We always like to visit places in winter because they just turn magical with snow-capped rooftops and beautifully lit pine trees. When thinking about places to visit in winter, Germany is among the top places that come to mind. Our favorite is the Neuschwanstein Castle in winter.
Many people picture the historic German castles in gorgeous settings when they think about traveling to Germany. Tucked amid the Bavarian Alps, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Germany.
In today’s post, we will explore the beautiful Neuschwanstein castle in winter and the travel guide to see all the attractions perfectly.
Why Neuschwanstein Castlein Winter is Worth it
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe is the Neuschwanstein Castle. But besides being one of the most stunning castles in the world, it is also very important from an architectural and cultural standpoint.
In addition to motivating artists like Walt Disney, the Bavarian castle has left millions of tourists in awe and left a lasting imprint in pop culture.
After all, it’s difficult to avoid comparison to the magnificent Disney Cinderella castle and the company’s famous logo. There is a certain charm that winter brings with it to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
The benefits of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter are quite appreciated.
The month of January, February, and March are considered to be off-season and you won’t find crowds in these months. Although you won’t have it all to yourself, you also won’t have to fight over taking a picture at the castle. It would be much better than to visit in June and July when thousands of people are awaiting their turn to have a sightful of the views of the castle.
Easier Access to Tickets
Additionally, since they don’t sell out as fast as they do in the summer, you won’t have too much trouble buying tickets. This results in far smaller crowds and shorter lines. Given its popularity, there will probably still be a lot of visitors, but you’ll have more room to roam around the castle.
Dreamy Snowy Scenes
The expression “winter wonderland” must come from the ice lakes, the snow-covered evergreens, and the brilliance of the setting winter sun on the cobbled streets of the towns. There is something very soothing and charming about the Neuschwanstein castle in winter.
To see the castle sparkling between snowcapped mountains and forests is a once in a life sight. The snow offers picturesque scenes and enchanted images like those you see all over Instagram.
Mysterious Foggy Mood
All the days of the winter might not be so bright and white. Some days you will come across the foggy atmosphere that will take over the castle. The fog brings along a mysterious feel that you might enjoy with your better half.
Traditional Winter German Food
When visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in winter, let’s not forget all the traditional winter German food that you can enjoy. If you’re fortunate enough to visit Germany during the holiday season, you won’t be unfamiliar with the warm, delectable candy cane chocolate beverages.
You may also be able to get a cup of gluhwein at the bottom of the castle if you visit Neuschwanstein Castle in December before climbing the extremely steep hill.
There are also melt-in-your-mouth Quarkballen, similar to a donut hole, available occasionally. Quark is used to make a deliciously light and fluffy fried dough. It just feels right strolling around Neuschwanstein Castle in winter with a hot cup of spiced wine and observing the steam rise from the mug as the snowflakes fall from the sky.
The Winter Wonderland Surroundings are Amazing
You can get some beautiful pictures of the Neuschwanstein castle from the bridge. If you adored the Neuschwanstein castle, you would love the Bavarian-style Schloss Hohenschwangau castle, which is famous for its newest technological comforts. Not to forget, you can enjoy the serene views of wild swans at Alpsee lake.
How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
One of the most recognizable representations of Bavarian castles, if not all castles in the world, is Neuschwanstein! Although there are many ways to reach the castle from Germany, most visitors choose to travel there in a single day from Munich, which is what we shall go into great detail about here. There are various ways to get there, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
There are 3 ways to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein.
We suggest giving public transportation a go but visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle might be the time to rent a car. Public transportation is undoubtedly a good option, but since there isn’t a direct route, it adds up a considerable amount of time.
On the other hand, it is relatively cheap to rent a car for the day around €30 to €60 per day, espacially if you are a group of 3-4 travelers. Depending on the traffic, you can expect to reach Neuschwanstein castle in 1.5-2 hours.
Taking the Autobahn is the quickest route from Munich to Castle Neuschwanstein. If “Neuschwanstein” is not listed as a destination on your GPS, you can also enter “Hohenschwangau” (the location of the parking lot).
After reaching Hohenschwangau, you are now officially in tourist territory, and deciding where to go next is not difficult. Just follow the parking directions (P1 and P4). The only parking is available in private lots, and it costs around 6 Euros per day.
Although it is only 80 miles from Munich to Neuschwanstein, taking public transit will take around three hours since there isn’t any direct train for Neuschwanstein.
If you don’t want to drive, you can take the train from Munich. If you are willing to spend the entire day, the train is fairly simple to take. You just have to get a Bavaria Train ticket from the Deutschebahn kiosk or book it from here. This pass will be valid only after 9 a.m on weekdays.
