Are you planning to visit Neuschwanstein Castle soon? Let’s start with the first point: how to get there! The castle is really close to Munich and to the Austrian border so luckily you have many options to choose from. The easiest way to reach this fairytale place is from Munich, so I put together a list about all the possible ways to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. Read along to find out which option is the best for you!
If you are looking for a super detailed travel guide about when to visit, where to stay and what to expect, check out my ultimate guide to visiting Neuschwanstein Castle! Looking for the best places to photograph Neuschwanstein Castle? Don’t worry, I got you covered too! Check out the best viewpoints at Neuschwanstein Castle along with a detailed description about how to find them!
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How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and it definitely has to feature on the top of your Germany bucket list. It is located near a little town called Hohenschwangau in South-Germany, close to the Austrian border. The castle itself is nested in the foot of the Bavarian Alps so a drop-dead gorgeous view is guaranteed!
Unfortunately there are no direct flights to the area. If you plan to arrive by plane you need to fly either to Munich (Germany) or Innsbruck (Austria). Innsbruck is actually closer to Neuschwanstein Castle than Munich, although there is no public transportation available, your only option is to rent a car. However if you are planning to visit from Munich, you have all sort of options to choose from. Let’s see them one by one!
Option 1. : Rent a car
Drive from Munich to Hohenschwangau
If you decide to fly to Munich the easiest option is to rent a car at the airport. Car rentals typically start from 45 EUR (50 USD) per day excluding fuel. Prices may vary based on your own requirements and the rental period. I recommend using Rentalcars to check the most recent options and offers.
You need to drive approximately 165 km (around 2 hours, depending on traffic) to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich Airport. There are no mountain roads or anything like that involved so it’s a fairly easy drive. You just need to start following the highway and then you have 3 routes to choose from: you can either take road nr. 2, road nr. 17 or road nr.12. I suggest checking out the recommended route by Google Maps before starting your trip and choose the one that has the less traffic.
We also chose the rental car option and we took road nr. 17. Everything went smoothly and we had zero problems with the rental process or the driving itself. Even if you are not a very experienced driver it’s still worth checking out this option! Having a rental car is such a big advantage! You are absolutely free to go whenever you want to plus you can easily visit the nearby places too.
Park your car at Hohenschwangau
The roads to the Neuschwanstein Castle are closed for public traffic so you need to park your car in Hohenschwangau. There are 4 different parking lots in Hohenschwangau, you can see them in the below map. You can’t park directly in front of the ticket center, P3 and P4 parking lots are the closest ones to park nearby. In P1, P2 and P3 you need to pay 7 EUR (7.5 USD) for a daily parking ticket. You also need to pay 7 EUR (7.5 USD) in P4 but the parking ticket will be only valid for 6 hours.
Getting up to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau
After you parked your car you can either go to the ticket office to pick up your tickets (if you wanna visit the inside of the castle) or you can just head up straight to the Neuschwanstein Castle. For that you need to find the path that leads up to the castle (the red trail on the above map). It takes around 30-40 minutes to reach the Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau on foot. You need to walk up on a steep uphill road for like 1.5 km so be prepared with comfy shoes!
If you don’t wanna walk that much, you can also take a shuttle bus which departs from the Hohenschwangau Palace. The bus can’t go directly to the castle so it will drop you off around the Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge) from where you still need to walk 10-15 minutes downhill. Prices for the shuttle: 2.5 EUR (2.7 USD) for the uphill trip and 1.5 EUR (1.6 USD) for the downhill trip, or 3 EUR (3.2 USD) for a return trip.
You can also choose to go up with a horse-drawn carriage. It won’t take you to the castle either, you need to walk 5-10 minutes uphill from the ending point of the ride. Tickets can be bought at the horse carriage driver, the uphill ride cost 7 EUR (7.5 USD) and the downhill ride is 3.5 EUR (3.8 USD).
As I don’t wanna 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 reasons it’s still cheaper (and a lot more ethical) to take the shuttle bus. So please choose wisely!
Option 2. : Public transportation
Take the train to Füssen from Munich
Public transportation is also an option, but there is no direct connection between Munich and the Neuschwanstein Castle. First you need to take a train to Füssen from Munich. The trains depart from Munich Hauptbahnhof, usually from platforms 27-35 at the far north end of the station. The trainride takes around 2 hours, you can check the Deutsche Bahn website for the latest timetable.
