It took longer than anticipated to reach this castle, roughly two hours by car from Munich. The route, while offering beautiful views of the countryside, was rather convoluted: twists, turns, and construction detours.
Once we reached Hohenschwangau the line for tickets/tours was half-way through town. We joined the queue for about 15 minutes, until we learned we couldn't view the interior of the castle for at least 5 hours. Not wanting to wait that long we chose to view the exterior only. We hiked up to the castle (15 minutes by foot), took in the views, snapped a few photos, and made our way back to town.
It was a disappointing trip for us, me especially. I was the one who wanted to see the castle, and we drove all that way for a few measly pictures. Postcards would have sufficed.
My advice to those wanting to see Ludwig's castles in the summer is get to Hohenschwangau well before 0800, when the ticket office opens (castle tours begin at 0900), or reserve tickets online and arrive at least one hour before the scheduled tour.
We do plan to visit nearby Garmisch, as the area is lovely, but we won't venture here again.
Travel time: 4.5 hours
Total cost: 50 Euro (parking, lunch, and fuel)