Opening hours are long to visit Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle on Herren Island in the Chiemsee Lake near Munich in Bavaria, Southern Germany. Most tickets to see the palace are sold on Herren Island.
Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle is the most opulent palace built by Bavarian King Ludwig II during the nineteenth century. It is less famous than the Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein – the popular neo-Romanesque castle he built near Füssen. As a result, crowds are less common at Herrenchiemsee Castle and like the king’s third folly – Schloss Linderhof Palace. Tickets for Schloss Herrenchiemsee are mostly sold onsite but a limited number are offered online too. Fortunately, opening hours are long too and there is seldom much of a wait as tours are frequent. Bus tours are sometimes available from Munich but far less common than to Schloss Neuschwanstein.
Herren Island in the Chiemsee Lake, Bavaria
Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle is on Herren Island, the largest island in the Chiemsee Lake in Southern Bavaria in between Munich and Salzburg. During the Middle Ages, monasteries were built on the two largest islands in the lake. The one for monks was on Herreninsel (meaning Men’s Island) to distinguish it from Fraueninsel (Women’s Island), which still has a working nunnery.
Several buildings are near the boat landing on Herren Island – the most important for most visitors is the Besucherzentrum (Visitors’ Center) where tickets to the palace are sold. Other buildings here include:
- The Altes Schloss (Old Castle), which houses the Museum in the Augustinian Monastery. The museum covers the German constitution of 1948, a couple of rooms used by Ludwig II, paintings of the Chiemsee area, and a gallery dedicated to the works of Bavarian painter Julius Exter – frankly, of lesser interest to the foreign visitor.
- The Schlosshotel Herrenchiemsee is in a mansion and although not particularly luxurious (or too pricey) does allow guests to stay on the peaceful island in the evenings after day-trippers have left.
It is an easy twenty-minute stroll from the boat landing and visitors center to the Neues Schloss (New Palace), also referred to as the Königsschloss (King’s Castle) or simply Schloss Herrenchiemsee. The interior may only be seen on a compulsory guided tour lasting just more than half an hour.
- A horse-drawn wagon makes the journey from near the boat landing to the palace in about fifteen minutes. It is available only from mid-April to late October.
No motorized vehicles, or indeed bicycles or scooters, are allowed to operate on Herreninsel, which makes the island ideal for strolling. A 7-km (4.3-mile) marked trail allows visitors to see the best sights on the island.
- The Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee and most of the island are accessible to wheelchair users.
Buy Tickets for Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle in Bavaria
Most of the tickets for Schloss Herrenchiemsee are sold at the Besucherzentrum (Visitors’ Center) near the boat landing on Herrninsel. Only a limited number of tickets are available online. Tickets bear the time of the tour of the interior of the palace – all other sights may be seen at leisure up to six months after the tickets were bought.
Many, if not most, visitors see only the Neues Schloss and the adjacent King Ludwig II Museum. The following ticket offers are available:
- The Gesamtkarte Insel (Combination Ticket) gives admission to the Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee, King Ludwig II Museum, as well as the museum and galleries in the Augustinian Monastery (Altes Schloss). This ticket is €10 and valid for six months — only the Schloss must be seen on the guided tour of the day of purchase.
- The Einzelkarte König Ludwig II.-Museum gives admission to the King Ludwig Museum. This ticket is €5.
- The Einzelkarte Augustiner-Chorherrenstift (Augustinian Monastery Ticket) gives admission to the museum and galleries in the Old Castle (Altes Schloss). This ticket is €5.
- Kombiticket Königschlösser (Royal Palaces Combination Ticket) is valid for six months and gives one entry into each of the three royal castles of King Ludwig: Herrenchiemsee, Neuschwanstein, and Linderhof. It cost €31 but note the next offer below — the validity period is shorter but includes all three plus many more sights.
- Even better value for visitors to Bavaria is the two-week and annual Bavarian Castles and Palaces season tickets. The two-week ticket is €35 for adults, or €66 for a family, and includes many of the top sights in Bavaria managed by the Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung. The annual ticket is €50 of €85 for a family ticket.
Children under 18 years old (groups excluded) have free admission but should register a time for the tour of the palace at the ticket window.
Admission to Herren Island itself, the parks, and gardens are free but of course, require a boat trip to reach the island.
Opening Hours of Schloss Herrenchiemsee Castle
All sights on Herren Island are open daily except January 1, Shrove Tuesday (Fasching), and December 24, 25, and 31. Like many other major tourist sights in Bavaria, Schloss Herrenchiemsee is open on Mondays.
Opening hours are daily from April to mid-October from 9 am to 6 pm and from mid-October to March from 9:40 am to 4:15 pm. The last tours of the palace start an hour before closing time. The Julius Exter Gallery is closed during the winter season.
Tours of the palace take around 40 minutes with tours in German available continuously and usually in English at least once per hour. Hourly tours are also available from July to September in Italian, French, and Spanish.
The fountains (Wasserspiele) in front of the palace play twice per hour for about 15 minutes at a time from early April to early October.
Several transportation options are available to Schloss Herrenchiemsee. It is an easy day trip from Munich but also a great stop en route to Berchtesgaden, Bad Reichenhall, or Salzburg in Austria. Day-trip tours are also often available from Munich — less common in the colder months.
More on King Ludwig’s Castles and Palaces
The three fantasy castles of King Ludwig are all near Munich and are popular day trips whether on bus tours, driving, or using public transportation. Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Linderhof are to the southwest and may be seen on the same day when driving or on tours. Schloss Herrencheimsee is to the southeast and also a good stopover en route to Salzburg.
Savings Deals in Bavaria:
- Visit Mad King Ludwig’s Fantasy Castles Near Munich in Germany
- Save on Top Sightseeing Site Tickets in Bavaria, Germany
- Save with the Bayern Ticket on Public Transportation — Buy the Bayern Ticket Online from Deutsche Bahn, or consider the €49 Deutschland-Ticket.
- Book Day-Trip Tours from Munich
Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau:
- Buy Tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles
- Transportation to Schloss Neuschwanstein
- See Romantic Disney-Like Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle
- Visit Schloss Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, Germany
- Top Sightseeing Sites in Füssen and Schwangau
- Book Day-Trip Tours from Munich to Schloss Neuschwanstein
- See Schloss and Park Linderhof in Bavaria, Germany
- Visiting Schloss Linderhof: Opening Hours, Tickets, and Transportation
- Book Day-Trip Tours from Munich to Linderhof