Trains depart in every hour, however direct trains only run in every 2 hours. If you are checking the timetable online make sure to pay attention to the “Changes” column! If it says 0, it means the train runs directly to Füssen. But it if says 1 or more, then you need to change trains during your journey, usually at Buchloe or Kaufbeuren. The transfer is easy, however you will have only 8-10 minutes to do it.
Use the Bavaria regional day ticket
A normal return ticket starts from 50 EUR (55 USD), you will find the latest prices on the Deutsche Bahn website. However instead of buying a regular ticket you can purchase a Bavaria regional day ticket which can save you a ton of money! The ticket cost 25 EUR (27 USD) for 1 person and it is valid for all kind of public transportation for one day within the Bavaria region. You can travel with it up to 5 people and you only have to pay 7€ addition per person. That means if you are a group of 5 you have to pay 53 EUR (58 USD) in total – that is 10.6 EUR (11.5 USD) per person!
If you are travelling with children it can be a great option for you as well. Children up to 5 years can always travel for free plus 2 adults can bring any of their own children/grandchildren (age 6-14) for free. For example if you are a family of 5 (with children up to 14 years old) you can purchase the Bavaria ticket for 32 EUR (35 USD) for the whole family!
The only thing you need to pay attention to is that the Bavaria ticket has a time restriction on weekdays. The ticket is valid only from 9 am on the weekdays (Monday to Friday) until 3 am the next day. That means during weekdays you can only use trains which depart after 9 am! Weekends and holidays have no time restriction, you can use the ticket from midnight until 3 am next day.
Getting to Hohenschwangau from Füssen
After your train arrived to the Füssen train station, you need to continue your journey towards Hohenschwangau, where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located. Füssen is only 4 km from Hohenschwangau so walking can be also an option, it would take around 1 hour to reach Hohenschwangau from the train station.
You can also take a public bus from Füssen train station to Hohenschwangau. You have to catch bus nr. 73 (direction: Halblech) or nr. 78 (direction: Shwangau) and exit at Hohenschwangau – Alpseestraße. The buses run regularly and they are usually timed to depart shortly after the trains arrive. Return tickets cost 4.2 EUR (4.5 USD) and you can buy your tickets from the bus driver. If you have a Bavaria day ticket you don’t need to purchase another ticket!
Getting up to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau
After you arrived to Hohenschwangau by bus you can either go to the ticket office to pick up your tickets (if you wanna visit the inside of the castle) or you can just head up straight to the Neuschwanstein Castle. I already described in the end of the Rental car option how to get up to Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau, please refer back to that section for a detailed guide!
Option 3. : Book a tour
If you are not comfortable with driving but still want a direct connection between Munich and the Neuschwanstein Castle, you can take an organized day tour. They typically cost around 55-75 USD, you can find many options on GetYourGuide.
One of the best rated tour is the Day trip to Neuschwanstein & Linderhof Castles from Munich. The tickets start from 64 USD and as the name suggests it includes the visit of both Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles. Tickets for the castle tours are not included in the price, you need to purchase them separately from the tour guide.
The tour starts at 8.30 am and it will finish at 7 pm. It will be a long day for sure but you definitely need this time to properly explore the sights. I didn’t try this tour personally but the customer ratings are amazing so it’s definitely worth to check out!
Where to stay around Neuschwanstein Castle
You can easily visit Neuschwanstein Castle as a day trip from Munich or Innsbrucks. Although the Neuschwanstein Castle can be easily reached from the two above mentioned cities, I would still suggest to stay around the castle for 1 or 2 nights. This way you can spend more time in the area which I highly recommend! If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with searching for accommodations just check out my recommendations below!
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!
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.
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 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!
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 is a traditional hotel peacefully and central located in Schwangau, 1.5 km from Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. Built in 1865, the cozy hotel is decorated with frescoes. Breakfast is served on-site.
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 is the third option to stay close to Neuschwanstein Castle. The distance is 5 km 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!
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.
I hope you enjoyed this detailed guide about how to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich and it will help you big time with your planning! If you have any more questions regarding this topic feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. I always love helping you out!
Have you already visited Neuschwanstein Castle? How did you like it? I would love to know about your experiences! Don’t be shy, add your comments and other tips below!