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Inside Neuschwanstein Castle (2024 Guide) – Is it Worth Seeing Inside?

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Millions of people visit Germany’s Disney Castle in Bavaria each year but many people wonder whether going inside Neuschwanstein Castle is worth it.

Entry is only permitted by a guided tour and, as the castle was never completed, you only get to see 14 rooms out of the 200 that were constructed.

Admiring this fairytale fortress from the outside is a magical experience but I would argue that the interiors are just as enchanting. 

The chambers that were completed are masterpieces that effortlessly transport you to a medieval land of myths, fantasy, and legend. 

Here is a detailed guide with all the reasons why going inside Neuschwanstein Castle is worth it!

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle worth it

Who built Neuschwanstein Castle?

Schloss Neuschwanstein was built by King Ludwig II, also known as the Swan King and Fairytale King due to his enchanting castle projects.

Neuschwanstein translates to New Swan Stone and the construction was heavily inspired by the tale of the Swan Knight, Lohengrin

Ludwig was obsessed with legends, fairytales, astronomy, and medieval kings of old. 

When he became a monarch at 18, he had little experience. Then, when Bavaria became part of the ‘German Empire’, Ludwig had limited power in his role. 

This defeat made him idolise absolute monarchs like King Henry VIII and Louis XIV.

He wanted to build a medieval retreat in the mountains where he could escape court life to his fantasy world.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle

Ludwig found comfort in music and plays and he greatly admired Richard Wagner who wrote the opera Lohengrin. He became his patron and dedicated the castle to him. 

The inspiration for the exteriors came from ‘old German knight’s castles’ like Wartberg and romantic medieval renovations like Chateau de Pierrefonds

The interior paintings were inspired by legends, poetry, music, and Wagner’s operas. 

The construction started in 1869 but unfortunately, this fairytale castle would never be finished.

King Ludwig II’s life was tragically cut short at just 40 years old under highly mysterious circumstances. It is still a puzzle that is widely debated today.

“I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others” – King Ludwig II. 

Ludwig's Coronation Portrait
King Ludwig II

‘Mad’ King Ludwig II 

Ludwig funded the castle out of his own fortunes and extensive borrowing from foreign lenders. 

Eventually, the loans had to be repaid but Ludwig simply ignored the reminders and kept spending. 

His advisors took drastic action and they had him diagnosed as insane without examination.

They then deposed him from the throne on the 12th of June 1886 and were to take him into custody. 

But, the following day he was found dead in Lake Starnberg along with the therapist who diagnosed him. There is now a memorial cross laid at the site.

His death was officially ruled as a suicide but there was no investigation carried out to say otherwise. Many people dispute this and believe it was a murder plot or tragic accident.

The castle project stopped immediately and many of the 200 rooms inside Neuschwanstein Castle were never fully finished or decorated. 

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Fairytale Castle & Walt Disney 

Just seven weeks after the reclusive king’s death they opened his fairytale castle to the public as a museum. 

One notable visitor who fell in love with this fortress was Walt Disney. He took a trip around Europe and was inspired by Ludwig’s creations. 

It is said that he used Neuschwanstein Castle to inspire Cinderella’s Castle in the animation as well as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland California. 

Bavaria was to inspire many more of Disney’s projects like Pinocchio. Indeed, he used the Plönlein in Rothenburg ob der Tauber for Geppetto’s home. 

Today, Schloss Neuschwanstein is known as Germany’s Disney Castle or Germany’s Cinderella Castle. 

Over 1.4 million people visit this castle every year and a large majority only travel here to see the views outside from Queen Mary’s Bridge.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Can you go inside Neuschwanstein Castle?

Yes, you will be happy to know that you can go inside Neuschwanstein Castle but visiting this fairytale keep is only allowed by a guided tour.

Although many of the rooms inside the castle weren’t finished, your tour will take you to the 14 lavish staterooms and apartments that were completed. The tours take around 30 minutes.

You can book tickets online and it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance as they do tend to sell out.

The good news is that these tours run all year, even in winter. I recently went in March and it looked like a winter wonderland plus there were a fraction of the crowds.

Related post – What’s it like visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter?

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Neuschwanstein Castle courtyard

Is it worth going inside Neuschwanstein Castle?

100% YES! This fairytale castle is just as magical on the inside as it is on the outside. It will feel like you’re walking through a fantasy world.

