Germany’s romantic road is one of the oldest and the most attractive destinations for travelers from all over the world. It is a magnificent 350 km route to the southern provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, starting in Würzburg and ending in the city of Füssen. The idea of the romantic road as a tourist attraction was created in 1950 as Germany was desperate to rebuild a tourism industry in the post-war period. As it turns out today, it was a great idea since the area is now a quite popular destination. The route includes many historic and medieval towns, where you will have to spend some days to discover their history and sights. So let’s see below some of the parts of the route that we stood out.
What To See...
Würzburg is the starting point of the Romantic Road. The city is located in a beautiful hilly location on the Main River, has a rich history and hosts a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is the Palace of Würzburg. This wonderful city is located in the middle of one of the largest vineyards in Germany and has excellent connections with other parts of the country, such as Frankfurt and Nuremberg. Würzburg is a small town and you can easily explore it just by walking. The main attractions of the city such as the castle, the old bridge, the cathedral, the palace and others, are located around the river and the only thing that may bother you a little, is the uphill walk to the castle.
Wertheim is considered one of the most beautiful cities on Romantic Road and is one of the most recent members of the route, as after 10 years several efforts ,finally made it in 2016. It is a very interesting medieval city worth visiting and enjoying walks in picturesque old city center. The most important sight of Wertheim is the medieval castle that stands on the banks of the Main River. You can visit it and enjoy a wonderful meal at the restaurant in the castle which in addition to the fantastic local cuisine offers unique panoramic views. Very close to the city is the famous and homonymous shopping center which is built in Frankonian style to remind architecturally, the historic building traditions that the region is world famous.
Tauberbischofsheim is another great city you will meet on the romantic route. It is a popular tourist destination because of the many historic buildings, as well as the several remaining parts of the city’s medieval fortifications. The settlement of Tauberbischofsheim has a long history that you will discover with your visit. The old city used to be surrounded by walls , but now there are many historic buildings in their place. You can also visit the St. Martin’s Church (Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martin) which was completed in 1914. It has a Gothic-renaissance style and features many works of art by the historic sculptor Thomas Buscher and works of art from other older churches, including an altar from the Ulmer workshop, by Niklaus Weckmann with historical paintings. Tauberbischofsheim is truly a jewel destination for Germany.
Bad Mergentheim has a special aura that you will discover immediately when you are there. The city is located on the banks of the Tauber river, where on the right side you will find the spa resort and on the left bank of the river, the historic center of the city. The city is famous mainly for its mineral waters and spa which are fully equipped and it’s a pole of attraction for tourists. The therapeutic use of the city’s waters was discovered in the 19th century when the development of the spa tourism began and helped the city’s economy.
The town of Weikersheim is one of the most beautiful places on Romantic Road and this because of the city’s palace, which is a jewel for the romantic road. The Renaissance Baroque Palace was built in the late 16th to mid-18th centuries, with unique luxury and splendor for that time. Most of the interiors have been preserved with the same furniture and decoration of the time. Many visitors come many times and this is partly due to the beautiful Renaissance palace but also to the beautiful gardens likke thee Versailles model, which are full of flower fountains and beautiful paths. As for the city, you will find beautiful historic buildings in the open market square, small museums that will teach you a lot about the history of Weikersheim, St. George’s Church and the Baroque City Hall. In general, the city is quite active as several concerts, cultural events and historical festivals are organized every year and excite its visitors.
Lauda-Königshofen is located between the town of Tauberbischofsheim and Bad Mergentheim. It is a beautiful and picturesque city like the others in Romantic road, which is in a great location, with very well developed infrastructure and is ideal for living, work and relaxation. This area is famous for its vineyards and wine quality, for this reason, many events are held to celebrate the traditional customs around wine and its distillation. For the entertainment of locals and tourists, every year there are 2 big festivals where thousands of visitors from all over the world come to entertain their self. The Keep It True festival is one of the most famous heavy metal festivals of the city and gathers fans of this type of music. The Königshöfer Messe is an even bigger festival with great success. It is a very popular festival where, in addition to the hundreds of entertainment options, it also offers a huge exhibition of local products.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small town known as the City of Towers. For centuries it has remained unchanged over time and it is famous for its medieval center, as well as for the 4 km wall that encloses the old city center. Any time you visit Rothenburg, you will be impressed. The beautiful medieval buildings and cobbled streets give a magical feeling back in medieval times. Especially at Christmas time it turns into a magical fairytale town as it has a long tradition in the Christmas markets. Nowhere else, you will feel the vibrant and so unique atmosphere of the old district of Rothenburg, more intensely than in the market square. On the steps of the City Hall or at the cafes, locals and visitors from all over the world relax by watching the events depending on the season.
