How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

Neuschwanstein Castle is a popular attraction in Germany, a few hours from Munich. The views are breathtaking and the castle is quite a structure to witness (it was Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle!) so plan to spend plenty of time snapping pictures and taking it all in.

If you’re planning a visit, my biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead! We witnessed plenty of people who took the long, long trip to the castle with us, only to be sorely disappointed to be told at the ticket centre that the tours were fully booked for the day. You can freely walk around the outside of the castle but to go inside you’ll need to have a guided tour booked.

There are a few steps to get there and you’ll need to book your tour in advance so I’ve provided a breakdown below of what we did. If you’re following my schedule, we took the 15:55 tour. Our train left Munich Hbf at 11:53 and our train back into Munich left Füssen station at 18:05.


1 WEEK AHEAD: Book your castle tour tickets

The tours are booked online here.

The website allows you to book two days in advance but even in low season we weren’t able to get the original time we wanted. I’d maybe even book earlier during high season just to be safe.

The online time slots are weird. It doesn’t really tell you what time the tours are, it just gives you dates and times in 5 minute increments. I picked a time I thought we could be there at and then selected the language I wanted the tour in. The next day, I received an email from the ticket centre confirming the time they had reserved for me (15:55).



Allow for plenty of time for travel, at least four hours before your tour to be safe. You’ll see what I mean when I detail the steps below. It’s a long trip and you don’t want to miss your tour!

1. Go to Munich Hauptbahnhof (Hbf)

This is the central station in Munich. If you need to pay for fare to get to Munich Hbf, see step 2. This ticket will cover your ride to the Hbf.

2. Buy a Bayern ticket to Füssen

You can buy this ticket at any ticket machine, whether it’s at Hbf or your origin station. If you’re planning to return the same day, there’s a day ticket option that gives you a round trip journey for € 23 for one person + € 5 per additional person up to five people. Make sure you get this one if you’re doing a day trip because you’ll save a ton of money this way.

There are solid lines on the ticket. Write your name and the names of all other passengers traveling with you. When a conductor came around to check our tickets, he had a pen for anyone who didn’t do this. I don’t know whether they would’ve fined you – maybe he wasn’t as strict – but you might as well do this just in case.

Update from reader’s comment: On weekdays the Bayern ticket is only valid after 9am, with the earliest train to Füssen at 9:55am. Plan your tour time accordingly if you’ll be traveling Monday-Friday (holidays excluded). There are trains to Füssen that leave earlier than 9:55am, however the day ticket option is not valid for these times.
Also, the Bayern ticket is not just for travel to Füssen, but allows access to all regional trains in Bavaria for as long as the ticket is valid. Regional trains are all trains with the designating letters RB, RE, IRE, ALX, S-Bahn, BOB (Bayerische Oberlandbahn).

3. Train ride to Füssen

Once you have your ticket, follow the signs marked “trains”. There will be signs showing which platform you’ll be getting on for Füssen. We took platform 28 although it might be different for you.

The train ride will take approximately two hours. It’s a nice scenic ride with washrooms available and there will be plenty of tourists heading to Neuschwanstein Castle too if you’re looking for some conversation to pass the time.

4. Get to the ticket centre

When you get to Füssen, walk to the end of the platform and hang a right where you’ll take bus 78. There will be a crowd going that direction so you can’t miss it. Your Bayern train ticket will cover this bus so hang on to it and show the driver when you board.

The bus will take about 5-10 mins. When you arrive, walk uphill where the ticket centre is located and go through the reserved line (aren’t you glad you planned in advance?). You’ll need to pick up your ticket an hour before your tour time. If you don’t pick up an hour before your tour time, they’ll cancel your tour!

A tour ticket costs € 13.80 a person, which includes a reservation fee. You can pay with cash or credit card.

5. Get to the castle

You have your ticket and now it’s time to go to the castle!

