Above the village of Hohenschwangau (“Upper Swan County”) sat three medieval castle ruins. Schloss Schwanstein (“Swan Stone Castle”) was the former home of the Knights of Schwangau. King Maximillian II, the father of future King Ludwig II, purchased the ruins of Schloss Schwanstein and began reconstruction in 1833. Upon completion of the Neo-Gothic style castle in 1837, Maximillian renamed it Schloss Hohenschwangau.
Schloss Hohenschwangau sits above the same village as Schloss Neuschwanstein, King Ludwig’s grand fairytale castle. It is also just 45 km from Schloss Linderhof, his alpine retreat tucked away in the Bavarian Alps. I would highly recommend planning a visit to these while you’re in the area and on Germany’s Romantic Road.
About the Castle
King Maximillian II rebuilt the castle from the original plans and decorated it to match the castle’s rich history of the medieval Knights of Schwangau. This became the childhood summer home of young Prince Ludwig and fueled his enchantment with the romantic stories of medieval Germany.
The palace offers guided tours in German and in English lasting about 35 minutes. No self-guided tours are available. The tour schedule alternates languages so be sure to pay attention this when choosing a time.
Reservations must be made at least 2 days prior to your visit – this can be done until 3 pm local time
For a small processing fee, you are able to reserve a specific time to enter the castle
Your ticket will have your entry time listed after the German word “Einlasszeit”
You must be on-time to your tour, the palace does not allow late entry and you will forfeit your ticket
About the Tour
The palace does not permit dogs and other pets – dogs are allowed on the grounds on a leash
The palace does not allow bulky strollers or large hiking backpacks in the castle
Portable audio guides are available in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Korean
You may not take photos inside the castle
There are 90 stairs to get upstairs in the palace and there is no elevator
Unfortunately, the palace does not allow wheelchairs
April to October 15: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
October 16 to March: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day
€13 general admission
€12 for students with valid ID and those over 65
Children under 18 are free – but they still need a ticket
See below for information on combination tickets
Furthermore, ALL tickets need to be purchased or picked up below the castle in the village of Hohenschwangau. You must pick them up at least 90 minutes prior to your tour or they will be forfeited. For pickup, a receipt on your phone is not sufficient, you will need a paper print out of your reservation confirmation. They do NOT sell tickets at the door.
This is a very important detail as it is a 15- to 20-minute walk up from the village to the Schloss Hohenschwangau. The last thing you want is to make that hike to be turned away at the door. If you’d prefer not to make the uphill hike, private contractors do offer trips by horse-drawn carriage. These are on a first-come, first-serve and do not accept reservations.
The busiest time of year here is from July to September. As such, most day-of tickets are sold out by lunchtime. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you reserve tickets in advance. We visited in July and unfortunately did not make tour reservations in advance. Consequently, we were unable to tour the castle.
However, the castle courtyard and grounds, as well as Marienbrücke (“Mary’s Bridge”), are free to roam as you please and do not require a ticket. These were well worth seeing even without touring the castles. There are also extensive hiking trails surrounding Alpsee, the lake that sits below the castles.
If you are planning to visit in the winter, there are a couple of things to be aware of. There is a strong likelihood that Marienbrücke will be closed due to heavy snow and ice. You can check online daily for opening status. There is also no horse carriage running to Hohenschwangau. To visit the castle in winter, you must walk.
Parking and Restrooms
Last but not least, parking is available in the village of Hohenschwangau. There are four private lots that charge €7 (cash only) per day. There are restrooms available in the parking lots. Please note: You must have some change (€ 0.50) on hand to get through the turnstiles into the restrooms. (Evidently, this is a common thing in Europe – as Americans, we had never seen anything like this and were unprepared).
Königsticket (“Kings Ticket”)
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau (Visit both on the same day)