The Most Magical Day Trip from Munich: How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

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The day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle is one of my favourite trips to do. Read on for a full guide to making this visit for yourself!

Of all the gorgeous castles near Munich, none is more famous or sought after than beautiful Schloss Neuschwanstein, glittering like a fairytale from its home in the Bavarian Alps. Seeing as how a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein is definitely one of the most popular things to do for visitors, I figured it was finally time to pen a thorough guide on how to have the perfect visit.

And trust me, I don’t mind. Whenever friends come to visit me and say “you probably don’t want to tag along since you’ve done it so many times”, I’m practically foaming at the mouth, tiara half-adjusted, bellowing “OF COURSE I’LL COME. HOLD MY GOWN.”

(At this point, I could honestly sleepwalk the journey from Munich to Neuschwanstein if I really wanted).

So, eager to see this famous castle near Munich for yourself? If you want insider tips from an obsessive Disney princess wannabe, then this guide is for you. Here’s everything you need to know to conquer a flawless day from Munich, Germany to Neuschwanstein Castle. Enjoy!



First – How Far is Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich?

The distance from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle is about 120km.

By car, this would take 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to drive.

By public transportation (note that there are no direct connections by train from Munich to Neuschwanstein), it would be about 3 hours total, including the train ride from Munich HBF to Füssen (2 hours), then a short bus ride from Füssen to the base of the castles (10 minutes) and finally an ascent to the castle which you can do by foot, horse carriage, or by shuttle bus when weather permits. NOTE all of the options will involve at least 10 minutes of walking as the buses and carriages don’t go right to the castle entrance.

… And by pumpkin carriage, well… I’m still waiting on the official numbers on that one.

Neuschwanstein Castle in the Spring

*slips on ballgown*



How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich: Step by Step

Alright, now let’s get to the planny stuff! The journey from Munich to Neuschwanstein is a relatively simple and straightforward one so there’s no need to be too stressed. Here are the many options at your disposal:

OPTION A: (Most Convenient!) – Book a tour

Hands down, the most convenient way to tour Neuschwanstein from Munich is to book a tour. While this won’t be the cheapest option, I highly recommend it if you’re travelling as a family with kids or have older members of your party. Doing Neuschwanstein from Munich with public transport isn’t tough, but it’s a long and draining day, so often having transport and a guide arranged will do wonders for ease of mind.

There are plenty of tours of Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich that you can book. Here are a few options with consistent 5* reviews:

Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Tour (Recommended!): Neuschwanstein is lovely but I actually way prefer the interior tour of the lesser-known Linderhof Palace, which is where King Ludwig II spent much more time than Neuschwanstein anyway. The trouble is, Linderhof is much tougher to get to with public transport, so combining the two in one tour makes splurging on private transportation much more worth it in my opinion. Click here for reviews and availability.

NOTE: There aren’t a lot of Neuschwanstein Castle tours from Munich by luxury coach, but they do offer a ‘Premium’ version of this trip which includes snacks and a nicer vehicle. Click here to learn more.

Half day tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich: While most Munich tours to Neuschwanstein take 9-11 hours (a pretty full day), this tour bills itself as a half-day, lasting only 6 hours and departing Munich at 7am to ensure you get first dibs on the castle. Unlike most other tours, the package includes skip-the-line tickets to the castle and the tour as well. Click here for reviews and availability.

Neuschwanstein Castle Luxury Bus and Bike Tour from Munich: If you want to enjoy more of an active experience during your Munich to Neuschwanstein day trip, this tour includes transportation by luxury coach AND a guided cycling tour near the castles + a lake swim. Click here for reviews and availability.

Here’s a table so you can quickly compare your options:

Name of TourLengthCostCastle Admission IncludedOther PerksReviews
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace TourFull-day$NoVisits Linderhof in addition to NeuschwansteinCheck Reviews & Availability
Neuschwanstein Castle Luxury Bus and Bike Tour from MunichFull-day$NoIncludes a guided bike tour and lake swimCheck Reviews & Availability
Half Day Tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from MunichHalf-day$$YesDeparts early at 7:15amCheck Reviews & Availability



OPTION B: (Cheapest!) – Use a Bayern Ticket & take public transportation

The journey from Munich to Neuschwanstein is broken up into two legs: firstly, you need to get from Munich HBF to Füssen, then take a bus from Füssen to Schwangau, the village at the foot of Neuschwanstein Castle.

I highly advise you purchase a Bayern ticket for this day trip because it will cover you on the train rides to/from Munich and Füssen, as well as the bus ride to Neuschwanstein. This will save you LOADS of money, especially if you’re travelling in a group. Click here for my Bayern Ticket guide.

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NOTE: Currently, unless you book a tour, there is no direct bus from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle, so if you’re doing the entire trip through public transportation, you’ll need to have at least this one transfer in Füssen.



Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by Public Transportation: Step by Step

STEP ONE: Catch the Munich to Füssen train. This route is serviced once per hour, BUT there is only a direct train every two hours. While transferring isn’t too much of a hassle, I like to keep things simple, so if I were you, I would go for the direct trains which leave at 9:52, 11:52, and every two hours after that. This Munich to Füssen route is covered by your Bayern ticket. On weekdays, it’s only valid after 9am, so be wary of that. If it’s a weekend though, it’s valid from midnight onwards, so you can catch an even earlier train if you wish!

To check out the Munich – Füssen train timetable for your day of departure, make use of either the official DB website or the DB app.

As I mentioned though, trains go from Munich to Füssen every hour, w/ every second one being direct, as per this pattern:

Munich to Fussen train times

Munich to Füssen train times. Note that the regular Munich to Füssen train price for ONE WAY is pretty much the same as a Bayern ticket already! Crazy right?

STEP TWO: Catch the bus from Füssen to Schwangau. You have the option of either the 73 bus (direction Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen) or 78 bus (direction Schwangau), getting off at Hohenschwangau. Just follow the mob as you exit the train. It’ll be very obvious.

STEP THREE: Once at Hohenschwangau, if you intend to tour the inside of Neuschwanstein, proceed to the Ticket Office to get tickets. Line-ups can get long in peak season, and they’ve been known to even sell out, so it’s highly advisable you reserve tickets in advance here.

STEP FOUR: Remember, the bus stop and ticket center are at the very base of the big mountain/hill that Neuschwanstein is on. To get to Neuschwanstein, you can either continue by foot, shuttle bus or horse carriage. Horse carriage rides cost € 6,00 to go uphill and € 3,00 to go downhill, whereas the shuttle buses cost € 1,80 for uphill, € 1,00 for downhill and € 2,60 roundtrip.

Anyways… Yaaay! You’re all done! Welcome to beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle 🙂

Neuschwanstein castle courtyard

The beautiful Neuschwanstein courtyard



OPTION C: Drive from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle

If you want to do the day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by car. here’s how you do it:

(Taken from the official Neuschwanstein website): “Take the A7 motorway (direction Ulm-Kempten-Füssen) until the end. From Füssen first follow the road B17 to Schwangau, then the signs to Hohenschwangau or take the A7 motorway until the exit Kempten and then the road B12 to Marktoberdorf. Follow the road B16 to Roßhaupten – OAL I to Buching – and then take the road B17 to Schwangau and Hohenschwangau.”

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Remember, this will lead you to the parking lot in Hohenschwangau, but not all the way up to the big hill that Neuschwanstein is perched on. To get up there, you’ll need to take an additional walk, shuttle bus or horse carriage ride (which is very touristy but fun!)

Horse carriage rides cost € 6,00 to go uphill and € 3,00 to go downhill, whereas the shuttle buses cost € 1,80 for uphill, € 1,00 for downhill and € 2,60 roundtrip.

Horse carriage in front of Hohenschwangau Castle

The horse carriages used to cart the lazy and bougie 😉 Just kidding! It’s actually a very fun experience



Getting Back from Neuschwanstein Castle to Munich

After getting from Munich to Neuschwanstein on your own, getting back should be a breeze.

The main thing to note is of course that the final REGIONAL train leaving from Füssen back to Munich is at 6:05pm. According to timetables, there are trains that leave after that, but they require transfers onto high speed trains like the TGV and ICE that are not covered by the Bayern Ticket. So, remember to hop on that last train if you want to get back to Munich using your Bayern ticket.



Important Must-Knows Before Your Munich Day Trip to Neuschwanstein

To ensure you have the smoothest trip possible, here are my top tips for you!

1. Reserve Neuschwanstein tour tickets in advance if you want them

Is the tour of Neuschwanstein’s interior worth it? Having done it, I feel it’s quite meh. The tour is very short and rushed (35 minutes total) and to me, the interior isn’t THAT incredible compared to the outside and other palaces in Bavaria. The view is, however, stunning.

If you feel like you do want to see the inside of the castle though, then I strongly advise you reserve a ticket in advance for a small additional fee. They sometimes sell out in the ticket office and it’s better safe than sorry. Click here to reserve (must be done at least two days in advance).



2. Check the weather, always

Don’t assume that Neuschwanstein’s weather will be the same as Munich’s! Remember to check the weather before you head out because it’s not too fun to go sightseeing in the rain, plus, in heavy snow a lot of the routes close up. On that note…

3. Check if anything is closed

Often in times of bad weather (or simply renovation work), parts of Neuschwanstein, the Marienbrucke bridge and the paths around the castle will be closed. The best way to find out is to call the ticket center or check the official website here.

