Neuschwanstein Castle Travel Guide

From all the German castles Disney took inspiration from, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria must be the most significant. Perched upon the Bavarian Alps, you can just imagine many a Disney character climbing the towers for a better view.

Schloss Neuschwanstein attracts over a million visitors each year. And it’s easy to see why. We’ve put together the most comprehensive English travel guide to Neuschwanstein Castle. Click on the links below to start planning your trip to the “Cinderella Castle Germany”.

German Castles Disney Took Inspiration From

Where is Neuschwanstein Castle?

The Castle of Neuschwanstein in Germany is found in the state of Bavaria. The most famous castle in Germany sits high above the village of Hohenschwangau.

The castle also sits above the neo-Gothic Hohenschwangau Castle, the predecessor of Neuschwanstein.

Close to the border of Austria, Schloss Neuschwanstein is in the south of Germany, about 65 miles south of Munich.

The proximity of Neuschwanstein Castle to Munich makes it a great place for a day trip. A train from Munich to Füssen takes less than three hours, including the quick change in Weilheim.

History of Neuschwanstein Castle

The first stone of the Castle of Neuschwanstein was laid in 1869. King Ludwig II had started planning this new castle in 1867 after losing his sovereign rule over Bavaria. He planned the build a better version of Hohenschwangau Castle.

King Ludwig II enjoyed his childhood summers at Hohenschwangau. His father, Crown Prince Maximilian II, built many of the paths, lookout points and Marienbruecke to make the most of the views from the Bavarian Alps.

The King moved into the incomplete castle in 1884. Building work continued after his death in 1886. King Ludwig II never got to see his version of the perfect medieval castle to fruition.

A shy dreamer with none of the typical “King” characteristics made the reclusive Ludwig II a popular king while he was alive, as well as after his death.

Neuschwanstein to Munich by train

Facts about Neuschwanstein Castle

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disney took a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle before Disney World was built. Rumour has it, Sleeping Beauty’s castle is based on Ludwig II’s castle.

Noi - Schwan - Styein

Neuschwanstein Castle literally translates as New Swan Stone. It is pronounced noi – schwan – styein (rhymes with mine).

King Ludwig II died in 1886

The circumstances around his death still remain a mystery but he died with the psychiatrist who certified him as insane.

More than 200 rooms

Ludwig II planned more than 200 rooms in his castle. Today only 14 are finished and open to the public.

King Ludwig II's many palaces

The King also commissioned Linderhof Palace, The King’s House on Schachen, Herrenchiemsee Palace and The Augustinian Monastory Herrenchiemsee.

Hohenschwangau Castle

King Ludwig II spent his childhood summers at the nearby castle just 1.4 miles from Neuschwanstein.

Getting to the Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle the original Disney Castle

Traveling by Car

Neuschwanstein Castle is an hour’s drive from Munich. From Stuttgart, it’s roughly 2 hours 20 minutes to Neuschwanstein.

Car parking at Neuschwanstein Castle

There are several car parks dotted around Hohenschwangau for tourists to use. Use this handy map to find the location of all the car parks.

Parking a car in the designated car parks costs from €10 per day. There are three disabled bays in car park 2.

Depending on the time of year, the closest car parks to the castles may fill up fast. There is more than enough space for everyone, but you might have to walk a little further.

Traveling by Train

The closest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle is in Füssen. From Füssen, it’s a quick ten minute bus journey to Hohenschwangau.

From Munich the train to Füssen takes roughly 3 hours, there is one change in Weilheim.

Travel from Füssen to Neuschwanstein by bus

A bus from Füssen train station takes visitors to the castle direct to Hohenschwangau. The bus takes about 10 minutes. Tickets can be bought from the bus driver.

There are two bus routes:

Bus 73 (direction: Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen)

Bus 78 (direction: Schwangau)

The stop to disembark at is Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße.

Check the bus times on 

Travel Bavaria with the Bayern-Ticket

Traveling by public transport in Germany can be expensive but the Bayern-Ticket helps you save money. If you’re staying in Munich or anywhere else in Bavaria, you can use the Bayern-Ticket for day trips. This can easily reduce the cost of your train and public transport.

Use the Bayern-Ticket to travel all around Bavaria:

  • During off-peak times (weekends, public holidays, and after 9am Monday to Friday
  • On all public transport (busses, trains, U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams)
  • Travel individually or as a group of up to 5 people. Each person added to the ticket costs a little extra.
  • The ticket costs an initial €26. Each additional person costs €8.
  • Monday – Friday travel between 9am and 3am the following day
  • Weekends and public holidays travel from midnight to 3 am the following day
  • Purchase the ticket at the station or online
Neuschwanstein Castle the original Disney Castle

Booking information for Neuschwanstein Castle

In the drop-down menu below, we’ve answered the most important questions about booking your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.

If there’s anything we’ve missed, visit the Hohenschwangau or Neuschwanstein Castle website for full details and to book your tickets.

The castle is open all year round. There are four days when Neuschwanstein is closed: 1 January and 24 – 26 December (inclusive).

During the spring and summer months the castle has longer opening times.
April – 15 October: 9am – 6pm Monday – Sunday.

The autumn/winter opening times are shorter.
October 15 – March: 10am – 4pm Monday – Sunday.

It is possible to walk up and see the exterior of the castle without a ticket. If you wish to visit the inner courtyard and interior of the castle, you will need to book a guided tour.

Tickets for guided tours are available online and from the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau. To book your ticket online visit the Hohenschwangau website.

It is recommended to book the tickets in advance online before visiting. Only a limited amount of tickets can be purchased on the day when the Ticket Center opens at 8am.

During the peak summer months, there may not be any tickets available at the Ticket Center.

As of August 2022, ticket prices for Neuschwanstein Castle are as follows:

Adults – €17.50
Child (0 – 17 years) – €16.50
Reduced rate tickets* for students, seniors and people with a disability – €16.50

*You must be able to provide proof of your status for a reduced ticket on the door.

It is only possible to view the inside of Neuschwanstein Castle if you are booked on a tour.

Tours last for 30 minutes and are held in English or German.

Audio tours are available in several different languages including Spanish and French. Visit the Neuschwanstein website for the full list of languages available with the audio tour.

It is important to arrive on time. Give yourself plenty of time to walk up to the castle from the car parks.

Late admission is not possible, even if you are only delayed by 5 minutes.

The tour takes in the King’s rooms on the 3rd and 4th floor. It ends on the ground floor in the historic kitchen.

The 2nd floor was never finished. Today it has a shop, café and multimedia room.

The weather at Neuschwanstein Castle is cold and temperate.

Summer months see average highs of 71F (22C) and average lows of 53F (12C).

Winter months see average highs of 38F (3C) and average lows of 24F (-4C).

Snowfall can happen between November and April. Although snow is not expected every year, you are most likely to see snowfall at Neuschwanstein Castle if you visit in February. The area sees an average of 6.8 inches of snowfall in February.

Based on the weather, the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle would be between May and October. These months get a good amount of sunshine, although there is always a chance of precipitation.

Your visit would be less likely to suffer from inclement weather when traveling in the summer months.

Time of Day
We recommend you avoid the hours of 12 – 3pm at Neuschwanstein Castle. These are the peak visiting times every day of the week.

Naturally Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest times to visit the castle.

There is usually a queue around the most photographed spot of Neuschwanstein Castle at Marienbrücke. On some days, it doesn’t matter how much you try to beat the crowds, there will be a queue to take photographs on the bridge.

If you would prefer to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit is first thing in the morning. Alternatively, you could hike one of the lesser hiked trails around the castle. You’re sure to get some great views from these trails.

Where to stay and eat near Neuschwanstein Castle

There are a few hotels in Hohenschwangau. They have various price points. Each one is available to be booked on

If you’d prefer to stay in a larger town but close by, Füssen has a lot of hotels and B&Bs to choose from. Check out for hotels and prices.

Cafés and Restaurants
There is a café in Neuschwanstein Castle. The café is only accessible for people with tickets.
Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein is open to all who climb up to Neuschwanstein. The prices are a little steep. Expect traditional Bavarian cusine.

There are plenty of places to eat in Hohenschwangau but as with all tourist destinations, they can be a little pricey.

Nearby Füssen is another good place to eat. There’s more variety in Füssen, including pizza and burgers.

Alpsee near Neuschwanstein Castle
Things to Do
What to do at Neuschwanstein Castle

To  make the most of your trip to one of the German castles Disney used as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, we recommend doing your research before you go. 

Use the drop downs to find out more about what to do when you get to Hohenschwangau.

Tours are held throughout the day.

Tickets for tours must be booked online two days in advance. Without a tour ticket booked, you are not able to view the inner courtyard or visit the inside of the castle.

It is sometimes possible to buy tickets on the day, but book online to avoid disappointment.

Tour guides host tours in English and German. Audio Guides are available in several other languages.

The walk up to Neuschwanstein Castle is an activity in itself. The hike takes approximately 40 minutes and is well signposted.

There are two paths leading to Hohenschwangau Castle on the other side of Hohenschwangau. The trails take 20 – 30 minutes.

Alternatively, there is a bus shuttle that takes passengers up to Jugend. From Jugend, there is a steep 15 minute climb to Neuschwanstein Castle.

The shuttle bus costs €3.50 return for adults. Tickets are bought from the driver in cash.

When visiting Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, isn’t it fitting to travel by horse and carriage? That is possible at Neuschwanstein Castle!

For €8 per person, you can take a horse drawn carriage up to Jugend. From Jugend, there is a 15 minute walk to get to the castle.

There are viewpoints all the way along the route to Neuschwanstein Castle, including a viewing platform.

If you travel further up the trail, you’ll reach Marienbrücke. This is where the best photos are taken. In fact, most of the photos we see of Neuschwanstein Castle are taken from this exact viewpoint built by King Ludwig II’s father Crown Prince Maximilian II in the 1840s.

The area around Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein to Munich by train

The area around Neuschwanstein Castle is often forgotten but it is a tourist destination in its own right. There are lakes, mountains and pretty Bavarian towns worth exploring.

Inhabited by wild swans, this lake has a depth of 62 meters and 5km of shoreline. A path runs alongside the entire shoreline making it a great place for an easy walk or bike ride.

From May to October it is possible to hire pedal boats or rowing boats from €10 / 30 minutes.

This 700 year old town on the doorstep of the Alps should not be missed. The High Castle rises about the red roofs of Füssen’s old town – the third castle along the Three Castle Trail.

To discover more about the city’s history, visit the Füssen tourism site.

Hiking & Biking Routes
There are around 120 km of hiking trails in the area surrounding Neuschwanstein Castle. The Schwangau Tourist Board recommend the Three Castle Trail, a 13 km walk linking Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle and High Castle.

For more information about the Three Castle Trail and more hikes around Neuschwanstein Castle, visit the Schwangau hiking trail page.