The Romantic Road in Germany
The Romantic Road in the south of Germany was originally created after the war to promote the southern provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. More than 60 years later, the Romantic Road is now one of the most popular routes in Germany and Europe. The highlights on the 400 km-long route towards the Alps are the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle, the romantic medieval timber-framed houses, and ‘the pearl of the Romantic Road,’ Würzburg.
- Route name: The Romantic Road in Germany
- Distance: 366 KM
- Suggested duration: 3-6 days
- Best by: car
- Start and end point: Würzburg to Füssen
- Best time to visit: all seasons. Visit in spring and summer for fresh-aire hiking in the surroundings, and in the winter for beautiful snowcapped mountains and picturesque scenes at the Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Highlights: The cities Würzburg, Augsburg and Füssen, medieval villages with timber-framed houses, and the Neuschwanstein Castle.
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The Romantic Road in Germany
WÜRZBURG – ROTHENBURG AB DER TAUBER (99 KM)
The starting point of this route is the city Würzburg, also called the ‘pearl of the Romantic Road,’ because of its natural charm and romantic settings. The city dates back to the 7th century A.D. when it was founded by bishops of Bavaria. A visual remainder of this is the Marienberg Fortress on the other side of the river. Visit the Baroque Juliusspital, once a home for the injured during the war, converted into a winery.
Start your route on the Romantic Road with driving to Rothenburg through the Tauber valley. Have lunch at one of the Tauber valley towns, like the spa town of Bad Mergentheim or Tauberbischofsheim before heading to Rothenburg ab der Tauber.
ROTHENBURG AB DER TAUBER – NÖRDLINGEN (81 KM)
Rothenburg is a lovely medieval city where the colorful half-timber houses and cobbled stone streets will take you back in time to Germany’s medieval time. What cannot be missed from Rothenburg is the ramparts circling the breathtaking townscape. Explore the town’s romantic streets in the morning; as buses float into the beautiful streets with day trippers in the summer during the afternoon. After your morning visit, head to the next stop: Dinkelsbühl, a perfect stop for lunch!
Visit the Dinkelsbühl’s St. George Minister church and wander the medieval streets. Dinkelbühl is one of the only remaining walled medieval towns in Germany. After a traditional German lunch, continue your route towards Nördlingen.
NÖRDLINGEN – AUGSBURG (83 KM)
The city of Nördlingen dates back to the year 898 and is therefore one of Germany’s mysterious and unique villages. Just like Dinkelbühl, Nördlingen is one of the three villages in Germany with an intact city wall. However, Nördlingen is far less crowded than the other two cities - Dinkelbühl and Rothenburg. Nördlingen is located in a meteorite crater and has built its tower with one of the rocks from the meteorite, which impacted 15 million years ago. Continue your route towards Augsburg with brief stops in the cities Harburg or Donauwörth for its large castles and lunch.
AUGSBURG – FÜSSEN (113 KM)
Augsburg is the oldest city in Bavaria, and dates back to a time when the Roman Empire used the city as part of their trading routes. The city is also named after the Roman Emperor Augustus. You don't want to miss the ‘Fuggerei,’ the world’s oldest social housing project that provided shelther for the poor Catholic working families in the 16th century by the wealthy Fugger family, which still has some appearance in the city.
Prepare yourself for a long day ahead and continue your route to the most famous tourist attraction in Bavaria, and maybe even Germany- Neuschwanstein Castle. You can choose to visit either Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau Castle and spend the afternoon wandering around. The Neuschwanstein Castle was created by the Mad King, Ludwig II of Bavaria, in the 19th century and is a true fairytale castle. Rumour has it that Schloss Neuschwanstein inspired Disney for its very own castle. It’s not necessary to take the half an hour tour inside, as the castle keeps all its beauty outside and the tour is fairly touristic.
After you’ve detoured the tourist coaches and Japanese signs, it’s time to head towards the end point of the Romantic Road: Füssen. The attractive Bavarian town has an historic center at the foot of the mountains and is part of the Köningswinkel (King’s Corner) referring to the many castles and ruins in the area.
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