I’ve been dreaming of driving the southern roads of Bavaria for years, so I was excited that one of my friends got some time off between completing her residency and starting her new job and agreed to join me. We added a pit stop in Berlin to our Romantic Road drive due to all of the history that city has to offer. Plus, I was told by my German friend that it’s a must see. Always trust the locals!
Rent a car and drive from Frankfurt to Munich, stopping at all the quaint little towns along the way! You’ll appreciate the flexibility of being able to have your own car. Plus you get to go on the autobahn (I was only brave enough to go 120Mph).
Where to Stay:
- We mostly stayed in Airbnb’s because I enjoy roaming around local communities
- Rothenburg: Hotel Gotisches Haus – Old timber hotel; very charming
Things to Do:
Make a short pit-stop, an hour or two, to see Romerberg, the historic heart of Frankfurt. Nothing else is worth the time in the financial capital.
Spend a day wandering around Old Heidelberg and walk down Hauptstrasse, the mile long main street. Go at night and see the Heidelberger Schloss beautifully lit up. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Hike (do not drive – it’s impossible) up Philosophenweg across the river to get amazing views of the town.
Wurzberg had mixed reviews, but I think it’s a must see for at least 1/2 a day! Start at Residenzplatz and walk towards Fortress Marienberg, crossing the Old Main Bridge. Stop for some wine, but only drink the white. It is light and refreshing in this region. Then make the climb up to the fortress – the views are amazing.
All you have to do is wander around Old Town in Rothenburg ob der Tauber to see everything you want to see. Peek in and out of the shops, especially the Christmas ones. Walk around the top of the wall to get some breathtaking views. Rothenburg looks like an iconic German Christmas Village. Truly charming.
Make the drive to Schwangau, spend the day and be sure to see Neuschwanstein, the infamous Cinderella’s Castle. There’s another castle in the same town, but Neuschwanstein is the main attraction. Ludwig II built this castle and was quite nutty. Try to buy tickets in advance if you can, but it’s not necessary. If you’re the adventurous type, book a parasailing company to get the full effect of the scenery.
Spend at least 2 days in Munich. I recommend two things: Wander around all the beer gardens, especially hitting up Hofbrauhaus and be sure to get plenty to eat. Also, make sure to see Sankt Peter, Marienplatz an New Town Hall, all within footsteps of each other. If you haven’t been to a Concentration Camp yet, make the 40 minute trip to Dachau, the first Concentration Camp built and on which all other Concentration Camps are based.
Where to Eat:
- Heidelberg: Schnitzelhaus Alte Münz for every kind of Schnitzel, Papi for some great Italian and Hugo for a great wine house
- Rothenburg: Reichskuchenmeister for the most amazing mushrooms included in many dishes
- Munich: Any beer garden will do