Stretching some 250 miles (400 kilometers) from Fussen to Wurzburg, the Romantic Road links some of Germany's most picturesque castles and medieval villages—and is a must-do venture for travelers. No matter where you're based, tour options abound.
Sitting on the banks of the Main River in the city of Wurzburg, Marienberg Fortress was the home of the local prince-bishops for nearly five centuries. Today, the fortress houses the Furstenbaumuseum, which tells the story of 1,200 years of Wurzburg history. The fortress armory is home to the Mainfrankisches Museum, a collection of Franconian artwork and artifacts.
High Castle (Hohes Schloss)
One of the best preserved late Gothic castles in Germany, the High Castle in Fussen was once the home of Bavarian royalty and, later, a summer residence for the bishops of Augsburg. Today, it houses a collection of late Gothic and Renaissance paintings, and features an impressive 16th-century Knights’ Hall and a princes’ chamber with a Gothic tile stove.
Harburg Castle, one of the most impressive medieval castles in Germany and the best preserved along the Romantic Road, dates to the 11th century. A visit to the complex, which sits on the Wornitz River, will transport you back to the Middle Ages. Tours of the castle include the church, dungeon, granary, and state rooms.
The childhood home of King Ludwig II, Hohenschwangau Castle sits on a hill above Lake Alpsee in southwestern Germany, not far from the town of Fussen. Reconstructed in the 19th century in a neo-Gothic style, the castle features nearly 100 wall paintings that tell the history of Schwangau, as well as medieval German tales.
Located just off the Romantic Road but included in many tours, Neuschwanstein Castle is an iconic fairy-tale castle. Standing high on a Bavarian hill in a secluded corner of Germany, it was meant to be the residence of King Ludwig II, but he died before its completion. Today you can visit the Romanesque Revival palace’s impressive state rooms and apartments—opt for a skip-the-line tour to beat the heavy crowds at this popular castle.