5 Things to Know for Your Visit to Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge is sight of one of the most historic battles of World War One. Canadian forces and German forces fought each other at Vimy Ridge. There were over 10,000 casualties between the two forces.

The Canadian forces gained control of Vimy Ridge after four days of battle. Germany didn’t attempt to regain control of Vimy, and the battle of Vimy Ridge is cited as the beginning of the end of WWI.

You can easily visit Vimy Ridge as a day trip from Paris, so it is easily accessible and doesn’t require you to relocate to a different French city to visit the sight.

It is an easy day trip, but there are a number of things you should know, so you are able to plan a well-organized trip and know what to expect before getting to Vimy Ridge.

1. You Will Have to Take a Taxi to and from Vimy Ridge

You will have to take a taxi from the Arras train station to the Vimy Ridge battle sight and back again. There is no public transportation that goes from the train station to the battle sight.

This is unfortunate because there are enough tourists that visit Vimy Ridge that it would be beneficial to both the bus company and the tourists to have a bus run between the two locations.

That, however, isn’t a reality at the moment, so taking a taxi is your only option if you don’t have a car.

The taxi ride costs approximately €20 each way, so it is quite affordable if you have multiple people taking the same taxi. There are always taxis outside the train station, so you can easily pick one up when you get off the train.

Your taxi driver will probably give you their card to call them when you are ready to return to the train station. The employees at Vimy Ridge are more than happy to call you a taxi when you are ready to return to the station.

You can either have them call the same taxi driver who drove you to the battle sight, or they can call one of the other taxi drivers in the area. They have a huge stack of taxi driver cards they can use to make sure you get a taxi back to town as soon as possible.

It is a bit of an inconvenience to have to take a taxi to Vimy Ridge rather than public transportation, but it really isn’t too much of a hardship. Many tourists do this everyday, so it is pretty standard practice.

Vimy Ridge Arras France 5 Things to Know for Your Trip to Vimy Ridge

2. It is Free to Visit Vimy Ridge

You don’t have to pay an admission fee to visit Vimy Ridge. It is completely free to tour the sight. They do accept donations, but it is not necessary.

You are able to tour the war trenches, the museum, and the war monument all for free. This makes up for having to spend money on a taxi to get there!

You have access to a lot of information about this historic sight, so there could easily be an admission fee. Your donations go a long way in helping operate Vimy Ridge, so you should consider donating a few Euros if you have the means to.

Vimy Ridge Arras France 5 Things to Know for Your Trip to Vimy Ridge

3. All the Employees are Canadian University Students

Vimy Ridge is operated by the Canadian War Museum. The land the battle sight is on was gifted to the Canadian government, and it was turned into a memorial sight.

All of the employees are Canadian university students. They take a leave from university to work a four month shift at Vimy Ridge. The selection process is intense, and there is a lot of competition for the jobs.

All of the guides are bilingual. They are required to be fluent in both English and French, so they can easily answer any questions tourists and locals have. They are highly knowledgeable on WWI and all of the political and military aspects of the war.

The students love engaging with guests, so you should ask them any questions you have! It is amazing how much they know. They also offer a Canadian perspective on the issues, so it is a perspective you don’t often get to hear unless you’re a Canadian or visit Canada.

Even though the students are there to teach you about the battle, you should ask them about their professional and academic lives as well. They are always incredibly accomplished and inspiring young adults.

Vimy Ridge Arras France 5 Things to Know for Your Trip to Vimy Ridge

4. There is a Free Guided Tour

The highlight of your trip to Vimy Ridge will be the guided tour. You tour the trenches and the underground tunnel where Canadian forces stood silently for 24 hours before the battle began.

You can’t access these areas on your own, so you will have to take the tour to see them. The tour is offered in both English and French. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.

You can ask an employee where the tour starts. There is a limited number of people allowed on each tour for safety reasons, so you will want to queue up a few minutes before the tour begins on busy days.

