The Romantic Road is probably the best known ‘theme route’ in Germany. It stretches from Füssen to Würzburg over 220 miles, or 350 kilometres, in the Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg regions. We had two days to travel the route which is enough time to see some of the highlights.
We spent our first night in Munich at the BOLD Hotel München Giesing. This hotel is outside of the city centre but that makes it ideal if you’re driving. The underground train system (S-Bahn) in Munich is easy to navigate and from the BOLD Hotel you can find yourself in the city centre within 15minutes.
We were in Munich for just one night so with our limited time one thing we didn’t want to miss was the Hofbrauhaus which is a beer hall dating back to 1589! Bavaria has to be the most famous region in the world for beer. Thanks to their purity law which was enacted in 1516 you know what’s gone into the beer as the law is still in force today.
The Hofbräuhaus is located in the centre of Munich and is easy to reach by public transport – you wouldn’t want to have to drive if you were visiting here anyway. You will arrive on the S-Bahn at Marienplatz.
A short walk from this square you will take you to Hofbrauhaus, and it will most likely be busy, but it has a great atmosphere. Try the beer, try the food and enjoy the music.
Day 1 – Hohenschwangau to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The following morning we drove to our first stop at the start of the Romantic Road Hohenschwangau, home of Neuschwanstein Castle. It takes approximately an hour and a half to drive from Munich to Hohenschwangau but the scenery is beautiful and once you’re outside of Munich the traffic isn’t too bad.
You need to get to Hohenschwangau early as it does get busy, the castles in this area are big tourist attractions and draw huge crowds.
Book your Neuschwanstein tickets in advance, there will still be a queue to collect your tickets when you arrive but you know that you will definitely get to see inside Neuschwanstein if that’s what you plan to do. Tickets are limited and you can enter only as part of a tour. You can purchase tickets here – Neuschwanstein.
Take the time to go up to Marienbrücke, transport from the village up to Neuschwanstein gives you the option of being dropped off nearby if you want to view Neuschwanstein from the bridge. If you’re able to walk you will want to head up here.
Make sure you get back to Neuschwanstein in time for your entrance time, you don’t want to miss it. The guided tour inside will take about 45minutes. Although clearly huge Neuschwanstein remains unfinished and the tour only shows the finished rooms. No photos are allowed of the interior rooms, you will have to trust us that they are worth seeing.
Visiting Neuschwanstein took us up to lunch time. There’s a snack bar that you will pass if you walk back down to the village, we had lunch there, it’s pretty much fast food but tasted pretty good.
We left Hohenschwangau and headed north on the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Before heading into the town we set up camp for the night in nearby Creglingen at Campingplatz Romantische Strasse. We have found campsites across Germany to be clean and the people friendly and this place was no different.
A slight problem came when we were on our way back to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a festival was taking place and had blocked the main road back into town. We had to find a way around as the sun was setting which turned out to be a very narrow road with a drop off on the side we were driving on. We were very relieved to arrive in town without incident!
We were aiming to arrive at Rothenburg ob der Tauber in time to have dinner and join the Night Watchman Tour which departs from the town hall everyday from April to December at 8pm. You don’t book in advance, just turn up and join the tour, payment is taken at the end of the tour – a bargain price of 8euro per person for a one hour walking tour.
You will be told the history of the medieval walled city of Rothenburg, the role of the night watchman in keeping the residents of the town safe and see the historical buildings and town defences.
It’s a cute small town to spend time in and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this area. A lot of the towns on the Romantic Road look exactly how you imagine Germany to look and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not done in a cheesy way at all, it’s real, this is how the towns have looked in this area for hundreds of years.
Day 2 – Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Würzburg
Continuing north on the Romantic Road the following day our first stop was Bad Mergentheim for breakfast. It’s smaller than Rothenburg but has a similar feel to it. The town is a designated spa town, although we didn’t try any out while we were there.
Continuing north after breakfast we made a quick stop in Tauberbischofsheim before arriving at the end of the Romantic Road in Würzburg.
Würzburg is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Würzburg Residence which is a large 18th century palace. You can take a guided tour but again photos aren’t allowed inside.
We also spent some time visiting the Cathedral of St Kilian in Würzburg. It is the fourth largest Romanesque cathedral in Germany and home to artefacts of various ages if you’re interested in history.
Many people start their journey on the Romantic Road from Würzburg which is close to Frankfurt. This was part of a longer trip in Germany for us so we started from the south, you can’t go wrong either way whether you start from the north or south there is a lot to see. You can see some of the highlights in a couple of days like we have or you could visit all of the towns on the route which really would take you a week there’s so much to see in this area.
From Würzburg to Frankfurt the journey takes about an hour by car. We spent our last night at a hotel by the airport – the Steigenberger Airport Hotel. It was the perfect end to our trip, a short distance from the airport itself where we could return the car and an easy journey the following day to fly home. To make it even better we were upgraded to an executive room and it was perfect!