There are three ways to get there:

– Walk. It’s a steep uphill climb that’ll take 30-40 minutes. If you’re relatively fit and/or on a tight budget, it’s a doable option.

– Shuttle bus. It costs € 2.60 return trip. There’s an area where you lineup for the shuttle and a booth there to buy your ticket. The lineups get long as the shuttles aren’t very frequent and we waited for about 20 minutes until we could board one. If you’re in a time crunch, this wouldn’t be your best option.

– Horse carriage. This is the fastest option since the lineup isn’t as long but it’s the most expensive option at € 6 uphill and € 3 downhill.

It’s worth noting that the bus and horse carriage don’t go right up to the castle. From where it drops you off, it’s another 10 minute walk uphill. There’s also a bridge located at the drop off point where you can get “the money shot” but it was unfortunately closed when we were there. If it’s open, you don’t want to miss it!

6. Going on your tour

On your ticket is a tour number that you’ve been assigned to. At the entrance of the castle, there’s a gate with a screen showing tour numbers and you can enter once your number is called.

The tour itself is guided and there will be a tour guide waiting for you when you enter the castle. The tour takes about 30 minutes since a large portion of the castle is still incomplete so you’ll only see a few rooms. There’s an amazing view at the end of the tour and the ticket/long day of travel was worth that alone!

7. Getting back to Munich

To recap how to get back:
– Walk downhill from the castle to catch the shuttle/horse carriage, or walk the 30-40 minutes back to the ticket centre
– Take the shuttle or horse carriage to ticket centre (show your round trip ticket for the shuttle!)
– Take bus 78 to Füssen station (free with your Bayern train ticket!)
– Füssen station to Munich Hbf

There’s a yummy Middle Eastern take out place around the corner from where bus 78 drops you off. We grabbed a shawarma and falafel wrap and ate that while waiting for the train.

Update from reader’s comment: on the train back to Munich Hbf, there is a direct train every second hour and another that requires a change of trains in Buchloe. Make sure you check for departure times when you arrive in Füssen if you’re looking to take the direct route.

Last thoughts…

There are a few tour companies who will take you to the castle. I looked into it on Viator but we ended up getting there ourselves since it was significantly cheaper. Neuschwanstein Castle uses their own tour guides so if you do go this route, you’ll still need to purchase a separate tour ticket. I also don’t think you can avoid the 10 minute uphill walk no matter which way you get there.

Wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking involved but it doesn’t stop there – you’ll be doing a lot of stair climbing on the castle tour too.

I honestly wished we could’ve spent more time in Schwangau, the village where the castle is located. It was so beautiful and would’ve been perfect for a bike ride. Unfortunately we had to catch our train back into Munich so we didn’t get much time to explore. Definitely get there earlier if you can. I’d even spend another day or two there.


Planning a trip to Neuschwanstein? Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to help!

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  • Reply Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless December 3, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Ohmigosh, I have been to this castle! So, so long ago (13 years, yipes!) and I’d completely forgotten about it, but it is all coming back. I remember I bought a little mini-book about the prince or whoever who had lived there (Ludwig?), and I definitely remember walking up that hill! I’m not planning to go back anytime soon, but this was a nice trip down memory lane. 🙂
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    • Reply Christine December 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Haha it was Ludwig! He was a bit nuts and his obsession with swans creeped me out but it was still a cool castle to visit. Glad I could recreate those memories for you 😉

  • Reply robyn March 14, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Thanks so much for this great info – we are planning a trip in July and I have been weighing up the tours via train/coach etc from Munich. Your blog makes the independent travelling sound easy – hopefully we’ll find our way easily with your excellent advice!

    • Reply Christine March 14, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      You can save a ton of money via independent travel! Highly suggest you go this route…there are a few steps to get there but it’s easy. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to help 🙂

      • Reply Craig February 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        I am flying into Munich for the first time march 3, 2017 in the Morning with my 14 year old son. We want to see Neusch. Castle /Hohen. Castle/Linderhof. Trying to figure out if renting a car is best way to see and maybe spend Saturday / Sunday night in that area or take train to Fussen. We have to be Ingelstadt to take Audi tour 11:00 am Monday.. What would you suggest. Really want to see sights.


