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travel from frankfurt to neuschwanstein castle to munich in 2 days

My husband and I are planning an early flight arriving Frankfurt in early June. We will have 2 full days and nights for sightseeing and Day 3 we need to be in Munich early (by 9am). We are interested in less touristy (besides the Neuschwanstein castle) areas. We want to see the landscape and the beautiful small towns. We are looking for suggestions on travel (train, car, bus), places to visit, suggestions on lodging for first night, and yummy restaurants/cafes.

Day 1 - 6 am arrival in Frankfurt
Night 1 - where to spend the night?
Day 2 - arrive near Neuschwanstein castle - tour both castles - other suggestions?
Night 2 - Villa Ludwig
Day 3 - travel early to Munich

Posted by
33296 posts

the city centre or the airport at Munich by 0900?

Posted by
1585 posts

wynn81 - Spend Night 1 in the Berger Strasse area (Bornheim) of Frankfurt. It is a wonderful neighborhood. Choose 1 of your two days stay in Frankfurt to day trip to Mainz or Wiesbaden. Both towns are less then 30 minutes away from Frankfurt. When in Munich, I recommend to see this quaint little town called Landsberg am Lech (fairytale town); and if you want to fulfill your wish to see a small little town with a beautiful landscape then Garmisch-Partenkirchen is your winner.

Posted by
8 posts

We are meeting friends in Munich at a TBD hotel near marienplatz area. They are flying in to Munich at 7:30am and we will meet up with them at the hotel to walk/sightseeing in Munich. So we'd like to be in Munich between 9 and 10am so we have the full day to experience Munich.

Posted by
2477 posts

I would via train all the way to Fussen. If you want, overnight in Augsburg.

Be sure to have reservations for Neuschwanstein

Posted by
33296 posts

On day three, if you want to go by train you have two choices - the 06:00 which arrives at the Hauptbahnhof at 08:04, and the 07:03 which gets in at 09:06.

Either way, unless this travel is on a weekend, you will be too early to use a Bayern Ticket so the train will be much more expensive, and you will be traveling with the go-to-work commuters, so as you approach Munich the train will fill up. A lot.

If you drove you would be driving into Munich at rush hour so not only would you have to do something with the car - very expensive and not easy in Munich - you will be driving to Munich with all the commuters. You would need to leave lots of extra time.

Or arrange to meet them later.

Posted by
6787 posts

"We want to see the landscape and the beautiful small towns." And castles.

So I am siding with RJean's suggestion that you spend Night 1 in the Mainz area. Not necessarily in Mainz though. From FRA, 45 minutes on the local train will get you to Bingen, where you can drop your bags at the front desk and spend the entire day in the best part of the Rhine River Valley. The Rhine is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site...

The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles,
historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history
of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It
is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has
exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.

Take the northbound river cruise from Bingen to view all the castles, vineyards, old-world towns.

Tour historic Marksburg Castle (English tours at 1 and 4 pm) and/or Rheinfels Castle

Take the train back to Bingen, visiting the old-world towns of Oberwesel and/or Bacharach. Oberwesel has an easy walking route around the old town wall there.

You could possibly stay overnight in that castle you see in the Oberwesel photo above instead of in Bingen…

Day 2: See what you missed on the Rhine, or travel to Mainz for a look around. Nice walkable city. Travel to Munich from Mainz in the pm, 4-4.5 hours.

No, I did not suggest Neuschwanstein as well. You would have an additional 5 hours of travel from and back to Munich by train and bus just to get to the beginning of the trail. The tour of N'stein is 30 minutes, IME totally overcrowded and conducted in English that no native English speaker could understand. N'stein is a modern residential palace with a fake castle exterior - not a castle at all - that was built just prior to the dawn of the 20th century. N'stein will likely never see UNESCO WH status because nothing has ever happened there. Going there would only force you to skip something else that's more worthwhile for you in your very limited time, IMHO.

Posted by
5122 posts

I agree with everything Russ said about N'stein Castle. I also found the indoor tour to be short and uninspired, and it's a hassle: waiting in lines for the bus to get up to that castle, and the lines at the castle, even with timed tickets. If you feel you must go to Fussen, I'd suggest hiking up to the castle, take your pix from St. Mary's Bridge, and then hike back down. I think the views are the experience, not the indoor castle tour.
Safe travels!

