Day Tripping outside Munich… Linderhof, Neuschwantstein, and Oberammergau

In planning my adventure in Germany and Vienna, I knew I wanted to schedule a day trip. One where I could sit back, relax on a motorcoach, and let someone else handle navigating from point A to B to C. This allowed me to experience a scheduled day tour.

I arrived at the meeting point with plenty of time to spare. There was a little confusion regarding what motorcoach might be ours as it was not clearly marked. That did surprise my fellow day trippers and myself since Grayline is a large company. Once they had the right motorcoach at the stop, we all boarded and started on our adventure.

The cost of the day trip (pre-paid), did not include the cost of admission to Linderhof or Neuschwanstein.  Once we were on our way, the tour manager came around to see if we wanted to purchase tickets to tour the castles. I was very happy to find out that we had a choice to purchase both, none, or just admission to one castle. I have toured Neuschwanstein before, but hadn’t toured Linderhof Castle yet. Now if I’ve been to Neuschwanstein, why go back? I wanted to see what it looked like in the winter vs. fall.

Linderhof Castle
Linderhof Castle

We first arrived at the parking area at Linderhof. Our tour manager went and purchased our tickets and we walked the short distance to the castle. Since it’s winter, the garden area was closed and the statues were encased in wooden structures to protect them from the elements. Even with not being able to see the statues, it was still worth the visit during this time of year. While small in comparison to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof is grand and the castle itself quite opulent. I am so glad I toured it. After the guided tour, we immediately started back to the motorcoach as we had a short amount of time before the motorcoach left.

Next stop…Oberammergau, an amazing village with beautifully painted buildings. It was amazing to see this village for the first time. Our motorcoach parked in the area by the Passion Play Theatre and we were given just a half-hour to visit shops or walk into the village. Sadly, it only gave me time to visit two shops. This is what you sign up for when joining a scheduled day trip. Plus, there never seems enough time to truly enjoy a destination. So with that, I know I will visit this village again, but on my own so I have time to walk and take in the painted buildings and beautiful wood carvings this village is famous for.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle

Final destination before returning to Munich…Neuschwanstein Castle. The Marienbrucke bridge is currently closed, so you can’t walk on it to get panoramic images of the castle. I knew about this ahead of time, but still wanted to enjoy seeing the outside of the castle again. There are three ways to get up to the castle, by bus, by horse-drawn carriage, or by walking up the long and winding road. It had snowed the day before and was deemed too slippery for the buses to run. I live in Michigan, and seeing the snow barely on the roads this information surprised me; however, some don’t get the amount of snow that we do. Needless to say, the line for the horse-drawn carriage was quite long. For me, I decided to hoof it up to the castle. It was a great workout and well worth the walk. I loved seeing this majestic castle in the winter.

The tour manager gave such great information regarding the areas we visited and the history. The driver was aces and kept us on schedule. All in all, I give Grayline tours high marks and I would definitely sign up for another tour with them again.

Excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein on walk from Marienbrucke Bridge
You’ve seen Disneys’ Cinderella’s Castle in pictures. Did you know that Walt Disney based this castle after Neuschanwanstein Castle? Since I started working at Witte Travel & Tours in 2000, I have wanted to see this castle in person. Words can’t properly convey how I felt when I finally saw this amazing castle.

Tracy (my co-worker) and I decided to travel to Neuschanstein Castle independently vs. signing up for a tour. We wanted to take as much time to explore the area without having a set schedule. We also wanted to travel completely by the rail system during our trip. If you prefer, you can sign up for a bus tour vs. traveling independently.

Myself on Marienbrucke bridge with NeuschansteinWould I travel independently to Neuschwanstein again? The answer is YES. I actually would love to return in the spring when everything is blooming. I would also stay in Fussen, which is close to Neuschwantstein. This way I can focus on not only Neuschwanstein Castle, but also other Ludwig Castles as well.

Tips for your Neuschwanstein adventure:

  • TICKETS – Buy tickets online. It will help you avoid long lines. While it was October, we ended up waiting in line for an hour just to purchase tickets. In busier times, this wait will be quite a bit longer.
  • TRANSPORTATION is available across from the ticket office and is quite reasonably priced. Be prepared for a wait if you are visiting during busy times. We had a half-hour wait to get the shuttle bus. You can choose between a shuttle bus or horse carriage. However, please note that neither option takes you right up to the castle. You will still have to walk part of the way yourself and the roads are steep.

Marienbrucke bridge from Neuschwanstein

  • MARY’S BRIDGE – I suggest you take the shuttle versus the horse carriage as it will drop you off near Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrucke). Be sure to hike to the bridge to see spectacular views of the castle. The bridge spans the gap over a waterfall nearly 100 meters below. It is well worth the time and hike.
  • Neuschwanstein - FrontTOURING THE CASTLE – Give yourself enough time to get up to the castle. You receive timed tickets and if you are late, you won’t be allowed to tour the castle. The guided tour lasts a half-hour. Photography is not allowed in the castle. Note, during the tour you will have to go 165 steps upstairs and then down 181 steps.

 

  • LEAVING NEUSCHWANSTEIN – I highly suggest walking down from the castle, past the horse carriage drop off, if you have time and don’t mind walking down a steep winding road. It was definitely worth the time to enjoy the scenery. You will happen upon a few shops and a hotel where you can stop for lunch. Tracy and I went this route and got to enjoy lunch outside with views of the castle.