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Germany- Romantic Road?

Hi, I'm new here! Wanting to see the countryside of Bavaria in October and thinking perhaps the Romantic Road is a good route. I am open to any better ideas and routes. We get off our river cruise in Vilshofen and at this point, we are thinking we will train to Munich and hit the road from there. Any information would be helpful to start our planning. Rent a car & drive it or is there a scenic train? We are thinking of spending 4-5 days on this portion of our trip. Is that enough time to do it at a somewhat leisurely pace and hit the main attractions? We will end in Wurzburg/Frankfurt. Thank you for any help!

Posted by
1984 posts

No train. Get the Michelin Green Guide for Germany as a starting place.

I would drive from Munich to Fussen, stopping at Linderhof and Wies church on the way. Overnight in Fussen. Then drive the Romantic Road. From the Michelin Guide and info from the internet ( town wensites have loads of info. They usually have the format ), determine other towns to stay in. Rothenburg ob der Tauber for at least one. nignt. Two is better.

Posted by
18620 posts

In 2007, I did the Romantic Road from Wieskirche to Würzburg. I did it in about 4 - 4½ days (3 whole days, 1 half day, and 1 x ¾ day). I did it entirely using public transportation (trains and local buses). I spent 2 nights in Oberammergau, seeing Linderhof on the day before I started up the RR (not included in the 4-4½ days), I didn't start in Füssen because I had already been there three times. So, I started in Wieskirche, which I got to by bus from Oberammergau. I spent nights in Landsberg am Lech, Nördlingen, Feuchtwangen, and Weikersheim. Along the way I stopped at Schongau, Donauwörth, Harburg (Sch), Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg odT (lunch), and Bad Mergentheim. I did not spend a night in Rothenburg because, again, I had already visited it twice, and there was something I wanted to see something (no longer there) in Feuchtwangen, so I spent the night in Feuchtwangen.

You are right to do the trip over a few days rather than drive right through like some people do. They end up seeing an uninteresting country road and don't get to experience all the interesting towns on it. Based on my experience, the trip is not about the road itself; it is just an ordinary 2-lane country road. It's the places along the road that make it worthwhile; spend some time seeing them.

I think the high point for me was Nördlingen (see view 4). I think of Nördlingen as Rothenburg's less touristy little sister. It doesn't have a Christmas Shoppe or a Crime & Punishment Museum, but I'm not interested in the C & P Museum, and I only briefly looked into the Shoppe. Nördlingen does have a wall with a Wehrgang you can walk on and a church tower you can climb for a panoramic view of the land around town. I spent about 20 hour (including overnight) in Nördlingen and hated to leave.

I used the Bahn for travel from Schongau to Nördlingen and from Bad Mergentheim to Würzburg, the rest was by bus. For most of the Road, only if there are not trains between the town, will you find buses. The buses follow the Road; the trains go around it. So for the bus segments, you really get to see the road itself.

It's a bit more of a challenge, but possible, to find the bus schedules. The Bahn website is helpful for that.

Here is the website for the Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse).

Posted by
2796 posts

Agree with Stephen. Maybe add a trip to the top of the Zugspitze, which isn’t far from Fuessen in Ehrwald, Austria. Fuessen is a charming old town itself. We stayed twice at the Hotel zum Hechten.

Where are you departing from?? After your 4 or 5 days?

Posted by
18620 posts

OK. I've been to the top of the of the Zugspitze (both the German and Austria side). I've also been to Linderhof, as well as Füssen and on the Romantic Road. Don't get me wrong, both were enjoyable trips.

BTW, the town of Ehrwald is not "near the top of the Zugspitze", it's near the bottom of a cable car to the top, just like Grainau, just outside by train from GaP.

I've been to the top of the Zugspitze, at 9718 feet. I've also skied at Loveland Basin, base elevation 10,800 feet (a thousand feet higher at the parking lot than the top of the Zugspitze), and a lot higher elsewhere in Colorado. And I've been to the top of Pike's Peak, 14,415 feet.

The Zugspitze is notable, not for it's absolute height, but for its relative height above the surrounding terrain and the view, if you get there before it clouds up.

I enjoyed Linderhof; spent almost an entire day there.

But, the point is, the OP wants to do the Romantic Road and I'm trying to help him do it.

As far as Wieskirche, my impression is that it is over-hyped. It's a Rococo church; overly gaudy. I had an hour to visit the church. In five minutes I had seen enough. I went across the street to a Gasthof for lunch before heading north to Schongau.

I started the day in Oberammergau and went by bus to Wieskirche via Echelsbacher Brücke. When I left Wieskirche an hour later, I went back to Echelsbacher Brücke, where I changed buses to Schongau. Had I started in Füssen, the stopovers at Wieskirche, waiting for the next bus, would have been two hours, totally more time than the site needs. In my research leading to my trip, Schongau was the only place south of Landsberg that I deemed worthy of a stop. As it turned out, Schongau was not that interesting. The town is not much more than early 20th century architecture, and the wall is basically just a big retaining wall, preventing the town from sliding down to the train station. The town wall is hardly accessible for viewing from town.

In my impression, except for adherence to authenticity, you could start the tour of the road in Landsberg am Lech. (The Romantic Road Coach ends its RR tour in Augsburg, a little north of Landsberg. I skipped through Augsburg, thinking that since it is at the junction of two major rail lines, I would eventually get back to it; regretfully, I never have. Donauwörth was worth seeing from the standpoint that is understood to be the beginning of the "Junge Donau" (young Danube) and for the thousand year old castle ruins, Mangoldstein, there.