        • Reply Christine February 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

          Renting a car would be your best bet if you need to be in Ingelstadt before 11:00. Plus you’ll have more time in Fussen which is a beautiful area. Have fun!

      • Reply nikeille February 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

        hi christine, the tour guide is already included in the ticket right if i wanna travel independently?

        • Reply Christine February 25, 2017 at 11:32 am

          The tour guide is included in the tickets you purchase to gain access to the castle. You can travel there on your own with the instructions I’ve provided but you can’t wander around the castle on your own — you’ll need to go on the guided tour 🙂

  • Reply SHARON CHEN July 1, 2016 at 7:45 am

    HI, I found some day tour via Viator too. The tour included romantic road. It’s just at the bottom before we going up the castle. Is that true ? Tell me more , what we can do by ourselves around Munich. Where other places we can see or visit. Simple and cheap without day tour/ coach tour. Thank you.

    • Reply Christine August 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Hi Sharon, I’m afraid I don’t have much info for you as we didn’t do a day tour. I’d read the reviews on Viator to get a sense of what to expect on the tour and whether it’s the right one for you.
      Christine recently posted…Our Engagement PartyMy Profile

  • Reply Dianne August 4, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Thank you very much. My friend and I are planning to visit this coming September and I saw on the website that the St. Marys Bridge is going to be open to the public again. Your suggestions will definitely help us as we initially planned to get a tour going there. All in all, how much were you able to save versus what you were supposed to spend if you go on a tour?

    • Reply Christine August 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Oh awesome! You’ll have to go on the bridge if it’s open.

      The tour we were originally looking at was about $160 for two people. We saved $120 between the both of us and the difference being the train ticket, as all tours only bring you to the ticket centre so you’ll have to manage your own way up to the castle.

      There are benefits on doing a tour – getting there via coach bus, having a tour guide, seeing other sights – but the extra cost wasn’t worth it for us. Hope that helps!
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  • Reply Anisha August 7, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Hey Thank you so much for the info. My girlfriend and I will be traveling at the end of this month. Just a couple of concerns. How much time do you think this entire trip to and fro to the castle will take us from Munich?

  • Reply Anisha August 7, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Also do you think it is advisable for us to plan a trip to Erding the same evening for the Herbstfest?

    • Reply Christine August 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      We left Munich around noon and got back around 8pm. I didn’t go out to Erding so I don’t have much advice to give but check the train schedules heading back into Munich. If you don’t think you can squeeze it all in before then, you might want to consider staying overnight in the area and heading back into Munich the next day.

  • Reply Marco Lia August 9, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Thanks a lot ! we’re going there in December ! anything interesting to do apart from the Castle tour ? we’re arriving in Fussen at around 10am so that we have quite a lot of time to spend ! Thanks for your advice

    • Reply Christine August 9, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I highly recommend cycling the area! I saw a few people do it and wished I had known about it because the Fussen area is just beautiful. From TripAdvisor:

      Fussen stands on the banks of the Forggensee – a large lake. There is a cycle route all the way round the lake (20 miles) on quiet, traffic free roads. Cycling is easy; the route is nearly all flat and the surface is very good. The views of the mountains and the ‘fairy tale castles’ are breathtaking. Bikes can be hired at the railway station in Füssen.

