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Quickest travel from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Neuschwanstein

What is the quickest way to get from Rothenburg to Neuschwanstein without a rental car? I've seen posts talk about the local trains being somewhat slow (5 hrs) and the Romantic Road bus taking even longer. Some websites I've seen say that the two places are only about 2 hours apart, I'm guessing when you use the autobahn. Is there a public transportation or even a bus tour option that does this? All of the bus tours seem to be coming from Munich instead. I would like to travel directly between Rothenburg & Fussen if possible. Thanks!

Posted by
811 posts

i don't think you can do day trips between these 2 places wihtout a rental car. the 2hrs talk is probably by car - i drove it 2 yrs ago about right.

Posted by
19118 posts

"The FIVE of us spent $380/day total including airfare AND two weeks worth of car rental." FANTASTIC

Posted by
9110 posts

$380 x 5 = $1900 is a mathmatically factual statement. Its significance is unknown. $380 / 5 = $76 might mean something. Why would a family want to split up and travel independently?

Posted by
19118 posts

$380/day for 5. If you stayed there a month, that's $2300/person. Last summer, I couldn't find air fare for less than $1000/P (or do you work for an airline and fly standby?). $1300/30 days is just over $40/day - food, accommodations, transportation. You should write a book.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Kristen I did that trip you're asking about going the opposite direction. You can go by public transportation. I don't remember it taking 5 hours, it was a reasonable amount of time. I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants. I was in Germany when I decided to go there as a side trip. I went to the local train station (a reasonable size one) and told the person at the ticket window where I wanted to go. He printed off a perfect, easy to read and understand itinerary. I think you may be able to do something similar on the Deutsche Bahn website, to plan ahead. I could never navigate through that website. Good luck!

Posted by
6664 posts

By train it will take you upwards of 4 hours. IMO, N'stein isn't worth the trip - ubertouristed, underinteresting. There are some very good places to visit near Rothenburg that you can reach quite easily. Würzburg, Nuremberg, and Bamberg are all attractive and interesting cities. Click on photo links at bottom of this page for the Residenz (Palace) in nearby Würzburg: http://www.residenz-wuerzburg.de/englisch/residenz/tour.htm

Posted by
1525 posts

Füssen is well worth the trip. Even if you never set foot in the iconic castle, a hike behind, over the little bridge and up the mountain for a killer view is worth the trip by itself. And I will agree that the Residenz in Würzburg is amazing. In the future, consider a car for rural segments of a trip. It's the most convenient and quickest option even if it does cost a little extra fir a single person.

Posted by
1525 posts

Our rental car in Germany cost around $50/day. We may have spent $30/day for fuel. For that cost, we could go exactly where we wanted to go exactly when we wanted to go there. True, when you make something of a game of saving every cent possible at complete disregard to the drawbacks of that choice, this might seem like needless waste. And, true, Germany does offer some remarkably good deals on public transport. But there is a cost to everything. Sometimes the cost isn't monetary. Our last trip cost our family roughly $25 for every hour we were away & awake (by virtue of scrimping everywhere possible). If I were to "spend" and extra two hours taking public transport vs a rental car, then I have to factor in the extra $50 "cost" in terms of my time spent doing so, to the monetary cost of the bus/train ticket. When you do that, the cost comparison becomes much less clear.

Posted by
19118 posts

To give you an example, since 2004, I have spent 7½ weeks on 4 trips to Germany/Austria. Total expenses for public transportation was $987.57 at the exchange rate at the time. Before each trip I got a car quote, estimated fuel cost from ViaMichelin. That's how I decided against renting a car for each trip. The total of car rental estimates was $2543.44, so I saved over $1500 by using public transportation. When you figure I spend just under $100/day for everything - accommodations, meals, transportation, admissions - I figure I got 2 free weeks by not having a car. I think some people make the mistake of considering time spent going from point A to point B as wasted time. It is if you have to drive and spend most of your time looking at the road. But on the train, you can get up and walk around, watch the scenery, talk to others on the train, sleep, read, write in your journal. Unlike driving, the time is mostly still yours. And you can use the bathroom without having to stop.

Posted by
9110 posts

How does somebody with only twenty posts know 'what is well known on this board', unless . . . . How far is NGC from Bixby, anyway?

Posted by
19118 posts

I have over 6700 posts (and over 10 years of reading posts here) and I still can't figure out what the real attraction is of driving in Europe. It's either entertaining some Walter Middy racing fantasy or not wanting to plan ahead or strain their brains figuring out schedules.

Posted by
1525 posts

We did this exact route just 9 months ago - slept in Rothenburg one night and Fussen the next. The drive between the two took us 6-7 hours because we made four stops along the way in four different towns. I'm not sure if that is even possible by bus in one day. But even if it was, I want to be the one who decides if a stop is worth 30 minutes or 2 hours - not the bus. Two days later we made a loop of 4 rural sights near fussen - only about 90 miles of driving - but it would have been impractical if not impossible by bus in one day. When the small-town Germany part of our trip was over, we returned the car and started using trains. "...I spend just under $100/day for everything - accommodations, meals, transportation, admissions..." ...by yourself. The FIVE of us spent $380/day total including airfare AND two weeks worth of car rental. I guess I can pee farther than you.... People drive because it makes sense for them. They don't need your caricaturish label applied simply because you have a different agenda.

