Before Christmas, I decided to take a trip to Munich to visit the infamous Christmas Markets. They were everything I had anticipated, with every single Christmas decoration imaginable available. From traditional religous figurines to ornate meerkats, the markets had it all. On our second day, we decided to take a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle – the castle which served as the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty!
Here are some tips for getting to Neuschwanstein – learn from our mistakes!
The Day Before
PRE-BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE CASTLE! We spent an hour queuing at the ticket desk to find all English speaking tours were full – except the last one. So after queueing for an hour to get tickets, we had a two hour wait for our tour (it was worth the wait however!). When you pre-book your tickets, you skip all the queueing, plus you get to go on a tour of your choice. You can book your tickets here.
Travelling from Munich, you will need to catch the 09:52am train to Füssen from the Munich Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). At your local U-Bahn or S-Bahn station, you can purchase a Bayern ticket (available here). For €15 per ticket, the Bayern ticket will cover all the travel you will need for the day:
- Underground to Munich Hauptbhanhof (and return)
- Train: Munich Hauptbhanhof – Füssen (and return)
- Bus: Füssen – Hohenschwangau (and return)
The train journey to Füssen is about two hours. It boasts some spectacular views of the Alps the closer it gets to the destination. These views are not to be missed, so make sure you are on the train early to get a good seat, as it fills up fast. (Side note – the train is a DOUBLE DECKER TRAIN! I was like a child, clearly opting for a seat on the upper deck!)
The bus station is located right outside Füssen Train Station, and you will need to take the 78 bus. As I said, your Bayern ticket will cover this, and the trip is about 20 minutes. The bus will drop you in Hohenschwangau – the village beneath the castle. The ticket centre is located here, as well as some touristy/ souvenir shops. There are three ways to get to the castle from Hohenschwangau: by bus, by horse and cart or by walking. Much to my disapproval, we made the 40 minute uphill walk to Neuschwanstein Castle. The are viewing platforms along the walk, and the views are nothing short of amazing – despite my breathlessness!
The castle itself is breathtaking. You can imagine how it inspired a fairytale – I spent the whole time imagining my wedding there! The interior was never lived in, so it is in pristine condition – unfortunately photos are forbidden.
On leaving the castle, we panicked a little as the bus timetable showed that no buses were due for another hour. However, there seems to be special chartered buses in accordance with the ending of tours. Just incase a bus doesn’t come along, there is a notice for taxis at the visitors centre beside the bus stop.
We grabbed the 6:00pm train from Füssen to Munich Hauptbhanhof, and then the U-Bahn to Marienplatz to catch the last hour of the Christmas markets.
Highlight: Neuschwanstein Castle from the outside is draw-dropingly beautiful
Beware Of: Lengthy Queues!
Neuschwanstein Castle is the world’s 13th most visited castle. Check out the rest of the list here. (I’ve been to six!)