It’s what fairytale dreams are made of…a princess castle nestled in the forest of Germany. Take one look at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and you can see how it inspired Walt Disney to create Sleeping Beauty’s castle. When we added Germany to our travel itinerary, driving out to see this gorgeous cliffside castle was a must on our schedule.
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle
Flying into Munich, Germany is the easiest way to get to Neuschwanstein Castle. Driving is our preferred method of travel throughout Europe, you can see so much more when you have the ability to stop in all the little towns and get off the highway. Neuschwanstein castle is a quick 90 minute drive from Munich city center. If you are uncomfortable driving, you can take a train to Fussen, the closest town, and then it’s an easy bus ride to the castle from there. You can find bus schedules here.
Cars and bicycles are not allowed on the road up to Neuschwanstein Castle. The last place to park is in the village of Hohenschwangau. This is where the walking path up to the castle starts. It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk the path up to the castle on a fairly steep uphill climb.
If you don’t want to walk the whole way, you have two other options, but keep in mind that with both of these other options there is still some walking uphill involved.
Horse drawn carriages depart from the Hotel Muller in the village below the castle. The carriages operate all year round and shuttle according to demand, with no fixed timetable. These carriages are independently owned and operated, so you cannot buy tickets ahead of time or make reservations. Cost of a carriage ride is about 12 euros round trip per person. Keep in mind that even the carriages are not allowed all the way to the top of the castle. You will still have about a 10 minute uphill walk from where the carriages drop you off.
Shuttle Buses are your other option for avoiding most of the walk up to the castle. These buses are also independently owned and operated, so you cannot buy tickets ahead of time or make reservations. Prices will run you approximately 5 euros round trip. Like the carriages, the buses are not allowed to drop off right at the castle. Their drop off spot is above the castle meaning it’s about a 10 minute walk downhill to the castle and back up to return. The buses do not operate when the roads are icy and slick. You can check www.hohenschwangau.de for all the current information.
Neuschwanstein Castle Tickets
Tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle are only available online in advance. Each ticket is for a guided tour at a specific time. This is the only way to see the castle. You must arrive on time or you will not be admitted, so be surre to take into account the amount of time it will take to park and walk to the castle to make sure you arrive in time for your time slot. You need to plan additional time for security checks as well.
There may be some remaining tickets the day of, available on site at the ticket center, but I would not plan on that.
Tickets on sale at the Ticket Center
April to 15 October: 8 am-4 pm
16 October to March: 8.30 am-3 pm
Opening hours of Neuschwanstein Castle
April to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm
16 October to March: 10 am-4 pm
open daily except 1 January and 24 / 25 / 31 December
Admission fees Neuschwanstein Castle 2023
Adult tickets are currently 15 euros each. Children 18 and under are free, however everyone needs a time stamped ticket to enter the castle, even children who may visit for free. There is a booking charge for those tickets of 2.50 euros.
There are reduced price combination tickets available online to visit all of King Ludwig II’s castles if you are interested in those. You can find that information, as well as buy tickets online here.
Best Neuschwanstein Castle Views and Photo Ops
The most famous/common pictures that you always see of Neuschwanstein Castle are those from this vantage point:
This is the ‘MARIENBRÜCKE or Mary’s Bridge. A bit of a walk from the castle, this is where you will get that iconic shot of the castle. The bridge is usually crowded (and a moves a little to freak you out! 😉 ) but it’s a great spot if you want a picture of the castle itself. The bridge is narrow, don’t expect to do a full on photo shoot of yourself and whoever you are traveling with here.
There are several balconies in the castle to get great shots of the valley below.
History of Neuschwanstein Castle
Perched high up on the hill in the village of Hohenschwangau, this gorgeous cliffside castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II in the 19th century. Like most kings, Ludwig II was eccentric and reclusive but he sure did know how to build a magnificent castle! Many of the castle’s details were inspired by Richard Wagner’s operas who he was fascinated with. He was a stickler for detail. Not only is the architecture incredible, and had the interior painted with stunning murals, and massive custom chandeliers built to light the rooms. His tastes were so opulent that building the castle eventually led to financial ruin. Ludwig II died under mysterious circumstances when only 14 of Neuschwanstein Castle’s 200 rooms were complete.
Restaurants, Shopping & Where to Stay When Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle
There are some restaurants and little shops at the base of the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle, but we had a great time staying in Fusse, a pretty little town settled in Roman times. Here you will find lots of pretty little shops, restaurants and nice places to stay. We opted for the Hotel Sonne which had beautifully appointed, clean and comfortable rooms. The restaurant was delicious and the decor was super cute.
We really like to stay right in the city center of these towns for easy access to shops and restaurants without having to move the car. A few other nice hotels to consider close to the city center:
You will definitely want to pick up a dirndl while in town…Ash couldn’t leave without one. 😉
I hope that this info is helpful for planning your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle! It is truly stunning and if you are a Disney fan the bonus of seeing the real life Sleeping Beauty’s castle is pretty special too!
If you’re heading to other places in Europe, here are some more posts you don’t want to miss! You can check out our entire Europe Travel Gallery to see all of our posts and helpful info. Here are a few favorites to get you started:
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