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When you think of Bavaria, you probably think of the beer mugs and beautiful forests, but you also think of the magnificent castles found in this region of Germany. Bavaria is home to some of the most impressive and enchanting castles in the world, transporting us to a fairytale world.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the two best castles in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, and sharing some handy tips for visiting the most famous Bavaria castles close to Munich.

The castles near Munich, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, are unquestionably among the most popular destinations in Bavaria, and millions of tourists visit them throughout the year. Visiting Bavaria castles is an unmissable experience if you are planning a trip to Germany, and in this article, we will share some information that will help you plan your visit.

Where are the castles close to Munich and how to reach them

The most famous castles near Munich are those of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau and are located in the southern part of Bavaria, in Schwangau, a district of the town of Fussen. Neuschwanstein Castle is located on a mountainside overlooking Schwangau, while Hohenschwangau Castle is located at the foot of the mountain.

You can reach the castles near Munich by car or by train to Fussen and then take the public bus and get off at the stop ‘Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles, Schwangau’, which is located next to the car parks.

For those arriving by car, there are four public car parks, one of which is located at the foot of Hohenschwangau Castle and the other three near the Tourist Information Centre.

The cost of these four car parks is identical and amounts to €10, regardless of how long you leave your car, so we recommend that you choose just one and then move on foot.

If, on the other hand, you opt for the train+bus combination to reach the castles near Munich, you can consult the available routes and timetables and purchase your train ticket at this link. As for the bus timetable, you can find the official website at this link.

The bus stop is located near the car parks and the Tourist Information Centre.

Once you have parked your car or got off the bus, you can reach the 2 best castles in Bavaria Germany in two alternative ways: on foot or by carriage.

We recommend a nice walk because there are several vantage points along the way where you can take beautiful photos of the landscape and castles. Consider that it takes about 30 minutes to get to Hohenschwangau Castle and 40 minutes to get to Neuschwanstein Castle. The route is uphill on the outward journey, while a pleasant descent awaits you on the return.

The distance from one castle to the other is about 30-40 minutes on foot.

If you go for the horse-drawn carriage, you’ll get there a bit quicker – about 20 minutes for Neuschwanstein Castle and 10 minutes for Hohenschwangau. Just a heads-up: the carriages can’t go all the way to the entrance of the castles, but they’ll stop about 10 minutes on foot from the entrance to Neuschwanstein and 5 minutes from the entrance to Hohenschwangau.

The price of the carriages varies:

Neuschwanstein Castle: €8 to go up and €4 to go down;
Hohenschwangau Castles: €5.50 to get on and €3 to get off.

You can’t book the carriages, but there are plenty of shuttles around, so you won’t have to wait long to catch one.

There’s also a paid shuttle service connecting the two castles, which stops at car park P4, below Hohenschwangau Castle, and near the Marienbrücke bridge.

You can download a detailed map of the area here.

The entrance ticket for visiting the 2 castles near Munich

To visit Bavaria castles, you must purchase two separate tickets. Tickets can be purchased directly on site at the ticket office located on the way to Hohenschwangau Castle or online at the official website at this link.

For Neuschwanstein Castle, the ticket price (2024) is:

  • 18 € for adults.
  • Free for accompanied minors.
  • 17 € for over 65s, students and persons with disabilities.


For Hohenschwangau Castle (2024):

  • 21 € for adults.
  • Free for accompanied children under 7 years of age.
  • 11 € for children aged between 7 and 17.
  • 18 € for over 65s, students and persons with disabilities.

If you opt to purchase online, please note that an additional €2.50 pre-sale charge will apply. However, we advise you to opt for the online purchase, especially during peak season, as visits are limited and you may not find availability if you buy tickets directly on site.

When purchasing tickets online, you will need to select the date and time you intend to visit. At this stage, take into account the time needed to travel from one castle to another and plan to be at the entrance at least ten minutes in advance to avoid any delays.

Visiting the best castles in Bavaria

Visiting Bavaria castles is only possible on guided tours or using audio guides. It is not possible to explore the castles on your own. Guided tours are conducted in German or English.

The duration of the visit to Hohenschwangau Castle is about 45 minutes, while the visit to Neuschwanstein Castle takes about half an hour. Please arrive at the entrance at least ten minutes in advance.

The opening times for visiting Bavaria castles are as follows:

  • Neuschwanstein Castle: April to mid-October, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; mid-October to March, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m;
  • Hohenschwangau Castle: April to mid-October, 9am to 5pm; mid-October to March, 10am to 4pm;


Some rules to follow during visits to the castles include:

  • Animals are not allowed inside the castles;
  • Small bags and backpacks are allowed, while larger backpacks must be deposited in the lockers located near the entrance to Neuschwanstein Castle;
  • No food or drink may be brought in during the visit.
Castelli della Baviera accesso visita Castello di Neuschwanstein

Visit the best castles in Bavaria Germany: Lockers at the entrance of Neuschwanstein

Accessibility to the best castles in Bavaria Germany

Unfortunately, accessibility to castles is a challenge for people with reduced mobility. Initially, it is necessary to use the carriage service, since, although the roads are asphalted, they have considerable gradients that make access with a wheelchair impossible.

