The ‘Romantische Strasse’, a history-filled route through Germany in your motorhome
November, 5 2020
The Romantische Strasse (Romantic Road) has for decades been a popular route in southern Germany, and is one of Europe’s loveliest motorhome routes. A journey along the Romantic Road is a trip through German history. Discover medieval villages with beautiful half-timbered houses and centuries’ old castles, walk around the Baroque castle gardens and enjoy stunning views along the way. We’d like to tell you more about this lovely route.
The Romantische Strasse is a 460 kilometre tourist route through Bavaria. The route goes from Würzburg in northern Bavaria to Füssen, right in the south. This route through medieval towns, villages and changing countryside, was officially established in the 1950s. The Romantic Road will celebrate its seventieth birthday in 2020. The route passes by 29 towns, indicated by brown signs, making it a wonderful route to follow in your car, caravan or motorhome.
Allow a week to see the Romantic Road and choose several different activities. Visit the unusual castles and palaces, settle down at a café on an attractive, historic market square, or go for a lovely walk or cycle trip through the rural surroundings
World Heritage in Würzburg
The city of Würzburg is your starting point for the Romantic Road. To get into the historic centre from the east, you cross the River Main via the striking Alte Mainbrücke bridge. From the other side you can look out over this centuries’ old bridge and the Marienburg fortress that towers 100 metres above the River Main.
The attractive town centre with all its historic sights, including the ‘Würzburg Residence’, is on the western bank of the Main. This former bishop’s palace and the adjacent courtyard gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ‘Residenz’ was designed by Balthasar Neumann, one of southern Germany’s most famous Baroque and Rococo architects. He gave his name to the promenade that leads from the old centre to the Residenz.
Campsites on the Romantic Road near Würzburg
Baroque castle gardens at Weikersheim
The town of Weikersheim is located about forty kilometres south of Würzburg between the vineyards and the Tauber Valley. You can visit the famous Schloss Weikersheim castle here. This castle was built in the middle ages and in those days it was protected by a moat. It was extended and reconstructed into a real castle in the sixteenth century. The interior has remained virtually intact since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The large palace gardens are considered to be a textbook example of Baroque garden architecture.
There are lovely places to walk in and around Weikersheim. The ‘Planetenweg‘ (road of the planets) footpath that leads over the Karslberg to the Weikersheim observatory is recommended.
The charm of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The lovely small town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road is particularly famous for its picturesque historical centre with many medieval buildings. The most familiar (and most photographed) of these is the Plönplein. This means literally ‘small square by the fountain’. The yellow half-timbered house, the fountain and the two towers on the old city walls give this square a charming medieval appearance. If this image is familiar to you, it has been used as the set for various films depicting a medieval town in Europe, for example in the Disney film ‘Pinocchio’.
The old town centre is encircled by city walls extending for about four kilometres. You can walk along the old wall via the ‘Turmweg‘ (Tower Road) footpath. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is sometimes known as the ‘city of towers’, and not without reason as it has 46 old towers! If you want to take a break or have a picnic during your city walk, the romantic ‘Burggarten’ castle gardens are recommended. The castle is no longer there, but you have wonderful views of the Tauber Valley from this green oasis.
A good tip is the Deutsche Weihnachtsmuseum, the Christmas Museum, where you can learn all about the history of the Christmas celebrations and different types of Christmas decorations. This is especially recommended if you visit the Romantische Strasse in the autumn or winter.
Neuschwanstein: Europe’s most famous castle
Right at the end of the Romantic Road, close to Füssen, another famous sight awaits you: the impressive Neuschwanstein Castle. This fairy tale castle is positioned in the mountains and has a unique history. It is also a very popular attraction, but at the moment (October 2020) only 10% of the normal number of visitors is being admitted. This makes it the perfect time to visit the castle, but you are advised to reserve well in advance.
Campsites close to Neuschwanstein Castle
Cycling and walking along the Romantic Road
Did you realise that the Romantic Road is a great place for cycling? The entire route is about 500 kilometres. It is marked out by green signs and is mostly along safe cycle paths or quiet rural roads. It has eastern and western variations. The route has the title D9 and has eastern and western variations. You can see how the route progresses on this interactive map.
You can of course take your bikes with you if you are following the Romantic Road with a caravan or motorhome. View the possibilities for walking tours along the Romantic Road on this website.
Some more tips for the Romantische Strasse
You will find a summary of the entire Romantische Strasse and all its 29 towns on this website. There is plenty to see and do while travelling along this route. The Baroque castle Schloss Baldern and the Wieskirche Pilgramage Church at Steingaden are recommended. If you like shopping, indulge yourself at the ‘Wertheim Village‘ designer outlet.
You can easily find a place to camp on the Romantic Road. Search for campsites by place name or on the Eurocampings map, or use the convenient ACSI Campings Europa app. If you are out and about with your motorhome or caravan and prefer to camp for low prices in the low season, the discount card and guide CampingCard ACSI is something for you.