buy a ticket, you will have a certain time within which you will need to do the guided tour (only guided tours available, time is fixed around 35 minutes).
Opening Hours – Ticket Center
April to October 15th: 7:30 am – 5 pm
October 16th to March: 8:30 am – 3 pm
Opening Hours – Neuschwanstein Castle
April to October 15th: 9 am – 6 pm
October 16th to March: 10 am – 4 pm
Open daily except January 1st and December 24th, 25th, 31st
Where to Stay
If you visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen is a popular place to stay. This hotel looks very lovely and might be the perfect place for your stay in Füssen.
Where to Eat
There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and snack stalls. If you are a big meat-eater, and especially love prod, you will be in heaven. All others, like me, have to struggle with vegetarian and healthy options.
There are a lot of snack stalls and restaurants. Also, there are souvenir shops. As a vegetarian, the options were limited (Bavarians just love their pork), and I regretted that I didn‘t bring my own snacks. Fries were sold out by 6 pm at all the stalls. So, if you don’t want to buy overpriced food (or prefer healthy snacks), bring your own food.
Make sure to bring your own reusable water bottle. There is at least one water fountain that provides fresh drinking water (close to the Ticket Center).
I went to Neuschwanstein Castle with my dog – traveling with a pet in Germany is okay for most of the time but you cannot take them into museums and castles. So, maybe it is important to keep this in mind when visiting this castle. However, you can walk with the pet up and walk around and also visit the bridge etc.
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle
While the main castle is visible from afar (at least if it isn’t too cloudy), you still need to get to the castle, which might include some hiking (other options available).
Hiking up is probably the most rewarding way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle. It takes about 45 minutes and it is an uphill, but easyish, hike. It is not one of those hikes that is supposed to take 45 minutes, but actually takes 60 minutes. I mostly dislike hiking, but this one was easily done and the path was super easy to walk.
The paths might be very crowded, but nevertheless, I suggest hiking up and down – not only because you save money, but because it is kind of fun.
There is a bus just behind the Ticket Center that takes you up. From there, you need to walk another 5-10 minutes to either reach the Marienbrücke or the castle entrance, if you want to do the tour.
A return ticket is about 3€.
I know, people think it is romantic and fun to get up via carriage. But even though I am not a militant vegan (I am actually no vegan at all), I actually don’t recommend getting around via carriage. Either walk up or take the shuttle bus – it is cheaper and… just better.
If you arrive by carriage, you will be at the castle entrance, but need to hike another 10 minutes or so to get to the Marienbrücke (for the view).
A return ticket is about 7€.
Best Things to Do Around Neuschwanstein Castle
Castle Entrance / Visit the Castle
At the castle entranceway, you will find some smaller shops selling souvenirs and snacks (no tickets are sold here). There are monitors showing you the times for the guided tours, but if you haven’t booked a tour (like me), then I wouldn’t spend too much time here as it is not really spectacular. Standing so close to the front of it, the castle doesn’t look that impressive. A better view of the castle is from the Marienbrücke – so head there instead.
If you have a few hours until your tour starts, you can still head to the Marienbrücke (10-minute hike from the castle entrance).
The Marienbrücke is probably one of the most crowded areas here – and for good reason. The view of the castle is splendid. Even on a foggy day, you have the best views.
The bridge does shake if you walk on it, but I am pretty sure it is solid.
However, the bridge is closed at times for maintenance. In winter, it can also be closed due to weather conditions.
Personally, I would have been very upset if it had been closed during the time of my visit. While I can understand that people from other countries cannot plan their trip based on the opening of the bridge alone, I would still check and try to reschedule the trip if the bridge was closed.
There is also a waterfall next to the bridge – the hiking path is closed but you can look at it from above.
Enjoy More Great Views
If you have some more time, head to another area that offers great views as well. After passing the bridge, you need to hike up another 5-10 minutes. The view is totally worth it (and less crowded).
Even with a tour, this will probably take a few hours. If you have planned in a full day, you can still discover some more great places in this area.
After that view, you can happily hike back. On your way, you will see the Alpsee – a stunning little lake with interesting colors.
Hohenschwanstein Castle and Museum Bayrische Könige
I skipped Hohenschwanstein Castle and the museum (just because I was with a dog) and headed to the lake, which doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves because most people focus on the castles.
I really suggest hiking the lake. The starting point is next to the museum, and from there, keep left (I got this tip from the person at the Ticket Center and I stuck to it). Hiking this pretty lake takes about 1.5 hours (including some stops). There are only a few hills, but personally, I think it is a great place to end the day.
As you can see, Hohenschwanstein is a beautiful place to visit. The Neuschwanstein Castle is the most prominent sight (and for a good reason), but there are more places to see, too. A bit of romance, a bit of history, and a bit of nature – seems like the perfect place to visit, doesn’t it?