Winding through a section of Southern Germany, you’ll find the picturesque Romantic Road, or Romantische Straße, as it’s referred to in German. Spanning 285 miles (460 km), Germany’s Romantic Road will take you through historic charming towns and past some of the most scenic country-sides in all of Bavaria.
From quaint German cottages to fairytale castles, this scenic German byway will connect you to a number of beautiful sights. Whether you are looking to spend 4 days or a week driving Germany’s Romantic Road, one thing is for sure, you won’t fall short on places to see and explore. This Romantic Road Germany itinerary takes you on a 5-day road trip through medieval villages, fairytale castles and beautiful countryside.
Romantic Road Germany Planning Tips
Where Does Germany’s Romantic Road Start & Finish?
While this route can be done two ways, North to South or South to North, the most popular way to tackle the Romantic Road is starting in the North. Plan to start your trip in the town of Wurzburg and finish in the town of Fussen, which is located next to the iconic castle that inspired Walt Disney, Neuschwanstein Castle.
Map of Romantic Road Germany
The above map shows you the route of Germany’s Romantic Road. You can follow the link to get to the interactive map and then click on each letter and zoom in and out to get a better sense of where the towns are and the route to take to get to each.
Highlights of the Romantic Road in Germany
Some towns along the Romantic Road make perfect places to stop for a quick photo or a bite to eat, while others you can spend hours if not one to two days in. The highlights and most popular stops along the Romantic Road are listed just below.
In between the towns of Wurzburg and Fussen lie the towns on Germany’s Romantic Road. There are 28 towns in total, some more popular than others but all offer something beautiful to uncover.
Getting To Germany’s Romantic Road
The Romantic Road Germany begins in Wurzburg and ends in Fussen.
To get to the start of the Romantic Road in Germany, make your way to Wurzburg. We started our road trip by flying into Frankfurt International Airport (FRA), located a little over an hour away from the start of the Romantic Road.
You can rent a car in Frankfurt to make your way to Wurzburg where you will continue south along Germany’s most popular holiday road trip, Romantische Straß. After several days of driving and sightseeing (Our Romantic Road Itinerary is 5 days), you’ll reach the end of the Romantic Road in the town of Fussen.
Located a little over 1.5 hours away from Fussen, you’ll find the bustling city of Munich. If you do not want to backtrack (driving back up the Romantic Road to Frankfurt), Munich is the most convenient choice to fly out of and as well as return your rental car.
After Fussen, you should not miss spending at least a day or two exploring Munich, the Capital of Bavaria before hopping on the plane home or to your next European destination. We have an entire post and video of things to do in Munich, Germany but some not to miss sights in Munich include:
- Visiting Marienplatz to see the famous Glockenspiel
- Explore the massive and beautiful English Garden (Englischer Garten)
- Enjoy the Bavarian atmosphere of Hofbraeuhaus tavern
- Visit the many beer gardend and musuems.
- See our complete guide here
Best Time to Visit & Drive Germany’s Romantic Road?
While June – September is deemed the best time to visit Bavaria (Southern Germany), these months are also the most popular months for tourist travel. If visiting during the summer months, it’s recommended to make accommodations reservations well ahead of your visit.
Alternatively, late spring and early-Autumn make great shoulder months to visit when tourists are light, and prices are not so high. Take a detour off the Romantic Road to visit nearby Things to do in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
How Long Does It Take to Drive the Romantic Road?
The time it takes to drive the Romantic Road in Germany is completely up to you, but it is our recommendation that you plan to spend at minimum 4 days driving and exploring sights along the Romantic Road. Four days gives you enough time for the highlights, but if you can, an extra day or two on the Romantic Road will allow you some flexibility to stop and explore other places and towns.
If you have less than four days, you’ll want to focus on seeing and exploring Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Neuschwanstein Castle, which is located just outside of Fussen.
Germany’s Romantic Road Itinerary
Most travelers only have a few days to commit to when driving Germany’s Romantic Road. Four to five days is, in our opinion, the perfect amount of time you need to explore the main highlights of the Romantic Road, especially if you are wanting to drive the entire length of the Romantic Road. In 4-5 days, you’ll be able to see, do and experience a lot!