The staterooms that were completed in this medieval retreat are majestic with the finest attention to detail.  

Opulent paintings of legends grace the walls like the Swan Knight, Tannhäuser, and St George.

There are symbols of mythology, lavish furnishings, grottos, and sumptuous rooms. Every corner was so beautiful, inspirational, and vibrant. 

It’s a look inside the mind of a visionary and an extraordinary monarch who was years ahead of his time.

This Disney castle honestly took my breath away and I was astounded on my tour. I don’t know how anyone can look at this masterpiece and not fall in love. You have to visit, at least once.

Ludwig's Balcony
Ludwig’s Balcony
Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Reasons to go inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Many people complain about the tours inside Neuschwanstein Castle as they are crowded, short, uninformative, and rushed.

But, as one of the busiest attractions in Germany, crowds are to be expected. I also think 17.50 euros per person it’s not a huge amount to visit the most famous and beautiful castle in the world. 

Can you take photos inside? No. Is the tour a little rushed? Yes. But, is it worth visting to explore these enchanting rooms of a fairytale king? Definitely, without question.

However, it’s not just the stunning staterooms and apartments that make a guided tour worth it. 

You also have a gift shop, multimedia centre, a café, kitchens, winding towers, and Ludwig’s Balcony with spectacular views to explore at your leisure. 

Here are all the amazing reasons why going inside Neuschwanstein Castle is worth your time!

Ludwig's Balcony Neuschwanstein
Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Lower Hall 

You enter the castle through an elaborate vaulted corridor and walk up the steps to the Lower Hall.

This has many paintings from the Old Norse ‘Edda’ Saga which translates to Sigurd in Bavaria. 

Note: You cannot take photos of the staterooms and apartments. The following images are in the public domain.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Throne Room 

The Throne Hall is one of the most impressive rooms in the castle that resembles a church as it was inspired by Byzantine architecture. 

It’s a sumptuous room with shimmering gold paint and a mosaic floor that has symbols of earth. A sparkling 4-metre gold chandelier hangs from the ceiling painted with the stars in the night sky. 

There are illustrations of the apostles and six holy kings as well as famous knights like St George slaying the dragon. 

Sadly, the only thing missing from this hall is the throne itself as it was never constructed after Ludwig’s death. 

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle Throne Room
Throne Room inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Dining Room

After the throne room, you’ll enter King Ludwig’s apartments which are decorated with a mix of wood panels and paintings.

Even though it was created as a medieval castle, it was equipped with many modern comforts and up-to-date technology for the era. For example, an electric bell was installed here to summon his servants.

You can see a large dining table with an elaborate gold statue of Siegfried fighting a dragon, Fafnir. The doors are decorated with red and gold silk.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle Dining Room
Dining Room inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Ludwig’s Bedroom, Oratory & Dressing Room

Ludwig’s room was inspired by the legend of Tristan and Isolde, a medieval romance of star-crossed lovers.

The decor is the most lavish in the castle with intricate wood carvings. The bed is a masterpiece with images of lions, lilies and swans. There is a canopy of stars and blue silk bedding. 

Look out for the swan washstand that has a silver-plated water jug, sponge, and soap holders. 

Just next door, there is a sumptuous dressing room decorated with violet silks. The paintings are from scenes of poems by Walther von der Vogelweide and Hans Sachs. 

Adjacent to the bedroom is an oratory in a Neo-Gothic style and features images of Louis IX of France. 

Ludwig was born on the saint day of this king and named after his grandfather Ludwig I who had King Louis XVI as a godfather.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle bedroom
Ludwig’s Bedrooms inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Salon

The Salon is a gorgeous drawing room that depicts the tales of Lohengrin, the Swan Knight. 

Ludwig was familiar with this tale as a child due to portraits in the Hall of Heroes of Hohenschwangau Castle. This was his father’s project, King Maximilian II, and his family’s summer home. 

Swans are the heraldic symbol of King Ludwig, the Swan King, and the name Neuschwanstein means “New Swan Stone”.

He was inspired by Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin and this castle was built in honour of him.

In the story, Lohengrin is a knight of the Holy Grail and is sent in a boat pulled by swans to rescue a maiden who can never ask for his name. 

Inside Neuschwanstein-Castle-Salon
Salon inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Conservatory & Venus Grotto

Something that you don’t see every day in royal apartments is a secret grotto.