Marienbrucke closed sign at Neuschwanstein



4. Have cash with you

Cash is king in Germany! That’s one of the important must knows to keep in mind before your visit (click here for more). If you want to take the horse carriage ride, buy fried donuts as snacks, etc., you’ll need cash, so make sure to have some on you for your Neuschwanstein day trip.

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5. Bring some snacks and food

Getting from Munich to Neuschwanstein is a long day trip, so make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to keep you going. While there are food option around the castles, you’ll mostly be restricted to typical Bavarian fare, so if that doesn’t sound like your thing, also pack some sandwiches or something to keep the hanger at bay. You can even treat yourself to a nice picnic by the lake!

Neuschwanstein Castle with a pretzel

Impretz-ive view, no?



6. Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate shoes

You’ll be doing a LOT of walking during your visit to Neuschwanstein, so you need to make the shoes you pack are comfortable and good to walk up/downhill.



Bring an extra layer for warmth

You’ll be up in the mountains after all! I find the weather at Neuschwanstein to be quite chilly… and quick-changing as well. Even when the sun’s out, there’s usually a cold breeze that randomly hits, so bring an extra layer or scarf to make sure you don’t freeze.

Neuschwanstein Castle view

Pretty ugly, right?



Suggested Itinerary for Your Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

Okay, so I’ve already given you the full scoop on how to do your Munich to Neuschwanstein day trip with public transport, but here’s my full suggested itinerary for you. Step by step, here’s the best way to get to Neuschwanstein castle from Munich in a day.

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OPTIONAL: Reserve your ticket for your Neuschwanstein tour

If you want to see the inside of the castle, then I strongly advise you reserve a ticket in advance for a small additional fee. They sometimes sell out in the ticket office and it’s better safe than sorry when your bucket list is at stake! Click here to reserve (must be done at least two days in advance).

Purchase a Bayern Ticket for the day

As I mentioned before, these special tickets are valid from 9am-3am on weekdays (from midnight onwards on weekends and holidays), and offer one day of unlimited access to regional and local transport within Bavaria. Yes, you can use your Bayern Ticket from Munich to Füssen AND back, along with the roundtrip bus ride to/from the castles from Füssen, which makes it the best deal.

How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich (my suggested step by step itinerary):

Weekdays: Catch the 9:52am train bound for Füssen from Munich Hauptbahnhof

On weekends and holidays, I might even catch the 7:52am train to make sure you get there before all the crowds arrive. If you want a leg up over the rest of the crowds when you catch the bus to Neuschwanstein, then sit at the front of the train so you can run ahead of everyone else 😉

Munich Central Station

Munich Central Station

Upon arrival, take either the 73 or 78 bus from Füssen to Schwangau 

When your bus arrives at Füssen, follow the Hunger Gamey mob (or I guess, lead the mob if you followed my tip earlier) and run over to the bus bay right next to the train station. You can now either hop on the 73 bus (direction Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen) or 78 bus (direction Schwangau), getting off at Hohenschwangau.

NOTE: No need to actually run! The buses carry a surprising amount of people. Don’t hurt yourself before you actually get to the castle haha.

When you arrive at Hohenschwangau, go to the ticket office (if you want to tour the inside of Neuschwanstein, that is)

If you’ve decided you want to do a tour, head ASAP to the ticket office to pick up tickets for your tour of the castle. You should allow for at least an hour before your desired tour time (more during peak season, as it can get busy!). If you take the 9:52am train, I suggest you go for the tour at 1:55pm.

Head up to the castle by foot, shuttle bus or horse carriage

NOTE: All of these options will require walking. The shuttle bus drops you above the castle, so you walk about 10 min downhill, whereas the horse carriages park below the castle, about a 10 min walk uphill.

Enjoy Neuschwanstein and its surroundings!

Remember your ticketed tour time and don’t miss it! Otherwise, walk around and enjoy the stunning surroundings. One of my favourite things about visiting Neuschwanstein is actually the view you get of Alpsee and Hohenschwangau Castle on the walk up to the Marienbrucke Bridge. NOTE: The bridge gets very very very busy, but you’ll find the crowds thin out as you walk over to the other side. If you’re feeling active, you can even a hike a little on the other side of the bridge for some excellent views.

Head back down and GET DONUTS!

When you’re done taking a million photos, head back down. Along the path, you might smell some fried goodness known as Quarkbällchen. They are super delicious and I highly recommend you try them! They’re like deep fried donuts made with fresh cheese. So good!

Quarkballs at Neuschwanstein Castle by Christina Guan

Delicious, chewy, crispy, sugary quarkballs!

Take the bus back and explore Füssen

Füssen has got to be one of the most underrated and underloved towns in Germany. SO many visitors come through the station just to visit the nearby castles, and spend zero time in the town itself at all. If you have time, I highly encourage you explore Füssen just a little. A few points of interest include the Altstadt (Old Town), Hohes Schloss and Lechfall.

