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Driving Germany's Romantic Road
The Romantic road of Germany is a scenic route through 27 medieval towns. This 410-km drive winds from the River Main to the German Alps, passing luscious countryside, cobblestoned villages, and quaint towns.
Getting there: Fly into Frankfurt International Airport.
Getting around: The best way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Romantic Road is by car. Rentals are available at the Frankfurt airport. From there, drive southeast to Würzburg and follow the brown signs labeled Romantische Strasse. Explore the unspoiled landscape and impressive architecture of Old Bavaria. Inhale its well-preserved culture and fairytale charm.
Romantic Road Highlights:
Looking out the window of our rental car, I could not help but think “Will Gaston and Belle burst into song and dance with friendly neighbors on the street?” “Where am I? Why is everything so.. dreamy??” It felt like I was entering the set of a Disney cartoon.
Würzburg is the northern most town on the Romantic Road. This city that sits on the River Main is surrounded by vineyards and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site, The Residence Palace.
Walk across the photogenic Alte Mainbrücke (old bridge). Sip coffee in an outdoor cafe. Feast on authentic Bavarian cuisine in courtyard restaurants. Take a stroll through the grapevines of Marienburg Fortress.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ODT fits the description romantic perfectly. An arched gateway welcomes you onto cobblestoned streets with half-timbered fachwerk houses and fanciful inns. This is about as traditional as Bavaria gets.
Wander through the streets and delight on the culinary trademark schneeball. Taste assorted sausages and tangy beer. Walk the stretch of the old protective wall and climb the Town Hall tower for a spectacular panoramic view. At 8pm, meet the night watchman dressed in black drapes at the Market Square and tour the city with only a lanterns flame lighting your way.
It is Christmas all year round in this part of Germany. Visit the Christmas museum and shops that sell bright lights, ornaments, and trinkets.
We stayed overnight at Reichs-Kuchenmeister hotel whose staff members wore classic Bavarian costume and gave you a sense of traveling back to the Middle Ages. The hotels restaurant served the BEST German food out of all I’ve devoured on the Romantic Road.
The drive down on the Romantic Road shifts from flat river valleys to a majestic mountain range.
The soul of the Romantic Road lies in the whimsical palace of King Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein. Walt Disney used this as an inspiration for his Sleeping Beauty castle. Take an enchanted horse carriage to the top of the hill and discover magic in this fairytale land.
Nestled at the foot of the Alps and surrounded by a lake, this town still holds its natural charm. It is the very last town on the Romantic Road, and a perfect spot for a road trip finale!
We opted to stay overnight in Füssen instead of Schwangau to avoid the swarm of tourists. Several apartment-hotels are affordable for groups needing 2 or more rooms. These apartment-hotels come with a living room, dining room, and kitchen.
Hike by the Lech River and watch swans laze in crystal clear water. Shop in the old town and savor ice cream on a cone. Eat in the Italian Pizzeria Il Pescatore (because you might be tired of German food by now) and sip on schnapps for dessert.
Tip: Each town on this road has its own visitor center that offers city maps with useful information.
Tip: Section your trip to 2 hour drives, depending on how many nights you allocate for the Romantic Road.
Tip: For the strong and adventurous, this popular historical route offers a walking and biking trail as well.
Nikki Recto || World Trotter. Stamp Collector. Scuba Diver. Ocean Ranger. Sunset Chaser. Adventure Bug. Foodie. Dog Lover. Part time Realist. Full time Dreamer. Half Cynic. Half Romantic. Pure Filipino.