Posted by
19166 posts

@wynn, if you want to see the castles at Füssen, don't let the naysayers dissuade you. Neuschwanstein is a beautiful building, an icon of Germany, and an interesting insight into an eccentric king. I've toured it three times (once by myself, twice more to show friends), as well as Hohenschwangau once, and I've always enjoyed them, and I never felt I wasted my time. There are a few "authentic" castles in Germany. There are also a lot of "castles" in Germany that are just late 1900, non-authentic, reconstruction of ruined castle, but a lot of people visit them. IMO, as long as you understand Neuschwanstein for what it is, it's better than the latter group.

As for the logistics of your visit, unless you get to Füssen in the mid to late morning, you won't have time to see both castles. You need to travel most of the way to Füssen on your arrival day. And don't plan to do that by car; with jetlag, it's dangerous. Use the excellent rail system in Germany. Maybe you should spend the first night in Villa Lugwig also. It looks like they will arrange you castle visits for you. Then maybe you proceed to Munich that night so you can be there in the morning when your party arrives.

Posted by
6787 posts

There are a few "authentic" castles in Germany.

There are actually dozens and dozens of "once-authentic" medieval castles that are in some state of destruction or decay. Rheinfels in St. Goar is one of those. Ruins like Rheinfels outnumber INTACT medieval castles by a huge factor.

So I think with "authentic," Lee means "intact." Very few of those indeed! And that's why I recommended a visit to MARKSBURG Castle in Braubach - it's one of the rarest of the rare. There's something very special about walking through a place that has stood for 800+ years and served its medieval purposes successfully for such a long time.

Ruined or intact, a defensive structure from the Middle Ages is known to Germans as a "Burg" (castle.)

But German speakers do not call Neuschwanstein a castle or "Burg." N'stein, finished in the 1890's, was built on top of the rubble from some old real castles, not to function as medieval castle would, but as a residential palace for royalty. It has "fanciful" architectural features like turrets and castellations, like real castles once did, but just like the Disneyland "castle" that N'stein inspired, these features are there only for show. And for this reason, it's not a castle to the Germans. Schloss Lichtenstein, like Schloss Neuschwanstein, is another example of this group... some hilltop lay in ruins for centuries, then an architect from the German Romantic period came along and built his own little Disney castle, which was used later used as a home, or a hotel, or a museum, or a tourist attraction, etc. The German-speaking countries generally refer to such a building as a "Schloss" (palace) and put "Schloss" right before the name. Schloss Heidelberg is another example.

There are also a lot of "castles" in Germany that are just late 1900.

Not if you ask a German. Sure, that's what we English-speakers might call them, but what do we know about castles and palaces? I think part of travel is making an effort to perceive the world as the target culture does. German-speakers draw a pretty clear line. The aren't being "picky" - it's just that for them, the distinction is meaningful, and for visitors, worth learning.

Posted by
19166 posts

Not if you ask a German.

Please read the dissertation on "Schloß" vs "Burg" by SLA019 (who is German). "It [the distinction] is not clear-cut."

There are numerous examples in the Rhein/Mosel area of one-time castles that were rebuilt from ruins in the 19th century with modern interior but are still referred to as "Burgen". A prime example is the "Reichsburg" in Cochem, which resembles a castle from the outside, but is in reality a "chateau" (their description), a vacation home for a Berlin businessman, who rebuilt it on the same site as an earlier castle, probably with the same stones. Other "fake" castles include Stahleck, built as a hostel on the site of a ruined castle, and Schönburg, a hotel in a modern building constructed next to a ruined castle.

I do agree with Russ on the Marksburg, which is a real castle that has been preserved in it's former condition by the German Castle Assoc. Other intact castles in Germany include Harburg castle in Schwaben and the Burghausen castle on the Salzach.

The palace in Hechingen, which has great similarities to Neuschwanstein, was built by Wilhelm I, in the 19th century.
Both were built by kings as their personal living quarters. The one in Hechingen is called a Burg.

