She Goes The Distance

How to Plan The Perfect Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

How to Plan The Perfect Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Michela

There are many places in Europe that can transport you into a fairytale but few can do it so literally like Neuschwanstein Castle! This famous landmark in Germany is worthy of your bucket list – but to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and ensure you make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime experience can be overwhelming. It surely looks like a fairytale, but there are several ways that the experience can end up anything but storybook!

This complete guide from my firsthand experience will enable you to plan the perfect visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, avoiding common pitfalls, discovering secret tips, and knowing just enough of what to expect without spoiling the wonderful surprises of experiencing the magical location for yourself.

And if you’re looking to get more ideas for you itinerary, check out the ten best things to do near Neuschwanstein Castle .

Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure !

Intro to Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in Schwangau, in the province of Bavaria in southern Germany. At around 1.5 million visitors per year, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the top three most popular attractions in Germany.

The castle was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, but he died before its construction was completely finished and actually only lived in the castle for a total of a few months. I won’t dive into too much of the history because you must experience the interesting stories and secrets of the castle on your own tour!

The castle is famous today not only for its beauty but because it inspired Walt Disney for the design of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, as well as Cinderella’s Castle. Many refer to it as the Disney castle in Germany!

Best Time to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

It may sound cliché but there is not necessarily a bad time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle! If there was, it would be the weekend I ended up visiting in late April – we got caught in cold weather in rain and the viewing bridge was closed. Nonetheless, I couldn’t be happier about my experience at Neuschwanstein – plus I can only laugh at the imperfect circumstances we had at such a perfect place!

So that leads me to my first tip – research before you go to figure out what is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein for you !

Dying to get the view from Mary’s Bridge like I was? Then you better check the official website to know if it will be open! (P.S. Not being able to visit the bridge surely didn’t sour the trip – just would have been an extra cherry on top!)

What month should you visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

The summer months of July and August are the peak tourist season for Neuschwanstein Castle. This equates to long lines for tickets, transportation, and entering the castle, as well as limited parking and that overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by thousands of people!

To avoid the crowds best but still catch nice weather, late May and early June are the best months to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Seeing Neuschwanstein covered in snow is also a pretty sight and you’ll have the highest chance of snow in the month of December. Mid-October to early-November is also a pretty time to visit Neuschwanstein to see the castle among the colored foliage.

Good to know: Honesty time here – the castle is so famous now, it will be hard to plan a visit where you have it all to yourself. That being said, the trail up to the castle is always open. To beat swarms of people even in the off-season, wake up and arrive early!

What day and time should you visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

If you have the opportunity to visit any time throughout your trip, visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a weekday! Castle tours are much less likely to sell out and crowds will always be less intense than on weekends.

Arriving early is also one of the key tips for having the best experience at Neuschwanstein. You can have moments to yourself (or at least share them with just a few avid photographers) and enjoy the grounds around the castle in peace.

If you can’t arrive early to the castle, then I actually recommend arriving later in the day. Arriving midday is the worst time to get to Neuschwanstein Castle because those are peak visiting hours and when all the day trippers from nearby Munich arrive and do their visit.

Booking Tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle for Your Visit

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

You can only enter the castle if you have a ticket reservation for a guided tour. Guided tours can be either audio guides, which accommodate a multitude of languages, or they are offered with a traditional tour guide, both in English and German.

No reservation is necessary if you intend not to enter the castle. However, if you have traveled all this way, I think it is well worth doing a tour and seeing the interior of this beautiful structure!

How and when should you book tickets to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

I highly recommend booking your tickets to visit Neuschwanstein Castle online before your trip. This enables you to avoid waiting in long lines at the on-site ticket center. Plus, in the peak summer season especially, tickets can sell out weeks in advance for your chosen date.

Something to keep in mind while planning the rest of your trip to Europe or Germany is that the ticket is valid only on the day of your chosen date/the day you buy it . If your itinerary changes, you won’t get a refund. Therefore, it is best to plan other excursions around your Neuschwanstein Castle visit!

You can purchase tickets online here . Note they charge a service fee of 2.50 euros for purchasing your tickets online.

Pro Tip: You will receive an email with your tickets and the receipt. I’ve heard you can use a mobile phone and scan the QR code from your ticket to enter the castles, but the ticket explicitly states that you need to print it. I would print it regardless to avoid any trouble and potentially not being allowed into your tour!

When you buy your tickets online, you will choose the date and time of your reservation to enter the castle. There is a list of tour times available represented by a green dot and the language the tour will be in. There are also audio guide tours labeled “Audio Guide.” Tours are currently offered in English and German, so the Audio Guide tours are perfect for those who speak other languages.

At the Ticket Center

There is a ticket center in Hohenschwangau is located at this address: Alpseestraße 12, 87645 Schwangau, which is right across from the main path to reach Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you want to buy your tickets the day of and are traveling during peak season, you must arrive early!

The ticket center is open from 8 am – 4 pm from April to mid-October. From mid-October to March, it is open from 9 am – 3 pm.

You’ll see from the picture of the rates is that it is slightly cheaper to buy your tickets onsite because they don’t account for the 2.50 euros surcharge. For example, if you purchase on site, children are free, whereas on the website they are 2.50 euros a piece.

How much does it cost?

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

A single ticket to Neuschwanstein Castle costs 15 euros. A reduced rate of 14 euros is also available to students, seniors, those with disabilities, and more categories that you can find here.

Pro Tip: I recommend visiting both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle. The price for entry to both is 37 euros. You could also visit both castles and the Museum of the Bavarian Kings for 48.50 euros total, per person.

How to Get to Hohenschwangau

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau. The town is tiny and really just made up of hotels and restaurants to cater to tourists. That’s not to say some of the buildings are quite charming and cute!

If you’d like a slightly more authentic experience, you can stay and visit nearby Füssen, which is just a two minute drive from Hohenschwangau. Stay tuned though – I will recommend in depth where to stay near Neuschwanstein further down in this post!

The best way to arrive at Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle will depend on the rest of your trip itinerary and where you are traveling from. Here are all your options to identify which is best for you!

Pro Tip: Because there are so many options and you have your own unique itinerary, you can leave your specific plans in a comment so I can recommend the best way for you to get to Neuschwanstein Castle!

The easiest and most flexible way to arrive at Neuschwanstein is by car. Some things to keep in mind is that in this area you will be traveling through several small towns, countryside roads, as well as mountain passes, so the speed limits and car activity can vary greatly!

Parking at Neuschwanstein

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Your options for parking at Neuschwanstein are either at your accommodation if you’re spending the night or several public gravel parking lots, all located at easy walking distance from the ticket center and entrance to the walkway up to the castle.

Parking typically costs 10 euros per day at Neuschwanstein.

Renting a car in Germany

To rent a car in Germany, you need to:

  • have a valid driver’s license from your home country
  • be at least 21 years old (if you’re not 25, you may pay extra)
  • have an International Driving Permit (depends on rental company)

Also keep in mind most cars will be manual transmission – you’ll have to request and probably pay extra for an automatic car.

It’s best to book your car rental before your trip for a good deal. I personally use Auto Europe and Rentalcars.com to find car rentals because they compare a bunch of companies and rates at once!

Booking a tour is ideal for travelers who only have one day to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, those who don’t have their own transportation like a rental car, and for anyone who wants the ticket buying and transportation coordinated for them.

The most common and widely available is the Munich to Neuschwanstein day trip, but you can also find options from Innsbruck to Neuschwanstein. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and just over 90 minutes from Neuschwanstein Castle.

Third-party buses like Flixbus offer routes to Neuschwanstein Castle. Their bus stop is clearly marked in the center of Hohenschwangau!

By train & bus

You can also reach Neuschwanstein by train depending on your location and vicinity to a station. The closest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle is in Füssen, and from there you take bus 78 (they are all clearly marked for Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle), which is about a 10 minute ride.

You will likely be traveling on a regional train in order to get to the small town of Füssen, so for the easiest journey possible, I would recommend using this transportation option if you are already in southern Germany. A common route is again from Munich to Füssen, so this is a good DIY option if you’re not interested in booking an organized day tour.

Pro Tip: If you are traveling through southern Germany, look into the Bayern ticket, or Bavaria ticket, which gives you unlimited train rides throughout the day in the region of Bavaria and allows you to add extra passengers for just 8 euros a piece. It would also cover your bus ride from the station to Neuschwanstein Castle!

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

Yay you’ve made it! If you bought tickets online, you can go up to the castle. The recommendation is to start your walk up to the castle at least one hour before your castle tour because the path can take 30-40 minutes – or longer – to reach the castle entrance. I recommend leaving even before that to explore around the castle, visit the bridge, and take all those Instagram pictures before heading in.

If you didn’t buy your tickets yet, your first stop will be at the ticket center. The ticket center is clearly marked and located across from and just before the beginning of the paved path up to the castle.

How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle

Reaching Neuschwanstein Castle is no easy feat! The classic and calorie-burning way to make your way up is following the main paved path that snakes its way up the mountainside.

Pro Tip: Cars and bikes are not allowed on this path. Also, you’re sharing this paved road with the horse carriages, so be mindful of some smelly poop dotting the path along the way. Stepping in that is surely no fairytale!

You’ll also find there are other paths, some paved and some natural trails, that connect to the main paved path and also get you up to the castle. These are a bit steeper but can provide a more peaceful atmosphere compared to the floods of people, horse carriages and horse poop on the main paved path.

The total walk takes about 30-40 minutes along the main paved path. Some of the steeper wooded paths take 20 minutes.

You can find these off-the-beaten-path trails also by putting Neuschwanstein into the maps on your phone – it will give you the quickest paths. One of these starts across from the Restaurant Alpenstuben (unpaved.) If you’re coming from the parking, there is another steep path (paved) at these coordinates 47°33’23.6″N 10°44’31.7″E.

By Shuttle Bus

If you have difficulties walking, want to bypass the crowds and exertion, and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, you can take the shuttle bus up to Neuschwanstein. The bus departs from below nearby Hohenschwangau Castle. It costs 2.50 euros to go up and 1.50 euros to come down, per person. You can buy tickets on board (have cash!)

The bus does not arrive in front of Neuschwanstein Castle but rather near Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge). From there you have to walk 15 minutes down to the castle entrance.

Pro Tip: If you stay in accommodation in the area, you may be able to use the shuttle bus for free as part of a guest pass. I received this at Hotel Garni Schlossblick where we stayed (unfortunately we checked in after we had seen the castle, so we wish we had known this tip before!)

The shuttle run year round, but if you’re traveling to Neuschwanstein in winter, keep in mind they do not run if there is snow or ice.

By Horse Carriage

I’ll come out and say it – I hate this transportation option being offered. Not only do the two horses have to travel up and down a steep path up to the castle, but the carriages they pull are filled with 12-15 people. I was exhausted and sad for them.

The horse carriages offer you a “fairytale” experience, but seeing the weight they have to pull (and smelling them), I’d say it’s not as much of a fairytale as you think.

If you would like to take the horse carriage up to Neuschwanstein, it costs 7 euros per person to go up and 3.50 euros per person to go down. You can buy tickets from the driver (have cash!) The horse-drawn carriage doesn’t take you straight up to the castle entrance – you still have to walk uphill about 5-10 minutes from the drop-off point.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that even in off-season, there are always lines for the shuttle bus and horse carriages. If you choose to use one of those transportation options, factor the extra time waiting in line into when you should arrive.

Rules About Your Belongings

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

You cannot take large items into Neuschwanstein – this includes large backpacks, strollers, baby carriers, etc. This is another reason why it is important to leave early, so you have time to put your things in one of the free lockers!

You will come across a large rest area just below the entrance of the castle, also where a large screen is located showing upcoming tours (more about this in the next section.)

There are extra large lockers for strollers and a range of medium and small lockers for backpacks. The lockers are free, but you must have a 1 or 2 euro coin to deposit into the lock in order to use the locker. You will get this coin back when you return to retrieve your things.

Lock the locker with the key, which you can then wear similarly to a watch.

Entering Your Tour

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

The entire process of the guided tour is very strict. Even if you are just minutes late, you may not be able to join!

I recommend starting your walk/bus/horse carriage ride to get up to the castle at least an hour before your tour time. If you are traveling in peak season, you may want to give yourself even more time since there will be long lines and crowds.

To enter your tour, first you need to locate a large stand-alone screen. It’s on your way to the castle entrance, at a large rest area across from a souvenir shop and restrooms. The screen shows what tour times and numbers are up next, including which is currently going in. Your tour number is located on your ticket and the time is what you selected when you bought it.

But don’t make this mistake! Don’t wait in front of this large screen until your group is currently going in. Instead, make your way up to the front entrance of the castle about 10 minutes before . There is a security guard standing in front of the castle entrance door that you will show your tickets to and will let you into the castle courtyard, where there is another small screen that shows which group is allowed to enter.

We were almost late to our group time because this second screen and entrance are not visible from outside the castle!

How the Tour Works – Is it worth it?

Once your number comes up on the screen, you will get in line, scan your ticket barcode, and enter the castle, where you’ll be given an audio device if you’re on a regular tour. Your tour guide speaks into the device while you hold it to your ear so that everyone can hear what they’re saying.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to constantly hold up the audio device to your ear, bring your own wired headphones !

Instead, if you do an Audio Guide tour, you also get an audio device and hold it to your ear, but there is a recording that tells you about your surroundings. You will also still be accompanied by a guide who is there to answer questions.

I know some people say that the tour of Neuschwanstein is not that great, it’s short, etc. but I really loved it. The tour guide shares some interesting stories so you can learn about the castle’s history and the rooms are beautiful!

Everyone says Neuschwanstein is less decorated, with no furnitures, etc. so I thought we would just be walking through empty hallways and construction zones. The tour only allows you to see a few rooms but all are ornate, regal, and breathtaking! I 100% think the tour is worth it, despite what some critics say.

You cannot take pictures inside Neuschwanstein Castle , but on your way out, past the first gift shop, there is a terrace from which you can take photos of the view over Hohenschwangau. There is also a 3D film about Neuschwanstein’s construction, King Ludwig II’s plans for it, and his plans for other castles.

The whole tour lasts about 45 minutes.

Good to know: You will be walking up a lot of steps on this tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes!

Where to Get the Best Views of Neuschwanstein

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Marienbrücke

Marienbrücke, or Mary’s Bridge, is the landmark view you see in the majority of photos of Neuschwanstein. The bridge suspends over a narrow, running river through the mountain canyon that is the backdrop to Neuschwanstein.

You’ll find clearly posted signs to Marienbrücke on the path to Neuschwanstein Castle. Once you reach the castle, you’ll have to continue walking to the right up about ten minutes to reach the bridge.

Mary’s Bridge, as of April 2022, is temporarily closed for maintenance, so be sure to check out closures before you plan your visit.

Beyond Marienbrücke

If you continue down the trail past the entrance to Mary’s Bridge, you can catch some interesting views of the bridge itself with the castle in the background. You can also walk down to the foot of the valley and take photos of the falls, which have these unique wooden pillars.

That Famous View on Instagram

I visited while Mary’s Bridge was closed, so I was unable to reach the famous spot circling Instagram, where you’re able to get a full-body picture with an unobstructed view of the castle in the background. However, I read the warnings that this spot hangs over a cliff and after seeing the cliff from the other side in person, I wouldn’t risk trying to get the photo.

If you want to discover this spot at your own risk, you’ll find it just before walking onto Mary’s Bridge. There’s a barbed wire fence along the trail to specifically keep people from going up to the cliff and there is a part right before the bridge entrance that is missing barbed wire, where presumably people go through and walk up to take the photo. Again, I do NOT recommend this.

Viewpoints Around the Castle

There are several manmade viewing points, like a terrace near the rest area before the castle entrance and a viewing area just five minutes up the path from the castle to Mary’s Bridge.

Pro Tip: Drones are prohibited in this area.

Amenities at Neuschwanstein Castle

There are public bathrooms and free lockers at the rest area before the castle entrance. There are also ATMs near the Ticket Center and the Schwangau Information Point.

Where to Stay near Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

You can see Neuschwanstein Castle in one day, but I personally recommend you spend the night there! Not only will you get to the castle in the evening, night, and early morning when the bustle calms down, but you’ll also see how incredible it looks lit up when the mountains and sky go dark.

I stayed at Hotel Garni Schlossblick . It costs 77 euros per night, has free breakfast and parking, and they were able to accommodate my request for a castle view room at no extra charge! (I’ll be honest the breakfast wasn’t amazing, but the view and overall experience certainly was!)

I highly recommend that hotel as a budget-friendly option in Hohenschwangau. Here are my other recommendations in Hohenschwangau and nearby Füssen that accommodate every budget:

  • Ameron Alpsee Resort & Spa – 185€/night
  • Hotel Sonne – 189€/night (also where RIWA, the cutest restaurant is located – scroll to the next section!)
  • Hotel Villa Ludwig – 264€/night
  • Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein – 110€/night

Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly depending on the travel season. If you’re visiting in summer, budget accommodations will be much harder to find!

Where to Eat near Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

The first thing I need to say about eating near Neuschwanstein Castle is that almost all restaurants in Hohenschwangau close super early! Like, 6 pm early. If you’re planning on having dinner in the area, acquire ahead of time if the restaurant you want will be open.

The one place you must go is RIWA in the center of Füssen (which thankfully doesn’t close at 6 pm!) The food is amazing and good value for what you get but the atmosphere blew me away! It’s aesthetic, cozy, and fun – all playing around the theme of famous composer Richard Wagner (who was also a close friend and admired by King Ludwig II.)

If you’re looking to eat closer to the castle, I recommend Restaurant Alpenstuben – it has a room with a huge all glass bay window/wall that looks out to Neuschwanstein.

And if you are into something with a bit more luxurious, the collection of restaurants at Ameron hotel have amazing settings and gastronomy.

Takeaways for Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

Whew! We’ve almost made it through this ultimate guide but I want to sum up the most important tips for having the best experience at your Neuschwanstein Castle visit.

  • Bring cash – surprisingly, so many places did not accept credit card!
  • Inquire at your accommodation if you receive a guest pass for free transportation !
  • Restaurants close early
  • No drones allowed at Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Buy tickets online before your visit
  • Arrive early to beat crowds
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Travel light or store your backpack in a free locker
  • Print your ticket

And with that, I hope these tips and my in-depth guide have helped you get a better understanding of how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle!

Got any extra questions about your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle? Ask me in the comments!

Save this guide for later reference on Pinterest!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

No matter the size of the crowds, the weather, or any other surprises on your trip, your visit to Neuschwanstein castle will be worth it – and I hope these tips help you have the best experience!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

Find me on: Web | Instagram

You may also enjoy:

Bagni san filippo: the best guide to visiting tuscany’s hidden hot …, how to enjoy the beautiful borromean islands on italy’s lake maggiore.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Can you visit both Hohenschwangau and Neuswchanstein in the same day without killing yourself? We are staying in Fussen September 28 and 29, 2022 and want to visit both.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Hi Stephen,

You can definitely visit both castles in one day and have some time to spare.

I would recommend you leave at least 2 and half hours in between the tour start times of each castle. This way you have enough time to ascend to/descend from Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you start with Hohenschwangau, then the biggest thing to take into consideration as far as deciding how much time you prefer to leave in between your tours is how you are later getting up to Neuschwanstein. Lines for the bus and carriages can be unpredictably long, whereas walking will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to reach it.

If you start with Neuschwanstein, the descent to Hohenschwangau is a bit faster – 30/40 minutes – but as I said, you still want to be early to when your tour starts because they won’t allow you in any time after.

I personally started with Hohenschwangau Castle with a tour at 12 pm and then reserved the Neuschwanstein Castle tour at 3:45 pm, which I found was plenty of time between both. The Hohenschwangau Castle tour was about 45 minutes. The Neuschwanstein Castle tour takes about 30 mins. With the time in between, we were able to walk up to Neuschwanstein, around the grounds, and along some of the trails where you can catch good views!

Hope this info helps and that you have a great trip 🙂

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Is there a dress code? What do we need to wear if going in September?

Hi Sue! There is no dress code to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. The only thing to keep in mind is that you can only take a small backpack inside with you.

If going in September, it may still be pretty hot and you will be walking around a lot. The good thing is it is located among mountain valleys and the air tends to be fresher, so it shouldn’t be an uncomfortable type of hot! Loose-fitting clothes and athletic shoes are your best bet for comfort.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Thanks for the post 🙂 which tour did you prefer between the two? Would you still recommend doing both, or save some time to explore Fussen as well if I’m only there for a day trip?

Hi Sophia, I actually really enjoyed both tours. From my own research I saw that many people said touring the inside of Neuschwanstein Castle wasn’t as interesting as Hohenschwangau but it actually exceeded my expectations! Fussen is very small and the tours themselves don’t last more than an hour each, so I think you would be able to do both tour and see Fussen!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Website URL

Sign me up for the newsletter & access to resources from The Travel Library!

Check this out

  • The Travel Library
  • Privacy Policy

BUY ME A COFFEE

I love creating free resources for your travels and personally responding to your questions over chat and email.

Follow on Pinterest

Looking for Something?

How to Visit the Magical Castle That Inspired Walt Disney

Danielle Vito

Once upon a time, a Bavarian king was stripped of his powers after his empire was conquered by Prussia. King Ludwig II was so distraught that he no longer held any authority, he commissioned an extravagant castle where he could live like royalty in his own fantasy world. Many people believed the king was insane, dubbing him "Mad King Ludwig."

Construction of Neuschwanstein Castle began in 1869, but was halted by the sudden, mysterious death of the "mad king." He had only lived in his unfinished castle for just 172 days before his demise.

Just weeks after Ludwig's death in 1886, the castle opened to the public. It quickly became one of the most visited castles in the world. In 2017 alone, almost 1.5 million visitors toured Neuschwanstein.

After seeing all of the enchanting photos of this real-life fairytale castle, I knew that I had to see it for myself. That's why, on a vacation to Germany earlier this month, I made the day-trip to Hohenschwangau to see the castle that's believed that have inspired Walt Disney .

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Before You Go

If you want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the first step is making an advanced reservation for the guided tour. This must be done at least two days ahead of your arrival, but it's recommended that you book as soon as you know your travel plans to get first dibs on your desired time. Requests are prioritized by date, and confirmations for later months will be delayed: So don't fret if your confirmation doesn't arrive right away.

I made a reservation for a date five weeks out and a received an email two days later with my reservation details. I had requested a 3pm tour but was given a 1:50pm time. It's also important to note that you will need to purchase your tickets at the ticket office, and they must be picked up the same day, no later than an hour and a half before your scheduled tour. So, for me, I had to be at the ticket office by 12:20pm for my 1:50pm tour.

Getting There

The Neuschwanstein Castle is a perfect day trip from Munich, Germany . Trains leave hourly from Munich's main train station, Munich Hauptbahnhof. While the castle is in a tiny village called Hohenschwangau, you'll need to book your ticket to Füssen, a charming little town just a 10-minute bus ride away.

Tickets for the train can be purchased through the GoEuro website . Choose between a first-class ticket, which gives you an assigned seat in a comfy leather chair, or a second-class ticket. The latter does not guarantee a seat. If you purchase a second-class fare, make sure to arrive at the train station early to snag a seat before they're all occupied.

Another option is the Bayern ticket , which may be available depending on the time you're traveling to Hohenschwangau. Bayern tickets offer huge savings on transportation within the state of Bavaria and to the first stop across the border (such as Salzburg, Austria — another great day trip from Munich). The ticket is valid on weekdays after 9am and could be used on regional trains, local buses and trams until 3am the following day. For $25, you'll be able to use your Bayern ticket for round-trip transporation between Munich and Füssen, as well as on the bus rides between Füssen's train station and the castle. Make sure to book your entire group on one ticket, because each additional traveler is only $7! You can book up to a maximum of five people on each ticket.

Since the Bayern ticket becomes available at 9am and it takes a little over two hours to get to the castle, this is a good argument for trying to schedule a tour for later in the day.

Ticket Pick-Up

Once you exit Füssen's train station, you'll see the No. 78 bus waiting in the parking lot. The bus is clearly marked for the Hohenschwangau castles, and with all the tourists rushing to board, you really can't miss it. Flash your Bayern pass (or purchase a round-trip ticket from the driver), take a seat and enjoy the scenic ride to the castle.

Within 10 minutes you'll find yourself in Hohenschwagau, where you can pick up your tickets. Bypass the painfully long ticket line, and head to the entrance of the ticket office for the much shorter queue for advanced reservations. Here, you'll purchase the tickets, which cost €13 per person plus an additional €2.50 service fee for each (about $18 total). Children under 18 are free, and there is reduced pricing available for students, senior citizens and large groups.

In addition to the Neuschwanstein Castle, there is another castle named after the village called the Hohenschwangau Castle. A combination ticket that grants admission to both castles is available for €25 (or $29).

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

There's a good reason why you need to pick up your tickets at least an hour and a half before your tour time: There's a mile-long trek up to the Neuschwanstein Castle from the ticket office. The walk up the mountain is not terribly steep, but if you'd rather hitch a ride Cinderella-style, take a horse and carriage up the mountain for €3.50 ($4). You'll will, however, have to wait in a rather long line for the ride. Very unprincesslike.

The carriage ride ends outside a gift shop and restaurant slightly downhill from the castle. If you have time to kill before your tour, stop into the restaurant for a quick bite to eat. I ordered a hot bowl of goulash, which came out in under 10 minutes and brought me back to life after the cold journey up the mountain.

The view from the top is really impressive. The castle is nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps and flanked by the rugged mountainside. Pause to admire the storybook-worthy panorama before heading to the entrance for the tour. Unfortunately, you'll have to stash away your cell phone and camera, as no photos are allowed inside.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Personally, I found the tour of the castle to be the most lackluster part of the whole experience. Of course, if you go all the way there you should definitely go inside, but the exterior views — and the journey — are far more impressive.

Though Neuschwanstein was inspired by medieval castles it was built in the late 19th century. So in the grand scheme of castles, it's relatively modern. And since King Ludwig II died before the castle was completed, many of the rooms remain unfinished. The rooms that you will be able to see on the hurried, 30-minute tour include the king's bedroom, dressing room and throne room, among others.

At the end of the tour, there's a room with a large screen showing a 15-minute film depicting what the castle would have looked like if it had been finished. This includes a 3D rendering of additional exterior towers and images of what the unfinished rooms may have looked like once furnished.

The Grounds

Marienbrücke.

The guided tour is just a small part of this magical adventure. Outside the castle, there's a path that guides visitors to Marienbrücke (translation: Mary's Bridge). From the bridge, visitors can enjoy the most popular, picture-perfect view of the castle. You'll have to fight for a spot on the bridge for a photo opp during the summer (beware of selfie sticks!) but in the winter, there's a chance the path to the bridge may be closed due to weather. I was there on an exceptionally snowy day and the pathway was in fact closed. That did not, however, stop crowds of tourists from climbing around the gate or taking an alternative pathway up to the bridge.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

I had really been looking forward to the view from the other side of the bridge, and no one seemed to be enforcing the bridge closure, so I followed the herd out to Marienbrücke.

After a 15-minute walk, I made it to the bridge. At this point, the snow had really picked up and the view of the castle in the distance wasn't great. I continued on the path past the bridge to find the ultimate photo spot that I had seen on Instagram.

The Not-So-Secret Lookout

It's a little tough to find, but I was guided by a group of tourists in front of me that were in search of the same look-out point that floods social media. We followed a track of snowy footsteps off the main path and up a steep hill. Eventually, we found ourselves at what I believe is truly the most breathtaking location in the area. The not-so-secret spot had a short line of people waiting for their castle selfie. I may have been a human icicle by the time I reached the site, but it was worth it for the 'gram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsMfnqiAgCs/

Taking the path back from Marienbrücke offers a fantastic view of the back of the castle. In fact, the back and side views of the castle are the only angles you will be able to get, unless you're splurging on a helicopter ride or traveling with a drone. Since the front of the castle peers out from the perch of the mountain, you won't otherwise be able to get that front-facing shot: the one that's most reminiscent of Cinderella's castle.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

After a long day of walking, take the horse and carriage down the mountain. The line is considerably shorter than the one going up. Grab a warm mug of glühwein (if you're also visiting during the winter) to enjoy on your descent. As great as it was to experience Neuschwanstein in the snow, I believe visiting a day after snowfall would make for a better experience and much greater visibility, if you can swing the timing.

Finish the trip off with dinner in the town of Füssen before heading back to Munich. Be sure to try my favorite German dish, a llgäuer käespätzle — essentially a German-style mac and cheese topped with crispy onions.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

ABOUT CONTACT US

  • Destinations
  • Itineraries
  • US National Parks

How to Visit Neuschwanstein Without the Crowds

Julie Last updated: October 16, 2023 Germany 9 Comments

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is one of Germany’s most visited sites. This fairytale palace, which was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle, is located in Bavaria, Germany.

People from around the world descend on Neuschwanstein between the peak season months of July and August. With the crowds of people come long lines. Nothing spoils a visit to Neuschwanstein more than spending precious hours in line to purchase tickets.

It is possible, even during peak season, to visit Neuschwanstein without waiting in long lines. So, how do you do it?

Table of Contents

Neuschwanstein August

How to Avoid the Crowds at Neuschwanstein

Get there early. very early..

This is where staying in Bavaria has its advantages. Arrive one hour before opening time to purchase your tickets for the first tour of the day. During this time, it will be easy to find parking, there will be no queues, and your tour may not be completely booked. The castle will be calm and quiet, just the way it was meant to be seen.

Midday is the worst time to arrive at Neuschwanstein. Munich day trippers arrive at this time, along with masses of people from the surrounding areas. Midday in the summer there can be queues of 90 minutes or more just to purchase tickets. Even then, you may be purchasing tickets for a tour two to three hours later in the day!

Note: During the months of July, August, and September, tickets can sell out by noon. 

Purchase your Tickets in Advance

You can purchase your tickets online in advance. By doing this, you will avoid the lines and the long waits. At midday, Neuschwanstein can still feel like a zoo, but at least you have your tour reserved. There is an additional charge (€2.50 per ticket) for pre-purchasing your tickets, but it’s worth it, especially if you will be visiting Neuschwanstein during peak season. 

Click here to learn more about purchasing your tickets in advance.

Visit on a Weekday

Crowds are lower on weekdays than weekends.

Can’t Arrive Early? Arrive Late

After 3 pm, things begin to quiet down, as day trippers make their way back to Munich and the surrounding towns.

Be aware that this tactic may not work during peak season. In July and August, tours can sell out by early afternoon. Avoid this by advance purchasing your tickets for the last tour of the day and then arrive when most of the crowds are gone.

Visit Neuschwanstein During the Off Season

Visit during low season and you may have the castle almost all to yourself. The months from November through April have the lowest crowds (except during the holiday seasons of Christmas and Easter). The weather may not be ideal but during winter months you may be able to see Neuschwanstein covered in snow.

Shoulder season (May, June, and October) is another great time to visit Neuschwanstein. Crowds are lower and the weather can be very pleasant.

What is There to Do at Neuschwanstein?

The palace, of course, is the main attraction. To get from the ticket booth to the palace you can either walk the 30 minutes uphill on a paved, shaded path, or take the bus. During the summer months, queues for the bus can be very long!

Tours last approximately 35 minutes. A guide will take your group through the palace where you will learn about the history of the Neuschwanstein and King Ludwig II.

After your tour, you can explore the area around the palace. Don’t miss Mary’s Bridge! This is the place to take that iconic photo of Neuschwanstein. Just be prepared to wedge yourself in among the masses of people trying to get this same photo.

Note: Mary’s Bridge can close during periods of bad weather (such as snowfall during the winter months). 

Neuschwanstein Marys Bridge

To get another phenomenal view of Neuschwanstein (and to really leave the crowds behind), hike on the trails on the other side of Pollat gorge. To get here, cross Mary’s Bridge and follow the hiking trails uphill into the woods. The trails are well-marked and well-groomed. This was our favorite part of visiting Neuschwanstein.

View over Neuschwanstein

Hohenschwangau Castle.  This castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II. It is a 20 minute walk from Neuschwanstein. This castle can only be visited on a tour. Tickets can be purchased in combination with Neuschwanstein.

Hohenshwangua

Where to Stay

Hohenschwangau:  From this small town, you can walk to the ticket booth and Neuschwanstein Castle. You can’t get any closer than this!

Fussen: A bit larger than Hohenschwangau, from Fussen it is just a five minute drive to the castle.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: One hour away from Neuschwanstein, this is a great place to base yourself in Bavaria. Not only will you have access to Neuschwanstein, but it is very easy to get to Zugspitze, Munich, and Innsbruck, Austria.

