The walk around Alpsee Lake is a beautiful hike near Neuschwanstein Castle, and you can walk via Hohenschwangau, the lovely yellow castle on the hill by the lake.
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The Alpsee Lake Walk starts from the tourist information at the central roundabout in Hohenschwangau. You can park in any of the large car parks nearby, all of which have a flat rate of €10 for the day. You have to pay to use all toilets, except those at the castles.
Tips for Alpsee Lake Walk
- There are several restaurants and cafes in Hohenschwangau for snacks after the hike.
- Set off early to avoid the crowds on this popular hike.
- Most of this walk is very easy walking on a flat track, though near the end the path is narrower, slightly rocky and a little uphill.
- Take a camera with a zoom lens to get great photos of the castle from the end of the lake.
- Bring swimming stuff if you want a dip
- Another great hike in the area is the loop walk from the Castles to Füssen and back. You can also explore Füssen on a walking tour.
- Stay right by the castles and the start of this hike at the Ameron Neuschwanstein*
- Find other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.
Alpsee Lake Walking Route
From the central roundabout, head right towards the castle ticket office to walk towards Alpsee. You’ll have views of yellow Hohenschwangau Castle to your right (built by the father of King Ludwig II) and then pass by the Museum of the Bavarian Kings on your left.
The fancy hotel that surrounds the museum is the Ameron Neuschwanstein, surprisingly affordable given its great location (check prices here*). This hotel is just by the lake, and you already have great views over the water and mountains beyond. The route now heads left to walk along the edge of the water.
Walking around Alpsee Lake
The way is now very simple, as you just stay as close as possible to the water. The track is flat, wide and just on the edge of the forest. You have good views over the water of the surrounding forest – green in summer, orange in autumn and rather dark brown in winter.
Just over 1 km around the lake, you’ll reach the Alpseebad area. It’s a nice grassy area with a wooden jetty sticking out into the lake and it’s popular for swimming. It’s open from May-September from 10am – 7pm. Entry is €3.5/2 (cash only) for adults/kids and there’s a kiosk inside selling drinks and snacks.
Soon after the Alpsee swimming area, the path bends right. There are a few route choices here, but always take the right path to stay at the edge of the lake. There are some great benches along this stretch, and the views keep getting better. You can see not only Hohenschwangau Castle but also Neuschwanstein Castle on its hill by the mountains.
As you continue further and bend around the lake, you also get great views of the steep and rocky mountains that surround the lake basin. In winter, the mountains are often snow-covered long before any snow falls by the lake. This means you can easily walk along while admiring the wintery views. Depending on the weather, the lake water can look very green or really blue.
Uphill & Pindarplatz Viewpoint
Walking back towards the castles, there’s a small bit of uphill and the path becomes narrower and rocky. When you’ve almost completed the walk around Alpsee Lake, there’s a little detour down to Pindarplatz. This is a viewpoint on the cliffs high above the lake. After visiting, you have to retrace your steps back to the main path.
Shortly after this viewpoint, you’ll reach a main track. You can just continue heading around by the lake before returning to where you started, or you can walk via Hohenschwangau Castle. To go via the castle, which you can walk right by even without a ticket (and visit the free toilet), head left when you reach the road. This is the route that the bus takes.
To Hohenschwangau Castle
It’s a few hundred metres along the road to the backside of Hohenschwangau Castle. Walk through the archway and around to the courtyard at the front. This is where you wait if you do have tickets. Make sure to head into the little gardens. From these you can see both the Alpsee Lake and the mountains beyond. You can also see Neuschwanstein in the distance. If you’re hot or cold, head into the gift shop to heat up or cool down (they have heating or AC depending on the time of year).
Once you’ve finished looking around Hohenschwangau Castle, head down the steps between the garden and gift shop to walk back to where you started. Or, if you want to go on a roundtrip walk to Füssen, head a little way back along the road you came from.
This is the end of the Alpsee Lake Walk. As mentioned, you can now walk from here to Füssen and back again through beautiful woods with great views. You can explore Füssen on a walking tour, or check out our Germany Hiking Page for more great hikes nearby or walking tours of the famous Bavarian cities.