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First timers in Germany, Neuschwanstein advice.

Hi, first off, this is a great travel forum! Great tips and information.
We are going to Germany, then Austria in August.
We're spending 5 nights in Munich then 2 in Austria.
I'm still working out our itinerary but I'm spending a lot of time working out the logistics of visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein.
I'm not that keen on the tour of inside the castle but the others want to do it. So... as we'll be doing the tour I'm trying to figure a ew things out.
We'll be staying in Munich, accommodation already booked, planning on a day trip to Fussen and back to Munich.
I'm trying to avoid the crowds as much as possible. From reading all the tips on here I know we've got to arrive as early as possible. However if we book the earliest tour online, 9am, we've got to arrive at 0730. This is pretty difficult from Munich as the first train doesn't arrive that early.
I'm wondering if we possibly booked a late afternoon tour, might be nice to see the castles at sunset? Possibly the crowds may have lessened by then?
Other alternatives are hire car from Munich?
Also would it be possible to go to Fussen enroute to Salzburg or is it too out of the way?
Any tips much appreciated thank you.

Posted by
28121 posts

You could do a trip - Munich - Füssen - Reute - Innsbruck - Salzburg but it is the long way around and what will you do with your luggage? You have a place to stay in Munich (where?) so why not stay there?

The crowds are what the crowds are. So be it. Most people go on the (IMHO awful, but your others want to go) tour so you don't have a lot more people milling around than are going on the tours - and that is a fixed number. Go when you can get a reservation and get there comfortably. It is a lot of riding and walking to a 19th century folly but you will kick yourself if you don't go, or your others will.

Sunset at the "castles" will be nearly 9 o'clock - surely that is a bit late to hang around for a photo?

Driving in and around Munich is no fun.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Nigel.
The reason I was considering Munich Fussen Salzburg is when we leave Munich our next stop is Salzburg and I thought we could possibly do Fussen on the way but I see it's not on the way to Salzburg.
I'd like to get to Fussen to do the first tour and hopefully less crowded, but it's not possible to get to Fussen via rail as the first train from Munich into Fussen arrives after 7.30.
That's why I was considering car hire but it sounds like it's not much fun driving in and around Munich.
Might just have to book a later tour, get a later train and accept it's going to be crowded.

Posted by
16941 posts

How many in your group? You can use a Bayern Ticket to get to Neuschwanstein. 25 EUR for the 1st person, then 7 EUR for each additional person, up to 5 total traveling together. That covers the train to Fuessen and the bus to Neuschwanstein round trip. You must begin travel after 9 am on weekdays, but anytime on week ends. BTW, August 15 is a public holiday in Germany and that counts too for anytime travel.

Still, it takes over 2 hours to get there by train or bus. You can finesse the system a little because there is an 8:53 weekday departure that stops at Munich Pasing at 9:00, so you could each buy a 2.90 EUR local transport ticket that will cover you from Hbf to Pasing, then the Bayern Ticket will be valid the rest of the day.

Anyway, you can get an earlier start if it is a week end or holiday. First train of the day is at 5:52 and get you to Neuschwanstein by 8:13, so a 10:00 timed entry would work.

The easiest way to Salzburg would be to return to Munich and get the train there. Again, that is Bayern Ticket eligible if you use the Meridian train from Munich to Salzburg. The last train to get you there leaves Fuessen at 8:33 pm and gets to Salzburg at 1:42 am.

Posted by
3253 posts

I loved spending the night in Fussen-I enjoyed it much more than Neuschwanstein, which we went to because my 12 yr old daughter wanted to see it. If you want to go there, you should go to Neuschwanstein from Fussen, not from Munich.

Posted by
5607 posts

The reason I was considering Munich Fussen Salzburg is when we leave
Munich our next stop is Salzburg and I thought we could possibly do
Fussen on the way but I see it's not on the way to Salzburg.

Salzburg is naturally a very common destination combined with a stay in Munich. It puzzles me that visitors to these cites tend to ignore the Ludwig-built palace located right between them. The spectacular setting - on an island in Lake Chiemsee and surrounded by Alps and sailboats - means a pleasant cruise across the water. The rail station (Prien) has lockers for your bags while you visit.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks very much for all the info Sam!

There’s 3 of us travelling & we are planning on travelling to Füssen on either Wed 14th or Thursday 15th August .

I didn’t know that the 15th is a holiday, might be a silly question but would the castles be closed on a holiday?
It would have been good to get the 5.52 departure from Munich that’s all.
Then again I imagine if the castles are open on a holiday it would be even more crowded than usual.

I think our best option is to get the earliest train from Munich on the 14th August the 06.51 train.- arriving 08:55, tour 10:30.

I can’t see any other way to get there earlier.

Going to buy tickets online well in advance.

Thanks everyone I’m just starting to figure out day trips from Munich, also want to include the Herrenchiemsee New Palace in our itinerary but that’s in our Salzburg itinerary.

Posted by
16941 posts

Actually, there is a 4:48 train with a connection in Biessenhofen, arriving at Fuessen at 6:53. The first bus to Neuschwanstein is at 7:30 getting you there by 7:38, or you get a taxi up to the castle, its just a short way. It will cost almost 90 EUR for the train with 3 people.

I don't know why you are wary of crowds when you have a timed entry. The most popular tourist attraction in Germany is bound to have some crowds anytime. The fact that it is a German holiday I don't think will matter too much. Locals don't go to local tourist attractions. My sister has lived in New York City for 40 years and never once went to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State building. They're too touristy.

Posted by
6797 posts

I know there are day tour coach tours from Munich, that your hotel could help arrange.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Stan. I looked into the different tours but I think we’ll manage it ourselves. It looks relatively simple to get train etc from Munich & we’d like to be able to spend a bit of time exploring Füssen etc without being rushed in a tour.

Sam it’s not that I’m wary of crowds, but most posts I’ve read on here & also on Trip Advisor say that Neuschwanstein can get up to 6000 visitors a day & it’s best to arrive early.
If I didn’t have my accommodation booked in Munich (Louis Hotel) for the 5 nights already, I would have booked 4 nights Munich & stayed a night near Neuschwanstein to get an early start.
Even Rick Steve’s recommends in one of his blogs on Neuschwanstein to get there around 8am to avoid crowds even with a timed entry.

The 4.48 train sounds good for me, I’ll see if my friends agree 😉
You’re quite right, locals don’t tend to visit their own attractions.
When I lived in Scotland the locals would walk right on past Edinburgh Castle without even glancing at it & I have friends in Sydney that don’t go anywhere near the beautiful harbour.
Thanks again for your help.

Posted by
28121 posts

I've been trying to say what Sam said so much more eloquently. You have a timed entry. Get your tickets ahead and you'll be fine.

Everybody has a timed entry - no turn up and go - so the crowds won't be any worse or any better at noon than 9 or 15. Virtually all the tours sell out so you know just what you'll have.

One other interesting thing about the Herrenchiemsee mentioned just above is that you can take a steam train between the main line station and the dock.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Nigel the steam train sounds great!

From all the posts I’ve read it sounds Neuschwanstein is always busy, so we’ll book ahead & allow plenty of time , I’m sure we’ll have a fun day.

Posted by
28121 posts

I also agree about locals traipsing down to see the "castles" on the holiday. Much more likely to wander down to Andechs for a Mass or two (see what I did there?) and maybe a Steckerlfisch, bratwurst, half a chicken or Schweinshaxe. Think Australia Day maybe? Museum or party?