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Neuschwanstein Castle: Tour Bus, Train or Rent car for the day. Your thoughts?

I will be in Munich in June and we are planning a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 1 - 16year old and 1 senior (65 yr old). We are looking at the options for tour companies and was wanting to hear from others on their experience. Options:

  1. Bus tour company - Looks like the 2 main operators or Mikes Bike tours and Grayline. Mike's has a bike ride and a hike in the tour. May be a little concern for the 65 yr old in our group. I know she can opt for the other castle in lieu of the bike. With Mike's you only see one castle (2 if you opt out of the bike ride). The other is grayline which goes to Neusch. and Linderhof and Oberammergau. However, the reviews on Grayline are pretty bad and seem like a speed tour which is ok if you get to see a lot
  2. Train, one tour group takes you on the train but I think you only see Neusch.
  3. Do we rent a car for the day and do Neusch., Linderhof and Oberammergau on our own.

We are pretty active and are very good with GPS for directions. We are a up at dawn and stay up late type of group.

I would really like everyones thoughts and experience with these tours.

Thank you in advance,

Posted by
18613 posts

You can do the trip easily by yourselves with the train. No need to spend "Viele" on a tour or renting a car.

Unless you just want to say "Neuschwanstein - check, Linderhof -check, Oberammergau - check", I would stay around Füssen and see both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. With any time left, spend some time in Füssen itself.

In 2007, I spent two nights in Oberammergau and visited Linderhof on the full day. Linderhof is not just the palace itself (which is quite small) but has extensive grounds, including the Grotto. I think I spent over 6 hours there, including a leisurely lunch at the Gasthof on the grounds.

Posted by
7205 posts

The area definitely deserves more than a quick daytrip. However, if that's all you have then the train is just fine...get the Bavarian Ticket for super cheap travel for your whole family. Mike's Bikes is an ok fun-loving atmosphere which is ok if that's what you're looking for, and I did Mike's last year to Neuschwanstein. We biked in the pouring down non-stop rain and were soaked through and through. Not exactly a pleasant experience.

Reserve your tickets ahead of time on the official Neuschwanstein website.

Posted by
328 posts

I agree with the other travellers that you can do the trip easily and inexpensively by train. But .... we enjoy visiting the places in between as much as the destinations themselves so if it was me, I'd rent a car. For us, the added cost of the rental car is far outweighed by the flexibility of seeing what we want, when we want and where we want. It's very easy to get in and out of Munich by car if you rent at the Hauptbahnhof, we've done it several times with no problems. There are some great places to stop on your way to or from Neuschwanstein if you have a car, including Hohen-Peissenberg (for a fantastic panoramic view of the Alps on a clear day), Ettal Monastery, Oberammergau, Wieskirche, Andechs Monastery and Linderhof Castle, among others. You won't be able to do all of this in one day but you could certainly pick a few at the top of your list and make it flexible depending on how long it takes you to see the castles.

Posted by
7205 posts

Spend the night in Schwangau in one of the beautiful Bavarian Chalet hotels with a view to the castles. The area is highly enjoyable and will make your castle visits and daytrips MUCH more memorable. Don't just do it as a crammed in sidetrip from Munich.

Posted by
31733 posts


You can either make the trip on your own or take a tour with Radius Tours or one of the other firms. If you decide to go on your own, you'll have to make the time-specific reservations to visit Neuschwanstein (don't be late!). One point to note is that they don't allow photos taken inside the Castle, but as I recall they allow photos taken towards the outside from within the castle. You'll be herded through several souvenir shops on your way through the tour, so you'll have ample opportunities to buy photos or post cards showing the interior of the castle.