Romantic Road Germany: 10 Best Places to Stop & See

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The mystic route of the Romantic Road in the southern region of Germany receives 2 million visitors a year traveling through 28 dreamy cities and towns. Wurzburg, in the north of the Bavaria region, and Fussen, close to the Austrian border, are the ending and starting points of the route, with 468 km between them.

You can start the route north (Wurzburg) and “navigate” southbound (down to Fussen) or do the opposite. Most of the visitors go north-south, however, it really does not make the slightest difference in which direction you choose.

 Along the way, you can expect to come across well-kept gardens, farms, mills, small houses that seem to have come out of fables, small forests, flowering fields with different shades and colors, valleys crossed by rivers of clear water and surrounded by mountains.

The Romantic Road is a true mix of history and nature, castles and villages, wine and beer, sausage and potatoes. It is the perfect trip for those seeking tranquillity and a peaceful vibe while enjoying lazy days but without giving up beautiful landscapes.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Germany (Travel Guide)

Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Romantic Road Germany

Historic Importance of the Romantische Strasse

The Romantic Road was glimpsed in 1950 by the German people of Bavaria after World War II, when the region desperately needed money to be restructured.

Back then, most of the visitors were Americans who stayed in Germany after the war ended and in fact, it was American soldiers who named the route.

The route maintains relics of its past of wars and the rich commerce that made the region a pole of great importance in Europe.

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On the way to Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria Germany in Romantic Road

Germany Romantic Road: Getting Around

There are many different ways to experience this route. One of the most popular modes of transportation used is a bicycle (approximately, 10 days).

Even though the bike route is a bit longer than the other ones, it is sought by those in search of a challenge or a spiritual experience. Want to cycle the route? Book this great 5 day Romantic Road Cycling Tour.

Another option is hiking all the way from Wurzburg to Fussen, or the other way around (approximately, 24 days). Similar to a pilgrimage, it is possible to see hikers all along the Romantic Road as well as bikers.

Bus excursions are a popular alternative and the Romantic Road Coach is the main one, working in the same style as the traditional Hop-On Hop-Off. The Coach is available from April to September every year and the route from Frankfurt (the closest big city to Wurzburg) to Fussen takes around 5 days to be completed.

For those of you who like busy and vibrant places and prefer to stay in Munich to enjoy the nightlife, the Bayern Ticket is an option to go on day trips to towns and villages at the Romantic Road.

It may take a little longer than buses and cars since the trains in this Bavarian region can be slower than usual and a lot of the times include transfer and connections. There is also the option of doing the whole route by train and staying in local accommodations.

Lastly, the Romantic Road can be explored by car and makes for an excellent road trip. Personally, this is our preferred way of doing the route, we’ve done it twice!

We typically start in Munich then drive all the way south to Fussen before heading north on the traditional route. Renting a car gives you the freedom to stop where you want, when you want and explore at your own pace. 

Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany (Romantic Road)

Driving along the Romantic Road in Germany

Driving yourself offers the most freedom and flexibility to create your own tour at your own pace. In addition, it gives you the chance to take secondary roads, visit smaller villages and stop along the way whenever and wherever you feel like it.

One important thing to keep in mind is to take a GPS with you when driving the Romantic Road since there are not a lot of street signs along the way, especially between Augsburg and Fussen. In case you get lost keep an eye out for signs written Romantische Strasse (Romantic Road, in German).

In fact, the drive mentioned above, between Augsburg and Fussen, represents the tranquility that can be found throughout the Romantic Road. Filled with constructions powered by solar energy, countryside vibe, green grassy organized fields and heaps of cute cows.

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

10 Best Stops on the Germany Romantic Road

The main sights to visit along the Romantic Road include historic cities such as Wurzburg at the start (or end) of the route and Augsburg, castles and museums.

Medieval towns are also a significant highlight. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen are the most popular towns from the Middle Age.

Like most countries in Europe, Germany is also famous for its outstanding castles and the Romantic Road is no different. The Neuschwanstein Castle and the Hohenschwangau Castle are a must when traveling around there.

There are also the most traditional villages and churches of the Pfaffenwinkel area, filled with German culture and monasteries in the small villages and hilly countryside.

Wurzburg, Germany: First top on Romantic Road

1. Wurzburg

Marienburg Fortress, located in Wurzburg, is currently a museum but previously it served as the home of the prince-bishops for nearly five centuries.

Also located in this town, the Wurzburg Residence is an impressive palace from the 18th century which is worth a visit.

Besides the historic construction, the colorful gardens are a plus during this visit, especially in the summer. Below are our top recommended tours and places to stay in Wurzburg.

Wurzburg offers several different accommodation types ranging from budget-friendly places like Best Western Premier Hotel Rebstock and Ibis Wuerzburg City to hostels like Hotel Wurzburger Hof.

Tauber Valley, Germany: Second stop on Romantic Road

2. Tauber Valley

From Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Wertheim am Main there are walking trails in the vineyards of the Tauber river valley, such as the Beckstein, the Gerlachsheim, and the Traublestour trails.

For the braves ones, you can walk the whole Tauber Valley or enjoy the bike trail which is a three-day ride along the river, covering 100 km.

An interesting fact is that roughly 65% of the valley is covered with white wine vineyards and 35% with red wine vineyards. Not to mention, it is the perfect region to go wine tasting.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany: Third stop on Romantic Road

3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg Town Walls and Old Town are a must when touring the Romantic Road. The Town Walks were constructed in the Middle Age surrounding the historic Old Town.