In the case of Neuschwanstein Castle, a lift has been installed to allow everyone to visit, regardless of their mobility. However, at Hohenschwangau Castle, there is no lift available and it will be necessary to climb stairs during the tour. This makes the visit to this castle not accessible for people using a wheelchair.

For people with hearing impairments, written guides will be provided so that they can follow the tour route and enjoy the experience to the full.

Services at the best castles in Bavaria

Inside Neuschwanstein Castle, you will find a cosy café-bistro and a shop for souvenir shopping, while in Hohenschwangau Castle there is a souvenir shop.

As far as dining and restaurant needs are concerned, there are several cafés and restaurants in the vicinity where you can enjoy some typical Bavarian specialities or a simple sandwich if you want to make a short stop.

The best castles in Bavaria Germany: Hohenschwangau castle

This castle was brought back to life through a complete renovation of the ruins of an old medieval fortress that had been abandoned and uninhabited for many years. In the 19th century, King Maximilian II, the father of Ludwig II, became its owner and commissioned the artist, painter and architect Domenico Quaglio to complete the restoration work. This castle was special to Maximilian II’s wife, Mary of Prussia, who often took long walks around Schwangau Lake and in the surrounding forests. It was in this fascinating environment that Ludwig II was born, who drew inspiration for the creation of Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Castle.

Before you start your visit to the castle, we recommend you explore the lovely garden. From here, you can admire views of Lake Schwangau, the countryside and the majestic surrounding mountains. The actual visit takes place inside the castle, where you can explore the royal flats. Among the most fascinating rooms are the Great Dining Room, the Badger Room, which has a lighting system that turns the ceiling into a starry sky at night, and the Hall of Heroes.

A visit to the castle lasts approximately one hour.
This castle opened to the public in 1837 and has also been used as a set for some film productions.

Castelli della Baviera Castello di Hohenschwangau vista da una finestra

Castles near Munich: View of Lake Schwangau

Castelli della Baviera Baviera giardino del Castello di Hohenschwangau

Castles close to Munich: the garden of Hohenschwangau castle

Castelli della Baviera Baviera Castello di Hohenschwangau

Castles close to Munich: Hohenschwangau castle

The most famous of the Bavaria castles: the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle

Certainly, the most famous of the castles near Munich is Neuschwanstein Castle. King Ludwig II of Bavaria spent his childhood in the picturesque Hohenschwangau Castle, surrounded by enchanting forests and majestic mountains. In 1869, Ludwig decided to bring his vivid imagination to life and commissioned the construction of the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle, a project that was completed in 1884. Unfortunately, his joy of living in this sumptuous mansion was short-lived as Ludwig died just two years later.

The castle is located on a mountain slope offering spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the imposing Bavarian Alps. The building is distinguished by its neo-Gothic style imbued with romanticism.

Since it was opened to the public in 1886, the year of Ludwig II’s death, this fantastic place has become perhaps the most famous castle in the world. Its fairy-tale architecture even inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and many films have had the privilege of shooting their scenes here.

The castle has some pretty impressive rooms inside. They’re decorated with stucco, frescoes and medieval-style furniture. The throne room is the most impressive room in the castle. It’s inspired by Byzantine churches and is on two floors. The northern part of the room has an imposing apse that would have housed the throne. The domed ceiling is decorated with a fresco of a starry sky.

The tour starts on the third floor of the castle. It includes:

  • The Entrance Hall is an amazingly ornate room with wall paintings that tell the story of Siegfried. From here, you can access the Throne Room and the king’s private flats.
  • The Throne Room is a sumptuous room on two floors that follows the model of Byzantine churches.
  • Ludwig II’s private rooms include a luxurious bedroom with frescoes that tell the story of Tristan and Isolde, an atmospheric grotto and a winter garden with large windows that offer breathtaking views.
Castelli della Baviera Baviera Ingresso al Castello di Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein castle

Castelli della Baviera Baviera vista su Marienbrucke

Bavaria Castles: waterfall near Neuschwanstein castle

Castelli della Baviera Baviera Vista sul Castello di Neuschwanstein

The 2 best Castles in Bavaria: View of the Marienbrücke Bridge and Neuschwanstein Castle

The upper floor leads to the corridor above the Throne Room and the Choir Room, where the tour ends.

On the walls of the Hall of Singers is depicted the saga of Parsifal and the Holy Grail. The ceiling is coffered and zodiac signs and names of singers are depicted. The hall is surrounded by several tribunes, from which the events could be watched, but which were never actually used for this purpose.

After visiting the castle, we recommend a short ten-minute walk to the picturesque Marienbrücke bridge. From here, you can take unforgettable photos of Neuschwanstein Castle and the enchanting surrounding landscape with the majestic mountains as a backdrop. Near the bridge, you will also find waterfalls that are accessible with an additional ten-minute walk.

Bavaria’s castles are truly enchanting places, both in terms of the architecture of their buildings and the incredible panorama that surrounds them. Visiting Bavaria’s castles is an experience to add to every traveller’s bucket list!

Through this article, we hope we have inspired you to plan an itinerary to explore Bavaria’s castles and immerse yourself in this magical world. Happy exploring and… trip to try!

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