Guide to the Fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

utazás Neuschwanstein kastély képek

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Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most visited castle and one of the country’s most popular attractions. The gorgeous Neuschwanstein is a must-see when visiting the nearby Munich or Innsbruck (Austria). II. Ludwig dreamed of this fairytale-like building along with most of its interior design that later even inspired Walt Disney himself.

In the post below, we’ve compiled a complete guide to Neuschwanstein, including the history of the castle in a nutshell, and all the information about when and how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

How to Get to Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the southern part of Germany, in Bavaria, at the northern tip of the Alps, next to the Hohenschwangau Palace, in the village of Hohenschwangau, on the outskirts of Schwangau.

The castle is about 120 km, ie. two hours away by car from both Munich and Innsbruck (Austria).

One day trip from Munich, Germany.

>> Car rental

Travel Resources

There is nothing better than a relaxed holiday. To ensure your rest, make sure you reserve and book your accommodation and transportation in advance of your trip.

Hohenschwangau Palace or Neuschwanstein castle?

Hohenschwangau palota a Neuschwanstein kastély mellett

The small village has another famous castle, the Hohenschwangau Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle. If you are short on time or not a typical exhibition and exhibition visitor, we definitely recommend Neuschwanstein. If you have a full day (or two), visit both buildings.

Neuschwanstein Tickets and Opening Hours

Online Ticket or Ticket on the Spot

Although the ticket is cheaper if you buy it on spot, we would recommend you to purchase your entrance ticket in advance (and pay the 2,5€ extra booking fee per ticket). Tickets are for a specific day and time, and you can save hours of not queuing as the online tickets can be picked up in a different, shorter line.

When you select a time (and date), make sure you leave enough time to yourself to pick up the tickets. Note that you have to pick up all online tickets at the Hohenschwangau ticket office. There is no ticket sale in Neuschwanstein

Hohenschwangau ticket office address:

Ticket-Center Hohenschwangau
Alpseestrasse 12
D-87645 Hohenschwangau

Phone: +49 (0)8362 / 93 08 30

Neuschwanstein Ticket Prices and Hohenschwangau Ticket Prices

online on spot online on spot
Adult15.5€13€ Adult and children20.5€18€
(under 18)
2.5€0€ Children
(under 7)
2.5€ 0€

The full price ticket to Neuschwanstein is 13€ and it is free for everyone under 18. Considering the online purchased tickets, the entrance tickets’ prices are 15.5€ (adult) and 2,5€ (for children).

Entrance prices to Hohenschwangau Castle, when booked online, are 20.5€ and 2.5€ for children under 7.

It is important to note that the castle of Hohenschwangau is also extremely close (you must pick up tickets there) and you can even purchase a combined ticket here using the link below.

Online tickets


The guided tours start in English and German every 5-10 minutes, but if you want information in other languages, Audioguides are available in nearly 20 languages.

Guided Tours

The guided tour takes only 30 minutes as the vast majority of the castle is not open to the general public.

Neuschwanstein Opening Hours

The opening hours depend on the time fo the year.

1 April- 15 October: 9:00-18:00

16 October – 31 March 10:00-16:00


If you arrive in Schwangau by car, you can park in one of the private car parks. The most popular one is the car park called P4, which tends to fill up quickly, making it a good choice especially for those arriving early in the morning.

How to Get to the Neuschwanstein Castle

By walk

You can walk up to the castle in about 40 minutes. Although it is a pleasant walk, nothing in comparison to the most spectacular hikes in Germany.

If you think this is too much for you or your companions, luckily there are several other transportation options to choose from to cut the majority of the distance and walking time.

Price: 0€

By Horse-pulled Carriage

Unfortunately, the horse-drawn carriages cannot fully go up to the castle due to the narrow road, but they can significantly shorten the distance and allow us to fly back a bit in time. They are about 400 meters from the entrance, from where you can walk to the castle in 10-15 minutes.

Price: 7€ upwards, 3,5€ downwards (2020)

Starting point: Hotel Müller, Alpseestraße, Hohenschwangau

Return: 400 m below the castle

By Shuttle Bus from the Village

Another option is the shuttle bus. The buses can’t transport visitors to the entrance door either, but they stop next to the famous Mary’s Bridge, from where you only have to walk downhill after admiring the magnificent view of the castle. You can also take amazing pictures from here.

Please note that in icy and snowy conditions the buses don’t operate.

Price: 2,5€ upwards, 1,5€ downwards, 3€ round trip (2020)

Starting point: P4 parking lot in front of the Hohenschwangau Palace

Return: Jugend viewpoint, next to Mary’s Bridge

Neuschwanstein Winter or Summer?

Although most tourists visit the spectacular castle in summer, winter visits have their own advantage and charm too, and we’re not just talking about shorter lines right now.

If you’re thinking about a winter visit, the Advent period in December or the usually beautiful snowy January or February can all be a great choices. Just imagine the snow-covered alpine landscape where Neuschwanstein stands out with its slender, blue-capped towers.

You may also want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in the fall. Beautiful fall colors, aren’t they?

The History of Neuschwanstein Castle

We have to go back to the time of the early 19th century when only a castle ruin occupied the cliff. King Ludwig II of Bavaria accidentally came across a couple of letters that expressed his dad’s intentions of renovating the ruins. The king liked the idea and decided to fulfill his father’s intention and build a magnificent castle instead of those remains.

Neuschwanstein kastély látogatás

The Castle was NOT Designed by an Architect

He also wanted to make his childhood dreams come true with the castle, which is why he commissioned a theatrical set designer (Chritian Jank) to design the huge castle, while also incorporating his own ideas into these plans.

Work and Money for the People

After the losing Prussian War, building a dream castle seemed to be a perfect occupation for the long and quiet period that followed the war. The foundation stone of the castle was laid in 1856, and then the construction itself took place between 1869 and 1886. The large-scale project also meant work and money for artisans living in and around the area.

The King’s Bed was Manufactured for 5 Years

Nothing shows the importance of the castle better than the time invested in the construction and creating all the decorations and details. The king’s bed, decorated with beautiful, unique, and meticulous carvings, was made by at least two but, according to some records, for 5 years to gain its final form. Fourteen masters worked on that unique furniture.

Neuschwanstein utazás

360 Rooms, 5 Stories, 0 Throne Room

Due to the king’s sudden death, although the castle was finished, there was still a lot to do inside, and only a small part of the rooms was completely finished. Due to this, they did not have time to build the throne room either in the huge castle.

The Death of the King

And what happened to the King? One fine day, in 1886, a psychological committee arrived at the king’s court, declared him insane without any medical examination, arrested him, and took him away. Three days later, the ruler and one of the doctors examining him, von Gudden, were found drowned in Lake Starnberg. To this day, we do not know exactly what had happened.

The New Name of the Castle: Neuschwanstein

Since the beginning of the construction of the castle, it was called the New Hohenschwangau Castle. However, it was renamed to Neuschwanstein, i.e. New Swan Stone Castle, after the king’s death.

Ludwig Spent Only 14 Days in Neuschwanstein

Although he spent most of his childhood in the Hohenschwangau Palace next door, which you can also visit, he was only able to sleep 14 nights in Neuschwanstein.

Marienbrücke – Saint Mary’s Bridge

If you choose the bus variation to approach the castle, you can also look down on the magnificent building and the waterfall from the famous Mary’s Bridge which connects the two sides of the 45 m high straight near the waterfall.

Mix of styles

The medieval castle has the marks of numerous art styles. The knowledgeable eyes can easily discover Romanian, Gothic, Moorish, Byzantine, and Baroque features in the grand building.

You can reach the castle through a steep and narrow road mentioned earlier.

After admiring the castle from the outside, it’s time to look inside as well. A narrow spiral staircase leads to the tall towers, and the castle consists of several important parts, of which the citadel, the Palas, is perhaps the most important, which contains the king’s residence as well.


Neuschwanstein Interesting Facts

Modern Medieval Castle with Heating and Electricity

Besides the unique appearance, there are other interesting details that worth looking for. It is important to point out that although the castle was built in the 19th century, it did not lack any luxury. They tried to incorporate all the modern achievements of the era into the building. The king deserved the best. It was also supplied with electricity by the steam engines and received a superior central heating system which was practically unknown at that time.

Flush Toilet

The castle’s most upscale toilet, of course, belonged to the king’s dormitory, into which the water used for rinsing came through a nearly 40-meter aqueduct.

Groto, the Cave Room

In addition to the interesting places mentioned above, Neuschwanstein also boasts a cave room. In its design, they tried to imitate the look of a real cave.

Neuschwanstein hattyú

The influence of Lohengrin, the Swan Knight, and Werner

Although most of the more than 300 rooms have not been completed, and most cannot be visited on guided tours either, the completed parts of the castle have been heavily influenced by the well-known (and still famous) opera author of the time, Richard Wagner.

Lohengrin, the Swan Knight, is worshiped in many rooms, including the throne room, the singers ‘room, and Ludvig’s residence. The huge fresco in the citadel also depicts the protagonist of a German legend, and the king provided its creator with detailed commands, I mean instructions. These included determining the exact tilt of Lohengrin’s neck or the location of the gold chain and the ship on the painting.

Due to the early death of the monarch, Wagner did not have time to visit the castle during the king’s reign, although it could have been an interesting encounter at this special place.

utazás Neuschwanstein kastély

The Afterlife of the Castle

Disney, Disneyland, and More

As we wrote above, a castle had a great impact on everyone who saw it. Even Walt Disney himself used the imposing, slender towers in the 1950s aired Cinderella’s tale to depict the castle. Later, Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Fairy Palace has been copied from Neuschwanstein as well.

Also, nearby located in Günzburg a Legoland, where you can visit another copy of the castle made of LEGO elements, but the famous German castle also appears on the field tables of the MiniLand in Munich.

German Commemorative Coin

The 2010 edition German 2€ commemorative coin also features the famous Bavarian castle.

Belongs to Bavaria

Neuschwanstein belongs to Bavaria, meanwhile, the Hohenschwangau Palace is the Bavarian Price’s property.

Neuschwanstein Inspired Other Castles

Pena Palace, Estrada da Pena, Sintra, Portugália

 Neuschwanstein served as a model for the nearby Wittelsbach Castle, as well as to the barely older Pena Palace in Sintra, which is often referred to as the Portuguese Neuschwanstein. You can see the latter in the picture above.


Neuschwanstein Accommodation

If you want to stay in Hohenschwangau, the Hotel Müller, or the nearby Hotel Hirsch is the perfect choice for your budget. If you are staying in Munich, check out the Hotel Metropol, and if you are staying in Innsbruck, check out Hotel Kapellert.

If you are more of an Airbnb party, you can look for private accommodation here near the castle.

Day-trip to Neuschwanstein.

One day trip from Munich – if you don’t want to figure out how to get there and what to do.

Where is Neuschwanstein ?

It is in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, close to Munich.

Hohenschwangau Palace or Neuschwanstein castle?

It is worth visiting both.

Travel Resources

There is nothing better than a relaxed holiday. To ensure your rest, make sure you reserve and book your accommodation and transportation in advance of your trip.

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About the Author


Katalin is a Lapland-based outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, road-tripping, and traveling with her family. She spends her free time far away from civilization in one of the national parks around the world, explores off-the-beaten-path places, or hops on a road trip with her kids in an RV.
Read more about her adventures and the blog.

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