Day 1 – Explore Wurzburg
After you arrive at the Frankfort airport, pick up your rental car and head into Wurzburg. Wurzburg is a hilly town nestled along the banks of the Main River. Known for its architecture and as one of Germany’s biggest wine-producing regions, Wurzburg is a fantastic town to start your road trip down the Romantic Road.
Once in Wurzburg, you can easily explore Wurzburg’s city center baroque and rococo architecture, walk along the Alte Mainbrücke, which is the city’s pedestrian bridge that offers great views of the riverside, Marienberg Fortress, and the city of Wurzburg. In the warmer months, locals of Wurzburg will gather on the bridge as a social event to catch up with friends, listen to music, and share a drink.
Where to Stay in Wurzburg
- Best Western Premier Hotel Rebstock – This highly rated four star hotel has access to a spa, an award-winning restaurant, free WiFi and great location near the Sankt Kilian Cathedral See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
- Dorint Hotel – Located between the cathedral and the Wurzburg Residenz in the heart of Old Town, the Dorint has a spa, steam bath and swimming pool, plus restaurant and free WiFi. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Another popular site to see in Wurzburg is the Residence. The Residence is a palace that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a day of exploring, eating, and drinking some regional wine, you’ll be ready for bed and excited for your next stop.
TIP: Your GPS will take you the most direct route to the next city, however, that is not necessarily the Romantic Road route. So, if you want to truly drive Germany’s Romantic Road, you’ll need to reference the map to ensure you are passing through the towns that make up the Romantic Road and not taking the highways.
Day 2 – Walk the Walled Town of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
Less than two hours away from Wurzburg is the cobblestone, medieval walled town of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber – one of the most popular stops and highlights of Germany’s Romantic Road.
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is such a charming town, it almost makes you feel you went back in time. The medieval architecture along with its half-timbered homes that lie within the walls, gates, and towers of the old town, Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is unlike any other town on the Romantic Road.
Spend your time just walking around the old town and taking in the sights of the towers like Klingentor. Plan to grab a picture at the Das Plönlein (little square) and visit St. James Church. The best way to enjoy Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is just to wander the town and admire its beauty.
Optional Stop at Nörldlingen
Optional Stops: On your way to Augsburg, if you have the time and are hungry, you can stop for lunch in Nördlingen or Dinkelsbühl. Both Nördlingen and inkelsbühl are popular stops on the Romantic Road with historic walls, churches and medieval architecture.
Day 3 – Meander the Streets of Augsburg
Continuing south on the Romantic Road for 2 hours and 15 minutes, you’ll enter the city of Augsburg. Dating back to 15 BC, Augsburg is one of Germany’s oldest cities. As soon as you arrive, you’ll see that unlike other stops on Germany’s Romantic Road, Augsburg is one of the most glamorous. From its fountains to its houses and churches, you’ll get traces of the banking and mercantile industry boom and the wealth that flowed through Augsburg centuries ago.
While in Augsburg, plan to explore Augsburg Cathedral and St. Ulrich’s, climb the 253 steps of the Perlachturm to get views of the city, and walk down Maximilian Street (or Maximilianstrasse) and marvel at the old-world architecture.
Day 4 – Visit Landsberg am Lech and Wieskirche
After a day in Augsburg, it’s time to move to your last location on Germany’s Romantic Road, Fussen. Fussen is a little less than 1.5 hours south of Augsburg. However, you have a few stops to make on your way to Fussen, First, Landsberg am Lech, and second, Wieskirche.
Set on the river Lech, Landsberg am Lech has rows of colorful homes and buildings that encapsulate the city. It’s small and quiet, making it a perfect place to wander and have a coffee and cake at one of its sidewalk cafes.
After you’ve had your fill of Landsberg am Lech, it’s time to continue south to the Bavarian countryside. Located 40 minutes away from Landsberg am Lech, you’ll find yourself at the White Church of Bavaria, Wieskirche.
Wieskirche is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and upon entry, you’ll immediately see why. Decorated in rococo style, there is beauty in every detail found in the church’s sculptures, ceiling paintings, and decorated gold carvings.
