How to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle

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Neuschwanstein Castle is the best known of Germany’s fairytale castles. The high towers, the location, the fairy tale type design, the mystery of King Ludwig all make a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle an absolute must. Neuschwanstein Castle has to be one of the worlds most recognisable castles and you need to see it with your own eyes to believe it.

The castle is a dreamlike construction in a setting that allows it to come to life at the forefront of a mountain surrounded by forest. It is a fairy tale that has come alive.

Neuschwanstein castle
Neuschwanstein is most impressive from a distance

Walt Disney helped its popularity along the way by borrowing inspiration, design elements and incorporating them into Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle design we see on every Disneyland logo today.

A bit of history for your Neuschwanstein day trip

Neuschwanstein Castle is new by European standards. It was completed in the 1880s making it only 140 odd years old. While the cliffside castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1868 the foundation stone for Neuschwanstein Castle wasn’t laid until the 5th of September 1869.

  • The castle is located in the village of Schwangau
  • Hohenschwangau Castle sits opposite Neuschwanstein. It was the childhood home of King Ludwig II
  • The gateway building or the castle entrance you pass through today was the first building completed at the castle.
  • The interior of the castle was to have over 200 rooms but only 15 were completed.
  • The castle was not called Neuschwanstein until after King Ludwig II’s death
  • Anywhere between 200-300 workers per day constructed the castle 24 hours a day.
  • Neuschwanstein’s highest tower reaches a height of 213 feet
  • Ludwig slept only 11 nights in the castle
  • meteorite that reached Earth on April 6, 2002, near Hohenschwangau was named Neuschwanstein after the palace

Just 6 weeks after his death the palace was opened to the public and today over 1.5 million people a year visit the castle making it one of the most popular castles in the world. In the summer months peak season up to 6000 people a day tour the castle. A reservation is your best option or you can line up to pay the entrance fee

How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

There are so many different ways you can enjoy your day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. Here we have all of the options available to you to make your trip as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by car

Travelling from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by car can add another element to your trip. The element of exploring, only when travelling Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by car can you choose to stop at will.

The Bavarian countryside a packed with amazing villages and breathtaking views. The journey to the village of Schwangau and Neuschwanstein will take you nearly 2 hours by car and have you travelling 121 kilometres from Munich.

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How do I get from Munich to Neuschwanstein by car?

From Munich, you will need to head out of the city.

Option 1

  • Take the A7 motorway (direction Ulm-Kempten-Füssen) until you reach Fussen.
  • From Füssen first follow the road B17 to Schwangau,
  • Once at Schwangau follow the signs to Hohenschwangau

Option 2

  • Take the A7 motorway until the exit Kempten
  • Then take the road B12 to Marktoberdorf.
  • Follow the road B16 to Roßhaupten – OAL I to Buching
  • Then take the road B17 to Schwangau and Hohenschwangau.

Is there parking at Neuschwanstein Castle?

I will tell you that parking is pretty hard to come by in the village. There was one parking lot that you need to share with tour buses and there are so many tour buses. You may need to park on the outskirts of town and walk-in. The cost of car parking in March 2021 is 8 Euros’s. The real bonus of driving is that you can explore some other sights in the area on your way back to Munich.

What are some places we can visit on the way to Neuschwanstein?

When we drove to Schloss Neuschwanstein we also visited Linderhof Palace and the Pilgrimage Church of Wies. Linderhof is another King Ludwig II castle while the Wies is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Add these sites together and you have one of the best day trips from Munich.

Can I take a Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle Day Tour?

You sure can and for some this will be the best and easiest way to visit Neuschwanstein. If you don’t want the stress of driving option an organised Neuschwanstein castle tour from Munich is your best bet. There are many Neuschwanstein tours running from Munich daily. Some of the positives of going on an organized tour can be:

  • You can usually organise a pickup and drop off at your accommodation
  • You will have a guide that will keep you informed on the journey out to the Neuschwanstein Castle tour
  • Entry tickets to the sights are usually included, no purchases required.
  • One price for everything
  • An organized tour of the sights when you visit Neuschwanstein Castle
  • If you have children you may be able to take some extras for them and then have somewhere to keep the extra bags so you don’t have to carry them around
Exterior of Neuschwanstein Castle
The entrance to Neuschwanstein Castle

The tours usually have many options and can include extras like a trip to nearby towns. Below we preview some of the tours that are available from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle and more.

