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    The Romantic Road Trip: Frankfurt to Hohenschwangau Itinerary

    The Romantic Road is one of the oldest tourist routes in the world. The popular route is equally fitting for enthusiasts and adventure seekers, as well as for routine holidaymakers and is, all in all, one of the most fascinating attractions of Germany.

    Created after the Second World War to attract travellers, the Romantic Road takes visitors on a journey back to the past when castles perched on snow-covered slopes and old Gothic cathedral towered over small idyllic towns.

    Follow the road and you will come to the crystal clear lakes and rivers surrounded by lush green inland appearing to have come right out of a fairy-tale.

    Driving along this beautiful route in a comfortable car hire from Auto Europe, you will come across a plentiful of picturesque Bavarian villages. For this reason alone, it is worth to extend this four-hour drive over several days with unmissable stops in Wurzburg and Fussen.

    If you do not come from Germany and still want to fulfil that dream of driving along this iconic road, you should book a flight to Frankfurt. The airport of Frankfurt is the closest to Wurzburg, the starting point of the Romantic Road. Munich Airport would be the best departure point thanks to its location of only about 100 miles away from Fussen, the last destination on the Romantic Road.

    Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
    Frankfurt Airport to Frankfurt Downtown 11 miles 26 minutes
    Frankfurt to Würzburg 74 miles 1 hour 13 minutes
    Würzburg to Rothenburg o.d.T. 68 miles 1 hour and 46 minutes
    Rothenburg o.d.T. to Nördlingen 50 miles 1 hour 8 minutes
    Nördlingen to Augsburg 45 miles 53 minutes
    Augsburg to Hohenschwangau 80 miles 2 hours
    Totals: 328 miles 7 hours 27 minutes

    Day 1: Frankfurt

    Road trip Frankfurt, Germany Road trip Frankfurt, Germany

    Once you arrive in Frankfurt, you will probably be excited and will naturally want to immediately begin the journey along the Romantic Road. However, you should wait a bit, because there is so much to see in this historic city, nowadays more famous as a major European financial hub. Plan at least one full day in this business capital.

    For example, the Natural History Museum provides extraordinary exhibits. Among them there is the only complete Diplodocus skeleton in Europe. Goethe House is another popular attraction, especially for those who admire the popular works of the cult poet. The original house was destroyed during World War II and it was rebuilt afterwards.

    If you want to experience the city nightlife during your road trip in Frankfurt, take the district "Sachsenhausen-Nord" into consideration. The best of restaurants, nightclubs and bars are set amidst this district, located on the bank of the Main. However, before you head back to the hotel, be sure to sample an original Frankfurter sausage, the forerunner of the American hot dogs. If you visit Frankfurt in August, you will be there right in time for the music event "Summer in the City". If, on the other hand, you happen to plan mid-June travels to Frankfurt, don't miss the Christopher Street Day parade - Frankfurt's annual homosexual and lesbian parade. Both events provide excellent entertainment, along with a unique view of Frankfurt culture.

    After an exciting day in with a car hire in Frankfurt, a good night's sleep is worth a mint, especially before heading out with your rental car in Frankfurt on the Romantic Road trip. The greatest tourist attractions are located mainly near the train station, the business district and exhibition centre. If you travel with your family and children, you should note that the area around the station usually turns in a "red light district" at night . If you want to stay in a hotel with a traditional atmosphere, it is best to look for hotels in the suburbs of Frankfurt.


    Next stop: 26 minutes

    Day 2: Würzburg

    Road trip Würzburg, Germany Road trip Würzburg, Germany

    The journey from Frankfurt to Würzburg takes only one and a half hour. This beautiful city is also known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road" and you will soon discover why. Royal castles and fortresses, where prince bishops of the region used to be crowned, are surrounded by numerous vineyards. Although many of the most famous buildings in the city were destroyed in World War II, a good number of them have been erected again.

    What to do in Würzburg:

    During your road trip in Würzburg, cruise down the streets lined with works of the finest German architectural design ranging from the splendid baroque Augustinian Church to Germany's oldest stone bridge "the old Main bridge", and the expertly manicured Rokokogarten, to the entire castle Veitshöchheim. There are many worthy objects waiting for you to record them with your camera. The Main-Franconian Museum is another of the main attractions of the city.

