If you'd like to tour Schloss Hohenschwangau you must buy tickets in the town, (you can get tickets to Neuschwanstein at the same time) but you can walk inside the courtyard for free and take pictures of the outside. They don't allow photos inside either of the castles so we decided to save our money. The walk up to the castle was pretty easy but you can't leave that way. When you exit you must walk the long way down the hill (the horse and carriage route.) If you get lucky there might be a carriage dropping off people that you could pay to ride back down but I would highly suggest taking the walk. There is a nice area on the way down where you get a good view of Lake Alpsee or you can take a break on one of the benches and just soak up the scenery. Parking is available in the village for 5 Euro a day, you cannot drive your car up to the castles. Plan to do a lot of walking on your visit so where good walking shoes!