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Castles: day trip or stop on the way to Switzerland?

I'm trying to decide between 2 possible plans and need thoughts from experienced travelers. Our current May travel plans take us from Munich to Switzerland (first Swiss night at Berggasthaus Aescher). We are a group of three - mom and 2 college daughters and Neuschwanstein is a "must see."

Plan 1: Do castles as a day trip from Munich on Wednesday, our 2nd full day in Munich. Leave early with day bags only, return in time for dinner and after. Sleep in same beds we've been in for a few nights. Leave Thursday morning at 7:00am for 5 hour train trip with one change to next location in Switzerland.

Plan 2: Check out of Munich hotel on Wednesday, check bags in Fussen while we do castles, and then travel part way to our Switzerland location - possibly Lindau - for a one night stay before continuing on. I'm a little confused with the train schedules -- the travel times and number of stops for the Fussen to Lindau are very different if I look at next week versus my actual date in May. The May details are not as favorable - longer and more stops to get to the same place. Would this be due to work going on with the tracks or something?? Would these times be likely to change between now and May?

Doing the castles on Thursday on the way to Switzerland is not an option.

Thanks in advance for your opinion.

Posted by
3392 posts

Definitely stick with plan #1! The second one is far to cumbersome and I see no advantage in doing it this way. Going out to Neuschwanstein is a whole day affair from Munich and you don't want to be rushed. A general rule of thumb for Europe is the less checking in and out of hotels you have to do, the better. It eats up far too much time and if you choose plan #2 this is exactly what you will be doing. You also won't see anything of the place you'll stay in for the night because you'll have to get up and get going the next morning. Just stay in Munich and catch the train the next day.

Posted by
112 posts

Thank you, Anita. I was feeling the same way until I looked more closely at the map and see we are backtracking so much by returning to Munich. You sound very confident in your opinion. So many decisions! No wonder many choose to do tours 😊

Posted by
16894 posts

I agree with Anita. Also, although the train route from Munich to Appenzell area takes a few connections, the route via Innsbruck and Buchs (e.g., 9:30 departure) is quite scenic.

Posted by
112 posts

Laura, please tell me more about the differences in the routes! And what is the best way to purchase that route? Since it includes 3 different countries. Thank you!

Posted by
16894 posts

You can buy tickets from Munich to Buchs (connection point and border point) through the German web site, http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en, with advance-purchase discount.

For the portion inside Switzerland, you can buy the remaining ticket in Munich train station, or Buchs train station, or on the Swiss site www.sbb.ch, or you can use a Swiss Travel Pass, if you plan to get one for the rest of your stay. The Swiss tickets don't need reservation or advance purchase and trains run at least hourly.

On Google Maps or another topographic map of Germany & Austria, you'll see that this route is through some mountain scenery of the Tyrolian Alps.