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Neuschwanstein on own or with tour?

I cannot decide whether to travel from Munich to the castles on our own (family of 5) or do a tour. I have been looking at the Mike's Bike Tour, and while it looks like a lot of fun, it lasts like 12 hours (08:00-20:00)! I think on their description it says they don't even tour the castle (you only get to tour 1 castle if you stay with the group & do their extra stuff like bikes, etc.) until 15:00. Also, I think the vehicle is a huge tour bus.

If we did it on our own, I know the trains take awhile, but how long are we actually talking? I would like to explore the area fully (tour both castles, hike up to Mary's bridge, do the luge once or twice, maybe do a short bike ride--but that's a real "maybe" thing) and in a perfect world, get back at around 17:00 so we have the evening to enjoy Munich.

Has anyone gone either way & have thoughts/recommendations?

Posted by
18388 posts

Some tours use the trains, some buses. I think Mike's might be a bus. The price of the tours don't include tickets for the castle tours, but they do get your tickets at the tour pickup counter, which save time.

The trains take about 2 hours each way. The least expensive travel would be to buy a Bayern-Ticket for 5 people for 39€. It would cover any in town transportation to the Munich Hbf, the round trip train from Munich to Füssen, and all buses in Fuessen (round trip from the Bhf to Hohenschwangau and to the Tegelbergbahn [luge]). But, with everything you want to do, leaving after 9 AM (if you go on a workday) would get you to Hohenschwangau at 12:13 and make it almost impossible to do all that you want to do. If you go on a weekend or pay full fare on a work day from Munich to Füssen, you can get to the castle earlier. Full fare to Füssen is 25,50€ for anyone over 14; 14 and under are free. You could leave at 6:53 AM and get to Füssen at 8:55 AM. If you buy the Bayern-Ticket in Munich before you leave, it will cover your bus to Hohenschwangau (because it leaves Füssen after 9), further travel to/from Tegelbergbahn, and your trip back to Munich.

If you do this, I would suggest you get reserved castle tickets online and take the tours of both castle first thing. For Neuschwanstein, there is a bus from the village of Hohenschwangau that lets you off above Mary's bridge, and you hike down to the castle. If you still have time after the castles, you can take the same bus that brought you out from Füssen to go on to Tegelbergbahn (about 10-15 min).

Posted by
316 posts

With 5 folks, simplify the trip & rent a car for a couple of days. Stay overnight in Fussen or GAP and visit other worthwhile sites like Linderhof, Wies Church, Zugspitz (if the weather is good), Ettal, Herren Chiemsee, etc ...

Posted by
31524 posts

Jen,

I've used Radius Tours for the Castles, and would certainly recommend them (they may be associated with Mike's Tours, but I'm not sure). The duration of the tour is about nine hours, which includes travel times to and from Füssen. They did provide time to see Mary's Bridge, but can't remember if there was time to see Hohenschwangau.

Posted by
7205 posts

Kenneth is 100% correct. The area around Neuschwanstein is beautiful and spending a night or 2 there is a great choice. Look at the Hotel Rubezahl or the Hotel Helmerhof Schwangau right below the castle. They are both great with wonderful restaurants and fabulous views to the illuminated castles at night. Rubezahl has a collection of bikes for their guests for free. Lots of bike trails and friendly farms and of course the castles. It's also a very very easy afternoon trip to Castle Linderhof from there. Tegelberg is a blast and so much easier with a car.

We've also done Mike's Bike Tours to the castles from Munich. Yes, it's on a big coach bus and lasts the entire day. It was also raining like crazy the day we went and the bike tour goes even in bad weather. We were soaked to the bone and cold last June when we did this. If you had a car you'd have a bit more flexibility in what you do and when you do it.

Posted by
989 posts

We are doing Mike's Bike tour this June (and thanks for the rain info - I was on the fence about whether to pack rain jackets, now I will!). My boys are 9 and 11 and I think the other experiences that aren't the castle are what they will like. I know it's going to be a long day, but I think it will be simpler for us to do the tour and let the kids do a bunch of other fun stuff. We are doing some stuff on our own, but this one to me sounded fun. :)

I'll report back on how it goes!

Kim

Posted by
7205 posts

Our rainy experience last year was during the deluge that lasted several days. I've never been so absolutely soaked through and through. It was also chilly so yes we all had our big coats...which were also soaked through and through. Mike's Bikes had a few of the disposable rain ponchos for sale but not nearly enough for the entire group.

We're doing the castle thing on our own this year via the Bayern ticket from Munich.