Taking a guided full-day tour from Munich is a fairytale adventure that is not to be missed. Departing from Munich some guided tours will take you via bus and some others will take you via train. Train travel in Germany is safe and very clean.

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Are there other castles to visit around Neuschwanstein?

You are in luck there are! You can visit Hohenshwangau which is located only minutes from Neuschwanstein and it is King Ludwig’s childhood home. There is also Linderhof Castle another of Ludwig’s glorious castles. If you have time you may be able to discover some of the beautiful towns that surround the castles too.

waterfall at Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace is much smaller but in no way less impressive

Day Trip to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles

These day trips take you to the amazing castle near Munich of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria. Visit the ever-popular Neuschwanstein and intimate Linderhof, lunch in the village Schwangau and take a small detour through the little town of Oberammergau.

Can I take public transport to Neuschwanstein Castle?

This is another way to experience the beauty of Neuschwanstein Castle on your own time and at a whim. There are so many ways to get to Neuschwanstein using public transport. It just takes a little extra planning.

Munich to Fussen Train

The closest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen. Fussen Germany is a small town just north of the Austrian border with a population of 14,000 people.

You need to make your way to

  • München Hbf, Munich’s central station for regional trains departures to Fussen. (München Hbf is located close to Munich’s city centre in north Munich)
  • U-Bahn lines U1, U2, U4, U5, U7, U8 will get you to Munich’s central station.

The main entrance to the east of the station is via the Prielmayerstraße or Bayerstraße to Karlsplatz (Stachus).  450,000 people a day travel through this station so arrive early, buy your ticket and make your way to your platform. There are 32 platforms at München Hbf so make sure you get the right one.

German train travelling from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle
Train from Munich heading to Fussen

Top tips for train travel to Fussen

  • The Munich To Fussen train takes a little over 2 hours
  • Trains run roughly every hour
  • On the weekend the first Munich to Fussen train departs at 5.30 am. The last train departs at 10.30 pm
  • All times correct as of the date of publishing. Please check DB for up to date times here
  • During the week the first Munich to Fussen train departs at 4.48 am. The last train departs at 9.19 pm

Weekday travel to Neuschwanstein

You can travel as cheap as 44 Euro’s Monday to Friday, but that far only allows you 3 hours between arrival and departure at Fussen. Ask about the Regio-Ticket Allgäu-Schwaben.

Weekend travel to Neuschwanstein

On a weekend you can buy a Bayern ticket which allows a heavily discounted train travel. We priced a train to Neuschwanstein on a weekend for as little as 33 Euro

“You can now book your Neuschwanstein train ticket right here. Just remember to book Munich to Fussen”
Bavarian farm house

As the train approaches the mountain region the scenery becomes what I would call classic alpine. Fields with cows, stereotypical German Alpine Chalet style house’s and the mountains greet you. The houses that look much like the gingerbread houses you get at Christmas time.

Being a trip of over 2 hours we recommend you bring some things to keep the kids occupied on the journey. Card games such as UNO travel version or maybe the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel colouring book will make time fly as head from Munich to Neuschwanstein.

How to get from Fussen to Neuschwanstein Castle

Buses will be waiting for the Munich to Fussen train to ferry the visitors up to Schwangau Village. Ride line RVA/OVG 73 and RVA/OVG 78 in the direction of Schwangau. Both buses stop at Hohenschwangau/Alpseestraße stop. When you are ready to go from Fussen to Munich just hoe back on the bus.