Munich: One hour and forty minutes away (120 km), it is still possible to get in line early for tickets.

Important Note

There is renovation work going on inside of the castle and is expected to last into 2024.

Important Links

Neuschwanstein Website: click here

Hohenschwangau Castle Website: click here

If you have any questions about how to visit Neuschwanstein, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Germany

BAVARIA, GERMANY: Take an amazing 10 day road trip in Bavaria, visiting Munich, Neuschwanstein, Berchtesgaden , Salzburg , Innsbruck , and drive the Romantic Road in Germany.

BERLIN: Start with our article Best Things to Do in Berlin for a big list of things to do in the city. Plan your visit with our 5 Day Berlin Itinerary and what to expect on a visit to Teufelsberg.

SAXONY, GERMANY: In Saxony, visit the fairytale bridge called Rakotzbrücke and the amazing Bastei Bridge. Put both of these together, plus the town of Görlitz , into on big day trip from Berlin.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our 10 Days in Europe itinerary guide, which has 10 great itineraries for your next trip to Europe.

Read all of our articles about Germany in our Germany Travel Guide.

Neuschwanstein Castle

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Related Posts

Bavaria Itinerary

Hi Julie! We’re heading that way in two weeks 🙂 I’m curious, if we wanted to visit both castles and the Mary’s Bridge, what’s the best way to do that? From the map I found online, it looks like the bridge is closer to Neuschwanstein Castle. I’m just trying to figure out how to give myself enough time to schedule the available time slot for prebooking my tickets. Also, we will be driving. Do you know if P4 parking be the most convenient if we’re wanting to do all 3? Thanks a bunch for the help!

Avatar for Julie

Hello Lora. Mary’s Bridge is a very short walk from Neuschwanstein Castle and it should take about 30 minutes, which can be added on right after you tour Neuschwanstein (it’s a short walk from Neuschwanstein, but not on the way or near to Hohenschwangau). I think we parked in P4. From here, it is an uphill walk to Neuschwanstein. After visiting Neuschwanstein and Mary’s Bridge, you will walk back downhill to the road and then visit the Hohenschwangau. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Nina

My family plans on going to the castle next week! No advanced tickets! Would it be possible to get there very early and secure tickets? It will be a Tuesday. Thank you!

Yes, I think that should work. You might want to line up 30 to 60 minutes before opening time. Europe is very busy right now. We were just in Venice and have noticed a lot of long lines. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Claire DiGrazia

Really great information! My husband and I are planning a trip to see the Neuschwanstein Castle this October. I see on the website to reserve tickets the dates end on October 15th before the winter hours go into effect. Do you know why this is?

I’m not sure but it could be that October is so far in advance and those tickets might not be open yet. Since October 15th starts a new season, they may not open until sometime this summer. You could check back in June or July. But you are really planning ahead!! 😊 Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Keri

What time of year did you visit? We’re considering late May/early June, don’t mind if the weather is a bit cold but I’m keen to have everything green like in your beautiful photos!

We were here on or around August 1. Everything should be green when you go. Have a great time…it’s a wonderful area to visit. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Leah vincent

Great info! I’m headed to Europe from the states this week😊

Leave A Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment.

Sign me up for the monthly newsletter!

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

TravelAwaits

Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

15 Top Tips For Touring Historic Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

canadastock / Shutterstock

  • Activities and Interests
  • Destinations
  • History and Culture

Perched high on a hill overlooking an Alpine lake and the largest nature preserve in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle was constructed as a retreat for Ludwig II. He’s known by many nicknames, including the Fairy Tale King and the Mad King, but you’ll see ties to the moniker Swan King woven throughout Neuschwanstein, from its name to its decor.

While the reclusive King of Bavaria wouldn’t live to see Schloss Neuschwanstein (New Swanstone Castle) completed before his death in 1886, the lavish palace with soaring circular towers was Walt Disney’s real-life inspiration for Cinderella’s castle. Here are 15 helpful tips for visiting this fairy tale castle in Southern Germany near the Austrian border.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock

1. It’s Easy To Visit By Car, Train, Or Tour Bus

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the Bavarian town of Schwangau, about 70 miles southwest of Munich. The castle is about a 90-minute drive from Munich. Whether you travel by car or with a tour group, driving is the most direct way to visit the castle.

However, you can also visit Neuschwanstein Castle via public transportation. Take the train to Fuessen and then take an 8-minute bus ride to the “Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles, Schwangau” stop. If you choose this option, it’s important to note that it’s about a 1-mile walk from the bus stop to the castle.

2. Getting Up The Hill To Neuschwanstein Castle

If you visit Neuschwanstein Castle by car, you’ll want to park in one of the private parking lots in the town of Hohenschwangau. While you can certainly ascend the steep hill to the castle on foot, the 1-mile route is quite steep and will consume about 30 to 45 minutes of your visit.

If you prefer to see the sights more quickly, you can also climb the hill in a horse-drawn carriage or shuttle bus. However, neither of these options can drop visitors right at the castle door. Instead, dropoff and pickup are at Marienbrucke (more on that later). It’s an additional quarter-mile uphill walk from the dropoff spot to the castle.

Pro Tip: While it’s certainly a fairy tale experience, a carriage ride to Neuschwanstein Castle can take quite a bit of time. Consider taking a carriage ride down the hill once you’ve completed your visit.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

Massimo Santi / Shutterstock

3. Purchase Your Tickets In Advance

If you plan to see the interior of the castle (and are skimming through this article), slow down and read this section very carefully.

Can you go inside Neuschwanstein Castle? Yes, but you can only purchase tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle at the Hohenschwangau ticket center . Do NOT head up the steep hill to the white palace without tickets in hand if you plan to tour the castle’s interior. If you have limited mobility, be sure to read this before you plan your visit to the 19th-century castle, as there are about 300 steps to climb inside.

Can you visit Neuschwanstein Castle without a tour? Visitors can only see the inside of Neuschwanstein Castle as part of a guided tour at a fixed admission time. There are limited tickets available each day, so be sure to plan ahead, especially when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during peak travel periods. Tickets can be purchased online at least 2 days in advance of your visit, and you will want to allow ample time (up to 90 minutes) to pick up your tickets. If you miss your timed entry (and Germans come by their reputation for being precise honestly), your spot may be given to another visitor, and your tour may not be rebooked.

Once inside, your 30-minute guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle will wind through 14 rooms of the 65,000-square-foot castle, including the throne room, dining room, bedroom, dressing room, study, grotto, and conservatory.

Pro Tip: There is no fee to tour the outside of Neuschwanstein Castle, so if there aren’t any tickets available on the day you visit, you can still explore the grounds and see the castle’s exterior.

Scaffolding at Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

jack_photo / Shutterstock

4. There’s A Good Chance You’ll See Scaffolding

Keeping one of the world’s most popular castles in tip-top shape requires constant upkeep, so don’t be surprised if portions of the interior and exterior are under construction when you visit. The throne room’s current renovation is expected to last until fall 2021.

5. Backpacks And Other Large Items Are Not Allowed

Large backpacks and other bulky items are not allowed inside Neuschwanstein Castle, so it’s best to leave them in your vehicle, on your tour bus, or at your hotel. If you have a small backpack, you’ll be asked to wear it across your front to ensure you don’t accidentally bump any items inside the castle.

6. The Swan King’s Symbol

Like the interlocking C symbol representing Catherine de Medici in castles in the Loire Valley in France, the Swan King incorporated the long-necked elegant bird throughout Neuschwanstein Castle. Look for swans etched into glass windows and adorning fixtures. It’s also said that the comforters at the castle are stuffed with swan feathers instead of the more traditional goose down.

The interior of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

mironov / Shutterstock

7. The Link Between Ludwig II And Composer Richard Wagner

The beautiful fairy tale castle was dedicated to German composer Richard Wagner, who King Ludwig II admired since he was a teen. In fact, some historians and psychologists have suggested that the Swan King was madly in love with the musician.

When you tour the interior of Neuschwanstein Castle, look for works of art inspired by Wagner’s operas. For example, in the bedroom, you’ll see frescoes featuring scenes from Tristan and Isolde (which reminds me a bit of Romeo and Juliet ). And, it’s probably no surprise that Richard Wagner’s romantic opera Lohengrin features a swan knight who is believed to be the namesake of Ludwig II’s fairy tale castle.

8. See The Latest Technology (For The 1880s)

Neuschwanstein Castle was designed as a place for Ludwig II to escape from the rest of the world. As a result, he paired his love of medieval architecture with the latest modern conveniences. Decades before it would become commonplace in upscale homes across Europe, Neuschwanstein included hot and cold running water and automatically flushing toilets. Ludwig II’s living quarters incorporated a central heating system that was sure to take the edge off the cold winters in the Bavarian Alps.

In France, King Louis XV’s dining room at Versailles was so far from the kitchen that he often ate his meals cold . But a century later at Neuschwanstein, Ludwig II’s meals were efficiently delivered via an elevator rather than walked up several flights of stairs. He also had an electric bell system and telephones at his disposal to summon servants and connect with the world beyond his hilltop castle.

The interior of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

9. Photography Is Not Allowed Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to photograph or take videos inside Neuschwanstein Castle. While you cannot fly drones outside the castle, you may take as many photos of the exterior as you’d like.

10. Food With A View

If you’d like to grab a drink or bite to eat after your tour, check out the cafe and bistro on the second floor of Neuschwanstein Castle. Or, for a change of scenery, you can pack a picnic and enjoy it on the castle grounds.

Neuschwanstein Castle, as seen from Marienbrucke.

11. Don’t Miss This View Of Neuschwanstein Castle

One of the most beautiful exterior views of Neuschwanstein Castle is from Marienbrucke (Mary’s Bridge). Named for Ludwig II’s mother, this footbridge nearly 300 feet above the Poellat Gorge offers bird’s eye views of the fairy tale castle.

During inclement weather, the Marienbrucke may be closed. Find the latest details on bridge closings and shuttle bus tickets to the bridge here . (If you’re looking to burn off some schnitzel and beer calories, you can skip the shuttle bus and take a strenuous 45-minute hike uphill to the castle.)

12. Neuschwanstein Castle Is Beautiful Year-Round

Neuschwanstein Castle attracts the most visitors in the summer months when as many as 6,000 people a day wander through the ornate palace. In addition to avoiding heavy crowds, see the castle in a different setting by visiting when colorful fall leaves, powdery snow, or new spring buds frame the white limestone building.

13. If You Crave More Castle

In addition to Neuschwanstein, you can also tour Hohenschwangau Castle . Down the hill and across Alpseestrasse, you already know Hohenschwangau as the destination to purchase admission tickets to Neuschwanstein. But what you may not know is that it was the childhood home of Ludwig II. If you choose to see both castles in one day, your ticket will direct you to the Hohenschwangau Castle first and then up the hill to Neuschwanstein.

Pro Tip: In addition to Neuschwanstein Castle, here are nine other beautiful places to visit in Bavaria, Germany .

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

Vladimka production / Shutterstock

14. If Time Permits, Explore The Ammergebirge Nature Reserve

Just to the east of the castle, what is now the Ammergebirge Nature Reserve was once Ludwig II’s royal hunting ground. Hike the trails that wind through the thick Alpine forest and feed wild deer.

15. Where To Stay Near Neuschwanstein Castle

If you’d like to linger near the castle, search for accommodations in the town of Fuessen. If you’re visiting Neuschwanstein Castle as part of a larger itinerary in Germany and Austria, the castle is located about halfway between Munich and Innsbruck. This makes it a perfect day trip from either city as well as a great stop en route.

While it’s a somber destination, I recommend visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp just north of Munich before leaving Bavaria. In stark contrast to the elegant extravagance of Neuschwanstein Castle and natural beauty of Bavaria, touring the memorial is a way to honor the memories of the 32,000 innocent people who died there and help ensure that we never forget this dark chapter of human history.

Related articles:

  • 6 Disney Princess Castles Inspired By Real Places
  • 8 Tips For Touring Hearst Castle

Image of Sage Scott

Bitten by the travel bug as a preschooler when her family moved abroad for the first time, Sage Scott is addicted to travel. From her nomadic upbringing in a military family to her personal and professional travels as an adult, Sage has visited all 50 states, lived abroad twice, and explored nearly 30 other countries.

Now settled in America’s Heartland, Sage writes with a midlife traveler’s perspective from Kansas City — the Midwestern cowtown affectionately called the Paris of the Plains and the undisputed Barbecue Capital of the World — and is always in search of new experiences whether in her hometown or halfway around the world.

  • Skip to right header navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar

MY WANDERLUSTY LIFE

#TimeBudgetTravel

10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets #hohenschwangau #neuschwanstein #castle #bavaria #germany #mywanderlustylife

10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free

Last Updated: October 13, 2023 //  by  Ashley Smith 22 Comments

To visit Neuschwanstein Castle is at the top of many a Germany wish list. Neuschwanstein Castle (pronounced Noy-schvaan-stine ) is the magical, yet very real, fairytale castle you’ve seen a hundred times.

It’s the one that sits high on a hill at the base of the Alps, the one with a mysterious past, and the one that inspired the design for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland (not Cinderella’s at Disney World , just to be clear).

Even better that all that: You can visit Neuschwanstein Castle easily from Munich—either as a day trip from Munich or, even better, spend the night near Neuschwanstein Castle and make a whole day of it.

Regardless of how you visit Neuschwanstein Castle, here are some need-to-know tips for doing so when you do!

This post was originally published in 2015 but has since been completely rewritten and updated for 2021.

Neuschwanstein Castle view from the bridge | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

1. Don’t jump to conclusions about it

There will be many an ugly old troll who will tell you not to visit Neuschwanstein Castle because it’s “overrated” and “touristy.” But who cares! Yes, there are tourists here but rightfully so—this place is gorgeous!

And… “overrated?” I’m not quite sure what it is these haters were expecting? Fairy godmothers with mouse-driven carriages? Dishes that wash themselves? A sassy French-speaking candelabra? In case you weren’t yet aware, this is not an actual fairytale castle. Managing your expectations is key here.

Is it worth visiting Neuschwanstein Castle?

As far as the castle goes, it’s beautiful, world famous, and absolutely worth seeing. The locale is, dare I say it, breathtaking and your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle will surely be an unforgettable one. Also, I’m personally of the mindset that I’d rather “see something once than hear about it a thousand times.”

The tour itself isn’t exactly the stuff minstrels write songs about but it’s only €13 and, if you have done any amount of research, you already know what to expect. The castle is not too remote for a quick stop and visiting won’t take up too much of your day. You lose nothing when you visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

View from the back porch | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

2. Reserve your tickets ahead of time

Let me be clear, anyone can visit Neuschwanstein Castle. You can walk up to and around the castle up close and walk the famous bridge and trails, all without paying a dime. However, if you wish to go inside Neuschwanstein Castle that is only possible on a guided tour.

Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

There are two ways to purchase Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets:

  • On the same day, at the ticket center in Hohenschwangau (the village below the castle)
  • Online ahead of time < recommended

Tours are kept at limited capacity and sell out every day. So, if you show up at the ticket center on the day you wish to tour, you might be waiting a dreadfully long time, if there are any tickets available in the first place. (But it is possible!)

I reserved mine online a week in advance and still didn’t get the time I requested. I recommend reserving them as early as you know you’re going to visit Neuschwanstein Castle so you have more control over your schedule.

Approaching Neuschwanstein Castle | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Also check out: 26 Truly Awesome Things to Do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber: An Expert’s Guide

3. Double check your assigned tour time

Don’t assume the tour time you requested is your actual tour time. After reserving my group’s 1:00 PM tour tickets, I promptly received the following email confirming them:

Neuschwanstein Castle tour confirmation | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

“Thank you very much for your request. Attached you find your confirmation in PDF-format.”

So, we busted our asses to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle ahead of your 1 PM tour. (Someone stole our rental car … it was a whole morning.)

Once at will call to pick up our tickets we were told our tour wasn’t actually until 4:25. I explained that we reserved tickets for 1:00 and that I even received an email confirming this which, of course, I was unable to show her because technology is often a son of a bitch.

Open all correspondences

Another staff member overheard our plight and was able to fit all five of us into the “completely full” tour at 1:15 so all crises were averted. However, that night I opened the attached PDF to find the following message at the bottom of my “confirmation:”

Neuschwanstein Castle tour confirmation attachment | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

“You need to pick up your tickets at least one hour before your admission time, at 15:25, in the Ticket-Center.”

In the time since my visit to Neuschwanstein Castle I have learned many lessons, one of them is to thoroughly read every single piece of information that comes my way when it comes to planning trips.

However, there are so many reasons this message was overlooked. Even though it’s ultimately my fault for missing this, I also imagine this must happen every. single. day. here in the land of Much-Too-Subtle-Ville.

Never was I told outright that my 1:00 request could not be fulfilled. Never was I given the option to select a different time. I requested 1:00, they gave me 4:25, and that was the end of it.

Main courtyard | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Get clarity if you need it

Also, this confirmation can be interpreted a number of ways. Am I to pick the tickets up at 3:25, which is an hour before my tour? Or do I need to pick up my tickets one hour before my tour… which is at 3:25? Literally nowhere does my “confirmation email” actually confirm what time my tour is at.

To clarify, they meant: Your tour is at 4:25 but you must pick up your tickets at the Ticket Center one hour before your tour (3:25).

Be sure to double check all your documents when planning your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and don’t be afraid to reach out them in you have questions. Which you probably will.

Back side | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

4. Arrive plenty early

Your assigned tour time will be the time you are to congregate at the castle to enter for your tour. Keep in mind that it takes a good 45 minutes to an hour to get from the ticket center to the castle, depending on which mode of transportation you take—which I’ll cover in a minute.

As you just saw, in the confirmation email they recommend you pick up your tickets at least an hour before your tour. However, I recommend more if, for nothing else, the sake of “better safe than sorry.”

So, you’ll need to park (if you drove), wait in line at the ticket center, then either walk uphill to the castle (45 minutes) or take either the shuttle bus or a horse-drawn carriage. The shuttle bus takes about 10 minutes and the carriage takes 20, but both have lines you’ll need to wait in to board.

big door | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Then, you’ll be crazy distracted trying to take all the photos of this majestic palace while you wait for your tour time. The key point to take away here is: if you miss your allotted tour time, you miss your tour, plain and simple. Because of how popular Neuschwanstein Castle is, they show zero leniency here.

You might like ─ If you’re looking for another great day trips from Munich, check out my guide to squeezing in a day trip to Salzburg, Austria from Munich . It’s easy to do and there’s tons to see!

5. Read King Ludwig II’s biography before you go

The Swan King, Ludwig II of Bavaria by Christopher McIntosh is a great biography of the man who built Neuschwanstein Castle. Everyone knows about this guy, or at least thinks they do. “He was crazy!” or “He was a closet homosexual!” and “He killed himself… maybe!” Well, yes pretty much, but the story is so much more interesting those tiny tidbits. (And it’s also nice to be able to separate fact from stuff your know-it-all friend tells you on trivia night.)

King Ludwig’s life was the ultimate fancy-rich-people soap opera, bursting at the well-tailored seams with drama and intrigue. For instance, King Ludwig II suffered an intense phobia of ugly people—this is real, I kid you not—that affected not only his daily life but also his political affairs.

turret | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Oh, and then there was that time he tried to kill his brother when they were little—the brother that then spent most of his life locked up in an asylum. And that’s just chapter one.

Eventually he would become known as the king who went mad and the details surrounding his death remain a mystery to this day. Was he murdered? Did he die of natural causes? Was it suicide? A freak accident? You decide!

I highly recommend reading Ludwig’s life story before your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle to better understand the circumstances that brought this castle to life—the culmination of a lifetime of eccentricities.

Buy  The Swan King   here

6. Take the shuttle bus to the castle

To get up to Neuschwanstein Castle from the ticket center you have three transportation options:

  • A horse-drawn carriage
  • Your own two feet
  • A small shuttle bus

But the best part is that you don’t have to hold a Neuschwanstein Castle tour ticket in order to use them. If you want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and just walk around the exterior and get the great views, you can still use these transportation methods as you wish.

Taking a horse-drawn carriage to Neuschwanstein Castle

Taking a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle will cost you around 7 euros (3.5 euros on the way down) and it’s way less romantic than it sounds. This is not the plush gold and velvet situation of yore pulled by noble steeds; this is an onion pulled by an annoyingly chatty donkey that you’ll share with other kid-toting families.

You’ll weave in and out of crowds of college students and tourists taking photos with their iPads every twelve steps. Not to mention you are downwind from a horse’s ass all the live-long day. Take a look at the Neuschwanstein Castle horse carriage situation. It’s actually very, very sad. 0/10 do not recommend.

The carriage ride to the castle takes 20 minutes but they drop you off below the castle. From there you still have to walk uphill another 15 minutes to actually reach the castle. Hi-ho, hi-no.

lake view | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Walking up to Neuschwanstein Castle

I can’t tell you how fast your own two feet will take you, but the trip up the mountain averages about 45 minutes. And it can get fairly crowded and steep.

However, this method is free and if you’ve got time to kill and calories to burn, you can never go wrong with walking!

Important note: If you plan on walking up to Neuschwanstein Castle, remember to wear good, solid shoes. Sneakers, hiking boots, Chacos , or similar are your best bet. The path up to the castle is paved but quite steep. Neuschwanstein Castle is also surrounded by trails (and what I assume is an enchanted forest) you may want to check out afterwards.

Taking the shuttle bus to Neuschwanstein Castle

Taking the shuttle bus up to the castle costs 2.5 euros per person (1.5 on the way down, or 3 euros roundtrip) and the line to board is fast-moving. The trip from the ticket center to the castle takes just 10 minutes. I should warn you though, that’s ten harrowing minutes driving along the edge of a steep cliff. Just don’t look down maybe.

The shuttle bus drops you off at the Marienbrücke, the famous bridge from where you get all the great photos, which is located above the castle. There is still some additional walking to get to the castle, but at least it’s downhill.

Important note: the shuttle bus to Neuschwanstein Castle has limited hours during the winter months, and only runs in ideal weather conditions (no ice or snow).

back view | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Neuschwanstein Castle Accessibility

Unfortunately, none of the transportation options offered at Neuschwanstein Castle are marked as wheelchair accessible and the paths are rated as much-too-steep for wheelchair users.

However, this 2014 article from Wheelchair Traveling details how he was able to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in a wheelchair. Upon further investigation I was able to find multiple accounts of people visiting in wheelchairs as long as they had help getting up and down the steep paths.

The castle itself is mostly accessible and you will have to enter through a separate entrance and miss out on certain areas inside, but the staff is able and willing to help. The Marienbrücke bridge is also wheelchair accessible.

Also check out ─ Neuschwanstein Castle is exactly halfway between Munich, Germany and the little country of Liechtenstein. If you’re looking for more awesome side trips to take, definitely consider spending a couple of days in Liechtenstein . It’s pure alpine bliss!

7. Bring your own headphones for the tour

Why, what big ears you have! All the better to hear the tour information through this archaic listening device, my dear!

For your Neuschwanstein Castle tour you’ll be given an audio set so you can clearly hear your tour guide even from a distance. If you’ve been on any kind of sheep-herding tour throughout Europe, you’re familiar with the “whisper” technology.

If not, you can expect to receive some very outdated technology in the form of a small listening box you have to hold to your ear for the duration of the tour. This gets old, fast.

Luckily I had some earbuds with me and was able to plug in for the rest of the tour, leaving my hands free to fake-conduct an orchestra throughout the castle. Ashley – 1, 19 th -century technology – 0.

If you don’t already have a set of earbuds in your purse or pocket, be sure to bring them on your tour.

up close | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

8. Manage your expectations

I’ve already mentioned this, but I’m going to do so again for the trolls in the back. Neuschwanstein Castle is amazing. It’s the most stunning piece of architecture in the most picturesque surroundings. But the tour is mediocre.

The castle is enormous and has such a fascinating history but because the castle was mostly unfinished at the time of Ludwig’s mysterious death, the tour only covers a handful of rooms. They’re lavish rooms, but still.

How awesome the rest of this place must be! So empty and cavernous. I would just run around in circles all day, open arms, like, “Do you wanna build a snowmannn?” Well, there would at least be cartwheels and roller blading.

back side view of Neuschwanstein Castle | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

A minimalist tour

At any rate, the information presented on the tour is fairly minimal. I was hoping to learn more information that I hadn’t previously read prior to my trip. (Are there any secret passageways? How’d he die? HOW’D HE DIE?!) Unfortunately, that was pretty lacking.

If you really want to learn about the castle’s history and King Ludwig II, do your research and read The Swan King before you visit Neuschwanstein Castle. That way you can spend the half-hour tour simply taking in the detail of this man’s obsession with Wagner (classical composer)… and swans. So many swans.

All that being said, I’m still glad I took the Neuschwanstein Castle tour. At worst, it’s just a mediocre 30 minutes. At best, you get to tour the inside of probably the most famous fairytale castle on Earth, and not everyone can say that.

You might like ─ If you want more of a taste of the Alps after visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, keep driving and head towards Gimmelwald, Switzerland . This car-free village is up high on a mountainside and provides all the Swiss comforts you could ask for.

classic view | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

9. Don’t miss the Marienbrücke

The Marienbrücke, German for “Mary’s Bridge,” is the footbridge from which you get the most enchanting views of Neuschwanstein Castle. It was commissioned by King Maximilian II in 1845 and named for his wife and Queen of Bavaria, Marie of Prussia. She was also King Ludwig II’s mother.

The view from the Marienbrücke is the main reason I campaigned to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. To see a castle as massive and mythical as this in such a beautiful natural environment is surreal. Forests and mountains, waterfalls and turquoise alpine lakes, and trails of bread crumbs and a wolf dressed like an old woman! I’ve gone too far.

Signs to the castle and the Marienbrucke bridge | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

Getting to the Marienbrücke is easy by following the signs and can be visited by anyone, not just tour ticket holders. It spans a gorge over a waterfall and may not be for those with a fear of heights.

To get to the Marienbrücke you’ll take the same modes of transportation as to the castle: feet, horse, bus. You can visit whenever you like, before or after your tour, and the walking distance between Neuschwanstein Castle and the Marienbrücke is just 15 minutes.

Important note: In the winter months when there is snow and ice on the ground, the Marienbrücke is completely closed for, what I like to call, obvious safety reasons.

waterfall near Neuschwanstein Castle | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

10. Don’t stop at the beginning of the bridge

This might be my biggest tip for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle and probably the reason haters hate on Neuschwanstein so much.

When you get to the Marienbrücke, everyone will be crowding onto the bridge to take their amazing photos. They’ll be elbowing for their spots, pushing and shoving to claim some space to take their pictures, etc. But there is no one on the other side .

Tons of tourists are on this bridge to take their photos and they are all stopped at the bridge’s entrance, quite literally tourist-trapped. Meanwhile, the far side of the bridge—with the exact same views—is totally empty. Do you wanna take a selfieeee?

crowded Marienbrucke bridge | 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

I believe this is just panic? Like they’re afraid if they don’t stop and take photos right away they’re going to miss out? I don’t know. But the bridge is pretty long and there’s room for everyone here.

When you get to the bridge, don’t stop where everyone else is even though it looks like that’s your only option. This is just because you can’t see past the crowd. Instead, shove your way through them and come out the other side where you’ll have that half of the bridge all to yourself.

I hope I’ve convinced you to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and given you some helpful tips for when you do! Have a great time in fairytale land.

Where will you visit Neuschwanstein Castle from? Let me know in the comments!

Save this info for later, pin these images:

10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free | Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany | Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets #hohenschwangau #neuschwanstein #castle #bavaria #germany #mywanderlustylife

Subscribe to MWL

' src=

About Ashley Smith

Ashley is a historian and Oktoberfest expert & tour guide. She has traveled to 32 countries and specializes in quick trips throughout Europe and the Americas that prioritize hiking adventures, museums of all kinds, cultural experiences, and jam-packed itineraries. She hails from Memphis, TN and currently lives in Boston with her husband and two feline sidekicks.

Where to stay in Gimmelwald, Switzerland: Mountain Hostels and B&Bs | Mountain Hostel, Esther's Guesthouse, Olle & Maria's Bed and Breakfast, Pension Gimmelwald | Best places to stay in Gimmelwald

Get my 2024 Oktoberfest Party Planning Checklist here!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Free 2024 Oktoberfest Packing Checklist

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Get my 2023 Oktoberfest Packing List here!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Want more  Oktoberfest ?

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Belize Packing List

Iceland packing list, get my 2024 hotel booking checklist here.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Subscribe to MWL!

Tmb packing list 2024, morocco packing list 2024, 2024 oahu bucket list.

Swedish Nomad

Neuschwanstein Castle – How to visit + my best tips and info

By: Author Swedish Nomad

Posted on Last updated: August 23, 2019

Categories Germany

Home / Europe / Germany / Neuschwanstein Castle – How to visit + my best tips and info

Neuschwanstein Castle – How to visit + my best tips and info

Neuschwanstein Castle (“ Schloss Neuschwanstein ” in German) is one of the world’s most famous castles. It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Germany with approximately 1.3 million visitors annually. 

Neuschwanstein is a real-life Fairytale Castle, and it was a major inspiration for the Disney Castle.

I have been here, and it’s definitely worth the visit. It’s just as majestic as the pictures, both on the outside and inside. Here’s a complete guide on how to get there + my best tips and more information before you visit. 

Few castles in the world are as majestic and dreamy as Neuschwanstein Castle, and if you like this type of attractions, I can highly recommend a visit. It’s just as spectacular on the inside and outside, and the story behind the Neuschwanstein Castle and King Ludwig II is quite fascinating too!

neuschwanstein instagram spot

How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle

From munich to neuschwanstein castle.

The most common way to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein is by car via the A7. It’s just a 2 hours drive, and can easily be done as a day trip if you rent a car. From Munich, it’s also possible to join a group tour or take the Flixbus (3 hours bus ride).

You can book the tour from Munich here with tickets included

From Innsbruck to Neuschwanstein Castle

Even though Innsbruck is in Austria, it’s actually closer to Neuschwanstein from Innsbruck than from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle. You can drive here on your own in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Just follow the A12 and later on the B179.

You can also join a group tour or take the bus.

from munich to neuschwanstein

Go to Neuschwanstein by train

The nearest train station is in Füssen, where you can take trains from Munich and several other German cities.

How to reserve and buy tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle

Tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle can only be reserved and bought before your arrival, or on the same day at the ticket office in the village of Hohenschwangau. During high-season it’s recommended to reserve your Neuschwanstein tickets in advance.

I recommend getting Skip-the-line tickets which includes a professional guide. You can book your skip-the-line tickets here

In other times of the year, it’s often possible to buy tickets on the same day if you come early. Most hotels also offer to visit the ticket office for you the next day when the ticket office opens.

Queen Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke)

This bridge is where you will get the iconic view of Neuschwanstein Castle. Queen Mary’s Bridge is also known as “Marienbrücke”, which is the German name. The bridge is located about 15 minutes walking from Neuschwanstein.

marienbrucke

Christine and some random tourists standing on the Queen Mary’s bridge

neuschwanstein castle

Viewpoint from Marienbrücke

The viewpoint beyond Marienbrücke

If you continue beyond the bridge and walk uphills on the walking trails, you’ll get to another viewpoint in about 10 minutes. From there you can escape most of the crowds and get some selfies and unique shots of the Neuschwanstein Castle.

walk up to the viewpoint

More information about Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is also known as the Fairytale castle or the real-life Disney Castle since it inspired Walt Disney when he made the Cinderella Castle. Neuschwanstein was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It took 22 years to finish the castle.

It’s a neo-romantic castle that was built at the end of the 1800s despite its medieval look. This was all a part of the plan of the Bavarian king who was very fond of fairy tales. The highest tower of Neuschwanstein measures just below 65 meters (213 feet).

The castle’s name can literally be translated into “the new swan-stone castle”. It was originally named as the new Hohenschwangau Castle as the intent was to make a grand recreation of King Ludwig’s childhood place.

