Visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace in One Day

During my 6-day exploration of southern Germany, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and the less renowned yet exquisite Linderhof Palace took center stage in my itinerary. Neuschwanstein, famed for its fairy tale charisma and as a muse for Disney, contrasts with the lesser-known Linderhof Palace.

King Ludwig II’s dreams found architectural expression in Neuschwanstein, although he never resided there. In contrast, the superfluous Linderhof Palace stands as the grand realization of King Ludwig II’s vision, a place where he lived to see his royal aspirations materialize. My visit to these palatial wonders was as a journey into the intertwining realms of King Ludwig II’s dreams and realities.

 Arranging the entrance tickets

For our family excursion, we initially secured a reservation for Neuschwanstein, given its higher demand. However, when planning our visit to Linderhof, we discovered that all early slots for Neuschwanstein were already booked. Consequently, we had to settle for the 16:00 tour.

Linderhof Palace also allows reservations for tickets. Opting for spontaneity, we decided against pre-booking, arriving early in the morning. Fortunately, we faced no issues and secured the next available on-site tour at 11:00.

While organized tours from Munich are popular, read on to understand why our personal experience might sway your decision in their favor.

Check the parking situation of Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace

Parking at Linderhof Palace

The parking area outside Linderhof is notably spacious, providing two parking zones with a combined capacity of 550 spaces for private cars. A brief stroll of just a few minutes led us to the entrance from the parking site.

Parking facilities near Neuschwanstein Castle

Parking in Hohenschwangau proves challenging during peak seasons, despite the presence of four official parking areas. While aiming for the P3 parking area to collect our tickets, we faced unexpected hurdles. Initially, P3 was full upon our arrival, prompting a detour due to temporary road closures. Eventually, after a half-hour wait at the P1 parking area, we secured our much-needed parking spaces.

The Lindnerhof Palace; Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace
The Lindnerhof Palace garden
Hohenschwangau Castle

Itinerary of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace

To ensure our participation in the Neuschwanstein Castle tour on time, we made an early visit to Linderhof Palace. Our itinerary for the day was:

  • 09:30 – 10:30: Explored the parks and gardens surrounding Linderhof Palace
  • 11:00 – 12:00: Participated in the organized tour of Linderhof Palace
  • 13:30 – 14:00: Enjoyed a quick lunch in Hohenschwangau
  • 14:00 – 15:30: Admired Neuschwanstein Castle from Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke)
  • 16:00 – 18:00: Participate in the guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle
  • 18:30 – 22:00: Dine in the charming town centre of Füssen

Explored the parks and gardens surrounding Linderhof Palace

I found myself more enamored with the expansive park surrounding the palace, covering an impressive 58 hectares, than the palace itself. The contemporary park features ornate gardens, charming miniature waterfalls, a variety of trees, and distinctive structures. Wandering through this green expanse could easily consume a couple of joyful hours. Originally, King Ludwig II aspired to replicate the grandeur of the palace and gardens of Versailles, but the constraints of the narrow valley thwarted this ambitious vision.

For the most breathtaking view of the palace, I ascended the three terraced gardens in the Italian style, known as the “Linderbichl.” From there, I could take in the entire expanse of a geometric garden area, dominated by a sizable pool in front of the Linderhof Palace.

One interesting feature is the Venus Grotto, an artificial dripstone cave complete with a serene lake and waterfall, reminiscent of a scene from Richard Wagner’s opera “Tannhäuser.” The grotto showcases a regal seat, a Lorelei rock, and a gilt boat shaped like a shell. Regrettably, it was closed for restoration during my visit.

The Lindnerhof Palace garden
The Lindnerhof Palace; Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace

Participated in the organized tour of Linderhof Palace

The inception of Linderhof Palace can be traced back to a humble forester’s house, which King Ludwig II commissioned to be reconstructed in the early stages. He designated it as the Loyal Hunting House. The architectural progression began with the extension of the east wing of the Loyal Hunting House, succeeded by the incorporation of the west wing. Following this, the structure experienced a metamorphosis, featuring a new façade and roof.

Prior to constructing the southern section, the King ordered the relocation of the Loyal Hunting House by 300 meters to the west. The final phase involved expanding the bedroom in the north. Unfortunately, King Ludwig II did not live to witness the completion of the new bedroom.

Photography inside the palace is strictly prohibited. Nevertheless, the tour proved to be informative and lasted approximately an hour.

Admired Neuschwanstein Castle from Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke)

The optimal vantage point to view the entire majestic castle is from the Marienbrücke, a bridge dedicated to Queen Marie. Initially, Marienbrücke was a wooden riding bridge spanning the Pöllat gorge. In 1866, King Ludwig II commissioned Stegs & Co (now MAN AG) to replace the wooden structure with an iron one.

To reach the bridge, we boarded a shuttle bus near the “Alpsee” parking area P4 (below Hohenschwangau Castle). We purchased the bus tickets at a small house by the bus stop. Due to a high volume of passengers, we waited for half an hour before securing a spot on the shuttle.

The ride provided breathtaking glimpses, yet upon reaching Mary’s Bridge, we had to queue before stepping onto the bridge. Despite the briefness of our stay on the bridge, we managed to capture some awe-inspiring pictures.

A digital display near the bridge indicated the current occupancy, ensuring it doesn’t surpass the limit. Alternatively, visitors can take on a 45-minute uphill walk to Mary’s Bridge, followed by an additional 15-minute stroll to the entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle.

Marienbrücke, Mary's Bridge, Germany
View of Neuschwanstein Castle from the Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge)

Participate in the guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle

The castle is a fantasy world of King Ludwig II. He was so much looking forward to living there, as he told Richard Wagner, the man he greatly admired. In his vision, the castle should be in an unapproachable but one of the most beautiful locations. And, the castle should remind his divine friend Wagner of “Tannhäuser”. King Ludwig II should feel himself being a real king in this fantasy world. He wanted to remain an eternal mystery to himself and others. And, he made it.

On my initial visit to the castle years ago, certain rooms eluded my exploration as they were off-limits to the public. This time, our tour extended significantly, including more areas and adding to the post-Linderhof Palace tour exhaustion. Neuschwanstein dwarfs the Linderhof Palace in size, requiring extensive walks during the tour. The official website offers a virtual tour of the castle’s interior and complex, providing a glimpse into the King’s dream world. The tour, marked by its informativeness, grants an intimate perspective into Ludwig’s visionary realm.

How to reach Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace (Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal) graces the picturesque landscape of southwest Bavaria, near the charming Ettal Abbey.

For those traveling by car, take the A95 motorway and follow the route to Oberau. Navigate through Oberau following the signs to B23 (Ettaler Straße). Upon reaching Ettal, make a left turn onto St2060. In Linderhof, a right turn will lead you to the enchanting palace.

Alternatively, if you look for a scenic train journey (, head to Oberammergau. From Oberammergau, a convenient bus connection, Bus 9622, will transport you to the doorstep of Linderhof.

Neuschwanstein Castle 

For road travelers, follow the A7 motorway (direction Ulm-Kempten-Füssen) until its end. From Füssen, take B17 towards Schwangau, then follow the signs guiding you to Hohenschwangau.

Should you prefer the rhythmic hum of the train, journey to Füssen and subsequently catch a bus to Neuschwanstein (alighting at the “Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein” stop).

One comment

  1. I think I’ve been to the Castle a very long time ago, when I backpacked in Europe… but how come!!! I missed this palace?! Really have no idea! And, wow, the palace looks so beautiful! You really give me a reason to go back and revisit again!

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