© Neuschwanstein © JFL Photography - stock.adobe.com
Germany's most famous and popular holiday route

Romantic Road

A triad of nature, culture and hospitality has been the trademark of the Romantic Road since 1950. It is the best-known and most popular German holiday route and runs from the Main to the Alps. The name Romantic Road expresses what many domestic and foreign guests feel when they see medieval towns or the dream castle of Neuschwanstein: Fascination and being transported back to ancient times.

From Würzburg to Füssen, the Romantic Road offers travellers a wealth of western history, art and culture. On the way from north to south, the landscape changes: river valleys, fertile farmland, forests, meadows and finally the mountains. Würzburg and the wine, the Tauber valley and Rothenburg, the Ries, the Lechfeld, the Pfaffenwinkel and the royal castles.

© Stadtführung Dinkelsbühl © Romantische Straße GbR Dinkelsbühl
  • Stadtführung Dinkelsbühl © Romantische Straße GbR Dinkelsbühl
© Trachtengruppe © Romantische Straße
  • Trachtengruppe © Romantische Straße

The Romantic Road makes it possible to experience:

  • the unique nature and landscape from the Main to the Alps;
  • culturally unique magnificent buildings, castles and historical cities;
  • and the open-minded way of life and hospitality as well as the culinary delicacies of southern Germany.

Type of route:  holiday route
Topic:  art, culture, cuisine, nature, activated
Start/finish:  Würzburg / Füssen
Length:  460 km
Federal States: Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg
Holiday regions:  Franken, Taubertal, Swabia, Allgaeu / Bavarian-Swabia, Upper Bavaria

Far more than beautiful landscapes and culinary delicacies

However, a trip along the Romantic Road offers much more than beautiful landscapes and culinary delicacies. The Romantic Road lives from the harmony of culture and hospitality, from ever new views of diverse landscapes, from cities with impressive magnificent buildings that have preserved their face for many centuries. Balthasar Neumann created the Würzburg residence, in the Taubertal you can meet Tilmann Riemenschneider, Carl Spitzweg was fascinated by Rothenburg od T. and Dinkelsbühl, in Ries there is geological history to touch. In Augsburg you come across the Romans and with the Fuggerei the first social housing estate from the 16th century. The Wieskirche as one of the most famous works of art of the Rococo is in the Pfaffenwinkel. Hohenschwangau, but above all Neuschwanstein,

Nature, art and cuisine

If you are traveling by car, mobile home or motorcycle, simply follow the brown signs that connect the individual cities along the road. Cyclists can cycle from Würzburg to Füssen on the specially signposted Romantic Road long-distance cycle path along the green signs for 500 kilometers, which is part of the ADFC cycle path network under the designation D 9. The blue signs mark the long-distance hiking trail, which is also a real connoisseur's trail for around 500 kilometers through dreamy landscapes and romantic cities.

Take your time to explore nature, art and cuisine along the Romantic Road.

© Brotzeit © Romantische Straße
  • Brotzeit © Romantische Straße
© Landsberg am Lech © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl
  • Landsberg am Lech © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl
Welcome to Lauda-Königshofen - the wine town in the Tauber Valley

Lauda-Königshofen

Highlights

1
University City of Würzburg
The city on the Main shines with a variety of historical buildings and the Marienberg Fortress
2
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The medieval city is one of the most famous on the Romantic Road
3
Dinkelsbühl
The center of the city is the market square with the St. Georg Minster and the beautiful half-timbered houses
4
Nördlingen
The medieval city shines with its completely preserved, walkable city wall
5
Fuggerstadt Augsburg
These are three main historical sights: Augsburg City Hall, the Golden Hall and the Fuggerei
6
Steingaden - Wies
The famous Wieskirche is a remarkably lavishly appointed pilgrimage church and should not be missed
7
Füssen & royal castles
With the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau the perfect end to the route in the Allgäu
Historic university town

Würzburg

In 704, Würzburg was first mentioned in a document as the "Virteburh" fortification. The city was an important economic, spiritual and sovereign center as early as the Middle Ages. The supraregional importance remained high until the industrial revolution. The result was an impressive cityscape, comparable to outstanding central European old towns such as Krakow. This was badly damaged in the Second World War, in particular by the bombing on March 16, 1945. During the reconstruction, important individual monuments such as most of the churches in the old town were externally reconstructed, but only a few town house ensembles and traditional islands. The Würzburg Residence, which was also partially badly damaged during the war and subsequently restored, with its courtyard garden and Residenzplatz was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981.

Marienberg Fortress is just a stone's throw from the city center on the left bank of the Main. It is lined with vines and looks down on the old university town with its domes, towers and bridges. A delightful hiking trail leads from St. Burkard to Marienberg Fortress. In addition, Marienberg Fortress can be reached on foot via Tellsteige and the grounds of the State Garden Show from 1990.