  • Reply Luis August 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Hello Christine,

    Amazing article! Thank you so much for all your information. It helps a lot.
    I have a question for you, and I would really appreciate it if you could give me your advise. I am planning to visit the castle at the end of September, and I want to buy the tickets to visit it ahead of time. The only problem that I have is how did you do to calculate the time of the train from Munich + the bus + the walk ( I’m planning to do the 40 min. walk up the hill )? Do you get your tour assigned when you arrived to pick up your reservation at the kiosk? or you just have to calculate 4 to 5 hours ahead of your tour for traveling time.
    I also wanted to ask you about the other castle in the area. I guess you were not able to visit it because of time, but do you think it’s possible to travel early in the morning from Munich, visit both castles and return the same day back to Munich?
    I thank you ahead of time for your help and feedback. i haven’t been able to find any information about the traveling time and tour reservation calculations.

    • Reply Christine August 26, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Luis! So when you book your tickets online, you specify what time you want your tour to start. Then they’ll email you back to confirm your time (we ended up with a later time since the time we wanted was fully booked). So you will know what time your tour starts beforehand so you can plan your trip there accordingly.

      I know of Hohenschwangau Castle. That’s actually right by the ticket centre so you’ll have plenty of time to see that if you go a bit early. I’d leave Munich at least 6 hours prior to your Neuschwanstein tour time to make time for both castle tours.

    • Reply Christine August 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Also, I’d highly recommend booking your tickets now for end of September visit!

      • Reply Luis August 29, 2016 at 9:32 am


        Thank you SO much for your guidance and response. I already made the reservation. Let’s hope we get the time we want.

        • Reply Christine August 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

          Great! Hope you have an amazing tour and would love a follow up afterwards to hear about your experience.

  • Reply Peeter August 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    This is a wonderful guide! I just used it on Monday this week and it was really useful. There are just a couple of comments I would like to make.

    -there is a Bayern ticket, this is not a Bayern ticket to some specific place (eg Füssen). It means that with this ticket you can travel all over Bayer all day long using RE trains (it is not valid on IC or TGV trains). The trains are going to be full so one might consider buying a 1st class Bayern ticket, it does exist, too). Depending on your budget, of course.
    -the Bayern ticket is valid from 9 am on workdays. It means that the earliest train to Füssen is smth at 5 min to 10 and it was a direct train. I booked a tour for 2.30 pm (adding an half an hour to the suggested time for lunch), so I picked up the ticket just after arriving to Hohenschwangau, had a quick lunch and then took a carriage up. The schedule was quite tight, but it worked.
    -when you take your train back to Munich you notice that there is a direct connection every second hour and a connection that requires to change train in Buchloe in between direct connections. It happened that I was in Füssen just when the changing option departed. I noticed that this was an Augsburg train, so I quickly checked the evening connections from Augsburg to Munich and decided to treat myself with an evening walk and a supper in Augsburg. I had the train ticket anyway, the Bayern ticket (see the first paragraph. And avoid IC and TGV trains from Augsburg to Munich!). And Augsburg is a nice city. With all that history etc. I did not regret it and would really recommend it, if you stay in Munich.

    But, yes, great guide. Thanks a lot for putting all this information together. Really useful.

    • Reply Christine August 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Hey Peeter, great to hear that it was helpful for your trip! And thanks so much for the additional comments. They’ll be useful for anyone planning their trip to Neuschwanstein.

  • Reply Luis August 29, 2016 at 9:37 am


    Thank you SO much for your guidance and response. I already made the reservation. Let’s hope we get the time we want. We are taking all your notes to make that trip to visit the castle a successful one.

  • Reply chett September 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    If you get a rail pass, is the bayern ticket covered already?

    • Reply Christine September 13, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Hmm not too sure about a rail pass. You can ask when you purchase it if the Bayern ticket is covered.

  • Reply Nazli September 13, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thank you for this extremely helpful guide. I am planning to visit Germany in Oct and will definitely try to visit the castle.

  • Reply Jon September 19, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    We drove from Munich to the castle in our rental car. No trip to Germany is complete without a drive on the autobahn!

