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Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, and it’s no wonder why! This fairytale castle is absolutely breathtaking.
However, if you’re planning on visiting Neuschwanstein with kids, it can be a little daunting.
Not to worry though – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will give you a guide to visiting Neuschwanstein Castle with kids. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, from how to get there to what to see and do once you’re there.
So read on for all the info you need for a magical family vacation!
Why Neuschwanstein Castle is worth visiting
Neuschwanstein Castle is often called the “Disneyland of Germany” and for good reason – it’s a spectacular fairytale castle that looks like it came straight out of a storybook.
And actually, both Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Cinderella’s Castle are inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle with its towering turrets and beautiful mountain setting.
The castle was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and it was intended to be a retreat from the outside world.
Today, the castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany, and it’s easy to see why.
The castle is situated on a hill in the Bavarian Alps, and it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Inside, the castle is just as impressive, with lavishly decorated interiors that reflect Ludwig’s love of art and culture.
If you’re looking for a truly magical experience, then a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely worth your time.
How to get to the Neuschwanstein Castle
The Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the small town of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, Germany.
The closest major city to the castle is Munich, which is about a two-hour drive away.
There are multiple ways how to get there, including going by car, public transportation, or even with a bike if you are traveling through the Bavarian Alps.
To get to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich by public transportation, you’ll need to take a train. Luckily, this is one of the easiest and most convenient modes of transportation for getting around Europe.
Just head over to the nearest train station and look for a line going to Füssen – that’s almost where the castle is located.
From there, you can either get off at Hohenschwangau or Schwangau, both of which are close to the castle itself.
The journey should take no more than two hours one way, so be sure to pack some snacks and entertainment if you want to keep yourself busy during the ride.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is just around 5 kilometers away from Fussen, so it is easily reachable on foot or by public transportation.
There are a number of different ways to get to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Fussen, but my personal favorite is the scenic route that is walkable.
You can take the Parkstrase until you get to the Hohenschwangau village and then just follow the signs to the pedestrian road to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
If you have smaller children, consider their levels of patience. It’s probably better just to drive to one of the parking lots in Hohenschwangau and walk up to the Neuschwanstein Castle as the uphill hike will be demanding enough.
As with all things in life though, your best option is always up to you – so choose whichever path feels right to you and enjoy!
Parking in Hohenschwangau village for the Neuschwanstein Castle
There are several parking areas in Hohenschwangau to choose from. However, during the high season, they are filled up quite early. So if you want a spot be sure to arrive close to the opening times for the castles.
When we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle in late March, it was not the high season. The parking was freely available in the middle of the day.
At the time of writing this post, the cost of parking in Hohenschwangau was 8 Eur per day. There weren’t any options for a shorter period and a lower fee.
Getting up to the Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau
No matter how you get to the Hohenschwangau village, getting to the Neuschwanstein Castle has the same options for everyone.
It’s possible to take a shuttle bus or a horse carriage, or just go on foot.
Going on foot is obviously the cheapest option, and it’s not that difficult. The hike up is about 30 minutes if you have a toddler in a stroller. For fitter people, this time maybe even shorter.
Taking a shuttle bus costs € 3,50 for a round trip. The price is lower for children, and if your child is less than 7 years old the bus is free of charge. Just a note – at the top the bus stop is at viewpoint “Jugend”. That is a 15-minute walk to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
You can pay only directly to the bus driver, and no payment cards are accepted.
When we visited the castle at the end of March the shuttle buses weren’t operating. It was said that the weather conditions don’t allow it and there is snow on the road, even though we didn’t encounter any snow on the uphill hike. I guess it’s just that this still was considered the winter season.
The horse carriage costs € 7,00 for the uphill drive and € 3,50 for the downhill ride per person. Same as with the shuttle bus – you pay cash directly to the driver.
The carriage stop is not at the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle. You’ll still have to walk 10-15 minutes to reach the castle.