Ludwig had the set designer August Dirigl create an artificial dripstone cave that was inspired by Venusberg, a mountain where the goddess Venus lives in German folklore.

This mountain is in the story of Tannhäuser who is a minnesinger and becomes obsessed with worshipping Venus. In doing so, he forgets his childhood sweetheart Princess Elisabeth back home.

It was made into an opera by Wagner that caused quite a scandal with its initial reception. You can find a racy portrait of Tannhäuser and Venus in the study of the castle on your tour.

After, the grotto leads you to a stunning conservatory with a panoramic view of the valley and hills.

Inside Neuschwanstein Grotto Venusberg

Neuschwanstein
Grotto aka Venusberg

Singer’s Hall (Sängersaal)

You end your tour in the most important room of the castle, the Singer’s Hall or Sängersaal.

This was based on Wartburg’s Festival Hall a place that is said to have held the legendary Sängerkrieg. A minstrels singing contest that is mentioned in Tannhäuser. 

The murals, however, concentrate on the Knight Parzival and the Holy Grail with his son the Swan Knight.

There is a stunning stage that is painted like an enchanted forest, paintings of royalty, and symbols of the zodiac. You can also see a winged Lucifer and mythical creatures like a unicorn.

If there was any room I wanted more time to explore, it would be this one. The details and symbolism in this room are mindblowing and it would take you days to decipher everything. 

This is where the guided part of your tour ends and you need to reluctantly leave. But, the staff are more than willing to answer questions you have just outside.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle singers hall
Singer’s Hall inside Neuschwanstein Castle

Schloss Neuschwanstein Gift Shop

In a typical tourist attraction style, you will exit through the gift shop. But, the good news is the souvenirs here are of great quality. 

There are snow globes, magnets, postcards, guidebooks, and a cacophony of swan souvenirs. Plus, some gorgeous chinaware, bags, jewellery, and textiles.

I bought some beautiful blue and gold mugs with Neuschwanstein Castle on them. I wish I had room for more pretty things but I only had a small case with me.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle gift shop

Media Room – Homage to the rooms that were never built 

Something that I thought was a nice touch was the multimedia room that had a short presentation about the inspiration for the castle and rooms that were never built at Neuschwanstein.

Ludwig’s ideas and blueprints showed plans for an elaborate bathing hall, an opulent throne, and a huge chapel amongst other things. There are so many rooms here waiting to be decorated.

The presentation showed some 3D images of what they would have looked like had they been allowed to come to pass.

It was quite bittersweet and sad to watch the movie. Ludwig was a visionary who had an exceptional imagination. 

Ludwig's Castle Balcony

Many say his designs were lightyears ahead of his time. Personally, I think it’s a tragedy that this castle couldn’t be finished to his wishes. 

Paul Verlaine, a famous poet, called Ludwig II the “only true king of this century”.

This world-famous castle and Ludwig’s other ‘controversial’ creations he was declared insane and put down for have now made his family and Germany millions if not billions in profit. 

Just like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, I think it would be amazing if they finished what was started. The designs are already there, it just needs the backing. 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Ludwig’s Balcony

Ludwig’s Balcony & spectacular views

At the end of your tour inside Neuschwanstein Castle, you will be able to visit Ludwig’s balcony with panoramic views over Schwangau and the rolling hills of the Alps. Photos here are allowed.

This is one of the main reasons I loved going inside on a guided tour! You can see for miles.

You will see Hohenschwangau Castle, Marienbrucke Bridge, and Pöllat Gorge from here. It will make you feel like royalty.

As I visited in March, this balcony was pretty much empty. But, in the summer months, there can be massive queues and you’ll be squished.

Ludwig's Balcony Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Ludwig’s Balcony views

Neuschwanstein Castle Café

After the gift shop, there is a Neuschwanstein Castle Café & Bistro that you can relax in that has indoor seating.

There is a mix of low tables and some higher ones by the windows that have incredible views over the valley.

Now, I’m going to be honest that the coffee in this café wasn’t that great. It was from a machine and tasted awful. 

But, they do have a selection of bottled soft drinks, yummy apple strudel, and some light bites to eat too.

The main part I liked about eating here was the incredible artwork of Sigurd (Siegfried) and the Völsunga Saga on the walls. It was so colourful. 

Neuschwanstein Castle cafe
Neuschwanstein Castle café

Neuschwanstein Castle Kitchens 

The only other place you’re allowed to take photos inside Neuschwanstein Castle is the kitchens located on the bottom floor.

These were fully stocked with large stoves, a roasting oven and spit, a baking oven, and even a fish tank. 

There was a pantry with a crockery cupboard and a private area for the Head Chef. It looks old but it had the latest technology of the day. 

After, that there is also a miniature model of the castle and some information boards about the construction process. 

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle Kitchens

There are some toilets before you leave. I would recommend using them as there are not many facilities around the castle grounds and Queen Mary’s Bridge. 

There will also be another castle gift shop on your way out. You’ll notice that the staircases and hallways to the exit door are very plain. 

This is because they were never able to be finished after Ludwig’s deposition and sudden death.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle Kitchens

Downsides to going inside Neuschwanstein Castle

For me personally, there weren’t many downsides to going inside Neuschwanstein Castle. 

In fact, I went in twice as I loved it so much mainly for the views. It really is like a fairytale castle both inside and out. 

But, there are some things to consider before you book tickets for a tour;

  • You can’t take photos – It really is a shame you can’t take photos of the stunning interiors. The paintings were spectacular. The only places you can are the café, towers, Ludwig’s balcony, and the kitchens. 
  • You only see a small selection of rooms – Out of the 200 rooms here, you only see 14 of them. It would be so nice to see more but the castle was never finished. This is the main thing people moan about but I don’t know what people expect.
  • The tours are busy, short & rushed – Tours are packed full and run every 5 minutes in high season. So, you are rushed through the rooms quite quickly and some are never explained.
  • It’s an uphill climb to the entrance – as it’s on a mountainside getting up to the entrance can be tough. Make sure to factor in travel time in order to make it on time for your tour! It’s your responsibility and there is no guarantee you’ll be put on a later one.
Inside Neuschwanstein Castle-
 worth it

How much does it cost to go inside Neuschwanstein Castle?

The price for guided tours inside Neuschwanstein Castle is 17.50 euros per adult and 2.50 euros for a child aged 0 – 17 years old. 

Guided tours are only given in German and English. But, you can take an audio tour in other languages.

It is recommended to buy your tickets online at least a few days in advance as tours tend to sell out, even in the off-season.

At the time of writing, combo tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle are no longer possible.

Neuschwanstein-Castle Marienbrucke
Inside-Neuschwanstein-Castle-worth-it

Booking Neuschwanstein Castle tickets and opening times

Buying your tickets online via the official Hohenschwangau Ticket Shop is very easy and straightforward to do.

You select the date and tour time you would like to attend and then pay for your tickets online.

If tours are sold out online, you can try the Hohenschwangau ticket centre in the village on the day. But, there is no guarantee tours will be available.  

The first tour starts in summer around 9 am and the last tour is around 6 pm. In winter, this changes to 10 am – 5 pm. 

Before booking your tour timeslot, you should take into consideration the amount of time it will take to get up to the entrance of the castle on the day. It’s high up on a hillside and you can’t drive there.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Getting up to Neuschwanstein Castle on the day 

Something many people don’t realise when visiting Germany’s Disney Castle is that you have to walk up a big hill to get there.

It’s only 1.5 kilometres but it is a steep climb that will take you around 30-40 minutes one way to reach the entrance.

But, the good news is that the walk is very easy and beautiful. You’ll walk through an enchanted woodland with waterfalls and views of the mountains.

Slowly, as you make your way up, the towers of the castle come into view. I took ages as I kept taking photos.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

If you don’t want to walk up, there are shuttle buses that take you above the castle near the Marienbrücke Bridge then you walk down a few hundred metres to the castle entrance. 

You do have to pay for this and it’s 3 euros up and 2 euros down. Buses don’t run in the winter season. 

Carriage rides run all year round and cost 8 euros to go up and 4 euros to go down. There is no schedule and only when the carriages are full do they leave. You can take it from the Hotel Müller in the village.

The carriage will drop you a little further down from the castle. It’s then a steep 10-minute walk up to the entrance gate.

Carriage Rides Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Entering the courtyard for your tour 

Once you’re ready for your tour, you can show your ticket to security at the entrance gate and wait inside the central courtyard.

There are toilets here to use before you go inside Neuschwanstein Castle and I would make use of them. There are no breaks until the end of the tour.

