Hi, On May 22 we plan to take the 7:51 from Munich to Fuessen. From here we need to get to Konstanz, Germany, say by 7 p.m. What else can or should we cover before getting to Konstanz? And will it be practical to cover anything else? Also, it seems repair work is going on at Neuschwanstein. Is it really better to book the tickets in advance? The rules seem very rigid. Thanks. Ro.
You'll only have about 4 hours between trains (if you're taking a train). DBahn website says train that gets into Konstanz at 18:37 leaves Fuessen at 14:06. That's a quick turn around. Last October, we arrived at Neuschwanstein first thing on a Sunday morning, waited over an hour for tickets, and got a 3p English tour. Depending on what languages you speak, you may or may not get tickets for a tour right away.
Thanks for your response, Kathy. You say that "DBahn website says train that gets into Konstanz at 18:37 leaves Fuessen at 14:06. That's a quick turn around." My "agent" tells me that there is only a regional train between Fussen and Konstanz and that it leaves F at 2 p.m. and gets into K at 6:16. I have yet to explore this. I have to change at four in beween stations. Never imagined that it'd take this long to cover 71 miles! It looks like I could book tickets online to see the castles. This will save me time once I am there. Because of limited time I may see only one of the two castles. Any recommendation as to which one? Looks like ferries ply only from Meersburg to Konstanz. Any insight on ferries? But ferries may take longer. Tough decisions to make:) Thanks, again.
First place, who said it was 71 miles? According to ViaMichelin, the shortest driving distance is 147 km, about 91 miles. The Bahn website shows an all rail connection leaving Füssen at 14:06, getting to Konstanz at 18:16. The connection getting to Konstanz at 18:37 uses a bus. 14:06 is about 2 o'clock and 18:16 is 6:16 PM. Same connection. But that's not the only one. In 1988, I left from Immenstadt, on the line from Kaufbeuren to Lindau and went across the lake (Bodensee) by ferry from Friedrichshafen to Romanshorn and came up the Swiss side to Kreuzlingen and Konstanz. You could still do that but it would take a little longer. There is one train leaving Füssen Bahnhof every hour. One leaves at 14:06, and the fastest connection, the one mentioned above, to Konstanz is 4:10 with changes in Kaufbeuren, Lindau, Friedrichshafen, and Rudolfzell. The second fastest connection uses a bus from Friedrichshafen to Konstanz. That doesn't mean that there are not other connections. The Bahn just doesn't show them because they take longer. There is also a regional train connection at 13:05, as well as two using a bus part way and one using an ICE. At 15:05, it's the same as 13:05. If your "agent" said there was only one regional train per day, he is incompetent, and you should find a better agent (or just ask for advice here). Better yet, learn how to use the German Rail (Bahn) website and figure things out for yourself. But, the 2:04 PM connection is the last one that will get you into Konstanz by 7 PM. The nice think about taking regional trains is that there are no reservations. You can travel whenever you want. As long as getting to Konstanz at 8:16 PM isn't a problem, you could stay in Füssen until 4 in the afternoon.
Lee, Thank you so much for your detailed response. Indeed, as I write this, my other window is plugged into bahn.de. After reading your note, I understand why one 14:06 train from Fuessen to Konstanz has only three changes. It has to do with the bus transfer to KonstanzI guess. It's good that there is more than one train but I think it's a good idea to get to Konstanz early enough so I could do a few things there, too, before calling it a day. We leave for Zurich the next morning. I see that i could store my two carryons (that's all we are lugging with us from the U.S.) at Fuesen station or even at the ticket booth. This is a huge relief. I doubt I need/want to spend more than a couple of hours in Fuessen. Once more my question: Good idea to buy the ticket for the New Swan Stone castle in advance? Plan to see only one castle. I hear that in May the crowds are thin. I ruled out the ferry because it takes longer. Thank you, again. Ro.
