Traffic-reducing measures are in place in a significant portion of Rothenburg.
Individual tourists are allowed to enter the historic district by car only if they possess a confirmed hotel reservation.
Buses are allowed to enter the historic district solely for the purpose of unloading the luggage for overnight guests.
The city of Rothenburg offers numerous parking lots along the town walls. The walking distance from the parking lots to the market square is about 5-10 minutes.
Visitors will find signs directing them to the public parking lots as they enter Rothenburg:
P1 - Am Friedrich-Hörner-Weg (buses and cars)
P2 - Nördlinger Straße (buses and cars)
P3 - Schweinsdorfer Straße (buses and cars)
P4 - Am Hornburgweg (cars only)
P5 - Bezoldweg (cars only)
There is a fee on all parking lots (except P5 and the southern part of P4):
Cars: 1 hour = 1,00 Euro; Every further hour : 1,00 Euro; Daycard (valid 24 hours) = 5,00 Euro
Busses: 1 hour = 2,00 Euro; Every further hour: 2,00 Euro; Daycard (valid 24 hours) = 20,00 Euro
Sightseeing tours Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Horse carriages Rothenburg
The Troika (three-horse carriage) with three white horses is unique in Bavaria. A Troika is an old Russian way of harnessing horses. It was also common in the USA. In German it is called: "Schnelle Einspannung". The middle horse is the guidance horse, in this case "Felix, the professor". The exterior horses draw the carriage. Earlier, big distances like those between Bad Ischl and St Petersburg were easily managed.
Program of sightseeing tours:
• Half day trip: Coach/Sleigh riding through the Romantic Taubertal with feeding the wild animals. 4 to 17 persons. About 3 to 4 hours. Upon agreement when and where in Rothenburg.
• Day trip: Coach riding to Schillingfuerst castle: castle tour and falcon show. 4 to 17 persons. About 6 to 8 hours. Upon agreement when and where in Rothenburg.
• City trip: Coach/Sleigh riding within the old city walls. Small tour: ca. 20-25 mins. Big tour: ca. 45-50 mins.
• Tauber-Valley trip: Coach/Sleigh riding in the Taubervalley. Visit the Toppler-Castle. ca. 2 hours or 4 hours
• Wedding trip: and company trip upon agreement
Parking your car in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is absolutely NO problem. There is a perfect system of several parkingareas, most of which were made in the places, where the town had some moats around of the medieval townwall.
During the day you have to pay a fee, after 07.00p.m. it is free of charge, BUT Motorhomes have to go to a special parking, and have to pay there each hour day and night. I was lucky that my motorhome is small enough for an ordinary car-park and I was parking there without problem and without fee also during the day, at one of the very few spaces without a meter...
On my picture : the parking next to Spitalstor.
As a 5 star tourist attraction, Rothenburg is accessible by bus or car on the Germany's famed Romantic Road or more directly by an adjacent expressway, the A7. Coming from Nuremberg, we elected the train and it seems a wise choice.
Rothenburg is reached on a one-track spur from Steinach, a minor junction with a real train station but only machines and no attendants. A modern 2 car line runs back and forth between the two towns, with departures and arrivals timed to trains on the main line thru Steinach. To get to the Rothenburg train, one must descend and then climb a flight of stairs - I did not see any provisions for the challenged. Storage facilities are available at the Rotherburg station. The run to Rothenburg is through particularly attractive scenery with rolling hills and occasional small streams. Two tiny stations along the way are little more than an asphalt slab and a sign.
Tour books state that the train station is but a 10 minute walk from the old town, which is true. What they do not state is that once inside the walls it is at least another 10 minutes or more to the Town Hall and Main Square. Taxis are waiting at the train station and are not expensive for a trip right to the center.
From Nuremberg to Steinach, there are occasional through trains, but most trips require a simple across the platform ( no stairs )transfer in Ansbach. A seamless connection, waits for the next train are less than 5 minutes. The whole trip from Nuremberg to Rothenburg is 70 minutes including both transfers. Surprisingly easy.
One well-know way tor reach Rothenburg, aside from driving, is via the Romatic Road Bus, operated by the railroad between Munich, Wurzburg, andFrankfurt. Railpass holders get a large discount on the fare. To use the bus you should first check the schedule and then make reservation by contacting Deutsche Touring, Am Romerhof 17, Frankfurt(see Tel below). Theere are drawback, however. Unless you are staying overnighbt, it wil not alloow enough time to see Rothenburg properly. Contrary to poupular belief, it is actually possible toget there by train fro either Munich or Frankfurt, or more easily from Wuzbur.
