King Ludwig II was known to have had a bit of a fascination with the French monarchy. He had been a long-time admirer of their absolute power – something that had always eluded him. Schloss Herrenchiemsee was a window into the French power for King Ludwig.
King Ludwig built his “New Palace” as a partial replica of Versailles. He purchased the property in 1873. After visiting Versailles in 1874, he started construction in 1878.
This palace is a little more than two hours east of the famous Schloss Neuschwanstein. His childhood home, Schloss Hohenschwangau, and his alpine retreat, Schloss Linderhof, are about the same distance. Therefore, this makes a trip difficult to fit into the same day. Many people (including us) miss out on seeing this incredible castle.
About the Castle
Schloss Herrenchiemsee is the largest of King Ludwig’s palaces at 8,363 square feet. It is still significantly smaller than Versailles at 721,2016 square feet. Comparably, this is just ONE percent of the total size of Versailles. Built almost two centuries later, it had many modern amenities that Versailles did not. These included plenty of toilets, water, central heating, and a large heated bathtub. King Ludwig’s own Hall of Mirrors is 90 feet longer than the original.
In total, King Ludwig spent more building this opulent palace than he did on his two others (Neuschwanstein and Linderhof) COMBINED. It remains yet unfinished today. Whereas there were 70 planned rooms, only 20 are complete. Upon his death in 1886, one finished wing was torn down to preserve the palace’s current symmetry. The palace was then opened for public viewing just a few short weeks after his death.
Schloss Herrenchiemsee offers guided tours in German and in English lasting about 35 minutes. No self-guided tours are available. German tours are ongoing, English tours are every hour.
Reservations for individuals are not possible, however, they do accept group reservations in advance
Tickets can be purchased day-of in the Visitor Center or the Royal Palace
About the Tour
The palace and other buildings do not allow dogs – dogs are allowed on the island on a leash
The palace does not allow bulky strollers or large hiking backpacks in the castle or museum buildings – there are a limited number of lockers available
You may borrow free strollers and wheelchairs for the duration of the tour
Additional foreign language tours are available in summer months
July: French (12:25 pm), Italian (12:30 pm), Russian (11:30 am), and Spanish (1:30 pm)
August: French (12:30 pm and 3:30 pm), Italian (11:40 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:40 pm), Russian (11:30 am), and Spanish (1:30 pm)
Interactive tours for children ages 6 to 10 are available – check here for the schedule
You may not take photos inside the castle
All buildings are accessible for those in a wheelchair
Handicapped restrooms are available in the Visitor Center, the Schlosshotel, the Museum in the Augustinian Monastery, and in the New Palace
Elevators are available in the Augustinian Monastery and the New Palace
March 29 to October 15: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (last tour around 5:00 pm)
October 16 to end of October: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (last tour 4:50 pm)
End of October to March 28: 9:40 am – 4:15 pm (last tour 3:50 pm)
Closed Christmas Eve/Day, New Year’s Eve/Day, and Shrove Tuesday
Cost (Only Available as Part of Combination Ticket):
Herrenchiemsee Island (New Palace, King Ludwig II museum, and Augustinian Monastery) – Boat Trip NOT Included
€9 general admission
€8 for students with valid ID and those over 65
Augustinian Monastery (Museum and Galleries) – Boat Trip NOT Included
€5 general admission
€4 for students with valid ID and those over 65
Children under 18 are free – but they still need a ticket
See below for information on combination tickets
Schloss Herrenchiemsee is unique in that it is in the middle of the Chiemsee on an island called Herreninsel. Therefore, it is only accessible by ferry. There are horse carriage rides around the island lasting about 15 minutes. If you are taking the train to Prien am Chiemsee (one hour from Munich), you have a couple of options getting to the island. You can take the Chiemsee train (available during the summer) or take the 30-minute walk to the boat pier. From the pier, there are regular boats to Herreninsel. Do not forget to factor in the extra time and cost of the ferry boat. This is not included in ticket pricing.
In addition to the palace, visitors are able to enjoy the museum in the Augustinian Monastery, the gardens, and the parks. There is also a trail about 7 km long around the island’s orchards and pastures.
Königsschlösser (“King’s Palaces”)
Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee (One visit to each within a 6 month period)
€26 per person
Bavarian Palace Administration Options
Visit over forty sites across Bavaria (includes Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee, and Neuschwanstein – does NOT include Hohenschwangau as it is privately managed)