How to Get from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

 

I think everyone who has visited Bavaria even once will agree that this German region is a real place for romantics. Each element of nature is individual in its own way, and collected together they create an excellent picture of Bavaria. First, you can pay attention to the green hills, then spend a day fishing in the cleanest lakes, and then try to conquer the snow-capped Alps.

Bavaria is called the romantic road. Every Bavarian city has its own unique charm. Obviously, any route of travel in Bavaria will include Munich, which is worth a visit for a number of reasons, history, beer, sausages, festivals, holidays, concerts. You may see main attractions, interesting facts and things to do in Munich  and here: https://www.besttrips.eu/facts-about-munich/

But let me introduce one more “secret” place in Bavaria. It’s called Rothenburg ob der Tauber. If you are going to Munich, then a planned tour or an excursion to Rothenburg ob der Tauber is must-have as it will help you to feel the contrast of these two South German cities. It is unlikely that there will be a tourist who would not be impressed by the unique Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

In this article, I’m going to show you all the possible ways to get from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber as well as what to do and where to go in this beautiful Bavarian town.

 

How to Get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from Munich?

Rothenburg is usually included as a day trip in the travel program for Bavaria. If you find it on a map of Germany, you can make an optimal route. It’s difficult to get there from some cities of Germany, so you need to choose the most convenient option.

The distance Munich—Rothenburg ob der Tauber is about 240 km, so you can get there in approximately 3 hours, depending on the kind of transport you choose.

It’s also possible to go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from Nuremberg after visiting the sights of this town. In this case, the trip from Nuremberg on the motorways A6-> A7 (or federal roads В8-> В470) will take about 1 hour, because the distance from Nuremberg to Rothenburg on Tauber is only 80 km

You can even get to this Bavarian city from Prague, easily but not quickly (380 km and almost 4.5 hours on the A6-> A7 motorways).

It’s up to you how to get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from different cities faster and more convenient. However, here I’m going to give recommendations how to get from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, as it’s the most popular and interesting destination for tourists.

The weather in this place is favorable almost all year round, but it is better to go there from May to October, or closer to Christmas, when the Christmas Fair in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is opened.

 

How to get from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber by Train

 

 

A good option to get acquainted with Bavaria is a stop in Munich and departures from it to neighboring pretty cities by train. So you can see, for example, Regensburg, Augsburg, Ingolstadt, and even the famous Neuschwanstein castle—all this is one to two hours away, and these places can be reached without any change. Alas, in the case of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, this method is not very convenient, as you will have to travel by train for about three hours, and at least with two or three changes.

You can book tickets on the website of German railways. For the time being, a second class train ride will cost you from € 44 to € 67 for one person. The purchase is usually possible two months before the trip. Do not forget to take the credit card with you, the controller may ask you to show it. And do not forget to print out the ticket.

Important: If you are taking a train, be careful and make sure you are buying a ticket to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, as there are several other Rothenburg in Germany. The train station in Rothenburg is east of the town wall, about a 15-minute walk to the Market Square (Marktplatz), the historic center.

So Rothenburg ob der Tauber can be reached by train. However, as it is off the main line, changes are required. It will take you 2,5-up to 3,5 hours to get from Munich to Rothenburg.

 

How to get from Munich airport to Rothenburg ob der Tauber by Bus

 

 

 

Rothenburg is a popular destination with bus tours, especially in the summer. If you take a bus tour, you’ll have a full-day Romantic Road trip to Harburg and Rothenburg from Munich, by air-conditioned coach.

Besides visiting Rothenburg and its attractions, you will pass the mountains of Bavaria on a drive along the scenic Romantic Road, see 11th-century Harburg Castle, one of Germany’s oldest fortifications. You will also have free time to shop, wander, and have lunch.