In the summer, the Marktplatz is used as a concert venue or as a central point of contact for the Der Meistertrunk History Festival and the Imperial City Festival. In winter, the Rothenburg Christmas Market is held at the city’s most convenient location, Marktplatz and Grüne Markt. According to history, the city once had 42 towers, but today, unfortunately just few are accessible to the public. The town hall tower of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the city’s only accessible towers, and we suggest you to visit at sunset to enjoy a great view of the city. Another accessible tower is the Roedertor at the eastern end of the city, and it is open daily to visitors to admire the view from the highest point of the building at 61 meters high, but also find manuscripts about its construction and history of city’s wall. Try to avoid the busy hours , when groups of tourists arrive and it’s better for you to take advantage of the quiet hours early in the morning or evening, exploring the city on your own, to feel the wonderful medieval atmosphere of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Feuchtwangen is one of the most beautiful and friendly small towns on Romantic Road. In the heart of the city, there is the market square, Marktplatz, which is widely known as “Franconia’s Festival Hall”. Beautiful wooden facades of buildings, in traditional Franconian style, give a sense of another era. The ornament of the square is the fountain, the Röhrenbrunnen, built in 1727. The statue at the fountain is the goddess Minerva, patron saint of the local industry. The fountain is decorated with colorful, historical landmarks of Brandenburg and Wυrttemberg, as well as the Imperial Eagle. The city has many churches and interesting history in terms of its origin and evolution over time, which you can discover in the museums of the small picturesque town.
Dinkelsbuhl is a historic picturesque town in Central Franconia and is one of the three most important historic cities on the romantic road. Dinkelsbühl is surrounded by medieval walls and towers. Visitors of the city have the opportunity to visit many amazing sights as well as museums that show its history and traditions from the 15th century to the present day. The main features of this city are the cobbled streets but also the colorful buildings with wooden facade and roofs that give a sense of a romantic’s old movie setting. You will also find several churches in different architectural styles, depending on their oldness. The popular Gothic church of St. George is located in the historic center of Dinkelsbühl, so don’t forget to visit it to admire its impressive interior. Apart from its history and beauty, the city is also famous for its metal music festival, the Summer Breeze Open air, which has been organized every year since 2007 and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Augsburg is one of the oldest and richest cities in Germany with a high standard of living. It is a large beautiful city with various types of architecture in its buildings reminiscent of Gothic, Renaissance and Rococo times. In the old town center the square, the cobbled streets and the colorful buildings compose a romantic atmosphere that you rarely find in big cities. The Perlach Tower, which is connected to St. Peter’s Church, is one of the city’s landmarks and is definitely worth a visit. The tower is 70 meters high and is a 16th century building. The entire old town of Augsburg is beautiful, with many alleys, small rivers and beautiful buildings. The most beautiful part of the old town is located behind the town hall in the direction of St Ulrich, along with Maximilianstrasse. The most important buildings of Augsburg are the town hall, the 11th century cathedral of St. Mary, the monastery of Sankt Ulrich und Afra but also Fuggerhäuser. Fuggerhäuser is a residential complex built for the historic family of Fugger entrepreneurs, and is home to a wealthy 16th-century banking dynasty. In the museums of the band you will discover the very interesting and important history of the European economy. Like other cities along the romantic route, Augsburg was one of the free imperial cities and at the acme of the 16th century it was one of the most important commercial and cultural centers in the world.
Donauwörth is located north of the romantic road and is considered a historic city with a very important geographical location where it is located at the crossroads of the Danube and Wörnitz rivers. One of the reasons that many people and especially collectors, visit the city, is because of the historic doll museum, the famous German Käthe Kruse. Käthe Kruse used to make dolls in the beginning as a hobby, but in the process, after receiving awards for their realism and durability, the hobby became a business. Dolls were extremely popular in Germany in the early 20th century but now they are collectibles. There are many more you can see in this city, such as museums of culture and historic churches. The local legend says that the city was originally discovered by two fishermen on Ried Island. This islet is located just south of the historic center on the Wörnitz River and 3 bridges connect it with the city. Other features of this city are its fortified center, which is accessible through one of the city’s four huge entrances, the Rieder Tor. This tower and gate has been restored after centuries of damage.
Landsberg am Lech
Landsberg is a quiet and very romantic city on the river Lech where there is a lot to discover and attractions not to be missed. The beautyfull like dollhouse, old town, with its large alleys and colorful houses decorated with so much love and care, create such a romantic mood that anyone would like to wander all day around the city. In the historic center of the city you will see strong traditional elements in the decoration of buildings, such as the beautiful small town hall, but also Marienbrunnen a small fountain in front of the town hall. You will find several cafes and restaurants for moments of enjoyment and relaxation. Landsberg am Lech, like many cities on the romantic road, is fortified with tower-gates and, although built in the 12th century, remains intact over time.
