Germany’s Romantic Road in Bavaria is not an actual road but a set of country roads that traverses Bavaria from the north in Wurtzburg to the Alps in the south at Fussen. The term was created by American tourist agencies in the fifties to attract American tourists to these beautiful parts of Germany. Germany’s Romantic Road has a wonderful mix of medium size towns and tiny villages that have survived allied bombing during World War Two. Come along with me as we drive the Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany.
1. Rothenburg ob der Thauber
Everyone loves Rothenburg ob der Thauber! Naturally, we started our tour of Germany’s Romantic Road here in Rothenburg. Rothenburg is one of the few German medieval towns that has survived World War Two in spite of the fierce bombing that happened all around it. Its medieval walls, which surround the entire old village center, provide an awesome reminder of the past as well as beautiful views of the old rooftops. Unfortunately, we were only able to spend about four hours in Rothenburg but we enjoyed every minute of it.
Rothenburng ob der Tauber, Germany – Gorgeous flower arrangements in Burggarten, near the old entry gate and tower
See my photos from Rothenburg, Germany
We found Rothenburg enjoyable even for our kids with the Christmas Market store being a definite highlight. In addition, my daughter tried and loved her first humongous Bavarian pretzel.
We stayed at the very reasonable and closely located Gasthoff zur Linde only 10 minutes away. After a great breakfast (included in the price) and a chat with the owner Thomas about the sights, we easily found parking on the north side of the village. When you visit Rothenburg make sure you exit every town gate and take pictures with each entrance tower because each one is gorgeous.
The next village on Germany’s Romantic Road is the small town of Feuchtwagen. We only stopped in the small village center and visited the church in the middle of town. The town center has several restaurants and small shops
Feuchtwagen, Germany – Beautiful colorful buildings in the central square. This is the sight that meets the tourist as they come into town on Untere Torstraße street.
See my photos from Feuchtwagen, Germany
Depending when you got started in the morning Feuchtwagen may be a good stop for lunch and a quick walk but we didn’t find much else.
Driving down and meandering through the German countryside we arrived at the larger town of Dinkelsbuhl where we enjoyed lunch at a local grocery store. Dinkelsbuhl has a beautiful town center with a beautiful church which is well worth your time to visit.
Dinklesbuhl, Germany – Beautiful colorful houses in the main square Marktplaz
See my photos from Dinklesbuhl, Germany
Dinkelsbuhl, along with the other villages on the Romantic Road, has their surrounding medieval walls intact and can be walked if you have more time to visit.
Finding parking proved uneventful as we found parking on a major street leading into the town center.
Nordlingen looks and feels like a newer town even though its original medieval walls very well preserved. There was lots of construction in the town center when we visited. The Nordlingen City Hall building is very interesting because half of the City Hall building is the original building hundreds of years old, but the other half of the building is new, built after the war.
Nordlingen, Germany – Beautifully restored old building and small square
See my photos from Nordlingen, Germany
We didn’t spend much time in Nordlingen other than walking through the town center. Parking was easy to find as lots of space was available right in the town center. Nordlingen looks like a good spot to spend the night about half way on the Romantic Road. You can search for best hotel prices on the Romantic Road.
Harburg is a charming small village with an imposing castle overlooking the village below. The peaceful Wornitz river flows through the village and in a he middle of the village an old bridge crosses the river providing an idilyc view of the castle and village below.
Harburg, Germany – The iconic view of Harburg Castle from the stone bridge
See my photos from Harburg, Germany
If you have time to visit the Harburg Castle it will be a worthwhile experience as the castle walls will give you great views of the Bavarian countryside.
Harburg Castle is one of my favorite castles in Bavaria.
6. Schwangau countryside area
We spent the night in the small village of Halblech, 10 minutes away from Schwangau where the most famous German Castle is. This mountain area was just gorgeous. With the Alps in the background, cows grazing and few mountain lakes scattered around, this idyllic countryside area of Germany looks as if taken from the Sound of Music movie. In addition, this is the countryside area with the two most famous castles in Germany: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
Hohenschwangau, Germany – Amazing view of the Alps, the Alpsee lake and Hohenschwangau Castle seen from Neuschwanstein Castle
See my photos from Schwangau, Germany
Most tourists come by the busload from Munich to visit just the castles without taking the time to enjoy the surrounding area, even for a few hours, which is a shame in my opinion. Yes, the castles are amazing, but remember that the castles were built here because the surrounding area is so beautiful. The hotels around the castles are somewhat overpriced and booked especially during the summer tourist season. We decided to stay about 10 minutes north from the castles in the small mountain resort of Halblech at the very reasonable Alpengasthof Geiselstein built in a beautiful countryside setting with a great free breakfast included in the price.
Is it worth driving the Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany?
Absolutely! Driving on the Romantic Road from Rothenburg to Schwangau was our favorite part of our tour of Bavaria and Austria.
My best resources for driving Germany’s Romantic Road
We spend the night before starting our tour of the Romantic Road in a small guesthouse 10 minutes from Rothenburg. This way we had the entire day to drive from Rothenburg to Schwangau and stop along the way in the most picturesque villages and towns. However, we realized that we would not be able to visit the beautiful City Hall building in Augsburg, so we didn’t even stop in the town. The following day we had tickets for visiting the famous Alpine castles. If you want to start at the beginning in Wurtzburg and also stop in Augsburg, you will need at least two days.