Stretching over the northern part of Bavaria, the historic region of Franconia is officially part of the state of Bavaria, but such is the strength of regional pride that many locals will insist on being called Franconians. The largest city in the region is Nuremburg, a historic town famous for its fine array of Renaissance architecture and notorious history at the helm of Nazi Germany, including hosting the 1946 War Crimes Tribunal.
Many of the main attractions of Franconia are connected by the Romantic Road, Bavaria’s most famous tourist trail that runs from Fussen on the Austrian border to the Franconian capital of Wurzburg in the north. Taking in the medieval splendor of Rothenburg and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Regensberg, set to a backdrop of winding country roads, mountaintop castles and sprawling vineyards, it’s an undeniable scenic way to sample the sights. Alternatively, the highland area, nicknamed ‘Franconian Switzerland’ for its hilly landscape, is a hit with outdoors enthusiasts, with ample opportunities for climbing, caving, hiking and kayaking.
Franconia is also a renowned wine and beer region, with allegedly more private breweries than anywhere in the world and producing the renowned Silvaner white grapes. There are beer gardens, wineries and breweries dotted all around the region, but some of the most famous include the Aktien Brewery in Bayreuth and Juliusspital, Germany’s third largest wine estate.