Who wouldn’t want to visit the castle that inspired Walt Disney? Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany seems like it was plucked right out of a fairytale. It’s one of the most visited castles in the world and continues to be on a lot of people’s bucket lists.
I’m sharing everything I learned about Neuschwanstein Castle including how to get there and where to stay to have a more relaxing experience and avoid the crowds. I feel like my recent trip there was probably the easiest route you can take. I’m sharing all the details below.
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Neuschwanstein Castle: How to Get There & Where to Stay
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, we skipped the big cities and focused on small towns while we traveled through Germany. This choice helped me have that storybook experience that I was hoping for.
My ultimate recommendation: Stay overnight in Fussen to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Save yourself a long day of train/bus travel from Munich and instead explore a charming town at your own pace. You’ll feel less rushed and more relaxed than doing a day trip to the castle from Munich with a crowd of people.
It is so easy to drive in Germany that renting a car and staying in Fussen is the best choice, in my opinion. You’d only be a 5-10 minute drive to the castle. Plus, your hotel/Airbnb stay will be so much cheaper than Munich. See some of those prices below.
Check out my last post here to learn more about driving in Germany.
Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by Train
I know that not everyone has enough days during their trip to stay in Fussen. If you have limited time and can only make Neuschwanstein Castle a day trip, you can do that as well by booking a tour or scheduling the route yourself. Here are some of the best-rated tours:
If you’d like to visit Neuschwanstein sans tour, the shortest train ride is 2+ hours and several direct trains are offered every day.
You will be taking the train from Munich Hauptbahnhof station to Füssen station. Check the schedule and tickets on the main Deutsche Bahn website HERE.
I’d recommend booking the earliest, direct train available since it’ll be a long day. You can buy train tickets at the station, but I always prefer to book ahead so I can guarantee the time slot I want.
However, if you’re planning to leave after 9 am check out the Bayern ticket. The Bayern ticket is valid until 3 am the next day so it’ll cover your ride to the town of Fussen, the bus from Fussen to the castle, then the trip back to Munich currently at 26 euros for one person.
The advantage of this ticket is that one ticket will cover up to 5 travelers, which is great if you’re traveling with friends or family.
So to break it down, if it’s just you and one other person it’ll cost 34 euros in total. If there are 5 travelers in your group, the ticket will cost 58 euros which equals 11.60 euros per person. The more that travel (up to 5) the cheaper it gets. Learn more about the Bayern ticket HERE.
Munich to Fussen By Car
We visited by car and it was a great experience. After picking up our rental car from the Europcar MUNICH CITY TILL 12PM location, we chose THIS ROUTE and headed straight to Fussen.
You’ll see these options on Apple or Google maps if you’re leaving from Munich’s city center. We chose route A96 to B17. As you will see, the drive is only 1.5 hours.
I’m sharing the specifics on this because the drive was beautiful. We saw so much green, grazing animals, and even ran into this impressive view below. Spot the castle? I loved driving on our own because it allowed us to make stops whenever we wanted.
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Fussen
If you’re doing a day trip and arrive at the Füssen station, you will follow the crowd most likely heading to the castle and jump on either Bus 73 or 78 toward Hohenschwangau, where Neuschwanstein Castle is located. Hohenschwangau is only a 10-minute drive away from Fussen.
The bus from Fussen doesn’t drop you off at the door of the castle. Since the castle is perched upon a hill you need to choose one of 3 things:
1. Take another bus that is designated to take tourists up to the castle. The current cost is 3 euros per person roundtrip. Your Bayern ticket does not cover this private bus. You buy the bus ticket from the driver so make sure you have cash! This bus makes 2 stops. The first stop is at Mary’s Bridge where you can get the idyllic castle photo. Note, Mary’s Bridge may be closed due to weather or repairs, always check the site beforehand HERE. The second stop is the entrance of the castle to purchase tickets. *Tip: Tickets to enter the castle can sell out quickly especially during peak season, so I’d book those ahead if you know you want to go inside.
2. You can choose the 40+ minute hike up to the castle. The roads are well paved but can be steep, but you’ll get the advantage of all the great views along the way. If you’re choosing to hike, make sure you’ve dressed the part.
3. Take a horse and carriage up to the castle. I’m sure this can be a lovely experience, but I prefer not to put horses through that. If you’re like me opt for one of the options above.