    If you are planning a mid-June road trip along the Romantic Road, we encourage you to visit the Mozart Festival in Würzburg. At the end of May, you can enjoy the "Africa Festival".

    Where to eat in Würzburg:

    It is not uncommon for the restaurants along the Romantic Road to be closed from 14-17h. However, many eateries and bistros on the entire route offer you a sufficient selection of fantastic opportunities for a well-deserved break even at this time.

    Where to stay in Würzburg:

    If you want to reap the benefits of your booked independence and enjoy a full day with your car hire in Wurzburg, we strongly recommend booking accommodation in advance, especially if you are visiting in high season. Extremely popular are Greifensteiner Hof and Hotel Walfisch. For more luxury, book your stay at Steinberg Castle. German food is delicious and if you'd like to invest more money into good food instead of luxurious accommodation, we suggest you book a room at the century-old Hotel Strauss.


    Next stop: 1 hour 13 minutes

    Day 3: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

    Road trip Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany Road trip Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

    Your next destination on the Romantic Road trip is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which can be reached in about 2 hours with your car hire from Wurzburg. The half-timbered houses and cobbled streets will instantly bring you back into the medieval past of Germany.

    What to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

    You absolutely need to plan some time for the magic doll and toy museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The museum features over 1,000 dolls and toys, some of which are more than 200 years old. A child-oriented theatre and a model workshop round the picture up.

    The Herterich fountain is also worth a visit. The richly decorated Renaissance fountain dominates the central market place where many town festivals are celebrated all year round. Alternatively, you can make a detour in your rental car to the baroque castle Schillingsfürs and observe eagles and hawks in their natural habitat.

    Visitors to Rothenburg ob der Tauber in May will most probably experience the famous Meistertrunk Festival. If you see the locals in period costumes, the probability is high that the festival is already in full swing. The Imperial City Festival is held in the end of September. If this selection of festivals doesn't match your taste, make a 55 mile detour to old good Nuremberg, home to one the oldest Christmas markets in Germany.

    Where to eat in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

    Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small town and as such does not have too many restaurants. Burgerkeller, located in a cosy rustic basement of a house in the old town, is a great place to experience German tradition. The restaurant serves authentic pork dishes, sausages, potato dumplings and other hearty dishes served in a rustic charming ambience.

    Where to stay in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

    During your road trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you will find a great range of cosy accommodation in the town. There are luxury hotels such as Castle Hotel and Hotel Eisenhut, but also more traditional (and affordable) inns such as Klingentor, Post, and Burg Colmberg Hotel.


    Next stop: 1 hour 46 minutes

    Day 4: Nördlingen

    Road trip Nördlingen, Germany Road trip Nördlingen, Germany

    At the beginning of the fourth day and only an hour's drive along the Romantic Road, we are coming to the mysterious and unique small town Nördlingen. The city dates back to year 898 and, due to its incredible age, it belongs to one of three cities in Germany whose walls are still intact. This is quite an achievement because the city was in the midst of two battles in Germany's historic Thirty Years' War.

    What to do in Nördlingen:

    Nördlingen is located in the middle of Ries, a crater created several centuries ago by a meteorite impact. The impact created Suevit, a material later used to build many buildings such as the majestic church of St. George. The church tower offers a breathtaking view. A must for cyclists: explore Ries by bike!

    If you are a child of the 1970s, then you could find the red roofs of this Bavarian village pretty familiar. The reason for this is that the last scene of the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was shot in Nördlingen. The city can be seen as a glass elevator floats permanently in the sky.

    Where to stay in Nördlingen:

    If you want to spend the night during your road trip to Nördlingen, book a room at Hotel Goldene Rose. As the hotel has only a few rooms, you should book your stay early enough. The excellent restaurant in the hotel serves homemade food that you should not miss. It is definitely worth a visit.

    Before the next day when we set off towards Augsburg, you might schedule a little detour the university city of Ulm. These mere 55 miles are worth it!


