Romantic Road

I'm going on Rick Steve's tour in Germany and will end 10-1-12 in Vienna. I would like to take a train to Munich and then travel the romantic road north to my flight back to the states from Frankfurt. Is this possible with my luggage and no car? How many extra days would anyone recommend to do this as a single woman traveling alone?

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

the romantic road is built for you to drive on it. you have to get a car in order to enjoy it. you need 2 days to drive from munich to frankfurt, including an overnight in rothenburg ODT minimum to enjoy it. an extra night to check out another town would be good if you can. it's a pretty safe trip don't worry.

Posted by Russ
1750 posts

"I would like to take a train to Munich and then travel the romantic road north to my flight back to the states from Frankfurt. Is this possible with my luggage and no car?" You can certainly travel by train between Munich and Frankfurt, with your luggage, and do little detours, stopping in places along the way on the Romantic Road and (off the RR too) that are interesting and scenic. You would have to include buses to travel the Romantic Road precisely, but why would you want to, really? The RR is a very arbitrary route to take - not especially scenic itself. Start with 3 towns your first day. Trains will get you from Munich to Nördlingen in 2 hours via Augsburg, Donauwörth and Harburg, all RR towns. I'd skip Augsburg probably and book a room in Donauwörth near the station - bags there at your hotel on your way north and then proceed to Harburg and Nördlingen (on the same train line) and return by train. A Bayern ticket covers transport on this day (22€ for one.) The next morning, head to Rothenburg from Donauwörth, about 2 hours by train. Route yourself via Nürnberg (the usual route anyway, use station lockers) if you want to see it first - it's about 50 min. via RE train. Then it's about 1:15 to R'burg on the 14:36 train out of Nürnberg, a bit longer on other departures. The Bayern ticket is good after 9:00 weekdays and covers it all again. (If squeezing in Nürnberg too, and it's on a weekday, you'll want to catch the 8:58 train out of Donauwörth so you'll need to pay a little extra for the first several minutes of your trip.) On the 3rd morning, head to Frankfurt but make a stop in the RR town of Würzburg (lockers there) to see the Residenz. If you advise what day of the week this might be, I can review your transport options.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11264 posts

The official Romantic Road runs from Würzburg to Füssen. The Romantic Road Coach tour includes Frankfurt to Würzburg, but that's not really part of the Road. Why? I guess because they thought most people could get to Frankfurt, but not to Würzburg. So, unless you want to go all of the way south to Füssen to start, do as Russ suggests and pick up the road midway in Augsburg and take it to Nördlingen, then go to Würzburg and take the train from there to Frankfurt. In 2007, tired of hearing all the untrue claims that you needed a car to do the Romantic Road, I did it by train and bus, ust to prove you could. I spent 4 - 5 days doing it, traveling a short distance each day and spending most of my time in the towns along the way. I found that the Road itself is unspectacular, just an ordinary two lane road, with a 50 mph speed limit and a lot of slower truck and farm equipment traffic. It's the towns along the way that make the Romantic Road interesting. Of the towns between Augsburg and Rothenburg, I liked Nördlingen the best. It's kind of a smaller, less touristy version of Rothenburg. I'd spend a night there (I did).

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11264 posts

The Romantic Road Coach runs until Oct 21 (just looked it up). If you made reservations for Nördlingen to Frankfurt, you could leave Nördlingen at 13:40, stop in Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg for 45 min each, and get to Frankfurt at 8 PM.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9094 posts

I wouldn't go so far as to say "Don't go", but I would say "Don't go out of your way". As Lee noted, the scenery along the road itself is unremarkable for Germany, except perhaps the southern end, where you can see the Alps. The Romantic Road is one example of about a hundred Ferienstraßen (tourist theme roads) that criss-cross Germany. The intention isn't that the drive itself is particularly scenic, but to link together sites of a particular theme. For the Romantic Road, highlighted towns are attractive, but once again, not particularly unique. Similar well-preserved scenic towns sit all over Germany. Of the towns along the Romantic Road that I have visited, only Dinkelsbühl and Würzburg really stick out in mind. So, yes, it is possible to travel to the towns using public transportation, and if you have extra time and are headed in that general direction, why not? If you have to make a significant back-track, however, it probably isn't worth your time. You can almost certainly find similar sites along your direct route of travel... unless, of course, what you're looking for are touristy trinket shops.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

The Romatic Road coach (mentioned above) will work nicely. It does the trip in one day, but you can comfortably choose to stop anywhere along the route for an overnight. Rothenberg is an easy choice and Dinkelsbuhl is quite charming. Go to the Romantic road website and see if there are any other towns/villages which sound appealing.

Posted by Anneta
Hamburg, SH, Deutschland
21 posts

Ralph, I think it got the name fromm the tourist industry trying to brand a series of destinations. It does have some great views and there are some romantic places higher up the route but it has, perhaps become more popular than romantic. It is still really worth a visit if you dig castles, wine and european history. A

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

It has to do with an older historical connotation of the word "Romantic" as an artistic, literary, and aesthetic movement in the 1800s for a nostalgic view of an earlier time, pastoral settings, and that sort of thing. Not "romance" as in Valentine's day.

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

Jeanne, I was born in Iowa and when I was on the Romantic Road near Rothenberg last May, I thought it looked like Iowa in many parts-the eastern part with rolling hills and lots of farms.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9094 posts

"I think it got the name fromm the tourist industry trying to brand a series of destinations." That's exactly where the name came from, it was brain-stormed by regional travel promoters in the 1950s. And if you look at the date of the original posting and read it, Jeanne's trip ended two months ago.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3064 posts

The Romantic Road is romantic for about 30 hour max. By that time I'm usually fed up with stopping every 30 feet at the traffic sign or going 10 miles an hour behind a tractor. My fellow passengers usually are feeling the great need for Car Sick medication by that time. I wouldn't drive the Romantic Road just to say I've been on it.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1557 posts

According to original post, think she is back already.