Known as the most popular touristic road in Germany the romantic road meanders 410 km from the river Main to the Alps. The name ‘Romantic Road’ or ‘Romantische Strasse’ is deduced from the beautiful sights of medieval towns and the most famous fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein which most probably every travel keen person has seen in a travel brochure of Germany at least once.
On our travels from the Netherlands to our next house sit in Austria we decided to take the opportunity to visit some of the hot spots of the romantic road of Germany. Within a week it’s not possible to visit all of the towns but you can enjoy some of the most outstanding beautiful medieval remnants.
As a traveller of the romantic road you get carried back into the past of a wealth of history, art and culture of the Occident. From north to south the landscape changes from forested river valleys, fertile farmland, mixed woodland, pastures and the mountains at the end of the scenic road.
As a self driver you simply follow the well marked road with brown signs of Romantische Strasse which connect all the old towns. If you want to master the romantic road by bicycle you follow the green signs which mark the bicycle path from Würzburg to Füssen along 440 kilometers. Blue signs mark a long distance hiking route along a breathtaking 500 kilometers trail (which I mean also literally and not only because of the scenery!).
There are good guide books, folders and maps which describe every single town of the Romantische Strasse. I’m only picking a few towns randomly to give you a taste of the journey.
This university and congress town at the River Main lies between vineyards while the dominating vesting Marienberg guards it with a watchful eye. It hosts the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Residence palace.
The capital of the district Main-Tauber Tauberbischofsheim is one of the oldest towns of the lovely valley of the Tauber. The Termerstoren is the symbol of the town which impresses with its many timber-framed buildings. The 19th century Town Hall in the central square is next to many other characteristically impressive buildings.
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
Rothenburg is one of the only walled medieval towns left in Germany along with its neighbours Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen to the south. As we walked along the beautifully maintained medieval buildings, walls and alleys it became clear to us, why this town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bavaria. Not to miss is the Christmas shop whicprovides a elusive experience of queer architecture within the old town buildings and of course, a most quaint Christmas experience even in mid summer!
At the end (or beginning) of the romantic road just where the alps start you find one of the most stunning landscapes of Bavaria. At the bottom of the fairy tale Castle Neuschwanstein lies the medieval town of Füssen at 800 till 1200 meters altitude and is herewith the highest town of Bavaria.
Beside the most popular castles in southern Germany – Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle in its vicinity the town itself has a wealth to offer for historically interested travellers, too.
Conclusions of our romantic explorations
- Take your time as you travel the ‘ Romantische Strasse ‘
- Enjoy the details rather than ticking the check boxes of your ‘ Must Sees ‘ !
- Prebook entrance tickets to popular sights like Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau in advance
- Visit as early or as late as possible for better pictures and to avoid the tourist crowds as the romantic route is very popular among Tour Groups from the Far East, too!
- If you are traveling on a budget choose neighbouring towns for accommodation, Couch Surfing which is quite trendy in Germany or camping of course.
Useful Links Covering The Romantic Route – Die Romantische Strasse – in English
Camping / Romantic Road