Germany’s medieval castles and dense forests inspired the beloved fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Bring the stories to life by visiting the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, exploring the Black Forest, or touring the Fairy Tale Route or Castle Road.
Neuschwanstein, an iconic fairy-tale castle, was the model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Standing high on a Bavarian hill in a secluded corner of the country, the castle was meant to be the residence of King Ludwig II, but he died before its completion. Today, the Romanesque Revival palace’s exquisite apartments and state rooms are open to the public. Book a skip-the-line tour for the ultimate experience.
The Black Forest
Located in southwest Germany’s Rhine Valley, the vast Black Forest offers hiking and mountain biking opportunities in the summer, as well as downhill and Nordic skiing in the winter. The area is also home to more than a dozen picturesque towns and villages, as well as spa resorts and thermal baths. Use Frankfurt as a jumping-off point to visit the spa town of Baden-Baden, or pick Strasbourg as a base to tour the medieval town of Freiburg and other Black Forest villages.
Established in the 1950s and extended to the Czech Republic in the 1990s, Castle Road runs more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Mannheim, Germany, to Prague, Czech Republic. Several dozen castles line the route; must-see highlights include Mannheim Palace, Heidelberg Castle, Eger Castle, and Prague Castle. Visit Heidelberg on a day trip tour from Frankfurt, or check out the Prague portion of the road in the Czech Republic.
The German Fairy Tale Route
The German Fairy Tale Route brings many popular fairy tales to life. Stretching for 373 miles (600 kilometers) from Hanau to Bremen, the scenic drive comprises thick forests, medieval castles, and other notable landmarks such as the Brothers Grimm Museum in Steinau and the rat-catcher’s house in Hamlin, where the Pied Piper lived. Visit Trendelburg Castle, where Rapunzel let down her long hair, and Sababurg Castle, also known as the castle of Sleeping Beauty.