Hello - we will be traveling in June, coming from Salzburg by train. We will do the Romantic Road northbound. I'm looking for itinerary suggestions by car. We want to start at Neuschwanstein, so should we train from Salzburg to Munich and pick the car up there and double back to Neuschwanstein? Or other suggestions? Train to Fussen and pick car up there? Also, we would like to take a few days to do the route, so suggestions on overnights besides Rothenburg? How easy to add in Zugspitze? All help welcome. Thank you!
I lived in Augsburg for four years and suggest that you make a stop for at least half a day there.
You can come up from Fussen. Augsburg would be a great place to stay for the night.
From Augsburg, just head up the road and visit those wonderful towns. Dinkelsbuhl is similar to Rothenberg, but not as many tourists.
Donauworth is a must see as well as Nordlingen.
Starting in Salzburg, gonacross the border and rent the car in Germany ( Freilassing ). Drive via. Prien ( see Herrenchiemsee palace ). Figure somewhere to stay midway to Fussen, perhaps Bad Tolz. 2 nights in Fussen, Overnight in Nordlingen, then 2 nights in Rothenburg. Perhaps 1 night in Wertheim, then Wurzburg
I would definitely recommend that, if you are going to do the Romantic Road at all, you do it slowly. The Road itself is nothing special, just one more winding country road, full of trucks, buses, and farm equipment. It's the towns along the road that make it worth while; spend some time in them.
I too, went south to north, starting in Wieskirche. I had spent the night in Oberammergau and decided not to do the road from Füssen, since I had already been to Füssen twice by that time. I made overnight stops in Landsberg am Lech, Nördlingen, Feuchtwangen, and Weikersheim and ended up in Würzburg in the fifth afternoon, after a stop in Bad Mergentheim to see the castle of the Teutonic Order. In addition to the overnight stopping place mentioned above, I stopped in Schongau, Donauwöth, Harburg, Dinkelsbühl, and Rothenburg. I did not spend a lot of time in Rothenburg because, again, I had already stopped there two times before. Of all of the places I stopped, I would say that Weikersheim was a place that was unexpectedly better than I had thought and Dinkelsbühl was a disappointment, probably because the wall didn't have a Wehrgang to walk on and because I had totally fallen in love with Nördlingen the day before.
I should add that I made the trip entirely using public transportation (rail and buses). It is possible; you don't have to do it by car. But then, I am a meticulous planner and familiar with German bus schedules.
Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions. We do intend to do it slowly. Taking approx 4 nights to do the route. Any other suggestions welcome. Also appreciate the link above with the website as I had not seen that one yet. Thanks again.
Dinkelsbuhl is similar to Rothenberg, but not as many tourists.
I think that that description more accurately describes Nördlingen. Yes, both Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, inside the walls are similar, but Nördlingen's wall is more like that of Rothenburg, with a Wehrgang (defensive platform) you can walk on today, and from which soldiers planned on defending the wall. Dinkelsbühl, on the other hand, planned to defend the wall from a series of closely linked towers that protruded out from the wall and would allow them to shoot back at attackers.
But, yes, both Nördlingen and Dinkelsbühl are mercifully less touristy than Rothenburg. They both "lack" a Christmas shoppe or a Crime & Punishment museum.
Of the two, I liked Nördlingen much better.
so should we train from Salzburg to Munich and pick the car up there and double back
to Neuschwanstein? Or other suggestions? Train to Fussen and pick car up there?
There is a Hertz Auto Rental at Füssenerstr. 112, as well as a lot of places to stay, in Schwangau, between Füssen and the castles.
Over the years I have come to prefer Nordlingen to even Rothenburg odT. Partially due to the fact that it's situated in a meteor crater, and partially because it's not on everyone's list. The Altstadt is (IMO) as nice, and the city walls and gates are at least as interesting. Plus I think it's got better views than Dinklesbuhl.
But don't overlook Augsburg and Wurzburg, the two "big cities" on the route. Both are worthy of a day at least.
I prefer Nördlingen to Rothenburg. For me, R'burg had a certain feel not unlike the feel you get at a purpose-built museum, resort, or amusement park. In a town of 11,000 residents that receives 2.5 million visitors per year, this vibe is probably unavoidable. In Nördlingen, locals are not all shopkeepers, innkeepers, service employees, etc. whose job it is to serve tourists; Nördlingen's medieval buildings look somewhat more "lived in" than Rothenburg's - as they in fact are. The bulk of the people who wake up in Nördlingen actually wake up there every morning of the year to go about their more typical German lives. Guests from abroad who overnight there and leave within 24-48 hours are a relatively small minority. Rothenburg, despite heavy rebuilding after the damage done in WW II, does look a bit more like an authentic medieval town - actually I'm not old enough to say that, so "like I envision an authentic medieval town" is better wording. But for me Nördlingen comes across as more "real" on several levels.
I realize you're planning to drive. But for train users heading to the Romantic Road who might read this...
Nördlingen - unlike Rothenburg - will be accessible from Munich by DIRECT regional express train (you can use the Bayern Ticket day pass) in just 2 hours... and this route allows for stops in other Romantic Road towns (Augsburg, Donauwörth, and Harburg) in between Munich and Nördlingen. If you are staying in Augsburg, the trip takes 1.25 hrs. From either city, Nördlingen is a doable day trip. Rothenburg OTOH will still require 3+ hours and one change of train each way from Munich on the regional trains.
Just a word for someone using the train who might want to make a stop in Harburg to see the castle there. The train station is about a km south of town, and there is no public transportation into town nor any lockers at the station to store your bags while you go into town. I found the walk from the station to the town without luggage to be flat and pleasant.
What I did when I visited Harburg, since I was coming from Landsberg and going to Nördlingen for the night, I stopped in Donauwörth (I was stopping there anyway) and stored my bag in a locker at the Donauwörth Bhf, took the next train 12 minutes to Harburg, walked unfettered into town and up the hill to the castle, then returned to Donauwörth to picked up my bag and took the next train, 28 minutes to Nördlingen.
After reviewing the station plans it looks like Donauwörth no longer has lockers. Nördlingen's plan says it has lockers, but the plan don't show where they are. Plan B would have been to go from Donauwörth to Nördlingen, check into my hotel, then go sans luggage back to Harburg.