Traveling The Romantic Road: A Week-Long Adventure

how many days to travel the romantic road

The Romantic Road in Germany is a 220-mile route between Wurzburg and Fussen, featuring picturesque villages, walled towns, and fairytale castles. The route can be travelled in either direction, but most people opt for the traditional north-to-south journey, starting in Würzburg and ending in Füssen.

The time spent travelling the Romantic Road depends on how many stops you wish to make. If you are short on time, you can travel the route in 2-3 days, but 4 days is recommended to see the highlights. If you have more time, 5-7 days will allow you to explore the main sights and some of the less popular towns.

Characteristics Values
Time to travel the Romantic Road 4-7 days
Direction of travel North to South or South to North
Starting point Wurzburg or Fussen
Ending point Fussen or Wurzburg
Distance 220 miles (350km)
Number of towns 28

quartzmountain

Travel by car, bus, train, bike or foot

The Romantic Road in Germany is a 350-kilometre (220-mile) route from Würzburg to Füssen in the Allgäu, famed for its nature, culture and hospitality. It is possible to travel the Romantic Road by car, bus, train, bike or foot.

Car

The easiest and most convenient way to travel the Romantic Road is by car. You can rent a car at Munich Airport, but you will need a German driver's license or an international driver's license. In practice, however, an American driver's license may be accepted.

Bus

The Romantic Road Coach (also known as the Europabus, Deutsche Touring or EurAide bus) connects Frankfurt and Munich with Rothenburg ob der Tauber along the Romantische Strasse a few times per week during the summer. The bus has several stops along the route, including Augsburg, Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, Bad Mergentheim, Würzburg, and Munich. Tickets can be bought online from the Romantische Straße tourist office.

Train

It is possible to do sections of the Romantic Road by train, although there is no one line that covers the whole route. There is a section from Nördlingen to Feuchtwangen which is covered by steam train on certain days.

Bike

The Romantic Road Cycle Route is 500 kilometres long, starting in Würzburg and ending in Füssen.

Foot

It is possible to walk the length of the route, although most people choose to walk sections of it rather than the whole route.

quartzmountain

Travel north to south

If you're planning to travel the Romantic Road in Germany, you may be wondering whether to go north to south or south to north. Most people do the route from north to south, starting in Würzburg and ending in Füssen. However, you can also go in the opposite direction, and there are advantages to doing so. Here are some things to consider if you're trying to decide which way to go.

Advantages of Going North to South

  • If you start in Würzburg, you'll get to experience the highlights of the Romantic Road first, including the historic cities of Würzburg and Augsburg, the three medieval walled towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, and the tourist attractions of Neuschwanstein Castle and the Alps.
  • You can fly into Frankfurt Airport, which is closer to Würzburg, and either take a bus or hire a car to get to your starting point.
  • If you take the bus, you can get from Frankfurt to Würzburg in a day.
  • If you want to experience the beauty of the Bavarian Alps first, going north to south means you'll be building up to this highlight.

Advantages of Going South to North

  • You can fly into Munich Airport, which is closer to Füssen, and either take a bus or hire a car to get to your starting point.
  • If you're planning to continue your trip to Berlin, going south to north means you'll be heading in the right direction.
  • If you want to end your trip with the highlights of the Romantic Road, going south to north means you'll be building up to Würzburg and Augsburg.

Whether you decide to go north to south or south to north, the Romantic Road in Germany is a fantastic trip, combining historic cities, medieval walled towns, and stunning natural scenery. Enjoy your journey!

quartzmountain

Allow 4-7 days

The Romantic Road in Germany is a 220-mile (350km) route between Wurzburg and Fussen. The route is known for its picturesque villages, walled towns, and fairytale castles. The time taken to travel the Romantic Road depends on the number of stops and the time spent at each stop.

Allowing 4-7 days to travel the Romantic Road means you can explore the route at a relaxed pace and have time to visit some of the larger towns along the way. Here is a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Wurzburg

Start your trip in the town of Wurzburg, one of Germany's biggest wine-producing regions. Explore the city's baroque and rococo architecture, walk along the Alte Mainbrücke for views of the Marienberg Fortress and the city of Wurzburg, and visit the Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 2: Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

On your second day, drive to the medieval walled town of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, located less than two hours from Wurzburg. This charming town, with its half-timbered homes and cobblestone streets, feels like a step back in time. Wander the old town, take pictures at Das Plönlein, and visit St. James Church. Staying overnight in Rothenburg is highly recommended to experience the town after the tourist buses have left.

Day 3: Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen

On day 3, make your way to Dinkelsbuhl, a well-preserved medieval town and former Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire. Spend some time exploring the colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and lively atmosphere of Dinkelsbuhl. From there, drive to Nordlingen, a unique town surrounded by a medieval wall and located in the center of a meteor crater. Climb to the top of the city walls or the St. Georg Church for incredible views.