The modern name is derived from one of the characters in Richard Wagner’s opera – The Swan Knight. However, the name wasn’t changed until after the King’s death. And in just a matter of weeks after his death, the castle opened up to the public and became one of the region’s most visited tourist attractions.

bavarian castle

Neuschwanstein Castle photographed from above – Photo: Shutterstock

Some peculiar facts about Neuschwanstein Castle and King Ludwig II

  • The castle was built solely for King Ludwig II (who didn’t want anyone to visit the castle)
  • King Ludwig only slept 11 nights in Neuschwanstein Castle
  • The Sleeping Beauty castle was immensely inspired by Neuschwanstein
  • Neuschwanstein is one of the world’s most photographed places
  • King Ludwig II died before its completion
  • Legoland in Gürzburg has a replica with more than 300 000 Lego bricks
  • The castle was featured in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie
  • More than 14.5 million euro is spent on maintenance each year
  • Neuschwanstein Castle is now owned by the state of Bavaria

Good to know before you visit Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Photography and Video is not allowed inside the castle
  • The visit must be made via one of the Neuschwanstein castle tours
  • It’s possible to reserve tickets beforehand

neuschwanstein courtyard

The courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle

Short facts about Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Visitors per year : Approximately 1.3 million people
  • Construction year : 1869
  • Finished construction : 1892
  • Architect : Eduard Riedel

Where is Neuschwanstein Castle?

Neuschwanstein Castle is a Bavarian castle, located at a hilltop above the village of Hohenschwangau, in the municipality of Schwangau in Southern Germany.

Opening Hours

  • April to 15 October:  9 am-6 pm
  • 16 October to March:  10 am-4 pm

The Neuschwanstein Castle is open daily, except January 1 and 24 / 25 / 31 December

Entrance Fee

  • 13 Euros for a regular ticket (guided tour included)
  • Children and people under 18 can get inside for free

Königsticket : Visit both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau – 25 Euro.

neuschwanstein exterior

Transportation up to the castle

Visitors can choose from walking by foot uphills, taking the shuttle-bus for 2.60 euro roundtrip, or horse-carriage.

The walk up to the castle takes about 30-40 minutes. It’s quite steep, but if you have decent fitness it shouldn’t be a problem. If you wish to get to the viewpoint of Queen Mary’s bridge, it’s another 10-15 minutes walk.

By Shuttle bus

The shuttle bus takes you to the parking space, and you’ll have to walk the last couple of hundred meters to the entrance. This is convenient if you’re a senior visitor or have a disability. The shuttle bus also goes up to the Queen Mary’s bridge.

However, if you have a disability, it could be problematic to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle.

Horse-carriage ride

Please don’t support this cruel way of transportation. The horses are dragging tourists all day long and walk uphills on asphalt. This way of transportation is not romantic at all, it’s animal cruelty.

Please use your own feet to walk or take the shuttle bus up to Neuschwanstein Castle, it’s both cheaper and nicer.  You can read more here

Neuschwanstein Castle Interior

The only way to get inside the Neuschwanstein Castle is by joining one of the guided tours. Usually, I don’t really like guided tours, but this one was good and there’s no other option, so it’s the best solution available.

The interior is absolutely stunning, and everything you could possibly imagine and dream of when it comes to a royal castle. You won’t be disappointed!

It’s quite sad though, that you can’t take photos inside the Neuschwanstein Castle. But maybe it’s for the best. Upon arrival, I had no expectations and was thrilled to see the interior with my own eyes. Below, you can see a few photos that have been licensed for usage.

Interior Neuschwanstein Castle

Photo: Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock.com

inside the neuschwanstein castle

Photo: Shutterstock

Places to eat nearby

In the village of Hohenschwangau or nearby Füssen, there are several places to eat. But if you’re looking for restaurants near the Neuschwanstein Castle I suggest the Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein or the cafe inside the castle.

Recommended hotels near Neuschwanstein Castle

There are several hotels nearby, but I recommend these two in particular since they give a great value for your money.

  • Hotel Müller Hohenschwangau
  • Villa Ludwig

King Ludwig II of Bavaria (the Mad King)

King Ludwig II was definitely a peculiar character according to the stories. He was born in 1845 and was the son of Maximilian of Bayern and Maria of Preussen. He became king at the age of 18 and remained at the Bavarian throne for 22 years.

He never got married, and he didn’t have any known mistresses. However, it is known from his diaries and letters that he had a desire towards other men. King Ludwig II was known for his social phobia and he often stayed away from the public in his last years.

He was also known to be fond of the old fairytales and the operas of Richard Wagner. The walls of Neuschwanstein is filled with frescoes depicting the scenes from Wagner’s operas. It is said that King Ludwig II took inspiration from several royal palaces and castles around the world when he ordered the building of Neuschwanstein Castle.

In 1886, King Ludwig was overthrown from the throne and was declared mentally ill and therefore unfit to rule. 2 days later he was found dead in the lake. It has never been cleared if it was an accident or if he was murdered.

The latter is more reasonable since the ministers actively sought his downfall. They accused King Ludwig of ruining the Bavarian finances with his extravagant and expensive castles. Truth to be told, the majority of the money was taken from his own fortune to finance his castles.

Read more about King Ludwig II

King Ludwig II Bavaria

Hohenschwangau Castle

This is the original castle of Hohenschwangau, and it was here that King Ludwig II grew up and spent his childhood. It’s possible to walk inside the Hohenschwangau Castle on a guided tour.

If you buy the Königsticket, you get entrance to both castles for 25 euro.

Hohenschwangau castle

Museum of the Bavarian Kings

If you’re a history buff, I’m sure you want to visit the Museum of the Bavarian Kings as well. It’s located down in the Hohenschwangau village and can be included in a combination ticket.

At this museum, you can learn more about the house of Wittelsbach, which is one of the oldest dynasties in Europe.

museum of the bavarian kings

Video from Neuschwanstein Castle

Want to see more from Neuschwanstein Castle? Rick Steves visited a few years back and tells you more about it in the video below.

Other places to visit nearby

Best time to visit neuschwanstein castle.

Each season has its charm, so there’s never a bad time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. However, autumn is popular among photographers due to the foliage colors. Summertime is high-season when most tourists visits and wintertime is the least visited time of the year.

During winter, you can expect snowy landscapes and cold temperatures. During summer and autumn, you’ll most likely get a good view from Marienbrücke. Spring might be the “worst” season to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, but it’s still beautiful.

However, during spring it’s not uncommon with fog that could potentially block the view from the bridge. That happened to us when we visited at the end of April this year. Luckily we were able to go back 3 days later with better weather and a clear view.

neuschwanstein castle autumn

The castle in early autumn when the leaves change colors – Photo: Shutterstock

Neuschwanstein Castle during winter

As you can see, it’s very beautiful in the winter as well. It’s a completely different landscape, and when the snow covers the ground, there’s a new version of this fairytale castle emerging!

neuschwanstein castle winter

Book your trip

  • Skip-the-line tickets with professional guide included
  • Guided tour on a day trip to the castle from Munich

Accommodation and flights

  • See the Best deals on Hotels
  • Find the best Airbnb rentals
  • Find the Cheapest Flights to Germany

As a reader of this blog, you can enjoy these discounts

  • 35 Euro in discount at Airbnb
  • 20 Euro in discount at Homestay.com

Souvenirs from Neuschwanstein Castle

There are several souvenir shops where you can buy some classic Neuschwanstein souvenirs. The puzzles are an all-time classic, and you can also find some royal dinnerware, fridge magnets, mugs, and postcards.

However, as I believe in minimalism, I suggest that you take lots of pictures instead of buying knick-knacks.

neuschwanstein souvenirs

Do you have more questions about Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany? Leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer from my own experience.

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

neuschwanstein castle is such the most stunning building i've ever see. i could get lost in just a picture of it, very very beautiful! i wish one day i could pay a visit here. thankyou for sharing your very lovely trip.

Edna Quirante

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

I can see the world through your blog. Someday, I want to see Neuschwanstein Castle. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Kannan Chidambaram

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

Very informative Thanks to Mr.Alex

  • Skip to content
  • Skip to footer

Exploring Castles

Best Weather For a Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Question: Hi Edd! Can you tell me the best weather for a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle?

Natalie P, CA, United States.

Answer: Hi Natalie! Thanks for the message.

My opinion is the best weather for a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is in September or October. I say Autumn, but you say Fall 😉

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau, near Fussen. That’s in the Bavarian Alps. This means that the weather can be very cold and snowy in the winter months (from November – April). In fact, most days in the Winter see about an inch of snowfall, and average temperatures are below freezing.

Neuschwanstein at the end of winter

Although Neuschwanstein Castle looks fantastic in the Winter – when the castle looks like a snow-covered fairytale – it can be incredibly cold. Also, some of the services around the castle can be shut during the snowfall. This includes the bus-transport, and can also include the Marienbrucke bridge – the spectacular viewing platform.

In the Summer months, the weather’s mild. But the castle is most crowded then.

I think that the Autumn months see the best weather. The temperature is mild, but not too cold, and there’s the least rainfall of the whole year.

You can see more about the weather each month below.

If you’re planning a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle , I have written a guide on visiting the castle. It contains much more about planning your trip and making the most of your visit. Check it out below!

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle Mid-Winter – January and February

January is the coldest month of the year, and February the second coldest. Average temperatures are around -2.6°C (27°F in January and -1.6°C (29°F) in February; the average temperature will be below freezing almost every single day of the month. There will be about an inch a day of snow.

Neuschwanstein in the Spring – March and April

It’ll still be chilly up until Easter, although this isn’t a bad time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Most days in March have an average temperature of less than 0°C (32°F), and about half of all days in April dip below freezing. March sees about 60 inches of snow over the month; April sees about 20 inches. The average temperature is just above freezing point – about 8°C (45°F).

Weather in Neuschwanstein in the Summer – May, June, July, August

Summers are mild in Neuschwanstein. Average temperatures are about 15°C (60°F) with highs of about 20°C (70°F). About ten days of each month see a little bit of rain.

Autumn – in Neuschwanstein – September and October

Autumn is probably the best time to visit Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles – the temperatures are still mild, with averages of 12°C (50°F) and highs of about 18°C (64°F). September and October are also two of the driest months – only around five days any month see any rainfall.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Visting Neuschwanstein During Winter & Christmas – November and December

Things are starting to get very cold in the run-up to Christmas, although November and December aren’t as quite bitter as January and February. The average temperature during most days in November, and nearly every day in December, is below freezing point (about -1°C; 29°F). In December, there’s an average of an inch-a-day of snow (a bit less in November).

If you enjoyed this page, you’ll love my full travel guide to Neuschwanstein Castle!

My guidebook to Neuschwanstein Castle.

The guide is written by me, Edd, and is fully updated for 2016/7. It’s crammed full of useful information and money saving tips to transform any visit to Neuschwanstein.

I promise you that it’ll save you time – and money too.

You can pick up the printed book – or a digital version which works on Kindle – via Amazon.

Buy it From Amazon

Enjoying Exploring Castles? Then Buy My Book!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Love discovering the secrets of English castles?

Want to own a beautiful piece of English history?

My book, Exploring English Castles , is filled with stories and more than 200 spectacular photos.

It's a gorgeous book for anyone interested in English castles.

Share with friends!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Neuschwanstein Castle Season Guide - 3 Best Viewpoints and All About the Reopening

Neuschwanstein Castle Season Guide - 3 Best Viewpoints and All About the Reopening

Germany

When Is the Best Time

Please enable JavaScript

What castle is the Disney Castle based on? You immediately know the answer when staying in front of Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited castles in the whole of Europe, with an estimated 1.5 million visitors each year. Summer is the worst time, with up to 8,000 tourists daily. However, even during the busiest time of the year, you can find your magic moment here.

Zoom photo of Neuschwanstein from high elevation from Tegelberg

Read my detailed when-to-visit facts with updates and new pictures from 2023; finally, Marienbrücke - Mary's Bridge is open again - how to get to the best viewpoints and all about the history of the fairy-tale King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Neuschwanstein Castle at sunset in spring

Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle are open.

  • If you want to visit Neuschwanstein inside, booking your ticket at least a month in advance is recommended. Just a group of ten visitors are allowed on each tour through the castle. The alternative is to book a guided tour.
  • Plan at least half an hour to line up to take the bus or even the horse carriage.

Updates Neuschwanstein October, 2023

Closed marienbrücke reopened.

Crowded Marienbrücke - bridge in April 2023 after the reopening

Good News: Regarding Marienbrücke: The restoration works were finished in August 2022, and finally, Mary's Bridge is safe and accessible for visitors after more than a year of closure.

Apartment of King Ludwig II Reopened

Neuschwanstein huge entrance door from high elevation with zoom camera.

The castle is under construction until 2024. This impacts your visit. 

So far, the restoration work has also taken place in the presence of visitors. The royal apartment of Ludwig is too narrow and, therefore, was closed. The dressing room, living room, grotto and bedroom of King Ludwig II are finally accessible to visitors again. 

A dark layer of dust and polish was carefully removed from the wood and bed with a toothbrush, brush and solvent. More than a dozen restorers worked in the royal apartment to remove dust and dirt from the last 150 years, seal windows or repair wall paintings. The restoration work in the King's Apartment was completed in the summer of 2023 when the peak season began.

It is estimated that the five-year restoration will cost 20 million euros, the largest in the castle's history, and should be completed in 2024.

Pöllat Gorge Closed

View from Pöllat Gorge to Marienbrücke - bridge

Bad News: The Pöllat Gorge has closed again after a costly renovation. The future of the gorge is currently unclear. Rockslides are a major concern. However, read my tip below on how to get spectacular views of Neuschwanstein and the best alternative for this gorge view - my tip is viewpoint number 3.

Does Neuschwanstein Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

View from Pöllat River up to Marienbrücke and Neuschwanstein

Will Neuschwanstein Castle be awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site? This was an exciting question because the local community wondered whether they wanted this title. A vote was held on Sunday, June 18, and the majority, 56% in total, supported it. This means Germany can submit the planned candidacy at the beginning of 2024. Now it remains exciting whether UNESCO will select Neuschwanstein and the other castles of Ludwig II.

Personally, I see this as an opportunity and a well-deserved award. 

Tour Recommendations for Castle Neuschwanstein

View to Neuschwanstein from the main path to the castle

These are my recommended tours via GetYourGuide.Thx for booking via my website! With your support, I am able to provide all the information first-hand. Tour prices are at no extra cost!

Neuschwanstein Castle view from Tegelberg

The best time to visit Neuschwanstein is during spring and autumn. It is busy but not utterly overrun except at midday, and the temperatures are pleasant. Either visit in the early morning and book the first guided tour or in the evening. During winter, the bridge for the best view is closed.

Hohenschwangau and the Allgäu Alps in the back

Experience this magical place in tranquillity and watch the spectacular sunset. Tip: If you want to watch the sunset bring a torch or headlight for the walk back in the night.  Sunset times for Munich

Bikers on the bus shuttle road to Neuschwanstein Castle

Top Tip : If possible, bring a bike or rent an e-bike. Some hotels even rent a bike to their guests (tip below), and visiting the area by bike is becoming more popular.  It is a steep upslope ride but fast and great fun for the way back to your hotel, car, or campervan.

View to Neuschwanstein from the Tegelberg massif

3 Best Viewpoints of Neuschwanstein

The first view from Schwangau to Neuschwanstein

1 Marienbrücke - Mary's Bridge

View from Marienbrücke to Neuschwanstein

One of the best and most popular spots to see Neuschwanstein is from Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge). Getting here is easy either on foot, roughly 45 minutes for the 2.7 km long walk or taking the shuttle bus and walking 10-15 minutes on a paved path to the bridge. This is even possible with a stroller or wheelchair with a little help. Hiking Map by Locus Map App

Neuschwanstein Castle view from high above in the winter

The shortest option to the first viewpoint is a 1.3 km long trail on the summer route  by Locus Map App, which takes half an hour with an elevation gain of roughly 200 m. This track is suitable for hikers with proper hiking shoes because it's a narrow, steep trail.

2 Lookout After Marienbrücke

Visitors at a lookout to Neuschwanstein

Getting to this viewpoint is an easy stroll of less than ten minutes and a wooden fence secures the spot. You cross the bridge, continue walking through the forest, and turn left uphill. It's a moderately short walk that offers excellent views and, best of all, is not crowded.

View to Neuschwanstein from the opposite Tegelberg Massif

Most people return after Marienbrücke.  Locus Map Viewpoint Hike  - 250 m from Mary's Bridge - Marienbrücke

3 Viewpoint Below Marienbrücke - Mary's Bridge

Panorama of the gorge, Neuschwanstein and Marienbrücke

This is a short detour hike of 700 m return, which we do after Marienbrücke during the day. This viewpoint is still a hidden gem, and you are able to avoid crowds. Even during busy weekends, only a handful of people hike to this spot.

View from the gorge to the castle and bridge

It is a little steep, and I recommend shoes with good traction, not sneakers, and you get rewarded with a breathtaking view of the gorge. This is a great alternative because Pöllat Gorge remains closed. From Marienbrück to this Neuschwanstein viewpoint  Hiking Map by Locus Map App

My Tip for a 2 or 3 Days Visit

Do you plan to stay at Hohenschwangau for a few days for hiking? Take the cable car to Tegelberg Mountain and hike from there to Neuschwanstein Castle.

View to Neuschwanstein from high elevation on the Tegelberg Massif.

It is the best photo spot of all where I took sunset pictures. However, if you like to do so, bring a torch for the way back and enjoy the magical atmosphere from the bridge. 

Locus Map Hike from Tegelberg Mountain to Neuschwanstein and back to the cable car parking - 8 km long hike. 

Sunset at Neuschwanstein Castle from higher elevation

Hiking Map  for more details about the area around Neuschwanstein.

9 Things to Do at Neuschwanstein

View from Tegelberg cable car to Neuschwanstein and Lake Alpsee

After more than three years of living in this area, I want to show you where the locals go swimming, which event you shouldn't miss, and what else to do. Check out my new guide for the 9 Things to Do at Neuschwanstein written for you.

Do You Stay in Munich? Don’t Miss Out on My Munich by Bike Guide - One Day Itinerary.

Munich City - Frauenkirche

Do you like to know why there are so many historic buildings in Munich and why the city is not full of skyscrapers? And why is the Octoberfest held in September? Check out my additional Munich by a local guide.

Crowds and Weather by Seasons

Marienbrücke - Bridge at weekends during the day

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited places in Germany. You should be well prepared for an outstanding experience, especially during the peak season. Weekends are always busier with German, Austrian, and Italian visitors as well. The famous castle is located close to the Austrian border and the Ammergau Alps. The mountains have a huge impact on the climate. The summer is wetter than the winter. The village Schwangau on the bottom of the hill of Neuschwanstein is located at an elevation of 800 meters. That’s why the long and icy winter and cooler summer months exist.

Spring (April-mid-June)

Neuschwanstein Castle during Spring

April can be sunny and warm, with temps around 20°C, but snow occurs as well, like in 2021 and 2023, even at the end of the month. May and June reach temps up to 26°C. If it’s overcast or rainy, temps are frequently below 10°C. Precipitation occurs almost every second day due to the proximity to the mountains.

Hohenschwangau Castle, Lake Alpsee and snow capped mountains

However, the weather changes quickly; it often clears up and gets warm again after a heavy shower. During the night and in the early morning, expect 0-5°C.

Summer (mid-June-mid-September)

Neuschwanstein view close by in Summer

The summer is a lovely time in the mountains. Temps can reach 30°C on a sunny day, but the mean daily temp is around 20°C. This time of the year is the wettest. Rain occurs every second day. Nevertheless, it doesn’t rain for days often. Instead, it’s also sunny or partly cloudy. Due to the location, it cools down at night, and temps drop on average to 10°C. The castle is a popular must-see site when visiting Munich.

View Alpsee to Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein

The worst time of the year is from July to September. Tickets are often already sold out before lunchtime. Make a ticket reservation in advance; otherwise, you leave Schwangau with disappointment. However, the surroundings are magical in the evening when most visitors left the area.

Autumn (mid-September-October)

View to Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke - bridge late autumn

Decreasing precipitation in autumn. It's my favourite time of the year. The crowds thin out, the temps are still pleasant, and the fall foliage is spectacular. If it is sunny, temps are often above 20°C at midday. On overcast or rainy days, it's colder temperatures range from 10°-15°C.

Winter (November-March)

Neuschwanstein Castle with mountain in the back covered with snow in winter

November is often cold and grey, making it less busy here. As soon as it starts snowing, it looks fantastic. December is a popular month for Munich for the Christmas Markets and so for the castle. December to February are the driest months of the year. Instead of rain, there is usually snow. March and November are slightly warmer, while December to February temps are around 3°C.

Neuschwanstein Castle with a blue sky in winter

I am not fond of the cold winter; however, days are often crisp and clear, offering a fantastic dark blue sky. Nights are freezing at least -10°C. Unfortunately, the popular Marienbrücke, the bridge with an excellent view of Neuschwanstein, is closed during snow and ice.

Opening Hours - Closures Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau 

Hohenschwangau Castle and many visitors waiting for the bus.

  • Daily opened except 1. January and 24 / 25 / 31 December
  • April to 15. Oct 9 am-6 pm
  • 16. Oct to March 10 am-4 pm

Ticket Center Hours - Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau

Ticket Center for Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau

Attention : To enter the castles, you must buy or pick up your reserved tickets first! You can't get into the castle for free, but there is no ticket needed for the viewpoint and Mary's Bridge - Marienbrücke. 

  • April to Sep 7.30 am until 5 pm

Oct to March 8.30 am until 3 pm Exception, if Easter holidays are in March, already longer opening hours at the end of March.

Bus Shuttle Hours to the Castle and Return

Neuschwanstein shuttle bus

  • Summer First drive up to the castle and Marienbrücke, the famous bridge for a fantastic view, at 8 am and last at 5.30 pm. Last transport down at 6.45 pm
  • Winter First shuttle uphill at 9 am and last at 3.30 pm. The last shuttle back is at 5 pm.
  • Not during snow and ice. However, horse-drawn carriages are always available.

Opening Months Pöllatschlucht - Gorge

Poellat Gorge in winter - gate is closed

Depending on the conditions of the gorge after the winter, the iron track is open and accessible between late April and June. At the start of the winter, the gorge gets closed; usually, at the beginning latest, mid-November. Since the reopening in May 2019, there have been gates at the beginning and end of the gorge. These gates close automatically in bad weather conditions.

Pöllat gorge blocked and closed because of hazardous rock slides

When the gorge - Pöllatschlucht, is open, you can walk around the hill on which Neuschwanstein is situated. Currently closed after expensive renovation for an undefined time because of hazardous rockslides. The future of the gorge is currently unclear. 

More information for Neuschwanstein, fees, and parking is below.

Three Top Hotels All Facing Neuschwanstein

You can't stay in Neuschwanstein Castle; however, excellent hotels nearby offer fantastic views. These are my top three hotels, all within walking distance of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau Castle, and Lake Alpsee. Spend at least a night and watch the awesome sunset or sunrise at Neuschwanstein. It's a tranquil atmosphere when the day-trippers leave the village in the evening and before they arrive in the morning. We have already watched the sunset multiple times; always mesmerizing.

Villa Ludwig Suite Hotel

Hotel Villa Ludwig and Neuschwanstein in the back

Although a 4-star hotel, it feels like being in a real 5-star. Amiable staff awaits you. Rooms are spacious with a beautiful interior and a Nespresso coffee machine: delicious breakfast, huge parking garage fee of 8€, and bike rental. Although close to all amenities, it is quiet here. You can get your castle tickets at check-in. Request your tickets for Neuschwanstein at your hotel booking. Ask for a room with a castle view.

Ameron Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

Hotel Ameron and Hohenschwangau in the back

The 4-star resort is located next to Lake Alpsee, facing both castles. The Spa has a fantastic lake and mountain view, and it is quiet in the evening. Rooms are comfortable, breakfast is outstanding, and super friendly staff. Parking is available for 12€ each day. The sunny terrace facing Lake Alpsee is a fantastic place to enjoy the scenery.

Hotel Müller

Hotel Mueller with Neuschwanstein in the back

Best Months to Visit

Related Topics

Location and Tips

Germany

I have lived in the south of Bavaria since 2019, and I know everything about Neuschwanstein Castle, when to visit, the best viewpoints, how to avoid crowds, all about the history. I will give you all the insights for each season for an exceptional visit. I visit the castle regularly, know all the hikes and also know when St Mary's Bridge - Marienbrücke is closed. I added a hiking map and trails from a hiking app to find the hidden spots most people miss.

Neuschwanstein is 65 meters high and located on a huge rock formation 956 meters above sea level. Initially, it was called New Hohenschwangau Castle, but it got renamed after Ludwigs' death into Neuschwanstein. From the car park, get to the ticket centre first for your guided tour ticket. It is roughly a 5-minute walk to the centre.

People in Schwangau waiting for a horse carriage ride

There are lots of gift shops and restaurants around. Snacks, ice, and beverages are also available. Depending on your fitness level, you may need another 25 minutes to the castle entrance. This paved road is steep and a little strenuous. A bus shuttle and horse carriage are offered for a small amount.

Entrances and Fees

Linderhof palace also built by Ludwig II

  • Neuschwanstein 13€
  • Under 18 free Neuschwanstein entrance, not for school groups
  • Both castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, on the same day 25€
  • Castles of the King ticket for Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee 26€
  • Bus shuttle one way 1,50 € adults and children 0,50 € not during snow and ice
  • Horse-drawn carriages are available for the transport return ticket 3,50 € also in the winter season.

Map of Castle Neuschwanstein

Heavy bags are not allowed in the castle during the guided tours. It is also prohibited to take pictures or footage the reason I don't have any photos from inside, only this map from outside the castle entrance. 

Parking Fee for Neuschwanstein Castle 2023

The main parking for Neuschwanstein Castle is pretty full

All parking fees for a maximum of 8 hours. More details are in my photo from April 2023

  • Cars: 10 € 
  • Camper: 13,00 €
  • Motorbike: 3€

Museum of the Bavarian Kings

The huge Museum of the Bavarian Kings

For those who wish to learn more about the history of the Royal Bavarian family, I recommend the Museum of the Bavarian Kings at the far end of the road shortly before Lake Alpsee. It is a great exhibition with personal items of the Wittelsbach family, Ludwig II, and paintings and pictures. It is less busy and often overlooked, although quite interesting if you still have time available.

  • Open from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Entrance fee 11 € for adults - under 18 free entrance

3 Hikes Around Neuschwanstein

Hiking Map of Neuschwanstein, Tegelberg, Alpsee, and Marienbrücke

Facts and History of Neuschwanstein Castle and King Ludwig II

King Ludwig II of Bavaria

  • It’s unbelievable, but the castle is just 135 years old. The start of the construction work was in 1868 and took more than 20 years.
  • King Ludwig II grew up in the Hohenschwangau Castle, next to the hill where Neuschwanstein is today. His father died early in 1864 when Ludwig was 18. Immediately he had to accede to the throne without any experience to govern.
  • Before he built Neuschwanstein, he had already gained experience. His first structure was the 80 meters long winter garden on the top of the Residence in 1867. After Ludwig’s mysterious death, the winter garden was stripped down. The maintenance costs were too high, and the humidity was an issue for the entire Residence in Munich.
  • He was very young when the construction work for his fairy-tale castle began. The summit of the huge rock was blasted with dynamite in 1869. So, the base of the stone became 4.300 sqm big. His father was enthusiastic about technique, and so was Ludwig. It was challenging to build the castle on an exposed hill, but the technique of the industrial time was helpful to succeed.
  • It was an exertion to get all the needed material for the castle to the top of the rock. The reason that all materials got transported by a precursor of a steam locomotive. Due to his interest in new technologies, he supported inventions that were necessary for this huge project.
  • Some facts on how much was needed to build this castle annually:  200-300 bricklayers, stonemasons, carpenters 465 to of marble 1500 to of sandstone 400.000 bricks The building construction got interrupted during snow and storm only. Converted into Euros 20 Million were spent after 5 years.
  • The gatehouse was built first and became his chosen home to supervise the construction. It is presumed he spent the happiest time of his life here.
  • After 11 years of building time, the shell construction, the king's apartment and the servants, and the kitchen were finished.
  • In 1883 the famous “Sängersaal” - hall for vocalists – was finally finished. Ludwig became inspired by the Wartburg in Eisenach in 1867 on how to create and design the hall. The entire castle is like a film set. To save on expenses, some parts were built from cardboard.
  • Because of the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars, Bavaria lost its independent kingdom in 1870. He was a king without power and had a throne room without a throne.
  • He needed a vast amount of money; loans were taken for the expensive palaces. Neuschwanstein was not the only one he let build. Other famous palaces are the castle Linderhof nearby and the “New Castle of Herrenchiemsee”. It is located on an island in Lake Chiemsee, where he let constructed a palace in 1878 in honour of King Ludwig XIV. However, he was a visionary for exceptional romantic architecture but was born in the wrong era.
  • Neuschwanstein was a modern palace. He has already let installed central heating and the first Bavarian telephone system in his office.
  • However, he felt responsible for his workers. All of them had health insurance, including sick pay. He was an eccentric and lonely monarch but a romantic genius as well. It is assumed that he was gay, the reason that he was never married.
  • In the end, Ludwig became bankrupt; his palace was incomplete; just 20 of the planned 200 rooms were finished. He lost his joy of living. The ministers doubted his mental condition, tried to dethrone Ludwig, and detained Ludwig in his palace.
  • They declared him insane and brought him to Lake Starnberg, south of Munich, on the 10. June 1886. Three days later, his body was floating in the lake. His psychiatrist Bernhard von Gudden was also found dead. Pieces of evidence have shown that Ludwig did not murder his psychiatrist and committed suicide by drowning. Instead, Ludwig was shot in his back with two bullets. His doctor witnessed the crime and got murdered, too.
  • Already a few weeks later, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. In 1892 the castle was completed but in a simple form, having 6000 sqm of living space.
  • Ludwig was the last real king, and Neuschwanstein was the mirror of his soul. Today he is also called the fairy-tale king.
  • The maintenance of Neuschwanstein Castle is costly; built on a 150-m-long rock. It gets renovated for four years in and outside until 2022 for roughly 20 million Euros.

Two visitors at high elevation with Neuschwanstein Castle in the back.

We have lived in this area for more than three already. Neuschwanstein Castle is truly magical, and we got addicted to it during all seasons. We visit this castle each season. Our favourite time is the quiet evening hours with the jaw-dropping sunset or the early morning. Taking pictures inside the castle is prohibited, so I have none. I took all photos of Neuschwanstein. 

We have been married for almost 25 years, and we love discovering hidden gems around the globe. I am passionate about sharing some of the most beautiful places in the world with you, but I still can't live from my work, and we have regular jobs, too.

It is a tough business nowadays because fake travel websites rewrite content without effort and expense. Want to know more about these schemes, picture theft, and how to unmask them? Check out " The Truth  About Fake Travel Websites and Picture Theft "

Do you like my Neuschwanstein Guide? Please share it with your friends and on social media, subscribe to our   YouTube Channel . And soon, we will publish our new Neuschwanstein Video with footage from the last years.

Do You Like to Support Me - It's easy; use the Paypal Button below 😍

Do you want to obtain the usage right for my images? Contact me, but we will take action against picture theft.

Neuschwanstein

Engineering Travels

Neuschwanstein Castle: A Thorough Guide to Enjoy Your Visit

Please share this post:

When you’re in Southern Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle is a sight you can’t miss.

This white castle, perched on a rock ledge in the Bavarian Alps, seems like it’s straight out of a fairytale. For those of us who love to imagine scenes from our favorite movies set in the Middle Ages, a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle can make those fantasies a reality.

Fortunately for us today, Neuschwanstein Castle welcomes everyone. We can not only get up close to the castle, but we’re also allowed to go inside and marvel at the interiors, which are just as beautiful as the exteriors. However, a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle isn’t as straightforward as a walk in the park. From figuring out how to reach it, to deciding on the perfect time to visit, planning a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle involves a lot of considerations.

Investing time in preparing for your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is absolutely worthwhile to make sure you have an enjoyable trip.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you.

Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle

Use the table of contents to skip to topics.

While planning a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the challenges I encountered was navigating the multiple official websites that provide information about the castle. These include the main website of the Bavarian Palace Administration , the main website of Neuschwanstein Castle , and the official website of Hohenschwangau (the town where Neuschwanstein Castle is located).

These sites are packed with useful information for planning your visit, but the content organization leaves room for improvement. It was somewhat confusing to jump between webpages to find specific details. In this blog post, we aim to simplify your planning process for a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle by providing all the necessary information in an easy-to-understand manner.

Anyhow, if you’ll be looking for more information which I did not include in this post, you might find these two websites helpful:

  • neuschwanstein.de , the main website for Neuschwanstein Castle managed by the Bavarian Palace Administration, offers information on reaching the castle , its accessibility , and an in-depth history of the castle and King Ludwig II .
  • On the other hand, hohenschwangau.de , the official Hohenschwangau website, provides visitor-specific information such as ticketing , opening hours , access to viewpoints , parking facilities , and guidance on using maps and public transportation to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau.

View of Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau meadows

If you’re planning a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and need a place to stay, don’t worry. Here’s where you can find the best hotel deals .

Is Neuschwanstein Castle Worth Visiting

Before anything…

Let’s be honest. Neuschwanstein Castle, while a must-see and a bucket list item, is not without its flaws. Yes, it’s absolutely enchanting. Nestled in the Alps, this stunning castle with majestic mountains as its backdrop is a unique sight. However, its popularity brings with it certain drawbacks.

Millions visit Neuschwanstein Castle each year. With such a high volume of visitors, you can expect long lines during peak season and tours that may feel rushed. It’s important to manage your expectations accordingly. Moreover, crowded viewpoints and inconsiderate travelers taking photos are common occurrences as you explore the castle and its surroundings.

Despite these inconveniences, a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle can be rewarding if you focus on the positives. The castle’s architecture, stunning scenery, and intriguing history make it a worthwhile destination. It’s the same castle that inspired Walt Disney for Cinderella’s Castle, and who knows, it might inspire you too!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Compared to other palaces and castles, Neuschwanstein Castle is relatively small as its construction was never completed. If you’re expecting to spend the entire day marveling at artwork and architecture, you might be disappointed. The tour is brief, lasting only 30 minutes, to accommodate the influx of visitors.

However, there are several nearby attractions to fill your day after visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. Hiking trails offer breathtaking views of the Alps and the castle. There’s also Hohenschwangau Castle, another beautiful site to explore. For some peace and quiet, take a stroll by the lake where you can see both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles.

In conclusion, again, despite its drawbacks, Neuschwanstein Castle is worth a visit, especially considering the additional attractions in the area. These side attractions add to the overall enjoyment of your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you’re planning a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and wish to explore more of the Bavarian Alps, you might find my list of recommended places in the Bavarian Alps and 24 Beautiful Destinations Near Neuschwanstein Castle useful. Also, I’ve compiled a few itineraries that could help you plan your visit more effectively:

  • Visit all the highlights of the Bavarian Alps with Neuschwanstein Castle: 10-day Bavarian Alps Itinerary .
  • Get a well-rounded week-long trip to the Bavarian Alps: 7-day Bavarian Alps Itinerary .
  • Short in time? You can visit Munich-Neuschwanstein Castle-Berchtesgaden in three days: 3-day Bavarian Alps Itinerary .

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Best Time to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

Here’s a simple tip to make your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle extra special: time your visit just right. Choosing a less busy time could make all the difference in your experience. When I mentioned that millions visit the castle each year, I bet you started thinking about how crowded it could get, right?

You see, Neuschwanstein Castle is a destination that you would appreciate visiting when it’s not too crowded. This is because it offers the experience of a fairytale-like setting and the magic of the place might not hit you as hard if you’re sharing the space with a crowd.

Actually, it can get even worse if there are those noisy “travel influencers” around, more interested in snapping photos and videos for social media than in soaking up the moment and taking in the magical charm of Neuschwanstein Castle.

Honest confession: A few years back, I was just like them. But then, something clicked. I caught a glimpse of how annoying my behavior was. So, I put a stop to it. 

Neuschwanstein Castle during Winter: No Crowds

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during the winter months, from November to April, can be a great choice if you prefer a less crowded experience. However, before you make your decision, there are a few things to consider.

During the winter, certain parts of the castle may be closed due to weather conditions. For instance, the Marienbrücke, which offers the most iconic view of Neuschwanstein Castle, may not be accessible. Additionally, if there is snow on the road, the horse carriage and shuttle buses that usually transport visitors to the castle may not be in service. This means you would need to hike up the hill from the town to reach the castle.

Despite these potential challenges, many find the winter visit worthwhile. Neuschwanstein Castle, blanketed in snow, presents a magical scene that some visitors find particularly captivating. This unique winter charm is the reason many choose to visit Neuschwanstein Castle specifically during the colder months.

Neuschwanstein Castle during Autumn: Best for Photography

Neuschwanstein Castle during Autumn

If you find winter too chilly but still wish to explore the castle without the throngs of tourists, consider a visit during the shoulder season of autumn. For photography enthusiasts, this could be the ideal time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

The scenery around Neuschwanstein Castle is breathtaking during this time, with the castle’s majestic white facade appearing even more enchanting against the backdrop of fall foliage. The red and golden leaves of the surrounding spruce trees offer a visual feast from various viewpoints.

However, it’s worth noting that autumn isn’t as sunny as summer. You might find the castle under an overcast sky, which can lend a somewhat gloomy atmosphere to the place. This might make it less exciting to wander around. At times, fog might obscure the view, rendering some viewpoints less impressive. But on the flip side, the fog can also create a dramatic ambiance around Neuschwanstein Castle.

So, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in autumn involves a bit of a gamble with the weather. But with a bit of luck, you could be rewarded with some truly memorable views.

Neuschwanstein Castle during Summer: More Activities, More Time to Enjoy

While summer might not be the first choice for some due to the influx of tourists, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during this season does come with its own set of advantages. One of the key benefits is that all areas of the castle, including viewpoints and hiking trails, are accessible.

In fact, there are hiking trails starting from Neuschwanstein Castle that lead up to the mountains. These trails offer views of the castle that are akin to those captured by drones, which, incidentally, are not permitted in the area.

Another advantage of a summer visit is the extended daylight hours. With the sunset occurring around 9 in the evening at the peak of summer, you have more time to explore the castle and its surroundings. This allows you to pack more activities into a single day.

Your itinerary could include not just a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, but also a cable car ride, hiking activities, a tour of Hohenschwangau Castle, relaxation time at the shores of Alpsee, or even a visit to Linderhof Palace. The latter, like Neuschwanstein Castle, was constructed by King Ludwig II, adding another layer of historical interest to your visit.

How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle

Now that you’ve decided on the timing of your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, let’s move on to discussing the various ways you can reach the castle.

If you’d rather not worry about the details of getting to Neuschwanstein Castle, you can simply join a tour. These tours take care of all the arrangements for you.

Flying to Neuschwanstein Castle

If you’re planning to fly in for your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, Munich and Innsbruck are the most practical starting points. Both cities have airports that are less than 120 kilometers away from the castle. From either city, it’s approximately 2-hour drive to Hohenschwangau, where Neuschwanstein Castle is located.

If you’re asking for my suggestion on where to start your journey to Neuschwanstein Castle, I’d recommend Munich. This city not only offers more flight connections and a wider range of accommodations, but Munich also boasts a number of beautiful places to visit . Choosing Munich as your starting point allows you to maximize your time in Germany.

Plus, if you’re planning to drive to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, you won’t have to worry about navigating the different road rules that apply in Austria, which would be the case if you chose Innsbruck as your starting point.

If you’re considering public transportation to reach Neuschwanstein Castle, starting from Munich might be more convenient than Innsbruck. As of 2023, there’s a direct bus service to Hohenschwangau, the village near Neuschwanstein Castle, from Munich. This service is provided by Flixbus, making the journey straightforward and hassle-free.

Driving vs Public Transportation

In the past, the most practical and effective way to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich was either by car or by joining a guided tour. However, a few years ago, this changed with the introduction of direct bus services by Flixbus. This development has greatly enhanced the experience of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.

Now, one might wonder if a car is still necessary for the journey. Given the convenience and cost-effectiveness of the bus service, it might seem that a car is no longer essential. But this isn’t always true, especially when you take into account the bus schedules.

The last time I checked, there was only one bus departing from Munich to Hohenschwangau around 8 to 9 in the morning, and one return bus from Hohenschwangau to Munich around 5 to 6 in the afternoon.

If you’re planning to spend the entire day in Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle, then the bus service should be sufficient. However, if you want more flexibility with your time, a car might be a better option. Having a car allows you to visit additional attractions near Neuschwanstein Castle after your visit, such as Linderhof Palace, Ettal Abbey, or Oberammergau.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that there are alternative public transport options to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. However, these are not as fast or convenient as the direct bus service. This route involves taking a train to Fussen, followed by a bus to Hohenschwangau.

We’ll discuss more about this route later.

Driving to Neuschwanstein Castle

Driving to Neuschwanstein Castle gives you convenience and control of your time, but it can be a bit expensive. The trip covers about 120 kilometers and typically takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

If you’re planning to drive, you’ll be glad to know that there are four parking lots in Hohenschwangau where you can leave your car while you explore the castle.

Parking lot no. 1 is near the Apollo duty-free shop. Parking lot no. 2 is situated between Schwangauer Road and Coloman Road. Parking lot no. 3 is at the roundabout next to Restaurant Cafe Kainz, and Parking lot no. 4 is near Alpsee. All these lots accommodate cars but be prepared for a fee which lets you use the parking all day.

Despite the availability of multiple parking lots, it’s advisable to arrive early, especially during peak season, to secure a spot. This not only allows you to park closer to the ticket center but also helps you avoid long queues when buying your tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Lastly, Parking lot no. 4 is the closest to the ticketing center and the shuttle bus and horse carriage departure points for Neuschwanstein Castle. Parking here could make your visit a bit more convenient.

You can learn more about the parking lots in Neuschwanstein Castle here.

Using Public Transportation to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany is well-known for its efficient public transportation system. Often, you’ll find that you don’t need a car to get around. This is particularly true when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich.

If you prefer not to drive, there are several options available. The most convenient are the two options below.

  • The first is to take a bus, which is a great choice if you’re planning a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. This is the cheapest option.
  • The second option is a combination of train and bus. This is ideal if you’re planning to stay in Fussen (the town with the nearest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle) or Schwangau for a night or longer.

It’s important to note that both transportation options can be used for a round trip from Munich, depending on your itinerary.

For instance, if you plan to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and then explore the town of Fussen, you can take the bus from Munich to Hohenschwangau. After your visit, you can return to Munich from Fussen by train. You can get to Fussen from Hohenschwangau by bus.

Option 1: Munich — Bus — Hohenschwangau

If you opt for the bus to reach Neuschwanstein Castle, it’s crucial to consider the bus schedules. There’s only one bus departure for the Munich-Hohenschwangau route and vice versa. Given the limited availability, it’s advisable to book your tickets as early as possible. They tend to sell out quickly, especially during the peak season.

The total travel time between Munich and Hohenschwangau via this direct bus is approximately 2 hours. If you plan to leave Munich around 8 to 9 in the morning, which were the earliest departure times last I checked, ensure that your entry/tour ticket to Neuschwanstein Castle is not scheduled earlier than 12:00 pm. This will help avoid any scheduling conflicts.

Here is the official website of Flixbus where you can book your trips.

Option 2: Munich — Train — Fussen — Bus — Hohenschwangau

The train and bus route from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle offers more departure times compared to the direct bus route. This may not provide the same level of control as driving a car, but it does offer more flexibility when planning your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle.

This option is generally more costly than taking the direct bus by Flixbus, which is why it’s recommended as a second choice.

Trains from Munich to Fussen leave three times a day, and buses from Fussen to Hohenschwangau (buses 78 and 73) depart one to two times per hour. The train ride from Munich to Fussen takes about two hours, followed by a 10-minute bus ride to Hohenschwangau.

Tip: As soon as you step out of the Füssen train station, you’ll find the No. 78 bus parked nearby. This bus is clearly marked for the Hohenschwangau castles.

In an ideal scenario, the journey to Neuschwanstein Castle via this route should take about two and a half hours. However, due to potential scheduling mismatches, the entire trip might extend to around three hours. It’s always good to factor in some extra time when planning your visit.

You can find more information about bus #78 and #73 from dbregiobus-bayern.de . Train tickets are available in bahn.de .

Neuschwanstein Castle Opening Hours

Before purchasing your bus or train tickets, it’s important to align your travel schedule with the opening hours of Neuschwanstein Castle. The most accurate and up-to-date schedule can be found on the official Hohenschwangau website .

Tip: Keep in mind that the ticket office typically opens one to two hours before the castle itself. It usually opens at 8:00 am or 8:30 am. I suggest arriving at Hohenschwangau early to visit the ticket office as soon as it opens, helping you avoid long lines. Being first in line is a great strategy to save time when buying tickets. Once you have your tickets, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the castle surroundings.

Tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle

Quick links

  • Check the price: Neuschwanstein Castle Admission Fee
  • Book in advance: Neuschwanstein Castle Entry and Guided Tour

Here are the most important things you must know about Neuschwanstein Castle’s tickets:

  • The only way to get inside Neuschwanstein Castle is to join a guided tour of the castle. At present, you have the freedom to approach the main entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle and explore the surrounding outdoor areas.
  • Tickets for the guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle tend to sell out quickly. If you’re planning a visit, it’s crucial to book your tickets well in advance. The last time I checked the castle’s ticketing page, I noticed that tickets were fully booked for the entire month ahead.
  • When you buy a ticket for Neuschwanstein Castle, it comes with a specific entry time. If you book your tickets in advance, you have the advantage of choosing the entry time that works best for you.
  • While it’s possible to buy tickets on the same day of your visit, I wouldn’t advise doing so. The queues for tickets can be quite long, and you might not get the entry time you want for Neuschwanstein Castle.
  • If you’re thinking about buying tickets from the ticketing center, you’ll need to get there very early. Tickets often sell out by early morning, so the earlier you arrive, the better your chances of getting a ticket.
  • If you book your tickets online, remember that the email confirmation you receive won’t be accepted at the castle’s main entrance. You’ll still need to pick up your actual ticket from the ticketing center.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t receive a confirmation email immediately after buying your ticket online. Sometimes, it can take a day or two to arrive. Also, be aware that your requested tour time might be adjusted. It seems that the Neuschwanstein Castle administration tries to optimize the tour schedules to accommodate as many visitors as possible.
  • If you’ve reserved your tickets online, it’s a good idea to pick up your actual ticket from the ticketing center at least an hour or 1.5 hours before your scheduled castle entry time. It’s important to note that the ticketing center isn’t located next to the castle. Walking from the ticketing center to the castle can take up to 40 minutes. While there are shuttle buses and horse-drawn carriages available to shorten the travel time, these options often have long lines which can also delay your journey.
  • If you miss your time slot for the guided tours to Neuschwanstein Castle, please be aware that refunds will not be provided.
  • When you’re purchasing tickets, you’ll also have the option to visit Hohenschwangau Castle. If you choose this option, you’ll visit Hohenschwangau Castle first, followed by Neuschwanstein Castle. Additional guidelines are posted on the ticketing page of the tours to the castles.

  View of Neuschwanstein Castle just below the balcony

Neuschwanstein Castle Tour

Now, you might be wondering, is a tour of Neuschwanstein Castle worth it? Given that you’re already planning to visit, it makes sense to fully experience it. So, yes, the tour is definitely recommended, especially if you have an interest in architecture, history, or King Ludwig II.

The tour lasts for only 30 minutes, and you’ll likely wish it could be longer, given the castle’s impressive interiors and unique history. Despite feeling a bit rushed, it’s still a great opportunity to see some remarkable interiors and learn about a unique piece of history.

During the tour, you’ll explore 14 rooms in Neuschwanstein Castle. My overall impression? Despite its medieval appearance, the castle is surprisingly modern.

The tour starts in the Lower Room, leading to the breathtaking Throne Hall. Next, you’ll visit the Dining Room, which houses an electric bell system cleverly hidden behind magnificent paintings and elegant furniture.

The tour then takes you to the beautiful bedroom, adorned with a wooden Gothic bed. Following this, you’ll visit the Oratory, Dressing Room, Salon, and Grotto. The Grotto is particularly unique, as it’s unusual for a castle to have an artificial dripstone cave.

After the Grotto, you’ll proceed to the study and anteroom, both of which are visually impressive. The Upper Hall is next, followed by the Singers’ Hall, one of the castle’s most significant rooms. The Singers’ Hall is known for hosting the famous Singers’ Contest, featured in Richard Wagner’s opera “Tannhäuser”.

The tour concludes in the kitchen, where you’ll fully realize that Neuschwanstein Castle is not a real medieval castle, but a product of Ludwig II’s imagination.

To truly enjoy the Neuschwanstein Castle tour, it’s helpful to know a bit about its history and King Ludwig II. Understanding the background can enhance your experience and appreciation of the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle becomes even more fascinating when you delve into its history. It’s a bit melancholic, particularly when discussing the life of its founder, King Ludwig II. Ludwig II was an eccentric and reclusive king of Bavaria, more famous for his fairytale-like persona than his governance. His reputation as a fairytale king emerged after a series of unfortunate events.

Just two years after ascending to the throne, Ludwig II lost his absolute sovereignty due to a war with Prussia, which resulted in Bavaria’s defeat. This defeat relegated him to the status of a “vassal” king, serving under another king.

This event must have been devastating for Ludwig II, as it stripped away a significant part of his identity as the true king of Bavaria. Despite being a king, he could not exercise absolute rule over his people, especially during times of war.

In an attempt to reclaim his lost status, at least in his imagination, Ludwig II embarked on a project to build castles and palaces. Inspired by tales from the middle ages, he envisioned creating his own medieval castle, reminiscent of the authentic style of old German knights’ castles.

He wanted these structures to embody the values of chivalry. As a result, Ludwig II commissioned the construction of what we now know as Neuschwanstein Castle. Concurrently, he also initiated the construction of two other castles/palaces in Bavaria.

Despite funding these projects from his personal fortune, Ludwig II faced criticism for his extravagant endeavors. When Bavaria faced financial difficulties, his ministers accused him of insanity for focusing on his projects instead of addressing the state’s affairs. This led to a threat of dethronement.

His ministers plotted a deposition, which Ludwig II dismissed for their criticism. However, the ousting was successful, and Ludwig was held in custody at Berg Castle on the shores of Lake Starnberg.

Shortly after, Ludwig II was found dead in Lake Starnberg under mysterious circumstances. The court ruled his death as a suicide by drowning, a conclusion that seemed implausible given that the official autopsy results reported no water in his lungs.

This is my understanding of Ludwig’s story. It’s a sad tale about a king’s life. Looking at his beautiful castles in Bavaria, you might expect him to have been a powerful ruler with many triumphs. However, the reality was quite different.

What’s even more tragic is that Ludwig II never got to see the completion of Neuschwanstein Castle. When he passed away, construction of the castle was stopped, with only 30% of it finished. It’s a poignant reminder of a life that held so much promise, yet ended in tragedy.

If King Ludwig II had lived longer, Neuschwanstein Castle might have been even more spectacular than it is now. Here’s what the castle was planned to look like:

Plan drawing of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Even though Neuschwanstein Castle was never fully completed, it has become one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany. Over the past decade, it has attracted more than a million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular castles in the world.

It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. The castle’s white exteriors and blue pointed roofs create a stunning contrast against the backdrop of the nearby mountains.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Thanks to its remote location, Neuschwanstein Castle was spared from the bombings of World War II. As a result, when you visit, you’ll be able to see the castle almost exactly as it was originally built, including its stunning interiors. Here are some images captured in the late 19th century, showcasing the original design of the rooms and halls in Neuschwanstein Castle.

Bed Room, Neuschwanstein Castle

From Ticketing Center to Neuschwanstein Castle

Once you’ve secured your tickets from the ticket center, it’s time to head to Neuschwanstein Castle (assuming you’re not planning a tour of Hohenschwangau Castle). From the ticket center, you have three options to reach Neuschwanstein Castle: you can hike, take a horse carriage ride, or catch a shuttle bus.

Quick link: Bus and Horse Carriage prices & schedules

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Hike to Neuschwanstein Castle

The hike from the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau to Neuschwanstein Castle takes about 40 minutes. The trail is 1.5 kilometers long with a 110-meter elevation gain. It’s not a difficult hike, and most of the trail is shaded by trees, making it quite pleasant.

You won’t have to worry about getting lost. The trail is well-marked, and all the information you need is readily available. If you’re hiking during peak hours, you can simply follow the crowd, as they’re likely heading to the castle as well.

You can pick up a map from the tourist information center for directions to Neuschwanstein Castle. But if you forget to grab one, don’t worry. Here’s a map that shows the route from the castle ticket counter to the castle itself:

Horse Carriage to Neuschwanstien Castle

Another way to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau Village is by taking a horse carriage ride. This mode of transport adds a touch of “magic” to your castle visit. You can find the carriage stop near Hotel Müller in Hohenschwangau Village. Here, horse carriages are usually parked, ready for passengers.

However, during peak season, you might encounter a long line of people waiting for a ride. Taking a horse carriage can cut your travel time to the castle down to about 20 minutes, which is half the time it takes to hike.

You’ll need to pay a small fee for the uphill ride, with the downhill journey costing half as much. You can pay the carriage driver directly. It’s important to note that the carriage ride doesn’t take you all the way to the castle entrance. You’ll still need to hike for around for a few minutes to reach the castle.

Bus Ride to Neuschwanstein Castle

The quickest and easiest way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau Village is by shuttle bus. The bus takes you as far as the Jugend Viewpoint, which is above the castle. You can catch the bus at Alpsee P4, the parking area where the buses are parked and where you can buy tickets. You can also pay the bus driver directly.

However, please note that there are no bus services to Neuschwanstein Castle during winter if there is snow. Also, the bus won’t take you directly to the castle entrance. You’ll still need to walk for about 15 minutes.

Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints

Your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle doesn’t have to end after the tour or once you’ve admired the castle from its grounds.

The castle is nestled within the Bavarian Alps, which means stunning scenic views are just around the corner. If you’re a nature and mountain lover like me, the views of Neuschwanstein Castle from various lookout points will surely be exciting.

Neuschwanstein Castle offers several viewpoints for visitors. But the most breathtaking views are from spots where you can see the entire castle perched atop the hill. One of the best places to start is the famous Mary’s Bridge, or Marienbrücke.

View of Marienbrücke from Pollat Gorge

Marienbrücke

Marienbrücke is a wooden bridge with steel railings that spans the Pöllat River. It’s just a short hike from Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle is directly north of the bridge, so from Marienbrücke, you get a full view of the castle’s southern face, with the Schwangau skyline in the background. This is the classic view of Neuschwanstein Castle that you often see on social media platforms.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

From here, you can easily snap a photo of the castle. But be warned, if you’re afraid of heights, you’ll need to conquer your fear first! However, the excitement of seeing the castle from the bridge might just help you forget your fears. After all, overcoming challenges is part of the travel experience, right?

Marienbrücke is an ideal spot for taking photos of Neuschwanstein Castle and for selfies with the entire fairytale castle in the background. But keep in mind, the walkway on the bridge is quite narrow. So, unless you have an ultra-wide-angle camera, it might be tough to get a full-body shot with the castle in the background.

That’s why it’s a good idea to continue on the hiking trail after visiting Marienbrücke. There, you’ll find even more spectacular views of Neuschwanstein Castle.

There are two ways to reach Marienbrücke from Hohenschwangau Village:

  • Hike up to Neuschwanstein Castle or take a horse carriage ride, then walk a few more minutes to Marienbrücke.
  • Take a bus from P4 (the valley bus station) to the top bus station near Marienbrücke, then walk a few minutes to Marienbrücke.

The first option is better if you plan to visit Neuschwanstein Castle before heading to Marienbrücke. The second option is more suitable if you want to visit Marienbrücke first. Just a heads up, during the winter months, Marienbrücke, the bridge over the Pollät gorge, might have to close if the weather is bad.

Neuschwanstein Castle Scenic Trails

As we’ve touched on before, the hiking trail above and after Marienbrücke offers some truly amazing views. If you’re fortunate, you might even get to see Neuschwanstein Castle enveloped in clouds. The 360-image below gives you a glimpse of this.

If the weather is clear, you’ll be treated to a stunning view of Neuschwanstein Castle set against the backdrop of Schwangau. As you continue your hike, the vista expands, and you’ll be able to see Alpsee and Hohenschwangau Castle in the distance.

If you decide to complete the hiking trail that begins at Marienbrücke, you’ll eventually reach the Tegelberg summit. Here, you’ll find more beautiful scenery and a beer garden where you can grab some snacks. To descend from the mountains, you can take a cable car.

For more information about the cable car ride, including schedules and pricing, you can check out Tegelbergbanh Official Website .

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

I’m not certain of the official name of the hiking trail after Marienbrücke, as it doesn’t seem to be labeled on the maps. So, for the purpose of our discussion, let’s call it the Neuschwanstein Castle Scenic Trail.

After checking on Komoot, Alltrails, and Google Maps, I’ve found that there are three viewpoints along the Neuschwanstein Castle Scenic Trail that offer truly stunning, unobstructed views of Neuschwanstein Castle and its beautiful surroundings.

Let’s refer to these viewpoints as levels:

  • Level 1 — From this spot, you’ll see a view similar to the one from Marienbrücke. The main difference is that you won’t have to contend with crowds of tourists or people photobombing your shots. Not only can you take photos of Neuschwanstein Castle with your whole body in the frame, but you can also enjoy some peaceful moments while taking in the enchanting view of the castle.
  • Level 2 — From here, you’ll have a higher and wider view of Neuschwanstein Castle and its surroundings. The scenery stretches from Alpsee to the flat plains where the towns are located, all the way to Bannwaldsee. Neuschwanstein Castle appears like a precious gem nestled in the landscape, waiting to be discovered.
  • Level 3 — While the hiking trail doesn’t end at the level 3 lookout point, this is probably the furthest point where you can still easily spot Neuschwanstein Castle. From here, the views stretch all the way to the Tyrol mountains in the south. On a clear, sunny day, you should be able to see at least seven lakes. It’s a sight that’s sure to leave you in awe.

To recenter the map, simply click on the square button located at the top of the plus and minus zoom buttons. If you want to see the scenic viewpoints on the map, hover your mouse or tap on the stars in the elevation graph. The third lookout point is your final destination.

Before you set off, it’s important to know that the Neuschwanstein Castle Scenic Trail is more challenging than the trails leading up to Marienbrücke.

You should be in good physical condition and wear appropriate footwear for hiking. The trail is mostly a mountain path, so it’s quite rugged and not flat. The surface of the trail is unpaved, consisting of mud and small rocks, which can make it slippery when wet. So, take care and enjoy your hike!

More Beautiful Places in Southern Germany

That covers everything you need to know about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you’re planning another day trip from Munich, there are plenty of other beautiful places in Southern Germany to explore besides Neuschwanstein Castle. You could visit other attractions in the Bavarian Alps like Berchtesgaden , Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Oberammergau , and Mittenwald .

Actually, after visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, you could head straight to Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Oberammergau, which are 2 hours and 1.5 hours away from Hohenschwangau by direct bus, respectively.

If you fancy a change of scenery, consider visiting the charming towns in Franconia, which are easily accessible from Munich. My top three picks are Wurzburg , home to the world’s largest fresco; Rothenburg ob der Tauber , one of only three towns in Germany with intact medieval city walls; and Bamberg , a German town often compared to Rome and Venice.

If you’re looking for more of a city experience, you could visit Stuttgart and Nuremberg, the two largest cities in southern Germany after Munich. Stuttgart is a must-visit for car enthusiasts and fans of modern museum architecture. If you’re interested in history, ranging from the medieval ages to WW2, Nuremberg is the place for you.

Another destination in southern Germany that you might enjoy is the Black Forest , which is full of unique attractions, such as the world’s largest cuckoo clock. Also, don’t miss Lichtenstein Castle , another castle located in a breathtaking location.

Save it on Pinterest .

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Similar Posts

7 Days in Interlaken: A Week in The Jungfrau Region

7 Days in Interlaken: A Week in The Jungfrau Region

When it comes to breathtaking natural beauty, only few places in Europe can rival what I saw in the Jungfrau Region. From hidden waterfalls echoing beneath the earth to lakes shimmering in ethereal turquoise, and majestic mountain peaks piercing the sky, the Jungfrau Region almost have everything that you are looking for that one perfect…

Explore Nuremberg: 15 Highlights that Make It Worth a Visit

Explore Nuremberg: 15 Highlights that Make It Worth a Visit

For over two decades of my life, I had no idea that Germany had cities that looked like they were straight out of a fairytale. It wasn’t until I discovered Nuremberg that I felt like I had stumbled upon Disneyland for adults. As I wandered through Nuremberg’s quaint streets with their colorful half-timbered houses and…

Avignon Travel Guide: 10 Experiences That Make It Worthwhile

Avignon Travel Guide: 10 Experiences That Make It Worthwhile

In the realm of Christendom, the Pope is recognized as the central authority. While it’s commonly believed that the Pope has always resided in Rome, specifically in the Vatican, this isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, there were seven consecutive Popes who made their home in Avignon, France. This historical fact makes Avignon an intriguing destination…

Unique Things to Do in Zermatt: 10 Hidden Gems to Discover

Unique Things to Do in Zermatt: 10 Hidden Gems to Discover

Many visitors head straight to Gornergrat or Matterhorn Glacier Paradise for that bucket list experience when they visit Zermatt. Afterward, they leave Zermatt to explore other towns, believing that it is a way to have a more worthwhile journey in Switzerland. In a way, I agree. However, what many don’t realize is that Zermatt has…

10 Beautiful Places Around Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy to Visit

10 Beautiful Places Around Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy to Visit

Planning a visit to Cortina d’Ampezzo or already soaking in its beauty? Wondering which part of the Dolomites to explore next? I’ve got your back! In this blog post, I present not just a list of picturesque places near Cortina d’Ampezzo but also a handy map, their distances from Cortina d’Ampezzo, estimated travel times, and…

24 Destinations Near Neuschwanstein Castle: Germany and Austria

24 Destinations Near Neuschwanstein Castle: Germany and Austria

With Neuschwanstein Castle’s fairytale charm, breathtaking location, and intriguing history, it’s easy to see why millions go to the Southern Germany and Bavarian Alps every year just to see Neuschwanstein Castle. However, some people travel just solely to see the castle alone. When I hear this, I can’t help but feel a bit sad. They’re…

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Sweepstakes

25 Enchanting Facts About Neuschwanstein Castle

Travelers looking to live out a fairy tale should head to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, the enchanting European palace that has inspired actual fairy tales.

Melanie Lieberman is the senior travel editor at The Points Guy and was an editor at Travel + Leisure.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

AWL Images RM / Getty Images

Few places on Earth look more like storybook illustrations than Neuschwanstein Castle . With its towers, turrets, frescoes, and throne hall, Neuschwanstein (or Schloss Neuschwanstein, as it is called in German) looks like it was plucked straight from your favorite fairy tale. But the story behind this over-the-top palace nestled in the Bavarian Alps is less idyllic.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the cliffside castle in 1868, just two years after Austria and Bavaria were conquered by Prussia during the Austro-Prussian War (sometimes called the Seven Weeks' War), effectively stripping Ludwig II of his powers. He quickly retreated into a private fantasy world, surrounding himself with opulent castles where he could live out his dreams of being a true, sovereign king.

Ludwig II never saw the final Neuschwanstein, according to the Bavarian Castle Administration — he died in 1886 and the final towers weren't completed until 1892. But within weeks of his sudden and mysterious death, the magnificent castle was opened to the public and quickly became one of the region's most popular attractions.

Today, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most-visited castles in the world . Here's everything you need to know about this charming attraction before you make the trip.

Where is Neuschwanstein Castle?

Neuschwanstein Castle, which literally translates to "New Swan Stone" castle, is located in the Bavaria region of southeastern Germany. It was originally called New Hohenschwangau Castle, as it was meant to be a grand recreation of Hohenschwangau Castle, where Ludwig II spent his childhood. The older Schloss Hohenschwangau now sits in Neuschwanstein's magnificent shadow.

Its modern name, thought to be a reference to Wagner's character, the Swan Knight, was not acquired until after Ludwig II's death.

Travelers visiting Neuschwanstein Castle will need to first travel to the village of Hohenschwangau, where the ticket center is located.

How tall is Neuschwanstein Castle?

Though not particularly tall — Neuschwanstein Castle's highest tower reaches a height of just 213 feet — its perch on a hill gives it an imposing silhouette.

When was Neuschwanstein Castle built?

De Agostini / Getty Images

While the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle broke ground during the summer of 1868, the first foundation stone wasn't laid until September 5, 1869. By 1873, parts of the castle could be occupied by Ludwig II, though he never lived to see his full vision realized. The Bower and Square Towers were completed in 1892, nearly a quarter of a century after work on the castle began, and many years after Ludwig II passed away and the castle was opened to the public.

According to plans, the castle was meant to have more than 200 rooms, but just over a dozen were finished before funds for the project were cut. Estimates put the total square footage at roughly 65,000 square feet.

Why was Neuschwanstein Castle built?

Ludwig II's reputation as an eccentric, reclusive king makes it easy to see why Neuschwanstein Castle is so often called "the castle of the fairy-tale king." In a letter to his friend, German composer Richard Wagner, Ludwig II said his intentions with Neuschwanstein Castle were to "rebuild old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau…in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles."

He described "guest rooms with a splendid view of the noble Säuling, the mountains of Tyrol, and far across the plain;" and spoke of a Singer's Hall and an ample castle courtyard.

"This castle will be in every way more beautiful and habitable than Hohenschwangau," Ludwig II told Wagner.

That said, it is believed — almost without dispute — that Ludwig II built Neuschwanstein Castle for political and deeply personal reasons. In 1866, Prussia emerged victorious from the Austro-Prussian War, forcing Bavaria to accept an alliance with the empire. King Ludwig II of Bavaria essentially lost his power. It is thought that Neuschwanstein Castle became the centerpiece of Ludwig II's imagined kingdom, where he could act as a true royal.

What were King Ludwig II of Bavaria's early days like?

ullstein bild / Getty Images

Before King Ludwig II of Bavaria found himself a servant to Prussia, he had a rather comfortable childhood at Schloss Hohenschwangau. His parents noted an inclination for play-acting (a proclivity that would only deepen in later years), and he was fond of the musical dramas created by the great German composer, Richard Wagner.

At the young age of 18, Ludwig II became King of Bavaria, but he would only reign for two years before Bavaria's foreign policy and military powers were seized by Prussia.

Did Neuschwanstein Castle really inspire Disney's castles?

Neuschwanstein Castle, with its white limestone façade and deep blue turrets, is rumored to be real-life inspiration for the castle in the Disney classic, "Cinderella," released in 1950 . The resemblance, after all, is striking.

But there's another Disney castle that looks quite a bit like Neuschwanstein as well: "Sleeping Beauty's" castle in Disneyland. Before Walt Disney began constructing his California theme park, he and his wife took a trip to Europe that included a stop at Neuschwanstein Castle. Representatives of the park later told The Orange County Register that Disney did have Ludwig II's remarkable home in mind for Sleeping Beauty's fairy tale palace.

When is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

Flickr Vision / Getty Images

Whether flanked by snow-covered peaks or gleaming-white in the summer sun, there's no bad time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. But with some 6,000 tourists streaming through the ramparts every day, visitors may at least want to avoid the peak summer months of July and August. If possible, schedule your Neuschwanstein Castle tour on a weekend or plan your visit in the off-season. Save for major holidays (Christmas, for example) the number of visits drops significantly between November and April.

To skip the long lines, order your tickets online ahead of time, or, to book in person, get to the Ticketcenter Hohenschwangau very early (even before opening) or after 3 p.m., when the crowds begin to thin.

What is it like to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the fall?

A strong argument could be made for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the fall, when the Bavarian Alps are transformed by autumn foliage, temperatures are mild, skies are relatively clear, and the summer crowds have dissipated. Munich is a popular home base for travelers who come to see Neuschwanstein and other beautiful Bavarian castles scattered throughout the region.

What is it like to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the winter?

While a snow-covered Neuschwanstein Castle is the stuff of travelers' dreams, it can be tricky to visit this time of year. One of the best viewpoints — Marienbrücke, or Mary's Bridge — is typically blocked off during the winter, and the temperatures can plummet below freezing.

What is it like to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the spring?

An off-season, springtime trip to Neuschwanstein Castle in March or April will offer travelers pleasant weather, photographs of the white castle against a lush green back drop, and slight crowds. Travelers visiting in May or June will enjoy similar benefits during their shoulder-season tour of Neuschwanstein Castle.

What is it like to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the summer?

Balmy weather, school holidays, and longer hours make Neuschwanstein Castle a particularly popular attraction in the summer. As such, visitors during peak months (July and August) should be prepared for long lines and considerable crowds.

What can you see inside Neuschwanstein Castle?

UIG / Getty Images

Despite Ludwig's grand plans, only 14 rooms are currently finished and on view for visitors. On the guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle's interior, you'll have access to the cave-like grotto, the king's bedroom, and the Singer's Hall, among other interesting parts of the castle.

What's so special about Ludwig's dressing room?

United Archives GmbH / Alamy

Highlights of the Dressing Room include the magnificent ceiling painting and murals illustrating the works of poets Walther von der Vogelwide and Hans Sachs. The entire room is finished in rich gold and violet silks.

What is the throne room like?

Elena Korchenko / Alamy

Few rooms in Neuschwanstein Castle capture Ludwig's obsession with being king quite as well as the Throne Room. The two-story space highlights the majesty of Byzantine churches and is finished with a 13-foot-tall chandelier, a painted cupola, and elaborate floor mosaics. Ironically, there was never an actual throne in this space.

What else can you see outside Neuschwanstein Castle?

Hemis / Alamy

One of the highlights beyond the castle's walls is Marienbrücke, the bridge which hangs over a waterfall and offers the most iconic views (and photo opportunities) of Neuschwanstein Castle. After your tour, be sure to spend some time checking out the wooden trails around the castle, which provide countless opportunities to admire the surrounding Bavarian Alps.

What kinds of Neuschwanstein Castle tours are available?

AM WORLD IMAGES / Alamy

While tour groups arranged by the Bavarian Palace Department are the only way to see inside Neuschwanstein Castle, many tour companies do arrange day trips from Munich and other surrounding areas. Travelers interested in joining a tour company should look for an itinerary that includes stops at nearby Linderhof Castle, Hohenschwangau, and others.

How do you get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich?

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / Alamy

Travelers wondering how to get to Neuschwanstein from Munich without joining a tour group will find there are many options available for making the journey, including public trains and buses.

Neuschwanstein is approximately two hours from Munich by car, with A7 being the primary motorway until either Füssen or Kempten. Parking for Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau. Trains to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich will go as far as Füssen, at which point visitors will need to transfer to a local bus. Trains and intercity buses are also available for travelers seeking transportation from Garmsich or from Innsbruck to Neuschwanstein Castle.

How do you reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau?

iStockphoto / Getty Images

All travelers visiting Neuschwanstein will first arrive in Hohenschwangau, where you'll find the Ticketcenter , parking lots, Museum of the Bavarian Kings , and other popular attractions. From Hohenschwangau, visitors can reach Neuschwanstein Castle by foot, shuttle bus, or horse-drawn carriage.

Walking to Neuschwanstein Castle takes 30 to 40 minutes, and travelers should note it's a fairly steep, uphill climb.

Shuttle buses cost 3 euros round-trip and take visitors from the parking lot P4. Buses cannot be driven directly to the castle, and visitors should expect to walk an additional 10 to 15 minutes afterward. In severe weather, the shuttle buses do not run, and travelers must either reach Neuschwanstein Castle by foot or by carriage.

Taking a horse-drawn carriage to Neuschwanstein Castle will likely complete your fairy tale experience. The round-trip cost changes, but is approximately 12 euros. Like the shuttles, carriages cannot go directly to the castle, and travelers must be prepared to walk an additional 5 to 10 minutes before reaching the entrance.

How much does it cost to tour Neuschwanstein Castle?

Cristina Fumi Photography / Alamy

Neuschwanstein Castle tickets cost 17.50 euros for adults and include a guided tour at a specified hour. Tickets for visitors under 18 are just 2.50 euros, and there are also reduced entry prices for seniors, students, and large groups.

Tickets must be purchased at the Ticketcenter in Hohenschwangau, though they can be reserved online — this is particularly helpful during peak season and holidays, when they can very easily sell out.

Are there guided tours of Neuschwanstein Castle?

age fotostock / Alamy

Travelers can only get inside Neuschwanstein Castle on a guided tour, which is included in the price of admission. Tours are given in either English or German, though travelers can also take advantage of an audio tour, which is available in 17 additional languages. Tours last approximately 30 minutes, and include stops in the two-story throne room and the Tristan and Isolde-inspired bedroom, with a carved oak bed draped in blue silks.

What are Neuschwanstein Castle's hours of operation?

Alexandre Fagundes / Alamy

Neuschwanstein Castle is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Apr. 1 and Oct. 15. From Oct. 16 through March, the hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The castle is open every day of the week, except for December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.

Where should I stay near Neuschwanstein Castle?

Travelers who want to stay close to Neuschwanstein Castle should look at one of the hotels in the village of Hohenschwangau. For a romantic, fairy tale experience of your own, consider Villa Ludwig , one of the village's newer properties. There are also a number of cozy hotels and inns in nearby Füssen. For more lodging options, try using larger Bavarian cities like Munich or Augsburg, each a little over 90 minutes away by car, as your base for checking out the region's castles.

Where should I eat near Neuschwanstein Castle?

Visitors can eat in the castle at Neuschwanstein's Café & Bistro , or at the eponymous Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein in the village. The latter boasts a sweeping terrace and gardens overlooking the castle. Craftsmen who built the castle reportedly dined at this site when it was a canteen back in the 19th century.

What other attractions are nearby?

Stefano Paterna / Alamy

Visitors making the trek to Neuschwanstein Castle should absolutely make time to visit Linderhof Palace (another castle commissioned by King Ludwig II) and his childhood home, Hohenschwangau Castle .

What are some other important things to know about visiting?

Travelers with disabilities may not find Neuschwanstein Castle to be particularly accessible, as even the shuttle buses and horse-drawn carriages to the entrance are followed by a short walk.

And while the castle is one of the most photographed attractions in all of Germany, no photography is permitted inside it — meaning you'll need to snap those Instagram pictures from outside.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

  • Museums & Monuments
  • Neuschwanstein Castle (Schwangau, Germany)

The Neuschwanstein Castle

Off to Neuschwanstein Castle? See our insider advice for a queue-free visit as well as opening times and phone numbers!

Make sure to buy your skip-the-line tickets online before your visit!

Estimated wait

First of all, you should know that Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited sites in Germany , with more than 1.3 million visitors annually, and as many as 6,000 visitors per day in the summer ! It can be really overcrowded during peak season (particularly July-August).

The tickets for the Castle can either be bought online or at the Hohenschwangau ticket office.

We strongly recommend booking your ticket online . They have an extra cost that is entirely worth it, especially during the summer (when you can easily see a 90-minute waiting line just to buy tickets). One disadvantage is that you’ll need to go to the ticket office anyway to grab your pre-booked tickets, but the line is much smaller, moves faster and your place for the guided visit is guaranteed. You need to get your ticket at least an hour before the booked time slot , to be in the castle on time for the visit. Online reservations are possible up to 2 days before your visit but not later than 3:00 p.m. (local time).

If you decide to buy the ticket upon arrival - be aware that queues for the ticket desk are not the only problem you’ll face. Admittance to the castle is only permitted in guided groups, and even with one group leaving every 5 minutes you may find the next available tour (the one you can buy your ticket for) only 3-4 hours later ! Many tourists decide at this point not to go to the castle and just admire it from the outside. If you plan to see the Castle’s interior - buy your ticket and book your entrance time before doing anything else in the area - even before having breakfast!

The walk from the ticket office to the Castle will take about half an hour (or more, if you stop quite often to take photos or travel with kids). For this reason, you should get your pre-booked ticket well in advance of the entry time booked. You can also take the bus : the route starts in front of Schlosshotel Lisl and the bus will leave you at “Marienbrücke” stop (“Marie’s bridge”) which is a 5 minute walk from the famous bridge and still a 15 minute walk from the Castle. Expect significant queues at the bus stations during the summer. This shuttle only operates in suitable weather conditions (no snow or ice).

The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle without crowds is between the summer and the winter seasons, when the visitor numbers is at its lowest: for example, in November, December (before the holiday period) or in March-May (avoid Easter holidays). We recommend choosing a weekday for your visit.

The best time of the day to visit the Castle is either at the opening hour, before crowds arrive, or when they start leaving in the afternoon, after 15:00. This rule can not be applied during the summer months however, because if you arrive at the ticket office in the afternoon - there’s a high probability of tickets being sold out for the day.

To be the early bird in summer , consider staying the night in a hotel nearby: in Hohenschwangau or Füssen (15 minutes from the village by bus), this will allow you to arrive well before the tourists who come for a one-day-trip to Neuschwanstein from Munich.

During low season you won’t find many eating options in Hohenschwangau, so it can make sense to have breakfast in the hotel or take something with you.

The guided tour of the Castle has a duration of about 30-40 minutes. If you’re really into taking photos of the castle from all possible angles - go to Marie’s Bridge before visiting the Castle (it gets super crowded later in the day).

Another interesting viewpoint for photographs - from the Castle - is the western balcony, you’ll see it at the end of the tour, on the same floor as the cafe and souvenir shops.

Neuschwanstein

Practical Information

The rooms of the castle can only be visited as part of a internal guided tour.

No smoking, photographing or filming is allowed inside the castle.

Prams, child carriers, large rucksacks and similar bulky objects are not permitted inside the castle. There is very limited space for depositing these items. If you have doubts about your bag’s size - better check with the guards before the start of the tour.

The palace building has 5 floors, so you’ll have to go up 165 steps and down 180 steps.

Exploring the area

In the village of Hohenschwangau you’ll find three tourist attractions:

The Neuschwanstein Castle (the famous Swanstone Castle, commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as homage to Richard Wagner)

The Hohenschwangau Castle (the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria)

The Museum of Bavarian Kings

The first Castle is the most popular and the most crowded. The ticket office is located downhill in Hohenschwangau, so to visit of any of these sites, you’ll need to get your tickets there (combined tickets available, see prices below).

Neuschwanstein Castle

Admission Fees

Neuschwanstein Castle :

  • Full rate: 12 euros
  • Reduced rate: 11 euros
  • Children under 18 years: free

King’s ticket ( Neuschwanstein Castle + Hohenschwangau Castle on the same day):

Full rate: 23 euros

Reduced rate: 21 euros

Prince ticket ( Neuschwanstein Castle + the Museum of the Bavarian Kings on the same day):

Full rate: 20 euros

Reduced rate: 18 euros

Wittelsbach ticket (Hohenschwangau Castle + the Museum of the Bavarian kings on the same day):

Full rate: 20,50 euros

Swan ticket ( Neuschwanstein Castle + Hohenschwangau Castle + Museum of Bavarian kings on the same day):

Full rate: 29,50 euros

Reduced rate: 28 euros

King Ludwig II’s palaces ticket (Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee and Neuschwanstein palaces, valid for 6 months):

  • Full rate: 24 euros

14-day-ticket of the Bavarian Palace Department (free entrance to 40 palaces, including Neuschwanstein)

Useful links

Contact number.

By car : Drive along the A7 motorway/ expressway, direction Ulm-Kempten to the Füssen exit. At the exit go in the direction of Schwangau/ Königschlösser (Royal castles) to the federal road B16. From Füssen city, drive onto the federal road B17, Schwangau direction, and follow the signs to Hohenschwangau village/ Königsschlösser (Royal castles).

By train + bus : Füssen (Fuessen Bahnhof) is the nearest train station, located about 5 Km from Hohenschwangau. To get to the village you can either grab a taxi afterwards or the bus: lines RVA/ OVG 73 (Direction: Steingarden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen) or RVA/ OVG 78 (Direction: Schwangau). Bus journey time: approx. 15 Minutes. Expect big queues at the bus stop in high season!

Queue for the bus to Hohenschwangau

Photo credits to Ben Garrett via Flickr

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Photo credits to Pedro Paulo Boaventura Grein via Flickr

Report an error

Have a question, problem, or tip? Share with our other visitors:

  • Contact (Hurikat)

Our schedules are just to show you the trend and do not necessarily reflect a specific number of people and/or acurate waiting time. 2013-2024 Hurikat - All rights reserved. All trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. Terms & Conditions

By using Hurikat, you agree to our use of cookies.

  • Munich Attractions
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Architecture
  • Plan Your Visit
  • Skip the Line Tours
  • Munich To Dachau Tours
  • Lufthansa Bus Munich
  • SEA LIFE Munich Ticket
  • Allianz Arena FC Bayern Munich Tickets
  • Therme Erding
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

Everything You Need To Know Before Your Visit To Neuschwanstein Castle

Visit neuschwanstein castle.

Munich is the capital city of the state of Bavaria in Germany, and it is known for its rich history, culture, and stunning architecture. The city has several famous landmarks like Marienplatz, the Nymphenburg Palace, and the Hofbräuhaus beer hall. One of the most popular attractions near Munich is Neuschwanstein Castle , located in the Bavarian Alps. This magnificent castle was built in the late 1800s by King Ludwig II and is a prime example of the romantic architecture of the time. The castle is on a hilltop and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Munich or the surrounding areas. Keep reading to know everything significant about the castle before you plan your visit!

Neuschwanstein Castle | Visitor Information At A Glance

Visitor Information At A Glance - This is a photograph of Neuschwanstein Castle

  • What are Neuschwanstein Castle's timings? The timings for Neuschwanstein Castle may vary depending on the season and day of the week. Generally, the castle is open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM from April 1st to October 15th, and from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from October 16th to March 31st.
  • Where is Neuschwanstein Castle located? Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in the southwest of Bavaria, Germany. The address for the same is Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany. Find on Maps.
  • How many visitors does Neuschwanstein Castle see every year? According to official figures, the castle attracts around 1.5 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited castles in Europe.
  • Does Neuschwanstein Castle offer parking facilities? Yes, Neuschwanstein Castle offers parking facilities for visitors. Several parking areas are located near the castle, including P1, P2, and P4.
  • What is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle? The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is early in the morning, especially during peak season, to avoid heavy crowds.

Neuschwanstein Castle Timings

Neuschwanstein Castle Timings

General Opening Hours

Here are the general timings of Neuschwanstein Castle:

  • Neuschwanstein Castle is open daily throughout the year except for January 1st, December 24th, 25th, and 31st.
  • The castle is typically open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM from April 1st to October 15th and from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from October 16th to March 31st.

Duration of Visit

Plan to spend at least half a day at Neuschwanstein Castle to see the castle and its surroundings properly. This will give you enough time to tour the castle, explore the nearby area, and enjoy the stunning views.

Best Time To Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

Weekend vs Weekday: Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle on a weekday is generally better than on the weekend due to smaller crowds, higher availability of tickets and activities, and lighter traffic. Weekends are much busier, with longer lines and more competition for parking spots, making it more challenging to thoroughly enjoy the castle and its surroundings.

Best Time In The Year: The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild, the crowds are smaller, and the scenery is beautiful. During the peak summer months, the castle can be very crowded, and the wait times for tours can be extended. Winter can also be an excellent time to visit for those who enjoy winter sports and activities, but the castle may have reduced hours and limited tour options due to the weather.

Best Time In The Day: The best time of day to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the crowds are smaller, and the lighting is better for taking photos. Plan to arrive early or stay late to avoid the crowds and make the most of your visit.

Where Is Neuschwanstein Castle Located?

Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany.

Find on Maps.

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in the southwest of Bavaria, Germany. It is on a hill above Alpsee lake, surrounded by beautiful scenery and mountains. The castle is part of the Bavarian Alps and is located about 120 kilometres southwest of Munich, the capital city of the state of Bavaria.

Closest Landmark: Hohenschwangau Castle

Getting To Neuschwanstein Castle in Munich

By Public Transport

By Public Transport

Route – Board lines BRB RB68 (62706) from Munich München Hauptbahnhof

Nearest Stop: Füssen (It's a 10-minute taxi ride from there)

Route: Bus number 78 from München Hauptbahnhof

Closest Stop: Füssen (10 minutes away from the castle)

By Road

  • From Munich: Driving to Neuschwanstein Castle takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  • From Nuremberg: Driving to Neuschwanstein Castle takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours.
  • From Augsburg: It takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Car parking is available at Neuschwanstein Castle, a few minutes walk from the entrance and opens daily.

How To Skip Lines at Neuschwanstein Castle?

Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Buy tickets in advance: Purchase tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in line to buy tickets on the day of your visit. This is especially important during peak season when tickets can sell out quickly.
  • Book a guided tour: Guided tours allow you to bypass the regular admission lines and access the castle more quickly. There are several tour options available, including private tours and group tours.
  • Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon: Plan to visit the castle early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the busiest times of the day. This can help you avoid long lines and crowds.
  • Visit during the off-season: Plan your visit during the off-season when there are fewer visitors. This can help you avoid long lines and make your stay more enjoyable.

Book Tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle

Know before you visit neuschwanstein castle.

Dine

  • Schlossbrauhaus Schwangau : Schlossbrauhaus Schwangau is a traditional Bavarian restaurant, around 2 kilometres away from Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s known for its authentic cuisine, picturesque setting and on-site brewery, where they produce their beer using only natural ingredients, offering visitors a taste of local flavour.
  • Madame Plüsch : Madame Plüsch is a Swiss-themed restaurant located around 4.2 kilometres from the castle. They are known for their Alpine-style decor, live music performances, and traditional Swiss cuisine, including cheese fondue and raclette.
  • Frühlingsgarten : Just a short 7-minute drive from the Neuschwanstein castle will land you at Frühlingsgarten, a family-run restaurant known for its authentic Bavarian dishes made with locally sourced and fresh ingredients.

Stay

  • Budget Stays: Hotel Müller (350 m), Zur Post Schwangau (2.3 KM), Hotel Gasthof am See (4 KM)
  • Comfort Stays: Hotel Villa Ludwig (400 m), Hotel Das Rübezahl (3.2 KM), Hotel Schlosskrone (3.8 KM)
  • Luxury Stays: Hotel Hirsch (3.6 KM), Hotel Sonne Füssen (3.8 KM), Hotel Sommer (4.9 KM)

Rules

  • Photography and video recording are not allowed inside the castle.
  • You must follow the guided tour and cannot explore the castle alone.
  • Large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside the castle. You are required to store them in the lockers provided.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed inside the castle.
  • You are not allowed to touch or remove any objects inside the castle. This includes furniture, artwork, and decorative items.
  • Smoking is not allowed inside the castle or on the castle grounds.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the castle or on the castle grounds. However, guide dogs are permitted.
  • Visitors are not allowed to use mobile phones inside the castle. Phones must be switched off or put on silent mode.

Things To Do Nearby

  • Hohenschwangau Castle : A 19th-century palace built by King Ludwig II's father, just a few hundred meters from Neuschwanstein Castle.
  • Museum of the Bavarian Kings : A museum in Hohenschwangau that showcases the history of the Bavarian royal family and their connections to the surrounding area.
  • Alpsee Lake : A picturesque lake located at the base of the mountains near Neuschwanstein Castle, offering scenic hiking trails and boat tours.
  • Tegelberg Cable Car : A cable car that takes visitors to the top of Tegelberg Mountain, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Alps.

Visitor Tips

  • Buy your tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in long queues.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you'll need to walk uphill to reach the castle.
  • Allow plenty of time for your visit as the guided tour takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
  • Visit the castle early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds.
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks, as there are limited options for food and drinks at the castle.
  • Take some time to explore the surrounding area, including Hohenschwangau Castle and the nearby lakes.
  • Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately, as the castle can get chilly even during summer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

A) Neuschwanstein Castle is located in Schwangau, near Füssen, in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, at the following address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany.

A) The timings for Neuschwanstein Castle vary depending on the season, but generally, it is open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with extended hours in the summer months.

A) Neuschwanstein Castle has a floor area of approximately 6,000 square meters (65,000 square feet).

A) It typically takes around 2-3 hours to explore Neuschwanstein Castle , including time for the guided tour and exploring the surrounding area.

A) The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is in the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October), or during weekdays in the summer months (June-August) to avoid crowds.

A) To get to Neuschwanstein Castle by public transport, you can board a train or a bus.

A) You can reach Neuschwanstein Castle by road via car or taxi. Follow Google Maps by entering the following address of the castle: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany.

A) Yes, Neuschwanstein Castle is worth visiting for its stunning architecture, scenic location, and interesting history.

A) No, there is no age limit to visit Neuschwanstein Castle , but a guardian must accompany children under 18.

A) Wheelchairs are available for rent at the ticket centre for visitors with mobility impairments or disabilities at Neuschwanstein Castle .

A) There is limited free parking available at Neuschwanstein Castle , but paid parking lots are available nearby.

One Day in a City

24 Hour Travel Itineraries to Make the Most of a Day in a Destination

What You Need to Know to Plan Your Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

November 2, 2020 By Gina Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here .

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany can be stressful. It doesn’t need to be. 

Neuschwanstein Castle is set high on a hilltop among incredible scenery, but it is a bit of a headache to get to if you don’t plan accordingly in advance.

If there is just one lone tip you listen to from this post, it’s this one: Get your ticket to Neuschwanstein Castle in advance and pay extra to reserve a specific time, which you can do up to two days before arriving.

And then don’t be late – which isn’t as easy as you might think. Here’s why.

The Neuschwanstein ticket line winding underneath the canopy.

The line to get tickets onsite is usually incredibly long, and even if you bought your ticket in advance you need to pick it up at the ticket center (though there is a separate, usually shorter line for this).

If you don’t already have a designated time, they will assign one when you get there, which could be longer than expected depending how many people arrive ahead of you.

That’s why if you’re short on time in Bavaria , it’s wise to upgrade to the online option of securing your time in advance. But then be sure to get there on time. “There” is important, though, as it’s not just to the ticket center, it’s to the actual castle entrance and that takes awhile.

You’ll be Arriving in Hohenschwangau…Not at Neuschwanstein Castle

Hohenschwangau

Once you have your ticket in hand, you may think you’re all set to tour Neuschwanstein Castle, but not quite.

When you arrive to Neuschwanstein Castle, you’ll actually be arriving in Hohenschwangau, which is where you must park. Hohenschwangau is basically a little village wholly dedicated to tourists arriving to see the Neuschwanstein Castles and a couple other attractions, namely the Hohenschwangau Castle (skip touring this if short on time). There are also restaurants, shops, and the ticket counter I mentioned in the above paragraph.

Once you arrive in Hohenschwangau, focus on parking as fast as possible. There is only paid parking and I parked in P4, which is relatively close to where you’ll begin the journey to Neuschwanstein Castle…which is quite the journey.

Find a Parking Spot…Then Hurry Up and Wait

A horse-drawn carriage is one way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle.

After you park, which can take a bit of time getting through the line of cars if it’s the height of busy season, it’s still at least another 20 minutes to get to the castle – and that’s only if you can get on one of the castle buses right away.

You can also walk or take a horse-drawn carriage up the hill to the castle, the former of which takes about 40 minutes unless you’re in great shape since it’s a steep hill. The carriage is faster, but still involves a 10-15 minute walk (as does the bus) since it can’t access any roads to drop you right in front of the entrance.

So in order to make sure you aren’t late and don’t miss out on your tour time, I’d recommend arriving in Hohenschwangau about an hour before your ticket time. It might seem like a waste of time if you’re limited in how long of a stay you have in Bavaria, but luckily the scenery around the castle is beautiful and helps make up for the length of time you need pre-tour.

Start that walk up the hill (or bus or carriage ride) straight away, and if you have spare time when you get to the top, while it away on Marienbrücke Bridge.

Marienbrücke Bridge: Cross it for the Views…if You Dare

Marienbrücke Bridge by Neuschwanstein Castle

Marienbrücke Bridge is just a few minutes walk down a sloping trail from the castle entrance and hangs magnificently between two cliffs, but I was a bit terrified to go onto it, for this reason:

There were a lot of people on the bridge and I was feeling a bit nervous that it would hold everyone.

But luckily the bridge didn’t collapse and I was able to get some incredible shots of Neuschwanstein Castle with Alpsee Lake glistening in the background.

Alpsee Lake behind Neuschwanstein Castle

If you’re there when the bridge has reopened and don’t think you’ll have time to make it to the Marienbrücke Bridge and back before your ticketed time to tour, go to the bridge after. Remember, you don’t want to miss your tour time!

Waiting to Enter Neuschwanstein Castle…No, You’re Not at Disneyland

Faces on the side of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

About five to 10 minutes before the time on your ticket, head to the outdoor waiting area, where you’ll mill around until your slot is shown on the screen. Then you’ll be able to get in line to go in.

At least you have some nice views of Bavaria...

Neuschwanstein Castle is nicknamed the Sleeping Beauty castle for good reason.

Its majestic towers and turrets stretch up into the sky flanked by white and gray toned walls and elegant fortifications are reminiscent of the famous Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland .

Waiting to enter, it may start to feel as if you actually are at a Disney amusement park due to all the hoopla surrounding getting up to and inside the castle, but once inside, the atmosphere will immediately change as the varied play in light and mesmerizing architectural details of the castle envelope newcomers in a stately welcome.

Touring Neuschwanstein Castle…Which King Ludwig II Never Wanted

Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II in 1868 in order to be a place tucked away in the mountains where he could escape to and live a more private life.

Toward the end of his life, King Ludwig II was quite a recluse and Neuschwanstein Castle provided a haven for him until his death in 1886, after which the castle was swiftly opened up to the public, who have been touring the rooms of the former king ever since.

Because the castle was never intended to host other royals or guests, I thought it had more of an intimate feel in its setup and décor, despite still being a massive residence that is laid out with typical palace rooms: a hall, oratory, bedroom and dressing room, dining room, grotto and more – all of which are elaborate and intricately detailed.

Photos aren’t allowed inside Neuschwanstein Castle so you’ll have to visit it yourself to see the splendor of it.

The second floor of the castle was never completed during Ludwig’s time, though later was converted into a restaurant and gift shop where you can spend some time after your tour.

Back Down to Hohenschwangau…Through the Wilderness

It was a gorgeous day when I visited Neuschwanstein Castle so instead of waiting for the bus to go back down, I decided to walk. I was smack dab in the middle of the Bavarian Alps after all, and though the trail was a bit steep and unpaved, I had on sturdy sandals so it seemed a shame not to take some advantage of the wooded nature surrounding me.

I was glad I did.

Hiking trail back down to Hofenschwangau from Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle Quick Tips

Address:  Alpseestraße 12, D-87645 Hohenschwangau

Phone: +49 (0) 83 62 – 9 30 83 – 0

Neuschwanstein Castle Open Hours: March 19 to October 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October 16 to March 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open daily except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Ticket Office opens and closes one hour earlier.

Neuschwanstein Castle Cost: Adults, €12; Children, Free with Adult; Students, €11

Online Reservations: Click here  (€1.80 surcharge to reserve date and time — WORTH IT)

Bus Cost (to Neuschwanstein Castle): Uphill, €1.80; Downhill, €1; Roundtrip, €2.60

Horsedrawn Carriage Cost (to Neuschwanstein Castle): Uphill, €6; Downhill, €3

Parking Cost:  €5

Website:   www.neuschwanstein.de

Exploring more of Germany? You might also enjoy reading:

One Day in Munich

One Day in Berlin

10 Best Day Trips From Berlin

Day Trip to Oberammergau and Mittenwald

Found this information helpful? Pin it to read again later! 

Travel tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian region of Germany. This castle can be a stressful place to visit -- but it doesn't have to be!

I'm a former travel agency marketing director turned freelance travel writer. My editorial and copywriting work has been published on and in USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, the Travel Channel Cities app, TripSavvy, and many more online and print publications. I especially love sharing my knowledge of traveling with limited vacation time, making the most of cruise ports of call, and vacationing with kids. I also enjoy sharing my favorite travel gear and products to make traveling easier!

' src=

December 21, 2017 at

Thanks for sharing your experience and suggestion!

' src=

December 3, 2017 at

I visited this castle using a tour company from Munich. They run daily bus trips and book your castle tickets so you just need to find your way up the hill in time for your tour. The bus tour was well organised and stopped at Linderhof Royal Castle and Oberammergau on the way. Would recommend it if you have an extra day in Munich.

' src=

November 2, 2017 at

I visted the castle in 1991. Things certainly have changed since then. At that time the second floor was off limits and parking was free. However the bus up the hill and the horse drawn carriage did cost. It was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for writing this update!

October 8, 2017 at

Hi Tess, that would be hard to do, unless you shorten the Munich itinerary and just do late afternoon/evening there.

Hi Sally, yes, that is correct. Though you’ll probably still have to pay for parking if not taking public transportation.

' src=

September 10, 2017 at

Beautiful views! So the ticket is just if I want to go inside the castle, right? I mean, can I do all the walk to the door and have this views, cross the bridge and take a close look to the outside of the castle without a ticket? Thanks

' src=

September 7, 2017 at

Excellent tips on visit..I have read your one day munich..can i combine this Neuschwanstein castle along with that..please suggest the possibility..I will be travelling from Frankfurt to Munich and back on the same day.