Related: Day trip from Munich to Rothenburg via Romantic Road

 

Bayern Ticket

 

 

If you are going to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from Munich, the cheapest way is to buy a Bavarian ticket (Bayern Ticket). You can significantly save on train and bus fares with the Bayern Ticket in Bavaria. The ticket is valid on weekdays from 9:00 am to 03:00 am the next day, on holidays and weekends from 00:00 until 03:00 am the next day.

The ticket costs from € 25 per person, and from € 49 for 5 people. When buying a ticket, you have to indicate the names and surnames of all passengers. Replacement is not allowed.

The Bayern Ticket is cheapest when bought online or from vending machines. Tickets bought from station ticket windows are usually €2 more expensive. The Bayern Ticket may also be purchased from most bus drivers but usually not on trams. Tickets can never be bought in U or S Bahn trains.

The Bavarian ticket is valid only for the RB (Regional Bahn, local train) trains. The main condition of the Bavaria Ticket is that only local and regional trains may be used – i.e. no Inter-City (IC/EC) or Inter-City-Express (ICE) trains.

The ticket is valid for unlimited travel for a day and may be bought for individuals or for small groups of up to five. A trip from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber in the second class and back will cost only € 25 for one person, for two – € 31, for three – € 37, for four – € 43, and for five – € 49.

 

How to get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber by Plane

As you wish to go from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a  plane is not the best transport mode anyway, as it’s unjustifiably expensive and inconvenient, as you have to change transport.

The closest airports are Munich (240 km), Frankfurt am Main (175 km), Stuttgart (165 km) and Nuremberg (90 km).

Frankfurt Airport is the closest intercontinental airport with good road and train connections to Rothenburg. ICE’s run via Würzburg, where you will have to change to regional transport. Nuremberg is for domestic European flights. Nuremberg is part of the VGN tariff union for local trains and buses, making travel from there to Rothenburg quite possible cheap, though there are a number of stops and changes involved in the journey.

By the way, a flight with Lufthansa will cost you approximately from € 150 or even more. Please check www.goeuro.com and www.lufthansa.com for the more detailed information.

How to get from Munich to Rothenburg by Car

 

 

Traveling from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber by car. The driving distance from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber is about 254.4 km, and by car, via the motorways A8-> A7, or A9-> A6-> A7 it will be possible to get there in 2-up to 2,5 hours.

 

If you are going by car and want to reach Rothenburg quickly, take autobahn A 7. The most convenient exit is 108 Rothenburg ob der, Tauber. If you prefer a more scenic drive, take the Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) into the town. From Würzburg, head south on the Romantische Straße starting on federal road B 19 to Bad Mergentheim. Continue on to Creglingen and Detwang until you reach Rothenburg. If you are driving north, you will come up federal road B 25 from Dinkelsbuhl.

 

The main advantage of the trip by car is its mobility. You plan your trip in your own way, stop wherever you want, visit interesting places whenever you like, take pictures, and have a lot of fun. And the whole idea of the country is very different from what the tourists can see from the train or bus window.

Although slightly off major modern trade routes, transportation to Rothenburg ob der Tauber is easy by car from Munich. You can always get more fun if you go on a trip to Bavaria by car. By the way, in case of choosing an autonomous travel mode, we recommend you to use our service, using which you can easily get to your destination.

Nothing can compete with exploring Eastern or Central Europe in a privately-hired car. Moreover, with an experienced local driver-guide, you will not need to care about reading signboards in unknown languages as he’ll be taking care of it while driving carefully. No one, of course, canceled trains and buses, so it’s time to get ready for the journey.

 

Rothenburg’s Attractions and what to see and visit

 

 

Once Rothenburg ob der Tauber was one of the main cities of Franconia, the center of commerce. In the Middle Ages, when Frankfurt and Munich were just wide spots in the road, Rothenburg was Germany’s second-largest city, with a population of 6,000. However, with the passage of time, this status was lost. Today the town occupies only 40 km2 of territory, on which no more than 12,000 people live.

Nevertheless, it is alive and full of tourists from all over the world, as it is one of Germany’s best-preserved walled town, whose charm attracts more and more people. Today it’s Europe’s most exciting medieval town, enjoying tremendous tourist popularity.

At around 970, the Eastern Franconian nobleman Reinger founded the Parish of Detwang in the Tauber Valley, below the eventual site of the town of Rothenburg. The Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul was the parent church of the later town church of St. James. Around 1080, the Counts of Komburg built a fortress on the so-called “Vinegar Jug”. In 1116 the family endowed its largesse on the Convent of Komburg and the Monastery of Neumünster in Würzburg.

In 1142, King Conrad III, the first of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, acquired the area where the city would eventually flourish, building the “Red Fortress”, or “Rote Burg”, on a pinnacle overlooking the river Tauber. The settlement received its name from the red stone, which was used in the construction.

However, the nephew of King Conrad III did not quite legally inherit Komburg. The city and the next ruler were also unlucky – the mayor Heinrich Toppler constantly quarreled with his closest neighbors, which led to the seizure and payment of huge indemnities. Perhaps this prevented Rothenburg ob der Tauber River to become a more significant city of Bavaria. Nevertheless, it was able to withstand and today turned into a great cozy place.

 

The main attractions of Rothenburg ob der Tauber include the following:

– Town Hall on the main square;

– St. Jacob’s Church – one of the best churches throughout Germany, founded in 1845;

– Old Town Walls – the remains of the former fortress, built in the 13th century;

– St. George’s fountain in the central square;

– Toppler Castle (Topplerschlösschen);

– Observation deck on the Town Hall Tower;

– Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum – a unique place where you can learn about crimes and punishment in Europe for 1000 years;

– Plönlein (“Little Square”) – the visiting card of the town;

– Christmas Museum – a place where you can learn everything about this holiday.

In Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you can find many places worthy of attention. The local streets are just a pleasant stroll, and the museums of will surprise you with their unique expositions. So I want to tell you a little more about this wonderful town, its history, and highlights.

A walking tour is the best option to learn more about Rothenburg and helps to bring the medieval town alive. The tourist information office on the Market Square offers tours. In the evening, there’s another, very entertaining walking tour led by medieval “Night Watchman.” A thousand years of history is packed between the cobbles. The two tours are completely different and both are worthwhile.

For the wide angle view of the town and surrounding, mostly pastoral countryside, climb the Town Hall tower. To feel the excitement of a medieval person who approached this then important town, view Rothenburg’s incomparable silhouettes from the plateau across the Tauber River Valley and from the ancient double vaulted bridge on the valley floor. For more views, walk along the wall that surrounds the Old Town.

 

 

As you walk along the wall, you will see a range of architectural designs and styles of Rothenburg homes and buildings. From the wall, you can get glimpses into the backyards and beautiful gardens of some Rothenburg homes. From the height of the wall, you can see the lanes and alleyways that weave between the buildings and which are not fully visible at ground level.

There are some famous and attractive structures amongst the half-timbered buildings, such as the Old Forge. At regular intervals, you’ll also come across the many watchtowers and gateways into the city. One of the towers, the Roderturm, is open to the public.

Rothenburg’s medieval wall was partially damaged in World War II. You can see the plaques along the wall, which record the names of persons and organizations who have made donations for the preservation of Rothenburg’s town wall. Although the wall is 3.5 km (2.15 miles), you don’t have to walk the entire distance. There are several exit points along the wall from which you can step off and walk into the town center.

 

 

One of Rothenburg’s highlights is the Town Hall itself with its splendid renaissance facade dominates the Market Square. While the eastern part of the building burned to the ground in 1501, the western part of the barrow bell tower has survived intact to the present day.

The strictly horizontal lines of the windows and cornices are only interrupted by the simple tower and the tall corner oriel. The baroque-style arcade was added in 1681. The arms of the seven Electoral Princes decorate the arches.