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle courtyard

There is a television screen with tour times on it and only when your time appears on the screen can you scan the QR code on your ticket to enter.

If you try to go in even a minute earlier than your time, it will buzz really loudly and deny you entry! I did this and it was so embarrassing for no reason. 

Once you can scan through, you head up several winding steps to the start of the tour and you’ll meet your tour guide. Or, you’ll be given an audio guide depending on what tour you booked. 

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

How long are tours inside Neuschwanstein Castle?

The tours inside Neuschwanstein Castle of the apartments and staterooms take around 30 minutes. You will see 14 rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors of the castle.

As before, the only thing I found disappointing about the tour was having to rush through all the glorious rooms.

Even if you select an audio tour, this is not self-guided. You will be chaperoned with a tour guide who will be ushering you on.

You will pass through various apartments, bedrooms, and salons and end your tour in Singer’s Hall. 

This is one of the prettiest rooms I have ever seen and the paintwork was spectacular. I wanted to stay so badly but you have to go when the next group arrives a few minutes later. 

After your guided tour of the staterooms, you can explore the 2nd floor with the multimedia room, gift shop, Ludwig’s Balcony, cafe, and kitchens for as long as you wish. 

Inside-Neuschwanstein-Castle
Inside Neuschwanstein Castle courtyard

What should I wear to Neuschwanstein?

As you’ll be doing lots of walking on the day, I would make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. But, layer up as this mountain valley can get quite cold and rain is common.

As it was my birthday and I’m really extra, I wore a celestial gown to this fairytale Disney castle.

Ludwig was a self-proclaimed “Night King” as he was obsessed with the stars, planets, and constellations so I decided to wear something in his honour. I even had a starry bag.

I got so many compliments from the staff as they just knew that Ludwig would have approved. 

Be assured, I was wearing lots of layers underneath with a cardigan, scarf, a big coat, and my walking boots. 

Neuschwanstein Castle Platform viewpoint

Other things to do around Germany’s Disney’s Castle

After your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, there are plenty of things to do after your tour. 

You can take a stroll around the grounds, visit the Marienbrücke Bridge, or head down to the village to see attractions like Hohenschwangau Castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter without crowds

Visit Neuschwanstein Castle grounds & exterior

Even if you don’t take a tour inside Neuschwanstein Castle, visiting the outside of this fairytale castle is an attraction in itself.

A walk around the exterior will allow you to see all the majestic architecture and ginormous turrets and towers up close. 

You can get plenty of vantage points around the woodland area but one of the best would be beside the gift shop at the viewing platform. 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Neuschwanstein viewing platform

Just beside the gift shop/coffee stall and the lockers, you’ll find an infinity terrace viewing platform that overlooks Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you can’t visit Queen Mary’s Bridge this is the best photography location to capture you and the castle in the backdrop.

As I had a mix of weather on my visit. Fog, snow, and sun. So, I came back here a few times.

Neuschwanstein Viewing Platform

During the day, this platform can be packed full of people taking photos and you can’t find room on it.

My top tip would be to visit this platform either early morning or later in the evening for a quieter visit. 

The gift shop had some mulled wine and hot chocolate you could buy in a mug to take home. There are several benches to relax on to sip on your drink with an epic view.

Gluhwein Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Marienbrücke Bridge & Pöllat Gorge 

Most people visit Neuschwanstein Castle for the incredible view you can get from the Marienbrücke Bridge which is an attraction in its own right.

This vista from Queen Mary’s Bridge bewitched Walt Disney and inspired him to build Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland California after his visit. 

This bridge can get very busy during the day, it wobbles and can be a struggle to move. But, it’s worth it for the fairytale view. 

Note: In winter this bridge is often closed due to snowy/icy conditions. Always check the website for what will be open in the off-season. 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Hohenschwangau Castle

Many people don’t realise that there are two castles in Schwangau and the second is Hohenschwangau Castle of King Maximilian II. 

It is often overlooked but it may surprise you to know that this yellow fortress was actually built here first! 

It was the childhood summer home of King Ludwig II and a place that inspired him to build Neuschwanstein Castle due to the gorgeous artwork of Lohengrin, the Swan Knight.

You can only go inside with a guided tour and I think it is well worth the money and time to do so. In fact, many people prefer this castle over Neuschwanstein.

Even if you don’t take a tour, walking around the courtyard and gardens is worth doing and is completely free. 

