What is the best way to get from the airport at Frankfurt to Rothenburg? Have traveled there by car from another country but, this time, am flying into Frankfurt and going directly there for the first two nights of my trip. Thanks, in advance, for your help.
There are hourly Regional Express (RE) trains from Frankfurt Hbf to Würzburg at 30 or 34 min past the hour. They stop at Kahl am Main, which is just over the border into Bavaria. At the Regionalbahnhof at the airport you purchase a local RMV tickets from the airport to Kahl (7,80/adult) and a Bayern-Ticket that will cover Kahl to Rothenburg, then catch the next S-Bahn to the Hbf and find the RE to Würzburg there (somewhere around tracks 7-12). From Würzburg, you take a regional train (RB) to Steinach and the shuttle train from Steinach to Rothenburg.
The trip using the RE takes about 3¾ hours from the airport to Rothenburg (up to 4½, depending on which ¼ hourly S-Bahn you catch). Using an ICE for the airport to Würzburg leg will take 3-3½ hrs to Rothenburg, but costs 50€/person. You could get a Savings Fare for the ICE connection for as low as 29€/adult, but I would not advise it because those are train-specific, non-refundable tickets and your flight could arrive late.
Lee, thanks for the quick and thorough answer. I appreciate your help.
Karren- I have always rented a car and driven from FRA to Rothenburg directly upon arrival (about 2 hours, depending on the traffic) - just don't drink too much on the overnight flight! have a good trip!!! Boomer...
Please, please, don't drive on A3 immediately after arriving jet-lagged from North America! Sleep-deprivation works almost as bad as alcohol on your reaction times. I have a personal interest in this, because I sometimes need to drive on this road...
If you must to drive directly to a walled medieval town immediately after touching down in Europe, consider Büdingen instead. It's only about 30 minutes north of the airport.
I've fallen asleep on the train going to my final destination after arriving at FRA. I was glad I wasn't driving.
People who rent cars obviously don't care about the cost, so pay the 50€ (per person) and take the ICE. That's only about 45 min longer than the driving time, likely no longer when you factor in the time to get the rental car. And you won't need a car in Rothenburg.