"I see that i could store my two carryons ... at Fuesen station or even at the ticket booth." Have you been looking at my Füssen webpage? Actually you can't store your luggage "at the ticket booth". There are no lockers there, although I think they should have some. They do have Garderobe at each castle, so they tell me. A Garderobe (lit. check room) is like a locker, but returns your coin when you bring back the key. But I think I would prefer use the lockers at the Bahnhof rather than carrying my bags to the castles (particularly wouldn't want to carry them up the long hill to Neuschwanstein). The people at the TI office, right next to the bus stop, did tell me that people can leave their bags behind the counter while they visit the castles, but I think I would prefer the lockers at the station. I've visited the castle three times without reservations, but not in May. I don't know what it would be like at this time of year. Reservations might be a way to get peace of mind. The nice thing about coming out on the train is that you can be relatively sure (no traffic tie-ups, no lost way, no accidents) of when you'll get to the ticket kiosk. The 7:51 should get to the Fuessen Bahnhof at 9:56. The bus will be waiting outside the Bahnhof and will leave at 10:05. The bus lets you off at the TI office at 10:13 and it is no more than a 10 min walk around the corner to the kiosk. When I was there in 2009, 11:30 on 31 Aug, there was only one person in the ticket pick-up line. You need to pick up tickets one hour before your reserved time. If you reserved for later, you could have lunch in Hohenschwangau. Hotel Müller, the white building just up the hill from the kiosk and from where the horse carts to Neuschwanstein leave, is a good place for lunch.
"Feeling a bit concerned about having to change four trains going to Konstanz." Unlike airplanes, where you must "remain seated until the aircraft comes to a complete stop at the gate", on trains, you can leave your seat, collect your luggage, and move to the end of the car before you stop at the station (in fact, it is highly advisable). Once you get off the train, if you are changing platforms, locate the steps to the connecting tunnel, go down into the tunnel, find the steps to your new platform (there will be signs in the tunnel), and go up the steps. Others will probably be making the same connecton. Stay with the herd. The conductor will be on the platform, watching the people get on, and is not going to release the train until all are on. Keep moving and you won't have a problem. Most stations in Germany are of the "through" type, that is trains come in and go out from either end. In these stations, track (Gleis) 1 is usually accessible from the platform next to the station. Track 2 is next to it, but shares a platform with Track 3, etc.
I don't know if you've already noticed, but when the Bahn lists some connections, you can get the details by clicking the '>' symbol in the red box at the left. That will show you each train, start and end towns, times, and which track they are expected on. In 25 years in Germany, I only saw that change once. Kaufbeuren, Friedrichshafen, and Radolfzell are "through" stations. According to the Bahn, the change is between consecutive tracks, but the station plan shows them on adjacent platforms, so you will have to use the tunnel. Lindau is a "deadend" station (trains go in and out from the same end. You'll be changing there from track 7 to track 8. According to that station plan, those tracks share a platform, so you'll get off the train on one side and board the train on the opposite side.
Lee, Wow, so much to digest! Once again, thank you so much for all your great tips. Indeed, I visited your Fussen site just last night. Not sure if I visited before or after seeing your 2nd post. The photos look so inviting! Feeling a bit concerned about having to change four trains going to Konstanz. Wish me luck:) Just downloaded my 4-page long table of important expressions and words in the three languages (Italian, German and French) I'll have need for. Thanks again. Ro.
Thanks, again, Lee. Yes, I did expand the routes for both the 14:06 trains. My station stop is Bahnhof Konstanz and looks like I have to take the train where there is a bus connection unless it's the same train. It's a bit confusing as there are so many Konstanz stations though I know my stop is Bahnhof Konstanz. Does the bus drop me at the train station? Sorry to be asking you so many questions.
You seem to be very helpful. Danke. Ro.
That's OK. That's how you learn. First, if when entering the trip initially, you enter "Konstanz" in the 'to' box, it will show you a list of all the possible stops in Konstanz. One of them is "Bahnhof", the rail station. That could also be the bus stop in front of the station. Most of them are bus stops because the bus stops multiple places on its way to the station. If you pick "Hafen" (harbor, auf Deutsch), it will show you connections that go to the station with a walk to the harbor. One connection has "Kat", which is a catamaran that docks at the harbor, no walk shown. If you click on the "show map" link, it will show you a map of the route and if you enlarge it, it will show the bus taking a circuitous route to the Bahnhof, stopping at various stops on the way. If you click on the bus number, in this case "bus 7394", it will bring up a new page with all the stops on the bus's route. Konstanz Bahnhof is the last stop.
Hi, Lee, Thanks, again. So the train that stops at Konstanz does not go up to the stop named Bahnof Konstanz, which is where I have to go. This is why I am changing into a bus at Stadtbahnhof, Friedrichshafen. If the train goes up to Konstanz why can't I take the bus from this stop to Bahnof Konstanz? In other words, Konstanz of the train is not the same as Bahnof Konstanz? Thank you. Ro.
I said, "One of them is "Bahnhof", the rail station." The train to Konstanz stops only at the Bahnhof. The bus will stop near to or in front of the station, as well as some other places (Zähringerplatz, Sternenplatz, Bürgerbüro, and Schnetztor) in town on the way to the Bahnhof. Bahnhof is the German word for station.