You are given a lot of information on this short tour. The tour guides do an incredible job of explaining the importance of the battle and what lead up to it. They also explain the hardships the soldiers faced and why WWI was unlike any other war.

You should not miss taking the tour- especially because it is free!

Vimy Ridge Arras France 5 Things to Know for Your Trip to Vimy Ridge

5. Visit Arras if You Have Time to Spare

Arras is a beautiful city. It has a gorgeous town square. There are a lot of restaurants around the square, so it is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before you go back to Paris. There is outdoor seating in the spring and summer, which makes it even more enjoyable.

Arras is a small town. You can easily walk around the centre of it in an hour or two. It is easy to visit the important parts of the town if you have a couple of hours to spare before your train leaves.

You can visit a church, the main shopping street, and the town square in a fairly short amount of time. The town is small, so you can easily walk everywhere including to the train station.

Arras France

Conclusion

Vimy Ridge is the perfect day trip from Paris for people who love history. You get to tour an actual battlefield while learning about its history. You learn about what happened while standing where it happened, so it is a very unique experience.

Vimy Ridge is an important part of history. The Canadian government has worked hard at creating a sight that tourists are able to visit to learn about WWI. It is well managed and makes for an educational experience. Europe is filled with history, but there aren’t too many places where you can stand in a battlefield.

You won’t regret visiting Vimy Ridge. You should definitely consider it as a day trip if you have extra time in Paris.

How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

No trip to Munich is complete without taking a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. It is one of the most gorgeous castles in the world. It is easy to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, so there is no excuse not to go! It is truly the perfect day trip from Munich.

Over 1.3 million people visit Neuschwanstein Castle every year. With the majority of people traveling to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, the public transportation system is well developed and easy to us. From solo travellers to family travellers, everybody can been confident travelling to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich because it really is that easy.

History of Neuschwanstein Castle

Before we get into how to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, we need to talk a little bit about the history of the castle. There is no point taking the time to travel to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich if you don’t know anything about what you’re going to see!

The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Construction began in September of 1869 and ended in 1886 when King Ludwig II died. The palace was not complete when the king passed away, and no further work has been done on it.

King Ludwig II insisted that the palace be built using his private funds rather than Bavarian tax money. This lead to the complete date for the palace being pushed back multiple times because the cost of building the palace kept going up.

The palace was opened to tourists just 6 weeks after the king died, and there has been a steady stream of tourists ever since.

Castle Neuschwanstein Munich Germany Castle Neuschwanstein from Munich

How to Get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

To get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich you have to take a train then a bus.

Part One: Taking the Train

You need to take the train from Munich Haupbaunhof to  Füssen. Munich Haupbaunhof is the main train station in Munich and is in the centre of the city. The train ride to Neuschwanstein Castle to Munich takes approximately 2 hours.

To get the most out of your money, you should take the 9:52 train. You will be able to buy and use a Bayern ticket if you take this train.

The Bayern ticket allows you to take a train or bus anywhere in Bavaria for an entire day for only €25! On weekdays, the ticket is valid 9am to 3am the next day. It is valid from 12:01am to 3am the next day.

That means that if you visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich on a weekend, you can catch any morning train. You won’t have to until after 9am to be able to us your Bayern ticket.

The best part about the Bayern ticket is that you are able to buy tickets for additional people in your group for only €5 each! It is an amazing deal that you should be sure to take advantage of.

Tip: If you want to be the first off the train and, therefore, the first to get to the bus, sit at the front of the train.  This is allow you to be one of the first people off the platform because you don’t have to walk the length of the train.

Part Two: Taking the Bus

You will have to take a bus from Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle. The bus is located on the opposite side of the train tracks from where you get off the train.

You should be able to see the bus as you are leaving the train.

You want to get on bus 78. The bus ride takes approximately 20 minutes. After you exit the bus, you will have a short walk to the castle. Follow the throngs of tourists and you won’t get lost.

Your bus ride is included in the cost of the Bayern ticket, so you don’t need to purchase a separate ticket to ride the bus!

