Germany might not be your first choice for a road trip in Europe but I will show you through the Romantic road itinerary that is definitely worth considering the option. There is a reason why it is on the bucket list of so many Japanese!
The romantic road is Germany’s most beautiful road trip as it will take you to some of the most typical towns in Germany as well to wold known sites such as Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle, by the way, inspired Disney for Cinderella, the Beauty and the beast as well as Sleeping Beauty.
How much time should I plan to drive the Romantic road?
The romantic road is 460km long. To enjoy it fully and not rush it I advise you to spend around 4 days for your road trip.
Where to stop on the romantic road | Itinerary
If you decide to follow the romantic road step by step, it is 29 stops. While the road itself is very pretty, no need to stop at every of the 29 stops. Lets break down the most beautiful places of the romantic road.
First of all, if you come by plane the best is to start either from Munich or Frankfurt and rent a car there. Of course it is possible to start from either cities but the original idea of this route was to go South! So starting from Frankfurt.
Day 1 – Wine tasting in Würzburg and Shopping in Wertheim Village
Wine tasting in Würzburg
Würzburg is a small city surrounded by vineyards. It is famous for it’s many beautiful buildings. One of them : the majestic residence is even part of the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1981 because of it’s different baroque elements. The old Main bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) is the oldest stone bridge in Germany and gives beautiful views over the river. Other famou slandmarks are the Würzburg’s cathedral, the Marienberg Fortress and the market square.
While all those buildings are truly beautiful, I would recommend to stroll around and then take a wine tasting at one of the winery. Indeed the many vineyards around the city produce the Franconian wine!
Shopping at Wertheim Village
While Wertheim village is not directly on the Romantic Road, it is a good idea to make a small detour if you are into shopping. Wertheim Village is a high end outlet village where you can purchase brands such as Armany, Bally, Polo Ralph Lauren and more for up to 60% off.
Day 2 – Visit the medieval cities on the romantic road
Rotheburg Ob Der Tauber
Two places on the romantic road inspired Disney. One of them is Rothenburg Ob der Tauber for the movie Pinocchio. It is indeed a lovely town to stroll around. Disney fans will love! Also fans of the Medieval period will enjoy this town. It’s medieval ramparts give a beautiful view over the town! Rothenburg Ob der Tauber is one of the most beautiful stops on the romantic road! Don’t miss Plonlein, the most famous place in the town.
Dinkelsbühl was awarded the most beautiful old town in germany by Focus magazine. Similar than Rothenburg Ob der Tauber, it is a typical medieval town. Much smaller and quieter though. You might enjoy it much more and why not take a bike tour around the city walls?!
Day 3 – Augsburg and small villages
On your third day, plan to spend some time in Augsburg, one of the oldest cities in Germany. Most sightseeing are to be done on the Maximilianstrasse, famous for it’s Renaissance and baroque facades. To see : Fuggerei, the cathedral, the town hall and Perlachturm for panoramic views of the city!
Once you are done, take your car South and stop at some of the beautiful german villages that are : Landsberg am Lech, Schongau, Peiting and Steingaden.
Day 4 – Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle and Lechfall
Füssen is the official start of the romantic road. It is a cute little town at the border of Austria. The main attraction is the old town. You can see all of it in around 30 minutes. After Füssen and before going to Neuschwanstein Castle, drive a little 15 minutes to see the Lechfall. Those are manmade waterfalls where the Lech river plunges into Lech Gorge. It’s really pretty. If you have some time, plan to walk around a little bit.
You next stop is the Neuschwanstein Castle that is world famous and as mentioned above, inspired Disney for Sleeping Beauty and other stories. If you decide to visit the castle, it is best to buy your tickets online before going and arrive 1 hour in advance to pick up your ticket at the counter.
For the best view of the castle, you will need to take the shuttle or walk uphill around 30 minutes to Marienbrücke (Queen Mary’s Bridge). The view is beautiful from there but it can be VERY crowded.
Map of the romantic road
Once in the south, don’t miss to spend a few days in Munich and around Bavaria as it is truly the most beautiful region of Germany!
For more inspiration about what to do in Germany, make sure to check out my article about my spa weekend in Baden Baden.