Wieskirche, or Wies Church, is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in southern Germany. It is located between Steingaden and Wildsteig on Romantic Road just outside on a country road to the small village of Wies. Wies Church is also one of the most famous works of art and Rococo architecture and its location near Romantic Road, defines it as one of the most important religious attractions among several others in the area. Today’s church was built in the mid-18th century by the Zimmermann brothers, who were local artists and architects whose works can now be found throughout Europe. The church is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The area of Halblech and its small village is located in an impressive landscape. The alpine panorama with its pristine nature, is the ideal destination for holidays. Halblech is the gateway to Upper Bavaria and Allgäu, with many hiking and biking trails. Unique cultural treasures such as Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle and Wieskirche are just a few kilometers away, so if you are in one of these tourist attractions, do not forget to visit Halblech for a few moments of relaxation and contact with nature.
Schwangau is the penultimate city on the southern route along Romantic Road that attracts romantic travelers from all over the world. It is a small beautiful town, but it also has one of the most popular attractions in all of Germany, the Neuschwanstein Castle. The city is located in a beautiful lake landscape at the foot of the mountains, which was a popular location for settlement, dating back to the Stone Age. Neuschwanstein Castle and its alpine environment remain a strong attraction for the region and even for regional tourism.
This fairytale castle is located in the small village of Hohenschwangau quite close to Füssen, and is a World Heritage Site. It is built on a hill on the most romantic road in the Bavarian Alps. The King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, built this palace in the late 18th century as his own personal shelter and as a tribute to the romantic composer Richard Wagner, so its construction and decoration are heavily influenced by romantic Renaissance architecture. After the death of the king, the castle was opened to the public and nowadays it attracts 1.3 million visitors a year. To enjoy the unique experience of touring the palace you can get your ticket from the offices you will find in Hohenschwangau and the ticket price starts from 22 euros per person. The tour of the site takes 35 minutes and photos and videos are not allowed.
Füssen is a beautiful small town located on the banks of the river Lech. About 14,240 residents enjoy life in one of Germany’s most romantic cities. Füssen Castle for the country is one of the most important buildings built at the end of the Gothic period. It used to be the summer residence of the bishops of Augsburg, but today it functions as a gallery. The castle is located in the center of the small town and you can easily visit it and admire its interior and exterior decoration. Another attraction is the imposing St. Mang which now houses the Füssen Museum. There you can take a look at the beautifully decorated baroque halls and see up close one of the best collections of historical musical instruments in Europe. Füssen is the city where the most beautiful route in all Germany, the famous Romantic Road, ends. Taking a short walk in the city of Füssen, hidden in the alleys, you will find a large wooden door that characterizes the end of the route of the romantic street. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most enjoyable journeys in Germany and that is why every romantic traveler must live this experience at some point in his life. Of course, it is not enough to just drive the route, but to dedicate some time of your day to the cities and villages you will encounter along this historic road.
At a distance of about 45 kilometers from Füssen there is the highest mountain in Germany, Zugspitze. At an altitude of 2,962 meters, the view will take your breath away. It is definitely the best place to observe and admire the Alps, so it is very important before you go up to be informed about the weather. The simple ticket for adults costs 46.5 € but you will also find other prices depending on the age and the days of use of the ticket.
Part of the charm of this area is the discovery of hiking trails in the vineyards in the Tauber Valley or in the traditional villages and churches of Pfaffenwinkel. If there’s one more thing you’d like to see on this site or any comments you may have – and especially if you want to give your own comments as soon as you travel all or part of Romantic Road – don’t hesitate to contact us.
What To Eat
The Romantic road, in addition to its wonderful places, is a way of discovering culinary delights. In the area you will enjoy local delicacies and authentic traditional specialties, even formal dinners. If you are a fan of cold cuts and cheeses, you will find the best opportunity pairing them with local wines or beer. The area produces high quality wines, which can be obtained from the producers themselves. As concerns about food, some of the famous dishes of traditional cuisine are the grilled pork with potato dumplings, schnitzel, sausage-shaped platters and Käsespätzle which are fresh handmade pasta served with melted cheese and crispy onion. If you want something sweet and traditional, then we suggest you try the famous Schneeballen. They are cookie dough balls in various flavors that are really interesting. We suggest you try this one with milk chocolate but also the classic version with icing sugar. Additional pleasant attractions are the gastronomic food and beverage exhibitions, where you can visit an annual festival usually during the summer months or at local festivals of each city separately.
How to move
Frankfurt Airport is the best choice for flights, if you are coming from abroad. The area is ideal than any other, as it is closer to the starting point of the romantic road, Würzburg. The most practical way to travel is definitely by car, which you can rent from the airport. Depending on your travel plan, we would recommend cycling for some day trips or why not, your entire trip. The area has many connected cycling treks, away from the main roads as there is a recognized long-distance trail covering the route in its entirety.
Where to stay
In all these cities you will find wonderful hotels furnished in traditional Bavarian and Frankonian style, and you will enjoy all the comforts. Prices are quite high in some of the most famous cities, especially around Neuschwanstein Castle. So we suggest you to stay in smaller and not very touristic places, in order to save money but also to enjoy the authentic local life. Prices start from 40 euros up to as high as you can afford depending on the facilities and location. You can make your bookings via Booking.com
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