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Drive to Discover the Romantic Road Germany

The romantic road Germany is one of the oldest touring roads in the world! Built after World War II as a means of attracting visitors to the country, this self-drive adventure takes travelers back in time, where cathedrals had with gothic spires, castles were nestled into mountainsides, and the countryside was so lush and green, you’ll think you were driving through a fairy-tale.

In this Drive to Discover guide, you’ll journey along Germany’s acclaimed Romantic Road visiting quaint Bavarian villages and experience Germany’s distinctive culture!

Drive-To-Discover-Germany-Romantic-RoadPrint this Drive to Discover guide now!

Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
Frankfurt to Würzburg 76 miles 1 hour 16 minutes
Würzburg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber 40 miles 44 minutes
Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Nordlingen 52 miles 1 hour 4 minutes
Nordlingen to Augsburg 47 miles 1 hour
Augsburg to Hohenschwangau 64 miles 1 hours 23minutes
Hohenschwangau to Munich Airport 96 miles 1 hour 46 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 375 miles



There is a lot to see and do in this historic city. You could visit the Museum of Natural History that offers plenty of educational exhibits, including the only complete Diplodocus skeleton in all of Europe. If you’re planning on staying the night in Frankfurt, visit the South Bank, or “Sachsenhausen” to experience the best of Frankfurt’s nightlife.

On your journey to Würzburg be sure to stop at the medieval moated Mespelbrunn Castle which survived all wars unharmed due to its hidden location.

Next stop: 1 hour & 16 minutes

2. Würzburg


The “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” and during your Drive to Discover, you’ll quickly see why. Amid its vineyard-covered hills sits regal castles and fortifications that once housed the region’s prince-bishops. Although many of the city’s most illustrious and stately buildings were destroyed in World War II, a good number of them have since been rebuilt to their former majesty.

Next stop: 44 minutes

3. Rothenberg ob der Tauber


Your next destination on the Romantic Road Germany is the village of Rothenberg ob der Tauber. Here, the village’s half-timber houses and cobbled streets transport you back in time to Germany’s distinct medieval past. The Herterich Fountain is an ornate Renaissance fountain is located in the city’s central Marktplatz, where several city celebrations and feast days are celebrated throughout the year. Take a side trip to the baroque castle, Schloss Schillingfürst, to view soaring eagles and falcons in their natural habitat.

Next stop: 1 hour & 4 minutes

4. Nördlingen


Nördlingen is one of Germany’s most mysterious and unique villages. The city dates back to the year 898, and despite its incredible age, it is only one of three towns in Germany with an intact city wall. This in itself is quite an accomplishment, because the city was the location of two battles in Germany’s historic Thirty Years’ War. It sits in the center of the Ries, a basin that was created by a meteor strike several centuries ago. To see an incredible view of the base take a trip to the top of the St. Georg Church.

Next stop: 1 hour

5. Augsburg


The gothic majesty of the Dom St. Maria is something that every visitor to Augsburg should experience. Inside this 9th century, chapel can be seen five rare and culturally significant paintings by Hans Holbein the Elder. A short drive in your rental car headed just outside of Augsburg will take you to two other significant chapels, the rococo-inspired Wieskirche, which is set in an idyllic Alpine meadow at the base of the Trauchgauer Mountains, and the Münster in Old Ulm, which is the largest evangelical church in Germany.

You can also choose to rent a car in Augsburg and explore the whole countryside. Follow the Lech River north, to explore the banks of the Danube to Regensburg.

Next stop: 1 hour & 23 minutes

6. Hohenschwangau


Upon arriving at the beautiful village of Hohenschwangau, you’ll immediately see the region’s most prized fixture, Neuschwanstein. The castle’s fairy-tale design has been recorded as being a source of inspiration to Walt Disney, Wagner, and many others. In fact, the castle’s alluring look is just what Disney himself recalled when creating the castle featured in his timeless animated film, Snow White.

Meanwhile, just across the valley lies another castle that appears to be ripped from the pages of fantasy: the yellow-hued Hohenschwangau. Not quite as visually stunning as Neuschwanstein, the castle remains an impressive example of Bavarian architecture and regality. To get a one-of-a-kind view of the entire valley, plan on taking your rental car from Auto Europe across the Marienbrücke, the bridge that spans the gorge where both castles are located.

Next stop is Munich International Airport: 1 hour & 46 minutes

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Drive the Romantic Road Germany with Auto Europe

20000 pickups locations worldwideIf you’d like additional travel inspiration for your trip to explore castles in Germany, or other historic destinations check out our German Road Trips, and if you’d like to see how much you can save on your next trip by bundling discounted airfare with your hotel reservation and car rental, give our travel specialists a call toll-free at 1-888-223-5555. We look forward to helping you plan the ultimate trip to Germany, or wherever your travels take you.

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