Visitors have three options to move up to the castle: own feet, a bus or a carriage. In winter during critical weather conditions such as ice and snow there are only two possibilities because the busses don’t run then. For visitors it is not allowed to drive up to the castle! [The cars parking uphill belong to the castle employees and the ones of the other businesses uphill.]
At the bottom of the transport part of Neuschwanstein Castle website a map is displayed where the uphill walking path is shown. Given the nice wooden map at the bottom of the hill there must be other paths though which look shorter. These lead uphill from nearby the main parking areas (P1-P3). I didn’t walk uphill, so I cannot judge the duration.
A fascinating way to approach the castle on foot is the hike Pöllatschlucht. However this is only for the ones with good physical condition and only possible in suitable weather. During ice and snow this path is closed. I walked back this path and will describe it separately.
The most reasonable way uphill, apart from walking, is to make use of the bus service. Busses leave in front of Hotel Lisl (photo 2), uphill only costs 1,80 Euro, downhill only is 1,00 Euro and up- and downhill is 2,60 Euro. Buy the tickets at the little ticket office outside of the hotel to the right, it is well signposted and most probably people are waiting already. When I bought my bus ticket, I waited approx. 10 minutes until I was inside of a bus, the second one that arrived while I was waiting. Don’t expect the bus to unload passengers in front of the castle – the bus stop uphill is still approx. 600 m away from the castle entrance, downhill and uphill. Closer by of the bus stop is the famous Marienbrücke, approx. 200 m uphill. Both paths are clearly signposted (photo 4).
Location of Bus stop downhill on Google Maps,
Location of Bus stop uphill on Google Maps.
Who would like to move up in style should take the carriage. They leave from opposite of Hotel Lisl, outside the garden seating area of Hotel Müller. A carriage tour uphill costs 6 Euro, downhill 3 Euro. However, the point where the carriage stops is still approx. 50 m below the castle entrance, so it involves walking uphill.
Location of the carriage stop downhill on Google Maps.
Location of the carriage stop uphill on Google Maps.
(Continue here =>) Uphill, in my opinion it is best to visit Marienbrücke first, for the view.
© Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).
I visited Neuschwanstein Castle by car – very easy. Although there are four big car parks in total, I believe that it can get crowded during the very high season, so check beforehand where the car parkings are located so that you can move easily in case the closest ones are full. Despite the outstanding organisation of castle tours and ticketing I was astonished to see no electronical signs at the car parks. But since each of these is manned, the park guard can tell you if it is full or not. Parking 1 – 3 are located at the crossroads of the entrance area of the Royal Castles, while Parking 4 is just below Hohenschwangau Castle and this is also the one where busses and motor homes can park.
Parking fee, prices as of July 2013 (the fee is applying for the whole day):
cars: 5 Euro, busses: 11 Euro, motorbikes: 2 Euro, camper vans/motor homes 7,50 Euro.
For those arriving via public transportation, the castles‘ website gives clear directions as of how to arrive:
By train from Munich to Füssen:
Duration approx. 2 hours, one train per hour, with direct trains every 2 hours and trains with change every other two hours. Standard price one-way: 24,70 Euro or, more reasonable, for 22 Euro return price with the Bavaria Ticket, provided one travels back and forth on the same day.
By bus from Füssen, train station:
Duration approx. 6-7 minutes. Two busses are at disposal:
Bus no. 73 from Füssen to Steingaden,
Bus no. 78 from Füssen to Schwangau or Tegelbergbahn. This one is running more frequently.
Location of parking P1 - P3 (cars only) on Google Maps,
Location of parking P4 (busses, motor homes and cars) on Google Maps.
(Continue here =>) Before you leave Hohenschwangau village, make sure to visit the enchanting little church of St. Coloman.
© Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).
There are three primary ways visitors get to the top of the hill for their Neuschwanstein tour – walk, take the bus, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage. While walking is the cheapest (free!), some are not able or willing to make the 30 minute walk up hill. Riding in a horse-drawn carriage is certainly the most romantic and fun, but there are typically long lines to wait for a spot on the carriage. And the bus would seem to be the most practical since it drops you off almost at the very top near the Marienbrücke.
For me, I have always walked to the top. Thankful that I still am able to make the climb, I also appreciate the opportunity to walk off some of the Schnitzel and Spätzle that I’ve been eating while traveling! If you are going to walk, wear sturdy shoes. Be mindful that the road can be slippery when it is wet. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the castle for your timed tour. This means you must know your fitness level and realistically know if you are going to need frequent rest stops. Allow at least 30 minutes to get there. While walking up the road, watch out for cars, which occasionally come by on the road; and watch out for the horses and their droppings.
The horse-drawn carriages are slow going up the hill (well – you have to feel sorry for the horses making that trek all day long pulling 10 tourists each time!). But know this – the horse-drawn carriage option does not drop you off in front of the castle as if you are arriving for a ball. The carriages drop off their passengers below the castle; so you will have a 10 minute climb to the top. If you really just want to ride in a carriage but want to save some money, then take the return option - to take the carriage uphill is €6/per person but to go downhill is half-price (€3/per person)!
