The crystal field splitting of YbMn2Si2 has been investigated over the temperature range 5–65 K using inelastic neutron scattering at a wavelength of 2.345 Å (resolution 800 μeV; dynamic range ∼10 meV). The excitation spectra have been analysed using a crystal field model above and below TN2, the temperature at which the collinear antiferromagnetic structure AFil transforms to the low-temperature structure in which the magnetic cell is doubled along the c-axis (TN1 = 526(4) K > T > TN2 = 32(2) K). The calculated excitation spectra show good agreement with the observed spectra for the unique environment of Yb3+ ions in the collinear antiferromagnetic structure AFil above TN2 and for the inequivalent sites of Yb3+ ions below TN2. This agreement has been obtained with a model for the low-temperature region in which a molecular field with optimal components in the x, y and z directions of Bx = 13.5 T, By = 65 T, Bz = 21.3 T is included. The pronounced components in the x and y directions are discussed in relation to the significant contraction of ∼0.1% of the c lattice parameter below the TN2 magnetic transition.