In other words, Konstanz of the train is not the same as Bahnof Konstanz? Ro, the bus stop is not on the tracks and the train doesn't stop in the bus stop. They are close, that's why the stop is called Bahnof Konstanz.
Hi, Nigel, Thank you both for the various clarifications. Nigel, I didn't think the bus would stop on the tracks:) I realized the reason for my confusion. I knew I was supposed to get off at Bahnhof Konstanz (yes, I did know that Bahnhof is station in German) and the train with the bus connection lists this stop whereas the the straight train calls it just Konstanz. I feel relieved that I don't have to transfer to the bus. I can just stay on the train. Whew, what a relief! Thanks for all your help! Ro
By the way, when you start an inquiry on the Bahn website, you have the option of picking the "radio button" for Station, Address, or POI (point of interest). If you use address or POI, it will show you how to get from the station and what local transportation to take, if any. It will even show you a map of the route for walking.
Thanks, Lee, I think I got it. I also got precise directions from owner of the place. Will report back on trip. Ro.
Hi, Lee, I went back to bahn.de to check the schedule again to see when the next train from Fuessen to Konstanz Bahnof was after the 14:06. At this point, I need your help further. Looks like the train's last stop is plain Konstanz. To get to Konstanz Bahnoff, either I walk 6 minutes from Konstanz (see the 15:05 departure from Fuessen) or in the case of the 14:06 transfer to a bus in the last leg. What are your thoughst? Looks like my best option is the bus transfer, particularly duration wise. In the case of 14:06, Konstanz Bahnhof is listed only in the bus transfer option as opposed to the 15:05 departure. Thanks. Ro.
The IRE that stops in "Konstanz" at 18:16 does stop at the Konstanz Bahnhof (different name, same place). The 15:06 connectionwhere you see a six minute walk is from the KAT (catamaran) which stops in the harbor, and it is a 6 min walk from there to the Bhf.
Thanls, Lee. So, I am better off taking the 14:06. Strange that the 15:05 stops short. Ro.
Chiming in on visiting Neuschwanstein in May - we were there last May. This was one of my husband's "must see" places so we arrived to the ticket area about an hour before it was to open, and were first in line. I don't recall a particularly long line by the time it did open. We got the first English language tour which was about an hour later. Crowds were there, but manageable. So I don't think that reservations would be a must but if it gives you more peace of mind, I'd say go for it.
Thanks, Mary for chiming in. I was in two minds about booking in advance. I decided against it and to play it by ear. I am averse to avoidable time pressures:) I may also get lucky like you and the lines won't be too long. No more posts for now. Ciao! Ro.
Untoward drama I was afraid might happen, happened! Fuessen was, of course, stunning and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We bought our tickets for the Neushwanstein Castle 11:25 English tour, and since we had time, we decided to walk to the castle. The journey took your breath away in more than one sense. Flaunting my hand-made Burano lace umbrella, I made it to the top. The charming guide at the castle spoke very good English and the tour was not rushed in any way. All went well and we took the 14:06 as planned after having lunch across from the bus stop and buying a cute, genuine Black Forest handmade cuckoo clock at the nearby store. The short intervals I noticed between train changes on different platforms made me nervous. At Kaufbeuren we had only 3 minutes. The train from Fuessen pulled in a bit late. Still we made it to our train bound for Lindau. The train stopped at Immelstadt and when it left I noticed that the car in front of ours was missing. I wondered why, and so I asked an elderly couple in our car, who spoke no English, if the train was going to Lindau. They said no and tried explaining something in German. Anyway, cutting to the chase, we got off at the next stop, took a train back to Immelstadt, waited for about 90 minutes, took the next train to Lindau. Second post on its way! Ro.
Hi, again, Second post: Then changed at Friedrichshafen for Radolfzell (I couldn't even pronounce these names right). Divinely beautiful as this journey was, the train got stuck in between and this meant we would miss the connection for Konstanz at Radolfzell. I decided to pray. It paid off. We reached beautiful Konstanz at 8:05 as opposed to 6:16. At Immelstadt in our hurry, and not knowing the same train would split up and go in two different directions, we got into the wrong car and not understanding German instructions from the driver, we ended up not changing cars. Well, we live and learn! In Konstanz, I discovered conveyor belts for carryons alongside the staircase. How 'bout that? Whew! Thanks all for all your help. Ro.