Fans of fairytale castles and wonderful nature must’ve heard of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. This magical place is located in Bavaria, in the small village of Hohenschwangau. It was a personal project of the Bavarian King Ludwig II and built to celebrate the life and work of Richard Wagner. Today visiting Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the top things most travelers in Germany do.
Its sad history and stunning looks make this spot a perfect destination for those with a romantic soul. Placed on top on a hill, overlooking a dark-green lake, the castle is a spot for experiencing an adventure of a different time.
Put yourself in the shoes of people who worked on this architectural gem or those who lived inside. Go a step further and try to understand how Aurora the Sleeping Beauty felt in this castle. Yes, Disney featured it on one of their most famous cartoons.
Don’t forget, though, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle can be to much for those who fail to plan their visit accordingly. Creating an itinerary with the places you want to see and reserve online tickets, for example, is crucial. What about parking or accommodation? Well, we’re here to give you all the necessary details about this unforgettable travel adventure!
Neuschwanstein Castle History
The Neuschwanstein Castle is a real gem of architecture, built in the Romanesque Revival style. The architect behind this masterpiece is Eduard Riedel, while the building itself was a personal wish of King Ludwig II.
The Bavarian king wanted to live in this marvelous castle. Unfortunately, he spent only 11 nights there before passing away. So, the history of Schloss Neuschwanstein is a sad one really. Ludwig II wanted to build the castle in honor of his favorite composer Richard Wagner and imagined it as a spectacular place. After his death, though, the construction was simplified in order to save money and time.
Construction of the castle started on the 5th of September 1869, while the building was first opened in 1886. The current owner of the castle is the Bavarian Palace Department.
The mesmerizing Neuschwanstein Castle photos made the castle a true tourist attraction. The fact that Disney used this spot as the Sleeping Beauty’s home helped too. In result, every year, over 1.3 million visitors go to see this castle. The summer season remains the most popular time for visiting Neuschwanstein, with approximately 6,000 visitors per day.
It should be noted that this castle was built over the ruins of two other castles – Vorderhohenschwangau and Hinterhohenschwangau.
Where is Neuschwanstein Castle located?
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle requires a good plan. For that, you need to understand where the castle is located and how to get there. Well, this Romanesque Revival palace is located in the Bavarian village of Hohenschwangau in Germany.
This village is the closest to the town of Fussen. Traveling from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle by car takes about 2 hours of driving. The easiest way is to rent a car and drive up there yourself, but there are organized bus tours that you can look into if you don’t have your own transportation. For those that are considering driving to Neuschwanstein, the country road ride is breathtaking and the experience is well worth it to see the village side in Germany.
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle – Getting There, Parking Details
When you first decide to go and see this amazing place, you start wondering how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. In reality, this adventure is quite easy to pull off if you have all the necessary information. First, you must decide if you only want a Neuschwanstein Castle day trip or to spend at least one night there.
Once you have an idea about how many days or hours you wish to spend there, it’s time to think about tickets, transportation and opening hours.
Tickets and Online Reservations
The Neuschwanstein Castle ticket price is €13 for adult visitors. Travelers can purchase tickets at the ticket office on site or online. It is highly recommended to purchase them online as this way you can select tour hours. Also, this way you’ll be sure that there will be any tickets left for you. Especially in high season, tickets often are sold out by lunchtime.
If you have an online reservation, you will also avoid the long waiting lines. Online reservations have to be picked up no later than 1.5 hours before the tour starting time. For example, if your tour starts at 3PM, you’ll have to pick up your tickets at 1:30 PM the latest. Online reservations are paid on site in cash or via a credit/debit card (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, Maestro).
Neuschwanstein Castle Parking
There are four large parking lots in the Hohenschwangau Village, where the Neuschwanstein and the Hohenschwangau castles are located. All have the same prices per day, and they go as it follows: €7 for cars, €15 for buses, €8.50 for mobile homes and €3 for motorcycles. Depending on where you park, you will have to walk a bit to get to the ticket office.
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle?
Once you have your tickets, you’ll have to get to the castle at least 30 minutes before the start of the tour. It’s usually crowded at the entrance and it takes time until all tour visitors get through security. Getting to the castle takes an uphill hike, which can be between 45 minutes and 90 minutes, depending on your fitness level.
