Julie Germany 9 Comments

Neuschwanstein is one of Germany’s most visited sites. This fairytale palace, which was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle, is located in Bavaria, Germany.

People from around the world descend on Neuschwanstein between the peak season months of July and August. With the crowds of people come long lines. Nothing spoils a visit to Neuschwanstein more than spending precious hours in line to purchase tickets.

It is possible, even during peak season, to visit Neuschwanstein without waiting in long lines. So, how do you do it?

Neuschwanstein August

How to Avoid the Crowds at Neuschwanstein

Get there Early. Very Early.

This is where staying in Bavaria has its advantages. Arrive one hour before opening time to purchase your tickets for the first tour of the day. During this time, it will be easy to find parking, there will be no queues, and your tour may not be completely booked. The castle will be calm and quiet, just the way it was meant to be seen.

Midday is the worst time to arrive at Neuschwanstein. Munich day trippers arrive at this time, along with masses of people from the surrounding areas. Midday in the summer there can be queues of 90 minutes or more just to purchase tickets. Even then, you may be purchasing tickets for a tour two to three hours later in the day!

Note: During the months of July, August, and September, tickets can sell out by noon. 

Purchase your Tickets in Advance

You can purchase your tickets online in advance. By doing this, you will avoid the lines and the long waits. At midday, Neuschwanstein can still feel like a zoo, but at least you have your tour reserved. There is an additional charge (€2.50 per ticket) for pre-purchasing your tickets, but it’s worth it, especially if you will be visiting Neuschwanstein during peak season. 

It’s also important to know that only so many tickets go on sale per day. If they sell out in advance, you won’t be able to purchase a ticket that day, on site. So, once you know the date you want to visit Neuschwanstein, reserve your ticket on the official website. If tickets are already sold out, then you can join a tour.

Click here to learn more about purchasing your tickets in advance.

Visit on a Weekday

Crowds are lower on weekdays than weekends.

Can’t Arrive Early? Arrive Late

After 3 pm, things begin to quiet down, as day trippers make their way back to Munich and the surrounding towns.

Be aware that this tactic may not work during peak season. In July and August, tours can sell out by early afternoon. Avoid this by advance purchasing your tickets for the last tour of the day and then arrive when most of the crowds are gone.

Visit Neuschwanstein During the Off Season

Visit during low season and you may have the castle almost all to yourself. The months from November through April have the lowest crowds (except during the holiday seasons of Christmas and Easter). The weather may not be ideal but during winter months you may be able to see Neuschwanstein covered in snow.

Shoulder season (May, June, and October) is another great time to visit Neuschwanstein. Crowds are lower and the weather can be very pleasant.

What is There to Do at Neuschwanstein?

The palace, of course, is the main attraction. To get from the ticket booth to the palace you can either walk the 30 minutes uphill on a paved, shaded path, or take the bus. During the summer months, queues for the bus can be very long!

Tours last approximately 35 minutes. A guide will take your group through the palace where you will learn about the history of the Neuschwanstein and King Ludwig II.

After your tour, you can explore the area around the palace. Don’t miss Mary’s Bridge! This is the place to take that iconic photo of Neuschwanstein. Just be prepared to wedge yourself in among the masses of people trying to get this same photo.

Note: Mary’s Bridge can close during periods of bad weather (such as snowfall during the winter months). 

Neuschwanstein Marys Bridge


To get another phenomenal view of Neuschwanstein (and to really leave the crowds behind), hike on the trails on the other side of Pollat gorge. To get here, cross Mary’s Bridge and follow the hiking trails uphill into the woods. The trails are well-marked and well-groomed. This was our favorite part of visiting Neuschwanstein.

View over Neuschwanstein


Hohenschwangau Castle.  This castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II. It is a 20 minute walk from Neuschwanstein. This castle can only be visited on a tour. Tickets can be purchased in combination with Neuschwanstein.


Where to Stay

Hohenschwangau:  From this small town, you can walk to the ticket booth and Neuschwanstein Castle. You can’t get any closer than this!

Fussen: A bit larger than Hohenschwangau, from Fussen it is just a five minute drive to the castle.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: One hour away from Neuschwanstein, this is a great place to base yourself in Bavaria. Not only will you have access to Neuschwanstein, but it is very easy to get to Zugspitze, Munich, and Innsbruck, Austria.

Munich: One hour and forty minutes away (120 km), it is still possible to get in line early for tickets.

Germany Travel Guide

Important Note

There is renovation work going on inside of the castle and is expected to last until fall 2024.

Important Links

Neuschwanstein Website: click here

Hohenschwangau Castle Website: click here

Tours of Neuschwanstein

If you are staying in Munich, one of the easiest ways to visit Neuschwanstein is on a tour. Here are multiple options, from larger, cheaper group tours, to small group tours, to private tours of Neuschwanstein.



If you have any questions about how to visit Neuschwanstein, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Germany

BAVARIA, GERMANY: Take an amazing 10 day road trip in Bavaria, visiting Munich, Neuschwanstein, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and drive the Romantic Road in Germany.

BERLIN: Start with our article Best Things to Do in Berlin for a big list of things to do in the city. Plan your visit with our 5 Day Berlin Itinerary and what to expect on a visit to Teufelsberg.

SAXONY, GERMANY: In Saxony, visit the fairytale bridge called Rakotzbrücke and the amazing Bastei Bridge. Put both of these together, plus the town of Görlitz, into on big day trip from Berlin.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our 10 Days in Europe itinerary guide, which has 10 great itineraries for your next trip to Europe.

Read all of our articles about Germany in our Germany Travel Guide.


Neuschwanstein Castle

Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 9

  1. Avatar for Lora

    Hi Julie! We’re heading that way in two weeks 🙂 I’m curious, if we wanted to visit both castles and the Mary’s Bridge, what’s the best way to do that? From the map I found online, it looks like the bridge is closer to Neuschwanstein Castle. I’m just trying to figure out how to give myself enough time to schedule the available time slot for prebooking my tickets.
    Also, we will be driving. Do you know if P4 parking be the most convenient if we’re wanting to do all 3? Thanks a bunch for the help!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Lora. Mary’s Bridge is a very short walk from Neuschwanstein Castle and it should take about 30 minutes, which can be added on right after you tour Neuschwanstein (it’s a short walk from Neuschwanstein, but not on the way or near to Hohenschwangau). I think we parked in P4. From here, it is an uphill walk to Neuschwanstein. After visiting Neuschwanstein and Mary’s Bridge, you will walk back downhill to the road and then visit the Hohenschwangau. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Nina

    My family plans on going to the castle next week! No advanced tickets! Would it be possible to get there very early and secure tickets? It will be a Tuesday. Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, I think that should work. You might want to line up 30 to 60 minutes before opening time. Europe is very busy right now. We were just in Venice and have noticed a lot of long lines. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Claire DiGrazia
    Claire DiGrazia

    Really great information! My husband and I are planning a trip to see the Neuschwanstein Castle this October. I see on the website to reserve tickets the dates end on October 15th before the winter hours go into effect. Do you know why this is?

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I’m not sure but it could be that October is so far in advance and those tickets might not be open yet. Since October 15th starts a new season, they may not open until sometime this summer. You could check back in June or July. But you are really planning ahead!! 😊 Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Keri

    What time of year did you visit? We’re considering late May/early June, don’t mind if the weather is a bit cold but I’m keen to have everything green like in your beautiful photos!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We were here on or around August 1. Everything should be green when you go. Have a great time…it’s a wonderful area to visit. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Leah vincent

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *