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Romantic Road

I plan to travel through the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria around late June to early July, and going south on the Romanticstrasse will be part of the itinerary. I've heard that driving it can be a worthwhile experience, as opposed to riding a bus. If I do rent a car, I'd probably drive the stretch between Frankfurt and Munich. Any thoughts from people who have driven the Romanticstrasse? I'd like to get your take on things such as recommended towns on the route, time needed to complete the trip, places to rent a car from, costs, availability of automatic-equipped cars (my travel partner aka mom doesn't drive stick), etc. Thanks!

Posted by
12077 posts

We had a car and stopped in a handful of towns on the Romantic Road. After about an hour on the road. My family voted for taking the Autobahn and stopping at the towns on our list.

Certain sites aren't easily accessable by train or bus. If those are on your must-see list, you should get a car. If not, you may be just as happy hopping on a bus or local train to get to the stops you want to see.

Posted by
12040 posts

"I'd probably drive the stretch between Frankfurt and Munich"

Just so you're aware, the Romantic Road doesn't connect with Munich, it runs parallel to the city a significant distance to the west.

My thoughts of driving this road? If there's a specific town(s) you want to visit along the way, go for it. Otherwise, the scenery along the Romantic Road really isn't any better than a number of similar roads that run south to the Alps. Just much slower, especially in the summer. And you can't see the Alps from the stretch you planned to drive.

Posted by
18681 posts

First, the Romantic Road runs officially from Würzburg south to Füssen. The stretch from Frankfurt to Würzburg is not a part of the Road; the Romantic Road Coach includes it only because Frankfurt is a more accessible starting point. If you leave the Road at Augsburg, in order to get to Munich, you will miss the southern half of the Road.

In October of 2007, I made my own trip on the Romantic Road. Including a day (2 nights) in Würzburg, I spent six days, using only public transportation (trains and buses), and visited Wieskirche, Schongau, Landsberg, Donauwörth, Harburg, Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, Feuchtwangen, Rothenburg, Weikersheim, Bad Mergentheim, and Würzburg. I could have seen the rest of the towns, but after researching them, I decided I wasn't interested. Most days, I only spent 2 or 3 hours traveling and the rest seeing the towns along the way.

After my trip, I concluded several things.
1. It is entirely possible to do the Romantic Road without a car.
2. The road itself is not worth driving. It is a slow, winding, 2-lane country road, like so many other country roads in Bavaria, clogged with buses, trucks, and farm equipment.
3. Rothenburg and Füssen are the only "must see" sites on the Road, and you can go between them more easily by train. Of the remaining towns, I like Nördlingen the best, but it is a less touristy copy of Rothenburg. Some people like Dinkelbühl; I wasn't that impressed.
If you do drive, I would spend several days, stopping for the night in Nördlingen and maybe Landsberg.

You could do the Road in a day with the RR Coach, but it would be a long day and you would not have time to get out and see any of the towns, save for lunch at Dinkelsbühl.