Posted by
1525 posts

When you pee in a row.... I like that :-) No. No tricks. 5 weeks. Airfare for $860/ea through IcelandAir. Some hostels, some rentals, a few small hotels. Cheap eats. A few dirt cheap rail fares bought early. Nice small car rental. Some stops in Poland and Czech where it's a little cheaper still. 5 weeks spreads the airfare cost thin. No mystery. There is nothing I could say in a book that hasn't already been said numerous times. The point of bringing it up at all is that a car rental is not a budget buster. It's just a reasonable choice for a given situation. Train travel and bus travel is a reasonable choice for different situations. It is up to the individual to decide what works best for them. Dwelling only on a crude self-serving cost comparison ignores other equally valuable considerations and is shortsighted.

Posted by
9110 posts

'your rental car company explicitly forbids their vehicles from traveling east in their rental contracts' Autoeurope, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Alamo all have rental cars available in both Prague and Krakow. All will also let you pick up a car in Munich and drop it in either Prague or Krakow.

Posted by
1525 posts

AL, I suggest you read the previous posts more carefully to avoid sounding foolish...

Posted by
32225 posts

Kristen, That's not an ideal route to do as a day trip, either by train or by car. If using a rental car and assuming you don't make any stops except for fuel or "WC breaks", I suspect the travel time will be very similar to going by train. The trip by rail will be ~4H:45M in each direction, with a minimum of three changes. That wouldn't leave much time for visiting Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau. It would be a LONG day! A better alternative would be to plan a night or two in Munich, as it's a much easier day trip from there. For visiting the Castles, you can either arrange your reservation for the Castle tour on your own OR use one of the local tour companies as they make all the arrangements (including transportation). Check the Radius Tours website for details. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
9110 posts

Budget won't let you go one way, but has rental offices in both Prague and Krakow. New definition of most: 16.7%.

Posted by
6664 posts

Randy writes, "Train travel and bus travel is a reasonable choice for different situations. It is up to the individual to decide what works best for them. Dwelling only on a crude self-serving cost comparison ignores other equally valuable considerations and is shortsighted." I'd agree, generally. But for most Americans, making this decision wisely is tough because they have only their own experience, which is mostly car experience, to base it on. In Germany, public transport has so many clear advantages for most travelers that a car is a better choice in only a handful of situations. It is conventional wisdom that a car is cheaper for multiple adults, that small towns are not well served by public transport, that spontaneity is constrained without a car. You hear this a lot from drivers who have little or no experience with German public transport; while it's true in some countries, it's mostly bunk in Germany. If you have mobility issues, small children or elderly adults, or too much luggage, then public transport is probably not for you in most cases. If you are wed to accommodations far from town centers for some reason, you will likely appreciate a car. Otherwise, your trip in Germany is probably very feasible and likely more pleasant and convenient if you travel by train. Train/bus travel does require a little more knowledge and planning. If you simply love to drive and/or do not like to plan, then a car is probably for you.

Posted by
9110 posts

One out of six is sixteen point seven percent all day. Avis and Budget will rent cars in both Prague and Krakow, making mincemeat of the notion that you can't drive there cars there.

Posted by
1525 posts

"... because you believe in the infallibility of last minute decision with your car rather than careful prior research...." I didn't realize it was considered ok to just make stuff up. My mistake. Never mind....

Posted by
9110 posts

While Lee and Randy are having a meaningful earnest discussion, it seems the the side-show is being missed. The UnspokenOne has reinvented himself with a new mask.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks to all for the advice. I'm sorry if I unintentionally started a train vs. car controversy. Our situation is this - My husband & I land in Frankfurt on Monday at 6:30am and have to make our way to Salzburg where we are meeting people Wednesday afternoon. I am a "go until you drop" kind of person who likes to see as much as possible. I realize that this isn't a lot of people's definition of a vacation, & that there is much to be said for stopping to smell the roses, it's just the way we like to do things. I have been to Munich before & we will be seeing many of the cities that you mentioned - Bamberg, Nuremburg, Wurzberg - later in our trip. 2 places that aren't on the itinerary that I would love to see would be Rothenburg & Nueschwanstein. I was trying to see if we could visit them as we made our way down to Salzburg. It sounds like it's not really doable to do both. I was originally thinking we could go right from Frankfurt to Rothenburg, spend Monday night there, head to Fussen in the morning, tour the castles in the afternoon, spend Tuesday night there, and then go to Salzburg from there. Sounds like it would be better to pick one or the other, so that we're not spending more time on the trains than at the sights. Thanks to all for their expertise and help!