After an hour or two is spent appreciating the creative work and beauty of Wieskirche, it is time to drive the 30 minutes to reach your last town on the Romantic Road, Fussen.
NOTE: If you only have four days and are tight on time to get to Fussen, the above stops on your way to Fussen can be optional. You can choose to visit one or skip both. Do whatever works for you and your timeline.
Day 5 – Explore the Castles of Fussen
Are you ready for your last day on Germany’s Romantic Road? The highlight of your visit to Fussen lies on the town’s outskirts. The castle that inspired none other than Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle and the next-door neighbor castle of Hohenschwangau Castle are what some consider the highlights not only of Germany’s Romantic Road but all of Germany. Both are situated atop a hill overlooking the valley below and these castles like their views, are stunning.
Hohenschwangau Castle was built in 1837, while Neuschwanstein Castle was built a few decades later in 1869. Both castles allow tours and offer nearby viewpoints that boast spectacular views of not only the castles themselves but Bavaria too. Plan to spend your day touring the castles and walking around the town of Fussen. Located on the edge of the Alps, Fussen is surrounded by natural beauty so do your best to get out and enjoy it.
Where to Stay near the castles
The best place to make a base to explore the castles is in the town of Hohenschwangau. There is plenty of hotel and dining options. Suggested hotels are.
- Luxury: Villa Ludwig Suite Hotel – This highly rated Bavarian boutique hotel is located directly below Neuschwanstein Castle with a Finnish Spa, Free WiFi and breakfast included. Some suites have views of the castle. See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
- Budget: Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein – This budget-friendly hotel is the perfect location offering free parking to guests, breakfast included and free WiFi See rates and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
What To Do After Driving Germany’s Romantic Road?
After a whirlwind four to five days driving Germany’s Romantic Road, you actually have a few options on where to explore next. You are situated in one of the most beautiful places in all of Germany and located extremely close to the border of Austria.
- Munich: Located a little less than two hours away from Fussen, you can head into Munich and spend a few days exploring the sites of this ever impressive and not to mention, fun German city. Also, if you need to fly out of Germany and return your rental car, Munich is the closest international airport to Fussen.
- Zugspitze: Less than an hour from Fussen you will find the tallest mountain in Germany, Zugspitze. Take the cable car up to the top to get unbelievable views of the surrounding Alps.
- Austria’s Tyrol Region: Explore the amazing towns, lakes and scenery that make up Tyrol, Austria’s southern state. Places like Innsbruck, Kirchbiehl and Kufstein are a few hours’ drive from Fussen.
- The Italian Dolomites: If you have the extra days and are looking to explore Europe further, about a 5-hour drive away from Fussen, you will find yourself in Italy at the base of the towering Dolomite mountains.
How To Travel Germany’s Romantic Road
- Driving: The best way to see Germany’s Romantic Road is to drive it. Driving allows you the utmost flexibility in your schedule to explore where you want, when you want. Check car rental prices from Frankfurt here
- Bus: Taking a bus is also an option. Deutsche Touring’s Romantic Road Coach offers limited tours to and from selected towns along the Romantic Road.
- Train: Traveling the Romantic Road by train is also doable, but it is not straightforward. There is not one train that travels the entire route of Germany’s Romantic Road. While some towns on the Romantic Road have train stations, others do not have a station or offer a connection to the next stop.
- Cycling: Cycling is a great option if you are up for the ride! There are plenty of bike routes along the Romantic Road for you to cruise.
Once inside the cities and towns, you will not need your vehicle. You’re own two feet will be your go-to form of transportation for exploring the towns along the Romantic Road. If renting a car, make sure your accommodation offers some sort of parking or has a recommendation on where to park your car while you explore.
It’s time to give yourself a pat on the back as you just completed Germany’s Romantic Road!
If you Enjoyed journeying along the Romantic Road in Germany make sure to pin this article for future travel planning.
And these are the best stops on the Romantic Road in Germany. Have you been to Bavaria? What did we miss and what should we add to the list? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.
1 thought on “The Essential Guide to Germany’s Romantic Road”
Perfect information with great tips.