Booked this tour through Viator. Who knew these tours to the castle were limited days and book up fast! We arrived at the pick-up spot (Mike’s Bike Tours) before 8am. Hofbräuhaus is just around the corner. It is a short walk from Marieplatz train stop. After waiting for others to arrive until 8:30am, we finally left to walk 5 minutes to board a charter bus. Note when at the office, have cash with you to pay for tickets to the castle (this is not included in the tour price). Also, be sure to have a mask with you or you may purchase at the office in cash. There are no restrooms. They had WIFI at the office.
We then drove to a hotel to pick up another 30 people and overall had almost 50 people on the bus as we took off for the castle. Unfortunately, they locked the restroom on the bus stating they don’t want to risk it with that many people aboard. Seemed strange since we were going on a 2-hour drive and unlikely to stop anywhere. We were told they could open it for emergency situations, but you’re better off paying to use the restroom somewhere before boarding the bus. Our guide Nikolas gave us a breakdown of our day ahead. We had the option to buy tickets to see the two castles, one castle and do a bike ride, or just the castle and have free time to wander the town. We opted to see both castles. On a cold rainy day, this was better than riding bikes. Nikolas provided our castle tickets and we had about an hour to explore, shop, etc. We then made our way to explore the first castle which is a steep climb up. The guided tour lasts 30 minutes and masks are required to be worn inside. No photos allowed inside. After our tour we stopped by Mueller for lunch, which is located inside one of the hotels. Our tour time for Neuschwastein Castle was for 3:30pm so we made sure to take the shuttle bus a little early (around 2:30pm) given the lines and if we wanted to see other vantage points before meeting our group. You have the option to hike up the very steep path or take the bus for 3 EUR. I think it’s worth it to do the bus especially on a rainy day when the road could be a bit slippery. Once we reached the top, we had a little time and decided to hike up further to walk along a bridge that gives a beautiful view of the castle.
We met our group and waited for Nikolas and his assistance to join us. We promptly entered the castle at 3:30pm. Remember to wear a mask once you enter the building for the 30-minute tour. After the tour, you’ll have a little time to quickly explore the gift shop and use the restroom before we meet up at 4:40pm. Hang on to your tickets because Nikolas will collect these to keep track of us on the bus. We were told souvenirs are a bit cheaper once you exit the castle and wander outside. Its best to use the restroom in the castle otherwise you’ll be looking for a paid restroom quickly before boarding the bus. The souvenir shops before getting on the bus also sell snacks like pretzels and drinks. We arrived back to the city around 7:30pm. Many places close between 8-9pm so I’d suggest going straight to eat somewhere in the area before anything else. Overall, this felt like we just paid for transport to the castle. The rest was separate tours we pay for to see the castles.
- Use the restroom before boarding the bus. They lock the restroom on the bus. You may need to pay for a public restroom so keep cash with you. (Usually 50 cent to 1-2 EUR).
- Bring snacks on the bus for the morning ride and way back. They sell water and beer on the bus (2-3 EUR).
- The bus has no wifi, but you may find it at the hotels if you dine there.
- Bring a mask with you because they are required inside the castles. They sell them at the tour office in case you forget (might be 2 EUR).
- Wear comfortable shoes. The walk up or down to the castle is steep and it is best to have sneakers on.