Hohenschwangau castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, Lake Alpsee and a Fairytale town
Hohenschwangau is a village in Southern Germany which is home to the famous Neuschwanstein castle which inspired Walt Disney to create the Sleeping Beauty castle found on Main Street at Disneyland. The small village feels as though you've stepped straight into a fairytale as you are surrounded by castles, medieval architecture, forest walks and the stunning lake Alpsee.
The second, less well known but arguably more significant, castle, Hohenschwangau was the home of King Ludwig II where he lived when he began his project of building the Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately King Ludwig II died before the castle build was finished so he never got to see his work of art.
You only need a short time in Hohenschwangau but this village is a must if you are in the surrounding areas of Germany. We visited here as part of our European road trip after hiking in the Black Forest and before our furthest destination from the UK, Slovenia.
Here's a perfect itinerary for spending 48 hours in Hohenschwangau:
Join a guided tour of the Hohenschwangau castle. You will learn all about the interesting and troubled life of King Ludwig II and this will provide you with a background before visiting Neuschwanstein. Tickets start from 21 euros per person
Next visit the Neuschwanstein castle. It will take approximately 30-40 minutes to walk between the castles. You can take a horse and cart to the top if you prefer. It is an uphill walk but with a manageable incline. The tour in the Neuschwanstein castle is an audio guided tour and tickets start from 18 euros per person.
After visiting the Neuschwanstein castle be sure to walk behind the castle and to the Marienbrücke bridge for the best views of the castle. Cross the bridge and scramble up some rocks to the left for an alternate view.
Other hikes and view points to visit:
Pöllat Gorge - the gorge is a 30 minute walk from the Neuschwanstein castle and is a manageable and picturesque hiking trail. However, it is closed in Winter for safety reasons
Tegelberg cable car - take the cable car to the top of the mountain for panoramic views of the castles below. The cable car station is a 50 minute walk from Neuschwanstein and costs 28.50 per person
Have dinner at a traditional German Brauhaus - Schloss Bräustüberl
Walk around Lake Alpsee which is approximately 5 miles long. You can take the Seeblick loop
Once you have finished your walk, head into Hohenschwangau for lunch and a Weissbier at Alpenstuben
Relax by Lake Alpsee, sunbathe or have a swim
Hohenschwangau is a beautiful, small and charming village which, if it is not already, should be added to your bucketlist NOW! This is one of our favourite locations around the world and somewhere we would happily revisit time and time again.
Next post: 17 Day European Road Trip