© Würzburg Residenz © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl
  • Würzburg Residenz © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl
Time travel

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg is known for its well-preserved old town from the Middle Ages with many nested alleys, towers and small squares surrounded by half-timbered houses. Because of this, the city has become a magnet for tourists from all over the world; abroad it is regarded as the prototype of a medieval German city. Visitors from Asia in particular stop here on organized trips through Europe. In addition to hotels and inns, the city offers a nearby campsite and two  motorhome parking spaces as well as a youth hostel, which  is housed in the city's former  Rossmühle . Because of the well-preserved old town, Rothenburg served as a backdrop for numerous film productions.

With the largely preserved medieval old town, the large district town of Rothenburg is a world-famous sight with many monuments and cultural assets. What is outstanding about the old town is that it looks very original, as despite the war destruction of 1945 and the simple, inconspicuous reconstruction, practically no modernist breaks are discernible. The historic city center is surrounded by a city fortification that can be walked on and is embedded in the largely unspoilt landscape of the Tauber river valley.

© Rothenburg © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl
  • Rothenburg © Romantische Straße GBR Dinkelsbühl

Travellers experience thousands of years of history when driving along the so-called "Romantic Road" in Germany with world-famous historic old towns, castles and palaces from Würzburg to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Close up to the Middle Ages

Nördlingen

Nördlingen, first mentioned in a document in 898 AD, was an independent imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire from its city elevation by the Staufer King Friedrich II to its incorporation into the Electorate of Bavaria in the course of mediatization in 1802. Due to its location at the intersection of two major trade routes (Frankfurt / Würzburg-Augsburg and Nuremberg-Ulm), Nördlingen was an important trading center from the Middle Ages to the early modern period.

The loss of economic importance and stagnation caused by the devastation of the Thirty Years' War and the relocation of trade routes contributed to the extensive preservation of the medieval townscape and ultimately made Nördlingen a destination for cultural tourism. In 1215 Nördlingen received city rights from King Friedrich II and became an imperial city. In that year the first city wall was built, the floor plan of which is still visible today.

The completely preserved city wall from 1327 has five gates with gate towers, eleven other towers and two bastions. The landmark of Nördlingen is the around 90 meter high steeple of the Gothic St. George's Church, which was built between 1427 and 1505 and is called 'Daniel'.

Steingaden - Wies

Wieskirche

The founding of the church goes back to a pilgrimage that has existed since 1739. It arose from the veneration of a statue of the scourged Savior, which was made in 1730 by Father Magnus Straub and brother Lukas Schweiger in the Steingaden Monastery in Upper Bavaria. The statue was carried during the Good Friday procession of the monastery in 1732–34, but in 1738 it came into the private possession of a farmer 'on the Wies', the location of the monastery summer and rest home a few kilometers southeast of the town. On June 14, 1738, the farmer Maria Lory noticed a few drops in the figure's eyes that she thought were tears. In the following year 1739, answers to prayer and small pilgrimages to the image of the Savior led to the construction of a small field chapel. In 1744 permission was obtained to read mass in the chapel,

The Wieskirche has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1983. This takes into account the outstanding artistic importance of the Wieskirche as a Rococo jewel. In a unique way, the brothers Dominikus and Baptist Zimmermann have created a church interior that blossoms with glorious stucco work, but never looks overloaded or too lush.

© Wieskirche © Romantische Staße
  • Wieskirche © Romantische Staße
© Wieskirche © stock.adobe.com
  • Wieskirche © stock.adobe.com

Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau

Füssen & Royal Castles

Neuschwanstein Castle: on September 5, 1869 the foundation stone for the castle near Füssen was laid. Ludwig II  hoped for rapid construction progress, but the project was too extensive and the conditions on the mountain too difficult. The first thing that was completed in 1873 was the gate, where the fairy tale king lived for years. The topping-out ceremony did not take place until 1880, and the first rooms could be occupied in 1884. Neuschwanstein Castle became King Ludwig II's refuge. Today Neuschwanstein Castle is a magnet for visitors from all over the world. From the Marienbrücke you not only have a unique view of the fairytale castle but also of the imposing Pöllat Gorge. 

Hohenschwangau Castle:  the Bavarian Crown Prince Maximilian - later King Maximilian II - encountered a ruin here that fascinated him. From 1833 to 1837 he had it converted into a castle in the neo-Gothic style. The interior is decorated with numerous wall paintings with themes from medieval legends. The motif of the swan is omnipresent. With his wife Marie and the children Ludwig and Otto, Maximilian II used the Hohenschwangau Castle primarily as a summer residence. The royal family loved the summer freshness in the mountains, they were all passionate hikers.

© Schloß Neuschwanstein © Romantische Straße
  • Schloß Neuschwanstein © Romantische Straße
© Hohenschwangau © sonne_fleckl - stock.adobe.com
  • Hohenschwangau © sonne_fleckl - stock.adobe.com

Picture journey Romantic Road

Route guidance with parking space information

For more information on points of interest please see also our "EXPLORER MAP"