Related post – is going inside Hohenschwangau Castle worth it? 

Hohenschwangau Castle Gate
Is Hohenschwangau Castle worth visiting

Museum of Bavarian Kings 

If you want to learn more about these castles and the extensive history of the Wittelsbach rulers, then I would urge you to visit the Museum of Bavarian Kings. 

The House of Wittelsbach is one of Europe’s oldest dynasties and ruled over Bavaria from the 12th to 20th centuries. So, they have an incredible story to tell. 

There were a fair few controversial family members such as the abdicated King Ludwig I and his mistress Lola Montez who inspired a revolution.

Not to mention Empress Elizabeth Ferdinand of Austria who was originally a Duchess of Bayern. Her sister Sophie was engaged to Ludwig II for a short time. 

The story ends with Luitpold who deposed Otto I from the throne and became Ludwig III, the last King of Bavaria. 

But, there is a chapter about the Wittelsbachs through World War II and the Dukes of Bavaria today.

As well as information boards, there are also some incredible artifacts inside the museum like Ludwig II’s robes, royal artwork, and a complete Royal Nymphenburg Porcelain set.

They also had 3D displays of Ludwig II’s passion projects that never came to pass like his swan cable car.

It’s located in the former hotel Alpenrose beside Alpsee Lake and has views over Hohenschwangau Castle from the windows.

Tickets can be bought online or at the desk and you don’t need a specific time slot to visit. You can turn up at any time during opening hours. Ticket prices are 16 euros for an adult.

Again, no photography is allowed inside the museum and you will need to store bags in a storage locker. These are free of charge.

Museum of Bavarian kings
Museum of Bavarian Kings

Hohenschwangau village & Alpsee Lake

Hohenschwangau village may be small but there are quite a few things to see in this swan hamlet. 

There are a few gift shops that will be open and have some pretty souvenirs to buy. Plus, there are some cafés and drink stands.

My favourite part was visiting Alpsee. As it was snowing on my visit this lake looked magical, like a winter wonderland.

It beautifully reflects the mountains and you can even see a family of swans that make a home here.

There is a well-marked path that can take on an easy scenic stroll by the lake and I would recommend it, even for a short time. 

Fun fact: King Ludwig II had plans to build a gold swan cable car on the lake that would have taken riders up to Hohenschwangau Castle and then Neuschwanstein. It sounds so extra but I think would have been incredible. There was a 3D display of what the journey would have been like in the museum.

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter

Where to eat after Neuschwanstein Castle

After visiting the inside Neuschwanstein Castle, I would recommend eating a Schloss Bräustüberl Hohenschwangau.

It’s a beautiful tavern in the village next to the Museum of the Bavarian Kings and has some amazing traditional dishes on the menu.

They have pork with dumplings, steaming bowls of stew, beef cuts, vegetarian options, and some delectable warm desserts as well.

Schloss Bräustüberl Hohenschwangau
Schloss Bräustüberl Hohenschwangau
Schloss Bräustüberl Hohenschwangau

Their Konig Ludwig Weissbier is brewed locally and is served by the stein and you can enjoy their beer garden in summer with views of Hohenschwangau Castle. 

The inside of this restaurant is not only cosy but stunning with vaulted arches, floral displays, and lanterns. You can see portraits of Bavarian royalty on the walls.

I ate here a few times on my trip and the service was not only prompt but excellent. They take both cash and card payments. Look out for the King Ludwig II beer mats with his portraits on!

Schloss Bräustüberl Hohenschwangau

Don’t forget Füssen & Linderhof Palace

It’s easy to forget that this area of Bavaria isn’t just the attractions surrounding Neuschwanstein Castle. 

If you have time, I would highly recommend exploring the colourful town of Fussen before heading back to Munich. It’s often overlooked which is a shame as it’s so charming. 

Linderhof Palace is also only 44 kilometres by car which is approximately a one-hour drive through the valley.

It’s another incredible castle built by King Ludwig II that is magnificent with lots of opulent rooms to explore. There is also an extensive formal gardens and parkland to explore.

Fussen in Bavaria
Füssen

Where to stay near Neuschwanstein Castle

Most travellers opt to stay in Füssen on a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle but did you know that you can stay in the village itself? 

AMERON Resort & Spa Alpsee is located right in the centre and is a luxury resort that makes a magical retreat. They have boutique rooms, restaurants, a bar, a pool, and spa facilities.

I booked this as a treat for my birthday and my room had the perfect view of Hohenschwangau Castle from my window. It was so special waking up here each day. 

Click here to book your stay at AMERON Hotel 

Ameron Hotel Alpsee
The view of Hohenschwangau Castle from my room

How long do you need to visit Neuschwanstein Castle?

You will need around 2-4 hours to explore Neuschwanstein Castle especially if you book a guided tour and want to walk to the Marienbrüke Bridge.

If you plan to visit both Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle in one day you will need at least 2.5 hours in between visits.

Hohenschwangau Castle is a 20/30 minute walk uphill from the village and tours take 30-40 minutes. 

Plus, there is the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, village shops, restaurants, and Alpsee.

If you’re heading here from Munich, I would plan an entire day to explore Neuschwanstein Castle. 

I based myself in Hohenschwangau village for a couple of days and I loved it. It was magnificent to explore this place in the early mornings before the tour groups.

Neuschwanstein Castle winter

Where is Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany?

Neuschwanstein Castle can be found in Hohenschwangau village in Bavaria which is on the edge of the Alps in the Swabia region.

This is close to the border of Austria and is just a few kilometres from the colourful yet overlooked town of Füssen.

Despite it being advertised as an attraction in Munich, it’s actually 123 kilometres from the city and a 2-hour train journey.

So, you will need to plan your journey to Germany’s Disney Castle in advance. 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

How to visit Neuschwanstein Castle

There are many ways that you can travel to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.

Many people head here from the city of Munich which has a major international airport.

You then have a few options for travelling to this fairytale castle;

  • You can drive there
  • Take the train to Füssen then a shuttle bus
  • Travel by Flixbus
  • Or, organise a guided tour from the city
Neuschwanstein-Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle by car

If you’re exploring Germany’s Romantic Road by car, you can drive to Hohenschwangau village from Munich.

The journey is approximately 123 kilometres (76 miles) and will take around 90 minutes.

You cannot drive to the castle, you have to park in the village. Then, you either walk to the castle or take a shuttle bus or carriage ride.

There is parking located in the village and it charges a fee of 7 euros for 6 hours and 12 euros for 12 hours.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Hohenschwangau Village

Neuschwanstein Castle by train or bus 

If you’re not exploring Bavaria by car, it’s really easy to visit Neuschwanstein Castle by train from Munich. 

Regular train services run from Munich to Füssen all year and the journey takes around 2 hours. The ticket price is roughly 25 euros one way. 

You can book tickets online yourself via Deutsche Bahn‘s website or buy tickets on the day at the station.

Once you arrive in Füssen, you will need to switch to a bus running to Schwangau at the train station. 

The bus journey takes around 10 minutes but there will be taxis waiting at the station too. 

A Flixbus service also runs from the central Munich bus station to Fussen daily in the spring/summer months. 

There is a morning service around 8 am and then an evening service around 5 pm to take you back. 

Tickets are around 9-10 euros which is much cheaper than the train but not as flexible. So, it’s down to preference and your budget.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Why not book a Neuschwanstein Castle tour?

If you would rather not organise travel yourself to Neuschwanstein Castle, then you can always opt to take a guided tour. There are many options that run from Munich all year. 

Most of the time, the bus will drop you in the village and then you have ‘free time’ to explore as you choose. 

I would highly recommend going inside Neuschwanstein Castle if you have time. Here are some top guided tours I would recommend; 

From Munich: Neuschwanstein Castle & Linderhof full-day trip

From Munich: Neuschwanstein Castle full day trip

Neuschwanstein Castle walk in the snow

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle FAQs

Does Neuschwanstein Castle have food? Yes, there is a Neuschwanstein cafe & bistro after the guided tour with views over the valley. 

Is it better to go to Neuschwanstein Castle in the morning or evening? I personally think early morning is better for fewer crowds.

Can you go inside Neuschwanstein Castle without a tour? No, all visitors must go inside on a guided tour. After the staterooms, you’re free to explore the cafe, balcony, gift shop, and kitchens at your leisure.

Read more of my Germany travel guides

How to visit the magical Munich Law Library 

How to visit the hidden gem Justizpalast Munich

The baroque hidden gem of Asamkirche

Discover Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

How to visit Wiblingen Abbey Library 

Save going inside Neuschwanstein Castle for later! 

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