Day 4: Augsburg

Continue south to Augsburg, one of Germany's oldest cities, dating back to 15 BC. Explore the city's glamorous architecture, including Augsburg Cathedral and St. Ulrich's. Climb the Perlachturm for panoramic views of the city, and stroll down Maximilian Street to admire the old-world architecture.

Day 5: Landsberg am Lech and Wieskirche

On your fifth day, head to Landsberg am Lech, a quaint town set on the river Lech. Enjoy the colorful buildings and sidewalk cafes before continuing to Wieskirche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This rococo-style church is decorated with intricate sculptures, paintings, and gold carvings.

Day 6: Fussen and the Castles

On your penultimate day, arrive in Fussen and explore the town. The main attraction is Neuschwanstein Castle, which inspired Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Tour the castle and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Nearby is Hohenschwangau Castle, a yellow-hued Bavarian architectural masterpiece.

Day 7: Munich

On your final day, drive to Munich, located less than two hours from Fussen. Spend the day exploring the city, including Marienplatz, the English Garden, and the Hofbraeuhaus tavern. Munich is also a convenient place to fly out of and return your rental car.

quartzmountain

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The name "Rothenburg ob der Tauber" translates to "Red castle above the Tauber", as the town is located on a plateau overlooking the Tauber River. The town has a rich history, dating back to the first century CE when it was likely inhabited by Celts. In the late Middle Ages, it became a free imperial city, a status it maintained until 1803. Today, it is known for its well-preserved medieval old town, with completely intact city walls—one of only three towns in Germany that can make this claim.

When visiting Rothenburg, there is plenty to see and do. The town's medieval fortifications, including its walls and gates, offer great views and orientation. The town is also known for its half-timbered buildings, which were once filled with grain and corn to enable the town's inhabitants to survive sieges.

For those interested in history, the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum showcases diabolical instruments of punishment and torture. St. Jakob's Church is also a must-visit, as it houses a 500-year-old altarpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider, considered the Michelangelo of German woodcarvers.

If you're looking for shopping, Rothenburg has plenty to offer as well. From prints and carvings to wine glasses and beer steins, there's something for everyone. The Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village, the largest Christmas shop in Europe, is open all year round.

For a more tranquil experience, take a walk into the Tauber Valley, where you'll find a 600-year-old "castle-ette" that once served as the summer home of the town's mayor. The trail continues to the village of Detwang, where you can visit another church with a Riemenschneider altarpiece.

To truly immerse yourself in Rothenburg, consider spending the night. With 2.5 million visitors each year, the town can get crowded, but only 500,000 book a hotel room, so you can enjoy the quieter side of this charming medieval town.

quartzmountain

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who wished to escape the constraints of his role in Munich. Construction began in 1869 but was never completed. The castle was intended to serve as a private residence for the king, but he died in 1886, and it was opened to the public shortly after his death.

The castle is perched on a hill, giving it an imposing silhouette. Its highest tower reaches a height of 213 feet. The castle was constructed using white limestone from a nearby quarry, with marble from Untersberg near Salzburg used for the windows, arch ribs, columns and capitals. The interior is decorated with mural paintings, tapestry, furniture and handicrafts, all of which reference the King's favourite themes: the grail legend, the works of Wolfram von Eschenbach, and their interpretation by German composer Richard Wagner.

The castle is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. between April 1 and October 15. From October 16 through March, the hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is open every day of the week, except for December 24, 25, 31, and January 1. Tickets cost 17.50 euros for adults and include a guided tour. Visitors under 18 get in for 2.50 euros, and there are also reduced entry prices for seniors, students, and large groups. Tickets must be purchased at the Ticketcenter in Hohenschwangau, though they can be reserved online.

Frequently asked questions

The time it takes to travel the Romantic Road depends on how many stops you want to make and how much time you want to spend in each place. If you want to see the highlights of the Romantic Road, you should plan to spend a minimum of 4 days driving and exploring. However, if you want to take your time and explore other places and towns along the way, an extra day or two is recommended.

The easiest way to travel the Romantic Road is by car, as it allows you to set your own schedule and gives you the freedom to see and do what you want. Frankfurt and Munich are the closest big city hubs on opposite ends of the Romantic Road, so it is convenient to pick up and drop off a rental car at either of these cities. It is also possible to travel by public transportation, but you will be restricted to limited routes and schedules.

Some of the most popular stops along the Romantic Road include Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Neuschwanstein Castle (outside of Fussen), Augsburg, Landsberg am Lech, and Wieskirche.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Print
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment