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which city to make a base : rothenburg o b, wurzburg, nurnberg?

am planning ahead for june/july 2012. from munich or salzburg, we may take the bus to the rothenburg area. which of the 3 is the better place to make a base for a 1-wk stay? thanks.

Posted by
1346 posts

Rothenburg is not a good base for traveling by public transportation due to its limited connections. Both Nürnberg and Würzburg are great cities and transportation hubs. We prefer Würzburg a bit over Nürnberg but can easily see why someone else might feel the opposite. I would make the case for multiple bases as walking the town in the cool of the evening is sometimes the best part of the visit. It is nice to see more than one place under these conditions. Regards, Gary

Posted by
18226 posts

Although for an individual stay, I would probably vote for Würzburg, in this case I would probably vote for Nürnberg. Rothenburg is in the Greater Nürnberg transit distirct, a TagesTicket Plus for €15,60 would allow you to go from Nürnberg RT to Rothenberg for a day, whereas it would cost €29 RT from Würzburg to Rothenburg with a Bayern-Ticket. But then, you might want to balance the saving on transportation against any difference in accommodation costs. By the way, I would agree with Gary that, considering it's location at the end of a spur line from Steinach, Rothenburg ob der Tauber would not be a good base for this area.

Posted by
204 posts

wow, great replies. i was really waiting for a tie-breaker. looks like it is nurnberg. now, does anyone know of a website for apartments for rent at nurnberg? thanks.

Posted by
7205 posts

A short train ride away from Nurnburg is super cheap Castle Veldenstein with rooms to rent. We loved the place. Maybe you would, too for a night or two - if you've never stayed in a castle.

Posted by
11798 posts

Wurtzburg has the most to offer. Nurnberg is the most central (depending on which Romantic Road stops you want to visit).

Posted by
18226 posts

"from munich or salzburg, we may take the bus to the rothenburg area". Apparently Eurolines only goes from Salzburg to Munich, and not from Munich to Nürnberg. I don't know of any other private bus line, and I can't find any long distance public bus connections. There are however, plenty of regional train connections to Nürnberg. With a Bayern-Ticket, which you can purchase in Munich or Salzburg for €29, both of you can travel to Nürnberg (or Würzburg or Rothenburg odT). Nürnberg Tourism (www.tourismus.nuernberg.de) has an English side, a list of accommodations, and an online booking service.

Posted by
1837 posts

We just retuned from this area, and liked Nurnberg a whole lot more than Wurzburg. We used it as a base for day trips by train to Regensburg and Bamberg. Easy, fast connections and nice in its own right.

Posted by
204 posts

thank you guys, for the suggestions. i have noted down regensburg and bamburg ; also the germanisch museum (sic) and nazi documentation center ; the castle ; the bayern tkt of 29€. lee, as far as the bus, i read it in RS's germany book that there is one bus that goes south to munich and one bus that goes north to frankfurt, per day that go thru the romantic road.

Posted by
18226 posts

Yes, there is the Romantic Road Coach that goes from Munich to Rothenburg odT or to Würzburg (but not to Nürnburg). However, I don't think it makes a very good point-point bus connection from Munich to Rothenburg or Würzburg. The bus takes 5 hours to Rothenburg or 7 hours to Würzburg vs 3 hrs to Rothenburg or 3¼ hrs to Würzburg by rail. Also, the Coach costs €36 per person to Rothenburg or €55 per person to Würzburg. By rail you could go to either with a €29 Bayern-Ticket, which would also include the train from Salzburg to Munich. If you just want to see the Romantic Road, it might be worth the extra time but I'm not sure about the cost, €72 for two by bus vs part of €29 by train. And except for a 45 min stop for lunch in Augsburg, an hour out of Munich, the bus rarely stop anywhere long enough to see anything. Anyway, the Eurolines bus gets into Munich after 11 PM, and the RR Coach leaves Munich at 10:50 in the morning, so you would have to spend the night in Munich.

Posted by
18226 posts

If you are intent on seeing the "Romantic Road" I would suggest this. Get a Bayern-Ticket at the Hbf in Salzburg. Leave Salzburg on the 9:09 RE to Munich, change trains in Munich (11:11-11:35) and go to Augburg at 12:17. This will give you 23 min to find the RR Coach in front of the Hbf in Augsburg. The Coach from Augsburg to Rothenburg (15:50) will cost €26 per person. It won't cost anything more for Salzburg to Augsburg with the Bayern Ticket and you'll save €10 on the RR Coach. Plus you can do all of this in a day. I'd even say to go on to Donauwörth (12:57) but the bus doesn't stop at the Hbf and I don't know if you can make it to the bus stop by 13:10. Donauwörth to Rothenburg is only €18 per person. If you don't want to base in Rothenburg, you can still use the Bayern-Ticket that day to go to Nürnberg. Get off the bus at the Rothenburg Bhf at 15:45 and take the train to Steinach to Ansbach to Nürnberg.

Posted by
18226 posts

BTW, there are local buses on the Romantic Road, between towns not well served by rail. And, these buses are included with the Bayern-Ticket. I am familiar with this because in 2007, tired of hearing the faux-experts claim you couldn't do the Romantic Road without a car, I did the Road from Wieskirche to Würzburg entirely by public transportation. Except for possibly the southern end of the Road, when you get close to Füssen, I found that the most interesting part of the Road was from Donauwörth to Rothenburg. There is good rail connection from Donauwörth to Nördlingen. From there to Rothenburg is well served by local buses. You can find this schedule on the German Rail website. Start at 9:09 from Salzburg with a Bayern-Ticket. Change in Munich and Donauwörth getting to Nördlingen at 14:31. You'll have almost an hour and a half in Nördlingen to see what I consider the best walled city on the road after Rothenburg, smaller and less touristy. At 15:57 take bus 868 one hour to Feuchtwangen. On the way you will go by Dinkelsbühl, where you will make three stops outside the walls, then on to Feuchtwangen. You'll have 7 minutes to change buses in Feuchtwangen, but the other bus will wait for you, then on to Rothenburg Bhf at 18:14. This whole trip costs only €29 and you go through just about the same places as with the RR Coach.