St. Jacob’s church is interesting as it contains the one must-see art treasure in Rothenburg: a glorious 500-year-old Riemenschneider altarpiece, by the Michelangelo of German woodcarvers. You may pick up the brochure that explains the church’s art treasures and climbs the stairs behind the organ for Germany’s greatest piece of woodcarving.

Rothenburg’s fascinating Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum is full of legal bits and diabolical pieces, instruments of punishment and torture, and even an iron cage. Some people react with horror, others wish to buy souvenirs from this place.

St. George’s fountain in the central square is flanked by characteristic half-timbered buildings, once filled with grain and corn to enable the town’s inhabitants to survive any siege. The well beneath St. George’s fountain is 8 meters deep, and with its capacity of 1,000 liters it is the largest in a town where fountains proliferate, is important not just for drinking water, but for firefighting. Fishermen once stored their fish in the cages next to the fountain.

The Plönlein or Little Square is one of the most photographed spots in the world. It is located at the southern end of Schmiedgasse. You will see the Siebers Tower which dates back to 1385 and is part of the second fortifications that were built when the city was expanded. If you walk down the street and pass through the Kobolzeller Gate, you will see the steep road down to the Tauber Valley and the famous Double Bridge.

Another famous attraction is Topplerschlösschen. Built-in 1388 partly as a residence and partly as a fortress, this was the home of Rothenburg’s legendary mayor, Heinrich Toppler. Fully intact, the building is furnished with items from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Located in the Tauber Valley and accessed via the Double Bridge or Barbarossa Bridge, just about 30 minutes’ walk from the Castle Gardens. Even if it’s called a castle, the floor plan is more like a four-story tree house. It’s intimately furnished and, if you manage to arrange a visit, you will like it.

Finally, you’ll be positively surprised to see the Christmas traditions all year around. The heart of the Christmas Village is the old fashion German Market Place complete with timber frame, snow-covered houses. German Christmas traditions come alive.

Explore the hundreds of nutcrackers, incense smokers, pyramids, schwibbogens, Christmas tree ornaments, rauschgoldengels, Christmas nativity scenes and other fine Christmas decorations, which are also available to purchase. This museum is located a few steps from the Town Hall and opens all year around.

 

 

As you see, this town is worth spending here one whole day and even better—two days. The best option is an excursion from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. By the way, if you decide to spend two days in this lovely place and stay here for the night, you need to book rooms in advance.

The main part of the tourist flow is served by small hotels with 10-15 rooms. But there are also excellent options, for example, “Eisenhut”, “Rothenburger Hof”, “Prinzhotel Rothenburg”, in which such famous people as Remarque, Richter and Richie Blackmore stayed. In addition, there are also romantic hotels, such as “Markusturm” and “Herrenschlösschen”.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber will give you lots of photo opportunities. By the way, many films made here including “Harry Potter” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. And make sure you try “Rothenburger Schneeballen”, a Rothenburg specialty, a cake that regularly tempts the palettes of visitors to Germany. These “Schneeballen” are made of shortcrust pastry rolled into balls and decorated in the traditional fashion with icing sugar hence the name “snowball”.

 

Conclusion

You cannot travel to Bavaria without visiting the ancient German cities with their unique atmosphere. One of such cities is Rothenburg ob der, Tauber. Each guest literally immediately plunges into the charm of the Middle Ages in this town. In Germany, it is customary to take care of history and traditions.

Thanks to this, the town has almost the same appearance as it had several centuries ago. Now it looks like a wonderful medieval theme park. As you understand, Rothenburg is definitely worth visiting.

You decide what is the best way for you to travel to Rothenburg. But if you are looking forward to having a really suitable and comfortable way from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, be sure that traveling in a private car with a local English-speaking driver, using our service, is an ideal solution for you.

We can drive you to this or any other destination in Eastern and Central Europe every season of the year and with a great comfort.

 

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