NOTE: Just be mindful of the time and ensure that you don’t miss the last regional train back to Munich, which leaves at 6:06pm. There ARE trains that leave later, but these are not regional trains, and your Bayern ticket will not cover them.

Fussen, Germany

Picture-perfect Fussen <3

Take the train back to Munich, and take a nap on the way home 😉

The day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich is a long, tiring and busy one… but how worth it, right? Treat yourself to a little snooze on the way back to Munich, or maybe start sifting through the ten bajillion photos you’ve just captured. Don’t worry – I simply call it the Neuschwanstein effect.



Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip FAQ

How far is Neuschwanstein from Munich?

About 120km (75 miles) separate the two. By car, the distance is about 2 hours, and by public transportation the total trip would be 3.



Is there an airport near Neuschwanstein Castle?

The closest airport to Neuschwanstein Castle is actually the (very little known) Memmingen Airport, AKA Allgäu Airport Memmingen. This airport services many low cost airlines operating within Europe, and is less than a 1 hour drive from Neuschwanstein.

Otherwise, the closest airport would be Munich International Airport (about a 2 hour drive) or the Salzburg Airport (about a 3 hour drive).



What’s the closest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle?

The closest train station to Neuschwanstein Castle is Füssen, which is only a 10 minute bus ride away from the base of the castles.



How do I buy train tickets from Munich to Neuschwanstein?

While there’s no direct train from Munich to Neuschwanstein, you can buy a Bayern Ticket which covers you for your train from Munich to Füssen, then your bus from Füssen to Neuschwanstein. Bayern Tickets can be purchased on the day of from any DB ticket machine, or you can get one in advance here.

Confused about the Bayern Ticket? This post has a detailed step by step tutorial on how to buy them.



Can I do a half day tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich?

Most Munich tours to Neuschwanstein take 9-11 hours, but I have found one tour online that bills itself as a half-day, lasting only 6 hours and departing Munich at 7am to ensure you get there as early as possible. Unlike most other tours, the package includes skip-the-line tickets to the castle and the tour as well. Click here for reviews and availability.



Can I buy Neuschwanstein tickets in advance?

Without booking a tour, it’s not possible to BUY Neuschwanstein tickets in advance, but you can reserve them for a small fee (and pay at the ticket office when you arrive). You can reserve tickets up to 2 days before your visit here.



Am I able to use the Bayern Ticket from Munich to Füssen?

Yes, so long as you are using regional trains only (no high speed ones or anything), Munich to Füssen Bayern ticket validity shouldn’t be an issue.



What is scenery like on the train ride from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle?

It’s honestly one of my favourite train rides in Europe! It’s beautiful any season, I assure you and passes by endless beautiful mountains and cute towns!

Train ride from Munich to Fussen

Some of the views you’d get from Munich to Füssen



What’s the best Neuschwanstein Castle tour from Munich?

“Best” depends on what you’re looking for! The truth is, most tours from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle offer the same service – they mostly just transport you to the castle via coach, with minor differences. Some offer additional activities like a guided cycling tour, others offer perks like skip-the-line tickets, so “best” would depend on your priorities.



To help you out, here’s a comparison chart of different tours you can book:

Name of TourLengthCostCastle Admission IncludedOther PerksReviews
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace TourFull-day$NoVisits Linderhof in addition to NeuschwansteinCheck Reviews & Availability
Neuschwanstein Castle Luxury Bus and Bike Tour from MunichFull-day$NoIncludes a guided bike tour and lake swimCheck Reviews & Availability
Half Day Tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from MunichHalf-day$$YesDeparts early at 7:15amCheck Reviews & Availability


Is it possible to book a full royal castle tour from Munich?

Yes! Realistically, you wouldn’t be able to visit more than 3 castles in a day (Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and Linderhof for example) but you CAN book this tour here that brings you to these three in one day.



How do I get from Munich airport to Neuschwanstein Castle?

It’s easy to get from Munich Airport to Neuschwanstein Castle – just hop on the S1 or S8 at the airport, get to the Munich HBF and follow the directions above to get from Munich HBF to Neuschwanstein.



Can I book a Neuschwanstein Castle tour from Füssen?

If you’re staying in Füssen and not Munich, I’d say doing the trip to Neuschwanstein independently is very simple and you probably won’t need a tour for it. BUT, if you do want an expert guide (to learn more about the area) or want to make the process easier by also getting skip-the-line tickets taken care of for you, click here for a tour that you can book from Füssen to Neuschwanstein that includes skip-the-line castle admission and a horse-drawn carriage ride.



Any more questions about how to reach Neuschwanstein castle from Munich?

I hope you enjoyed this thorough guide to your Munich -> Neuschwanstein Castle day trip! If you have any more questions, let me know in the comments!



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