The castle looks unreal the first time you see it; a royal crown nestled a top the mighty Alps. It’s hard not to have your thoughts wander off to the seemingly impossible feat of the structure and off to a distant fairy tale land. This is the castle so great, it inspired Disney himself, to make it the icon of your favorite fairy tales. It’s easy to see why this day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular excursions to the Alps. Enjoy taking photos and exploring the beautiful castle with a tour, or make it a day filled with adventures, including hiking and a bike ride.
The day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castles is a great option for everyone. There is plenty to do from hiking, two different castle tours and a museum. You can even get up to the castle in style with a horse drawn carriage or bus, if you have mobility concerns. Since this is one of the most popular day trips it can get very crowded, if you go on the weekend be prepared to fight crowds and wait around. If you can, I recommend going in during the weekday in the summer. To avoid the longest line of you life, make sure you read the section on how to avoid the line, or you might head home unable to tour the castle. The first part of my guide, will help you get there on your own. Then at the end of the post, I’ll include some advise on taking a group tour with Mike’s Bikes. I’ve been to the area twice, once independently and once with Mike’s Bikes, Munich. Both are great options!
This guide covers specific details on getting to Neuschwanstein castle from Munich, ensuring you secure tickets to tour to the main castle and doing the gorge hike after. If you want to go to the museum or the other castle, plan according.
Day Trip from Munich to Newschwanstein Castle Independent Tour
Length of Time: A long full day, 8-10 hours depending on your activities.
Timetable: 9:52 am train leaves from Munich Hbh.
11:55 train arrives in Füssen
12:20 pm, bus arrives at ticketing
12:55 pick up tickets before 12:55
1:55 tour starts
2:30 tour ends
Time to explore, hike the gorge, take photos, eat lunch.. etc.
6:05 pm last train from füssen home, give yourself time to catch the bus and get a seat.
Skill Level for Neuschwanstein: 20-50 HP. As I mentioned before if anyone in your group has mobility issues there are options, such as busses and horse carriage rides, but there will be some light walking involved. For my more independent readers, you can choose to take a little hike through the gorge or walk up. It’s really up to you how intense or relaxing you want this day to be.
Options and Cost to get to Neuschwanstein: Your cost for this tour will include the Bayern ticket. For groups of 2-5 people, always buy the group ticket, as it only costs you about 25 euros. This saves a ton of money. The cost for an adult to tour one castle is 13 Euros. For more ticketing prices, check here. Bring money for lunch and expect tourist prices.
Seasons: All. Be warned that in winter the gorge and bridge may be closed due to ice and snow. Check the website for more details.
- Small backpack.
- Water bottle or camelback.
- Check the weather and dress appropriately. In Summer bring sunscreen or a hat. In winter, a hat and gloves and a warm jacket.
- Good walking shoes.
- Your ticket reservation information.
This should be the first thing you do before you even think about going to Neuschwanstein if you want to physically go inside the castle. If you do not do this, you will be waiting in a miserable line and during the summer you won’t even make it into the castle. Trust me. I walked up to the reserved line on a hot sunny day during peak summer and picked up my tickets no problem, while the line to get tickets on spot almost ran all the way to the bus stop, which was a LONG WAY! Don’t be one of those suckers. RESERVE YOUR TICKETS HERE You can reserve your tickets two days in advance, meaning you want to do this by noon two days before your trip. You need a credit card to book online. You pay once you arrive, but this just puts a hold on your card. If you follow my guide, ensure that you do the tour at 1:55. YOU MUST PICK UP THE TICKETS BEFORE 12:55 OR YOU LOSE THEM The train arrives at 11:55 then by about 12:20 you should be getting off the near the ticketing center. Please note that you will need to hustle to get your tickets and get up to the castle. After your tour, you will have plenty of time to wander around and enjoy the scenery and take photos.
The direct train to Füssen leaves the Munich Central Station at 9:52 a.m. It will be full, during the peak season, so be at your platform at least 20 min early, arriving at the station 30-45 min early, if you want time to buy tickets and get breakfast. Buy your ticket at any kiosk at the station, the U-bah station or S-bahn stations. If you want help, see an attendant. Ensure you’re buying the group ticket to Füssen. Your train departs exactly on time from platform 29, but it will be parked and loading about 15-20 min before then.