Thanks,Tess

August 17, 2017 at

Yes, you can definitely go inside! You have to pay for a tour, though. I just don’t have any pictures of the inside on this post because you aren’t allowed to take pictures.

Hi Margaret, I’m not sure about this. You may want to try emailing the tourism board in Bavaria or seeing if there is a tour company that works with travelers with mobility restrictions.

' src=

August 7, 2017 at

I will not be able to walk up the numerous steps for the tour inside the castle. Is there a way to do only a portion of rooms, then exit before going up the steep steps?

' src=

June 28, 2017 at

I would Like to ask you didn’t go inside the caslte only outside or they let go inside ? I really want to see the caslt from inside Great picture and very good advice thank you .

April 22, 2017 at

Thanks, Jessica! Enjoy your trip this summer!

' src=

April 12, 2017 at

A very complete guide! Thank you! We’ll be visiting this summer so Im glad I bumped into your blog 🙂

' src=

January 10, 2017 at

we went between Christmas and New Years and it was crazy. I read your blog after we went and you were spot on with all your advice.

October 5, 2016 at

Summer months — particularly July and August.

Hi Priya, I’ve heard that is a beautiful time to be in Bavaria! I don’t have specific tips for that timeframe, but I do know Neuschwanstein Castle can get snow around it and considering the roads are steep, I’d make sure you can get up to the castle the day you want to go before you make the journey there (check weather and call if concerned). Not sure how much of an issue that ever is, but as someone who grew up with snowy winters you never know when it can cause a road to be inaccessible so good to double check beforehand if there’s been snow in the area. Hope you enjoy your trip!

' src=

October 1, 2016 at

Do you happen to know when peak tourism season is?

' src=

September 18, 2016 at

Hi Gina, I came across your blog via Pinterest and appreciate all the tips you have given about visiting this place. I’m planning to go there this winter 2 weeks before Christmas. Any special tips on what to expect during this season? Travelling all the way from Malaysia and it’ll be my first time winter travel experience. Excited!

Cheers Priya

' src=

September 9, 2016 at

Thanks for your blog! We are headed there next month and it’s great to have some advice about the tickets as we were unsure whether to purchase them before we travel there. It looks fantastic.

August 31, 2016 at

Hi Amanda, it was pretty crowded when I was there as you can see from the picture, but there wasn’t a line — you just might have to wait for people to move before you can be right by the railing of the bridge. I would give yourself a little bit more than an hour if you want to visit the bridge beforehand just to make sure you’re not rushed. And remember you can always visit it afterward, too, if the process before your tour doesn’t go as planned. Hope you enjoy your trip there!

' src=

August 29, 2016 at

Thank you so much for this! I was wondering if we buy our tickets in advance and have to park and would love a photo on the bridge how much time should we give ourselves ? Is there a line to get on the bridge and take a photo? I know your article says 1 hour but does that include taking a photo on the bridge before your tour start time? Cannot wait to see it and appreciate any extra advice! Thank you

August 12, 2016 at

Hi Daniela, glad you found it helpful. Hope you enjoy your time there! It’s a beautiful place.

' src=

August 9, 2016 at

The lake behind the castle when viewing from Marienbrücke is actually Forggensee (lake Forggen). Alpsee is the lake behind the village of Hohenschwangau when viewing from the castle. Hope this helps!

' src=

August 8, 2016 at

Thank you so much for this! This is at the top of the list for my husband and I when I visit in September. I love to be punctual and stream line experiences as well as be informed and this was incredibly helpful!

June 2, 2016 at

It is such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing your experience!

' src=

May 26, 2016 at

I’ve been there and it’s amazing. Would go back again tomorrow. Just wonderful. I walked and climbed right up to the top of the hill looking over. Words can’t explain the wonders of it. Thanks for sharing with me.

April 22, 2016 at

Thanks Peggy! I’m sure you’ll have a great time at the castle!

Glad to hear you found it helpful! Hope you have an amazing trip!

Thanks Susan! That’s neat you know so much about Ludwig!

' src=

April 19, 2016 at

LOVED this and pinned it — Ludwig is one my favorite historical figures, and I have a biography of him that I wrote with visitors in mind (only about 150 pages, with all the “good stuff”). I’m pinning this link because I’ll use these tips when I visit Neuschwanstein again. Thanks! http://www.amazon.com/Not-So-Happily-Ever-After/dp/1477494537/

' src=

April 2, 2016 at

Hi Gina. We are going in August with 3 teenagers and we cannot wait! Thank you for all of the excellent time saving tips. Cheers.

' src=

March 29, 2016 at

Fantastic post. Not sure what part I like better, the great advice or the awesome pictures! 🙂

' src=

March 15, 2016 at

We are visiting our granddaughter this summer and plan to visit the castle. Thanks for all the great tips. It will make it so much easier and less stressful.

February 11, 2016 at

Hi Amila! It is a pretty amazing setting for a castle. Very fairytale like. 🙂

' src=

February 10, 2016 at

wow!This is an amazing castle.Love the views and the bridge is really exciting.

February 4, 2016 at

Thanks Claire! Hope you get to visit it soon.

' src=

I am desperate to visit this castle, and your guide is brilliantly informative. When I get the chance to go, I’ll be sure to use this post and all its tips to help me plan the perfect visit. Thanks!

Search for a Destination…

The Wandering Blonde

Solo Female Travel Blog

Europe , Germany , Travel Guides · July 14, 2015

The Complete Guide to Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Ah, Neuschwanstein. The castle so beautiful that it even inspired Walt Disney’s vision of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

It’s arguably one of the most famous historic sites in the entire region of Bavaria, and easily the most famous of “Mad” King Ludwig’s castles and palaces.

What’s the story behind it? Who is King Ludwig? Why was it built? Does it serve any purpose other than just sitting and looking pretty amidst the rolling Bavarian landscapes? And how the heck do you get to visit it?!

Despite having seen countless pictures of the famous palace, these were all questions that I couldn’t answer before visiting…but questions that you definitely need to know the answers to before you go!

So, to help you all out, I’ve put together this handy-dandy little guide to visiting the crown jewel of Bavaria.

What are Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau?

Schloss Neuschwanstein (“Schloss” meaning castle/palace) is the result of the vivid imagination of King Ludwig II, who was the King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Ludwig is known by Bavarians as the Swan King, the Fairy Tale King, and–less affectionately–the Mad King , as he suffered from depression and shyness throughout his life, coupled with a childlike imagination.

As a young prince, Ludwig spent many years in his family’s summer palace, Hohenschwangau. After his father’s death, Ludwig took up residence in Hohenschwangau while his own palace, Neuschwanstein, was being built.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Construction of Neuschwanstein castle began in 1869. It was designed as a kind of private retreat for King Ludwig, with much more of a creative–rather than a functional–purpose.

The architecture very much follows a Medieval style, and the interior of the castle is whimsical, ornate, and over-the-top colorful. Paintings depicting Bavarian legends and Biblical narratives line nearly every wall. Unfortunately, only around 15 rooms of the planned 200 were completed before Ludwig’s mysterious death (to this day, it is unknown whether his death was the result of suicide, murder, or an unfortunate accident).

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Both castles are located in very close proximity, and can be seen up in the hills from the town of Hohenschwangau below. Although Neuschwanstein is the more famous of the two, both castles were very important in the life of King Ludwig II.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Visiting Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau

Where should i stay.

Before you even think about visiting the castles, you need to decide where you want your base to be.

You can certainly take a day-trip to the castles from Munich, and can reach them easily via train, rental car, or big-bus tour company. However, depending on how much time you have in the region, I really recommend basing yourself in one of the smaller towns near the castles.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

The small village of Hohenschwangau would make an extremely convenient base, as you wouldn’t need any further transportation (aside from the bus/horse carriage up the hill to Neuschwanstein). However, it’s totally one of those little tourist towns that’s quiet during the early morning and evening, but explodes with visitors during the day. All signs and menus are in English, and despite the beautiful views and cool local history, it kind of feels like you’re walking around Disney World during the day in peak season.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

I stayed in Fussen, which ended up being a perfect base for my visit. There are regular buses between Fussen and Hohenschwangau, and if you have a car, you can find metered parking or paid lots in both towns. It’s a 15 minute drive from Fussen to the castles. Plus, Fussen is ultra cute! The streets are lined with colorful and decorative buildings, in true Bavarian style.

How do I get tickets?

If you want to enter Neuschwanstein and/or Hohenschwangau, you are required to book a guided tour; you cannot enter the castles on your own, although you can view both from the outside without purchasing the tour tickets.

You can purchase tour tickets in advance online , or at the ticket center on the day of your visit. Even if you purchase tickets online, you cannot print them and must pick them up in the ticket center in Hohenschwangau. So, whether you buy tickets in advance or not, you will have to visit the ticket center and wait in line. However, the line for picking up tickets is MUCH shorter than the line for purchasing tickets.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

I waited for about 10 minutes to pick up my reserved tickets, and the line for purchasing tickets looked to be about 3x as long as my line…and that was at 9:25am. Also, if you purchase tickets in-person on the day of your visit, you have a smaller chance of getting the time slot you want. Even if you get in line at 9am, all of the tours until 3pm may be booked–there is no way to know beforehand.

So, unless you really need the flexibility of purchasing tickets day-of, I highly recommend booking in advance online.

When you book your tickets online, you will be asked to choose a tour time for Hohenschwangau, as this is the castle you will visit first if you are visiting both (if you are only visiting Neuschwanstein, obviously the time you choose will be for that castle only).

Make sure you check the tour time listed on your confirmation email, as it may not be the exact time you picked. I selected 10am as my preferred tour time for Hohenschwangau, and was given 10:25am for Hohenschwangau and 12:55pm for Neuschwanstein.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

How long do the tours last?

The short answer? Much less time than you’d expect.

Tours of each castle take roughly 35 minutes, but the entire experience of picking up tickets, walking/taking the bus to the castles, touring both castles, and time between tours adds up to around 4-5 hours total.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Here’s a rough timeline of my entire visit:

  • 9:25am: Arrive in the town of Hohenschwangau and go directly to the ticket center to pick up my tickets.
  • 9:35am: After only about 10 minutes in line, I receive my tickets and walk up the hill to Hohenschwangau Castle. It takes about 10 minutes to walk up, and I spend the rest of the time before my tour walking around the outside of the castle and taking photos.
  • 10:25am: Tour of Hohenschwangau castle begins.
  • 11:10am: Tour of Hohenschwangau castle ends. Go directly to wait in line for the bus ticket, which merges into the line to get onto the bus. Ride the bus to Marienbrucke (Mary’s Bridge) above Neuschwanstein castle.
  • 12:15pm: Arrive at Marienbrucke (so the entire line/bus experience took about 1 hour). Take pictures, buy an ice cream cone and wait for tour to begin at 12:55pm.
  • 12:55pm: Tour of Neuschwanstein castle begins.
  • 1:30pm: Tour of Neuschwanstein castle ends.

Should I visit both castles, or only Neuschwanstein?

This one is totally up to you. Neuschwanstein is not only the most famous of the two castles, but it’s definitely the more impressive of the two, both inside and outside.

However, if you’re making the visit to this little town in the middle of nowhere and don’t have anything else in the area planned, I’d say go ahead and see both. I visited both during my visit, and was completely done with the entire experience before 2pm, so I still had time left during the day to see more of the area after touring both castles.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Are the tours inside the castles worth it?

If you’re asking this question, it’s probably because you’ve heard someone say something along the lines of “The tour wasn’t even that great” or “Just see the outside of the castles and skip the tours” or “It’s so touristy.”

Yep, yep, and yep. I actually totally get all of those responses. Yet, my response is that yes, you SHOULD do the tours. Are you really going to come all the way to this little village just to look at the outside of the castles?

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Yes, the outside of the castles, especially Neuschwanstein, really is the most impressive part. It’s a beautiful white castle set amidst the rolling green Bavarian alps, overlooking an adorable little town and the big blue beauty of Lake Alpsee. No interior could ever compete with that!

However, I actually thought the interior was quite beautiful, and it was unlike any other castle interior I’ve ever seen, even in the region. The tours are a little lacking when it comes to being informative and exciting, but getting to see the inside of this gorgeous castle built by a mysterious king was totally worth it to me.

What else is there to do in the area?

If you’re staying in Fussen, Hohenschwangau, or another little alpine town nearby, you’ll have plenty of shopping and dining options to entertain you. All of the above towns are very cute, with colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and adorable Bavarian charm.

You could also do some hiking nearby, or rent bikes and explore the greater area.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

There are a handful of gorgeous lakes in the region as well, which make for epically scenic boating, walking, sunbathing, or swimming spots (although, be warned: the water in these alpine lakes is COLD).

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

I spent some time walking around and swimming in Lake Alpsee, which offered killer views of both castles from across the lake. Alpsee is extremely easy to reach; if you walk uphill from the center of town in Hohenschwangau, you’ll be to the edge of the lake in around 10 minutes.

Quick tips for success:

  • Book your tickets ahead of time , and double-check your tour time before you arrive.
  • Plan ahead to make sure your preferred tour times will work with your planned transportation schedule .
  • Make sure to arrive at the ticket center to pick up your tickets at least 1 hour before your preferred tour time.
  • Be aware of the fact that you cannot take pictures inside either castle.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time to either a) Take the bus (recommended), or b) Take the horse carriage up to Neuschwanstein. Walking up to Hohenschwangau castle is fine, but the walk up to Neuschwanstein is very steep and somewhat long.
  • WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES . There is a lot of walking involved during this trip, even if you do take the bus up to Neuschwanstein. The town itself is quite hilly and there’s a lot of walking between the ticket center/the bus stop/the castles/restaurants/shops. I actually saw a girl wearing stilettos on the walk uphill to Hohenschwangau castle…on cobblestones. Why anyone would do this is beyond me.
  • Wear sunscreen or bring a hat. Maybe I’m just an L7 weenie, but I actually got sunburned during my visit and it was SO hot. If you’re visiting during the summer, be prepared!

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Have you ever visited Neuschwanstein, and did you love it as much as I did? If you haven’t been, would you like to go?

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

More Posts You'll Love

You’ll also love.

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

July 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

My Profile

July 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

You definitely need to see these castles when you visit–they were incredible! Actually, all of Bavaria was incredible…you’re going to love it!!

' src=

July 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Ahhhh yes you went to Neuschwanstein! When I read that you were going to Germany I realllyyy hoped you’d be going here because I love reading about it. Sounds like you had an amazing time and hopefully I’ll make it there myself one day!

July 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Oh yeah, and you said you DO think the other castle is worth touring? That’s so interesting, I haven’t seen many blog posts where people have gone to both. Love the new perspective!

July 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm

It was amazing, I hope you do get to see it yourself one day soon! And yes, I honestly enjoyed going on both tours and would recommend it. They’re both so short at only 35 minutes, and not very pricey, so I kind of feel like why wouldn’t you go if you’re already there? Plus, the insides were actually pretty cool.

' src=

July 23, 2015 at 12:39 am

July 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I totally LOVED Bavaria! This castle was really beautiful and had a pretty interesting history too, but there were really SO many other cool things to see in addiiton to this one.

' src=

July 30, 2015 at 6:35 am

August 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Thanks! There were definitely a lot of little details to keep track of during my trip planning. Hope you get to go one day, it’s definitely an interesting sight!

' src=

August 7, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Cool! Not your typical castle–looks awesome

August 7, 2015 at 7:29 pm

' src=

September 2, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Where was the picture with the fields and horses taken?

September 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm

I actually don’t remember the exact location, but I do remember that I took this picture when I was driving from Munich into Hohenschwangau/Fussen. I spotted the castle from the road, and pulled over to snap some photos.

September 6, 2016 at 9:41 pm

' src=

September 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

I have been searching for an article like this to reaffirm my decision of choosing to visit these castles and to stay in Fussen for 2 extra days. I’m going there next week, Your article is such a help! I loved the parts you’ve highlighted and the way you’ve structured it! Thank you 🙂

September 12, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Thanks for your comment! I definitely think you made a good decision 🙂 Have fun!

' src=

November 16, 2016 at 1:42 am

Thank you SOOOO incredibly much. You’re very well organised and thorough, so this is a “type-a” persons heaven. The tips were appreciated greatly!

November 18, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Glad it was helpful! I tend to write my blog posts by thinking about the type of information that I was looking for while planning my trip.

' src=

February 12, 2017 at 1:07 am

I heard you ARE not allowed to take pictures inside the Neuschwanstein Castle? Was there a reason? And is the tour in English or German?

February 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm

My tour was in English, but there are options for German tours as well. And that’s correct that you’re not allowed to take photos – to be honest, I’m not sure why!

' src=

March 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

this was really helpful. thank you!

April 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

You’re welcome! 🙂

' src=

April 8, 2017 at 10:37 am

I recently visited Nuremberg and someone there recommended visiting this place! What are the best flights to get into Germany? When I search it seems to say Munich.

' src=

May 11, 2017 at 8:08 am

It is very helpful, can you please advise me further i know its all written above.

i am solo traveler from Dubai

10,11,12,13,14 June 2017 Munich – I can do a Day Trip to castle back and forth (from and to munich)

' src=

August 4, 2017 at 6:42 am

So, if the bus takes an hour between the castles…how do you get back to where your rental car is parked at the other castle? Does the bus take you back? Thanks!! xoxo

August 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

Hey Kathy, good question! So the hour-long bus experience I mentioned includes time spent waiting in line for the bus. I don’t remember exactly how the time was split, but it was a REALLY long line. Maybe 40 minutes in line and 20 on the bus? So the drive itself wasn’t that long. The bus also goes up a hill and past the castle itself, to the bridge overlooking the castle. So after you take your pictures of the castle you walk back down the hill a bit to do the tour, and then afterwards you can either take the bus all the way back down or walk, since it’s really not that far. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure I just walked! Hope that helps!

' src=

September 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm

September 22, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Thank you so much, enjoy the castle! It’s a beautiful place 🙂

' src=

November 20, 2017 at 11:34 pm

THANK YOU!! You laid that out the same way I plan my trips and it was everything I was looking for! Thank you so very much! I will be checking out your blog for other destinations!

' src=

November 21, 2017 at 10:34 pm

Beautiful comprehensive in depth post. Very helpful. Thanks and do keep writing

' src=

February 26, 2018 at 5:11 am

Oh, wow, Kelly! Neuschwanstein sure looks as amazing in summer as in winter.

We visited it during winter but we were so eager to go back and see all the nature around during summer as well.

You can check our freezing visit here https://www.traveldiaryofafightingcouple.com/2018/02/01/the-enchanted-trip-to-f%C3%BCssen-and-the-neuschwanstein-castle/

Happy wander!

' src=

January 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Hi! Traveling to Munich for work. Were you a solo traveler? Is it safe for a single girl to do a day trip?

January 8, 2019 at 9:52 am

Yes, I was a solo traveler! Munich and Germany in general felt very safe to me, I had an amazing time there!

' src=

February 8, 2019 at 7:17 am

I really enjoyed your article , it gave me a current view of visiting the castle. My husband and I plan to visit in April. This will not be my first visit . I visited Neuschwanstien with my parents and little brother in 1960 ! We rode up in a horse carriage and were the only visitors on Christmas Day in the snow. An older gentleman and his wife let us in after a few minutes of banging on the door.( I’m sure we interrupted their Christmas Dinner.) We were given a brochure that had parts in English . I guess our little family looked harmless. So we were left to discover on our own. We loved our visit. When we were ready to leave we discovered the horse carriage was not available- so we walked. We all had on boots and heavy coats, but it was very cold. I’m not sure if it’s the same road today because it was a long walk to the small town at the bottom. No visitor center or buses then. We were so cold my fingers and toes were numb. My father quickly ushered us into a small cafe/bar that thankfully was open. I remember being sat down next to large warm , beautiful blue tiled furnace and being handed a glass of gluwine , my first! After removing my boots my mother rubbed my feet until they were warm . The proprietors we very concerned about my brother who was 8 at the time. They fussed over him like he was a little prince. We then were served the most wonderful bowls of Humgarian goulash. Quite an Adventure, even for a well traveled 15 year old Army brat !

' src=

March 2, 2019 at 11:05 am

What a great story! I will be in Hohenschwangau this coming June, and plan to walk up to Neuschwanstein. I will think about your story. 🙂

March 12, 2019 at 9:09 am

What a beautiful memory! It perfectly captures the magic of Neuschwanstein <3 Thank so much for sharing!

' src=

April 14, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Great tips – we’ll be visiting this summer. What is the website we should be pre-booking with? I’m having a difficult time finding the actual site versus tour groups from Munich, etc… Thanks!

' src=

April 23, 2019 at 12:07 pm

There is also a pickup time the tickets have to be picked up by, in my case 1 hour before tour or they are invalid. I don’t think the article mentioned that.

' src=

June 20, 2019 at 10:21 pm

I lived about 45 min away from Neuschwanstein castle in 1991-1993 and never went there. It was always : “I can do that tomorrow”, and when tomorrow came, then it was the next tomorrow, until I left. I am going to Germany (Munich region mostly) with my daughter in 2020 for a reunion, and am making sure I don’t miss it. Thanks for the write up and suggestions!

June 21, 2019 at 8:24 am

Ahh I can relate to that feeling of putting off visiting something that’s so close! Glad you’ll finally get to visit soon 🙂

' src=

September 17, 2019 at 6:09 am

Did you use Bayern Ticket on the day? If yes, how did you navigate the time restriction of 9am to reach Fussen at 9:25?

September 18, 2019 at 10:04 am

I did not, I actually stayed in Fussen the night before visiting Neuschwanstein. If you’re able to make that work I recommend it, because it made the experience very smooth. If not, I’d probably pick a later time to reduce stress.

' src=

September 18, 2019 at 12:11 pm

This is so helpful. I’m planning to head up with my family in a couple of days. We have not reserved tickets and we are with and infant! Let’s see how it goes. It doesn’t sound stroller friendly, so we will definitely have the ergo 360.

' src=

September 30, 2019 at 8:19 am

Hi! This article has been so helpful. I am planning to visit both of the castles with my 2 friends later in October and we are staying in Fussen for 2 nights. I have a question about luggage storage though. Are there lockers available at the Fussen train station that would hold a 45 liter hiking pack? I ask because I want to visit Hohenschwangau the day we arrive, but we can’t get into our Airbnb until 4 PM; and I know we can’t take the packs on the castle tours. I was planning on doing Neuschwanstein tour the next day. Alternatively, do any of the hotels in Fussen store luggage? Thanks so much!

' src=

January 29, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Hello, nice of you to tell everybody about Ludwig the Second but you got quite a bit wrong, and it looks like you missed the real jewel of Ludwig 2. Ludwig and his parents never got on very well at all, so when his Father, Maximillian 2nd died he didn´t want to live with his Mother in Hohenschwangau, he chose instead his Father´s hunting lodge at Linderhof to live in while he was building Neuschwanstein! As the hunting lodge wasn´t fit for a King he got 180 workers to convert it into a small version of Versailles as he wanted to ape his hero, Louis 14th of France, the so called Sun King. Ludwig and his brother Otto lived in Hohenschwangau as children and young adults, and Ludwig did live there off and on, mostly when his Mom was away, he visited his Mother on her birthday and when Ludwig died she took to her bed for a Month and missed his funeral. The Palace at Linderhof is near the Passion Play village of Oberammergau, so handy for PP visitors in 2020. Best Regards, Chris Edwards, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

February 1, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Thank you for sharing all of that information, Chris! I did visit Linderhof Palace while I was in Germany and it was amazing!

' src=

December 30, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Hi Kelly, we plan to visit Germany this summer, hopefully the covid has been gone at that time. If I may know, if I am to depart from Munich, do we go straight to Fussen first or straight to the Hohenschwangau castle? Any recommendation for hotel in Fussen? Thank you so much for your help.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

CommentLuv badge

  • About Kelly
  • Work With Me

Join more than 20k readers!

  • Destinations
  • Start a Travel Blog

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Copyright © 2024 The Wandering Blonde · Theme by 17th Avenue

Good Travel Guides

When is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

When is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

With its fairy-tale good looks, and views across Bavaria, it’s only natural that this is one of the most visited places in Germany. So it’s only wise to be asking yourself when the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is.

Time your visit right and you should be in for one of the most memorable day trips from Munich. Time it wrong and you’re looking at long queues for photos, full-to-capacity car parks and overtired children.

But as with everything, the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle also depends on your expectations. That’s why I’ve broken the question down into the best season to visit as well as the best month, day of the week and time of day. 

You’re welcome to skip to the good part.

Read the full travel guide here 

Just how busy does Neuschwanstein Castle get?

This castle is not just any castle. It’s one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. In fact, each year Neuschwanstein Castle attracts 1.4 million visitors. On its busiest days more than 6000 pairs of eyes will view the castle.

And 6000 people is a lot of people in one spot at once. That’s why you’ll want to avoid the peak season if you can.

View of Neuschwanstein Castle from above

So when is the peak tourist season at Neuschwanstein Castle?

Yep, you guessed it. Summer. The summer months as well as May and September are the peak tourist season at Neuschwanstein Castle. There’s good reason for it. Warmer temperatures and sunnier days make Bavaria and its famous castle an attractive place to visit.

But it doesn’t mean you need to avoid visiting Neuschwanstein Castle between May and September. You just need to plan your trip a little better. That could mean visiting on quieter days, or at less busy times. Read on to find out when these times are.

  • I consent to receiving emails and personalized ads.

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the off-peak season

Perhaps the off-peak season is sounding appealing right now? That’ll be October to April. But be warned, southern Bavaria isn’t free from inclement weather. It can snow. And it does get icy. With all that ice, the climb to the top and any hikes you had planned, could become treacherous.

If you’re travelling with young children or elderly relatives, then you’re probably best sticking to the warmer months. Cold, icy weather can be a disappointment. Especially if you’re unprepared and you’ve travelled so far.

Neuschwanstein Castle from behind

Which season is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

This all comes down to personal preference. Neuschwanstein Castle is in southern Bavaria. Southern Bavaria has a continental climate. 

Temperatures vary from season to season, but so does seeing the sun. Heavy grey clouds can hide blue skies for weeks during winter.

On the other hand, the south of Bavaria does get a good proportion of sunny skies in spring, summer and autumn. Read on for the pros and cons for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle according to each season.

Spring at Neuschwanstein Castle

As the days get warmer, they also get longer. And spring sees the scenery shift from a monotony of browns and greys to vibrant shades of green.

The tourist season also starts to pick up. It’s a good time to go if you are travelling without school-aged children. Just make sure you don’t choose to visit during the Easter holidays.

Although the temperatures are hitting a little higher, this doesn’t mean you can bank on warm days and sunny skies. Grey clouds have a habit of lingering and some unlucky tourists can be subjected to April showers right through May.   

Spring at Neuschwanstein Castle

The busiest months at Neuschwanstein Castle are, of course, June, July and August. Most people take their annual holidays during these months and school holidays are in full-swing.

That being said, it is a good time to visit. You’re more likely to experience sunny days in the mid-twenties. Ideal hiking weather. Not forgetting the landscape is like a sea of vivid green.

If you must visit during Neuschwanstein Castle’s peak season, then make sure you choose a quieter day of the week and get an early start or arrive later in the day.

Other Popular Posts

  • Seven things to do in Bietigheim, Baden-Württemberg, DE
  • Three things to do in Funchal when it rains
  • Is Collioure worth visiting?
  • The Ultimate English Guide to Ludwigsburg Christmas Market
  • When is the best time to go to Seville?

Although a lot of trees around the castle are evergreens, October will still treat you to an autumnal leaf display.

Temperatures are still mild and you might get some warmer days in September. It tends to be a sunnier time of year in general, although no promises!

September can still be a busy month to visit. It’s often a time when people travelling without children are visiting the castle. But there will still be quieter times to visit, such as in the middle of the week.

November sees temperatures start to dip and there may be a few frosty starts. Around October a heavy fog can develop, and sometimes it doesn’t lift for a few days. It’s something to bear in mind if you’re there for the views!

I’ll start this off by saying that you should never expect snow at Neuschwanstein Castle.

Snow in southern Germany is unpredictable. Some years there’s a lot, other years there isn’t. If you want to see Neuschwanstein Castle looking magical under a layer of snow, then you might be waiting some time. It is impossible to plan your visit around snowfall.

December to February can be cold months and weather conditions can become treacherous. Ice is common and can make any hiking impossible even for advanced walkers. And icy conditions can make the castle inaccessible.

If you are desperate to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, avoid booking your visit in the winter months as this could leave you disappointed.

Winter at Neuschwanstein Castle

What time of day is best to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

Neuschwanstein Castle and the road leading up to it can get crowded. To avoid crowds (and stress) plan to visit the castle early in the morning.

If you are booking for a tour of the castle, you’ll want to time your ticket for the first tour of the day. You’ll beat any potential queues and might be treated to a striking sunrise.

A second option for those night owls (or people who prefer a lie in on holiday) is to visit in the evening. Neuschwanstein Castle lights up at night, only enhancing its fairy-tale credentials. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to watch the sunset and view the castle simultaneously.

What day of the week is best to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

A mid-week visit is best to avoid the main crowds. Neuschwanstein Castle is busiest on weekends, naturally.

Just make sure your visit doesn’t coincide with a public holiday as the castle can get just as busy as weekends.

Which month is best to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

As with seasons, the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle should be based on how you prefer to travel.

If you are travelling from far away and only have one chance to see the castle, it’s recommended to not travel during winter to avoid disappointment.

Milder temperatures are between April and October. Rain can happen in any month of the year but there is a little more during March, April and May.

Heatwaves can occur any time between June and August. Temperatures can be in the high 30s (Celsius). And since there’s a steep climb involved, this would make uncomfortable walking weather.

If a more peaceful visit is what you had in mind, then you’ll want to avoid visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during peak months. The quieter months are October to April. But if you have no choice then timing your visit to be midweek and early in the morning or evening would help.

A word of advice – whatever your plans, always check the opening times on the  official Neuschwanstein Castle website . And don’t forget to book your tickets in advance.

Our Top Travel Guides

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Friend's Email Address

Your Email Address

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  • Destinations

Neuschwanstein

Best way to visit Neuschwanstein castle

  • August 12, 2022

Table of Contents

The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most beautiful buildings that you can visit in Europe. The reason that it is so popular is that Walt Disney castle Sleeping Beauty is inspired by this Bavarian castle. The environment is magical because the castle is surrounded by forest. The castle is located on top of a mountain where you have a breathtaking view.

If you have the chance to visit Neuschwanstein Castle you should do it! It is cool and is just one of those things you want to have seen during your life. In this article, we share what the best way is to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein castle

10 tips on how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle

You can visit Neuschwanstein Castle in different ways, you can visit it with a tour or independently. You can also take various hikes in combination with a visit to the castle. In addition to the castle itself, there are also other things worth mentioning. We share our tips so that you are well prepared for your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle. In this article, you can read our 10 tips.

Tip: use the map below to see where the best things in Neuschwanstein Castle can be found. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the folder, you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you are close to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Visit Neuschwanstein Castle the easy way

The best and easiest way to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is to park your car at one of the nearby parking lots. We parked our car at Parkplatz P1 Königsschlösser, which costs €8 ($9) per day. From this point, you can walk to Neuschwanstein Castle in just 30 minutes. The walk is not difficult. If you are at the bottom of the valley, the walk to the castle is indicated. You can use the above map to navigate yourself.

Tip: if you have difficulty walking, you can use the carriages at the bottom that are pulled by horses that are supported by a motor.

We recommend that you walk back via a different way so that you have different viewpoints. On the way, we recommend taking the path on the left at Kainz Restaurant. If you walk back from the castle, it is recommended to walk via Panoramablick Schwangau and Jägerhaus.

When you arrive at the castle you will be impressed by its size, probably when you drive to the parking lots you can already see it and you can see how big it is. But once standing next to the castle is impressive. Upon arrival at the entrance, you can choose to go inside.

Neuschwanstein Castle can only be visited by following a tour. This tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and tickets can be purchased here . Please note that tickets sell out quickly, as only small groups are allowed daily. You can also buy the tickets at Ticket Center of Hohenschwangau. Be at the ticket office at 8:00 am. We recommend that you buy tickets in advance.

If you are coming from Munich it is best to book this tour to visit Neuschwanstein as a day trip. This is a lot easier and cheaper.

Tip: Often websites recommend buying tickets for Neuschwanstein through unofficial websites. We do not recommend this because you often have to collect tickets from agencies, which is inconvenient. If you want to purchase tickets, it is best to do it through the official website like GetYourGuide .

