A Guide for Visiting the Beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle
Close to the beautiful fairytale castle Neuschwanstein is the equally enchanting Hohenschwangau castle. At the end of the Romantische Straße, an epic route in the south of Germany, lies the beautiful Hohenschwangau. This castle is definitely worth your time, so read on further for the ins and outs for a visit. We’ll start with some history and details of Hohenschwangau Germany before covering when where and how to visit.
History of Hohenschwangau castle
The history of the castle starts in the 12th Century with the building of Schwanstein fortress. It was built in commission of the knights of Schwangau. In the 16th Century the fortress was completely rebuilt, but later on in the century the family of the knights of Schwangau died out. After this the fortress became a ruin. In the 18th Century it was further damaged in the war with Napoleon and the war of Austrian succession.
In 1832 Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria discovered the ruins of the fortress during a hike through the foothills of the Alps. He immediately decided to buy it for its scenic location.
Maximilian converted the fortress into a romantic summer castle in the years 1832 till 1837. He named it Hohenschwangau. The architects of the castle are Domenico Quaglio and Georg Friedrich Ziebland. In 1848 Maximilian became King and from that moment on the castle’s use became to be the Summer and hunting residence of the Royal family. King Ludwig II grew up on Hohenschwangau, and would later on build Neuschwanstein. In 1923 Hohenschwangau became a museum.
The castle is built in Neogothic style. It has 4 corner turrets and walls with crenellation, which gives this neogothic castle a medieval look. The color of the outside walls is yellow. Outside the walls are decorated with paintings from German mythology. The symbol of the swan is omnipresent. The castle is based on a hill in the village of Hohenschwangau. The main building has 4 floors and the gatehouse 3 floors.
Hohenschwangau castle interior
Inside the castle are 90+ wall paintings of the history of the castle and German mythology. Paintings are from the hand of Moritz von Schwind and Ludwig Lindenschmit. The Hohenschwangau castle inside is decorated in Biedermeier style.
Our visit to this beautiful castle was in September 2010 on a Southern Germany road trip with our than 6 month old son. Surviving a road trip with a baby is a whole new experience, and Southern Germany was a perfect fit for this. There’s much beauty to see and almost everywhere they were baby friendly.
We loved visiting Hohenschwangau, it was my first visit and Paul’s second. We did a tour, which went well with our baby. Sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures on the inside of the castle.
It was a bit strange, but also funny, that some of the (Asian) tourists wanted to take pictures of our baby boy and be in a photo with our son, while standing in front of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.
When to visit
The castle can be visited year round. Spring and Summer give the most chance of beautiful weather. In winter time be prepared for snow. In the fall it can be rainy.
In Summer 2021 from April 1 to October 15, guided tours are daily from 9am to 5pm. In winter 2021/2022 from October 16 to March 31 from 10am to 4pm. The castle is closed on December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st.
Ticket Center opening times:
In Summer 2021 daily from 8am to 4pm, from April 1 to October 15. In Winter 2021 daily from 8.30am to 3pm from October 16 to December 30.
Where to visit
Hohenschwangau is located in the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen, in Bayern Germany, near the border with Austria. The address is Alpseestraße 30.
You can’t park your car at the castle. Park it on parking lot P4 in the village. From here hike 20 minutes uphill to the castle or take a carriage to the castle entrance.
How to visit
At the moment the castle can only be visited as part of a guided tour at a fixed time. The guided tours are in German, English or with a portable Audio Guide device. The tour takes approximately 45 minutes. The device is in the following languages available: Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.
Tickets can be bought at the Ticket Center in the village or online. When getting the tickets online, reserve them at least 2 days prior to your visit. On the day of your visit you have to get your tickets at least 1,5 hours prior to your reserved time.
Guided tour adults €21.00. Kids from 7 years and up €18.00. Kids from 6 and under are free. Free tickets for companions of disabled people. The service fee for the online shop on all tickets is €2.50. Some side notes: There’s no elevator in the castle. Keep in mind that there are 90 steps in total in the castle. Animals are forbidden.
So this concludes our visit to Hohenschwangau castle
With this guide you’re ready to enjoy your visit to Hohenschwangau. When in Germany don’t forget to visit the city of Frankfurt am Main and the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim. After this Southern Germany trip, the next trip we took with our son was a California road trip. Starting early with road trips for our son.
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The photos are incredibly beautiful. Is it necessary to go in guided tours only?
Thank you. Right now you can only go inside on a guided tour, this may change again when the pandemic is over.
I absolutely love visiting castles when I travel! I have never heard of this one before, but it looks ideal for a day trip so I appreciate the helpfil tips. I’ll look into visiting on my next trip to Germany!
Definitely visit on your next trip to Germany. If you love castles, this is one you shouldn’t miss.
Wow, what a great post 🙂 I didnt know many of these things, but now I am fully prepared. Well done!
A very informative guide, and amazing photos. Thank you for sharing.
Amazing post! I visited Neuschwanstein in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I never got to your Hohengau, though. I especially loved your photos of the castle’s details! 😍
Oh, wow how lucky, I’ve only visited Neuschwanstein once. My husband twice. It’s so beautiful.
Germany is like something out of a fairy tale, I would love to tour the castles there some day. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, those castles from Germany are indeed coming out of a fairytale.
Such a great informative guide. The castle looks so beautiful, great pics. Feels like fairytale land.
Yes, it really feels like a fairytale those castles.
What a lovely castle and location. I love the colorful murals on the facades. Hope to tour Bavaria one day and visit both of the castles. Would love to see the interiors.
The interiors are equally beautiful as the exteriors are.
Rob + Ann @TravelLatte
Great guide, and gorgeous photos! This is a definite Must Do on our German itinerary! Quick question: Would you advise trying to tour both castles in one day?
If you reserve both castle tours upfront, it would be possible. We did them on separate days, but we where visiting with a 6 month old, and touring 2 castles in one day would have been to much. I do think that if you don’t reserve before, it would be hard to visit them both in one day.
Wendy Lynn Lee
I love that you shared the history of this castle and how it was rediscovered while a prince was on a hike, very interesting!
Yes, it’s fun that it was just rediscovered on a hike and otherwise would have been left to be a ruin forever.
It’s amazing that such an incredible structure survives to this day. Your photogrpahs are superb; it’s unfortunate photos of the interior weren’t permitted. Thank you for profiling such an interesting site.
Yes, would have loved to make photos of the interior, but alas.
Would love to visit someday looks awesome!
Hope you get to visit someday.
I had not heard of Hohenschwangau castle before! It looks just as pretty as Neuschwanstein. I really need to explore more of this area.
Yes, it’s definitely just as pretty as Neuschwanstein, just not that famous.
This castle is beautiful! Saved for a future trip to Germany- we loved all the castles in Germany on our list trip there.
Yes, castles are the best and Germany has so many beautiful ones.
That is funny about the Asian tourists wanting pics with your son. My husband who is 6’4″ has been a popular photo prop too.
I love love looove german castles and Hohenschwangau castle looks spectacular!
Just imagine going for a hike, seeing a ruined castle in a beautiful loacation, then deciding to buy it, renovate it!? It must have been cool to be a Crown Prince in 1832! 😀