Kick back and relax as the train ends at your final destination, Füssen. Use the train’s bathroom before you go. If it’s summer there are only about 2 toilets, where you buy tickets and the line is just as long as the non-reserved ticket line. As soon as you leave the train follow everyone out of the station, take a left stepping off the right and a right at the Y, and another right. You can easily follow the crowd, but if you linger too long you’ll be waiting for another bus. Use your same ticket to hop on to bus 78. Ride to the bottom of the ticket center. Walk uphill and get in the reserved ticket line, pay for your ticket and ask any questions you might have.
There are four ways to get up to the castle, but my recommended route is to walk straight up the paved trail, to make sure you have enough time to get there before your tour. The guide says it takes about 40 min to walk up, but I think I did it in about 20 minutes, as a fairly capable walker. There is also a horse-drawn carriage for a dramatic entrance or a bus system that can get you most of the way uphill. I have not taken either of these, so ask an attendant how to do this if this is your mode of transportation. The 4th option is a good plan if you don’t have a tour of the castle at a specific time and it is hiking up the gorge. I like to do this on the way down or with Mike’s Bike’s and I’ll go over that later. You should have plenty of time to meander and take photos on your way up and at at the top. The castle tour starts in the main courtyard of the castle, line up and enjoy your tour! One of my favorite reasons for doing this tour is you not only to learn about the history of the castle and King Ludwig II, but you also get some great photo ops otherwise unavailable. See below photos.
After your tour is over, you have plenty of time to explore the surrounding area. If you want a view like the photo above, walk up a bit further behind the castle to the Marienbrücke Bridge. This bridge gets very crowded in the summer. My sister and dad opted to stay behind and let my mother and I brave the bridge. Just be patient and you’ll get your turn at this majestic photo opp.
Instead of walking down the same paved road you originally took, on your way back down from Marienbrücke to the main castle look for a dirt road that cuts into the gorge from your right. Occasionally this area is closed due to maintenance or flooding; pay attention to all signs and follow instructions. (Photos of this hike in the section about Mike’s Bikes.) You will be following the Pöllat river and you end near the toboggan ride and gondola. Keep an eye on the time and explore this area if you want, but make sure to be back at the train station by 5:50 for the last train back from Munich (depending on the season it may not be the last, but it is the quickest and best, check the seasonal timetables.) To get back to the visitor and ticketing center follow Tegelbergstrasse to the west to Füssenstrasse and take a left.
There are also plenty of forested walks back down instead of taking the main paved route. If hiking isn’t your thing, but you want to shake things up. This option was perfect for my parents. Aren’t they cute? This takes you right back to the visitor center and your map provided at ticketing has the trails.
Day Trip from Munich to Newschwanstein Castle with Mikes Bikes
If independent adventures aren’t your thing, but you want to enjoy everything Neuschwanstein and Füssen have to offer, while making new friends, then check out Mike’s Bikes! The first time I came to Munich almost six years ago I used this company. They picked us up from our hostel and bused us out to the castle. They handled all ticketing and transportation, so we just had to enjoy the day. We started off by renting bikes and riding around Swan Lake. We got some amazing views of the castle from below.
After our bike ride, we had lunch and hiked up the gorge to the castle where we took the tour. There were also plenty of options for anyone who didn’t want to bike, including a toboggan ride and tickets to the other castle or museum.
It was a well put together tour and I normally don’t recommend pre-packaged tours, but this one was great! Find out more about Mike’s Bikes here.
If you want a great view of the castle from the front, with the old red stone facing, take the gondola up near the Toboggan, you’ll need to make this a priority and if you’re lucky the guide will allow you to open the window for photos. I have not done this, but this is where you find the stunning front photos without a drone.
Essentially follow the same route back home. From the ticketing center, head to the bus stop and take the bus back to the Füssen train station. Be careful which train you get on, if you want a direct train home take the RE 57513 at 4:06 or RE 57515 at 6:06. Many of the other trains stop halfway through where you’ll have to change trains and can almost double your ride home. Grab some food or relax in order to make one of these if you have leftover time. If you do get on a train that stops halfway through, just exit and look for the platform with a train headed to Munich.
I hope you enjoy your day trip from Munich Germany to the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle. Let me know if you need any help planning your Munich trip and don’t miss these other day trips from Munich.
or this day trip to Dachau Memorial.
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Germany, castle or European board!