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  1. #1
    arivecchi is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Default Trip to Europe this spring

    We are heading to Europe for spring break.

    I was having an awful time finding a hotel in Paris until I found this wonderful article so I wanted to share it. https://www.thehotelguru.com/en-us/b...-family-hotels

    Also, we are taking the TGV from Paris to Annecy. We are then heading to Germany after that to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. I am at an impasse determining what is the best thing to do here.

    1) take trains to Munich from Annecy or Geneva to Munich and then book a tour to the castle?

    2) get to Geneva to rent a car, drive to the castle and then Munich and return the car there? Has anyone drive through Switzerland? What is that like in March?

    Would also appreciate any advice regarding visiting the castle and what to do in Munich since we wont have a ton of time there. Thanks!
    DS1 2006
    DS2 2009

  2. #2
    Liziz is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by arivecchi View Post
    We are heading to Europe for spring break.

    I was having an awful time finding a hotel in Paris until I found this wonderful article so I wanted to share it. https://www.thehotelguru.com/en-us/b...-family-hotels

    Also, we are taking the TGV from Paris to Annecy. We are then heading to Germany after that to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. I am at an impasse determining what is the best thing to do here.

    1) take trains to Munich from Annecy or Geneva to Munich and then book a tour to the castle?

    2) get to Geneva to rent a car, drive to the castle and then Munich and return the car there? Has anyone drive through Switzerland? What is that like in March?

    Would also appreciate any advice regarding visiting the castle and what to do in Munich since we wont have a ton of time there. Thanks!
    We've visited Neuschwanstein and driven through Switzerland. I would personally prefer to have a car visiting Neuschwanstein, as there wasn't tons of local transportation options in the area, and there were several things we enjoyed doing in that area. However, if you don't have time to do much more than that one visit, this may be less important. We never had issues driving through Switzerland - roads are easy, well maintained, etc. You need a special vignette, but I assume your rental car company would handle that for you. We did drive in Switzerland several times during the winter, but never hit any bad weather, so I can't comment on that part!

    My biggest advice for Neuschwanstein is that you need to reserve your spot early! It's only guided tours, and they do fill up well in advance. We met several people who were there visiting, but couldn't actually go inside because they didn't know to book in advance and tours were sold out. If you have the time, there is actually a second castle in walking distance from Neuschwanstein - Hohenschwangau - that is a fantastic tour and well worth your time as well. Unlike Neuschwanstein, it actually had people living in it for a long time, and so there's some interesting history. You'll get some great views from there (including views of Neuschwanstein) as well!
    Lizi

  3. #3
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default

    There is a “castle trail” or “road” (can’t recall the term”) in the area you are going where you can see multiple castles in a short distance so I would get a car and visit more castles while you are there.

    There’s also a science museum in Munich that is very good. I was last there 25 years ago and there was quite a bit that wasn’t translated but maybe that’s changed now.

  4. #4
    ahisma is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    If I'm reading correctly, you're looking at renting a car in Switzerland and returning in Germany. Check the costs associated with that. While the driving between EU counties is easy, the renting a car in one and returning in another has been quite a challenge for us.

  5. #5
    ged is offline Gold level (500+ posts)
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    FWIW - there is one fast train from Munich to Paris, daily. And I also agree that a car @Neuschwanstein is better. Agree with PP that picking up and dropping off in different counties can be an issue.

  6. #6
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    We did Neuschwanstein this summer (and 15 years ago) and definitely recommend a car. The English language tours fill up fast so I'd buy your tickets now if you haven't already. Make sure you walk up to the Marienbrucke while you are there for the views. Driving through Switzerland (we did that in 2019 from Paris) won't be a problem at all. Double check if you need to purchase a vignette for the countries in which you plan to drive. We didn't know about it in 2019 and ended up with a fine - I think from driving in Switzerland from France.

    If you are into hiking/outdoor activities and have time, the area around Neuschwanstein is beautiful. We stayed in Garmisch so I'm more familiar with that direction. We did a half day bike tour in Munich and everyone enjoyed it more than expected.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  7. #7
    arivecchi is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    We just got back from our trip. Loved driving through Switzerland and Bavaria to go to Neuschwanstein. We rented with Sixt at the Geneva airport and dropped the car off at our hotel in Munich so it was super easy.

    Hotel recs:

    Paris - Hotel Balmoral - we had family connected rooms. Amazing breakfast and location. Comfy beds and great service.

    Annecy - Hotel le Pelican - mezzanine room with twin beds in loft. Modern hotel with lake views and close to old village. My kids loved this hotel.

    Neuschwanstein - Ameron Neuschwnastein Alpsee - family room overlooking lake. Fabulous resort with many amenities.

    Munich - Hilton Munich City - comfortable hotel with Sixt car rental on premises.

    London - Hilton by Heathrow to catch our flight back after Munich airport shut down due to strikes. Connected rooms. Great exec lounge and service. Good spot to stay at before London flights.

    We loved all locations except Munich. Do not recommend traveling there. So many other amazing places to see.
    DS1 2006
    DS2 2009

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