So no matter which option you choose, there will be at least 10 minutes of hiking to get to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Guided tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle
The guided tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle takes about 35 minutes. It’s quick-paced, leads through stairs and other places where it’s harder for toddlers to follow, and you can’t take a stroller inside the castle. So if you are going to the Neuschwanstein Castle with a small child consider carefully if you are willing to carry him through the tour, or will it be enough for you to just enjoy the castle from the outside.
You can buy the tickets for tours online or in Hohenschwangau village. It’s not possible to buy the guided tour tickets once you actually get to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
We also recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds. And in the high season, it’s better to reserve your spot on the tour online. The tours start at the time that is written on your ticket, and if you are late, there is no refund and no option to join a later tour.
The cost of the tour is 15 Euro for adults, and children under 18 years old can enter for free. There are also some reduced-price tickets for special groups of people.
Note that it’s not allowed to take pictures from the inside of the castle unless you have special permission that should be negotiated beforehand.
The Marienbrucke bridge is the most popular spot to take photos of the Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s a suspension bridge that was built in 1866 and since then became one of the most iconic places in Bavaria.
The bridge is located about a 20-minute walk from the Neuschwanstein Castle. Going there with small children might be a challenge as it’s all uphill and then downhill again.
The Marienbrucke is often closed in the winter season due to the weather conditions. When we visited at the end of March, it was closed for the construction works.
Once you get to the Marienbrucke bridge you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view. On a clear day, you can even see the Zugspitze mountain – the highest peak in Germany.
There is also a viewing platform at the Marienbrucke bridge. From there you can see not only the castle but also the valley and the river below.
In the high season, the Marienbrucke bridge can get quite crowded, so we recommend to plan hiking up to it before going on a guided tour in the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Other things worth mentioning when traveling with kids
If you are visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle with kids make sure to take some time to explore the area around the castle. There are plenty of photo opportunities and your kids will love running around in the open space.
If you are taking a stroller with you, there are stroller storage lockers nearby the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle so that you can leave the strollers after a hike. Letting your child go on their own foot may be easier than navigating a bulky stroller through the crowds of people and all of the different corners of the castle.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, but only on a guided tour. The cost of the tour is 15 Euro for adults, and children under 18 years old can enter for free. There are also some reduced-price tickets for special groups of people.
No, unless you have special permission that should be negotiated beforehand.
No, strollers are not allowed inside the castle. However, there are stroller storage lockers nearby the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Many people say that it is not worth going inside the castle because you can see only a few rooms and the tour is really fast-paced. Personally, we decided not to go on the guided tour as it seemed too hard with a toddler who wouldn’t be interested. However, if we would have been at the Neuschwanstein Castle without children, I’d have gone on the guided tour. If you already have spent so much money and time to get to the Neuschwanstein Castle, why not get the complete experience?
The walk from the parking lot to the castle takes about 30-40 minutes. Going there with small children might be a challenge as it’s all uphill and then downhill again. We recommend taking a stroller if you have small children with you. There are stroller storage lockers nearby the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle.
You need at least half a day to explore the castle and the area around it. If you want to go on the guided tour inside the castle, you need to plan for about an additional hour.
The castle is open all year round but the Marienbrucke bridge is often closed in the winter season due to the weather conditions. Also, the shuttle buses operate mainly in the summer season.
Yes, we think it is. Hohenschwangau is the castle where King Ludwig II grew up and you can see how his childhood experiences influenced the design of Neuschwanstein. The ticket for both castles is quite expensive (32 Euro for adults, children under 7 years old enter for free) but we think it’s worth it. If you are interested in the history of Bavaria and the Bavarian kings, Hohenschwangau is a must-see. If you are only interested in Neuschwanstein, you might want to skip Hohenschwangau as it’s not as impressive as Neuschwanstein.
We hope you found this guide helpful and that you’ll enjoy your visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle! If you have any tips or suggestions, please leave us a comment below.