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Neuschwanstein / Linderhof -- best way to do this as a day trip

Greetings fellow travelers,

This is my second trip to Munich, and I'm still torn as to whether to spend the day going to these "castles" (I skipped them on the last trip in favor of a day trip to Nurnberg).

Rick recommends a private bus tour (Grey Line or Bus Bavaria), although I think only the former includes both structures over public transport. I have no objection to paying more if this is a more comfortable approach than a crowded train. I am going to be in Munich for 5 1/2 days - is this something I really shouldn't miss?

As an alternate idea, couldn't I take the train early in the morning and just see Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein on my own, reserving entry time? Are there downsides to this?

Apologies as I imagine this topic has been covered, but I can't find the "search" feature the forum used to have.

Thanks,

Todd

Posted by
18052 posts

The Grayline tour shows only an hour at Linderhof, which, having been to Linderhof, I consider totally inadequate. Then they say you have 3½ hours at Neuschwanstein, but you only get to be inside for the tour, which the castle administration says takes 35 minutes. Of course, if you don't pay extra for the horse carriage, the walk up to Neuschwanstein takes 30 - 45 minutes.

If you reserve tours in advance, you can easily do Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau on your own.

On workdays, with a Bayern-Ticket and an MVV ticket from the Hbf to Pasing (2,60€) (to cover your travel before 9 AM) you can leave Munich on the 8:53 RE to Buchloe, change there for Füssen, arrive at 10:55 and take the 11:05 bus to Hohenschwangau, getting to the bus stop at 11:13. It's no more than a 15 min walk to the ticket kiosk to pick up your reserved ticket, so if you booked a reservation for around 1:00, you would have time to grab a quick lunch and still see both castles.

Posted by
5244 posts

"I am going to be in Munich for 5 1/2 days - is this something I really shouldn't miss?"

Not IMO.

Do you have a genuine interest in "things Ludwig?" If you're going to spend a whole day for such an outing, consider instead a 1-hour train trip to Prien by direct train from Munich for a one-stop visit to Herrenchiemsee Palace (on an island in Chiemsee Lake) with Ludwig Museum, gardens, Augustinian Monastery / art galleries.

Chiemsee
Herrenchiemsee
Hall of Mirrors

Posted by
6160 posts

Todd if I had to do this trip, I would consider renting a car to maximize your flexibility. I think Neuschwantsein is not worth going inside, and Hoehschwangau is. Your bus tour will do the opposite.

Posted by
18052 posts

"a 1-hour train trip to Prien"

Plus a 1 mile hike from Prien Bhf to the harbor, a 20 min boat ride to the island, and a ¾ mile hike from the dock to the palace.

I did buy a combination ticket at the streetcar station below the Bahn station that included both the ship to the island and the streetcar to the harbor. That saved a 2 mile round trip walk, and I felt it was well worth the extra cost. There are also horse carts on the island to take you up to the palace. I didn't use them, so I don't know how much.

I've been to all four of Lugwig's palaces (Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee). I found Herrenchiemsee to be the least interesting of the four, and, Neuschwanstein is such an icon, you should go there once.

Posted by
328 posts

I completely agree with Stan's point of view. I'd rent a car, tour Hohenschwangau but not Newschwanstein and plan to spend the bulk of my day at Linderhof.

Posted by
5244 posts

"Plus a 1 mile hike from Prien Bhf to the harbor, a 20 min boat ride to the island, and a ¾ mile hike from the dock to the palace. I did buy a combination ticket at the streetcar station below the Bahn station that included both the ship to the island and the streetcar to the harbor."

I didn't mean to misrepresent this trip. Let's be specific. Most folks arriving by train probably do as Lee did and buy a ticket for the smaller train (Chiemseebahn) + the boat. So on top of the 1-hour train ride to Prien, the Chiemseebahn (from Prien station to the harbor,) takes 8 minutes. The boat that meets the train takes 15 minutes according to the actual boat schedule (but let's use your figure of 20.) And let's say it's a 20-min. walk right up to the palace. That's 48 minutes more, but let's say 60 minutes including down time in between transport modes. That's 4 hours total for Munich - Herrenchiemsee - Munich.

