At the end of our teaching, we want to go to Germany from Prague. Instead of flying out of Prague, I booked flying out of Frankfurt (only $10 more). We will have a Czech-Germany rail pass and hope to use train for most of the traveling. With train travel, what do you recommend for itinerary or route with a 10 and 14 year old (starting in Prague and ending in Frankfurt)? It will be Sunday afternoon - flying out of Frankfurt on Thursday morning in July. We know we want to see Dachau and castles. Thanks!
You obviously have to go through Munich, since Dachau is a western suburb of Munich.
There are several direct trains per day from Prague to Munich. The take about 6 hours. You can use your rail pass to ride without any extra fees. These are regional trains, so no seat reservations are possible. The train goes through Pilsen in the Czech Republic, crosses the border at Furth im Wald, and goes through Schwandorf, Regensburrg, and Landshut on the way to Munich.
There is also an express bus from Prague to Munich. It is faster than the train, about 4¾ hrs, but I think you have to pay a supplement to ride it with a rail pass, and you cannot book the bus online with a rail pass.
The most often seen castles are accessible by train from Munich in about 2 hours. Neuschwanstein, although popular, is not that old, about 125 years. Hohenschwangau, where Ludwig was raised is a little older. There are older castles at Burghausen and at Harburg (on the Romantic Road).
If you choose the reserved Prague-Munich bus, seat reservation fees are equivalent to 4 euros per person, but the train gives you more room to walk around. Rick's list of favorite sites is at http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/germany, excerpted from the book.