    I had booked in advance and when we got there, there was a line of about 150 people waiting for tickets and there was one person in line for those with reservations. Very happy to have booked in advance. 🙂

  • Reply Annie September 21, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Hi Christine,
    Can I buy the Bayern one day ticket the day before departure?

    • Reply Christine September 21, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Hi Annie, I believe it’s only valid on the day that you purchase it. From the Munich tourist website:

      The ticket is valid
      weekdays Mon – Fri from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day (18 hours)
      Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 0 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day (27 hours)

  • Reply Tori September 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    How do you get the view of the castle from far away, like the photo you’ve posted to this article?

    Thank you!

  • Reply Amita October 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Hi ,

    I am planning to go on Saturday in November . What tour plan (what time train , which time 78 bus, which tour time ) I should choose so I will be back to Munich Hbf before 5 pm. I have to catch 5PM train to Berlin but I do not want to miss seeing this castle . I am ready to take early morning train to Füssen if needed.

    • Reply Christine October 14, 2016 at 8:11 am

      That’s a tight schedule as the earliest train to Fussen leaves at 9:55. I don’t even think that would be possible given how long it takes to get there alone. If you need to be back in Munich before 5pm, I’d suggest looking into an organized group tour and seeing if any of them will have you back in the city before that time.

      • Reply Victoria October 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        Hello, i was just at the castle on Monday. I’d like to clarify, that there ARE times to Fussen before 9:55 however you cannot get the cheap day-pass if you leave before 9AM. Therefore you’ll probably have to buy your Roundtrip to Fussen individually. But it is doable. From what I have just learned, leave at least 3 hours to get there, pick up your tickets, and 30-40 minutes to walk up to the castle. The train is about 2 hours unless you need to make a connection and then it is 2.5 hours. Hope that helps!

        • Reply Christine October 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm

          Thanks for clarifying, Victoria! I’m not aware of all the variables so it really helps when I get amendments from readers like yourself. I’ll make a note in the post.

          I do think you’ll need more than 3 hours as the train is 2-2.5 hours as you mentioned, plus you need to pick up your reserved ticket an hour ahead of your tour or else it’ll be cancelled. My recommendation is minimum 4 hours ahead of your scheduled tour.

          • Amita October 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

            Thanks Christine and Victoria .
            Looking at the popularity of castle I have decided to go previous night to fussen , have booked hotel in fussen.
            I hope now I will have plenty of time to enjoy the castle next day and return back to Munich at time 🙂

          • Christine October 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm

            That sounds like a great plan! And the area around Fussen is just lovely. If you haven’t yet, I’d look into booking your tour ticket now so you can get the time slot you need to arrive back in Munich before 5pm. Have fun!

  • Reply Toby November 18, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Thanks a heap for the detailed information! Will be there during winter, and i can’t just can’t imagine how cold its going to be with all the walking outside…

  • Reply JR December 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Christine,

    As everyone else mentioned before, great post and great tips, thanks a lot for it!

    I have a question about the Bayern ticket you mention: we just need to buy that ticket (no matter where), get inside the desired train and show it to the conductor in that moment, or do we need to buy the Bayern ticket but still make some kind of reservation for the specific trips we want?

    I am asking because the train company may require to have the exact number of passengers on the train and so a “reservation” for the particular trip could be required, instead of going directly to the train with just the Bayern ticket.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Reply Christine December 4, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Hi Joana! You’ll purchase your ticket and will show it to the conductor who will be walking between the train cars. It’s a public train with commuters (not just for tourists) so there’s no need to make a reservation.

  • Reply Lucy December 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for this guide! I’m heading there tomorrow and this has certainly been helpful. I am so excited to visit because it looks absolutely stunning.

    Travel Textbook

  • Reply Josh December 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I dont know how to thank you enough. We found your advice and followed it to the T. It helped us out so much and made for a perfect day. It helped us save so much time and money and really helped us enjoy the trip. There were so many moving parts to this trip and no way would it have worked out if we didn’t find this site. Again, thank you so much.