To get back to Munich, reverse the route!
IF YOU’RE STAYING OVERNIGHT IN FUSSEN AND ARRIVED BY CAR, you can plan to visit the castle that evening (close to sunset) or the next morning (right when it opens) to avoid the peak crowds. This is the ideal scenario and the reason we chose to go this route.
As mentioned, the drive is quick and painless. It’s truly a beautiful road. You can enter Hohenschwangau or Alpseestrasse into your GPS or do as Jorge did and find “P4” in the maps and drop a pin there, follow those directions. Parking Lot 4 (P4) is right by the bus stop that’ll take you up to the castle or you can start your hike from there. Parking costs 6 euros per car.
Where to Stay near Fussen
I made the mistake of not going with a Superhost when booking my Airbnb near Fussen’s old town. The communication was horrible so I cannot recommend that apartment.
For those who’ve never used Airbnb, a Superhost is a host who typically goes above and beyond for their guests. They’re excellent at communicating, their rentals are usually spotless, and they think of all the details. We always have great experiences when choosing Superhosts.
Anyway, since I can’t recommend that apartment, I found other great looking places to consider if you’re staying in or around Fussen. All of these are stays that I would’ve booked if they were available for my dates. They are well-reviewed, in great areas, and affordable. I’ll be sharing mainly (Superhost) Airbnbs plus one hotel.
AIRBNB- Located in Fussen’s old town. Great space and an even better view! Click here to book this apartment.
And this is the view from the apartment:
AIRBNB- Another relaxing view and adorable apartment. Conveniently located in Schwangau (which is the town the castle is in). The host is a Superhost. Click here for the latest prices.
photo source: airbnb.com
HOTEL- Hotel Hirsch is located near Fussen’s old town. I love the idea of the themed rooms and that they have a terrace! You can find the latest prices here.
View from the terrace:
photo source: hotelfuessen.de
AIRBNB- This is a simple looking apartment, but the host is a Superhost and the view is something else! Check out the insane view from the window. Click here to see the latest prices and to book this awesome place.
This view is everything.
photo source: airbnb.com
Where to Eat in Fussen
We were only in Fussen for one night but enjoyed everything we tried. Sometimes in small towns, it’s hard to find good food (especially coffee shops) but Fussen was a pleasant surprise.
I must mention that if you’re trying to go somewhere for dinner make a reservation as early in the day as you can. It’s very different there with trying to get a table as a walk-in customer. Servers will turn you away if they feel overwhelmed or if there are no tables. Definitely plan ahead!
There is no waiting list, it’s just a flat out “no, sorry”. We experienced this with most places throughout Germany but learned about it first in Fussen. It’s not like the USA and you’ve gotta just roll with it.
Also, many of the top restaurants are located within hotels. It’s the strangest thing to me because in the US hotel restaurants aren’t always the best. It’s a different world out there.
Zum Hechten– They were kind enough to let us wait for a table when there weren’t any lol. I’m saying this because they turned a lot of people away after us. We tried typical bavarian food and our dishes were great! Before going to Zum we attempted to dine at Madame Pluesch but they were full. Madame has great reviews across the board so I’d check out either of these two spots.
Fussener Kaffeerosterei- This is a coffee roaster in Fussen. You won’t find it online, but it’s right by Bio Cafe. We were so happy to find this place and even bought a bag of coffee to bring home.
Caffe Lucca– Another great spot for coffee! The cafe is Italian inspired and they do coffee art and delicious cappuccinos.
Bio Cafe Baumgarten– We stopped here for a quick breakfast and loved it. It’s an organic cafe serving up simple yet delightful sandwiches and crepes.
More Fussen Old Town Photos
Beyond Fussen & Neuschwanstein Castle
Germany has so much to offer that I hope you do have time to explore beyond the big cities and main castles. I can’t stress enough how friendly the German roads are.
Before we chose our route, Jorge and I priced out how much the train would cost versus renting a car for all the towns we wanted to explore. Renting won. Driving was the cheapest form of transportation. Plus, it gives you so much flexibility.
Want to stop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber? One of the prettiest places in Germany is just a 2-hour drive from Fussen. Interested in the amazing wine region? The Rhine and Mosel Valley are a 2.5-hour drive away from Rothenburg.
If you want more ideas, check out my Germany road trip and the enchanting itinerary I followed here: Best Places to See in Germany.
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