Winter Wonderland: The Fairy Tale Village of Hohenschwangau

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Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau in Photos

This German village is the gateway to a land of fairy tales. Nestled amongst snow covered forests its where horse drawn carriages transport visitors to the immensely lavish castles perched high upon hills.

Childhood fantasies of Sleeping Beauty’s castle come to life as you get your first glimpse of Neuschwanstein Castle through the pine trees. The towering castle is the epitome of Disney magic and was the home of King Ludwig II who commissioned the palace as a personal retreat.

Open to the public since his death in 1886, Neuschwanstein Castle has seen over 61million visitors though still manages to retain that intriguing luxe charm of a royal private residence (except for the inclusion of a food court which I can’t get my head around!?).

For me, far more impressive than the interior are the views and photographic opportunities from Marienbrücke (Marie’s Bridge), a short hike up hill from the castle. Dangling over a ravine the bridge offers panoramic views of the castle, lakes and down below are cascading waterfalls weaving their way through frozen creek crevices.

Walking through the dense woodland brings scenes of the folkloric tales of Brothers Grimm into reality. It’s not too hard to imagine enchanting elves, fairies, gnomes and of course Little Red Riding Hood wandering these same paths.

To further enhance the fairy tale feeling is the Alpsee, a giant lake bordered by mountains and home to wild swans. In winter, the lake resembles a natural scene you usually have to hike miles to reach however the Alpsee has a circular path that allows you to easily roam around and capture the landscape from all angles. Frozen water droplets hang from tree branches delicately dancing on the lakes surface and reflections of wooden huts and forests are picture perfect on a still day.

Back in the village of Hohenschwangau you’ll find Neuschwanstein’s neighbour, Hohenschwangau Castle, a yellow marvel that’s spectacular in its own right. Just as a little note, if you’re visiting the castles there are photography restrictions inside so keep an eye out for signs so you know when it’s safe to snap away.

Here is a little collection of images from my visit to the Bavarian region of Germany…


Hohenschwangau Castle and the village of Hohenschwangau.

Hohenschwangau Castle and the village of Hohenschwangau.

The Alpsee Lake

The Alpsee Lake


The view from Neuschwanstein Castle at dusk.


The nearby town of Fussen.


Fussen, a short bus ride from Hohenschwangau

Fussen-6 Fussen-11 Fussen-17 Fussen-19 Fussen-21 Fussen-22 Fussen-25

To view more winter wonderland destinations in Europe, take a peek at these related articles –

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14 Photogenic Winter Destinations in Europe

20 Photos of Adelboden in Switzerland

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Snow Photography – How to Take Photos in Snow

Camera Care in Extreme Climates

How to Photograph in Freezing Conditions

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Neuschwanstein has been on my to-see list for awhile, but the way you describe it makes me want to see it now rather than later! I love how it looks under snow!

These are unbelievably gorgeous photos! I visited Neuschwanstein last Easter (impossible to believe it was a year ago nearly!), but your trip in the snow looks absolutely beautiful! Did you stay in the town nearby? xx

Thanks so much Sarah, it’s so pretty in the snow but I would love to see it each season I can imagine it would be quite different and beautiful! We stayed in nearby Fussen and caught the bus over to Hohenschwangau 🙂

Wow great photos! I am going next week and cannot wait! I think the Marienbrucke is closed though dur to the weather, did you have this problem in winter? I am currently reseqrching where other photo locations may be!

Also, can you get the shots without a tripod, i hate lugging it around and almost never use it but if its quite dark in winter i may need the additional stabilisation?


So excited for you! Yes, I believe the bridge is closed in winter however we still walked up the path and were able to get a decent view. I didn’t have a tripod, just try to ensure you’re not up there in the dark and you should be fine without one 🙂 *you probably don’t want to be wandering around in the forest in the dark anyway haha so aim for the afternoon/sunset!

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