Romantic Road, Germany – Road Trip Itinerary

So you’re heading to Europe with your family on a road trip and you want to experience Germany, their culture, the castles, the cities and villages, the food and so much more. Road tripping the Romantic Road will tick all of those boxes for you and we have it all outlined for you here in our Romantic Road Germany Road Trip and Itinerary . The Romantic Road was our first Road Trip in Europe, and we loved it! The Romantic Road in Germany is a spellbinding journey that spans 460 kilometres through the heart of southern Germany. Imagine winding roads framed by majestic mountains, dense green forests, and charming historic towns. The Romantic Road was constructed in the 1950s to boost tourism and revive the economy after World War II.

In this blog we will share our route with you, where we stayed, what attractions we visited and things we learnt. Remember, it’s not just a road trip; it’s a journey through centuries of history and natural beauty, let’s go!

Where Does Germany’s Romantic Road Start & Finish?

The Romantic Road can be tackled in two directions: North to South or South to North. However, the most popular Romantic Road Germany Road Trip and Itinerary route begins in the charming town of Wurzburg and ends in Fussen, near the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle—the very castle that inspired Walt Disney’s fairy tales, leaving the best to last, and we definitely suggest completing this route this way.

Day 1 & 2: Arrive in Frankfurt | Overnight Accommodation: Frankfurt

We chose to start our Romantic Road adventure in Frankfurt as the flights were cheaper than other German cities and so was the car hire, plus the location allowed us to start the Romantic Road from the North, head South, leaving the best until last, just you wait!

In Frankfurt we stayed at the Hotel Concorde, right in town. We do NOT recommend this Hotel, or any hotels near train stations in Europe! They tend to be the grotty, red light area’s, and we witnessed this first hand in Frankfurt with fights and drugs right outside the hotel.

While in Frankfurt, we had to adjust to the new time zone and push through some jetlag. We spent time wandering along the Main River, stopping in at the parkland along the way. We suggest heading to the town square, checking out the Fountain of Justice and the Cathedral. and of course make a stop for some pretzels and a play at the playground (including the water playground too). If you can, try and also time it for one of the many beer festivals that Frankfurt puts on. You purchase a Pint of Beer in a glass, and can carry the glass around to the different brewery tents, paying only a small amount for a Pint. At the end you return your glass for a refund of the first beer cost!

After a day in Frankfurt, we picked up our hire car an Audi A6 and hit the road out of the city. (We book our car hires here). We planned to explore as much of Bavaria and the ‘Romantic Road’ as we could, however we skipped the beginning town of Wurzburg (I’ve marked some attractions in Wurzburg on the interactive map below if you want to make a stop there too). We did go nearby on the way to our first stop and popped in at Johannisburg Palace on the way. Some highlights of our first day also included stopping off the Autobahn to drive a B road through a forest! The Audi was heaps of fun, the roads excellent and the forest extremely pretty.

We made our way to the tiny village of Winterhausen, where we stayed in a 500 year old house through Airbnb, While here we explored the small town of Oschenfurt, just 10 minutes away, which is a cute little walled town, with the original gates into the town still in use with roads and a playground just outside the walls. It was very unique watching Aria play while having the towers above.‍

Watch our YouTube Video for more details:

Day 3 & 4: Drive Winterhausen to Rothenburg | Overnight Accommodation: Rothenburg

Continuing South, Bad Mergentheim was our next stop along the way. We parked in at the old town as we can’t get enough of the stunning German Architecture and the medieval history. We stopped to check out the churches, the Deutschordens Museum and palace and then wandered the Palace gardens. After this we stopped in at the Bad Mergentheim Wild Park, we really wanted to see some unique European animals and it did not disappoint. This park had all native animals, most of which we had never seen before, all of which were in amazing natural enclosures, where you could really see and experience the animals. We saw a few feedings and enjoyed a wander around the grounds. There was also an epic castle playground which Aria enjoyed for an hour and we actually couldn’t find here for some of that time, it was that big! We had a brilliant day and continued South towards The Heart of the Romantic Road, Rothenburg ob der Tauber where we stayed for the next couple of nights.

“If walls could talk…” Rothenburg ob der Tauber is known for its medieval architecture and incredible history. We spent the whole day wandering around and we LOVED it! The town walls include many preserved gate houses and towers, plus a covered walkway on top which we wandered along for a while. It is mind boggling how old these walls are, the history in them and how they are still standing! We stopped in at the main sites including Plonlein which is the most iconic and most used example of a medieval township in any fiction story, movie etc, before continuing around Rothenberg’s Old Quarter.

Plonien, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

We stopped in at many gates, gardens, churches, the town hall, a medieval shop and a typical German Christmas shop (Aria’s face tells you what it was like!) We then had lunch in the town square including Bratwurst, Pommes and Schweinshaxe (Pork Knuckle) with Sauerkraut. Our lunch here was surprisingly affordable for a touristy town square! The service definitely left something to be desired though, heh. After exploring the town, we found a spectacular lookout over the old city. The weather was glorious and the view, just wow! It would have been a really great place to bring a picnic lunch to.

Day 5: Drive Rothenburg to Munich | Overnight Accommodation: Munich

Our first stop on todays Romantic Road Germany Road Trip and Itinerary was Burg Harburg an 11th century medieval complex and situated on the edge of a meteor impact crater. It has an epic castle and old town. We stopped by and had a picnic lunch on our way along the Romantic Road and popped the drone up for a looksie! The detail in and maintenance of these extremely old buildings is astounding. There is even an Autobahn tunnel underneath this complex!

