Driving along the Romantic Road is like flipping through a postcard book of Bavariaó: you'll see fairytale castles, picturesque medieval villages, and elegant walled towns all set against the dramatic backdrops of the Bavarian Alps and the Franconian vineyards. The 220-mile (355-km) tourist route runs all the way from Wurzburg in the north to Fussen in the south, passing through some of southern Germany's most scenic towns.
Germany's Romantic Road is as much about the journey as the destination, so don't be tempted to cram everything into one day. Day tours from Munich and Frankfurt typically visit top attractions such as the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the UNESCO-listed Wurzburg Residence, Augsburg, and Neuschwanstein Castle. To explore further, consider a private, overnight, or multi-day tour that includes detours to cities like Nuremberg and Heidelberg.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Ticket lines for sights and royal castles as popular as Neuschwanstein Castle can be long in peak season, so book your tour in advance and choose one with a skip-the-line ticket to beat the crowds.
- If you'd rather not drive in a foreign country, a Romantic Road bus tour is a stress-free way to get around.
- Some active travelers choose to use the Romantic Road as a long-distance cycle route.
How to Get to the Romantic Road
Frankfurt and Munich are the most popular departure points for the Romantic Road, both of which have international airports. Frankfurt is set 75 miles (120 km) from Wurzburg, a popular starting point on the route, while Munich is 80 miles (130 km) from Fussen near the border of Austria. Train and bus service are available from both cities to most towns along the route, but it's far more convenient to visit with your own transport or as part of a guided tour.
When to Get There
The most atmospheric time to explore the Romantic Road is between July and August, when many of the towns and villages host festivals and live entertainment, or over the Christmas season, when holiday markets and other festivities take place. Travelers should note that visiting at these times means popular attractions can get busy and travel times can be longer due to excess traffic. Some opt for a visit in spring or autumn, when the weather is still favorable, to avoid the crowds.
Visiting the Medieval Towns Along the Romantic Road
The Romantic Road is home to some of the most impressively preserved medieval towns in Europe, but most day-trippers only visit the Old Town in Rothenburg. Stop in Nordlingen, Dinkelsbuhl, or Bad Mergentheim to stroll the cobblestone lanes and admire the half-timbered buildings; visit Oberammergau to marvel at the colorful murals; or head to Hohenschwangau Castle for a photo stop.