The Neuschwanstein castle is not the only castle in Hohenschwangau. There also Hohenschwangau castle and lies opposite of Neuschwanstein castle on a smaller hill. The earlier castle we rebuilt several times until finally king Maximilian II (crown prince at that time) reconstructed the castle 1832 to 1836. King Ludwig II spent his youth in that castle. With its yellow colour, that castle is eye-catching, although it doesn’t look as spectacular as Neuschwanstein. There are guided tours through that castle as well, and again you need to get a ticket at the ticket centre in the village first.
Neuschwanstein castle is one of the most famous sights in Germany and was built 1869 to 1886 by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria. He only lived a few months in that castle until he died. He probably never had expected that his castle would get such an attraction, especially as he had built it as retreat from the public! Ludwig II has really chosen a perfect place for his fairy-tale castle, being situated in the mountains, at the border of the Alps. As the west and northern facade is just being renovated, we didn’t have the best views on the castle, but we still could catch a few nice views!
The castle is very huge and you can visit several of its pompous rooms in a guided tour, but note that you need to buy your ticket in the ticket centre in the village! There’s no possibility above at the castle to purchase a ticket.
There are normal tickets but also combination tickets: the “Königsticket”/ King’s Ticket allows visiting the castle Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau at the same day; and the “Königsschlösser” ticket allows visiting the castles Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee within 6 months. Besides, there are annual season tickets and 14-day-tickets for visiting various castles of Bavaria.
The Schwansee is close to Hohenschwangau and much smaller than the Alpsee south of it. Although it’s called “Swan Lake”, we didn’t see any swans there, just ducks. There are several places at the lake that invite you to swim, or you just can sit on one of the boardwalks and hang your feet into the water. We did so which was very refreshing after we had already walked so much. Walking around that lake is very nice, and especially from the northwestern end of the lake, you have a great view on the mountains and the two castles Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein.
When you walk from Füssen to Hohenschwangau, one of the possible ways is to take the “Alpenrosenweg”. Various alpine roses had been planted there in 1850 under King Maximilian II for his wife Marie, but unfortunately there’s nothing left. Still it’s a nice path through the forest, above the lake Schwansee. At same places, you can look down on the Schwansee, and there are other nice views on the landscape as well.
We had a hotel room in Bad Faulenbach page and walked from there to Hohenschwangau. We didn’t meet a single person until we had passed the Schwansee, so when we reached the village, it was quite shocking to suddenly be at a such touristy place and see so much people!
The Alpsee is directly next to the village Hohenschwangau. It has very clear water, but also is one of the coldest lakes in Bavaria. Nevertheless there’s a natural beach at the south bank. You also can rent a boat, or walk around it. We did reach the sea from the north and followed the signs to a nice view point above the lake. Besides the great view on the lake, you could see Neuschwanstein castle, unfortunately it did hide behind a scaffold. But the colour of the lake looked really great, emerald in the shadow, it only was impossible to catch it on a photo!
The Marienbrücke is a bridge high over the Pöllat gorge, named after Marie of Prussia, the mother of Ludwig II. There first had been a wooden bridge, built in 1845, and it was replaced by a steel construction in 1886. It was restored in 1984, but the railings are still the original ones. The bridge is 90m high and I found it very scary to walk on it. But if you dare to, you have a fantastic view on Neuschwanstein!
There are various ways up to Neuschwanstein castle, and walking through the Pöllat gorge is a great alternative way. The gorge is very nice, it starts with an iron footbridge along the cliffs and then you walk on a forest trail, passing some lovely little waterfalls. When you reach a clearing, you can see high above you the Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge). There’s also a waterfall below that bridge, the Pöllat falls. Lots of stairs go up until you finally reach Neuschwanstein. It took us a bit less than 1 hour to walk from the village through the gorge to the castle.
Take the cable car up Tegelberg Mountain for endless views of the Alps and spectacular views of Schwangau, the surrounding areas, and a unique view of Neuschwanstein. The top of the mountain is at 5,500 feet above sea level.