The closest town of Füssen is the end of the “Munich to Neuschwanstein castle train.” You could simply follow the other passengers on the train since the majority of people getting off at this station will probably be joining you at the castle.
Once you get off the train, head toward the end of the platform and swing a right to go to the bus stops. This trip will cost you around €26.
If you are taking a bus directly from Munich, you can take one from the bus terminal in Munich. It will take around 3 hours and 25 minutes to reach Neuschwanstein for €20.
Afterward, take Bus 73 or 78 from Füssen. You should be able to board one of these buses every 30 minutes or so, and both will whisk you off to Hohenschwangau in less than 10 minutes. Keep in mind that your Bayern Ticket is valid on both of these buses, so stick to it!
We have already established that renting a car is usually a cheaper and more convenient mode of transportation to Neuschwanstein. You can rent a car from a local and trustworthy agency for the day at €20 – €60, depending on the agency and the type of car that you choose.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter Travel Guide
How to get up the castle?
You now have three alternatives for actually ascending to the castle from the parking lots.
1. By Foot
Walk from the parking lot to the ticket office. It takes 40 minutes to trek up (approximately a mile).
2. By Bus
There is a pretty convenient bus that departs from P4 and takes you close to the magnificent Marienbrucke. The real entrance is a quick 10-15 minute walk from here. The cost is €3 for a roundtrip. Purchase your tickets from the bus driver with the exact change.
3. By Horse
You can ride in an expensive but memorable horse-drawn carriage if you truly want to live out your fairytale dream. Locate Hotel Müller, where the majority of them are parked, and purchase your tickets directly from the carriage driver to reach the carriages.
The Castle Tour
When you finally get to the top, the enormity of the castle astounds you. And because it is a newer castle than others, the external stone looks spotless, almost like it’s a brand-new palace. The appearance is striking, gray with blue undertones. The exterior’s detailing and state is remarkable.
The size of Neuschwanstein Castle is roughly 65,000 square feet. It takes 35 minutes to complete the tour from beginning to end, with the majority of that time spent ascending the towers. On your guided tour, you will be able to get the sights of the grotto that resembles a cave, the king’s bedroom, and the Singer’s Hall. The exquisite ceiling painting and the murals that depict Walther von der Vogelweide and Hans Sachs’ poetry are the Dressing Room’s highlights.
Tickets and opening hours (and days)
It costs nothing at all to explore Neuschwanstein Castle’s hiking trails or the neighborhood. However, you will need to purchase an entry ticket if you want to view the castle from inside.
You can purchase adult tickets for 13 EUR (14 USD) with a set entrance time. If you don’t give yourself sufficient time to make it to the castle, your ticket will expire and you won’t be able to get a refund. You can get the tickets from the Ticketcenter in Hohenschwangau. That implies that you cannot purchase them at the castle’s gate. You won’t be able to enter the castle at all if you arrive without a ticket.
Furthermore, if you are unprepared, the 30- to 40-minute hike uphill from the Ticketcenter to the castle can come as a very unpleasant surprise.
You can book the tickets in advance from here. The tickets can be reserved up to two days in advance, and you can pick them up on the day of your visit. Remember that you must pick them up at the Ticket center since you cannot print them at home.
The Marienbrücke Bridge
The Marienbrücke bridge, which spans a waterfall and provides the most renowned views of Neuschwanstein, is one of the attractions beyond the castle’s gates. After the tour, spend some time strolling around the castle’s wooden trails, which offer several opportunities to take in the neighboring Bavarian Alps.
Your best bet for getting to Marienbrücke is on foot. Although there are more routes, you must find the red road if you wish to follow the official route. Follow that trail until you reach the castle.
You must then ascend the purple trail farther till you reach the bridge with the famous vista. Now, depending on your degree of fitness, it may take you an entire hour to travel there.
The road leading to the castle is not open to cars or bicycles, but a shuttle service runs from the Hohenschwangau Palace. The bus will drop you off near the Marienbrücke and it costs 2.5 euros for the ascent, 1.5 euros for the descent, and 3 euros for the return trip.
Also Read: 8 Most Picturesque Road Trips in Germany
The Best Neuschwanstein Castle Viewpoints
Most visitors to Neuschwanstein Castle just make the short climb up to Marienbrücke, where they snap a few photos before heading back. But you can explore more! The hiking track climbs further up the hill, and if you keep climbing, you’ll come across some breathtaking views along the way!
