Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Purchases made through links may earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you, and help support this website. Thank you!

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles are well known for their fairy tale-like appearance, but it’s their surreal location in Bavaria, Germany, that markedly enhances their beauty.

These two castles, one the childhood residence of King Ludwig II, the other his extravagant creation, are perched on the hills in Schwangau, overlooking peaceful Alpsee Lake and the small resort village of Hohenschwangau. Surrounded by a dense forest, these castles are especially beautiful to visit on a cool, fall morning when the leaves’ vibrant colours are on display, the fog rolling in to create an air of mystery.

travelyesplease.com | Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Arriving in Hohenschwangau

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be overcome with excitement the moment you arrive in Hohenschwangau. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I looked up to the hills and saw the brilliant white of Neuschwanstein Castle, peeking through the swirling autumn fog.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

We quickly made our way up the sloped road to the ticket office to pick up our tour passes. With a little bit of time to kill before our tours started, we gladly walked around this delightfully tiny Alpine village and enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle- History and Architecture

The first castle we toured was Schloss Hohenschwangau, the nearer of the two castles. This was the summer residence of the Bavarian royal family, built by Ludwig II’s father, Maximillian II.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

King Max, as I like to call him, first discovered this site in 1829, when he was still Crown Prince. Back then, it was nothing but ruins of the fortress Schwanstein, dating back to the 12th century. King Max loved the natural beauty of this area so much that he acquired the historic site and began construction of his own castle here in 1833.travelyesplease.com | Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavariatravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Modelled after the neo-Gothic Tudor style of an English castle, Hohenschwangau is less theatrical than its sister castle further up the hill. However, the interior does have some unique qualities (I wish I could show you some pictures, but photos weren’t allowed).

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

The Queen’s bedroom was not what I expected at all, but I loved it! Decorated in bright blues, pinks and reds, its design is reminiscent of King Max’s journey through Turkey and Greece in 1832/1833. The Kings’ bedroom, or “Tasso-Room” is also a little quirky. King Ludwig II installed a starry sky into the ceiling so at night he could lay in bed and enjoy the illuminated stars and moon!

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

The summers that young Ludwig II spent at Hohenschwangau definitely made an impression on him. It was here he became enthralled by German sagas, legends and the musical dramas of Richard Wagner. Soon he began dreaming up fantastical plans for a castle of his own, which would come to fruition once he was King.

travelyesplease.com | Hohenschwangau Castle- Childhood Home of King Ludwig II of Bavariatravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castletravelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Now King, Ludwig II would sit in his room in Hohenschwangau Castle and peer through a telescope, keeping a watchful eye on the construction of his uniquely personal, fairy tale retreat- Neuschwanstein Castle.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Continue to Part Two of Schwangau’s Royal Castles: Neuschwanstein Castle

Final Thoughts- Our Tour of Hohenschwangau Castle

We thought that Hohenschwangau Castle was worth visiting, even though it’s not the main castle people come here to see. The unique design choices inside Hohenschwangau Castle made it stand out from other castles in Europe we visited. Plus, visiting Hohenschwangau Castle gave us a more complete understanding of King Ludwig II and why he was inspired to build so many romantic castles.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Tips for Visiting Hohenschwangau Castle

Location: Hohenschwangau Castle is located in southwest Bavaria, Germany, in the small village of Hohenschwangau.

Getting There: Hohenschwangau Castle is about a 1 hour 40 minute drive from Munich. If using public transportation, you can take a train to Fussen, then bus to Hohenschwangau. Get off at stop “Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles, Schwangau”.

Parking: There are four paid parking lots in Hohenschwangau. Parking is allowed from 8:00 am- 8:00 pm.

Tours and Tickets for Hohenschwangau Castle: The interior of the castle can only be visited as part of a guided tour. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket centre in Hohenschwangau and you will be allotted a specific tour time. The ticket centre is open 8:00 am- 5:30 pm in the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s open from 9:00 am- 3:30 pm.

  • To avoid the long line ups and ensure your desired tour time, we recommend buying your tickets on-line at minimum two days before your visit. There is a rather hefty reservation fee, but once we got there and saw the lineup, it was totally worth the extra money. There is a special ticket window for people to pick up reserved tickets.
  • You can buy different combinations of tickets depending on which castle(s) you want to visit. We purchased the King’s ticket which allowed us to visit both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles (must be visited in the same day).
  • Tours of Hohenschwangau Castle are about 35 minutes long and are available in German, English or with an portable audio guide (available in Czech, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish).

*Information was correct at the time of publishing but can change without notice. Please confirm costs and times directly with service providers.

travelyesplease.com | Bavaria's Fairytale Castles: Part One- Hohenschwangau Castle

Accommodations near Hohenschwangau Castle

Accommodations can be found in Hohenschwangau, at the base of the castles, or nearby in the beautiful little town of Füssen (about 4 kms away). For your convenience, here is a list of hotels in Hohenschwangau and hotels in Füssen. Please consider booking your accommodations through the included link. It costs you nothing extra and helps support this website. Thank you!

Get exclusive updates and content we only send to our subscribers.

Your email will be used for delivering our newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime using the link at the bottom of our emails.

7 comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Jeff Titelius - I have written many an article about these fascinating castles and their histories but sadly, I have never been there in person. However, your article really brings the castle to life and is full of great tips for traveling there. Now, it’s on to your coverage of Neuschwanstein! Thanks for the wonderful tour!May 26, 2014 – 5:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Dennis Kopp - Rhonda, hat really does look like a stunning location for castles, especially in the misty weather! Unfortunately I have never been to the area and I didn’t even know that there was a second castle so close to Neuschwanstein. Visiting both castles seems to be worth it already for the views alone. Too bad you couldn’t take any photos inside, it would have been nice to get an impression of the interior as well…May 28, 2014 – 3:47 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Not being able to take photos in some places is a huge pet peeve of mine. I consider my photographs to be my “souvenirs”, so I get a little bummed out when I can’t take pictures, especially when it’s a place as beautiful and unique as these castles. You’re right, this is a perfect location for castles and the fog adds some mystery and romance to the setting.May 28, 2014 – 7:23 amReplyCancel

  • Frank - Nice photos (as always) Rhonda. I actually wasn’t a big fan of Neushwanstein – just found it too touristy and the interior too fantastical. There’s a reason they called Ludwig crazy :) Maybe being unimpressed also had something to do with the weather, was cold and raining non stop. Judging by many photos I’ve seen, part of the attraction with Neushwanstein are the incredible views from the Marienbruck.
    If there’s one tip I would have for anyone visiting that area: visit Reutte right across the border in Austria. Only 20 minutes away by bus and you’ll see some impressive ruins and great scenery.
    Frank (bbqboy)May 29, 2014 – 12:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - Thanks for the tips. That castle is majestic. So beautiful. I wonder how it feels to live in something like that.March 25, 2015 – 10:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Suzy - What a wonderful post and beautiful photos about two of my favourite castles. We lived a couple of hours away from here for six years and whenever we had company come and stay with us, guess where we had to take them? Needless to say we’ve been here countless times but I really love it and never get tired of it. Thanks for taking me down memory lane!July 14, 2015 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

Welcome!

We are Rhonda and Mike, a Canadian couple who make it a priority to travel every chance we get!

We describe our travel style as "laid back luxe" and enjoy a mix of outdoor adventures and historic sites.

Learn more...

Join 106,000 Others Following Our Travels

Our Trusted Booking Sites

Support Travel? Yes Please! by booking through the sites we use and love!

Categories

Disclaimer

Purchases made through links on this site earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you, and help support this website.