The 13th-century architecture enclosed by the walls includes cobblestone streets, medieval houses, and a red-roof skyline.

The Town Walls are composed of fortified towers you can visit and the walk along the wall gives you an idea of how well maintained the city center is.

Of course, while in Rothenburg you should try the traditional Schneeballen, a sugar-covered fried dough which is equivalent to the American doughnuts and the Dutch ollibollen. 

Feel free to stay the night in Rothenburg as there are a number of great options for every budget. Some great recommendations are Hotel Herrnschloesschen, Romantik Hotel Markusturm, and Hotel Gasthof Zur Linde.  

4. Nordlingen

If you like unique, fortified cities than a stop in Nordlingen is an absolute must when you drive the Romantic Road in Germany. Of all the towns you will come across along the way, this is the only one that has a completely intact city wall. 

I recommend that you pack your car in one of the lots that are outside the city walls, then enter the city and head straight up onto the wall. You can tour around the whole city from the wall. 

Once you have completed the circular route, which isn’t very big or too long, head to the city center. Be sure to buy a ticket to climb the tower of the cathedral. The views from the top are unreal and give you some great perspective of how special this town really is. 

Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany: Fourth stop on Romantic Road

 5. Augsburg

Augsburg is very different from the other cities of the Romantic Road. It’s big and bustling with wide avenues and shopping centers.

That is, it does not remember the medieval little towns of the circuit, although it preserves part of the walls and many constructions of the time.

What draws a little from the charm of the city is the excess wires of the electric trams, which can also be seen as an attraction.

Some of the sights to visit in Augsburg include the Augsburg Cathedral and the House of Mozart (Mozarthaus), where Leopold Mozart was born in 1731. 

If you are looking for some cozy accommodations in Augsburg, these are great budget-friendly options:Augsburger Hof, Dom Hotel and Ibis Budget Augsburg City.

6. Donauworth

On the drive, going south to Augsburg, you will go through Donauworth. This little town is where you will be crossing the Danube River during your drive along the Romantic Road.

It is also where such a river meets the Wörnitz River. The rolling hills and steep cliffs are examples of how diverse the landscape is there.

Germany’s Romantic Road: Everything You Need to Know

7. Fussen

It’s not all about the history and culture that Germany is made of, the regional natural beauty deserves attention as well. Lechfall, in Fussen, is an amazing cascade where the water flow coming from an Ice Age lake gives it an impressive milky blue color.

While in Fussen, make sure to take some time to also go and see Alatsee. This lake gives you the impression that you are looking at a mirror, reflecting the surrounding landscape.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany: Eight stop on the Romantic Road

8. Schwangau

Mount Tegelberg, located in Schwangau, is one of the highlights along the Romantic Road. It is easily accessed by a cable car that climbs 892 m.

The cable car drops you off by a panorama-restaurant and a view of the region of Schwangau. Lakes, mountains, and villages are a few of the highlights you can see from up there.

From there you can go on several hiking trails, including one to the summit of the mount and a hike to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle (or Cinderella Castle). It is important to wear good footwear since the ground is very rocky and rugged.

9. Austrian Alps

And, lastly, the Austrian Alps. Most people travel the Romantic Road from North to South and end it with an incredible view of the Alps. Of course, you can always extend your route and experience this snowy wonderland.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Germany (Travel Guide)

Germany’s Romantic Road: Everything You Need to Know

10. Worthy Detours Just Off the Romantic Road

Access to secondary roads is one of the benefits of driving yourself along the route, taking you to other villages around the area.

A 1 hour-drive from Wurzburg in Bamberg, a small city protected by UNESCO where the Regnitz and the Main Rivers meet. Filled with castles and churches it is definitely worth the drive if you have the time.

Another detour along the Romantic Road is Ulm an der Donau (or Ulmer Munster). Just under 1-hour drive from this medieval town right by the Danube River is home to the cathedral with one of the tallest towers in the world.

A fun fact about Ulm, it is the birthplace of Albert Einstein!

Lastly, no visit to Bavaria would be complete without a visit to the Bavarian capital of Munich. I advise booking your flight out of Munich, which gives you an excuse to stop in this fabulous city. Not only are there some cool sights to see, but it is home to the famous Oktoberfest Festival too. 

Germany’s Romantic Road: Useful Tips

Useful Tips for the Romantic Road

If you decide to travel the Romantic Road during the Fall or Winter, be aware that the shops close early in the smaller towns and villages. So it is probably a good idea to stay in larger cities, such as Augsburg.

Located at the end of the route, Fussen can be a bit expensive when it comes to accommodations, especially during peak season. What some tourists prefer to do is to stay across the border in Austria.

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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2 thoughts on “Romantic Road Germany: 10 Best Places to Stop & See”

  1. Thank you so much.
    Me and my wife are travelling to Germany this Aug 9th for 8 nights. Heard of this route and planned to drive.
    This page was very useful. How is the traffic in this route during this period of time

    • You’re very welcome and i am happy to hear you found it useful! Be sure to check out our Ultimate Germany road trip guide too, lots of great stuff for renting a car in Germany in that one that isn’t route specific. Traffic shouldn’t be too bad, we drove it last in June and didn’t have issues with traffic. Parking can be a challenge in the smaller villages, but it all works out somehow. 🙂 Enjoy!


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