Step by step: A local’s guide on how to take the train from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most visited tourist attraction and certainly one of the best day trips from Munich. I visited the most beautiful castle in Bavaria countless times and actually grew up not far from it. In this guide, I am going to show you exactly how to take the train from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle.
Before I start, I do want to point out that there are 3 other ways to get to Neuschwanstein Castle which, depending on the size of your travel group, can be equally as viable or better. The train to Neuschwanstein castle might be cheap, but it’s also a bit complicated. You should definitely consider booking a tour instead (here is the most popular bus tour to Neuschwanstein castle which personally tested and recommend).
Anyways, let’s get started!
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through GetYourGuide links in this post. I am affiliated with them and have booked tours through them frequently in the past.
Step 1: Check the train schedule from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle
Before you embark on your journey, you should definitely check the train schedule. Trains leave every hour, but the direct train only leaves every two hours starting from 7:52 am in the morning. You can check the schedule online on the official website of the German Railway. They also have an app (iPhone version | Android version) I personally couldn’t live without anymore.
Download the app, if you plan to use the train regularly throughout Germany, as it will keep you updated on delays or any other important changes as well as the platforms you need to go to catch connecting trains, etc.
It is important to note that the train ends in Füssen! From there, you will have to take a bus (see below). If you type in Schloss Neuschwanstein into the search function, it will spit out results as well, so no worries.
Step 2: Go to the Central Station
There are two major train stations in Munich, but trains to Neuschwanstein castle only leave from Hauptbahnhof (central station). There are no direct trains from Ostbahnbof. Subway lines U2/U1 and U4/U5 and all suburban trains stop at the central station. There are also a couple of trams and buses. You can check your connections here.
If you stay in the city center, you might as well walk. In either case, do consider that they are currently rebuilding the Munich central station and it takes quite a while to walk to the platform (trains to Füssen usually depart on platform 27-36). So, arrive 15 minutes before the train departs.
Step 3: Buy your ticket
Then it’s time to buy your tickets. There are red ticket vending machines all over the station, usually quite close to the various entrances. There is also a ticket center right in the middle but buying your tickets there will incur an additional service fee, so stick to the vending machines.
They are pretty self-explanatory. Just make sure to switch to your language on the start screen. Sometimes they are displaying a different screen (when a previous traveler didn’t continue the buying process), so search for a vending machine that is in default mode or press on “abbrechen” (which means cancel).
Now you have two different possibilities:
A) buy a BayernTicket.
The BayernTicket (Bavaria Ticket) costs 26 euros and covers unlimited rides on the regional trains for one day. Each additional traveler will have to pay 8 euros up to 5 people. If your group is bigger than 5 people, you’ll have to buy another BayernTicket. This is by far the cheapest option for larger groups, as it will also cover the bus from Füssen to the castle.
There’s usually an option to buy the BayernTicket straight from the start screen on the right side, so just press on that, and make sure you enter the correct number of travelers. Vending machines accept cash and cards. The good part about the BayernTicket – you can get on any returning train you like.
There is only one caveat: This ticket is only valid starting from 9 am in the morning on weekdays. This means the earliest train you can catch departs at 9:52 am and you’ll arrive around 11:55 am in Füssen (on weekends, the BayerTicket is valid all day). Lunchtime is the busiest time and I prefer to be there earlier – especially as the lighting will be better earlier in the morning.
Important note: You can buy the BayernTicket at all subway vending machines as well. It makes sense to buy it at the start of your journey as it covers public transport in Munich! Also, make sure to write the names of all travelers on the ticket – otherwise, it will not be valid.
B) Buy a direct ticket
You can also buy a direct ticket, which will be considerably more expensive (currently 53,70€ + the bus to the castle, so roughly 60 euros) but will allow you to depart as early as possible. The train will be much less crowded and arriving earlier gives you the chance to buy your tickets to go inside the castle much earlier (they frequently sell out!). As the standard ticket is quite expensive, it’s probably cheaper and easier to book a tour, though.
Step 4: Get on the train and enjoy the ride
After you bought your ticket, move to the correct platform. There are big screens throughout the central station where it indicates the departure time and the platform. You have to look for trains to Füssen. They usually depart on platforms 27-36 which you will find on the far right of the station. If you downloaded the app, you can also look it up there.