Alternatively, you can get a shuttle bus or a horse carriage. These are the prices for both:
- Shuttle Bus to Mary’s Bridge (UPHILL) – €2.50
- Shuttle Bus to Mary’s Bridge (DOWNHILL) – €1.50
- Shuttle Bus to Mary’s Bridge (ROUND-TRIP) – €3.50
- Horse Carriage to Castle (UPHILL) – €7
- Horse Carriage to Castle (DOWNHILL) – €3.50
Opening Hours Neuschwanstein Castle
Ticket center working hours:
- April – 15 October: From 7.30 am to 5 pm
- 16 October – March: From 8.30 am to 3 pm
Opening hours of Neuschwanstein Castle:
- April – 15 October: From 9 am to 6 pm
- 16 October – March: From 10 am to 4 pm
- Open daily except 1st of January and 24/25/31 December
Neuschwanstein Castle Accommodation
In case you want to sleep near this magical castle, you’ll have many options to do so. Of course, due to the popularity of the place, you may want to book your Neuschwanstein Castle accommodation on time. Lots of tourists decide to spend a night or two there and the capacities are often full or overpriced.
If you are looking to hike or spend more days in the Hohenschwangau Village, you can check out Hotel Muller which is located next to the ticket office.
Booking has excellent options and last-minute deals, which you can check out here:
Best Time to Visit Schloss Neuschwanstein
Visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle is best when the weather is nice. You can experience most of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Germany when you can freely walk around and access crucial points such as Queen Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke).
For example, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter may mean missing the Bridge. Namely, in case of snow and ice, the bridge is closed for safety reasons. So, you can enter the castle and witness amazing snowy scenery. But, you’ll miss the most popular spot for photographing the building too.
August and September are the most popular months and therefore the most crowded ones too. So, if you want to avoid the crowds consider going there one month earlier or one month later. Spring is also a great time for visiting the castle, even though it may be raining, and the days are shorter. Meaning, you’ll have to go earlier in the morning.
Details About the Neuschwanstein Tour
The Neuschwanstein Castle tour lasts about 35 minutes and visitors need to climb around 350 steps. It can be exhausting and maybe fast-paced for some visitors. It is worth it, nevertheless. As we already said, you need to get your Neuschwanstein Castle tickets 90 minutes prior the start of the tour at the ticket center.
Then, you have to arrive at the entrance area on time by either getting a shuttle, horse carriage or hiking. There are monitors showing tour numbers. Once you see your tour number (printed on the ticket) you should head towards the entrance. There, you scan your ticket and get inside the castle, where your guide will meet you and all the people from your group.
The Neuschwanstein Castle tours are offered in either English or German. Also, you can get an audio guide in various languages including French, Spanish and Italian. We had an English-speaking guide and he was awesome! He explained everything in detail, plus he made some great jokes along the way.
There are certain things visitors mustn’t do inside during Neuschwanstein Castle tours. These include taking photos or videos, touching exhibits or carrying rucksacks, bulky objects, and baby strollers. You won’t be allowed to bring these forbidden items inside, so make sure to leave them in your vehicle.
Guests with limited mobility can visit the castle and use the elevator upon prior reservation. Bus shuttle is not recommended for those visitors. Instead, the horse carriage is an option, but they need someone to assist them to enter and leave the carriage.
Finally, there’s renovation works on the castle taking place often. More details about this are always offered at the official website of the castle.
Tips for Visiting the Ludwig Castle
I was quite lucky when I went to see this famous castle in Germany. We got most things right and avoided long queues of people. However, there were some things I wish I knew before going there too. So, here are my tips for everyone planning to go on any of the Bavarian Castle tours.
- Buy tickets online! This isn’t debatable, just reserve your tickets in time and casually pick them up while tens of people wait to purchase tickets on the spot.
- If you go there by car, make sure to read information about any road closures that can delay your arrival time. getting in time is crucial! So, maybe even head towards Hohenschwangau earlier than planned.
- If Linderhof is on your bucket list too, I advise you to leave it for another day. We had a single day for all three castles and therefore didn’t have the time to enter Linderhof.
- If you don’t have the budget to enter the castle, you can simply drive to Hohenschwangau and enjoy its courtyards for free.
- Go to the bathroom before visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, bring water too. Also, check the weather in Hohenschwangau as it will be probably raining in Spring or Fall, but it gets too hot during the Summer season. So, you may want to bring a hat, a jacket or an umbrella.
- Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle Bridge! It’s the best spot for taking pictures and appreciating the magnificent architecture of the building. We were tired and reluctant about whether to walk additional 15-20 minutes to Marienbrücke. Once we got there, we didn’t regret a single step. It’s magical, it’s stunning, it’s a unique experience everyone should have!
Schloss Neuschwanstein FAQs
Is it worth it?
Yes, absolutely. I went for the full Bavarian Castles tour that included Scholl Neuschwanstein, Schloss Hohenschwangau, and Linderhof Palace. The price you pay versus the historical and architectural value of the buildings you see is more than worth it!
What’s the Neuschwanstein Castle ticket price?
The exact price depends on the tour you’ll book. Visiting Neuschwanstein only costs €13 per adult. Certain people may be eligible for a lower ticket price of €12 (students, seniors, group visitors, persons with disabilities). There is an additional service fee of €2.50 per person too.
