Hi, my trip is about 10 days away and I'm having some difficulty planning out a driving route for the romantic road. I can't find anything that lists out the route numbers for the entire road. I can see down near Fussen that it's Rt. 17, but Wurzburg to Dinkelsbuhl is confusing. Can anyone point me to something detailed enough to list the route numbers? Thanks!
Yes, it is a little confusing from Wurtzburg to Dinkelsbuhl from a map. But there are road signs along the entire route, so it's very hard to accidently turn off of it. Rather than listing all the route numbers, it's better to follow the names of the towns... that's how you navigate in Germany anyway. Here's the list of towns between those two points: Würzburg, Tauberbischofsheim, Lauda-Königshofen, Bad Mergentheim, Weikersheim, Röttingen, Creglingen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Schillingsfürst, Feuchtwangen.
But now my two cents: you could drive off the offical "Romantic Road" and the scenery will be just as nice. The term was coined by travel agents in the 1950s to lure travelers off the autobahn and onto a series of, until that point, seldom-traveled secondary roads (and it has worked brilliantly!). For the most part, the scenery is no better than many other similar roads. So, don't feel that you're cheating yourself of scenery if you don't drive every kilometer of the road. The one exception- at the southern terminus, the view of Fuessen and Neuschwanstein with the Alps towering above, you will never forget.
Thanks, Tom. At least it makes feel a little more comfortable to know it's well marked. I always like knowing all the details so I don't get lost. Mapquest just gave me the maine routes between Wurzburg and Rothenburg - going via autobahn.
"going via autobahn". That line made me think of another tip. If you accidently find yourself on an autobahn, you have left the Romantic Road... with one exception, and that is the section around Augsburg.
I did this route last yr and its easy once you are on it. However I advise always to have maps. Either AAA or michelin. It is much better to have something to ref. after you think you havetaken a bad turn. You can also use www.viamichelin.com.
I hate to be a travel heretic, but I was in Germany for the first time last month and got on the Romantic Road, at Rothenburg, traveling South. I kept waiting for the "romantic" part...you know, the "beautiful" part. It was a lovely spring day, and yes the grass was green, and there were lovely fields of grass, with a bit of a rolling hillside,and more grass, and winding roads, and occasionally a house...and...uh, you can see this in nearly any state in the US in spring, outside the city limits. I only was on the road for perhaps 45 minutes, but, if I were to do it again, I would not do so.....however, there may be other parts of the road that are much more scenic. Whatever you do, you will have a wonderful chance to experience a new place.
"I hate to be a travel heretic..."SuzieeQQ: Actually, you're not being a heretic, not on this forum: probably the majority view here is that the Romantic Road has been significantly over-hyped.
Germany also has a "Castle Road", an "Alpine Road" and a "Fairytale Road". The first two offer wonderful views. The Fairytale Road? I put it in the same category as the Romantic Road. Not bad, but nothing unique either.
I think the Romantic Road found its way into the Rick Steves standard itinerary when it was a free trip for anyone with a railpass.
We started driving on the Romantic Road until wife and kids voted for autobahn with stops on RR destinations. They always voted against scenic drives and more time out of the car seeing things. The road was well marked (for the part I was on) and it was nice to be able to speed things up with the autobahn if desired.
Forget using route numbers, instead just follow the Romantic Road signs and there will be no problems. There is a good map of the Romantic Road which you can pick up at almost any information center. This also has a lot of good brief description of all the towns you will be passing through.
I have done this drive many times and have always found it to be a pleasant and relaxing ride with a lot of great scenery.
The key thing is to dial down your expectations a notch or two, if you've been reading Rick's or someone else's hype of The Romantic Road. Then you won't be disappointed. It's fine, we've all done it. It's just not unique and some people think it's going to be. So much of Europe is unique, compared to what we have here, that I guess we've come to expect it--but a place like The Romantic Road, while fine, doesn't deliver unique the way other places do.
"It's just not unique" It is in one way. Few two-lane country roads in Germany can become so congested with traffic.
An alternative is to take the Romantic Road Bus Tour. It is not what it used to be, according to almost everybody, but you can't get lost, and it is a scenic way to get from Frankfurt to Fuessen without driving. I will be taking it in July, and my expectations are suitably reduced, I hope. They say that the tour has been revamped last year, since so many people seemed to complain about it. I will find out and let you all know.
Thanks for all the responses. I finally did get my route numbers. I wrote to a place I found on the internet - firstname.lastname@example.org and this is what they e-mailed me:
Thank you for your e-mail. We are sure that you will find your way along the Romantic Road as the route is marked with brown signs with "Romantische Strase" on them.
Please follow the road numbers:
from Wurzburg to Tauberbischofsheim B27 (i.e. "B" means "Bundesstrasse" 27)
from Tauberbischofsheim to Bad Mergentheim B290
from Bad Mergentheim to Weikersheim L2251 (i.e. smaler road, Landesstrasse)
from Weikersheim to Rothenburg St2269
from Rothenburg to Donauworth B25
from Donauworth to Augsburg B2
from Augsburg to Fussen B17
I would re-emphasize, though, that in Europe, unlike the US, it is usually much easier to navigate using the names of the towns than the route number. In many cases, the route number may be marked only a map.
Darla, just returned from a 3 week trip which included three days in the Romantic Road region. I went with road numbers at the ready. Tom is absolutely correct. The only way to navigate is by heading toward town names. While there are "romantic strasse" signs, they are quite infrequent and at times confusing. We found that the towns north of Rothenburg were more picturesque than south. The approach to Fussen is wonderful. Be aware that 17 is closed north of Fussen and you must go on the west side of the lake to get to Fussen. I believe the road is 16. It is not well marked except for a half lane roadblock. The stream of cars heads in the right direction and you can then follow signs to Fussen.
Thanks for the tips, I thought that construction was supposed to be done before I get there on June 18. Going to be in Austria for a week first. I'm hoping their projects get done in a more timely manner than ours. LOL