If you want to see some fairytale castles whilst you’re visiting Munich, you’re in luck! Not only does Munich contain the castle that inspired Walt Disney but it also has the longest castle in the world.
Discover the history of the monarchs of Bavaria as you admire the fairytale castles, the Medieval fortresses, and all the Royal treasures each castle contains...
Hohenschwangau Castle - Ludwig’s childhood home
King Maximilian II of Bavaria had Hohenschwangau Castle built in neo-gothic style from the remains of the Schwangau fortress. Maximilian and his wife Marie of Prussia spent summers here with their sons Ludwig and Otto.
The princes who spent much of their younger years here would grow up to become King Ludwig II and King Otto I of Bavaria. Ludwig II began ordering the construction of nearby Neuschwanstein while living in this castle. After Ludwig’s death, Queen Marie spent the remainder of her life here.
Just over an hour and a half from Munich, this castle is a popular choice for a day trip, often combined with the nearby Neuschwanstein Castle. Guided tours are available.
Open for visit: 9 am-6 pm 1st April – 15th October and 10 am-4 pm 16th October – 31st March
Admission: 12 Euros
Constructed between 1664 and 1674, Nymphenburg Palace was originally a summer residence for Elector Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. They built the palace to celebrate the birth of their son and heir to the throne, Max Emanuel. Under the reign of Max Emanuel, the palace began to take on its current form.
He constructed pavilions to the north and south of the standing palace, later connecting them to the structure with galleries. As the palace evolved, so too did the surrounding land. What began as modest gardens is now the elegant Nymphenburg Park.
Visitors can explore both the palace and park. In summer, picturesque gondola rides are available on the central canal. West of Munich, Nymphenburg Palace is included on many private tours including hop-on hop-off bus tours and day trips out of the city.
Open for visit: April – October 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October 16 – March: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: 5 euros
If the lines of Neuschwanstein Castle look familiar, it’s for good reason. Not only is this the most photographed castle in the world, it was also the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Built as a private refuge for Ludwig II of Bavaria, this charming retreat near the Alps was ideal for a quiet escape.
One of the most popular castles in all Europe, Neuschwanstein sees approximately 1.4 million visitors a year. Palace tours feature more than a dozen rooms including the Throne Hall, bedroom, study, dining room, and oratory.
The unfinished second floor houses a cafeteria, shop, and multimedia room. Neuschwanstein is a popular Munich destination often included on day tours along with nearby Linderhof or Hohenschwangau.
Open for visit: March 28 – October 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October 16 – March 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: 12 Euros
Though King Ludwig II laid the foundation for Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace is the only large palace that he saw completed. Originally a forester’s house, Ludwig II ordered extensive renovations and additions, transforming it into an opulent palace. This extravagant construction features an illuminated grotto, tapestry chambers, hall of mirrors, and elaborate rococo era state rooms.
The garden and park outside the palace are as magnificent as the residence itself with the Venus Grotto, Moorish Kiosk, and Gurnemanz Hermitage. Guided tours of the interior are available. Day trips from Munich commonly include both Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace.
Open for visit: March 28 – October 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October 16 to March 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: 8.50 Euros for both palace and park buildings
The Burghausen Castle was built with safety and protection in mind. It features ditches, drawbridges, fortified towers, and walls as thick as five meters. With a length of almost 1,000 meters, this is one of the longest castle complexes on the globe. Between 1255 and 1503, the castle housed Bavarian dukes, duchesses, and their courts.
Today, the Knights’ Hall serves as a visitors’ center, the Palas houses the Castle Museum, and the second and third floor bower is home to the Burghausen Municipal Museum. From the third floor, you can ascend 62 steps to the viewing platform on the roof. This vantage point offers a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding countryside.
About 90 minutes east of Munich, the Burghausen Castle makes for a pleasant day trip. There are no guided tours on site, but visitors are welcome to stroll the museums and courts.
Open for visit: April – September: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; October – March: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: 4.50 Euros
An Italian style garden villa built by Elector Max Emanuel (who later became King Maximilian II) for use as a hunting and pleasure palace, Lustheim Palace is part of the larger Schleißheim palace complex and has a baroque pleasure garden with canal system.
The palace interior today contains a museum with a large collection of Meissen porcelain along with the original frescos and paintings, the ceiling fresco in the Great Hall once being the largest in the world.
Open for visit: Open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-6 pm April to September and Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-4 pm October to March
The largest city palace in Germany, the Munich Residenz is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria and the former seat of government.
Originally a small castle with a moat, the castle was developed over the centuries, the palace now housing the residence museum and treasury where you can see the furniture, tapestries, paintings, religious items, and other treasures on display.
Open for visit: Yes, open 9 am-6 pm 1st April-20th October and 10 am-5 pm 21st October-31st March
This moated castle with its picturesque towers was used as a hunting castle by Duke Albrecht III and due to its riverside location with 2 ponds, makes you feel as if you’re on an island rather than the banks of the River Würm.
A palace chapel is included on the site, a simple building from the outside but containing Gothic masterpieces inside.
Open for visit: Chapel only; 9 am-5 pm April-September and 10 am-4 pm October-March.
Located on the largest island of Lake Chiemsee, Herrenchiemsee is made up of a complex of royal buildings that King Ludwig II intended to be a copy of Versailles to honour Louis XIV of France, however, King Ludwig II died before the completion of his grand plan and subsequently the palace and gardens were never completed with some parts demolished.
Guided tours of the New Palace are available, highlights including the Great Hall of Mirrors, the State Bedroom, and the State Staircase and there’s also the King Ludwig II Museum to help you understand more about this shy ‘fairytale King’.
Open for visit: Open daily 9 am-6 pm 31st March-27th October and 9.40 am-4.15 pm 28th October-30th March
The residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty, Trausnitz Castle was built by Duke Ludwig I and became the seat of the hereditary rulers of all of Bavaria.
Take a guided tour to see the medieval Old Knight’s Hall, the castle chapel, the Fool’s Staircase, and admire the view overlooking the village from the Tower Terrace before visiting the on-site museum, the Chamber of Art and Curiosities, that contains 750 exhibits from the Bavarian rulers.
Open for visit: Yes. Open 9 am-6 pm 1st April-6th October and 10 am-4 pm 7th October-31st March