Posted by
204 posts

wow, lee, thanks for that comprehensive report. i will have to think about all the options you suggested. am thinking now that with 2 backpacks and a carry on (we try to travel light), it would be somewhat difficult to get in and out of trains and buses, esp with little time to spare. the rail from salzburg to nürnberg seems the easiest, esp since this leg will have been our 5th wk of travel. we're not spring chickens anymore :) that being said, if we take the train from salzburg to nürnberg to stay a week, perhaps we can then visit the romantic road at our leisure (except, of course, we would be backtracking). we will have to calculate the cost, too.

Posted by
1986 posts

Just to repeat something Lee said. If you catch the RR bus at Augsburg to Rothenburg, you do go through a lot of interesting little villages. Stop in a few for 10 or so minutes. When we did it the stop in Dinkelsbuhl was possibly as much as 45 minutes.

Posted by
18226 posts

Taking the train from Salzburg to Nürnberg sounds like a good idea. You can do that entirely with Regional Express trains (RE), which today probably have platform level loading, and use the €29 Bayern-Ticket. Leaving at 9:09 and taking an hour and a half for lunch at the Hbf in Munich, the trip will take 5½ hrs.

Posted by
204 posts

thanks, guys. james, we do have more time than money. because our trip is 7 wks, it takes its toll in the pocketbook so any savings will be good. if we take the train to nürnberg, we will have to backtrack to see the romantic road, and perhaps we can check out car rental costs. if too expensive, we might take public transport. lee, is the RE train that takes 5 1/2 hrs from salzburg to nürnberg diff from the train you earlier mentioned that only takes 3 hrs ?

Posted by
18226 posts

I don't think I ever said you could go from Salzburg to Nürnberg by regional trains in 3 hours, although you probably can go in a little over 3 hours by express trains (RJ/ICE). James did claim the best time driving from Salzburg to Nördlingen was 3 hours, and I think I did say Munich to Rothenburg was 3 hours and Augsburg to Rothenburg is a little over 3 hours.

Posted by
331 posts

Wuerzburg or Nuernberg for transport links, and Nuernberg for what James said, plus the Stadium of Light at the Messegelaende where the Nazi rallies took place.

Posted by
5481 posts

Olivia writes, "...we do have more time than money. because our trip is 7 wks, it takes its toll in the pocketbook so any savings will be good." An apartment might be the way to go. We stayed in Neustadt an der Aisch, an attractive village on the train line between Nuremberg and Würzburg, a few years ago. We had this studio apartment with an equipped kitchenette, bath, and a little balcony and rents now for 28 Euros/night for two. http://www.accommodation.de/48003.htm Neustadt a. d. Aisch is in the geographic center of many of your destinations. We took daytrips from there by train; it's 30 minutes by train from Nuremberg, 40 from Würzburg, 1 hr. from Bamberg, and 1:10 hrs. from Rothenburg. The Bayern ticket can be used for all these outings and to reach Romantic Road towns. Neustadt is also just 20 minutes from Bad Windsheim, an attractive town that is home to the Franconian Open Air Museum, which depicts rural live in the area over the last 600 years: http://www.stripes.com/military-life/travel/bad-windsheim-time-travel-at-franconian-open-air-museum-1.102354 There are other apartments for rent in Neustadt and in other small towns in the area at similar prices to the one above, much less than hotel rooms in Nuremberg. Here's Neustadt's website, which has apartment listings - click Sprache/Language link on the right for English: http://www.neustadt-aisch.de Tourist-Information may help with booking: Telefon (09161) 666 14

Posted by
204 posts

thanks, guys. lee, yes, not 3 hrs from salzburg to nürnberg, my mistake. shoni, will check out the stadium. i have read tons of books on the holocaust, so will definitely check this out. russ, thanks for the apt website. i am actually looking for apts for a week's stay - it is usually cheaper and we don't have to eat out all the time. so, if use the bayern tkt, it would take us from salzburg to nürnberg, to neustadt, all in one tkt, right? it's great to plan ahead. half the fun is in the planning.

Posted by
18226 posts

"if use the bayern tkt, it would take us from salzburg to nürnberg, to neustadt, all in one tkt, right?" Right. The Bayern-Ticket is an all day pass, from midnight weekends, 9 AM workdays, until 3 AM the following day. It is good for hop on/off travel on regional trains (RE, RB) not on express trains (ICE/IC/EC) throughout Bavaria. Because Salzburg is right across the river from Germany, German Rail runs the trains into Salzburg. It is considered a "border station" for the Bayern-Ticket. The Bayern-Ticket is also valid for use of any conveyance of the various Verkehrsverbünde (metro districts) in Bavaria, including the VGN ( Verkehrverbund Großraum Nürnberg, Nürnberg metro district), so you can use it for any other travel in Nürnberg on the day you arrive. After your arrival day, the VGN TagesTicket Plus is valid for unlimited travel in parts or all of VGN. It's valid for 2 adults (and up to 4 children) for the entire day (no 9 AN restriction). If you buy it on a Saturday, it's valid through Sunday. The price varies with the area covered, but an entire network TagesTicket is €15,60. The VGN includes Neustadt and Rothenburg odT, but not Würzburg.