Watch our YouTube Video for more details:

Day 6 – 7: Explore Munich | Overnight Accommodation: Munich

We had a 2 night stay in Munich which we enjoyed and the two nights were enough to wander the city and see the highlights. Like any big city, you can spend anywhere from 1 night to 2 weeks and not see everything. We chose 2 nights here as our accommodation was REALLY expensive for us, $297/night in the newer, Arabic area of the main city, within walking distance of the older area’s. Belle Blue Zentrum (Bonus here, we had Turkish for dinner and it was outstanding!). During our wanders we actually had perfect timing for the display at the St Peter’s Church in Marienplatz (the town square) at midday, which was very impressive! The main square is full of life, history and architecture. We stopped by the Fischbrunnen (Fish Fountain – dating back to the middle ages), the Frauenkirche (Cathedral which part of it was bombed in the war as has been restored), checked out a traditional Beer Hall including music and pretzels, ate more pork and potato salad, before taking a tour of the Munich Residenz dating back to the 1500s. The details and presentation was amazing and we had a jaws on the floor at every room. This was one of the few paid activities we did in Germany, and we were really glad we made that decision.

On the way out of Munich we stopped by BMW World. There is also a museum in Munich that you could visit if you are very into cars.

Day 8 – 10: Drive Munich to Fussen | Overnight Accommodation: Fussen

Next on the Romantic Road Road Trip and Itinerary, we drove along the alps from to Fussen, which was the highlight of the Romantic Road for us and a must visit town in Germany! We were so excited to see European Alps for the first time, plus they still had a little snow on the peaks. After arriving at our accommodation, we decided we would go for a wander around town with no real plan. Fussen is a fabulous little town with so many gems that we just stumbled upon. There are many mountain views too which we loved! After just wandering over towards the river we found a locals path to the river edge, we then continued and stumbled upon the Lech Falls which were absolutely roaring and are a popular attraction in the area. Following that we wandered back to the old town, across a beautiful bridge and amongst more stunning German style homes and timed it perfectly for a local orchestra presenting a free performance. Aria had a ball dancing to the music, some of the locals loved watching her too and they even played a couple of songs we knew. We enjoyed a local dinner out where there were more horns playing in the street for entertainment.

The inspiration behind Cinderella’s Disney Castle – The Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein) – real life magic! You can really see where imagination, courage and dreams can take you as this was built back in the 19th century and the laughter these walls would have heard! Its towers, authentic style, and turrets are an iconic example of the Romantic style. And it is truly beautiful! This was on our Germany bucket list and we almost missed out as it was actually sold out for our dates, but we managed to get some last minute tickets on the day, thank goodness, so HOT TIP book your tickets in advance, especially if your are travelling in peak holiday periods. We caught the bus from the carpark, did the half hour tour inside and then walked to Marion Bridge (looked straight down a long way to a waterfall) and then to a hidden lookout to get the best view of the castle and valley below. We weren’t allowed to photo or video inside the castle, but we can share the many angles from outside with you! We also have included a shot of Hohenschwangau Castle which is right there too but isn’t as popular. We didn’t have time to explore this one unfortunately, next time for us but if you have time to add another castle to your schedule, then I am sure it is worth it too.

We walked to Austria!! Haha why not, we say! We were literally next to the Austrian border while in Fussen and we visited Walderlebniszentrum (Forest Experience Centre) which is a forest and river based nature play space, plus a forest sky walk. When you walk the sky walk, you literally walk over the border between Germany and Austria, and we couldn’t resist ticking off another country. Aria had a blast in the play areas and afterwards we decided to go for a loop drive in Austria to check out some of the mountains/Alps near by. Dan has been craving some altitude, one of the reasons we came to Europe and gosh they are stunning!

Our final recommendation for Fussen is Forgenssee Lake. A gorgeous sparkling blue gem is surrounded by rolling green meadows and majestic cliffs, creating a scene that takes your breath away. Forggensee is not only a feast for the eyes but also a haven for adventure-sports and water-sports enthusiasts in the right weather. We enjoyed a morning tea picnic on the shores of the lake, before hitting the road to the Black Forest region in Germany.

Watch our YouTube Video for more details:

Our Biggest Learning Curve in Europe:

What we learnt within the first 5 minutes was – don’t book accommodation near a major train station in a city in Europe (e.g. Frankfurt). This is where unsafe behaviours and locals congregate, making it an unpleasant time. What we also learnt was that when you bravely walk 2 streets away, you find super friendly locals, beautiful parklands, a random German festival with German foods (bratwurst and pretzels), beer and music, and a whole heap of vibe!! This was the start of our European adventures, it was a shock to start but then a brilliant cultural immersion, right off the bat.

Statistics and Costs in AUD:

Number of nights: 10 nights

Accommodation Cost: $2,158

Car hire: $44/day

Total Cost of all expenses: $3769

Family standing at Plonien, Rothenburg

Some other useful links you might need:

~ A hire car we book those here,

~ Hotel Accommodation we book that here,

~ Travel Insurance we use here

~ Flights here

~ ESims for your phones here (Discount Code: DANIE24483)

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Comments

2 responses to “Romantic Road, Germany – Road Trip Itinerary”

  1. Hello! Thanks for this blogpost and the YouTube videos! Wondering where you stayed in Rothenburg and if u would recommend it? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Jo,

      No worries! If you check out the map on the post, it has a little bed icon for where we stayed.

      Hope this helps,
      Dan

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