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Amsterdam to Munich plus RodT and Neuschwanstein Castle

Some of you might have already seen my post on the "General Europe" forum asking about a possible 22 day itinerary through several countries.

Here, I am asking about a specific section of the itinerary that's driving me nuts - van or train?

Details (thus far):
Day 9: Amsterdam - overnight train to Munich (do they still do this?)
Day 10: Arrive Munich - visit Marienplatz and Hofbrauhaus
Day 11: (transportation) to Neuschwanstein Castle (should we do Hohenschwangau too?). (transportation) to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Day 12: RodT all day
Day 13: RodT, (transportation) to Munich; transfer to train to Salzburg

The way I see it, the easiest portions are the trains from Amsterdam to Munich, and Munich to Salzburg. It's the in-between that might need tweaking. I'm aware of the trains from Munich to RodT but they take a long time compared to just driving (several changes - I do fine with one maybe two changes but not fast changes (visually impaired so it might take longer), hence the idea of using vans instead for this portion.

Or stay in Munich and do day trips to Neuschwanstein and RodT instead? (N castle seems to be between 2.5-3 by train, and RodT is 2.5 by car, 3 by train with changes). That would free up the schedule (and less hotel changes, down to 8 compared to 9 before, which would help too) and leave room in the morning of the 13th to visit Dachau before hopping the train to Salzburg in the afternoon/evening.

Possible schedule (if doing day trips instead)

Day 10: All day Munich
Day 11: Day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Day 12: Day trip to RodT (skip night watch man tour? Or leave immediately after?)
Day 13: Free morning in Munich (or Dachau); train to Salzburg afternoon/evening

There will be between 8-16 of us in the group.

I'm open to suggestions. (I could add an extra day and do

Posted by
5602 posts

This is driving you nuts because of the transportation. And the transportation is nuts because you are choosing way too many tourist-trampled destinations, at the height of the tourist season, that are just hard to connect easily. Neuschwanstein is a fake castle not completed until almost 1900, with an overcrowded tour of 30 minutes that you'll spend all day getting to and from. Rothenburg is a difficult day trip from Munich no matter how you do it - and certainly not the only place where old-world Germany is in evidence. Even if you could perfect the transportation, you would probably still be driven nuts by all the international tourist horde that you will share these places with. There are CNL night trains from A'dam to Munich with expensive sleeping accommodations but what if you don't sleep? You don't want do that with the one day you have in Munich.
Here's what I'd suggest along the same A'dam - Munich trajectory:

Day 9: After the Rijksmuseum, get to the station and board a train (maybe around 4-5 pm) to the Middle Rhine Valley, where you can stay in a fine old-world town, get a good night's sleep, and see a REAL castle. It's about 5 hours to Braubach, just south of Koblenz:
Marksburg Castle
Marksburg information
Zum Weißen Schwanen is just one of several good hotel options.
Braubach, old town cafes

Middle Rhine Valley information
Middle Rhine Valley near Oberwesel
MRV near Rüdesheim

Day 10: Take a morning train to Rüdesheim and catch a KD cruise back to Braubach (or to St. Goar + train to Braubach.) Then catch the 1 pm tour of Marksburg in English - "virtually unchanged from Medieval Times." Collect the bags you left at the hotel and board an afternoon train for Munich (Lv 15:07, arrive 21:07, one change of train) and get a good night's sleep.
Day 11: All day in Munich
Day 12: In Munich + day trip to some old-world town that's reasonably close by (Landshut is very nice. Landsberg am Lech is too.)
Day 13: In Munich + Train to Salzburg

Posted by
16941 posts

The Amsterdam-Munich night train is still running, but you will need to stay aware and be prepared to alter the plan if DB decides to cut this train in the future.
Have you thought about what style of sleeping accommodations? Sleeper or 4 or 6 person couchette?
Are you thinking renting 1 or 2 8-passenger vans, with you and another as drivers? This can be the most flexible option. You can go straight from Rothenburg to Salzburg, check in your hotel, then the 2 drivers cross to Germany, return the vans and go back to Salzburg on bus or train.
Finally, when will you know the exact number for the trip?

Posted by
30 posts

Thank you both for your suggestions.

I don't drive so I won't be one of the two drivers (part of Usher Syndrome is limited peripheral vision hence more time for changing trains plus deafness).

Neuschwanstein Castle is pretty much set - can't change that, however I'm open to whichever town is close to Munich. I will look at Landsberg and Landshut for ideas.

I will look into alternate routes between Amsterdam and Munich as suggested. How much do you see from the KD cruise boats?

As for the CNL trains, it will be by couchette. (I sleep very well on trains so not too concerned about that.)

Posted by
16941 posts

Yes, Neuschwanstein is on just about every German tourist poster ever printed. Its been a tourist attraction virtually since Ludwig II was buried. The citizens of Bavaria said "We paid for this sucker, now lets see if we turn a profit on it." It is a must-see on everyone's list.
And the view from the K-D Rhine boats is quite good, especially if it is a beautiful day.
Tour bus and driver is the lowest cost method to move a large (30 to 60) group around Europe, which is why the RS group uses them. Maybe a small bus and driver would work for the day going to Fuessen and then up to Rothenburg. But I would say you should use for that day only if you are staying two nights in Rothenburg. Then with the appropriate number of Bayern tickets, you can get everyone to Salzburg without too much trouble, for a cost of about 10 euro per person with 3 train changes.