Posted by
6787 posts

By "ask a German" I didn't mean just ONE German, but the average German. Or just consult any German dictionary you like that explains the distinction as it is made in today's German:

Naturally, when building sites get worked over across several centuries, some weird things occasionally pop up that people might be confused about, or disagree about, some "Zwischending." It's a little like tomatoes. Vegetable, or fruit? We can have lively discussions about that. But that doesn't mean we don't basically know what a fruit is or what a vegetable is. Neither does a weird Burg/Schloss alter the common man's basic understanding of the distinctions between Burg and Schloss. Those distinctions are still fundamentally clear to the native speaker.

I'm pretty certain that the average German looking over the Reichsburg thoroughly for the first time and learning about its history, if asked to choose a category, would call it a Schloss. Yet he would still be forced to call it Reichsburg, because that's its name. Names persist from the distant past even when they contradict present reality. No one would ever call this Schloss "Reichsschloss" or say let's take a walk up to the Schloss. With -burg as part of its name, it will be called the Burg. But ask a German what it really is, and Schloss will be the answer, if not all the time, then almost all the time.

Burg Hohenzollern gets referred to as "Burg" as well. But it's a Schloss. That's why the official webpage officially calls it the
"Hohenzollernschloss Sigmaringen"

But its common name is Burg Hohenzollern. And the text at the official site refers to it by its common name, just as people do in everyday speech. Ask them if it's a Burg or a Schloss, though, and their answer will be "Schloss."

What happens when you take a real castle like Stahleck (albeit a restored real castle) and hack up the interior into a youth hostel? Well, there's no special word for that. But hostel rooms don't change it from a Burg into a Schloss. So Burg is the common choice... the imperfect but negotiated choice between the prototype Burg and the prototype Schloss.

SLA... says, "...there are no technical criteria anymore." Yet Stahleck and other examples show clearly that there are some criteria in the heads of the native speaker. The word Burg does not occur in free variation with the word Schloss, not in reference to Stahleck, and not in reference to the vast, vast majority of these buildings.

Posted by
19166 posts

Strange webpage. The title is Hohenzollernschloß Sigmaringen, but the picture is of the Wilhelm's "castle" at Hechingen, which, although built at about the same time as Neuschwanstein, even more closely resembles a burg, with defensive walls and an elaborately fortified gate. The Schloss at Sigmaringen is an entirely different building, 20 miles to the south of Hechingen, in the town of Sigmaringen. It started a thousand years ago as an actual castle (Burg), but over the centuries, as the need for defensive castles waned, it was buried under the new, " palace" additions. But parts of the original castle, such as the entrance through a tunnel, with openings through which they could pour boiling oil on attacker, still exist today.

But regardless of why, and in what manner, Neuschwanstein was built, it remains a beautiful and interesting building, which, as long as you understand what it is, is a nice place to visit. We understand that you don't like it, but that is no reason to make others, who want to see it, feel guilty or stupid for their choice.

Posted by
6787 posts

"...feel guilty or stupid for their choice."

Don't know where you got that. What I said or maybe implied is that Americans tend to be uninformed about castles and palaces in Germany - they are handicapped in this knowledge by where they live - and thus have no experience with such matters.. But inexperience and/or lack of knowledge is not stupidity. Our castle naivete is pretty much fact according to tour guides at N'stein like Patrick Korb, who says in a DW article that Americans with the image of a perfect medieval castle in their heads often refuse to believe him when he tells them when it was built.…

Schlossführer Patrick Korb (32) hat festgestellt, dass Besucher aus
unterschiedlichen Erdteilen auch unterschiedliche Erwartungen hegen.
„Amerikaner haben oft das Bild von der perfekten Mittelalterburg im
Kopf. Wenn man ihnen dann sagt, dass das Schloss zu einer Zeit gebaut
wurde, als in Chicago schon die ersten Hochhäuser entstanden, wollen
sie das manchmal kaum glauben.

I don't think Patrick is calling us stupid either.

" remains a beautiful and interesting building, which, as long as you understand what it is, is a nice place to visit."

The whole Burg/Schloss discussion was intended to help people understand what it is - that's all.

Whether N'stein is a worthwhile experience is a different matter - that's personal, subjective. Regarding pro/con votes for N'stein on this forum, there are probably 20 "ay-sayers" for every 1 "nay-sayer" like me. They enjoyed the place - fine with me. I honestly don't think my puny little "nay" vote could make anyone feel guilty or stupid - I certainly hope it doesn't - but "nay" remains my vote.