How to see Neuschwanstein Castle for Free

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Best of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein Castle


Taking a day trip to how to see Neuschwanstein castle for free is a popular activity for many tourists visiting Munich, the capital of Bavaria. We even learned it's even possible to see Neuschwanstein Castle for free so we decided to write about it to show you how.

Unfortunately it's not free to get Neuschwanstein, but the cost of transportation will vary depending on your desired comfort level. We ended up renting a car in Munich, split between 5 people, and stayed for a couple nights in Füssen. If you're interested in seeing Neuschwanstein castle for free we also recommend checking out the older, neighboring Hohenschwangau Castle.

On your way to both castles you'll likely pass through Füssen, a quaint Bavarian town just a few miles from Neuschwanstein. Trains and buses run daily to Füssen. From there, it costs a few euros to take public transport to either castle. However, if you take your own car you’ll end up paying about €6 for parking so it's a wash either way.

Once you arrive, you can see Neuschwanstein  Neuschwanstein castle for free by skipping the ticket queues and heading straight for the Marienbrücke Bridge. Albeit this view is only from the outside, we preferred saving money and hiking up to the bridge. If you're interested in going inside Neuschwanstein castle, the entrance fee is €13 and you'll have to book online in advance or wait in an additional queue once you arrive.

How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle

From Munich (DB Train*):

  • Prices: €23*+ ($25+ USD)/Adult Return Ticket
  • Pickup Locations: Munich (München)
  • Drop Off Locations: Pulverturm, Füssen
  • Departure Times: Daily
  • Trip Length: 2.5+ hours (one way)

From Munich (EuropCar):

  • Prices: €80**+ ($87+ USD) daily
    • 2 door/4 person sedan
  • Pickup Locations: Munich EuropCar
  • Drive Time: 115 km (71 mi) | 2+ hours (one way)
How to see neuschwanstein castle for free
Private Tour: €€€

From Munich (Trip Advisor):

A private tour would probably be our last choice after seeing all the tour buses down in the far parking lot. Definitely not our style, but to each their own.

how get to day trip to neuschwanstein fussen germany

Marienbrücke: Free view of Neuschwanstein

The best way to how to see Neuchwanstein Castle for free is by getting an early start. If you're taking a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle for free from Munich we recommend leaving by 7:00AM, however, that's not for everyone. Instead, we spent the night in Füssen, which we thought was absolutely worth it if you're already making the trip down.

Marienbrücke bridge is where to get the best view of how to see Neuchwanstein castle for free. The best part? It's open 24 hours and totally free. But if you want to avoid the long queues then you better get here early. Access to inside the Nueschwanstein is open everyday 9:00AM-6:00PM from April 1-October 15. The rest of the year it is open between 10:00AM-4:00PM except Jan 1 and Dec 24, 25, 31. Those who are 18 and under are free, everybody else has to pay €13. 

How to see Neuschwanstein Castle for free - day trip to neuschwanstein marienbrucke bridge
Beautiful view of Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke
How to see Neuschwanstein Castle for free - Marienbrucke Bridge
View of the bridge around 12 noon

Pro tip: A good rule of thumb is to get there an hour before the castle itself opens, which should give you plenty of time to find parking even though the ticket center opens up 1.5 hours before the castle. We ended up going to to Hohenschwangau Castle first so we got to Neuchswanstein around 11:00AM and had to hike to Marienbrücke bridge. By then the line was pretty long so we had to wait for a bit.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Walking distance away is Hohenschwangau Castle, which dates back to the 12th century[1] and originally built nearly 700 years before Neuschwanstein[2]. However, Hohenschwangau was derilict for quite some time before being refurbished by Maximillian II of Bavaria in the early 19th century. King Max was father of the future King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who commissioned the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately, Ludwig II died in 1886 before construction was completed and it opened to the public shortly after.

Like Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau castle is also free to walk around the outside which is nice. There are even rest room facilities open to the public. While standing in the garden outside Hohenschwangau, we were able to catch another great glimpse of Neuschwanstein without the crowded lines at Marienbrücke bridge.

How to see Neuschwanstein Castle for free - Hohenschwangau Castle
day trip to neuschwanstein fussen germany

Stay overnight in Füssen

If you're visiting how to see Neuschwanstein Castle, for free we highly recommend taking a day trip or spending the night in Füssen. This extremely gorgeous town is nestled right along the German-Austrian border. We fell in love with Füssen's photogenicity, as you can see we went a bit trigger happy with the camera. Molly and I stayed in 'downtown' Füssen at Old Kings Hostel which was great, but a totally different feel than where my family stayed outside town, lakeside at Hotel Geiger. Read more about our short trip to Füssen here.

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