Schloss Neuschwanstein is Germany’s most famous castle. It is also the real life inspiration of the castle in Walt Disney’s Cinderella. A visit to Germany is definitely not complete without visiting this fairy tale -like place.
First thing that you need to remember when visiting castles and other tourist spots in Europe that are several hours away from the city is to always check the weather ( my go to is always Accuweather). For us, we wanted to experience Neuschwanstein in winter to get the “Frozen” feels, so we pushed our trip in November.
The main budget saver of the day is the Bayern Ticket. This gives you nearly a day of unlimited train rides within the region of Bavaria in Germany, for only 25 Euro per person (and it gets cheaper with more people in the group with just an additional 6 euro per head). One important catch though is that you are not allowed to use the fast trains like ICE and IC- which means that there are limited options in terms of timing. We actually came from Erlangen, so everything was covered, up to the trains going up to the castle. I’m fortunate enough that my friend researched for our trip end to end and she was the one who discovered that just by buying Bayern ticket, you can have a daytrip to Neuschwanstein. A-w-e-s-o-m-e! Thanks Joie! 🙂
The whole trip takes around 4-5 hours with 2-3 transfers. We left Erlangen at around 5 am, and reached Füssen by 10 AM. Nonetheless, the view in the train is so beautiful that you won’t feel any boredom. In case you want to stay somewhere near then you can also check some cheap but nice Airbnb rooms- you can use my affiliate discount link to get 19 USD off on your booking! (click here).
Upon reaching the last train stop which is Füssen, you can simply follow the crowd of people- most will just ride the bus going up to the castle, and no need to pay anything, just show your Bayern ticket. Ride line RVA/OVG 73 in the direction of Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen or line RVA/OVG 78 in the direction of Schwangau. From both buses, get off at the Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße stop. As for us, we saw a nice snow covered park right before the bus stop, so we took some photos first.
After riding the bus, make sure to prepare your cameras as well since you can already see Neuschwanstein plus the nearby Hohenschwangau castle on the way to the top!
Once you reach the Hohenschwangau bus stop, just get down and you can either eat lunch or start your way to the top. There are several restaurants here selling typical German food for reasonable price ( 10-15 Euros per meal), so better give yourself some fuel before the 30-40 minute walk to the castle (based on South-east Asian pace 🙂 ). One more important thing is that if you plan to go inside the castle, then buy your tickets here (13Euros), since there is no ticketing center at the castle itself, or just reserve a ticket online to skip the lines. The walk is uphill but not steep , so older folks can still manage it. But in case you are not prepared physically, then you can also just take the horse carriage for a fee, but be prepared with the long lines for the ticket.
As I mentioned earlier, there is another castle near Neuschwanstein – thus hitting two fairytale birds with one magic stone. Hohenschwangau castle can also be visited by foot, or on your way to Neuschwanstein, just stop at one of the viewpoints and take a photo.
The best viewpoint of Neuschwanstein castle is actually at Marienbrucke- where you can see the whole castle and its surroundings. However, it was closed when we visited due to construction. There’s even a note in the road for a trail going there, however I wasn’t wearing proper shoes during that time, so we decided not to push through with it.
The rest of the photos are the shots of the way up to the castle plus a closeup of the famous fairytale destination. We actually didn’t enter the castle anymore since it’s not allowed to take photos anyways. If you have some extra money, and a history fan, then it might be helpful for you to go inside.
To go back, just walk downhill on the same spot. You can drink hot coffee/ chocolate or have a Glühwein near the bus stop. Don’t forget to buy some magnet souvenirs as well.
SUMMARY OF COSTS
- Bayern Ticket – 25 Euros
- OPTIONAL -Castle Entrance Fee – 13 Euros (we didn’t enter so no charge for me)
- Lunch and Refreshments- 12 Euros
- TOTAL: 32 Euros or around 1500 php
HOW TO GO
- You can download the Deutsche Bahn (DB) app to help you find out the details for your journey.
- Buy your bayern ticket online or in the nearest DB station. Make sure to have the ticket printed and write your name. If the operator in the train checks it and it doesn’t have a name, you might pay a penalty.
- In our case, since we came from Erlangen, I just entered Erlangen in the from field, then Fussen in the to field. You can see here that a normal fare for these locations can cost you around 25 to 40+ Euros one way. Bayern ticket is definitely the way to go.
- Sample train route below. Erlangen – Nuremberg-Augsburg-Fussen
And, that’s it! I’ll definitely try to come back here in summer/spring and autumn to see it in different seasons! Enjoy princesses!