Bavaria, Germany – Hohenschwangau Castle & Alpsee

Hi friends, welcome back to my Germany and Austria series 🙂 After visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, we had about three hours until our tour of Hohenschwangau Castle, so we hiked down and walked around the little town for a bit. I was a little late to the game buying tickets, so if you’re early one or two hours between tours would be ideal. It only took about five minutes to get up to Hohenschwangau Castle, so we had a snack in the beautiful garden and waited for our tour. While we were sitting in the courtyard it started downpouring so we took cover in the gift shop.

Hohenschwangau was originally built in the 12th century, but destroyed by Napoleon. King Maximilian II, Mad King Ludwig II’s dad, had it rebuilt from 1833-1837 according to the original design plans. This castle served as the summer home and hunting lodge for the rulers and was where Ludwig II grew up. Queen Marie, Ludwig II’s mother, loved hiking in the mountains surrounding the castle, an unusual activity for a lady back in the day.

The Wittelsbach family foundation still owns the castle and prohibits indoor photography. The interior is complete and in great shape because the family used the main castle as a hunting lodge until 1912 and the present-day gift shop up until 1970. This castle didn’t give off the homey/cozy vibe, but you could tell that it was actually used. One of the rooms had a telescope pointing at Neuschwanstein Castle, so Mad King Louis could track the progress of his fairytale castle.

I’d highly recommend spending a day touring both of the castles, they’re more than worth the price of admission! I liked the tour and interior of Hohenschwangau and exterior of Neuschwanstein best, but Jon’s favorite was Neuschwanstein.

The weather cleared up after our tour so we headed to Alpsee and I loved this lake too. The colors of the water were so magical. There is an easy 3.2 mile trail that runs along the lake that is very idyllic and peaceful.

I loved the view of the lake with the two castles in the background, it felt like being inside a painting it was so beautiful!

I was in heaven taking pictures of this incredible lake!

Jon and I walked about a third of the way around the lake and then had to head back to our hotel for our dinner reservation. We ran out of time, but while you’re in this area of Germany you can also check out a charming town called Fussen that’s a few miles away from the castles. Also, make sure you stop at this beautiful little church for a photo.

I took pictures of our dinner this evening because we had a more secluded table and it wasn’t so busy. I got a fancy mai tai to start off the night 🙂 The dinner was included with our stay and we got to pick an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. I was so impressed by the presentation of each dish, and everything tasted spectacular! It was nice having dinner scheduled each night of our stay to avoid the hanger when we can’t decide where to eat.

Stay tuned for day four of our trip ascending to the top of Zugspitze Mountain!


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31 thoughts on “Bavaria, Germany – Hohenschwangau Castle & Alpsee

  1. Such a beautiful part of Germany, you can understand why the kings, both sane and mad built their castles there. Kind of their man caves, I guess. The meal looks superb Lyssy. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. Yes I’d love to have a summer castle there, maybe even a small cabin! It is pretty crazy that they build such elaborate hunting lodges/summer homes, reminds me of how Versailles was originally a hunting lodge. That meal was delicious!

  2. Gorgeous photos, Lyssy. What lovely memories you have from this trip. Alpsee is so magical, not surprised you enjoyed taking photos of and around it. The dinner was beautifully presented and it is quite nice not to have that to sort out. Great detail about Queen Marie and her hiking passion – I mean, how could one resist exploring these mountains. It figures that the royals snatched such beauty for themselves.

    1. Thank you!! We had such a wonderful time on this trip. It was so beautiful everywhere we went. It wasn’t overrun with tourists either so it was wonderful! They royals really do snatch the beauty for themselves, must be nice!

  3. Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein are built to be beautiful and comfortable, it is normal that they fascinate visitors by showing a bygone way of life. It is a pity that you could not photograph inside.

  4. The town in the first few photos (Fussen?) looks too pristine to be real; almost like a miniature from a model railroad or something. Spectacular setting with or without the castles. I find it interesting Hohenschwangau (and how the heck do you pronounce that? 🙂 has painted coats of arms and other artwork on the exterior walls. Haven’t seen that motif on a castle before. Finally, I couldn’t help noticing “Waldorf salad” on your dinner menu. Germany adopts a NYC classic!

    1. I think that town might be Schwangau, but not 100%. It really does look fake. The names are very hard to pronounce haha. You’re right, I haven’t really seen coat of arms painted on a castle either. Wonder if they were trying to cater to American tourists 🙂

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