Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle is a great day trip from Munich or Salzburg and easily reached by car or on public transportation (train). Boats to the palace depart from Prien am Chiemsee.
Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle is on the Herren Island in the Chiemsee Lake near Munich in Bavaria, Southern Germany. Schloss Herrenchiemsee, the most opulent of Bavarian King Ludwig’s fantasy palaces, is an easy day trip from Munich but also a great stop when traveling towards Berchtesgaden, Bad Reichenhall, or Salzburg in Austria. Day-trip excursion tours from Munich are usually available during the summer season while regular public transportation is available year-round.
Boats to Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle in the Chiemsee Lake
Herren Island can only be reached by boat. Boats are available from several towns on the shore of the Chiemsee Lake but the most frequent departures and fastest traveling times are from the town Prien am Chiemsee. Prien is convenient for both drivers and travelers using trains.
Boats depart frequently from Prien / Stock Hafen to Herren Island – traveling time is around 15 minutes. Tickets may be bought at the kiosk or on the boat itself.
Parking lots are available near the boat landing. From Prien train station, a historic steam tram (Chiemseebahn) runs during the summer season to the boat landing in less than eight minutes. Buses are also available while walking should take less than half an hour.
By Car to Prien and Schloss Herrenchiemsee in Bavaria
Prien am Chiemsee, and thus Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle, is easiest reached by car. From Munich, take the Autobahn A8 towards Salzburg and shortly after the Chiemsee Lake becomes visible, use exit 106 (Bernau) and continue towards Prien (around 7 km / 5 miles off the Autobahn). In Prien, follow the signs to “Chiemsee” and “Königsschloss” and park in the well-marked parking lots near the boat landing.
Due to Prien’s close proximity to the autobahn, driving times to the town can be blistering fast. Driving distances and times are as follows:
- Munich (München) – 90km / 56 miles / 1h00
- Munich Airport (MUC) – 110 km / 68 miles / 1h10
- Bad Reichenhall – 60 km / 37 miles / 0h40
- Berchtesgaden – 80 km / 50 miles / 0h50
- Salzburg (Austria) – 70km / 44 miles / 0h45
- Salzburg Airport (SZG) – 65 km / 40 miles / 0h35
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen – 130 km / 80 miles / 1h30
- Schloss Neuschwanstein / Hohenschwangau Castle – 160 km / 100 miles / 2h20
By Train to Prien and Schloss Herrenchiemsee
Prien am Chiemsee is a stop on most trains running between München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Main Station) and Salzburg in Austria. At least one train is available per hour with the journey time just less than an hour irrespective of which train is used. Most of the trains are operated by BRB (Bayerische Regiobahn) but German Railways tickets are accepted, including the Bayern Ticket (but not on EC, ICE, IC, or RJ trains).
- Note that some Euro-City (EC) trains connect Munich and Salzburg nonstop and therefore do not stop in Prien.
From Munich Airport (MUC), it is not necessary to first travel to München Hauptbahnhof. Take the S-Bahn train S8 from the airport to München Ost Bahnhof station and then continue by regular train to Prien. Total traveling time is around 90 minutes.
From Salzburg Airport (SZG), it is necessary to travel first to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof by bus to catch a connecting train to Prien. Total traveling time is also around 90 minutes.
- Travelers from Bad Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden usually have to change trains at Freilassing in Bavaria on the German-Austrian border.
Timetable → See Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) for train schedules and online tickets.
The Bayern Ticket is a good savings option – it allows for unlimited travel on regional trains but these are not much slower than IC trains on the ride to Prien. The Bayern Ticket is valid from travel to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (but not on Salzburg buses), Munich Airport, Munich buses and U-Bahn trains, and most other local trains and buses in Bavaria. It is not valid on ICE, IC, EC, D, or RJ trains.