The cost of visiting Hohenschwangau is the same, while the Museum of the Bavarian Kings ticket is €11. So, you can combine these as you wish and for reduced prices.
Remember, you’ll need a ticket only if you want to enter the castles. Exploring the grounds surrounding the castles is free of charge. In that case, you’ll only have to pay for parking.
Can you buy tickets for a Neuschwanstein Castle tour online?
You can buy online tickets for the Neuschwanstein Castle tours. In fact, this is recommended because during high season the tickets may be sold out. Also, it’s smart to purchase the tickets as soon as you know the date of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.
Are there long waiting lines for tickets at Neuschwanstein?
Most people visit this castle from July through September. During those periods there are long waiting lines for everything really (tickets, bus, horse carriage). That’s why we recommend you reserve your tickets online because there weren’t long lines at all.
Do you have to hike to the Neuschwanstein Castle?
Getting from the parking to the castle entrance requires a long hike of about an hour. Of course, this depends on your fitness level too, it may take longer or less. However, visitors have the option to take a bus ride or a horse carriage ride (for an additional price, of course). There are long waiting lines for both options during popular seasons.
Are there any bathrooms at Schloss Neuschwanstein?
There were bathrooms in the Hohenschwangau Village and in the restaurants surrounding the castle. In the castle itself, you will see the bathrooms at the end of the tour. So, I recommend you visit a bathroom before going on your scheduled tour if you really need to go.
Can you buy souvenirs at Neuschwanstein Schloss?
Yes, there are souvenir shops where you can buy fridge magnets, coffee cups and all other kinds of souvenirs at Neuschwanstein Schloss. However, the prices are a bit higher than the souvenirs you’ll find at other spots.
For example, we bought fridge magnets featuring all three castles in Munich and they were much cheaper. So, consider that option if you’re traveling on a budget.
Can you buy food and drinks at Castle Neuschwanstein?
Yes, there are coffee shops, markets, and restaurants at the castle complex. You should know that the prices are higher than usual. So, you should consider bringing your own drinks and food if you want to save cash. If you want to try traditional Bavarian dishes, you can do that too.
Where to stay near Neuschwanstein?
You can stay both in Hohenschwangau or in Fussen if you wish to visit this fairytale castle in Germany. Fussen gives you more liberty and things to do when you’re not exploring the castles. On the other hand, sleeping in a town with such a rich history is surely worth it too.
Some properties with great Booking reviews in Hohenschwangau include Hotel Muller, Landhaus Nina, and Villa Ludwig Suite Hotel.
We were based in Memmingen and the drive wasn’t too long. So, that’s a cheaper option too. Alternatively, you can stay in Munich as well. Both destinations are about a 2-hour drive away from Hohenschwangau.
Is this castle part of the Bavarian Castles?
Yes, Neuschwanstein Castle is part of the Bavarian castles alongside the Hohenschwangau, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhof. They are also known as the castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
What to do in case of Neuschwanstein Castle tickets sold out?
There have been many cases where tourists planned to visit the castle without making online reservations in time. In result, the tickets were already sold out. In such a case, you can try to email the ticket office on their official email address and see if they are able to get your tickets.
Also, you can try and contact tour operators such as Radius Tours for extra tickets. If they don’t give you a positive response, you can always take the risk to try purchasing tickets in person. However, that usually ends in disappointment, especially during high season.
Are there any useful Neuschwanstein Castle photography tips?
Considering that this architectural masterpiece looks great from literally any side, you can take photos of it whenever you wish. There are a few spots, however, that promise unforgettable photos.
The most popular photographing spot is Marie’s Bridge, where you get a stunning view of the side of the castle. The scenery around the castle is unforgettable too. You can also cross the bridge and hike on the nearby hills to get photos from e different perspective.
Remember, photographing inside the castle isn’t allowed. However, you can take amazing up-close photos from the entrance point. If you like a good Neuschwanstein Castle front view, you’ll find it on your way to the Marie’s Bridge. There’s a nice viewing point you certainly won’t miss as it’s usually crowded with tourists.
King Ludwig II lived in Hohenschwangau and was tracking the building process of Neuschwanstein from there. So, you will be able to take nice photos of the latter when you’re at Hohenschwangau.
Check out my Neuschwanstein Castle in 4K video to see all the spots and their views!
Are pets allowed in Neuschwanstein Schloss?
No, visitors aren’t allowed to bring pets inside any of the castles. They can walk them in the country yards and viewing points.
How to get around the Hohenschwangau village?
Lastly, you can check out the local map for Hohenschwangau Village here to familiarize yourself with the walking paths, viewpoints, and parking locations.
There you have it! This is our complete travel guide to visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!