Hike to Neuschwanstein Schloss


Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss) offers an amazing view of a typical Bavarian countryside. Though it is gorgeous for photographers all year round, my favorite time of the year there is winter as nothing tops seeing such a beautiful scene.

To reach Neuschwanstein Castle, travelers will have to park below at Hohenschwangau after arriving in Schwangau, Germany. Parking can be located near the Ticket Center for both castles, and can be used as a starting point for the other trails in the area as well. In order to reach Schwangau, we traveled from Munich (Muenchen) where one can take public transportation (I prefer the train) to Fuessen, then take a bus to Hohenschwangau/ Neuschwanstein Castles. 

There are two castles, Neuschwanstein of the reclusive King Ludwig II and Schloss Hohenschwangau (which you must also walk to from the visitor center below). I prefer to go by foot to Neuschwanstein, though there are other options such as cycling (make sure you take the designated bike paths to the top, which after about 100 m branches off of the main Newschwansteinstrasse). The walk is only about 2km long, however there are other trail options that one can hike and bike though they don't all take you to the top. Rather, those trails will take you around the remainder of the area of Schwangau. Here is a detailed map I provided from the site as in my opinion Google Maps won't work as well, plus the area isn't that confusing. 

The trip to Neuschwanstein itself is straightforward entering and leaving the same way. Yet, the other surrounding trails vary from loops (the hike around the lake is also well worth it) to out-and-back. On one side you have the southern mountains and the border of Austria not far off, and in the other direction you will find the flatter hills of Southwest Bavaria. 

The journey to the top is relatively short distance and elevation wise, however it is not completely flat and it actually reminds me of trying to walk up Duluth, MN hills downtown. Fortunately, it does twist and turn so it won't be a straight up the mountainside hike.The place is dog friendly, however photography and animals are not allowed within the castle itself for preservation purposes. That's okay though!! As I promise you the outside scenery and trip is much better than what is inside (unless you're also a history buff). 

Pack List

  • Comfortable shoes!! (The most important for not just the trip to the castle, but for the surrounding area in general. Actually, most of Europe is a place that I would recommend very comfortable shoes be them hiking boots or tennis shoes. However, since this is the winter time and not summer, I recommend waterproof, insulated hiking boots that you can use for winter time or specified winter hiking boots). 
  • Water (you'll have to pay quite a bit there, plus tap water isn't popular like it is here in the US).
  • Thin Gloves, hat, and possibly a scarf (it can get a bit windy there, however don't overdue it since hiking the surrounding area will cause you to build up a sweat and even the light jacket I had on I wanted to take off)
  • Backpack 
  • Camera 
Show More
RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 465.9 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible


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Even in the rain, this is a must see in Germany. It was simple to travel to from Munich. The only downfall is lots of tourists, but that's expected at this spot.

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