King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle is on many people’s To-Do list while visiting Bavaria. Schwangau, Germany is about an hour drive away from Garmisch. It is also directly along the route between Geilenkirchen and Garmisch, so stopping here on your way back home is also an option.
Most people know about Neuschwanstein (Cinderella’s castle is based on it), but Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig’s boyhood home, is also located here. Tickets are available to see the individual castles or both as a combo ticket. There is also a museum to visit that holds many of the Bavarian King’s treasures. The pricing of individual and combo tickets are listed here.
You can only enter the castles with a tour group, but you can walk through the courtyards without a ticket. Tours are offered in English and German at regular intervals throughout the day. There is a ticket center in the middle of town where you can buy your tickets with cash or credit card. If you know when you will be visiting, you can reserve tickets online one day beforehand (before 1500) here. There is a €1,80 reservation fee per ticket and per building, but this will save you from having to wait in line for at least 30 mins, and then wait another hour (at least) for your tour. You must be at the ticket counter one hour before your tour time to pick up your ticket.
Once you have your tickets, take a walk around or up to the castles and enjoy the scenery. The horse carriage ride is definitely worth the money for a ride up to Neuschwanstein. We walked the hill, but it can be quite a workout if you’re in a hurry. I also suggest walking up the stairs to Hohenschwangau if you can, which is a more scenic walk than the road up to the castle. They’ve recently put in a turnstile to keep people from walking down the stairs.