Neuschwanstein Castle Munich Germany Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

Should You Take a Guided Tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich?

Tours to Neuschwanstein Castle are probably the most common day trips tour agencies sell. There are plenty of tour agencies that offer day trips to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. They all offer basically the same trip for a similar price.

I am not going to recommend any particular tour agency because I haven’t taken them to know which tours are quality and which ones aren’t. I recommend you do your own research and find a tour agency that has a trip that works for your needs.

You Should Consider Taking a Guided Tour If:

You have a physical limitation

If you have a physical limitation that makes it difficult for you to get to Munich Haupbaunhof, ride a train for 2 hours, then ride a bus for 20, and finally walk a short distance to the castle ticketing area.

Many guided tours pick you up at your hotel (or a nearby hotel) and drop you off at the ticketing booth. This significantly limits the amount of walking and transferring you are required to do.

You’re a new traveller that isn’t confident

If you’re a new traveller and aren’t confident in navigating the train system by yourself, you may want to consider taking a guided tour.

When you take a guided tour, you don’t have to worry about getting off at the correct stop or getting on the wrong train because there is a guide there to ensure you successfully get to Neuschwanstein Castle and back again.

You will be carefree by taking a guided tour, and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful sights because you won’t be stressed about getting to the castle properly or missing your train home.

You like to skip the line

Most guided tours allow you to skip the ticket line, which is a huge advantage because the ticket line can get incredibly long- especially during the summer. You essentially pay for front of the line tickets when you take a guided tour. You will still have to wait until your designated entry time, but you won’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket.

Warning: Most guided tours do not include the entrance fee of €13.  You will be required to pay the entrance fee above and beyond the cost of the tour.

Hours of Operation

The castle is open from 9am to 6pm daily from the beginning of April to October 15th. From October 16th to the end of March the castle is open from 10am to 4pm.

Neuschwanstein Castle is open daily throughout the year except January 1st and December 24th, 25th, and 31st.

You can purchase tickets at the ticket centre everyday 90 minutes before the castle opens for tours.

You will be given an entry time when you purchase your ticket, and you must go on the tour at the time printed on your ticket.

Castle Neuschwanstein Munich Germany Castle Neuschwanstein from Munich

When to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

Summer: The Busiest Time

Neuschwanstein Castle is undoubtably the busiest during the summer months. Many people from around the world visit Neuschwanstein Castle when they are on holiday in Germany in the summer.

The castle can see 6,000 visitors a day in the summer months. If you can avoid visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during the summer months, you will have a more enjoyable experience.

Fall: A Good Time

Fall is a good option for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. There were be fewer crowds than in the summer. The scenery will be stunning this time of year because the leaves are changing colours.

The only downside of visiting during fall is that weather. It can get cold at Neuschwanstein Castle, so you will want to have a jacket with you. Other than the weather, fall is a great time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Spring: The Best Time

Spring is, in my opinion, the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. There are smaller crowds, and the weather is normally pretty good. This allows you to explore the castle without feeling cold and wanting to go inside to warm up.

I would still bring a jacket to Neuschwanstein Castle if you visit in the spring, but you are less likely to need it than in the fall. Neuschwanstein Castle is located on a hill, so it can get windy up there.

Winter: A Good Time

Winter is a pretty good time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. There are not many crowds, so you will be able to spend more time marvelling at the castle without having other tourists sneaking in front of you to snap a picture.

The bad part of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle during the winter is the weather. You have to walk outside a fair amount when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. The pathways can be slippery and dangerous in the winter. If you have never walked on ice and snow before, winter may not be a good time for you to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Admission

As mentioned above, the entrance fee is €13. If you are eligible for a reduced fee, is is €12. You are eligible for a reduced fare if you are a student or senior citizen (65+). Children under the age of 18 receive free entrance to the castle.

You can also purchase a King’s ticket. This ticket gives you access to both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwagau castle on the same day. This is a great option if you get to the castle early and have extra time to explore.

