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Munich to Neuschwanstein by car

We're considering doing a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau and Linderhof by car. We arrive at the Munich Hauptbahnhof at 0600 from an overnight train and it looks like we can rent a car from Sixt to leave shortly after that. I have two questions about this idea for anyone who has experience making the trip by car:
(1) If we were leaving Munich by 0700, what time would be reasonable to reserve our ticket for Hohenschwangau.
(2) Is this trip even possible in one day? We are traveling in August so will have summer hours for the sights.
Thanks for any tips or suggestions!

Posted by
12040 posts

It's an easy day trip. But let me ask you this... have you ever taken a night train before? Were you able to sleep? Because for many of us, the answer is a firm "no". My one experience with a night train, I arrived feeling the same as I do after an international flight. I'm not sure it's the safest option to immediately drive when you will likely be sleep deprived.

Where are you headed to next? If you're just returning back to Munich, why not take the train to Füssen, then pick up the rental car when you leave Munich? Most German cities are somewhat car friendly. Munich is the big exception.

EDIT: Oops, I saw that you want to visit Linderhof as well. That complicates things somewhat. But still, tell us, where do you plan to sleep that night?

Posted by
18060 posts

Linderhof closes at 6 PM regardless of the hours of daylight.

If you leave Munich by 7 AM, it will take you close to 2 hours (9 AM) to get to Hohenschwangau. The ticket center says to pick up your tickets at least an hour before your tour time, so the earliest you could schedule a tour is 10 AM, and they might not have an English language tour then. The pickup line is usually rather short, but I'm not sure about during Oktoberfest. If you make a wrong turn or there is a traffic tie-up, and you miss your reserved tour, you'll have to wait in line and you might not get finished with those two castles until late afternoon.

Touring both castles and walking between the village and Neuschwanstein, if you don't spend any time in the gift shop or taking pictures, will probably take close to 3 hours, so the earliest you'll be ready to leave Hohenschwangau is 1 PM. It takes, at best, about an hour to get to Linderhof. Linderhof is not just the palace, which doesn't take long to see. There is the grotto plus the grounds and out-buildings. I spent 6+ hours there.

I think you are cutting it rather close. It might work if nothing goes wrong.

Posted by
20 posts

I don't expect to have too much of a hard time sleeping on the train. I managed to sleep on two night trains in Vietnam so I figure this should be a piece of cake in comparison. We are spending that night in Munich. I'm only considering the car so we can make it to Linderhof as well as the other two. If we don't rent a car, we'll probably just take the train to Fuessen one day while we're there. The reason I was considering this day is because we won't have anything to do in Munich at that time of the morning and won't be able to check in to the hotel until the afternoon.

Thanks for all your feedback!

Posted by
2703 posts

If this day trip is to use the time between arriving in Munich and checking in, a much less ambitious plan would be to head to "Mad" King Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee palace, only an hour from Munich. I have to say the interior/tour is superior to the interior of Neuschawnstein. I'd say it's as good, over the top elaborate as the interior of Linderhof also. It's on an island in the Chiemsee, so a short boat trip is an added bonus in my opinion.

Paul

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks Paul. We're hoping to visit Herrenchiemsee on our first full day in the country. We fly into Munich a week earlier before traveling on to Berchtesgaden for a wedding. Whichever sights we end up making it to, we look forward to a great trip.

Posted by
328 posts

I have done this trip by car in a day with no difficulties. Yes, there may be hiccups along the way but that can happen with any well laid plans. Just be prepared to adapt and you will be fine. If it were me renting the car from Munich, I'd assume it may not go as smoothly as you hope and add a little extra time into that portion of your day. Maybe reserve your ticket for Hohenschwangau for 10am-ish. That gives you 2-hours to make it to the castles plus an extra hour for a delay in picking up the rental car or traffic or whatever.

My personal choice would be to only tour Hohenschwangau, then to walk up to Neuschwanstein and Marienbrucke, but not to tour Neuschwanstein. I wouldn't waste time waiting around for a tour of Neuschwanstein and would head straight for Linderhof, instead. For me, Linderhof is equally or more opulent and impressive than Neuschwanstein and the grounds make it a much better visit as far as I'm concerned.

I'd pick up a picnic at the train station before you leave. Take it with you to Linderhof and enjoy it somewhere in the palace grounds. That way you will at least know you don't have to worry about finding a stop for lunch, with the added bonus of getting to just relax and enjoy Linderhof a little longer.

Posted by
12040 posts

Let me speak up for Neuschwanstein. It's iconic for being a stunning structure in a majestic surroundings, but I think the interior is also fascinating. But... I don't think it's possible for the guides to accommodate the huge numbers of people who want to visit while simultaneously providing an adequate explanation of the decour. If you familiarize yourself beforehand with the life and obsession of Ludwig II, particular the operas of Wagner, the castle offers a fascinating insight into the minds of one of Europe's most odd monarchs of recent history. Otherwise, it's just a lot of pretty pictures.

Posted by
666 posts

Like you, we saw Herrenchiemsee first. We loved the boat ride, interior and grounds of the palace. But what we really enjoyed was the exhibit on King Ludwig. It really brought his story to life and prepares you to see the rest of the palaces with different eyes. The drive from Neush and Hohen was a long drive (2.5 hours) from where we were staying but the scenery is so pretty. We left super early, had our reservations for first thing in the morning (10-ish for you) and got through Hohen fast. We hoofed it down from there to take the bus up to Neus. Walking up there is time consuming and arduous. We managed to snag a horse carriage down the hill but the system was less than organized when we were there. Still it was better than walking. We had about two hours left in the day to visit Linderhoff. Because we got there so late, there were no lines or surge of tourists. And, even though the doors to the small palace closed for the day, you could still wander around the absolutely stunning gardens. We were practically all alone.