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The Ultimate Guide to Neuschwanstein Castle Itinerary - Day trip from Munich to Sleeping Beauty Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle , Neuschwanstein Itinerary
How to plan a perfect trip to Neuschwanstein Castle?
Neuschwanstein Castle
Located in the Bavarian region, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular attractions in the region. It even inspired Walt Disney to have it built in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The stunning castle was designed by King Ludwig II, also known as the Mad King Ludwig.

Although it may seem easy to visit the castle, it is not. From booking your tour slot to planning your trip, it's not as easy as visiting Disneyland. Even with advance booking, you may not even get the slot you want. Sometimes money does the trick. However, if you are planning to do a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, do continue to read!
getting to Neuschwanstein Castle, day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Introduction of Neuschwanstein Castle
King Ludwig succeeded in the throne at the age of 18. His real interest has always been in art and music. Since he was overly obsessed with extravagant artistic and architectural projects, King Ludwig had spent all his royal revenues to this hobby. With that, he had earned himself the name “Mad King”. Thanks to his love for art, we are able to witness this beauty. Today, Neuschwanstein Castle has become one of the most important tourist attractions in Bavaria.

As a young prince, Ludwig had spent most of his childhood in the summer palace - Hohenschwangau, Schwangau. So when we arrived at Neuschwanstein Castle, we are not surprised why King Ludwig decided to built Neuschwanstein Castle there.

Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, the summer palace has one of the best natural view - Alps & Lakes! It’s quiet from the city and definitely not as accessible as it would be today. Sadly, King Ludwig did not survive to witness the completed piece of art. He was found dead with his doctor in the river and the reason for his death was never known.

Getting to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich
Getting to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich
By Car
 Neuschwanstein Castle Itinerary
The easiest way is definitely by car. It’s a 1 hour 45-minute car ride from Munich Hbf compare to the 3-hour public transport ride from Munich. Plus, driving gets the flexibility and perks of enjoying the beauty before all the tour arrives. However, parking may be a challenge as the roads to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle is closed for public traffic. The public has to one of the 4 carparks in the surrounding area. Read more about parking here 

Parking Fees (per day): 
Cars € 7,00 
Bus/ coaches € 15,00 
Caravan/ camping cars € 8,50 
Motorbikes € 3,00 

By Train
Neuschwanstein Castle itinerary
One can travel to Neuschwanstein Castle by taking the train to Füssen. The entire journey is a 2h 30 min (one-way) ride. You can check DB train for time schedule and price. After you arrive at Fussen Train station, Take a bus RVA/OVG 73 or RVA/OVG 78 in the direction of Schwangau. Both buses will bring you to the village of Schwangau. Check the train schedule here  

Luggage Locker at Fussen Station

For people who are travelling with luggage, you can find the storage area at the Fussen station. 

Bayern Ticket
We got Bayern Ticket for the day trip and it was a pretty good deal. The Bayern ticket offers an unlimited number of trips within Bavaria for a day. We had to get this because the one-way ticket to Neuschwanstein Castle would have cost us €32.20. Bayern Ticket starts from 25 and you can add €7 euro for an additional traveller (up to 5 pax per group).

The tricky part is that you can only start using the regional train pass from 9am on weekdays. Thankfully there is no restriction on the weekend. Read more about Bayern Ticket here

By Bus
Neuschwanstein Castle itinerary
There is no direct public bus from Munich to Schwangau but there are bus services operated by Flix and it cost 19.90 Euro per trip. They are definitely not the cheapest option or most comfortable way but it’s definitely fuss-free since its a direct route. Check your Bus schedule from Flix here

Getting your Neuschwanstein Castle Tour Ticket
Neuschwanstein Castle ticket office
Neuschwanstein Castle Ticket office
To enter the castle, one must book a guided tour. Although it is free to view the castle from outside, it is best to get the ticket since you already travelled all the way to the village of Schwangau. There are 3 ways to get the tickets and we got ours from the ticket office.

We didn’t pre-book our tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle Ticket because our itinerary was not firm. In the end, we didn’t manage to reserve our tickets. To be honest, we were a little hesitant on this day trip because we read that the ticket may be sold out before noon during peak period.

Imagine spending 6 hours (include return) to get to Neuschwanstein Castle and didn’t manage to get the tickets. We will be so sad. In the end, we still went ahead and set some expectation because it’s the AUTHENTIC sleeping beauty castle! Here we go!

1. Online Reservation
One can reserve the tickets in advance via their official website. Do note that you need to reserve at least 3 days in advance. You can select your preferred timing but it’s not guaranteed. Do note that a service fee also applies for reserved tickets. Reserve your tickets here

2. Ticket Office
After you alight the bus in the village of Schwangau, head over to the ticket office as soon as you can! We saw people running to the office and we started to panic too. We were practically crossing our fingers and hope there are still tickets when it's our turn. Thankfully, we visited during off-peak season and there are tickets for us!

3. Getting from Tour Package
On the other hand, we were glad that we didn’t sign up for any tour because they are pretty expensive! It was our last resort if we were visiting during peak season. These tours usually include transportation to the castle and guarantee your tickets. Do note that not all tour includes the entrance fee to the castle. So, be sure to check the price before you buy. Check out the tour tickets to Neuschwanstein Castle here

Choosing your time slot for Neuschwanstein Castle Tour
Neuschwanstein Castle itinerary
If you are planning to visit Neuschwanstein Castle with Bayern Ticket, the earliest you will arrive in the village is 12:30pm. So, please do not book the timeslot before that! Also, you need time to get to the entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle. Your best bet will be from 1:30pm if you are only planning to visit the castle straight away

Do note that you need at least 45 min travelling time from the shuttle service to the entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle. Once you miss your slot, you cannot change.

