On the doorstep of Germany’s most famous castle, Schwangau is a lakeside town in Bavaria’s Ostallgäu district. It’s located on the Romantic Road tourist route that ends in nearby Füssen and is a popular recreational hub, with skiing possible in the winter and hiking in the warmer months.
Things to do in Schwangau
No visit to Schwangau is complete without marvelling at Neuschwanstein Castle, a fairytale-like palace that was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and created to honour the German composer Richard Wagner. Photograph its historicist towers from the Marienbrücke, which is positioned high above the Pöllat Gorge, then join a guided tour to explore the castle’s opulent rooms.
Also nearby is Hohenschwangau Castle, a medieval building rebuilt in a Gothic style by King Ludwig II’s father, King Maximilian II, in 1833. As you tour the interior, take note of the decorations inspired by folklore legends, such as the swan knight Lohengrin, with whom Ludwig II identified. More information about King Ludwig II and the royal Wittelsbach family can be found at the nearby Museum of the Bavarian kings.
If you’re visiting in the winter months, ride the cable car that leads to the top of Tegelberg, which boasts one of the highest elevated ski resorts in Germany. In the summer, there are spectacular views across the surrounding countryside from its mountain trails or you can head to the sparkling lake shores of the Forggensee to swim and fish.
Getting around Schwangau
Schwangau is around 1.5 hours’ drive from the centre of Munich and just under two hours from Munich International Airport. Regular trains connect to the nearby Füssen railway station while buses travel throughout Schwangau. The centre of Schwangau is compact enough to explore on foot.