Traveling by car is the easiest way to reach the wall-encircled medieval town Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria. Driving on German autobahns is fast and mostly free.
Driving is the easiest way to travel to the romantic town Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Franken (Franconia) in the northern parts of Bavaria in central Germany. This amazing medieval town is one of the top tourist sights in Germany and a popular stop when traveling along the Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) vacation route. Cars travel fast on the German autobahns making medieval Rothenburg a popular day-trip destination even from cities as far afield as Frankfurt am Main, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, and Munich.
Passengers arriving on intercontinental flights at Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) may also find airport shuttle services worth the splurge to avoid airport car-rental surcharges, multiple transfers when using trains, and driving on the autobahn when tired. Compare prices as shuttle charges and service conditions can vary widely.
On the Autobahn to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The easiest and fastest way to reach Rothenburg ob der Tauber is by car via Germany’s fast autobahn network. Large sections of the highways near Rothenburg are without speed restrictions – drivers unfamiliar with high speed driving are advised to stay in the slower right lane.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is just 5 km (3 miles) from exit 108 on the Autobahn A7 to the south of Würzburg. Several other autobahns cross the A7 nearby allowing for fast driving times to Rothenburg from many parts of Germany.
Driving distances and times to Rothenburg ob der Tauber using the fastest routes are as follows:
- Frankfurt am Main – 180 km / 112 mi / 1h45
- Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) – 190 km / 118 mi / 1h40
- Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) – 280 km / 175 mi / 2h30
- Würzburg – 70 km / 44 mi / 50 min
- Nuremberg (Nürnberg) – 105 km / 65 mi / 70 min
- Munich (München) – 250 km / 155 mi / 2h20
- Munich Airport (MUC) – 240 km / 150 mi /2h10
- Heidelberg – 165 km / 102 mi / 1h30
- Stuttgart – 150 km / 93 mi / 1h30
- Berlin – 500 km / 310 mi / 5h00
- Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle – 250 km / 155 mi / 2h20
The Romantic and Scenic Routes to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Travelers with more time may prefer to exit the autobahns and follow more scenic routes to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Several options are available:
Following the Romantic Road is the most obvious way to take the scenic route to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Driving from the north, the Romantic Road starts in Würzburg and takes minor roads to Tauberbischofsheim and from there follow the lovely Tauber River Valley to Rothenburg. From the south, the Romantic Road follows back roads all the way from the Alps through Augsburg to Rothenburg.
Drivers from Frankfurt am Main and Frankfurt Airport may wish to leave the Autobahn A3 at Wertheim and follow the meandering Tauber River from here to Rothenburg. The driving time from Wertheim to Rothenburg along the valley road is around 90 minutes but allow plenty more time for sightseeing stops along the way.
From Heidelberg, follow the Castles’ Road (Burgenstraße) up the Neckar Valley. Driving time from Heidelberg to Rothenburg along minor roads can easily be double that of following the autobahns but the scenery and sights along the way are more than worth the effort.
Driving and Parking in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber was designed with medieval transportation in mind and large sections of the old town is completely off limits to automobiles. On weekends and other busy periods, the whole wall-encircled part of the old town is closed to cars. An exception is made for hotel guests with proof of reservations who may enter the old town only via the Galgentor (Gallows’ Gate), which is next to the well-signposted parking lot P4.
Parking in the old town is very limited and time-restricted. It is much easier to steer directly to the large, well-marked, and reasonably priced parking lots at the edge of the old town. Using these parking lots is hardly an inconvenience as the old town walls, buildings, and streets can be enjoyed when strolling from here towards the medieval center of the old town.
Although driving is the easiest way to reach Rothenburg ob der Tauber, public transportation options are of course also available. Trains run to Rothenburg year round while the Romantic Road Couch (previously Europa Bus EB190) provides bus transportation from April to October.