We visited Neuschwanstein but did not enter because we couldn’t get tickets anymore because we were too late. We also understood that the Hohenschwangau castle is more beautiful inside than Neuschwanstein. This is because Neuschwanstein was never finished. So be on time with your reservation.

Füssen hike

Hike Tegelbergbahn

The nicest walk you can do when you are at Neuschwanstein is the one that starts at the cable car of the Tegelberg and ends at the information point of Hohenschwangau. During this route, you walk high in the mountains so that you can always enjoy a breathtaking view. When you use the cable car, the hike starts at the panorama restaurant Tegelberg. Here you can eat and drink something and then walk towards the Neuschwanstein viewpoint.

The most beautiful part is when you arrive at the Neuschwanstein viewpoint, which is the bridge called Marienbrücke. This is the best point to overlook the castle. After this stop, you continue in the direction of Hohenschwangau. The walk is not difficult because you always walk down. Because of this, we recommend that you start the walk with the cable car of the Tegelberg because when you use the cable car the walk is mainly down. You do not have to use the cable car, this will save you €17.50 ($19) per person. See below what the differences are:

Tegelbergbahn – Hohenschwangau

  • Distance: 6 km / 9.6 miles
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Ascent/descent: 67m / 932m
  • Departure and end point: Tegelbergbahn and information point Hohenschwangau

Tegelbergbahn – Hohenschwangau (without cable car)

  • Distance: 9.4 km / 15.1 miles
  • Duration: 4.5 hours
  • Ascent/descent: 943 m / 936m

Visit Neuschwanstein

Are you in Munich and want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle? Book this Munich – Neuschwanstein Castle day tour .

Best viewpoints for Neuschwanstein Castle

Of course, when you visit Neuschwanstein Castle it is great to take picture of it. From these places, you have a nice view of the castle. If you also like to take pictures, this is great. If you are not a fan of taking pictures, these places are still recommended to visit because these are the best places in terms of view.

Marienbrücke

The most beautiful place to view Neuschwanstein is at Marienbrücke. This is the most famous point where you can see the side of the castle on the bridge. The bridge is a 13-minute walk from the castle entrance. This bridge is located higher in the mountains and makes it possible to reach the other side of the mountain. Because the bridge is higher than the castle, you can have a great view of the region. If you continue walking, you can walk towards the Tegelberg where you can go hiking (see the tip hike Tegelberghbahn for more information). Keep in mind that it can be busy. We recommend visiting this bridge early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Neuschwanstein

Grass field Gipsmühlweg

In front of the castle is a large lawn where you can see the entire region. The great thing when you are here is that you look up from the valley towards the castle with the mountains in the background. If you want the best view of how the castle blends into the surroundings, this is the place to be.

If you want to fly a drone at Neuschwanstein Castle, this is the best place because this is the only place where it is allowed. You can fly just outside the security zone here. It is not allowed in the other places closer to the castle. We have therefore made the drone shot of the castle on the lawn at the street Gipsmühlweg.

Gipsmühlweg

Panoramic view Schwangau

The moment you walk from Neuschwanstein Castle to Marienbrücke you pass Panoramablick Schwangau. The nice thing about this vantage point is that in addition to Neuschwanstein, you can also see the Hohenschwangau Castle and the Alpsee Lake.

view on top of Neuschwanstein castle

Discover more than just Neuschwanstein Castle

Of course, Neuschwanstein Castle is more than enough reason to travel to Hohenschwangau which is the old village where Neuschwanstein is located. However, next to this castle you can see more awesome things such as Hohenschwangau Castle. This is the castle where former kings lived, making it a must to visit this castle from the inside. In addition, Füssen is a 5-minute drive away which is an old historic town that is nice to visit. Read here what you can do in Füssen and the surrounding area .

Hohenschwangau

Tour or independently

If you are going to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to do this with a tour or independently. Each has its pros and cons. Below you can read our advice on when you should choose for a tour or independently.

Neuschwanstein castle tours

When you are in Munich or other big cities, it is easiest to book a tour to visit Neuschwanstein. This saves you a lot of research work and it is also a lot cheaper than if you do it independently. Tour from Munich to visit Neuschwanstein you can easily book here .

Neuschwanstein castle independently

Our advice is very simple, if you are in the area and have a car, it is best to visit Neuschwanstein independently.

What is the best way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle?

Due to the popularity of Neuschwanstein Castle and being only 5 minutes from Füssen, it is easily accessible. You can travel to Neuschwanstein by public transport or by private transport, in most cases, you must first travel to Füssen and then to the castle.

If you want to reach Neuschwanstein by plane, it is best to fly to Munich and then use public transport. See below how you can travel to Füssen by public transport from various destinations.

  • From Munich to Füssen: use the train, check the actual train schedule here | from €23 ($25) one way | 2 hours travel time
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Füssen: check the train schedule via the link above | from €14.10 ($16) one way | 1 hour and 45 minutes travel time.
  • Berchtesgaden to Füssen: from Berchtesgaden, it is not recommended to travel to Füssen by public transport. You have to go to Munich first to reach Fussen. Check the actual train schedule. Cost is €34 ($36) one way and travel time is 5 hours 40 minutes.

In Füssen you can take the bus to Neuschwanstein at the station. This takes an average of 10 minutes, the actual timetables for the bus can be viewed via the link.

If you travel to Germany by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through  Rentalcars . We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

Car to Neuschwanstein: you can easily reach Neuschwanstein by car. See below how much time it takes to get to Neuschwanstein from popular surrounded destinations. The easiest and best option is to travel from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Neuschwanstein. There are several parking spaces. We recommend parking at Parkplatz P1 Königsschlösser, which costs €8 ($9) per day.

  • Munich to Füssen: 1 hour and 35 minutes | 130 km / 80 miles
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Füssen: 55 min | 60 km / 37 miles
  • Berchtesgaden to Füssen: 2 hours and 50 minutes | 220 km / 136 miles
  • Innsbruck to Füssen: 1 hour 45 minutes | 110 km / 68 miles

Neuschwanstein parking

Travel insurance

World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.

image 100550758 15379636

Best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

Neuschwanstein is a great place to visit all year round. in principle there is no perfect period, the only thing is that in the winter period from November to March there is a chance that there is snow, which makes it completely magical. In the other months, the sun shines more and temperatures are higher, making it more suitable if you want to go hiking in the area.

Where to eat when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle?

Near Neuschwanstein, you have a few restaurants that you pass when you walk up to the mountain which we do not recommend eating because these are very touristy and prices are a lot higher than other places. We recommend eating in Fussen instead. Our favorite places are Gasthaus Zum Schwanen and Gasthof Krone. You can read all the details about this in our article about Füssen .

Gasthaus Zum Schwanen

Where to stay near Neuschwanstein Castle?

If you are looking for nice accommodation near Neuschwanstein Castle, it is best to stay in Füssen. Füssen has a pleasant historic center which is 5 minutes from Neuschwanstein. In Füssen you will find the most choices and the nicest restaurants. Füssen is popular because it is the perfect place from where you can visit Neuschwanstein. As a result, accommodations can be fully booked quickly. We recommend the two accommodations below.

Typical German: Hotel Schlosskrone

Hotel Schlosskrone edited 1

The complete stay you can choose in Füssen is Hotel Schlosskrone , the price-quality ratio is excellent. The rooms are neat, breakfast is good and the quality of the whole hotel is excellent.

Stay in a small castle: Hotel Hirsch

hotel hirsch edited

Another option is to stay at Hotel Hirsch , this hotel resembles a small castle upon arrival. Rooms are modern by German standards and spacious. If you want to stay in a luxury hotel, this is the best choice for you.

Want to see more of the region?

If you have visited Neuschwanstein, it is also nice to visit the adjacent town Füssen . In our article about Füssen, you can read what you can do in the city and the area.

Neuschwanstein is located in Bavaria where there are several nice places to visit. Our favorites are Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Munich and Berchtesgaden. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden you can discover the beautiful nature of Germany. Garmisch-Partenkrichen’s main attraction is Zugspitze and Eibsee . At Berchtesgaden, a visit to Lake Königssee and a day trip to Salzburg are worth doing. Munich is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin, where you can admire some nice museums and a beautiful historic center.

If you are planning a trip through Bavaria , you can use our itinerary for inspiration. You can build your itinerary based on ours or make it simple you do exactly what we did which saves you a lot of research work.

What do you think of Neuschwanstein Castle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: the prices mentioned in this article may differ from the current situation. We regularly update our articles. If you would like to help us to help other travelers to provide the best possible insight, please leave a comment with the latest information. Thank you!

Did you like the article? Then save it to Pinterest!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More to discover

Mexico roadtrip street

Road trip Mexico? #1 Best tips for renting a car in Mexico

Road trip Mexico on your bucket list? In the south of Mexico, you can make a great road trip. Traveling by public transport is extremely

Mexico bus

Best 3 tips for travel by bus in Mexico

Travel by bus in Mexico is a very good way to get from A to B. The quality of public transport in Mexico is very

Let's get social

Follow our adventures, populair places, follow our adventure.

2023 Travel Your Memories. Website created by Red Pineapple .

Privacy Policy       Sitemap

Privacy Overview

Follow our adventures on instagram.

instagram

She Wanders Abroad

  • How to Find the Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints

Girl in a white dress standing at the secret viewpoint at Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is a true dream destination.  This castle is not only one of the most beautiful fairytale castles in the world but it’s one of the best places to visit in Germany as well.

Although it looks gorgeous from every angle, due to the tourist crowds it’s not always easy to take some amazing photos. If you want to find the best Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoints, including some secret ones, keep on reading!

If you are visiting this fairytale castle for the first time I recommend checking out my ultimate guide to Neuschwanstein Castle where you can find much useful information about when to visit, where to stay, and what to expect.

Planning to visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich? Read my step-by-step travel guide about how to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich !

* Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link. *

No time to read now? Pin it for later!

How to Find the Best Neuschwanstein Casle Viewpoints

Table of Contents

Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints

1. the most popular viewpoint: from marienbrücke.

Let’s start with the most famous Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint: the Marienbrücke (also referred to as Mary’s Bridge in English). If you are looking for that iconic castle view you’ve probably seen a thousand times on postcards, this is it!

It’s a great place if you wanna photograph the castle itself, but if you want to be in the picture as well it will be quite a challenge. The bridge is quite narrow so it’s kind of impossible to have a full-body picture and on top of that it’s usually really crowded.

However, if you go early or you are patient enough you can still shoot some great portraits on the bridge.

Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoint from the Marienbrücke

How to get to Marienbrücke by foot (official way)

If you want to reach Marienbrücke, your first option is to go by foot – you can see the official map below that marks the hiking trails. Actually, there are more paths in reality, but if you want to follow the official way you need to find the red path.

Start following the pathway until you reach the castle. Then you need to go further up on the purple trail and at the end, you will reach the bridge with the iconic view.

Now, this is a really long way – it can take up an entire hour to get there, depending on your fitness level. But the good news is that you can make some shortcuts! You have two options for this, but none of them are marked on the map.

Neuschwanstein Castle Map

How to get to Marienbrücke by foot (with shortcuts)

Your first option is to start the trail behind the parking lots (which are on the left side of the Alpseestraße, see the above map). There is a concrete stairway, start following that and you will soon find yourself on the red trail (somewhere around the brown point marked on the map).

From there you need to follow the red trail, and then the purple trail as I mentioned above.

The second option is to take a shortcut right after the start of the red trail. Start following the trail and then a few minutes later you will see a path on the right side that goes into the forest with the sign Marienbrücke on it.

If you follow that path it will take you directly to the bridge and you don’t need to walk all the way to the castle and then back to the bridge. Don’t worry, the path is clearly marked and it is not in worse condition than the official one.

Keep in mind that no matter which option you choose, you have to walk on a steep uphill road to reach both the castle and the bridge. It’s not a hard hike, but it will be a workout for sure. Be prepared with some comfy shoes and lots of water!

How to get to Marienbrücke by bus

Cars and bicycles are not allowed on the road to the castle, however, you can take a shuttle bus that departs from the Hohenschwangau Palace. The bus can’t go directly to the castle so it will drop you off around the Marienbrücke (which is perfect for you if you want to head there anyway).

Prices for the shuttle: €3 for the uphill trip, €2 for the downhill trip, and €3.5 for a return trip.

How to get to Marienbrücke by horse carriage

You can also choose to go up with a horse-drawn carriage. It won’t take you up so high though, they will drop you off at the brown point marked on the map.

You still need to walk 5-10 minutes uphill from the ending point of the ride to reach the castle, and then another 10-15 minutes to the Marienbrücke. Tickets can be bought at the horse carriage driver, the uphill ride costs €8, and the downhill ride is €4.

As I don’t want to support this kind of animal tourism I would politely ask you not to use this service! Walking up there is not that bad and the views you get along the way will definitely make you up for your burning thighs.

If you can’t walk for some reason it’s still cheaper (and a lot more ethical) to take the shuttle bus. So please choose wisely!

2. Up-close viewpoint: On the way to the Marienbrücke

If you choose the long official path (or the shortcut with the stairway) it will take you right in front of the Neuschwanstein Castle.

While you can’t shoot pictures of yourself with the castle here (except selfies), you can shoot some pretty good up-close photos of the castle itself.

Just keep your eyes open and don’t forget to stop for a while to admire the remarkable details of the castle!

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

3. Lesser known viewpoint: After the Marienbrücke

Most people visiting Neuschwanstein Castle only hike up to Marienbrücke, take some pictures there, and then turn back. Don’t be like them! The hiking trail goes further up to the hill and if you continue your hike you can find some amazing viewpoints along the road!

The bright side is that since most people stop at the Marienbrücke, you won’t really see many people on the road. That means you don’t need to worry about photobombers and you can enjoy the views without the crowds.

The bad news is that the roads are not in the best condition. While the trails that go up to the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Marienbrücke are very well-built after you pass by the bridge you have to continue on a dirt paved road.

It can be a bit challenging (especially after rain) so make sure you have the right shoes with you and watch your steps!

After you cross the Marienbrücke you will find yourself on a long zig-zag road. Simply continue your way up and you will soon reach an amazing viewpoint surrounded by a big fence. You can see the whole area from up there together with the Neuschwanstein Castle – the view is absolutely breathtaking!

Roads leading to the Neuschwanstein Castle

4. Panoramic viewpoint

While the previous viewpoint was really amazing, we decided to go further up the hill. The only reason we continued hiking up was that I was looking for THE BEST Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint.

I’ve seen it all over Instagram so I knew it existed but of course, no one shared the exact location so I was committed to finding it on my own.

Let me tell you in advance: hiking further up is not the solution. A little offroading is, but more about it later! Hiking up further on the road was a little challenging but I didn’t regret it for a second. Let me show you why!

View of the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Hohenschwangau Castle from an upper viewpoint

So this is the view you get from up there. It’s just simply fascinating. You can see the Neuschwanstein Castle (and the Hohenschwangau Castle as well) and the complete surrounding area with lakes, mountains, and fields.

No pictures do justice to how amazing this view is in real life. I was in awe!

You will easily recognize this spot because there is a cut-down log with a little cross on top of it. If you turn left and wander a bit down the road you will find a good photography spot where you can get some nice pictures of yourself.

The view is not so clear as there are many trees blocking the view, but I think it’s still pretty amazing.

View of the Neuschwanstein Castle from an upper viewpoint

5. The best hidden Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint

Okay, so let’s get to the best part! I already told you that I was looking for THE BEST Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint while hiking up from Marienbrücke.

I soon realized that it can’t be that way because the view was completely different. The castle was already too far away and that was not what I saw in the photos.

So we turned back. I was kinda disappointed because it was getting late and we were really tired from all the hiking. Plus I still didn’t have any clue where to find my spot.

I was on my phone constantly, crazily scrolling through every blog post and article I could find on Neuschwanstein Castle and staring at the Instagram pictures I saved.

Based on the photos I managed to figure out that it can’t be higher than Marienbrücke. That’s a start. Finally one of the blog posts mentioned the viewpoint, but it only said it’s somewhere off the road. All right, challenge accepted!

How to find the hidden Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint

We started to descend on the road that goes from Marienbrücke to the Neuschwanstein Castle (the purple one on the official map). I knew I had to venture off the road somewhere but there was a wooden fence with barbed wire on top all along the road. You couldn’t really go through it unless you hurt yourself so this was not an option.

Suddenly when we went past the first big curve on the map I spotted a place where the fence was broken. Jackpot! We could slip underneath easily, turned left to the pathway, and started to follow that.

UPDATE: I’ve heard they repaired the fence recently but there is still no barbed wire so you can slip through easily.

Roads leading to the Neuschwanstein Castle

After like 1-2 minute walk there is a curve in the pathway that goes down on the hillside. If you continue on that road you will reach a waterfall, but this is not what we are looking for.

Instead of going down the road, you have to climb up the hill! I marked the directions with the red arrows in the below pictures.

Directions to reach the best Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint

Don’t worry, the road starts badly but it gets better, I promise! Only the first small climb is challenging, after that you need to turn left and soon you will find an old pathway. I guess it was part of the official hiking trails once but it’s totally abandoned now.

The important thing is that it’s very easy to follow and it will lead you right up to the best photography spot.

Basically, you just need to follow this path and soon you will see the Neuschwanstein Castle peeking through the trees. All you need to do is go in the direction of the castle and you will reach the best hidden viewpoint in a few minutes.

Hiking trails at Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

What you need to know about the hidden viewpoint

And voilá, this is the spot! So gorgeous, right? It’s the perfect place for photography. The view of the Neuschwanstein Castle is completely clear and you can see the whole area in the background as well. It looks simply fascinating!

Plus there is a huge wide space where you can stand or sit on the roots. And the best thing is that you can have this spot all to yourself! It was totally worth all the trouble, am I right?

Girl in a white dress sitting at the secret viewpoint at Neuschwanstein Castle

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that basically this viewpoint is located on the edge of a cliff and there is a sheer drop right below you. As I mentioned before there is a wide area there so if you are not comfortable with heights you don’t need to stay close to the edge. Please always be careful and visit this place only at your own risk!

Girl in a trench coat sitting at the edge of a cliff, looking at the sunset over the Neuschwanstein Castle

I loved this spot so much that I convinced my boyfriend to come back the next day for sunset. The soft colors were amazing! We also discovered that there is another way to reach this spot.

You need to walk all the way to Marienbrücke but instead of crossing the bridge, turn left and climb up on the hillside! This way is a lot harder because you need to slip through the barbed-wire fence and the way up is much steeper too.

I would still recommend you to do the other way I described first, but it’s really up to you.

Girl in yellow top and a straw hat sitting at the edge of a cliff, looking at the sunset over the Neuschwanstein Castle

6. Viewpoint from the valley

This last viewpoint is very different from the other ones because it’s in the valley!

If you are coming from the direction of Schwangau, there is a road named Schloßstraße that leads you to Hohenschwangau (where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located). There is a huge open grass field along the road where you can make some amazing photos!

During our visit, we stayed in Hotel Weinbauer in Schwangau which was located right at the beginning of Schloßstraße, close to the fields. We could even see the Neuschwanstein Castle from our window! How cool is that? We visited in the middle of May so the fields were full of dandelions, it was so gorgeous! 

The Neuschwanstein Castle is visible from every angle, so you can’t go wrong with that! Although it’s very far away, you can always walk closer to the castles on the fields or use a good telephoto lens to make it bigger in the photos.

We didn’t do any of that so the castle is quite small in my photos, but I still love the outcome!

View of the Neuschwanstein Castle from Hotel Weinbauer

Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints – On the map

Since it’s not so easy to find the best Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoints I made you a custom map with the exact locations of the above-mentioned viewpoints. Together with my instructions, I’m sure you will be able to find them!

If you are reading this from your mobile, you just have to click on the bracket in the upper right corner to save it to your Google Maps app. Super convenient, right?

Where to Stay Around Neuschwanstein Castle

You can easily visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a day trip from either Munich or Innsbruck. Munich is a really great base to explore the nearby area so if you have to choose between the two I would definitely recommend Munich!

Although the castle can be easily reached from the two above-mentioned cities, I would still suggest staying near Neuschwanstein Castle for 1 or 2 nights. This way you can spend more time in the area which I highly recommend! 

There are 3 towns nearby where you can stay if you want to stay close to Neuschwanstein Castle. Below you can see my top picks for each town for every budget.

Hohenschwangau

If you wish to stay as close to Neuschwanstein Castle as possible then Hohenschwangau is your best option. No matter which accommodation you choose, you can reach the path that leads up to the castle within a few minutes.

Check out all the hotels in Hohenschwangau here !

Hotel Villa Ludwig und Chalet

LUXURY – Hotel Villa Ludwig und Chalet

This 4-star hotel is set directly beneath Neuschwanstein Castle. The hotel was newly opened in December 2012 and all rooms have free WiFi, wired internet, a flat-screen satellite TV, and a balcony, while some have a view of Neuschwanstein Castle.

Hotel Müller

MID-RANGE – Hotel Müller

This hotel is located between Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle on the Romantic Road. Hotel Müller offers elegant rooms and a Bavarian-style restaurant. Some rooms have a balcony or terrace offering a view of the nearby castles.

Hotel Garni Schlossblick

BUDGET – Hotel Garni Schlossblick

With some rooms offering wonderful views of the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, this traditional hotel is just a 5-minute drive from Füssen and the Austrian border.

The second closest town to Neuschwanstein Castle is Schwangau. The distance between the two is 2.5 km (1.5 miles) so even if you don’t have a car you can easily walk or bike. You can find more options here but don’t expect hundreds of hotels.

Check out all the hotels in Schwangau here !

Hotel Das Rübezahl

LUXURY – Hotel Das Rübezahl

This 4-star-superior hotel in Schwangau offers great views of the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, a modern spa and beauty area, and a gourmet restaurant serving regional food.

Hotel Weinbauer

MID-RANGE – Hotel Weinbauer

Hotel Weinbauer is a traditional hotel peacefully and centrally located in Schwangau, 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. Built in 1865, the cozy hotel is decorated with frescoes. Breakfast is served on-site.

Casa Patrizia

BUDGET – Casa Patrizia

These spacious and modern apartments lie between Füssen and Schwangau in the Bavarian Alps. All apartments at Casa Patrizia feature a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, large bedroom, and bathroom.

Füssen

Füssen is the third option to stay close to Neuschwanstein Castle. The distance is 5 km (3.1 miles) so technically you can still walk but having a car or a bike is much better.

You can also call a taxi if you don’t have your own car and it will take you to Hohenschwangau within a few minutes. Check out all the hotels in Füssen here !

Hotel Sommer - Urlaubs- und Wellnesshotel

LUXURY – Hotel Sommer – Urlaubs- und Wellnesshotel

Located on the shores of Forggensee Lake, this 4-star spa hotel offers regional cuisine and great views of Neuschwanstein Castle and the Alps. An extensive spa area with various saunas, steam rooms, and indoor/outdoor swimming pools are available.

Hotel Hirsch

MID-RANGE – Hotel Hirsch

This family-run hotel lies in the heart of Füssen, within a 10-minute drive of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. The stylish rooms at the Hotel Hirsch Füssen are individually furnished and feature Bavarian antiques. All rooms include a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

Hotel Ludwigs

BUDGET – Hotel Ludwigs

Located directly in the pedestrian zone in Füssen’s old town, this traditional hotel offers free WiFi. It is 500 m from Füssen Train Station, and 5 km from Neuschwanstein Castle. Hotel Ludwigs provides bright rooms with wooden floors, elegant fabrics, and chandeliers.

Planning a trip to Germany?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Germany. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

  • 22 Best Things to Do in Berchtesgaden, Germany
  • 3 Day Berchtesgaden Itinerary: A Long Weekend in Berchtesgaden, Germany
  • Lake Königssee, Germany: Best Things to Do + Tips for Visiting
  • The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle
  • How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich
  • Germany Bucket List: 28 Best Places to Visit in Germany

Pin It for Later!

How to Find the Best Neuschwanstein Casle Viewpoints

76 thoughts on “How to Find the Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints”

Great Tips (and amazing photos)! Wish we had read this before our trip to Neuschwanstein, would have loved to find that secret spot! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Thank you so much for your comment! Hope you will find the secret spot next time! It’s totally worth all the struggle, the view is just so amazing 🙂

Thank you Kriszti, we found the hidden place thanks tot your comprehensive information. We saw the Castle and we were totally blown away! Gemma en Sifra

Aww I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me 🙂

Wow loved the post ..pictures looks just amazing

Thank you so much!

Oh this looks awesome – we were there in December last year but the bridge was closed so we didn´t get the same views. Must come again 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Yeah it’s tricky to visit in winter but it can be so beautiful when everything is covered with snow! 🙂

I’ve been planning to visit this castle for so long but I don’t know why always something comes in between and I can’t go – even though I live in Slovenia which is not that far away! 🙂 A few photo spots are really creative, great ideas, thank you! 🙂

You’re so welcome! It was also on my bucket list for years so I know what you’re talking about 🙂

I reallyyyy want to visit this castle! Thanks for all the tips!

You’re welcome Ellie! 🙂

Ahh your photos are so beautiful! I went here in January few years ago and mine are completely different with all the snow. I really wish I had more time to see all these view points but I guess I will just have to return in summer one day ❤️

Aww it’s actually quite the opposite for me as I would love to return in winter! It must be so beautiful with the snow 🙂

Awesome pictures idea, it has been so long since I visited this castle that I can barely remember where we were. Thanks for sharing

This is such a good guide for photos. It’s definitely a place that can be tricky to figure out if you don’t plan beforehand. Such pretty photos as well.

Thank you so much! Yeah exactly, it was not easy to find the best photography spots that’s why I thought it’s worth sharing 🙂

Loved this post! such great compilation with all the relevant information.

Thank you! I’m so happy you liked it! 🙂

Ok NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE looks like it came right out of a fairy tale! Can’t wait to visit one day 🙂

Exactly! I didn’t wanna believe my eyes when I first saw it. So so gorgeous! 🙂

oh my! your photography skills are incredible! i am in love with all these images!

Aww thank you so much Tia, you are so sweet!

My mouth dropped when I saw your photos! Wow. I feel like it would be a dream to visit this place. I have saved your post to keep for later when we can travel again!

Thank you so much Alexandra! I can only recommend visiting, it’s such a beautiful castle! 🙂

Neuschwanstein Castle is so breathtaking! You brought me back to this beautiful spot through your gorgeous photos! I loved this guide. 🙂

Aww thank you so much Taylor!

Wow – what a thorough guide! Thank you. The arrows and markings on your photos of trails are particularly helpful. You’re photographs look magical!

Thank you so much Katie! I’m so happy you found it useful! 🙂

I’am beyond happy I found this post! First off spectacular photos! The views are truly breathtaking, I’m visiting this castle in August and I have been searching none stop where this iconic spot is at that I keep seeing all over Instagram and finally I found you!!!! Thank you so so so much for sharing, I hope we find the spot without getting lost ?

Thank you so much Miriam! I’m so happy you liked the article! Yeah I’ve been through the same when I visited as I couldn’t find any information online where to find this iconic viewpoint. I really hope you will be able to find it! 🙂

Thank god we found your post! We visited Neuschwanstein today and the queue for the bridge was like over an hour. We thought nah, there has to be another spot to get a great view of t castle. Got my phone out and found your article about the secret spot. So we went for it. Thanks to you photos and detailed description we found it straight away and the view was absolutely breathtaking! A million thanks!

I’m so so happy you found the secret viewpoint! Thank you for letting me know, you just totally made my day! ☺️

We’re heading to germany tomorrow, since marienbrucke is closed at this moment i hope we will find the hidden spot. thank you very much

Fingers crossed!! Have a great trip!

How long (how far) is the hike from the bridge to the hidden view point? I have bad knees and I want to know if my knees can handle the hike. Thanks

From the bridge to the viewpoint it literally takes like 5 minutes but it’s much more harder than the other route. In this case, you have to slip through the barbed-wire and then climb up on the hillside, which is not so ideal. So I would rather recommend following the route I described in the post, it’s much more easier!

I just arrived back to my Hotel, everything was as you wrote, found the fence, it was a little damaged, and your photo helped me where to turn and climb. Actually there is a trail and stairs so that place definitely was part of a hiking route. I recommend to park and start from P4. I already was here once for a full day, so I exactly knew I should not stop and take photos earlier, because the epic shot is only available in the end. In this way I managed to climb in 20 minutes (shortcut) and come down in 15 mins. I was in a hurry, and only wanted some snowy photos, because I have 1000 pictures already from summer. Cheers. 2nd of March, 2022.

I’m so happy you managed to find the viewpoint! And thanks so much for letting me and my readers know that this way still works 🙂

Hi Do i need to cross Marienbrücke bridge to get to that perfect hidden spot? because i heard that bridge is closed until summer and i have booked my visit to Begining of May 🙂 So is there any alternative to get there withoit crossing the bridge? Amazing pictures 🥰 Thank you x

Hey! Luckily you don’t need to cross the bridge to find the viewpoint so hopefully you’ll be able to get there without any problems. Have a great trip!

Hi amazing pictures !!!!! I have bookeda trip for end of May and i know the bridge is closed…..so can i still get to that amazing picture spot ? Can you remind me how abd how far it will be?

Thank you so muchi really want to get there x

Sure, I think you’ll be able to get there since you don’t need to cross the bridge for the viewpoint! If I remember correctly, it will take around 45-50 minutes to get to the viewpoint from the visitor center. Good luck!

Hi! Great pictures!! Do you know if I need to buy the castle ticket to get to the secret viewpoint? Thank you!!

Hey! No, you don’t need to as it’s not inside the castle 🙂

Hi, thank you so much for sharing these tips and amazing photos! I am now planning a Very Secret Romantic trip as a surprise to my husband (and therefore a little unwilling to leave my email address, hopefully it doesn’t appear anywhere). I have already booked all the flights etc. and now learned that Mariebrücke bridge is closed for renovation. Can you please tell which one(s) of your viewpoints are still reachable without crossing the bridge?

Hey! Your email address is only visible to me, don’t worry 🙂 If the bridge is closed, you can still reach #2, #5 and #6. Hope you will have an amazing time!

Hi, just wanted to say a massive thank you as I visited the secret viewpoint today(13 Jul 22). I got there just after 9am when it was quiet and snuck through the fence. They have now put three rows of barbed wire along the fence so it is difficult to get through without damaging your clothing. Thanks!

Thank you so much for letting me know and I’m so happy you managed to find the viewpoint!

#5 is beautiful and accessible with the closure of Marienbrücke – there’s barbed wire the whole fence now, but people have made a mini-path from the panoramic viewpoint of the lake, where you just go around the fence up a small steep-ish hill, for reference. Thank you so much for this post, I got beautiful pictures!

Thanks so much for sharing this with me! I’m so glad you managed to take some amazing photos!

Just a doubt to get the 5th view point Is this fence before the bridge or after the bridge ?

Before the bridge! You don’t have to cross it so even if it’s closed, you can still get to the viewpoint.

I am planning to take the bus and reach to bus station then from there how should I get to this view point Is it after the bus station? So the #5view , fence is after the bus station and before the bridge right ?

You have to start walking back in the direction of the town from the bus stop to get to this viewpoint. You don’t have to cross the bridge, you have to go in the different direction.

Currently at Neuschwanstein castle and was trying to follow your directions to the best hidden vantage point, that includes the former broken fence, but your update said it was fixed but still has no barb wire. As of October 22 it currently does have barb wire, which is quite disappointing. I just wanted to share more up to date info with you! Thanks so much.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us! It looks like the condition of the fence is changing all the time.

I’m so grateful that I stumbled upon your stunning blog (amazing photos!). I decided to take your no.5 vantage point challenge to get the perfect photo. I don’t know if I went to the exact spot to jump the fence but I was eyeing out a section where the barbwire was loosen and also trying not to look suspicious as there were a lot of people walking down/up the path. I didn’t want to cause a crowd of people following me if they knew I was up to something. After climing the hill, listening to the waterfall and breaking a few branches I made it and it was exceptionally breathtaking! I was able to appreciate the view with out anyone in the way. Thank you soo much for sharing!!

I’m so happy that you managed to find the viewpoint! The view is surely breathtaking from there 🙂

Can I still reach the hidden spot if the bridge is closed? Coz Im planning to go in winter.

Yes absolutely! You don’t need to cross the bridge for this one, although be very careful at the spot and don’t go close to the edge as it might be slippery.