The ride takes 8 minutes and costs 2.30 euros each way. Once you reach the village of Schwangau head to the visitor’s centre to buy your Neuschwanstein castle tour tickets.  It’s about a 30-minute walk to Neuschwanstein castle but it is a beautiful walk.

A shuttle bus will then take you from Schwangau and will drop you near the Marienbrücke bridge above the castle. The view from the Marienbrucke Bridge is amazing. The castle is a downhill walk of 500 meters from here.

a street in Fussen Germany
The streets of Fussen Germany

Horse Drawn Carriage is a real thrill and experience. The horse-drawn carriages will drop you about 400 meters short of the castle.

Ticket (Shuttle Bus)Price
Uphill1.80 Euro
Downhill1.00 Euro
Return trip2.60 Euro
Ticket (Horse drawn carriage)Price
Uphill 6.00 Euro
Downhill3.00 Euro

This was an all-time favourite experience for our kids. We caught it down the hill and they absolutely loved every second

You can also catch a taxi to Neuschwanstein Castle you like, you can expect to pay between 14 and 17 Euros one way. Walking from Fussen to Neuschwanstein Castle will take you between 60 and 90 minutes.

Bus from Munich, Munich central bus to Schwangau Neuschwanstein

Flix bus runs a daily bus service seven days a week from Munich to Neuschwanstein. The bus leaves daily at either 8.30 am or 9 am taking a little over 2 hours to arrive at Schwangau.

The same bus does a returning trio from Schloss Neuschwanstein to Munich in the evening at times varying from 4.50 pm to 5.35 pm. You can check the schedule and book tickets at Flix Bus

Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by bike via Fussen

If cycling is your thing this is a great option to see Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich via a bike. Firstly you can book a train ticket that allows you to take your bike on the Munich Fussen train. Secondly, you can hire a bike in Fussen after getting off the Munich to Fussen train.

The town of Fussen and Neuschwanstein castle is connected as part of the Königssee bicycle track network. You can bike the 5.2 kilometres from Fussen to Neuschwanstein in around 30 minutes. Bike hire is available at a number of places in Fussen Germany.

The track out to Neuschwanstein is mostly flat until you get to the edge of the village. Riding a bike is a great way to do Munich Castle Neuschwanstein and take in the countryside of Bavaria.

Where to eat at Neuschwanstein Castle

We had lunch at the tavern “Schlossbräustüberl” in the centre of town. This establishment had a limited menu in the beer garden of Bavarian foods. Chicken, Bratwurst, and salads were available along with the usual Bavarian Beers.

It’s an amazing location for lunch with both Castle Hohenschwangau and Castle Neuschwanstein on view from your outdoor table (we visited in Summer so not sure how sitting outside would go in winter).

The place fills up fast as you can imagine. It is an amazing setting where you can sit eat, drink, relax and enjoy the amazing setting that you are experiencing.

Just below Neuschwanstein Castle on the hill is a gift shop/restaurant that sells food and drink. It has a great view and an outdoor patio (for nice days), called Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein.

If you are looking for a bite to eat, get a spot here. There was limited seating but plenty of drink and snack food options to take away or eat in as mentioned before the uphill walk or horse carriage to the castle. You will find plenty of upscale restaurants to eat at if your budget is accommodating for fine dining.

* Neuschwanstein is a once in a lifetime experience for many. We will warn you that the crowds during the summer months of June through September may make your experience less than perfect. If possible visit in the offseason when crowds will be low.

Weather at Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle lies in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. This makes it cool in summer and even cooler in winter. As expected the warmest months are July, August with an average temperature of only 17 degrees in the middle of summer.

The coldest months are December, January with an average temperature of -1. Having been to Neuschwanstein twice it always pays to bring some warm clothes no matter what time of the year.

