planning a trip in december to germany -will be staying in Munich and would like to visit the christlmas market in Rothenberg. Is a day trip to Rothenberg a good option, if so, what would be the means of transportation. At that time of the year would not consider driving...are there trains, buses, etc., from Munich that would work. Thanks.
We visited in Dec. 2011. The Christmas market is small and I would not make a day trip just to see the market. However, it is a great place to visit for other reasons. I would try to spend a night if possible. It is less crowded in the evening and the Night Watchman's tour is fun.
It is an east train ride, but is a couple of hours each way.
Unless you specifically want to see Rothenburg, have you considered the Christmas Market in Nürnberg instead? And instead of that, maybe consider just staying in Munich? There are several diverse Christmas markets around the city every year. The little nutcracker you can buy in Rothenburg is probably made by the same factory producing nutcrackers for every Christmas market.
If you do stay in Munich, check out the main Christmas market on Marienplatz, the Christmas market in the Residenz courtyard, the Mittelaltermarkt on Wittelsbacherplatz, the English Garden Christmas market around the Chinesische Turm, and the Schwabinger Christmas market at Münchener Freiheit. Also, all of these are better at night (so, anytime after 4:30pm) and with a mug Glühwein in hand.
."are there trains, buses, etc., from Munich that would work." Yes, but you're looking at 5-6.5 hour round trip, with 2-3 transfers. As noted, their Weihnachtsmarkt is nothing special. I would say visit Rothenburg if you're headed in that direction anyway, but otherwise, it isn't unique enough to justify a long side-trip... unless you want to see a bunch of tour buses.
This website lists the dates of all the Christmas markets in the country. It's only in German, but easy enough to locate a city or town that interests you so that you can find the dates of their markets (although it hasn't been updated for 2014 yet). For an alternative to Rothenburg odT that's easier to reach from Munich, I would look into Regensburg. I haven't attended their market, but I've been very impressed with their Fasching and summer Bürgerfest celebrations. That town knows how to put on a good party.
As others have said, the time for the round trip probably makes a day trip impractical. However, if you want to do it, you can find schedules on the German Rail website. However, be sure to spell it correctly Rothenburg, or better yet "Rothenburg ob der Tauber". There are towns in Germany spelled Rothenberg, but that's not where you want to go.
"easy train ride" not east!
I have visited a number of Christmas Markets and really enjoyed the market in Rothenberg. I prefer visiting there in Dec. versus the crowds in the summer. I however do not go to buy a bunch of stuff... I really go for the food, ambience and just wandering around. I also loved the tiny little local market in the town of Dinkelsbuhl just a few miles away (where we stayed) We were probably the only tourist there, but I love that kind of experience. I have also enjoyed larger markets (Salzburg, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Paris, Brugges, etc...) but there is something special about smaller villages in the middle of the German countryside that I adore. I did drive and that added to the beauty of our trip. The roads were fine, but all the trees along one part of the Romantic road were covered with sparkling ice crystals, and it was magnificent.
If you are staying in Munich you will enjoy the Christmas market in the town square. It's one of my favorites; they have some unique booths that I haven't seen at other markets. Also, the Christmas market in the Schwabing district is more 'artsy' and definitely worth a visit.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of my favorites towns, but not for its Christmas market. The medieval town is magical, especially at night. If you go, plan to stay at least overnight. I wouldn't do a trip just to see their market.
I would take the train to Salzburg, though. The trip is just under 2 hours.