It is a launching spot for hang gliders and para gliders. Courses are offered for beginners and tandem flight are available. It is also the ideal spot for hiking. Of course, you can just take the ride up for the views!
Definitely a nice way to spend a couple of hours before or after visiting the castles!
Best when the sky is clear.
Check the site for winter hours and activities.
Summer rates for cable car ride start at € 10.00
We parked our car in one of the “castle” lots and made our way to the ticket counter. It wasn’t crowded and we got our tickets very quickly. We boarded a bus that would take us up the rest of the way to Neuschwanstein castle.
It is probably one of the most recognized castles in the world. It was even the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. The bus dropped us about a 15 minute walk from the castle but first we took a path in the other direction to Marienbruecke (Mary’s Bridge) where we had a great view of the castle and the surrounding valley. After taking many pictures we left Marienbruecke and headed for the castle. It was a hilly walk and might be difficult for anyone who has any trouble walking.
Finally we got to the castle. There were a lot of people there but the tickets are timed so you know when you need to be there. You must take the guided tour (available in several languages). We had enough time to stop and have a hot chocolate at the little café outside the castle before our tour.
Set perfectly in the Bavarian Alps, this famous castle was built for King Ludwig II. Unfortunately he died under mysterious circumstances and never got to live in the castle. He did spend about 170 days there while it was being built. His bedroom is magnificent – 14 woodcarvers spent over 4 years working in it and Ludwig’s bed.
Another favorite room of mine was the throne room – with beautiful paintings all around - which is missing the throne because Ludwig died before it was done. I also loved the chandeliers throughout which were in the shape of a king’s crown. There is even a grotto (indoor cave) inside the castle. The castle is fascinating – my favorite by far! (Sorry no indoor photos allowed.)
Hours: April - September 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
October - March 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed on: 1 January, 24 / 25 / 31 December
Admission: 9 Euros/Under 18 free
Tickets available online
From town we made the 15 minute walk up to Schloss Hohenschwangau. Bult by Ludwig's father, King Maximillan, it is where Ludwig spent his childhood. It is much less elaborate than Schloss Neuschwanstein. Very few rooms are seen on the tour. I'd skip this one.
April - September 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
October - March 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tickets 9 Euros
Can book tickets online
No Cameras Inside
There is a splendid view at the Alpsee from Neuschwanstein Castle. It nestles between wooded mountain slopes in an area of un spoilt natural beauty. Even as a child, Ludwig particularly loved the romantic lake.
It would not be desirable to leave the Castle in any way. Surprising “Castle of dream” and the nature of Bavaria surrounding grasp you for ever in a romantic captivity.
The view of Neuschwanstein Castle from the bridge behind it, the Marienbrucke, is particularly impressive and the views from the castle's many windows are like framed landscape paintings.
The king often stood for a long time at the window, looking thoughtfully into the distance: across the plain or at the rugged mountain scenery.
There is a wide variety of hiking trails in the vicinity of the Alpsee, and on almost all of them you are following in royal footsteps.
This is true of the circular path leading round the shore, which is more or less in its natural state and is protected as a nature reserve, and also of the "Furstenstrasse" (Princes' Road).
This leads from Hohenschwangau over the Schwarzenberg ridge and down to Pinswang in the Lechtal.
In the middle of the former garden of Hohenschwangau, only a short walk away from the castle, is the little Schwansee (Swan Lake). The setting of this sleepy lake, which is picturesquely surrounded by the wooded Allgauer Alps, is particularly attractive.
The Schwansee has an area of approximately 0.2 square kilometres and measures seven metres at its deepest point. Since 1956 it has been part of the "Alpsee, Schwansee and Faulenbacher Valley" nature reserve.
It covers an area of almost nine square metres, with just under five kilometres of shoreline and a depth of up to 62 metres.
The lake nestles between wooded mountain slopes in an area of unspoilt natural beauty which was already popular in the 19th century - the Bavarian kings built their romantic castles here on sites originally occupied by the strongholds of medieval knights.