Getting to Munich

  • Munich is the second biggest city in Germany.
  • Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß is 28.5 kilometres from the city centre.
  • Munich is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers. For cheap flights from Europe check Vueling, EasyJet and Eurowings. You can check the prices of international flights to Germany with CheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
  • By February of 2017 Flughafen München, Franz Josef Strauß features flights to 248 destinations, making it the airport with the fifth-most destinations worldwide.
  •  The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines connect the airport with the centre of Munich, with departures every 10 minutes. The airport is also easy and convenient to reach by bus from the Munich city centre
  • Many international and domestic trains and bus service’s Munich terminating at Munich’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)
  • You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
  • You can book a rental car and have it waiting for you at Munich Airport.

Getting around Munich

  • Munich has an extensive public transportation system. It consists of a network of underground (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), trams and buses. … Tickets can be purchased at the blue vending machines, found at U- and S-Bahn stations, at many tram and bus stops and newspaper kiosks.
  • There are different types of tickets: Single Tickets (called “Einzelfahrkarte”), Stripe Tickets (called “Streifenkarte”) and Day Tickets (called “Tageskarte”).
  • Before first embarking, the ticket must be validated – insert the ticket into the small stamping machines posted at the entrances to U- and S-Bahn tracks or on trams and buses. It’s a € 60 fine if you are caught riding without a valid ticket.
  • The Munich City Tour Card allows free use of public transport, plus discount and free admission to some of the best Munich sights. For more Munich Hop on hop off bus which takes you to all the sites in the city. Where to stay in Munich

    Preserving all the features of Neuschwanstein Castle is a never-ending job that is funded by tourism. What was completed is amazing and well worth a visit if you have the time, energy and patience.

    We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has encouraged you to visit Neuschwanstein and make Munich your base for exporing. We are sure you will enjoy your time and find many things to do in Bavaria. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Germany click through to our Germany Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

    More travel inspiration for your trip to Germany

    Having a beer in Pilsen Czech

    Mark Wyld

    Author Bio:

    Father, husband, traveller and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

18 thoughts on “How to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle”

  1. Such a helpful guide! Bookmarking this for my next Europe trip as I’ve been wanting to visit this castle for awhile now!

  2. Neuschwanstein Castle looks straight out of a fairy tale. No wonder elements of the architecture of this castle have been borrowed by Disney. Looking at the pictures I was wondering where I had seen it and then realized the Disney connection.

  3. I wish I’d had this guide before the last time I went to Munich. I did go with a guided tour from Munich to Neuschwanstein, and the guide was very good. But it would have been nice to know how to get there by myself, and I like the idea of taking the horse drawn carriage. And you’re not kidding when you say to be careful to get on the right train! I found Munich Hbf a little overwhelming…

  4. This is super useful! When I was in Germany, I went to Neuschwanstein, but I was on a tour, so I didn’t think about how to get to and from this gorgeous castle. This is such an awesome tool for people traveling through Germany. I had no idea that a train took you so close! I’d love to take the bike tour in Neuschwanstein sometime.

  5. Great post! Lots of details for getting there and getting around, and the tip on taking the horse-drawn carriage to the top (or back down) seems like the perfect way to experience the castle. What a shame King Ludwig didn’t live to see what became of his dream castle!

  6. It is a beautiful castle no doubt, didn’t realize this was the inspiration for the Disney castle but I see why! I can’t believe they only waited 6 weeks after his death to open it to the public, that was pretty quick!

  7. Lovely, helpful post offering lots of options for visiting Neuschwanstein! Just one option was not mentioned – us! The Ticket and Travel Center directly at Fussen Train Station. We have last minute tickets available daily for travelers coming by train or staying in a Fussen hotel – even in the busy summer months.
    We’ve lots of international guests – and many Australian guests – who would rather discover the castle themselves but don’t fancy joining the long lines up at the castle.
    Also, the Bavarian Ticket for the train is only valid from 9am on weekdays and there are hefty fines if used before this time.
    Kids under 15 travel for free with this ticket, so only buy for older kids and adults!
    Shuttle to the castle only available April to Oktober (as the roads used by the bus are very sheltered and once temperatures drop they remain slippy all winter).

  8. Pingback: Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle – the Dream Palace of a Mad King

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