On The Way to Marienbrücke: Close-up views
The official, lengthy route will get you directly up to the Neuschwanstein Castle. Selfies are the only pictures you can take with the castle in this location, but you can get some decent close-up shots of the actual castle.
Lesser Known Views
Following the Marienbrücke, you will be on a lengthy zigzag route. Simply keep going up, and you will soon arrive at a breathtaking viewpoint enclosed by a large fence. From up there, you can see the entire region as well as the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Although the prior vantage point was quite breathtaking, we chose to climb even higher up the hill. We only continued our ascent because we were looking for the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle.
We were determined to find it on our own despite the fact that no one has disclosed its precise location. You just need to keep climbing up from the Marienbruke bridge. There is only one way up, so it will be easy to find the route.
This location is clearly identifiable since it has a cut-down log with a small cross on top of it. You can locate an excellent photography location where you can take some lovely shots of yourself if you turn left and travel a little distance away from the road.
Also Read: Fairy Tale Castles in Germany
Bonus: Things to do around Neuschwanstein Castle
Explore Füssen City
Travelers frequently pass by Füssen, Germany while en route to Neuschwanstein Castle, the most well-known tourist destination in the area. It is a lovely Bavarian town full of history and natural beauty. We recommend exploring the beautiful roads of the town while taking in the Bavarian architecture.
Personally, we loved the visit to the Konditorei Kurcafe, which is one of the best cafes in Fussen city. Being a historical cake shop, you can find some traditional savories and cakes. Don’t forget to try the homemade apple strudel tart.
Wandering the pathways of the Old Town should be one of your first activities when you visit Fussen. The pedestrianized Altstadt (Old Town) is an attractive collection of vibrantly colored structures, many of which are frescoed.
The town has an old-world charm thanks to the classic Bavarian architecture and cobblestoned streets, but it also provides all the amenities you’d expect in a modern town.
Visit one of the many baroque cathedrals, the historic city walls, and the former Benedictine Abbey of St. Mang while you’re appreciating the architecture.
As music lovers, we enjoyed visiting the Fussen Museum for something a little different and to view one of the best collections of violins.
Even though you can rent a car in the city to get, it is best to explore the city on foot.
Visit Eibsee Lake
Lake Eibsee is without a doubt one of the most attractive lakes in the state of Bavaria, located about 10 kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and 100 kilometers from Munich.
If you opted for the car rental option we suggested, travel all the way to Eibsee Lake if you don’t like trekking.
Simply type Eibsee Hotel into your navigation system to arrive at the parking area adjacent to the lake. About 100 meters from the lakeshore, there is a sizable parking lot close to the Eibsee Hotel, where you can park your car and head on to see the lake. The parking will cost you around 2.50 €.
Some of the things that you can do at the lake include:
- Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddleboarding
- Lunch at Hotel Eibsee
Check out Hohenschwangau Castle
In the foothills of the Alps, Heir To the throne Maximilian of Bavaria came across the run-down but picturesque Hohenschwangau Fortress while out for a hike. He had the structure transformed into a charming vacation castle between the years 1833 and 1837.
Hohenschwangau Castle offers a limited-capacity guided tour for visitors. Currently, the only way to visit Hohenschwangau Castle is as part of a tour (approx. 45 minutes).
There are more than 90 wall paintings depicting German mythology and the history of the castle inside. Ludwig Lindenschmit and Moritz von Schwind are the artists behind the paintings. The inside of the Hohenschwangau castle is Biedermeier-styled.
Winter hours of operation from October 16, to March 31: Between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every day.
- Adult guided tour: €21.00.
- Children aged 7 and older: €18.00.
- Children under 6 are free.
- Tickets are free for companions of handicapped individuals.
Spend an Amazing night in a charming hotel
After spending a beautiful and tiresome day, unwind at a charming hotel in the neighborhood.
Hotel Villa Ludwig
Only 3 miles from Füssen, this is a 4-star hotel which is located directly below Neuschwanstein Castle. You can reserve privately the little spa place with water loungers a Finnish sauna, and sun loungers with castle views.
Hotel Villa Ludwig is located 20 minutes from Neuschwanstein Castle. Visitors are welcome to unwind in the hotel garden. It takes 10 minutes to get to Füssen, where the neighboring Romantic Road finishes.
It is going to be a magical experience to be able to stroll around a castle that actually inspired Disney Sleeping Beauty’s magnificent castle. Now that you have all the information about the castle, what are you waiting for? Take this opportunity to visit the charming Neuschwanstein Castle this winter!