The final ticket option is called Königsschlösser (or combination ticket in English). This ticket costs €26. It gives you access to Neuschwanstein, Liderhof, and Herrenhiemsee. You can visit each location once during a 6 month time period.

Note: More information on the other castles to follow later.

You can purchase your ticket online before you arrive at the castle. It is highly recommended that you do this! You have to purchase your tickets at least 2 days before you visit the castle. If you don’t purchase them at least 2 days in advance, you will have to purchase them at the ticket booth.

You should purchase your tickets online as early as possible. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the more likely you are to get the time slot you want.

Castle Neuschwanstein Munich Germany Castle Neuschwanstein from Munich

Things to Know About Purchasing Tickets Online

  • You must pick your tickets up at the ticket centre a minimum of 90 minutes early
  • Your tickets will be given away if you do not pick them up in time
  • Tickets must be picked up at the Hohenschwagau ticket centre
  • There is a separate ticket window for you to pick-up tickets that were reserved online
  • You will be charged a €2.50 service fee per person for booking online
  • You have to pay for your tickets the day of your visit at the ticket centre. Only cash or credit cards are accepted as payment methods

How to Get from the Ticket Centre to Neuschwanstein Castle

You’ve made it all the way to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. Congrats! But now you’ve purchased your tickets and realize that here is a hill between Neuschwanstein Castle and you. There are 3 possible ways to get from the ticket centre to the castle.

1. Walk

If you’re able-bodied, I recommend walking. The walk is 1.5km from the ticket centre to Neuschwanstein Castle. You have to walk up a hill with a bit of an incline so make sure you’re in good enough health to make the walk.

Walking is a great option because you have time to enjoy the sights and not rush. You picked up your tickets 90 minutes before your tour, so you aren’t in a rush to get to Neuschwanstein Castle.

The walk is beautiful. There are trees and foliage all along the way, so you really start to take in the beauty of the area before you even get to the castle.

The walk takes 20-30 minutes. Once you reach the top, there is a bridge to get some great shots of Neuschwanstein Castle. The bridge is always very busy. If you want to get pictures from it, be sure to leave extra time to queue up and wait to get your shot.

2. Bus

You can take a bus to Neuschwanstein Castle if you don’t want to walk. The bus departs just up from the ticket centre a little ways up the hill.

It costs €1.80 for a one-way ticket and €2.60 for a return ticket. Purchasing a one-way ticket is a great option if you don’t want to walk up the hill but can walk down it. This allows you to see the scenery without having to exert yourself walking up a steep hill.

Note: This bus ticket is not included in your Bayern ticket. You have to pay for this bus ticket.

3. Horse-Drawn Carriage

Your third option is to take a horse-drawn carriage to Neuschwanstein Castle.

I don’t support using animals for transportation and do not recommend this option. I’m not going to give you any more information on this option. If you are interested in taking a horse-drawn carriage to Neuschwanstein Castle, you have to do your own research outside of this article.

What to Expect on Your Guided Tour of Neuschwanstein Castle

The only way you can enter Neuschwanstein Castle is by taking a guided tour. The ticket your purchased at the bottom of the hill has a time on it. That is the time of your guided tour. Be sure to show up to the tour meeting place 10-15 minutes to make sure you don’t miss your tour.

Your tour guide will take you through the castle and explain the history of Neuschwanstein Castle. The tour last approximately 35 minutes.

The tour is offered in either English or German. If you don’t speak either of those languages, you can request an audioguide that has 16 languages to choose from.

Only 14 rooms in Neuschwanstein Castle were completed. You will be able to see the most impressive rooms during your tour.

The guided tour can goes by quickly, and you can feel a bit rushed. You should try to stand either at the front or back of your group in order to get the most time in each room.

Note: You are not allowed to take photographs in Neuschwanstein Castle, so put your camera away and enjoy the beauty of the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle  Munich Germany Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

What to do After Your Guided Tour Ends

You should take some time to explore the area surrounding Neuschwanstein Castle after your guided tour. There is a forested area that you are able to walk through and take pictures of Neuschwanstein Castle from different angels. There is also a stream you can walk over.