The bus costs around €2/person and takes you to the top of the hill near the Marienbrücke. This would be the best option for those that are unable or unwilling to climb the hill. From the drop off point, you can walk up the hill slightly to the bridge, and then it is downhill all the way to the castle and beyond. The advantage of the bus over the carriages (other than price) is that they can carry lots more people at a time – can you say ‘sardine’?
Both the horse-drawn carriages and the buses leave from nearby the ticket office.
No matter how you get there, allow plenty of time and just enjoy the journey.
If you are driving, don’t expect to get a parking space in front of the castle; there aren’t any to be had. In fact, don’t expect to get a parking space anywhere near the castle. They are all located at the bottom of the hill and a healthy walk from the start of the tours.
Each time I’ve been to Neuschwanstein (4 times so far), we have driven. Typically we have found parking rather easily in one of the three main parking lots near the ticket area. These three lots can be found at the large intersection before you begin to walk up the road towards the ticket building, accessible from any of the roads leading to Neuschwanstein Castle. They are labeled P1, P2, and P3.
Each time the charge has been €5 for the day per car. In P3 (next to the Café Kainz and Kiosk) and P1 (beside the Café Restaurant Am Park) you pay the attendant before you park. For the P2 lot in between the roads, you need to pay at the machine kiosk in the center of the lot. There is another parking lot up past the ticket building (P4), just below Schloss Hohenschwangau, but I have never used this lot. The castle website has a map of the parking facilities.
Another option would be to park along the road leading to the castles from Füssen. We typically do see many cars lined up along the road, which can then be a much longer walk. On our most recent trip, we paid for a parking lot, but later Hubby had to take me to the train station in Füssen (I was traveling by train with my grandson) and we had to leave our lot. Not wanting to pay another €5 on his return (while waiting for my grandson’s parents to come down the hill from their Neuschwanstein tour), he parked along the road and did not have any issues with it.
On your way back down from the castle, there is a nice side trail that goes through the wooded area next to the paved road. The yellow signs point towards the parking lots. If you do not need to head back into Hohenschwangau or the ticket area, I highly recommend this method of getting back to the parking lots. It actually ends right in P3.
Obviously, during the high tourist season parking can be at a premium. But for such an extremely popular attraction as Schloss Neuschwanstein, I think that €5 for the day is very reasonable. I’ve paid more than that in some cities for two hours!
If you take the train, you would arrive at the Füssen train station and then catch one of the local buses to the castle area. Once in Füssen, catch the RVA/OVG 73 bus in the direction to Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen or the RVA/OVG 78 bus in the direction to Schwangau, getting off at the Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße stop. For your return, you would need to catch the bus back to the train station.
The Füssen station is a very small (two platforms) train station that is at the end of the line. Not too many trains go in and out here – at least while I was there I saw one train in an hour before my train arrived. The station provides some benches to sit in and there are bathrooms and a small shop.
Purchase your tickets at the station or online and be sure to hold onto your ticket as you will be asked to show it at some point on your journey (if you should not be able to produce a ticket you will be fined).
Each time I have been to Neuschwanstein Castle (four times so far) we have driven our car and parked at the nearby lots. On my most recent visit, we drove to the castle, but I took the train from Füssen home.
Driving is very simple and the signs clearly lead you to the castles. You will need to get to the towns of Füssen or Schwangau from wherever you are driving from. At that point, look for the brown or blue tourism signs (some will say “Königsschlössler” on them) that will lead you to the castles. Once you are off the Autobahn (A7), the roads are two-lane and, at times, can be heavy with traffic. Allow for traffic and construction delays.
Once you arrive at the castle area in Hohenschwangau, follow the signs for parking.
From anywhere in (southern) Bavaria take a Bayernticket € 22 for one person and up to 4 more persons for € 4 more for each if you buy at a DB ticket machine, travel anywhere with regional trains in Bavaria from 9 am (and from midnight on weekends) to 3 am the following day. The ticket includes the bus (73 and 78) to the Neuschwanstein ticket office as well as bus, tram and S and U Bahn in Munich and other towns. Before you use it you have to write your name on the ticket. From Munich it´s about 2 hours.
Bus 73 and 78 leave from the Train Station and are € 2.20 if you don´t have a Bayernticket.
The bus to the castle (not included in the Bayernticket) or the horse carriage is well invested money if you are a bit older or don´t walk that well, you will have still a lot of stairs to climb in the Castle.
There are rides of carriages and some are simply wagons to take you to and from the castle. To get up there, the cost is 6 Euro per person and to get down, it is 3 Euro. A steep walk of 15 minutes can save you a buck. Take it at the parking lot area. YOu can pick up a ride by ticket office, or in front of hotels, and near the Hohenschwangau base.