TRAIN FROM MUNIC require a very early start and chages at Steinach. Be sure to check the schedules boht ways carefully. The ride takes ovr 3 hurs each way.
TRAINS FROM FRANKFURT also calls for an eary start. Chages must be made at both Wuzburg and Steinach. With good connections, the total trip should take about 2 21/2 hours.
By CAR FROM MUNIC take the A-8 Autobahn to the Augsburg-West exit; then the B-2 to Donauworth, and finally theh "Romantic Road" via Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl into Rothernburg, whic is 130 miles northwest of Munich. Try to park outside the wall.
BY CAR FROM FRANKFURT take the A-3 Autobahn to Wurzburg, then head south on the A-7 to the Rothenburg exit, which is about 115 miles southeast of Frankfurt.
To get to Rothenburg by train, you need to switch tracks at Steinach, one stop down the line. The train takes only 15 min. to traverse the distance between the two stations.
The train runs to Rothenburg multiple times per hour and are hardly ever full. The carrages are more accomadating to large bags and suitcases as well with plenty of leg room.
Trains run regularily e.g. from Frankfurt/Main and the train will need 2,5 hours one way .
I made this info for a friend some time ago, and hope it is still valid, at least you may see that trains run on a regular basis !
departure in Franfurt - Change in Wuerzburg and Steinbach
0819 a.m. - 10.51 and again at 09.19a.m. - 12.01 etc.
departure in Rothenburg - Change in Steinbach and Wuerzburg:
02.06 p.m. - 04.40 p.m. and 03.06 p.m. - 05.40 p.m.and 04.06 p.m. - 06.40 p.m. etc.
and many more train-connections to be found on my link below !
they also have an English version !
From the trainstation the distance to Spitals-Tor and Roedertor is not more than maybe 300 meters.
Hmm - almost like a Fiakker in Vienna...
....and certainly the most elegant way to explore the old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. These carriages have - in contrary to many other cities - long seats and a capacity of more than 15 passengers per carriage. That way it is a quite affordable pleasure and maybe a good alternative to explore the old town of Rothenburg without the need to walk through it on cobbled stones.
If you are driving and want to reach Rothenburg ob Tauber quickly, take the Autobahn A7 and exit 108 west. It is well marked via Ansbacher Strasse.
Driving is unnecessary and at times impossible; it is best to park the car and walk.
You can watch my 1 min 48 sec HD Video Bavaria autobahn at Rothenburg ob der Tauber out of my Youtube channel.
Best part about Rothenburg is once you've parked, you don't have to drive for the duration of your stay because the town is small and very easy to walk around in. It's impossible to get lost, and there are no "unsafe" areas to walk in.
Rothenburg has its own little branch line, which meets the main Würzburg to Augsburg main line at Steinach, so this is where you have to change trains, but it is all very convenient and rarely with long waits. The Steinach to Rothenburg journey is only fifteen minutes.
Walking from the station to the town centre takes you to the Rödertor town gate, and then this gate, Markusturm, from the old inner wall.
Yes, if you arrive by train (or by bus, because the bus station is next door to the railway station).
There are lockers on the platform (July 2009). See photo for an idea of sizes.
It's worth using these. Rothenburg is not really backpack or luggage-friendly. Its cobbled streets and pavements are narrow, and often very busy with visitors.
Better to use the lockers and enjoy unemcumbered explorations!
If you're on a tight schedule like us, rent a car from Munich and drive to Rothenburg. Although Rothenburg is served by the train, it can definitely save some time if you drive there instead.
We got a wonderful deal from Thrifty at Munich Airport. We booked the 2nd-cheapest car on the website but it turned out that all the 'budget' models had been hired out when we arrived. Thrifty gave us a wonderful huge Mercedes Benz at no additional charge. It's definitely more spacious and comfy!!!!!
A popular way to see the whole town is to take one of the many horse carriages. I chose to explore the town on foot but I saw a lot of people on horse carriages. One thing I noticed and something you have to consider before hopping on the horse carriage, horses poop a lot when they walk. There will be frequent stops as the driver scoops up the poop. It resembles a bus ride with frequent stops.
It is so convenient to use trains in Germany. One can easily get to Rothenburg by train from e.g., Frankfurt airport:
Use the website below and choose
Destination: Rothenburg o d Tauber
Departure: Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Regionalbf
And your time of day of travel and time, then you will see info of all trains available.
One could also rent a car and drive to Rothenburg (as we did).