Tickets for the romantic, Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle near Füssen in Germany are best reserved in advance. Opening hours are fortunately long.
The Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle opened for visitors shortly after the death of Mad King Ludwig II in 1886. Schloss Neuschwanstein and nearby Hohenschwangau Castle are amongst the most popular tourist attractions in Bavaria, Germany. Although opening hours are long, tickets with specific admission times are best bought in advance.
Buying Tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle
Tickets for individuals to both Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau are sold only at the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau town. It is possible, and highly advisable, to make reservations but tickets must still be picked up from this center in person. The Schloss Neuschwanstein Ticket Center is in the main road in Hohenschwangau near the bus stop for buses from Füssen.
Admission to Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle is €13 per castle (plus €1.80 for advance reservations).
Tickets are no longer sold at the castles themselves making it essential to buy tickets while in town. The upside is that tickets have a specific admission time. Visitors can roam the town and beautiful countryside after buying tickets rather than wait for hours in the castle courtyards, as was the practice for well over a century after Schloss Neuschwanstein opened to paying visitors.
Tickets, especially for Schloss Neuschwanstein, can already sell out early in the day. It is much more sensible to reserve admission tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein in advance via phone or on the internet earlier than 3 pm the day before the planned visit but better long in advance. (Incredibly, online reservations are still mostly a manual process making a phone call more sensible.) The surcharge is absolutely worth the certainty of having tickets on a given day and at a given time.
A day-trip excursion tour from Munich will still get visitors into the castle if traveling without a reservation.
Reserved tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle must be picked up from the Ticket Center in Schwangau at least an hour before the start time of the guided tour. Special windows are set aside for picking up reserved tickets.
- Demand for tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein is generally higher in the afternoon than early morning. Arriving earlier than the mass of day-trippers from especially Munich is a good idea to ensure a pleasurable visit.
Seeing both Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein on the same day gives a slight discount. School groups are charged for Schloss Hohenschwangau but not for the far more popular Schloss Neuschwanstein.
- Children under 18 are admitted free to both Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle when accompanied by a paying adult but need a physical ticket so remember to include the young ones when making reservations!
Tickets for the Schlosskonzerte (Castle Concerts) are not sold at the Hohenschwangau Ticket Center.
A superb savings deal for Schloss Neuschwanstein (but not Hohenschwangau or the museum) is the Bavarian Palaces and Gardens season ticket, which pays for itself very fast when sightseeing in Bavaria and Munich.
Transportation to Schloss Neuschwanstein is easy on public transportation from Munich.
Transportation from Schwangau to Schloss Neuschwanstein
The castles ticket center is in the heart of Hohenschwangau village. From here, several routes lead up the hill to the Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein. The shortest and most direct route takes around 30 minutes but more interesting routes are available. On a clear day, consider going through the Pöllat Gorge at least one way.
Most visitors walk up the hill from Schwangau town but alternatives are available to Schloss Neuschwanstein as long as the roads remain free of ice:
- A bus service runs from Schlosshotel Lisl near the Ticket Center in Schwangau to near the panorama viewing points “Jugend” and “Marienbrücke”. From here, it is still 600 m (2,000 ft) or 10 minutes’ walk to the castle entrance.
- Horse-drawn wagons go from Hotel Müller in Schwangau to near the Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle – from here, it is still 300 m (1,000 ft) or 5 minute’s walk to the castle entrance.
In both cases, pay the drivers directly in cash. The price of the down ride is generally half the price of the up ride.
Transportation from the Ticket-Center to Schloss Hohenschwangau
The most direct route from the Ticket-Center to Schloss Hohenschwangau is a ten minute hike over a slight hill. A level route is also available taking around 20 minutes.
- A horse-drawn wagon goes from just below the Ticket-Center to Schloss Hohenschwangau in around 20 minutes.
Opening Hours for Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles
Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau are open daily, including Mondays and most public holidays. Opening hours from mid-March to mid-October are from 9 am to 6 pm and from mid-October to -mid-March from 10 am to 4 pm. The Ticket-Center in Schwangau opens and closes an hour earlier than the castles.
- Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle is closed on December 24, 25, and 31, January 1, and Faschingsdienstag (Mardi Gras). Schloss Hohenschwangau is only closed on December 24.
Both Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau can only be seen on guided tours. These tours take 35 minutes each. These guided tours Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau are available in English or German while audio guides are available in Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Slovenian, and Czech.
Visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein is physical somewhat demanding. It is a steep walk up the hill to Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle where a further 165 stairs are ascended and 181 descended on the tour. Visiting Schloss Hohenschwangau is more relaxing as only around 90 stairs are involved.
Schloss Neuschwanstein Tours for Wheelchair Users
Special tours are available for wheelchair users to see Schloss Neuschwanstein. These wheelchair tours are available on most Wednesdays after normal castle closing hours – 4 pm in winter and 6 pm in summer. A maximum of five wheelchair users and five assistants is allowed per tour. Reservations for this tour are compulsory through the Schlossverwaltung Neuschwanstein (Tel. 08362/939880).
The Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein is for many a highlight of a visit to Bavaria and indeed Germany. Hohenschwangau Castle is less popular but played a major role in inspiring Mad King Ludwig to built Schloss Neuschwanstein. Transportation to Schloss Neuschwanstein is easy on public transportation from Munich while drivers and some tours make it possible to see Schloss Linderhof on the same day. Similarly, day-trip tours, e.g. Get Your Guide, offer excursions that include both Schloss Neuschwanstein and Scloss Linderhof or other sights on the same day.