Germany’s Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) is the most scenic drive through Bavaria, that leads you from the Franconia wine region to the foothills of the Bavarian Alps – from Würzburg to Füssen. From amazing vineyards and scenic countryside to cute little Bavarian old towns – this road has it all. Having in mind that you don’t want to miss anything that is really worth exploring, we bring you the ultimate guide to Germany’s Romantic Road, with the best stops that you have to make in order to enjoy it to the fullest.
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Now let’s explore the Romantic Road of Germany…
Why “Romantic Road”?
This beautiful tour was created in the 50s, after WWII, in order to attract tourists to Germany. It is based on the old Roman route – that’s how it got its name, but it sure is very romantic. It can be a perfect honeymoon itinerary – you can visit vineyards and taste delicious vines, stop in romantic old towns with half-timbered houses and explore the most beautiful castles in Germany.
Ways to Explore the Romantic Road
There are several ways for exploring this 400 km long route, but the best one is sure, by car. This way you can make a stop whenever and wherever you want and explore the places that interest you the most. Depending on where you are coming from, you may start your itinerary with a car, or if you live far away, you may fly to Munich or Frankfurt and then rent a car. If you’re not into driving, there are bus and train tours through this region.
Source: Google Maps
Must-see Places Along the Romantic Road
The first stop on our Romantic Road trip is Würzburg – a city located in the heart of the Franken wine region. Würzburg is known for beautiful vineyards, great restaurants with amazing wines and food and awesome wine festivals. Besides the wines and food to try, there is the gorgeous Old Town with amazing architecture to explore. The architectural gem of Würzburg is the Residence Palace, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, set on the steep banks of the Tauber River, 45 minutes away from Würzburg, is one of the most popular stops on the country’s Romantic Road. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval Old Town – one of the best Old Towns in Germany. Walking through its cobbled streets feels like stepping into the fairy-tale land – its medieval buildings look almost unreal. One of the things that you have to see while you’re in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is for sure its imposing Town Hall (Rathaus), that is one of the finest in southern Germany.
If you loved Rothenburg ob der Tauber but would prefer a town with fewer tourists, visit Dinkelsbühl, located only 35 minutes away. Similar to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, it also has an intact city wall with 16 towers and a few authentic city gates. This 800-year-old town is full of colourful half-timbered houses, and a few landmarks that you must visit, such as Haus der Geschichte – once a Town Hall and today a museum, and St. George’s Church with the tower that dominates the townscape.
Something over a hundred kilometres away from Dinkelsbühl, you’ll find one of the oldest cities of this area and a quite popular spot along the Romantic Road, called Augsburg. It was founded during the Roman conquering of German tribes, in 15 BC, which means that it’s over 2000 years old. Augsburg has a gorgeous historic city centre, with amazing boulevards and baroque townhouses, and traditional restaurants, where you can enjoy a real medieval candlelight dinner.
Another hundred kilometres away, you’ll find the last stop on our itinerary – Füssen. It’s an enchanting 700-year-old little town, set in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Walking around its cobbled streets, you’ll stumble upon baroque churches, gothic houses, a medieval town wall, and even a town castle. Even though the Old Town of Füssen is so gorgeous, the reason most people visit is because of the very popular nearby Neuschwanstein Castle – the most popular and most beautiful castle in Germany.
There are many other gorgeous castles and cities along the Romantic Road, so feel free to explore the region before you hit the road and find all the places that you’d like to visit. There are so many of them, so your trip can last how long you’d like.
If you’re wondering when to travel the Romantic Road of Germany – every time of the year is fine. But surely it looks the very best in the spring and summer time when it comes to life when everything is the greenest. Just be sure to plan ahead and book your accommodation on time (and bus/train tickets if you’re not travelling by car), because this is the most popular tourist route in Germany.