Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau: A One-Day Tour of Bavaria's Fairytale Castles

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau | Introduction

Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle are located in Bavaria, Germany, and are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country. These two castles captivate countless visitors with their fairytale-like architecture and stunning views. The nearby town of Füssen is also worth a visit, offering a rich history and charming scenery.

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau | Transportation & Accommodation

From Munich, you can take a train to Füssen, and then transfer to a bus or taxi to reach Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles. The train journey takes about 2 hours, followed by a 10-minute bus ride to the castle area. It is advisable to book your train tickets in advance on the German National Railway website (Deutsche Bahn).

If you wish to stay overnight in the area, you can choose to stay in the charming town of Füssen.

Looking for a price comparison for your stay in Folsom?

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau | Day Tour

To visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle, reservations are required. For a day trip, pick up your tickets early in the morning from the ticket center. From there, it's a 15-minute walk up the hill to Hohenschwangau Castle, which we visited first. After that, it’s about a 30-minute walk to the other hill to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Since there is some distance between the two castles, be careful not to schedule your visits too tightly, or you might run out of time. The route from Hohenschwangau Castle to Neuschwanstein Castle involves descending one hill and climbing another. If you prefer not to walk, you can take a horse-drawn carriage, but keep in mind that the carriage rides are limited, so plan your schedule accordingly.

After touring the castles, you can leisurely visit Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) for stunning views, and then relax in the town of Füssen.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle, also known as the Old Swan Castle, was originally built in the 12th century. It fell into decline by the 16th century and suffered significant damage during the Napoleonic Wars. King Ludwig II's father purchased the ruins and rebuilt the castle. As a result, this castle was Ludwig II's childhood residence and the place where he grew up.

After collecting our tickets, our first step was to quickly head up the hill to visit Hohenschwangau Castle. Although there are many guided tour sessions, they are strict about starting on time. While waiting for the tour to begin, you can stroll around outside the castle and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding lakes and mountains.

The interior of Hohenschwangau Castle is beautifully decorated and houses many historical artifacts and artworks. The guided tour provides many stories about King Ludwig II, who was the King of Bavaria and widely known for his romanticism and passion for art and architecture. He ascended to the throne in 1864 and built a series of opulent castles, including the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace, and Herrenchiemsee Palace. In one of the rooms, there is even a piece of bread on display that is said to be over a hundred years old, left from when the King broke off a piece to eat while entertaining guests.

Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle are situated on two facing hills. King Ludwig II dreamed of building a fairytale-like castle, and he chose the location for Neuschwanstein Castle nearby so he could easily oversee its construction from Hohenschwangau Castle. From his father's room, you can directly see Neuschwanstein Castle through the window.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is often called the "Fairytale Castle." King Ludwig II had a profound love for the works of German composer Richard Wagner, and much of his architectural inspiration came from scenes in Wagner's operas. The inspiration for Neuschwanstein Castle itself came from these operatic settings. Nestled at the foot of the Alps, the castle boasts breathtaking scenery and has attracted countless films and television shows to use it as a filming location.

Neuschwanstein Castle is significantly larger than Hohenschwangau Castle. According to Ludwig's design, the entire castle is filled with a fairytale-like style, featuring many breathtaking decorations and designs. Ludwig II spent all the money in the state treasury to build this castle, and it still wasn't completed. Only the finished rooms are open for public tours. Although Ludwig's architectural plans were highly creative, the Bavarian government was very dissatisfied with his extravagant spending. As a result, Ludwig II only lived in his half-completed Neuschwanstein Castle for 172 days before being arrested. In 1886, he was declared insane and deposed. A few days later, he and his psychiatrist mysteriously drowned in Lake Starnberg, and the cause of their deaths remains a mystery to this day.

Although the Bavarians deposed King Ludwig II, they were quick to capitalize on his creation. Shortly after his removal, they opened Neuschwanstein Castle to the public, generating significant tourism revenue. The castle has since become a major tourist attraction, contributing greatly to the local economy.

From this perspective, it's clear that Neuschwanstein Castle is indeed very tall. Its towering structure, perched on a rugged hill, adds to its majestic and fairytale-like appearance, making it a truly breathtaking sight.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, High Swan Castle 8


After touring the interior, you can walk along the outside path towards Marienbrücke. Marienbrücke is the best spot to view the panoramic scenery of Neuschwanstein Castle. From the vantage point on the bridge, the castle might seem familiar. In fact, the castle in Disney movies is modeled after Neuschwanstein Castle, making it the quintessential fairytale castle in everyone's imagination.

Marienbrücke itself is also a famous attraction, and it is always crowded with people taking photos. The best spot to photograph Marienbrücke is from the entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle. The small bridge is constantly bustling with tourists.


As you descend the hill, don't forget to take in the beautiful view of the Alpsee. The lake covers an area of about 88 hectares and is nestled close to both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. The deep blue water, surrounded by dense forests and steep cliffs, makes it a stunning sight. If you enjoy hiking, the area is also a great recreational spot, with several trails around the lake for visitors to explore.


After a full day of exploring, it's time to rest. The bustling town of Füssen is the perfect place to relax. Located at the foot of the Alps, Füssen is a charming town with a rich medieval atmosphere. It features the famous Füssen Monastery and St. Mang's Church, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll and a peaceful end to your day.

Dining | La Perla Ristorante Pizzeria

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price: $$

Due to its strategic location, many tourists choose to stay in Füssen, so there are plenty of small shops and restaurants. We went into an Italian restaurant called La Perla Ristorante Pizzeria and ordered a tomato soup, a pizza, and tiramisu. Not surprisingly, the pizza was the best dish, while the other items were fairly standard. If you enjoy Italian cuisine, this restaurant is a decent choice.

Further reading

Thank you for visiting our website.

All the content on this site is original and shared with the purpose of providing valuable information. We sustain the operation of this site through a small amount of advertising and sponsored links. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission.

Find more posts on a map Here.

My recommended resources for hotel bookings.

My recommended resources for activity bookings.
Recommended travel credit card for US-based travelers
Travel with just a backpack!
Buy me a coffee and support my contents!

If you are interested in quoting this article or using any part of its content and images on your website or publication, please contact us via email to request permission.