The ride will take approximately 2 hours and the last leg of your journey will be quite the scenic ride through little villages and forests with the mountains in the background (so keep your cameras ready).
Note: If you didn’t buy for the direct BRB train (blue carriages), then you will have to change trains in Buchloe! So, don’t miss that stop.
There is a toilett onboard, but no vending machines or restaurants. So, bring some snacks and drinks (either from your hotel) or buy them at one of the many booths throughout the central station.
Step 5: Get on the bus to Neuschwanstein Castle
Once you arrived in Füssen, you need to exit the train station to the right and head to the bus station no. 5 where the buses to Neuschwanstein Castle depart. You can either take line 73 or 78 – both will get you more or less directly to the castle.
If you got a BayernTicket, you won’t have to buy a ticket for the bus. Just show your ticket to the driver and you will be fine. Otherwise, you will have to buy a ticket, which is only possible with cash. The bus from the station in Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle is 3,30 euros one way.
Step 6: Buy your tickets for the castle
The bus will arrive directly in Schwangau, which is a little suburb of Füssen right below the castle. You will see the castle on left of the bus on the last kilometer of the ride. From here, you have to walk 300 meters to the ticket office. Just follow the road to the right facing the castle.
You can also buy tickets online through a special reservation form which is a bit complicated but recommended if you do the tour in summer as tickets sell out incredibly fast. You will have to collect your tickets 90 minutes before the start of your tour, though! Also, reservations for the tickets are only possible up to 2 days before your visit. They also sell tickets right at the station in Füssen. You CANNOT buy the tickets at the entrance!
Step 7: Hike up to the castle or take the bus or horse carriage
Last, but not least, you have to get up to the castle. You can either walk (which will take around 25 minutes) or take the shuttle bus (2,50 € up, 1,50€ down). The shuttle bus will stop a bit above the castle, so you will have to walk the last leg (500 meters). This is no big problem, as it is actually closer to the famous Marienbrücke (Bridge of our Lady) – the best viewpoint of the castle.
You can also take a romantic horse carriage (4,50€ up, 2,50€ down). The carriage will stop a bit below the castle. Again, you will have to walk the last 450 meters up to the castle.
The hike up to the castle is not very difficult and follows well maintained and paved roads. You will, however, walk through a dense forest, so it doesn’t offer any nice views. In summer, you often have to wait very long for the carriages, so walking is recommended.
There is only one restaurant at the top.
If you have reduced mobility and hiking and/or stairs are a problem for you, then you absolutely have to contact the castle before your visit. There is an elevator inside and special transports right to the entrance are also possible on selected weekdays.
Step 8: Return to Munich
After you visited the castle, enjoyed the view, maybe tour the adjacent Hohenschwangau castle or explored the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, it’s time to get back. Basically you just have to retrace your steps. The bus back to Füssen will stop exactly where you arrived in the morning – just on the other side of the street. Then just get on the next train. Check the schedule on the website of the German Rail (including the bus), so you don’t spend ages waiting at the train station.
Are there luggage lockers at the train station?
There are coin lockers in Füssen. One is directly on the platform and you’ll find another one in the building. There are not a lot of spots and I’m not sure extra big suitcases will fit in! It is not possible (nor feasible) to bring big suitcases or backpacks into the castle. I am writing this because I have frequently seen tourists shoving their trolleys up the hill to the castle.
How long does the train from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle take?
The train takes 2 hours two reach Füssen. From here, it is another 10 minutes by bus to the castle. All in all, you should calculate about 3 hours each way, as you need to get to the central station and/or wait for the bus to the castle in Füssen. You will more or less need a full day.
What’s the price of the train ticket from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle?
The cheapest ticket to Neuschwanstein castle costs 28 €. This is the BayernTicket. A regular ticket will cost 53,70€ + 6,60€ for the bus to Schwangau + 3€ for the shuttle bus to the castle. So, a grand total of 63€ per person. If you buy the BayernTicket it will be 31€ with the shuttle bus.
By the way, a lot of the pictures in this guide are with snow. If you are interested in finding out more, here is a guide to visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter. In terms of taking the train – there will be no difference no matter the season. The trains can be a bit crowded during the high season, though.