The first time I saw a picture of Neuschwanstein Castle, I mentally put it on my bucket list of castles to see. (Yes, I have a bucket list of just castles I want to visit😛) I’m so glad I did because it was absolutely magical.
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I set a day aside to visit the castle when I was in Munich. It’s a fairly short train ride away from the city… about 1 hour and 40 minutes. I suggest leaving early in the morning. There can be a lot of people and the lines to buy tickets can be long! If you just want to see the castle from the outside, you do not need to purchase tickets, but if you want to take the tour, you will have to purchase tickets. You can purchase for just 1, 2 or all 3 castles in the area. Since, I didn’t have enough time because I wanted to be back in Munich for Oktoberfest in the evening, I just purchased a ticket for just one of the tours.
I went in October, the weather was gloomy and rainy… there were still a lot of people but not as much as there would be in the busier seasons. From the train station, you have to purchase another ticket for the bus to take you up to the entrance. From there, it is about a 30 minute walk, mostly uphill to get to the castle. You can also pay to ride a horse carriage up but it’s not too bad of a walk up and it’s nice to get some exercise in! Once you reach the castle, you can walk further up to the bridge where you can get some amazing views of the castle from afar. Definitely suggest going to this bridge to get some awesome photos.
Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Higher up and closer to the castle, it was a bit chilly with the rain as well. There are little shops and cafes right by the castle where you can get some snacks, coffee and warm up with some hot chocolate. Large bags and backpacks are prohibited, so make sure you leave those at your hotel or they do have lockers nearby for a small fee.
If you choose to take the tours of the castles, when you purchase your tickets, you’re given a designated time slot for the tour. Make sure you’re there 10 minutes earlier so you don’t miss your group. I really enjoyed the tour of the castle and it was well worth the extra money. The history of Neuschwanstein Castle is really interesting. The decor and paintings inside are beautiful! Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos of inside of the castle.
I left around 8 in the morning and arrived back in Munich around 4pm. So, I would definitely say it is at least a half day trip.
If you’re in Munich, definitely set some time aside to visit Neuschwanstein Castle!