Can anyone recommend a tour or car service to get from Munich to Bacharach with stops at Neuschwanstein Castle & a short stop at Rothenburg? This is a tricky part in our itinerary & the thought of 5 people with luggage doing this by train/bus is daunting. I had thought of staying over at Rothenburg, but I think I would rather have that extra night in Bacharach. Any ideas?
Hi, Jen. The best option is probably for you to change your plans for this day in some way. You're trying to accomplish way too much in a day. How many nights in Bacharach? Where are you headed after Bacharach? How long have you been in Munich prior to this day?
If it's any help at all, not one of your travel goals for this day is an absolute must-see place whose absence on your itinerary will make it a failure. There are lots of places like Bacharach - some much closer to Munich than Bacharach. There are several old walled towns like Rothenburg you might visit. There are lots of castles and palaces in Germany - some 25,000 or so. Somehow, it is common for Rick's readers to believe that the few places he focuses on most are the only ones worth seeing; the truth is that there is so much of interest to see in Germany within 50-100 miles of wherever you happen to be that there's no need for doing a marathon trip across the country in a single day.
We will be in Munich for 3 nights before this. One day we will take the train to Salzburg & Berchtesgaden, the other days explore Munich. Then we will check out of our hotel in Munich (a Saturday), and fly home out of Frankfurt 3 days later (Tuesday). In those 3 days, I want to see Neuschwanstein, Rothenburg, and cruise the Rhine from Koblenz or St. Goar to Bacharach. Yes, JUST like Rick! ;0) Currently I have a hotel reserved in Rothenburg for 1 night, but am wishing I could just make that a short stop to have more time in the Rhine area. We fly out of Frankfurt at 09:30, so think we will have to change hotels again to sleep near the airport our last night.
Wait... spell out exactly what you want here, please? I'm a little confused (or it might be the beer in me while watching the Olympics...) Are you trying to go from Munich to Neuschwanstein to Bacharach via Rothenburg in one day? Impossible.
Yep, exactly what I want to do. Is that crazy talk?
If you rented a car early in Munich, drove to Füssen, got in to Neuschwanstein for the 9am tour, drove up to Rothenburg for a hour or two overview of the town, and the drove on to Bacharach, you would
probably get in sometime around dinner.
That's a very ambitious day, but it's doable. I doubt there is any tour or car service that will organize this for you.
It would help to know where you will be prior to Munich? Also, using a rental car may not be the best idea. A vehicle for five plus luggage may not provide the most "comfortable" trip.
I'll have a closer look at this when I'm back on a "normal" computer.
Your now-elaborated itinerary is very helpful.
First off, you may not need to overnight at FRA. There is one early morning DIRECT train to FRA airport from Bacharach on most days - leave 6:54, arrive 8:06. Other trains head to FRA regularly too but require connections - they also take just over one hour. A 6:22 train gets you there at 7:34 most mornings.
I would suggest overnighting in Rothenburg as you originally planned. I would head straight from Munich to Rothenburg and axe the idea of N'stein, at least on that day - it's 5 hours of transport there and back to Munich, time you really don't have that day, and all for a 30-minute tour?? And it's a late 19th-century palace, not a real castle at all. You will need some time to see Rothenburg that day in any case. (Maybe you can cut short the day prior in Munich and visit N'stein in the late afternoon if you're desperate to do so; a 19:35 departure from Hohenwchwangau gets you back to Munich 3 hours later on most days.)
After your night in Rothenburg, head to Bacharach. You'll have 1.5 days and 2 nights there before your flight out. On the Rhine, you can tour a genuine 700-year-old castle - Marksburg Castle in Braubach:
If you cruise only from St. Goar to Bacharach you are seeing a very tiny part of the river by boat - a good part no doubt but too little. It's most efficient to cruise from south to north - about 40-50% faster than the other way because of the river current - and Bingen is an excellent starting point. Cruise north to St. Goar from there in 1.5 hours to see the very best part. OR, for a longer cruise, stay on the boat and cruise to Braubach for Marksburg Castle. The 9:30 from Bingen boat gets you to Braubach at 12:20 in plenty of time for you to make the 1:00 English tour.
(You could instead combine the cruise and Marksburg by ending your cruise in St. Goarshausen and using the train to reach Braubach from there - it's only about 20 minutes by train.)
There's no reason to cruise to or from Koblenz as the scenery around there is quite "meh" and the boat dock is a long trek from the train station.
I still don't think this will work. Maybe with ideal traffic along the entire route you could JUST make dinner at Bacharach. But you can never count on ideal traffic in Germany. More than likely, you'll hit a Stau that will throw your timing out of whack.
"Rick's guide to Marksburg is helpful but not so his comment that there are no English tours" Nor his failure to mention the parking lot just below the entrance. My 70+ year old mother didn't appreciate the walk up the hill only to see the large lot that we could have driven directly up to.
All good things to know! thanks, everyone. We will not try to do it all in one day. I think we will go from Munich to the castles & overnight at Rothenburg, then go onto Bacaharach the next day. I would like to spend 2 nights in Bacharach (as this hotel has been described as people's "favorite stay in Germany")--should I have any qualms about taking the train to the Frankfurt airport early that next morning (5:30 train) for our 09:30 flight to the states?
If you feel you need to be at FRA 3 hours early, then I guess the 5:30 departure from Bacharach will work. You'll likely have a change of train in Bingen of 5 minutes, which should be enough.
If it were my trip, I would want to stay in Oberwesel, a handsome wine town like Bacharach (but one that got less attention from Rick Steves and consequently is less impacted by North American tourists.) O'wesel is just 4 train minutes further north from Bacharach and an equally lovable place, but also one with an intact old town wall and towers (which you can explore on foot) and DIRECT TRAINS to FRA (trains that bypass Bacharach.)
Direct trains leave Oberwesel on most days at 5:31 and 6:34 and take 1 hour - and there'd be no connections to worry about. Because Bacharach is so close to Oberwesel and trains run well into the night, you could stay in Bacharach well into the evening if you wanted to and still make it back "home" to Oberwesel; trains leave Bacharach hourly for O'wesel until 22:22 on most days.
Oberwesel's Weinhaus Weiler has rooms right in town and awesome reviews. There are other nice places too.
Thank you for all of the great info, Russ! We will definitely visit Oberwesel, which was not even on my radar before. And Marksburg Castle. I can't wait for this trip!
Though I am pretty much an optimist, my thoughts on taking a train from Bacharach to the airport on the morning of a flight would make me nervous. Just this past Sunday, 2 different people jumped in front of the trains in areas right outside of Frankfurt, to say good bye to the world. This delays the trains of course. Mechanical problems, or even oversleeping, means you miss your train and have to wait an hour on the next one. Add to that, you need to get up at 04:00-04:30 to make this 05:30 train, means you get even less sleep right before this trans-Atlantic flight. Have you looked at the map of Bacharach to see where your hotel is located in relation to the train station? It might be a good 10-20 min. walk depending on your location.
If it was me, I would come into Frankfurt the night before, stay at one of the decent, but low price hotels near the train station, and get on the train at 06:15. If you miss this one, there is another one 15 min. later. They only take 11 min. to get to the airport. So, you could sleep a bit longer, maybe even get breakfast, and not feel stressed about this early morning train.