The famous Romantic road in Germany stretches out mostly in the state of Bavaria from Würzburg till Füssen, with picturesque cities, towns and villages dotted along it. I spent a weekend exploring the first two stops on this road, Würzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
My quick itinerary:
- Reach Würzburg in the morning and explore the city in a day.
- Stay the night at Würzburg.
- Next day take the train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. (roughly 1hr from Würzburg)
- Return from Rothenburg ob der Tauber at night.
The time I spent was sufficient to explore and experience both places to the fullest.
Würzburg is mini Prague to me. With its baroque styled palaces and churches, a wide river dividing the city in two, the Alte Mainbrücke quite similar to the Charles bridge, and the Marienberg fortress atop a hill much like Prague castle. The city is small enough to explore entirely on foot.
My list of "must do" Würzburg:
- Climb to the Marienberg fortress to enjoy the stunning city view from top. Take the longer route while climbing down to walk through a vineyard.
- Sip the local Franconian wine outside Alte Mainmühle on the old bridge.
- Spend a good deal of time (3-4 hrs) exploring the Würzburg Residence palace and its gardens. Preferably, visit at a time when the English guided tour is scheduled.
- In spring time, walk alongside the river Main and spot the lovely blooming cherry blossoms.
- Walk around the city and peek into the Dom and Marienkapelle.
I spent a night at Hotel Meesenburg. Booked via my favorite booking.com. Breakfast included and pay at the hotel. Room was very basic, no luxuries but close enough to the city center and VFM for its price.
A great tip to those travelling within any German state. They usually have a daily state transport ticket, in my case it was the Bavaria ticket, that covers all local trains (no ICE) and most buses and trams. Prices get cheaper for larger groups. I purchased a Bavaria ticket online for my second day and used it to reach and return from Rothenburg ob der Tauber. More information here: https://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany-regional/bavaria-ticket.shtml
For train routes and schedule: https://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/
Cuteness and Germany do not quite fit together. A visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber proves this wrong. It is one of the most famous stops on the Romantic road and I realized this only when I saw the hordes of tourists along the Rödergasse, the most photographed street in this town. The town is bordered by high ramparts and watch towers that you can walk through. Each meter of these walls bears a name plate of the person and their country who helped rebuild it after it was almost fully destroyed in the WWII. The main attraction of Rothenburg o.d.T. is , however, are the well preserved medieval timbered houses. Do not restrict yourself to Rödergasse, explore the many lanes of this town, fall in love with the colorful houses, and you will see why is it on the "Romantic" road.
It is Christmas all round the year in Rothenburg o.d.T. with its many shops and Christmas museum. It's the best place for souvenir shopping, if you're looking for gifts to take back home. Nature enthusiasts can walk down the scenic trail till the Doppelbrücke or Tauber bridge, or spend a peaceful time in the Burggarten. Do stay till 8pm though, for an entertaining and informative nightwatchman tour. Details here: http://www.tourismus.rothenburg.de/index.php?id=516
Must do in Rothenburg o.d.T:
- Explore the architecture of the town, most famously along the Rödergasse.
- Walk through the city ramparts.
- Trek down to the Tauber river.
- Enjoy sunset from Burggarten.
- Nightwatchman tour
If I had more time I would fit a quick trip to Bamberg in my itinerary, another small, cute town in Bavaria, 1hr from Würzburg. And of course, complete the rest of the Romantic road all the way till Füssen, but that's for next time.