    • Reply Christine December 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      That’s awesome! I’m glad to hear it was helpful and that you had a good day at the castle.

  • Reply ShiYun January 6, 2017 at 3:04 am


    May I know where can we check the train timings? I’m intending to make this trip this coming summer! 🙂

  • Reply Sharon February 10, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Hi great information,we will be going in June and I am worried as it’s our first trip to Munich/fussen and we have no clue about getting there and it’s a very expensive taxi ride.We arrive on a Friday and are staying next to the castle do you know if they do a 3 day weekend train pass for a return trip? Any tips on food places? Thanks

    • Reply Christine February 13, 2017 at 9:28 am

      I’m not sure if a taxi would take you to Fussen from Munich but I wouldn’t even suggest it as an option — that would be a really expensive fare! There is a pass that allows a return trip on a separate day but it’s more expensive than the same day return (the ticket I mention above). I didn’t venture too much beyond the castle but there are food options in Fussen.

  • Reply Claudio Meeks February 26, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Hi Christine! Great info !
    Im planing on going alone since Im going to Amsterdam to visit a friend. She isn’t interested on going to see the castle … anyways I bought a ticket from Amsterdam to Munich and from the airport I ll have to reach the bus station. Thank God I’m Im not going till May 23rd so I have time to schedule things now that I have my flight booked and reserved a hotel at Hohenschwangau, the village right by the smaller castle. At first I was a little concerned about the bus schedule for only reading reviews of people going for a day trip and I only saw one company for a 2 day trip. I decided to do all on my own to be free to venture out and hope to go at least for one or two hikes around the castle vicinity. May 25th is actually a German holiday… I just hope the bus schedule won’t be altered since I have to be back to Munich by 5pm… I did make sure to book my return with time to spare.

  • Reply Brenda March 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Christine – I was referred to a website by a friend to purchase a combo ticket to visit 3 castles. But when I went to purchase, it didn’t ask me for the time I needed. I’m being told they include a tour but not a reservation @ Neuschwanstein. So do we have to purchase separate tickets to “reserve” a time ? I don’t want to buy duplicate tickets. Below is the info that I was given. Thank you for any help you can provide.

    W offer the combination ticket “Königsschlösser” (King Ludwig II’s palaces). The combination ticket (24 euros) is valid for six months; you can visit each of the palaces Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee and Neuschwanstein once.

    • Reply Christine March 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Hi Brenda, I’m not sure which site you’re on but my understanding is that all tours to go inside the castle are organized by the castle. Any 3rd party tour company can take you TO the castle and surrounding area but to gain access inside, you’ll need to book your tickets directly with the castle. A visit inside is only possible with their guided tour, where you would need to reserve a time beforehand.

      They offer combination tickets on here for 31,50 Euros:

      The website your friend referred you to might be a company that takes you to each of the 3 castles and provides a guided tour en route. Then you’ll need to purchase a separate ticket to reserve a guided tour and gain access to go in.

  • Reply Vanessa Herrman March 4, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful information, Christine! We have booked a tour for 11:35am and need to pick up our tickets at 10:35am. I was hoping to get your advice- there is a train leaving from Munich at 7:51am, arriving at Fussen at 9:55am. Do you think that would be cutting it too close for the bus, ticket pick up, and getting up to the castle? The other option is 6:55am, arriving at 8:55am but includes a transfer.

    Also- any idea how much the cost is for the bus if you do not book the day ticket? It’s a bummer it is only valid after 9am. We booked our tickets before seeing your post. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply Christine March 6, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Hi Vanessa, it’s close but you should be okay. The bus is a short 5 minute ride so just make sure you head straight for it as soon as you arrive into Fussen.

      I’m not sure about pricing but you can look it up on their website at

  • Reply sukhjit Singh March 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you very much for your brief description regarding to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich by train.
    I am planning to visit this place in ending March 2017, hope everything will be fine.

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