The trip from Munich to the Hohenschwangau/Palaces stop is 2.3 hours and involves at least one train plus one bus each way. Then you walk 15 more minutes uphill to the castle (if you're in shape) so you're looking at 5 hours 10 minutes total transit time - if you only visit N'stein. If the OP is going to Linderhof as well, that round trip from N'stein will require 4 buses and 4 hours or more - isn't that right??

So my suggestion was that it's logistically far easier to put together an independent visit to Herrenchiemsee (and the other island attractions there) than it would be to attempt the other two palaces independently... and a better, cheaper, less time-wasting option than the Gray Line tour as well.

As far as the need to visit icons is concerned... I've got to say that N'stein sticks out in my memory as the least worthwhile icon I've ever been to. The Herrenchiemsee outing I took was many years back but I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Posted by
18052 posts

I'm not exaggerating the time. Here is the ship schedule from Stock (Prien harbor) to Herren Insel. From 9:35 to 14:55, it shows 20 minutes from the harbor to the island. I know when I went there in 2009, I waited in the harbor for at least half an hour for the next ship to the island. The point is that it is a lot more than one hour from Munich to the Herrenchiemsee palace. Saving time is not a reason to go to Herrenchiemsee instead of Neuschwanstein.

As for the bus tour, it includes, but doesn't pay for, the tour of Neuschwanstein. The guide buys you the ticket to Neuschwanstein at the ticket kiosk. I'm sure he could just as easily but a ticket to Hohenschwangau, and since Hohenschwangau is a lot closer, time wise, to the kiosk, you could probably substitute it.

Posted by
662 posts

BTW, the search function is at the very top of the page. Looking for the magnifying glass and big "Search." The box itself is so lightly shaded that it's hard to see. I saw all four palaces mentioned a couple of years ago and don't regret the time. Herrenchiemsee has a good tour of the interior, but what we really enjoyed was the exhibit on King Ludwig. It really brought his story to life. The grounds were lovely to walk around and overall, it was very special. It was fun to ride the boat over to the island. Also glad I saw Neusch and Hohen. It 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 and got through Hohen fast. Yeah, it's not as spectacular but why miss it if you're there? Overall, the area feels a bit crowded and Disneyland-ish. We had about two hours left in the day to visit Linderhoff. Because we were so late, there were no lines or surge of tourists. And, even though the doors to the small palace closed, you could still wander around the absolutely stunning gardens. We were practically all alone. You should at least spend one day seeing these iconic, historical (but not old) dwellings.

Posted by
5244 posts

You're correct Lee - some trips are 15 min., most trips are 20 min.

"I know when I went there in 2009, I waited in the harbor for at least half an hour for the next ship to the island."

As you can see in the schedule you provided, the boats are timed to meet the Chiemseebahn trains. Maybe in 2009 that was not the case? Or?? But I cannot see any way that anyone would be stuck for an hour at the harbor with this schedule, and to me that shouldn't be a concern for the OP.

"The point is that it is a lot more than one hour from Munich to the Herrenchiemsee palace." That's right. It's an hour to Prien (like I said) and about another hour to Herrenchiemsee Palace from Prien station - "That's 4 hours total for Munich - Herrenchiemsee - Munich."

"Saving time is not a reason to go to Herrenchiemsee instead of Neuschwanstein."
Well, it's 5+ hours round trip from Munich to N'stein including the walk up. It's 4 hours to Herrenchiemsee. So it does save travel time, but no, not much. But that wasn't my point...

It's not the 4 hours of travel time to see H'chiemsee (and the monastery, the gardens, etc.) versus the travel time to N'stein alone, but the time savings over the N'STEIN + LINDERHOF combo-trip, either with GRAY LINE or independently. As you pointed out, Gray line offers "3½ hours at Neuschwanstein" - 3 hours of down time or snack time and souvenir time plus the (roughly) 5 hours of bus travel on that tour. It's a whole lot of moving around (and maybe standing around) with very little actual sightseeing time.