I have been searching for this place for while now! I’ll be there next month and will try to find it! Thanks for the tips! When was the last time you were there?

Hey! It was actually a few years ago but I received a lot of comments after it, the most recent is from late 2022 so the viewpoint is definitely still accessible 🙂

Hi, when did you visit the castle? Is actually the road to hidden spot open?

Hey! It was a while ago but based on the recent comments, I think the road is still open.

Amazing view thank you so much. The instruction is super clear. Yes the fence has been repaired but the barbed wire is still damaged.

Good to know, thanks for sharing!

Nice blog. I am planning on taking my 5 and 9 yo kids to the castle. I am wondering if the hike to that beautiful viewpoint is doable for kids. P.S. I like seeing your travel pictures in your instragam account.

Hi Demi, yeah I think it’s entirely doable, it’s not a hard hike at all. Hope you’ll have the best time!

Hi! Thanks for all the tips! For #5, how long did it take you to walk to the viewpoint from the point you climbed the fence?

No more than 10-15 minutes, it’s not a long path luckily.

Hi Kriszti, just wondering, are you comfortable giving instructions in your blog about how to slip through a safety fence when two girls had fallen off the cliff recently and one of them died?

The two girls were assaulted and pushed down the cliff by a man they had just met and yet willingly followed. I’m really sorry about what happened to them but it could have literally happened anywhere else in the world, it had little to do with the location. I also point out in the article that this is an unofficial trail and everyone needs to be mindful of the location and take necessary precautions.

Thanks for the guide, it was super helpful! There is barbed wire on the fence now, just a heads up

Thanks for the update!

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Explore

Must-See Castles To Visit On Your Next Trip To Germany

Germany is a land of many things . Though some equate Germany with beer, pretzels, and oompah music, it should also elicit thoughts of schlosses – castles. Experts believe that there may be upwards of 25,000 castles throughout Germany. However, the scope of those castles' grandeur is really varied. From the petite summer palaces like Linderhoff Palace in Bavaria to the grandest of the grand like Neuschwanstein, each is exquisite in its own right.

The main reason why Germany has so many castles can be found back centuries in the country's history when the area was comprised of a series of nation-states. Castles as bases served to protect the many, many leaders and individual sovereignty throughout the region. Generally, the two kinds of castles found in Germany are either water or hill castles. Given how rugged and mountainous the country is, it should come as no surprise that the majority of the castles you can still visit are of the hill variety.

Of the tens of thousands of castles throughout Germany, a lot have fallen into disrepair and hardly resemble their former selves. There are others, however, that have been restored, rejuvenated, or kept together through the centuries that guests can still visit. These are just some of the highlights you can see in Germany .

Neuschwanstein Castle

Upon first glance, the almost mystical Neuschwanstein in the mountains looks familiar. If it gives you a magical feeling, almost like watching a Disney movie, you'd be on the right track. King Ludwig II of Bavaria (also known as The Fairytale King) built the majestic castle to be nearly as grand as he believed himself to be. Disney transformed Ludwig's home for the big screen by giving it the animated treatment for "Sleeping Beauty," though they didn't have to do much to make the castle a stunner.

King Ludwig II wanted to build the most enviable castle he could in what he believed to be the most beautiful location possible. He wanted it to outshine the home of his father, King Maximillian II. The name Neuschwanstein refers to the castle of Schwanstein that Ludgwig's father rebuilt, hence the name that translates to New Schwanstein.

Neuschwanstein has been restored in the years since The Fairytale King roamed its halls. Like other castles around the world, they weren't built for thousands of visitors strolling around the halls. So keeping the iconic castle as gilded as its former owner would want has been a struggle.

Linderhoff Palace

Of all the castles on this list, Linderhoff Palace is the smallest. But it is no less magnificent. The summer home of King Ludwig II, the grandeur of the palace was modeled after Versailles. Ludwig was wildly fascinated by Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Inside no photos are allowed but the gilding, artwork, and artistry of the palace will astound you. The gardens are a particularly stunning part of the property as well, you must check them out while you're there.

Ludwig's lavish palace is where he spent a lot of his time. He was known as a recluse by the rest of society – particularly the other rulers and members of his social class. Surrounding himself with velvets, gilded paintings, and beautiful things kept Ludwig in comfort even in his solitude. Tour guides at Linderhoff regale stories of Ludwig's antics for visitors including how he would eat his food as fast as possible to get out of dinner engagements with others. Why? Because if the King finishes eating before you do, you are also done eating. Dinner is over.

Going inside Linderhoff Palace is only possible through a guided tour, though anyone can access the grounds anytime the area is open. Inside visitors can see the many themed rooms dreamt up by Ludwig himself. King Ludwig II is famous for saying that he always wanted to be an "eternal mystery" to himself and others. Once you see the lengths he went to surround himself with beauty, you'll understand.

Nuremberg Castle

Considered by many to be the best example of fortifications in the Medieval era, Nuremberg Castle perfectly captures the purpose of many castles around Germany and elsewhere – protection. The reason there are so many castles in countries like Germany is that those in power needed literal walls to protect them from invaders. Some castles like Neuschwanstein are surrounded by mountains that act as protection, whereas Nuremberg built its own defenses.

The Imperial Castle Museum or Kemenate is the largest museum of cultural history in Germany and is home to one of the foremost collections of historical weapons in the country as well. In addition to the museum visitors can check out the chapel area, Sinwell Tower, the Deep Well, and the gorgeous castle gardens. Visitors can even head down the winding stairs of the Deep Well to see just how deep it really is. (Maybe don't head down if you're claustrophobic.) 

Nuremberg Castle is hardly the most beautiful castle in the country, but it showcases for visitors the storied history that goes into these types of buildings. Plus areas like the Imperial Chapel, which was built in the 1200s, show how castle structures change through time. Not to mention how varied the stylistic choices are throughout the complexes.

Hohenzollern Castle

In the days of Prussia, Hohenzollern Castle housed the royal family. While members of the family still own the 19th-century building, it is no longer a royal seat. It even fell into disrepair for some time but has been restored and is a popular tourist attraction. Hohenzollern is a magnificent example of Germany's hill castles as it sits nestled among thick trees on a hillside in the Southern part of the country. Prussian royals still consider the building a part of their household even if it now serves as a museum rather than royal palace. 

Many castles that are still standing today are built on top of or in name of an earlier castle. First mentions of a Hohenzollern fortress date back to the 13th century, though experts believe that the origins of this castle are much older than that. The romantic castle visitors can see today is mostly from the mid-1800s which makes sense as it was no longer needed to serve as a protective barrier by then. Now the dreamy locale could just be a home for royalty instead of a center of military protection.

Marburg Castle

Before it was considered a castle, Marburg was built in the 11th century as a fort. Famous for its role as a location during the disputes between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli known as The Marburg Colloquy, the castle was cemented into history. The argument held here? It was about whether or not Christ was present in the Eucharist.

Inside Marburg is one of the best examples of a Gothic-style gathering hall in Germany, a chapel circa 1288 and many other rooms visitors can experience. One particularly fascinating area is The Prince's Hall which is decorated with art that tells the story of The Prodigal Son from The Bible. It's a fitting story for the place that sheltered Luther who was, in many ways, a Prodigal Son-like figure in the history of Christianity.

Getting up to the castle is a bit of a hike to the tune of 400 steps, but visitors can take their time seeing the other historical areas or gardens along the way. The castle is nearly a millennium old, so it makes sense that it would be harder to access.

Weesenstein Castle

An incredible example of Renaissance architecture, Weesenstein Castle is a significant landmark in Saxony. Parts of the castle structure date back to 1300 and changed purposes throughout the years. It oscillated from a defense structure to a family home until it became home to the royal family of Saxony in the 1800s. Twelve generations of the von Buenau Family even called Weesenstein Castle home until the mid-1770s.

Annual events at Weesenstein Castle celebrate the history the building represents from the Medieval Weesenstein Festival and Castle Christmas. Throughout the year the castle also hosts a variety of music and theater events as well as different exhibitions showcasing the history of the castle. Sometimes there are even exhibits nodding to the area's close proximity to the Czech Republic, formerly known as Bohemia. 

Tours of the elaborate castle interiors are available in German, Czech, and English. The highlight of the interiors tour is the stunning Baroque-style chapel inside the castle which still features an exquisite pipe organ. Take a tour inside and maybe you'll get to hear the organ for yourself!

Schwerin Castle

Lovingly referred to as the Neuschwanstein of the North, Schwerin Castle appears almost as if it is floating. Situated on an island in the middle of a lake, the castle is like a swan keeping afloat. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is called one of the best examples of romantic Historicism in Europe where the dukes of Mecklenburg once lived.

The earliest construction on the castle began back in 942 though it was entirely rebuilt in 1847 by Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II because he didn't like the hodgepodge architectural elements of the former castle. He wanted it to be a homogeneous piece of brilliant architecture. There are over 650 rooms in the massive castle though visitors can see but a handful on a tour.

Since there are such lovely gardens in the lush green areas around Schwerin Castle, visiting during the spring and summer is probably the best choice. That's when the castle will shine the brightest like a floating lily on the water. You'll also get some of the best views of the regions around the castle from the top of the round tower.

Eltz Castle

Not many medieval castles are still occupied by their original owners. So the fact that the Eltz family has lived in the castle since it was built in the 1200s is pretty remarkable. It is among the oldest of the castles still standing in Germany, let alone Europe. Eltz Castle is also considered one of the best remaining examples of Medieval German architecture. The family still lives there, but a majority of the castle has been converted into a museum dedicated to its nearly 900-year history.

In addition to the dozens of castle rooms turned into museum purposes, the complex also houses both an armory and treasury. The treasury is home to one of the most prominent private collections with over 500 pieces. Both the armory and treasury are open to the public during museum visiting hours.

Just based on the sheer size of Eltz Castle and how much of it is open to the public, give yourself a few hours just to experience everything. There are also countless picturesque locations around the property to just admire the beauty.

Heidelberg Castle

Experts believe that some rendition of a castle on the grounds where Heidelberg Castle now stands dates back to around 1300. Portions of the castle built in 1400 were destroyed in the 17th and 18th centuries and were never restored. Even so, the vast structure of Heidelberg Palace (Castle) is still an incredible sight. Much like Prague Castle or other significant European castle properties, there is more to the structure than just the palace itself. Because of its architectural stat,e Heidelberg Castle is considered a ruin.

Inside the castle complex is the largest wine barrel in the world known as the Heidelberg Tun (it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine), the German Pharmacy Museum, a gourmet restaurant Scharffs Schlossweinstube, and the Heidelberg Palace Gardens among other spots. To access the grounds guests can either walk up a steep street or take a little staircase of over 300 stairs.

Don't let the stairs intimidate you. If you're able, take them slowly and enjoy the climb. As you go you can see more and more of the surrounding town. The views from the top near the castle are some of the best in the area. There's a good reason why so many folks will spend entire days meandering the castle grounds.

Lichtenstein Castle

Many other castles have inspired lookalike variations throughout history. Few were built because of inspiration from another source. The 1826 novel "Lichtenstein" actually inspired what is now known as Lichtenstein Castle. It was finished in 1842 which actually makes it one of the younger castles in Germany. Its name which translates to "shining stone" makes sense. The bright white tower coming off of the castle perched against the Swabian Alps makes it stand out.

Lichenstein Castle stands atop the foundation of the former castle that was built on the spot in 1390. That's not uncommon for castles, particularly in Germany. The architecture is known as an excellent representation of the Romantic neo-Gothic style. It was built to be the home of Count Wilhelm who then became the first Duke of Urach. The Dukes of Urach still own the castle today though now it hosts the public instead of serving as the Dukes' home.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Once again, here is a castle once inhabited by King Ludwig II. Hohenschwangau was his childhood summer home, built by his father King Maximillian II of Bavaria. Maximilian built the castle in 1832 atop the ruins of the former 12th-century castle that once resided there. This castle isn't far from Ludwig's brilliant Neuschwanstein. Hohenschwangau is almost like a miniature version of the grander castle.

Fittingly, Hohenschwangau the town is known as The Village of Royal Castles. So it's only fair that the town's romantic castle overlooks the surrounding area. Just outside the palace walls, the Castle Garden provides unparalleled views of the surrounding hillsides. The various fountains throughout the gardens align with themes throughout the castle rooms as well. These fountains represent various ideals of the royal family like Christianity, knighthood, and local identity. The gardens can be accessed with or without an entry ticket for a tour.

Guided tours are the only way to get inside Hohenschwangau Castle which takes a little less than an hour. On the premises too you can visit The Museum of Bavarian Kings to learn more about Maximillian, Ludwig, and other kings from the area's illustrious past. You can visit both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein on the same day if you plan enough time in between.

Wernigerode Castle

Several iterations of a castle have been built on the same land for centuries. Parts of Wernigerode Castle date back to the 1100s, though what is still standing was mostly built in the 19th century. The dreamy, Baroque-style castle is vastly different than the other palaces in this list. Dark accents around the exterior help the building stand out from the others.

It was during the 17th century, specifically the 30 Years War, that led to the destruction of significant portions of the castle. They were rebuilt though it is part of the reason why there was no singular architectural style for it.

While other castles were torn down for not having a single architectural ideal in mind, Wernigerode celebrates its unique look. Guests can see 50 of the castle rooms on guided tours as well as the three gardens outside. The castle was even named the first German center of art and history for the 19th century. There are even events and exhibitions throughout the year dedicated to life in the castle, and the history of the times it represents.

Read this next: 25 Enchanting Castles Around The World

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

How to travel to Germany with points and miles in 2024

Kaeli Conforti

Jan 19, 2024 • 16 min read

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Explore the best of Germany with all the top perks and rewards of a great credit card; Brandenburg Gate, Berlin © Luis Alvarez / Getty

This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with  The Points Guy .

Advertiser Disclosure:  This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.  All information about the Alaska Airline cards, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*, and the Citi Premier® Card has been collected independently by Lonely Planet. These cards are not available through Lonely Planet.

Whether it’s Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein Castle or Berlin’s epic party scene that comes to mind when you think of Germany , it’s definitely worth a spot on your travel bucket list. 

Germany is a fantastic destination for families , those seeking a romantic getaway, beer garden enthusiasts or anyone interested in the country’s history and culture. It’s also a place that can be visited affordably if you maximize points and miles to cover your flights, hotels and car rental.

Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Germany with points and miles, plus some of our favorite things to do there .

A Lufthansa A380 taking off

The cheapest award flights to Germany

Most flights from the U.S. arrive in Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC) or Berlin (BER). You’ll find the best deals from major hub cities, especially those on the East Coast, though it depends more on the airline you’re going with.

  • Cheapest economy class ticket to Germany: 40,000 Air France / KLM Flying Blue miles round-trip
  • Cheapest business-class ticket to Germany: 88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip
  • Cheapest first-class ticket to Germany: 165,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip or 165,000 Alaska Airlines miles (from East Coast)

How to get started with travel points and airline miles

Avianca LifeMiles

Using Avianca LifeMiles to book award flights with Star Alliance partners like United Airlines and Lufthansa can be a real points-and-miles sweet spot.

United flies nonstop to Berlin (BER) from Newark (EWR) and to Munich (MUC) and Frankfurt (FRA) from Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington, DC. (IAD).

Lufthansa offers many nonstop and seasonal routes from all over the U.S. to Munich , Frankfurt and Berlin , so check the website for the best departure city near you.

Here’s how many LifeMiles you’d need to fly to Germany from the U.S.:

  • Economy Class: 60,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 126,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 174,000 miles round-trip

Top up your Avianca LifeMiles balance by transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) or American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards or Bilt Rewards (1:1).

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card :  Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card : Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express* : Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 within the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express* : Earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card* : Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card *: Earn three free nights (worth 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card *: Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card *: Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

The best travel credit cards

Business class Singapore Airlines' A350-900ULR

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles is another underrated points-and-miles currency that can be used to book flights to Germany with Star Alliance partners like United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines or TAP Portugal, among other carriers. You can also use them to fly nonstop to Frankfurt from New York (JFK) on Singapore Airlines.

Note that you can only book Singapore Airlines business- or first-class award tickets by using KrisFlyer miles (not miles racked up with partner airlines). That said, it is easier to book economy seats on Singapore Airlines through its various Star Alliance partners. 

Here’s how many KrisFlyer miles you’ll need to reach Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines when flying from the East Coast of the U.S. and Houston — to price out rates from other U.S. cities, use the carrier’s handy miles calculator : 

  • Economy Class: 50,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 162,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 194,000 miles round-trip

Here’s how many KrisFlyer miles you’d need to make the same trip with one of its Star Alliance partners:

  • Economy Class: 61,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 242,000 miles round-trip

Transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) if you need to rack up some KrisFlyer miles in a hurry. Points can also be transferred from Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards (1:1).

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® : Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card : Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express : Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 within the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express : Earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card : Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card : Earn three free nights (worth 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card : Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card : Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

How to make a travel budget using points and miles  

All Nippon Airways business class

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

Star Alliance enthusiasts can also use ANA Mileage Club miles to fly to Germany with partners like United Airlines or Lufthansa. 

Note, however, that redemptions must be booked round-trip (not just one-way) and you must check for availability via United’s website first, then confirm it with ANA. Award flights can also only be booked for yourself or a family member, not a friend. Even so, the rates are worth considering:

  • Economy Class: 55,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 88,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 165,000 miles round-trip

To accumulate ANA Mileage Club miles quickly, transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) or Marriott Bonvoy (3:1).

Alternatively, the welcome bonus from The Platinum Card® from American Express provides enough points to take care of a round-trip economy flight, while the one from The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers enough to cover a business-class flight.

Traveling to Japan using points and miles

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

As one of the most valuable currencies in the points-and-miles universe, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles can be used to redeem award flights to Germany on partners like American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Finnair, Emirates or Icelandair, among others.

Condor, for instance, flies nonstop to several German cities from New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Anchorage (ANC), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA), San Antonio (SAT), Boston (BOS), Las Vegas (LAS), Baltimore (BWI), Minneapolis (MSP), Portland (PDX) and Phoenix (PHX).

American Airlines, another partner, offers nonstop routes to Munich and Frankfurt from Charlotte (CLT) and to Frankfurt from Dallas (DFW).

As of 2024, Alaska Airlines will be switching to a new award chart for its redemption flights, so go to Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distance between your desired airports before consulting the mileage chart.

Here’s how many Mileage Plan miles you’d need to fly to Frankfurt on Alaska Airlines’ partners, ranging from the East Coast to the West Coast of the U.S.:

  • Economy Class: 55,000 to 70,000 miles needed
  • Business Class: 110,000 to 140,000 miles needed
  • First Class: 165,000 to 210,000 miles needed

It might be worth signing up for one of Alaska Airlines’ co-branded credit cards for the generous welcome bonus. Otherwise, points can be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) if you need to boost your balance. 

  • Alaska Airlines Visa® card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening — and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each year after you spend $6,000.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23), after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Best travel credit cards for foodies

An Air France 787

Air France / KLM Flying Blue

Air France and KLM don’t fly nonstop to Germany from the U.S., but you can still book affordable one-stop flights to Munich, Frankfurt or Berlin (BER or TXL) via Paris on Air France or Amsterdam on KLM.

There’s even a handy calculator at the bottom of the Flying Blue Rewards page to help you figure out how many miles you’ll need to fly between cities. That’s also where you’ll find the list of Promo Awards, discounted short-haul and long-haul flights you can book with Flying Blue miles.

Here’s how many Flying Blue miles you’d need to fly from New York (JFK):

  • Economy Class: 40,000 miles needed
  • Business Class: 100,000 miles needed

Flying Blue miles can also be used to book award flights with SkyTeam alliance partners like Delta Air Lines, which offers nonstop flights year-round to Frankfurt from Atlanta, Detroit and New York (JFK). Delta also has a few seasonal routes to Munich from Detroit and JFK (year-round from Atlanta) and to Berlin (BER) from JFK.

To bump up your Flying Blue balance, transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) or Bilt Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards (1:1).

Best credit cards for adventure travel

Half-timbered houses, in the market square in Schiltach, Germany

Germany hotels you can book with points

You’ll find points hotels connected to the Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards, World of Hyatt, Accor Life Limitless and Choice Privileges loyalty programs all over Germany. Sign up for each brand’s loyalty program to earn points toward future stays — or its cobranded hotel rewards credit card to score a generous welcome bonus and earn free nights.

For Hilton fans, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card may be a good pick since it includes $200 in statement credits that can be used to cover on-property charges and resort fees at Hilton properties worldwide.

Best travel credit cards for hotels

The Berlin skyline, Germany

Learn about Germany’s history where it happened in the capital city of Berlin, home of the Reichstag , Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie . 

You’ll find a ton of IHG properties to choose from in the western and central parts of the city, including Hotel Indigo Berlin – Ku’damm (25,000 points per night), the Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre (from 27,000 points per night) and the InterContinental Berlin (from 24,000 points per night). 

On the east side of town, the Crowne Plaza Berlin – Potsdamer Platz (from 26,000 points per night) and Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery (from 29,000 points per night) are also worth a look.

Top up your balance by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards (1:1). Otherwise, the welcome bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred , Chase Sapphire Reserve or IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card provides enough to take care of a two-night stay at any of these hotels. 

Best credit cards for international travel

The Oktoberfest fairground in Munich, Germany

Whether you’re visiting Munich for its legendary Oktoberfest celebrations or as part of a larger trip to Bavaria and the Black Forest , you’re in for a treat.

Base yourself at the Aloft Munich (from 31,000 points per night), Le Méridien Munich (from 42,000 points per night) or The Westin Grand Munich (from 31,000 points per night). They’re all part of Marriott Bonvoy and put you within walking distance of most Munich attractions.

Points can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) if you need to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points quickly. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless  welcome bonus would also be enough to cover three nights of your Munich trip.

The best credit cards with no international fees

Frankfurt Central Station

Frankfurt is home to several affordable World of Hyatt hotels, a great way to start or end your Germany trip, especially if you’re flying through its airport. 

The Hyatt House Frankfurt Airport (from 5,000 points per night) and the Lindner Hotel Frankfurt Main Plaza (from 8,000 points per night) are great options if you’ve got an early flight or want to stay closer to the city center. For those with more time, the Schlosshotel Kronberg has rooms from 12,000 points per night at its plush members-only property just outside of town.

The welcome bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred , Chase Sapphire Reserve or the World of Hyatt Credit Card provides enough points for 12 nights at the Hyatt House Frankfurt Airport, seven nights at the Lindner Hotel Frankfurt Main Plaza or five nights at the Schlosshotel Kronberg. 

If you still need to bump up your points balance, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Word of Hyatt (1:1).

10 incredible branded hotels that have boutique hotel vibes

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany

Activities and ground transportation

It’s easy to get around Germany by car, bus or train, and you can rely on regional trains and cable cars to travel between and within many of the larger cities. For longer journeys, check the Deutsche Bahn website . 

The Bayern Ticket allows for unlimited travel throughout Bavaria for up to five people for a single day. If you’re based in Munich, use this to plan a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle , just outside Füssen in Bavaria .

Driving is done on the right side of the road from the left side of the car. Road-tripping along the Autobahn is memorable, as much of it has no speed limit. The only rule is that passing anyone on the right is illegal.

Some cards, like the Capital One Venture X  and the Capital One Venture , allow members to redeem miles toward recent travel expenses at one cent per point, essentially “erasing” them. Others, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve , include a $300 annual travel credit as a perk, letting you cover recent travel-related charges. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred  and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders should check the Chase travel portal, which lets them save on guided tours and car rentals by redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for 1.25 cents per point or 1.5 cents per point, respectively.

The best credit cards for airline miles

Bottom line

Traveling to Germany doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you fly with airline partners. Pay attention to welcome bonuses from travel credit cards and ensure you earn and redeem your points and miles wisely. 

There’s something here for every type of traveler, style and budget, so you really can’t go wrong. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or have been back a few times, it’s a fantastic country to explore on its own or as a jumping-off point for a larger European train adventure .

* Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit  americanexpress.com/ benefitsguide  for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit  americanexpress.com  to learn more.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Explore related stories

Nightjet train

Tips & Advice

Dec 19, 2023 • 6 min read

The great European rail renaissance shows no signs of hitting the buffers anytime soon.

Here are things a traveler should know on their first trip to one of the world's most storied cities, Athens

Nov 11, 2023 • 8 min read

where-to-go-december.jpg

Oct 20, 2023 • 8 min read

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Sep 29, 2023 • 7 min read

5Shops-Berlin-Hero-Image.png

Aug 16, 2023 • 5 min read

Young hip people dancing on a Berlin party.

Jul 30, 2023 • 6 min read

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Jul 28, 2023 • 3 min read

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Jul 27, 2023 • 6 min read

neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

Jul 20, 2023 • 9 min read

People dancing at the Berlin Pride street festival

Jul 14, 2023 • 7 min read

IMAGES

  1. A Guide To Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  2. Neuschwanstein Castle with surrounded by beautiful autumn colors

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  3. Guide to best view of Neuschwanstein Castle

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  4. The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  5. Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

  6. 15 Best Neuschwanstein Castle Tours

    neuschwanstein castle best time to visit

VIDEO

  1. On the way to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

  2. Neuschwanstein Castle

  3. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle 🏰#relaxingvideos #placestovisit #travel #placestotravel #vibes

  4. Neuschwanstein Castle

  5. Neuschwanstein castle Füssen

COMMENTS

  1. How to Plan The Perfect Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

    To avoid the crowds best but still catch nice weather, late May and early June are the best months to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Seeing Neuschwanstein covered in snow is also a pretty sight and you'll have the highest chance of snow in the month of December.

  2. How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

    Before You Go If you want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the first step is making an advanced reservation for the guided tour. This must be done at least two days ahead of your arrival, but it's recommended that you book as soon as you know your travel plans to get first dibs on your desired time.

  3. Neuschwanstein Castle Without the Crowds

    Arrive Late After 3 pm, things begin to quiet down, as day trippers make their way back to Munich and the surrounding towns. Be aware that this tactic may not work during peak season. In July and August, tours can sell out by early afternoon.

  4. 15 Top Tips For Touring Historic Neuschwanstein Castle

    1. It's Easy To Visit By Car, Train, Or Tour Bus Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the Bavarian town of Schwangau, about 70 miles southwest of Munich. The castle is about a 90-minute drive from Munich. Whether you travel by car or with a tour group, driving is the most direct way to visit the castle.

  5. Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle: Everything You Need to Know

    If you're traveling to Bavaria, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle has got to be on your Germany bucket list. Visitors flock to get a glimpse of this fairytale castle- and, with architecture that inspired Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's Castle and a location nestled in the German Alps, it's not hard to see why!

  6. 10 Crucial Tips to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle Skillfully and Worry-Free

    2. Reserve your tickets ahead of time Let me be clear, anyone can visit Neuschwanstein Castle. You can walk up to and around the castle up close and walk the famous bridge and trails, all without paying a dime. However, if you wish to go inside Neuschwanstein Castle that is only possible on a guided tour. Neuschwanstein Castle tour tickets

  7. The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

    Late spring and summer are great times for visiting if you want to see the castle with a lush green backdrop. Spring can be a bit rainy but it's less crowded than the summer months. As I've said before, Neuschwanstein castle is the most visited spot in Germany and summer is the absolute peak season in tourism.

  8. Neuschwanstein Castle

    Last updated: August 23, 2019 Home / Europe / Germany / Neuschwanstein Castle - How to visit + my best tips and info Neuschwanstein Castle ("Schloss Neuschwanstein" in German) is one of the world's most famous castles. It's also one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Germany with approximately 1.3 million visitors annually.

  9. Best Weather For a Visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

    Neuschwanstein in the Spring - March and April It'll still be chilly up until Easter, although this isn't a bad time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Most days in March have an average temperature of less than 0°C (32°F), and about half of all days in April dip below freezing.

  10. How To Visit Neuschwanstein Castle: Everything You Need To Know

    The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is in the spring or fall when the weather is milder. Summers can be quite crowded and winters can be very cold with snow. The castle is open year-round, however, so you can visit any time of year. Tips For Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle In Winter.

  11. Neuschwanstein Castle Season Guide

    Pöllat Gorge Closed The bridge was reopened end of July 2022 - Neuschwanstein Castle is open! Bad News: The Pöllat Gorge has closed again after a costly renovation. The future of the gorge is currently unclear. Rockslides are a major concern.

  12. Neuschwanstein Castle: A Thorough Guide to Enjoy Your Visit

    Neuschwanstein Castle during Autumn: Best for Photography Neuschwanstein Castle during Autumn. If you find winter too chilly but still wish to explore the castle without the throngs of tourists, consider a visit during the shoulder season of autumn. For photography enthusiasts, this could be the ideal time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

  13. 25 Facts About Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

    01 of 25 Where is Neuschwanstein Castle? Getty Images Neuschwanstein Castle, which literally translates to "New Swan Stone" castle, is located in the Bavaria region of southeastern...

  14. When to visit The Neuschwanstein Castle: Tips to avoid queues

    The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle without crowds is between the summer and the winter seasons, when the visitor numbers is at its lowest: for example, in November, December (before the holiday period) or in March-May (avoid Easter holidays). We recommend choosing a weekday for your visit.

  15. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Know About The Timing, Location & More

    The best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is early in the morning, especially during peak season, to avoid heavy crowds. Neuschwanstein Castle Timings General Opening Hours Here are the general timings of Neuschwanstein Castle: Neuschwanstein Castle is open daily throughout the year except for January 1st, December 24th, 25th, and 31st.

  16. Neuschwanstein Castle: What To Know Before You Visit

    Phone: +49 (0) 83 62 - 9 30 83 - 0. Neuschwanstein Castle Open Hours: March 19 to October 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October 16 to March 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open daily except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Ticket Office opens and closes one hour earlier.

  17. How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

    The Best Time to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle. As Neuschwanstein Castle can get very busy and overcrowded during the summer months, the best times to visit are usually in Spring or Autumn when there are fewer crowds, okay weather and everything is open. It is also a good idea to visit on a weekday instead of a weekend and try to visit either ...

  18. The Complete Guide to Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

    Ride the bus to Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge) above Neuschwanstein castle. 12:15pm: Arrive at Marienbrucke (so the entire line/bus experience took about 1 hour). Take pictures, buy an ice cream cone and wait for tour to begin at 12:55pm. 12:55pm: Tour of Neuschwanstein castle begins. 1:30pm: Tour of Neuschwanstein castle ends.

  19. When is the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

    Summer. The summer months as well as May and September are the peak tourist season at Neuschwanstein Castle. There's good reason for it. Warmer temperatures and sunnier days make Bavaria and its famous castle an attractive place to visit. But it doesn't mean you need to avoid visiting Neuschwanstein Castle between May and September.

  20. Visiting Two of the Best Bavarian Castles: Neuschwanstein and

    Horse carriages run throughout the year and will take you to either Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau. The trip to Neuschwanstein spares your legs most of the uphill climb and will also save you a bit of time. Carriages drop you off below the castle, leaving you with another 5-to-10-minute walk from the drop-off point.

  21. Best way to visit Neuschwanstein castle

    Visit Neuschwanstein Castle the easy way. The best and easiest way to visit Neuschwanstein Castle is to park your car at one of the nearby parking lots. We parked our car at Parkplatz P1 Königsschlösser, which costs €8 ($9) per day. From this point, you can walk to Neuschwanstein Castle in just 30 minutes. The walk is not difficult.

  22. 9 Best Neuschwanstein Castle Tours for All Ages

    Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich. RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | TOUR LENGTH: 10.5 hours | Book it! This specific tour is our #1 pick. Experience Neuschwanstein and Linderhof's enchanting fairy tale castles, masterpieces created by Germany's eccentric King Ludwig II.

  23. How to Find the Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints

    1. The most popular viewpoint: From Marienbrücke. Let's start with the most famous Neuschwanstein Castle viewpoint: the Marienbrücke (also referred to as Mary's Bridge in English). If you are looking for that iconic castle view you've probably seen a thousand times on postcards, this is it!

  24. Must-See Castles To Visit On Your Next Trip To Germany

    Linderhoff Palace. Of all the castles on this list, Linderhoff Palace is the smallest. But it is no less magnificent. The summer home of King Ludwig II, the grandeur of the palace was modeled ...

  25. Travel to Germany with points and miles in 2024

    Lufthansa offers many nonstop and seasonal routes from all over the U.S. to Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin, so check the website for the best departure city near you. Here's how many LifeMiles you'd need to fly to Germany from the U.S.: Economy Class: 60,000 miles round-trip. Business Class: 126,000 miles round-trip.