It is an incredibly beautiful area, and you should not miss seeing it. You should set aside about an hour to walk around the area and take pictures.

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle When Living with a Disability

Neuschwanstein Castle, unfortunately, not friendly to people living with a physical disability. You have to walk a short distance from the ticket centre to the bus and then again from where the bus drops you off to Neuschwanstein Castle. The tour also involves a lot of walking, and you have to walk up and down stairs.

If you require a wheelchair, scooter, or have troubles walking short and medium distances or using stairs, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich on a day trip is not a good option for you.

If you are uncomfortable with crowds, there are ways to visit Neuschwanstein Castle while minimizing crowds. You will encounter the least crowds if you take the first tour in the morning or book a tour after 3pm.

The less crowded times, unfortunately, do not coincide with optimal timing for taking a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich because the train schedule does not fit your needs.

I recommend getting a hotel in the nearby town Füssen. This is drastically cut down your commute time because you will only have to take a 20 minute bus ride from Füssen to Neuschwanstein Castle, which is a lot quicker and easier than travelling to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich.

Neuschwanstein Castle  Munich Germany Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

Fun Facts About Neuschwanstein Castle

  • King Ludwig II only slept in Neuschwanstein Castle 11 nights
  • Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Disneyland Castle
  • Neuschwanstein Castle did not get its name until after King Ludwig II died
  • It was used during WWII by the Nazis to catalogue and store art
  • There was a plan by the Nazis to blow up Neuschwanstein Castle, but it was surrendered to allied forces with the artwork inside
  • Neuschwanstein Castle translates to “New Swanstone Castle”
  • More than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle since it opened to the public

Other King Ludwig II Castles in Bavaria

Hohenschwagau Palace

Hohenschwagau Palace is located on the same property as Neuschwanstein Castle. It is located at the bottom of the hill and overlooks a lake.

While it isn’t as beautiful as Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwagau is still worth touring- especially since your are already in the area to see Neuschwanstein Castle.

Hohenschwagau Palace has the same opening times as Neuschwanstein Castle, and you are required to take a guided tour to see the palace.

If you have time on your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, you should definitely take a tour of Hohenschwagau.

Hohenschwagau was King Ludwig II’s childhood home. After his father passed away, King Ludwig II moved into his father’s room. He disliked living with his mother, so he decided to build Neuschwanstein Castle high above his parent’s castle.

Note: If you use a tour company to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, you will not have the option to tour Hohenschwagau Palace. You will have time to take pictures of it from a distance but will not be able to go inside.

Hohenschwagau Palace Munich Germany

Liderhof Palace

Liderhof Palace is a 50 minute drive from Neuschwanstein Castle. If you rented a car to visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, you may be able to visit Liderhof after you visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwagau Palace.

You will not be able to visit Liderhof Palace on the same day you visit Neuschwanstein Castle if you take the train to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich.

Liderhof Palace is the smallest of King Ludwig II’s castles, but it was the only one to be completed during his lifetime. The palace was inspired by Versailles, and you can see a lot of similarities between the two palaces.

Herrenchiemsee

Herrenchiesmee is located quite a distance from Neuschwanstein Castle, and it is best to do a separate day trip from Munich to visit it.

This was the last of King Ludwig II’s building projects, and it was also his largest project. Herrenchiemsee was also inspired by Versailles, and, just like Neuschwanstein Castle, construction was not completed during King Ludwig II’s lifetime.

Herrenchiemsee is a very popular tourist attraction in Bavaria, and you should consider visiting it if you have an extra day in Munich that can be used for another day trip.

Conclusion

You should definitely consider taking a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. It is a beautiful part of Bavaria and has an interesting history. It should be on every castle lover’s bucket list.

I know this article was only supposed to be about how to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, but I figured I would create a one-stop article that gives you all the information you need to know about Neuschwanstein Castle. I hope you liked it and found it helpful!