We have parked our Car, and seen about the admission tickets, so now it is time for us to decide which way to climb the hill to the Castle.
Well, as neither of us are what you call "real young," walking up the steep hill really didn't appeal! Walks are signposted and give estimated time of doing the walk, just remember, it is uphill all the way! They estimate 30 - 40 minutes.
Next choice, the Horse & carriage which departed from Hotel Muller. It looked to be quite popular, but we decided against the 6euro up, and 3 euro downhill ride.
All that was left was the Bus, and this was the most popular of the lot. It departed from the Schlosshotel Lisl. We bought a return ticket which cost 2.60 euro's from the booth and then waited with the huge crowd in queues for the Bus. When the Bus arrived, they put as many people on as possible, I mean, 'packed in like sardines.' Lucky the ride was only short, and soon we were at the Bus stop near the top.
I say "near the top" as we were dropped off near Marien Brucke, and there still is a walk to Newschwanstein Castle.
We had paid for our return trip, but decided against it when we realized we would have to walk the same track back to the bus-stop, this meant, up hill all the way! We walked back down the hill, following the Horse and carriages and returning right next to our car park.
*The Bus doesn't run when snow or ice is on the road.*
As we had our own Car, we drove the 5km from Fussen to Hohenschwangau. This is as far as we could go by private car.
On arrival at Hohenschwangau, we noticed a Car Park that was filling. and we wondered if we should park there. Thank-goodness, we decided to drive on as far as we could, to see if any closer car parking was available.
There was, and from this carpark, it was a 5min walk to the booking office, Horse & carriage and the Bus, great! This would not be always possible, because even though we were there and parked at 9.20am, the Car Park was filling very quickly.
Cost of the car park in 2011 was 5 euro's.
You can also take a train to the town of Füssen, then buses 73 or 78 from Fussen to Hohenschwangau.
Neuschwanstein Castle is near the Forggensee in the Allgäu, very close to Schwangau. The path to the castle starts in the village of Hohenschwangau, and this is also your last opportunity to park. You must buy your tickets down here too, before you set off for the castle.
You can walk to the castle in about 30 minutes.
By horse-drawn carriage
Departure point: Hotel Müller, Alpseestraße in Hohenschwangau. From the carriage stand at the castle it is about 300m - approximately a 5-minute walk - to the castle entrance. Tickets: Uphill journey: 5 € / Downhill journey: 2.50 €.
Departure point: Schlosshotel Lisl, Neuschwansteinstraße. The bus goes to the Jugend lookout point (Marienbrücke) from where it is about 600m or a 10-minute walk on a steep downhill path to the entrance of the castle. This path is not suitable for the disabled or elderly. Tickets: Uphill journey: 1.80 € / Downhill journey: 1 € / Return: 2.60 €.
Even if I suggest to go up by foot, there is also a service of carriage. The departure point is located in Hotel Müller, Alpseestraße in Hohenschwangau.
From the carriage stand at the castle it is about 300m - approximately a 5-minute walk - to the castle entrance.
Tickets' cost: Uphill journey: 5 € / Downhill journey: 2.50 €.
To get from Hohenschwangau to Neuschwanstein, there are a number of options.
First option of course, is to walk. According to those in the know, it takes 30minutes to walk there and the way I look at it is, that if you are fit enough to walk it, you are fit enough to do it in 30 minutes.
There is, for the want of a better description, a rickety old bus which puts me in mind of a retired WWII troop carrier. The fare is 1.80 euro each way. Finally, there is the horse and carriage for 6 euro up and 3 euro down. No matter which option you choose, you will still have a good walk to the castle entrance. I used the troop carrier going up and the horse and carriage coming down. Apparently for once in my l,ife I made a good choice because the troop carrier leaves you at a spot where it is 85% downhill walk and 15% uphill walk to the entrance. If you continue on past the castle on the downhill road, you will come across the horse and carriage stop which is about 400-500 metres (just guessing) downhill from the top.
Buses leave the Busbahnhof right outside the Train Station in Fuessen approximately every hour. Take bus #73 direction Steingaden or bus #78 direction Schwangau or Castles. 1.80 euro each way but free if you have a Bayern (Laender) ticket. When you get off the bus at Hohenschwangau you need to walk 100 metres uphill to buy your ticket for the castles (follow the signs).
When you reach Hohenschwangau,check at the castle ticket office for the Marienbrucke bus service, this takes you from the village to a short distance from the bridge, the remaining walk is about 300 metres, has good pathways but is fairly steep. From the bridge it is about a 15min walk to the castle. Remember visiting tickets for the castle must be booked in the village as with the bus and tram tickets.
The horse drawn trams serve the castle area and the walk to the Marienbrucke from the tram is very steep. In winter, not all pathways are cleared of ice and snow, good foot-wear and great care is required. Enjoy the views.
P.S. Sorry no current photos of transport in my collection.