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Neuschwanstein vs. Hohenschwangau

Hello RS and Friends!

I've been searching here (and elsewhere) to find out people's opinion on whether it is better (read: more interesting/more insightful/more dramatic/insert other reasons that you might think it's better here) to visit Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau Castle and have come up short. I'm afraid we might only have time for one, so I'm looking for some opinionated (read: interesting, insightful, dramatic) people's opinions to guide us.


Posted by
8889 posts

Neuschwanstein has more of a "wow-factor", so I would vote for that first.
But, since they are both within sight of each other, just outside the town of Füssen, why not visit both?

Posted by
219 posts

Neuschwanstein for sure but if you can squeeze in both I would. Hohenschwangau wasn't a very long tour. We stayed in the hotel right across from Hohenschwangau the night before, toured both castles the following day. From the exif data on my photos we were at Hohenschwangau around 9am, walked up to Neuschwanstein and were there by 11:00. At 1:30 we were at Weiss Church which is around a half hour drive away. We weren't particularly rushed, just went with the crowd, walked up to Mary's Bridge for photos after touring Neuschwanstein, walked back down to the hotel. There were 6 of us, my parents were in their 60's at the time, my daughters were 12 & 16.

Posted by
19170 posts

I like Neuschwanstein. It's sort of an icon. My ex liked Hohenschwangau better because it was an actual home.

Neither is technically a castle (Burg); they are palaces (Schlößer). Hohenschwangau was built in around 1800 over the ruins of a real castle by Ludwig's father, king of Bavaria, as a fortified home for his family. Neuschwanstein was built by Ludwig as his palace, having the outward appearance of a real castle, but just for his living quarters. It was built around the same time as the Eifel Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge.

But the distinction between castles and palaces is quite vague. There are plenty of palaces, private homes, hostel and hotels (Reichsburg in Cochem, Stahleck in Bacharach, Hohenzollernburg in Hechingen) that are built over old castle ruins to look like castles, but are not. I would question whether Burg Eltz is properly a castle and not a residence. To see an actual castle, go to the Marksburg, Harburg, or Burghausen, to name a few.

So understand the difference and enjoy either one. Hohenschwangau was Ludwig's boyhood home; Neuschwanstein was his fantasy.

Posted by
14280 posts

Until I visited both I could not understand why some people here pooh-pooh'd visiting Neuschwanstein. It looks great on the outside particularly from Mary's Bridge, but as Lee points out it is a (rich) man's fantasy. I liked Hohenschwangau better for having been a place where people actually lived, but I doubt I would have been satisfied with the opinions of others on whether to visit or not...had to see it and form my own opinion. Both are accessed from the same valley area and as pointed out are right across from each other so pretty easy to see both. I was on a RS tour and the bus was just parked in the same spot for the whole time. (Well except once I looked and it was gone, but later realized Peter, the bus driver, had gone to fuel up!)

Posted by
2744 posts

I would agree with the observations already made and would call it a tie. If you can't do both, just pick one and do it.

Posted by
2252 posts

And having also visited both, I agree with Carroll. Try to make time for both if you can-they are very different experiences-and if you don't have time for two, pick the one that sounds most interesting to you. I was pleased to have been able to see both.

Posted by
2935 posts

I couldn't have said it better for myself than Pam did. Pick one, you really can't go wrong. You must be leaning in one direction, so see what you came to see regardless of popular (or unpopular) opinion.

Posted by
6803 posts

"I'm afraid we might only have time for one..."
Really? Why? If you're going there from Munich on a day trip, that might explain your time problem. It's nearly 5 hours round trip by train + bus - and all for an overpriced 30-minute tour? I would either overnight in the area or drop the outing; there are some great palaces right in Munich, you know (Nymphenburg, Residenz.)

Posted by
7209 posts

You can also purchase tickets for a reserved time to enter the castle so that should really help you in planning your time efficiently. The little town of Horn-Schwangau sits just below the castles across a wide pasture and is a beautiful place to spend a few days seeing the area, seeing the castles (with a view from your hotel window). You can also easily do Linderhof from there, too. It's a beautiful place and definitely worth a night or two.

Posted by
75 posts

go see both but Neuschwanstein is the most beautiful in all of Europe.

Posted by
1339 posts

Take a few hours and walk around the Schwansee. Quiet and great views of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Just a short walk far away from the thousands of tourists...

The Füssener Kalvarienberg walk/hike is worth it too from Füssen or Schwansee. A church cut into the rock at the top of the mountain with viewing platform. Good Füssen, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau views.