Neuschwanstein Castle is your fairy tale come to life.
This is the castle where Walt Disney found inspiration for the Disney World castle. It delights something like 1.3 million tourists per year with the vision of kingly riches that we originally learned about in cartoons.
Neuschwanstein Castle makes the fantasy seem like reality.
For me, Neuschwanstein Castle will always hold a special place in my heart. Taking this trip from Munich was the very first solo trip I ever made. It was exhilarating and thrilling.
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle was also wonderfully peaceful since it was September and tourist season was waning.
I highly suggest you visit in and off-season. I was able to have the trails around the castle to myself, and this, along with the warm wine they sold at the concession stand, made the experience even more enchanting.
So, if you are considering taking the time for this detour in Bavaria, the details to get you there and make sure you have a good time are below.
(Castle view from the bridge where everyone gets their Insta shots)
For those of you like me who like the efficiency of the German train system, the journey starts at München Hbf (Munich’s central station).
The train from Munich to Füssen takes about 2 hours, and the ride what I would call lovely.
There are mountain peaks and cows grazing on slopes greet you as you approach Füssen. It feels very idyllic and if you are lucky, as I was, you may be able to hear a mother teaching her children nursery rhymes in German across the aisle from you.
This really just tops off the make believe beginning of the journey.
Trains leave every hour and require no reservation. Depending on your connection, you may have to switch trains in Augsburg or Geltendorf.
Once in Füssen, you can take a bus from the station to the castle. I chose to walk, and it is a bit of a hike, so only do it if you are up for a long walk in the German countryside.
Buses will carry you on from Füssen station. Ride line RVA/OVG 73 in the direction of Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen or line RVA/OVG 78 in the direction of Schwangau.
From both buses, leave at the Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße stop. The ride takes 8 minutes and costs 2.30 euros each way. Once you reach the village of Hohenschwangau, it’s about a 30-minute walk to Neuschwanstein castle.
If you’re traveling with your bags, there is luggage storage at Füssen station.
Eurail instructuctions are here.
Another way to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein is by car via the A7. It’s just a 2 hour drive, so similar to the time required by train, and can easily be done as a day trip from Munich.
From Munich, it’s also possible to join a group tour or take the Flixbus (3 hour bus ride). These can be scheduled through tour websites and most hostels and hotels since it's one of the most common day trips from Munich.
(Signs at the castle)
First off, there's not just one, but two castles in the town of Hohenschwangau. Both are worth seeing.
Hohenschwangau Castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
You can buy a combination ticket for both castles for about 30 euros.
I was on a tight budget and only bought admission to Neuschwanstein Castle, but I did go enjoy the grounds and the view from Hohenschwangau as well.
The tour through Neuschwanstein Castle is like being dropped in Disney movie. It has everything you would expect from a Bavarian castle including fairy tale scenes in the art, a concert hall, and a very impressive and ornately carved bed for the king.
Even if you're not into carvings, you need to see the King's bedroom. It's a whole new level from anything I had ever seen.
A couple of things to note about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle:
(Picnicking on the trails behind the Neuschwanstein Castle)
I stayed in the Old Kings Füssen Design Hostel. You can find it on Hostel World.
It was a great hostel, super friendly and with really nice themed rooms. Everything was very cute and clean.
(Quiet Füssen streets in front of Old Kings Hostel)
If you are thinking of going to Neuschwanstein Castle, I highly, highly recommend it since it was one of my favorite experiences of a 5-country trip trough Europe that year.
That being said, I really enjoyed the peace of the place and having some of it to myself.
If you go during the summer, it will much more crowded. The off-season is nice.
But as with any tourist attraction, going either earlier or later in the day to miss the arrival of the tour busses will give you a little more space to enjoy the castles and the gorgeous scenery.