Neuschwanstein Castle, thought to be the inspiration Disney’s castle, has become a must-see when you’re visiting Munich. There are a number of ways to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle, namely by booking a day tour, doing a self-drive or taking public transport. I’ve done the public transport option twice and here’s how you can do it.
Getting from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle without a car is fairly straightforward, and the journey can be broken into 3 parts.
In This Munich To Neuschwanstein Castle Guide:
Step 1: Getting To Füssen Via Train
From Munich Hauptbahnhof (main station), the direct train to Füssen takes approximately 2 hours. The trains are usually well-equipped and are quite comfortable.
You can purchase train tickets at train stations via the ticketing machines or manned-counters. However, busy stations like Munich Hauptbahnhof often see long queues, so it’s best to either purchase in advance, or head down at least an hour before the train’s departure time.
Another option, which is my preferred option, is to book your tickets via the DB Navigator app or website. You can also use the mobile app to check for transport options and timings — kinda like Google Maps. The ticket should cost around €37, however it may vary depending on the train you book. If you’re booking on the DB Navigator app, it will also show you the various options and prices.
Tip: Choose the direct train option to reduce the number of transfers. There is a direct train option and another option with 1 train transfer.
Step 2: Take A Bus To Hohenschwangau
Upon arrival in Füssen, walk out of the train station and you will find a small bus stand. If you’re uncertain, just follow the crowd. Take bus 78 that heads to Hohenschwangau. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes.
It costs €2.70 one way and €5.40 for a round trip. This bus trip is not covered in the train ticket from Munich to Füssen and you’ll have to pay upon boarding the bus. The Bayern Pass/Regional Ticket can be used to cover the bus ride.
Tip: it’s best to have small change on hand. Although the bus conductor will have change, you’ll never know if he has the exact amount.
Ticket fare for Bus 78 from Füssen to Hohenschwangau:
One way: €2.70, Round trip: €5.40
Step 3: Getting to Neuschwanstein Castle
The bus will drop you off at the Tourist Information Hohenschwangau and from here, you have 2 options to get to Neuschwanstein Castle — by hiking or bus.
Note: Regardless of the option you choose, stop by the ticketing office if you wish to enter the castle. You would not be able to enter Neuschwanstein Castle otherwise. The ticketing office is a 3 minute walk from where the bus will drop you, just follow the signs. You will see the ticketing office before arriving at the hiking trail or bus stop.
It takes around 40 minutes to hike up to the castle. The trail starts right opposite Hotel Müller. It is a straightforward path, but can get steep at some points depending on your fitness level. Hiking up is free.
See below for map below for more details.
To find the bus that takes you up to the castle, continue walking towards Hohenschwangau Castle, which is yellow in colour, Hotel Müller. You will arrive at a parking area.
The bus costs €3 for an uphill ride, €2 for downhill ride and €3.50 for a round trip. Children under 6 can ride the bus for free.
It is a short bus ride; it takes just 3 minutes to get from the parking lot to the drop off near the castle. Although there are no fixed departure times, you can expect the bus to arrival in 20-minute intervals.
If you purchase a return trip ticket, do not lose the ticket as the bus drivers will check the ticket when you’re getting on for the trip downhill!
Do note that the bus may not operate when it’s snowing, so do plan your trip accordingly.
Unfortunately, the bus does not drop you right at the door step of the castle. Once you get dropped off, you will still have do a 10-minute uphill climb to get to the castle’s entrance. Do stop by the Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge) on the way to the castle for a beautiful viewing spot of the castle — it is just a few steps from where you will be dropped off!
Note: the hiking trail and bus route is different. If you’re doing the hike, you will make it to the castle first, and will have to hike down another path to get to Marienbrücke, whereas, the bus route will lead you to the Marienbrücke first.
Ticket fare for bus to Neuschwanstein Castle:
Uphill: €3, Downhill: €2, Return: €3.50, Children under 6 can ride the bus for free.
There are horse-drawn carriages at the foot of the hiking trail which bring visitors up to the castle as well. It costs €8 per person. Although it’s not an option I’d recommend, the horse-drawn carriage may be your only option if the bus stops operating due to snow and you’re unable to hike up to the castle.
The total journey from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle should take around 3 hours. As the Deutsche Bahn seem to also be notorious for delays, do always account for extra travelling time.
Step 4: Getting Back To Munich
The tour in Neuschwanstein Castle takes about 35 minutes, so take that into account when planning your return trip. To get back to Munich, you can retrace your steps, taking the bus or hiking back to the tourist information centre, followed by bus 78 to Füssen train station and the train back to Munich.
Taking into account delays and transfers, the return journey takes a total of almost 6 hours. As such a trip from Munich to Neuschewanstein Castle often takes up the entire day. Besides Neuschwanstein Castle, there are many other day trip options from Munich such as Dachau and Rothenburg.
Read: Day Trips From Munich
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What time can I visit Neuschwanstein Castle?
Opening hours for the castle:
23 March to 15 October: 9 am-6 pm
16 October to 22 March: 10 am-4 pm
Open daily except 1 January and 24, 25, 31 December
However, you cannot enter the castle unless you have a tour booked. You can book the tour at the ticket centre.
Opening hours for ticketing centre
23 March to 15 October: 8 am-4 pm
16 October to 22 March: 8 am-3.30 pm
Entrance fee: €18, free for those under 18 years old