If you are driving and did not reserve the tickets in advance, your best bet is to arrive at the village at 7:30am. Be the first to buy a ticket and enjoy the scenery before all the tour bus arrives. You can even walk up to the castle at your own pace and be the first to enter the castle!

Guided tours are offered daily from:
10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. (Winter opening times)
9.00 a.m.  - 6.00 p.m. (Summer opening times)

day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich
Source: Here

Getting from the Ticket office to Neuschwanstein Castle
By Foot
The estimated time by foot is 40 minutes but I would suggest you add another 10 - 20 min buffer time.
Neuschwanstein Castle Tour Ticket
By Horse Carriage
Uphill: € 7,00 Downhill: € 3,50
Duration of the ride: approx. 20 minute + 15 min walk
Payment directly to the horse carriage driver.

By Shuttle
Bus stop valley: at the "Alpsee" parking area P4 (below Hohenschwangau Castle)
Bus stop castle: "Marienbrücke" Mary's Bridge (above Neuschwanstein Castle)
Price per person: Uphill: € 2,50 Downhill: € 1,50 Roundtrip: € 3,00
Duration: 45 Min ( 15 mins wait for shuttle + 10 min drive + 20 min walk)

1 Day Itinerary to Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle itinerary, Neuschwanstein Castle day trip
We arrive at Munich Hbf Main station in the morning and board the train at 9.49am to Fussen. The train ride was 2 hours and we were greeted with a beautiful scenic view along our way to Fussen. After arriving at Fussen Trainstation, we board bus 78 and arrived at the village of Schwangau. Total time taken from Munich to Schwangau is 2 h 30 min.

Tip: Bring some snacks with you! We didn't have enough time for a sit-down lunch and was thankful that we brought some sandwiches with us!

The first order of business is to purchase our tickets from the ticket office. Initially, we wanted to get Swan ticket which includes all three attractions which include Neuschwanstein castle & Hohenschwangau castle & Museum of the Bavarian Kings.

However, after considering the time and the purpose of our trip, we got the Prince ticket instead. The prince tickets include the entrance to Neuschwanstein castle & Hohenschwangau castle & Museum of the Bavarian Kings.

Museum of the Bavarian Kings
Museum of the bavarian kings
We decided to visit the Museum of the Bavarian King before our guided tour in Neuschwanstein castle and we are glad that we did so. The museum is very informative and even had a detailed timeline of the Bavarian Kings. Visiting the museum also allows us to understand King Ludwig and the story of the royal family. Highly recommend anyone who plans to visit the castle to visit the museum first!

So, the ticket officer told us the Museum of the Bavarian King can be completed in 1 hour and she was kidding us. If you listen to the audio guide chapter by chapter, you need at least 2 hours to complete. We didn’t and left after 1 hour. We were running very late.

Neuschwanstein Castle Tour
Neuschwanstein Castle day trip and tips
Our scheduled tour starts at 2:25pm and we were lucky that we made it to the tour. We board the shuttle bus at 2pm and had to run to the castle from Mary’s Bridge. It was insane. Thankfully it was downslope. I can’t imagine it to be uphill. Fortunately, we arrive at the Castle right on time.

Note: You need at least 45 minutes to get to the entrance of Neuschwanstein castle from the ticket office.

The tour was amazing! Even though it was just a 20-minute tour, We saw the maid’s corners and the room that King Ludwig stayed. Everything in the castle is the original items. The paintings on the wall are very impressive! One room that amazed me was the open shower concept that the King had designed. It was said to have a stunning view of the lake from the bathroom. The open concept bathroom was not completed.

After the tour, we grab a quick bite at the cafe in the castle. Definitely not the best but we didn’t have much time before that. Thankfully we brought some snacks with us.We continued our journey and walked to the bridge and it’s one of the best places to view the castle. Also, the snow came unexpectedly. & Everything feels so magical.

Other Place to visit near Neuschwanstein Castle
Hohenschwangau was built in the 16th century and was destroyed during different wars. It was in 1832 that it became the summer palace and the place where King Ludwig would spend his childhood summer here. Very different from Hohenschwangau castle, this castle was rebuilt in neo-gothic style.

Guided tours are offered daily from:
10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. (Winter opening times)
9.00 a.m.  - 5.00 p.m. (Summer opening times)

Linderhof Castles
Photo credit source: WikiCommon
Linderhof Castle is one of the three palaces that were built by King Ludwig and the only one that is completed. The interior design of the castle was inspired by Versailles. It is very grand and many details were added to complete this look.

For travellers who drive, do add a trip to Linderhof Castle. It is one of the attractions that may include during the day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. Apparently, Linderhof Castles is more popular with the locals than Neuschwanstein Castle because there are more things to see. Prior to our trip, we were still deciding if we should visit the Linderhof Castle but decide to give a miss since we had plans to visit Versailles in Paris. 
Overall, we enjoyed our day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. It was unexpectedly stunning and everything felt so magical. Some may feel that it is over-rated or the travelling time is not worth the trip. Personally, I love it. The beautifully designed architecture and interior design is a masterpiece itself. Even though this obsession is crazy and may have cost the life of King Ludwig and many others, we can’t deny that Art is one of the things that can stand against time.

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