    Next stop: 1 hour 8 minutes

    Day 5: Augsburg

    Road trip Augsburg, Germany Road trip Augsburg, Germany

    The fifth day of your journey along the Romantic Road in Germany brings us to Augsburg, the third largest city in Bavaria. The journey of Nördlingen to Augsburg takes just a little bit under an hour. Try to arrive in Augsburg as early as possible as the city offers a wealth of scenic attractions. With a rental car in Germany, you will stay flexible during your entire road trip. You can also create your individual travel schedule according to your wishes, make a stop and continue your trip with a car hire in Augsburg. Every visitor to Augsburg should visit the Gothic Cathedral of St. Mary at least once.

    What to do in Augsburg:

    The more than twelve hundred years old chapel keeps five rare and culturally significant paintings by Hans Holbein the Elder. Augsburg is home to the oldest social housing facility in the world known under the name Fuggerei and founded in 1516 by the Fugger family. A short drive in your rental car outside of Augsburg takes you to two other important chapels: the rococo-inspired Wies Church, situated on an idyllic mountain pasture at the foot of the Trauchgauer mountains and the cathedral in the old town of Ulm, the largest Protestant church in Germany.

    Where to eat in Augsburg:

    The available restaurants in Augsburg range from traditional German cuisine to universal European cuisine. Reserve a table at Augsburg Ratskeller, located directly under the town hall, if you prefer German specialities. The food here is hearty and affordable. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant is open until 2 am. Lovers of European cuisine should pay a visit to Ecke, an innovative European restaurant located behind the town hall, which (depending on the season) is known for its game dishes.

    Where to stay in Augsburg:

    Like most towns along the Romantic Road, Augsburg offers a variety of different accommodations. Cheap and worth mentioning here are Dom Hotel or Hotel-Garni Schlössle. Have you always wanted to sleep in the same hotel where Napoleon slept? Then hurry up and make a reservation at Steigenberger Drei Mohren. Either way, you can not go wrong here.


    Next stop: 53 minutes

    Day 6: Hohenschwangau

    Road trip Hohenschwangau, Germany Road trip Hohenschwangau, Germany

    The sixth day of your Romantic Road trip takes us in less than an hour and twenty minutes to the marvellous Hohenschwangau. The first thing you will see upon arrival is the imposing fairy-tale castle Neuschwanstein, never-ending inspiration for Disney, Wagner and many other artists. The castle in the world famous cartoon Snow White was created based on Neuschwanstein Castle.

    What to do in Hohenschwangau:

    In the immediate vicinity there is another imposing building, which seems to have just sprung straight out of imagination - the bright yellow Hohenschwangau. Although not quite as visually stunning as Neuschwanstein, the castle was a significant source of inspiration for Wagner and is still a striking example of Bavarian architecture. For a unique view of the entire valley, plan a trip to the Marie Bridge. The bridge is stretched over the Pöllat Gorge overlooking Neuschwanstein Castle.

    If you are planning your trip to Neuschwanstein in September, you may be among the lucky ones who may actually experience one of the concerts in the Singers' Hall of the castle.

    Where to eat in Hohenschwangau:

    Reserve a table at the exclusive restaurant Alpenrose am See in advance. The restaurant offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains on Lake Alpsee, along with a varied European cuisine.

    Where to stay in Hohenschwangau:

    There is hardly a better place to spend your last night in beautiful Bavaria than Hotel Müller. It is ideally located between two castles. The mahogany-panelled Baroque hotel makes for the perfect finishing touch on your road trip along the Romantic Road.

    As already mentioned, it would be ideal to plan your trip back from Munich. Book a car hire with Auto Europe and reach Munich Airport in less than two hours. You could also opt to continue your road trip to Munich and even further either to Austria or Italy. With a car hire in Munich, all these wonderful places are incredibly close and convient to visit!

    The Romantic Road: Experience Bavaria at Its Best!

    Germany's Romantic Road is a must for any car enthusiast. Why not cruise along the winding mountain roads behind a wheel of a luxury car? Auto Europe provides you with comprehensive travel guides packed full of good tips based on real life journeys on the Romantic Road.

    Take a week off, choose the perfect rental car from our extensive fleet in numerous German cities and we guarantee you the time of your life on the Romantic Road in Germany!

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