1-4 Day Romantic Road Germany Itinerary Routes: Your Complete Romantic Strasse Germany Guide (Maps, tips, and more)

[This post may contain affiliate links where we earn a small commission.  Please see our disclosure for more information and thank you for supporting our site so we can continue to bring you awesome content for your travel inspiration!]


Before we start, I need to be completely honest with you. I’m in two minds about the Germany Romantic Road:

  1. I get it. There are several villages along the Romantic Road Route and when someone is visiting Germany, those adjectives of “cute” and “quaint” pop out and scream at them to go there!
  2. It’s literally just a road that the Tourism Boards slapped on with an enchanting word (“Romantic”) giving visions to tourists of quaint, charming, idyllic fairytale towns (which isn’t necessarily WRONG, but it’s definitely not that glamorized!) Yup, it’s true. It was all just a marketing gimmick in the 1950’s to get more people to those specific towns. In my experience, there are better “Route” options if you want idyllic, “off the beaten path” towns to visit in Germany. (And yes, I suggest these below)

So, for the sake of making sure that I continue to give genuine and authentic advice to help you plan the best trip possible while also still giving you the answers you are looking for, I want to be completely upfront with you that, in my own experience, I think the Romantic Road is overrated. But that doesn’t mean that YOU might, so I still want to give you the best information (without trying to sound TOO jaded!) so that you can make the decision for yourself. And, if you are still gun-ho on doing this route, then you’ll find everything you need to plan the perfect Romantic Road Itinerary in here for yourself. 

So, in this article, you’ll find how many days you need to plan on, which towns to spend the night in, how long to spend at each place, and more. 

Alternatively, if you want a potentially more “Romantic Route” then I’m going to offer you a few options:

  1. Stay Mostly On/Near the Romantic Road and follow my alternative towns below
  2. Take the “Under The Radar Route” (Yup, I just made that up!) This Romantic Road Alternative Itinerary has EVERYTHING you’d ever want in charming, authentic, less touristy villages and local life for the perfect road trip in Germany

Map of Romantic Road Germany

map romantic road germany

There are 31 total towns along the route. This Romantic Road map ^^ shows some of the most common places on the Romantic Road that people like to stop in rather than trying to see all 31 locations.

Towns on the Romantic Road Germany

  • Würzburg
  • Holzkirchen
  • Urphar 
  • Wertheim 
  • Tauberbischofsheim
  • Lauda-Königshofen
  • Bad Mergentheim
  • Weikersheim
  • Röttingen
  • Creglingen
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  • Schillingsfürst
  • Feuchtwangen
  • Dinkelsbühl
  • Wallerstein
  • Nördlingen
  • Harburg
  • Donauwörth
  • Augsburg
  • Friedberg
  • Kaufering
  • Landsberg am Lech
  • Hohenfurch
  • Schongau
  • Peiting
  • Rottenbuch
  • Wildsteig
  • Steingaden and Wieskirche
  • Halblech
  • Schwangau, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
  • Füssen

The “official” German Romantic Road starts in the town of Würzburg. It continues for 460 km (290 miles) between several small towns and villages and “ends” in Füssen, which is the town next to the famous “Cinderella” Neuschwanstein Castle making it an ideal “final destination.”


If you get nothing else from this article I want you to understand this next part!

The Romantic Road is not some specially designed road. It is simply a normal Bundestrasse (highway). The roads labeled as “B” followed by a number” are the Bundesstrasse. For example, the B2 is the (highway) Bundestrasse 2. 

***One reason why many tourists feel cheated about the Romantic Road is because when they leave Würzburg, they simply put in their GPS the next location, or even Füssen, thinking that will take them on the official route. They end up being routed to the Autobahn (depending on which exact town you go to next will depend on if you get on most likely the A3 or A7). They spent all this time planning and thought they’d see gorgeous rolling fields and picturesque towns passing them by and instead just watch as a BMW zooms by fast enough to make them think they’ve slowed down to Granny speed only to realize no, you are still driving 100mph (which means they were driving HOW fast!?). On the Autobahn, instead of seeing the Vineyards and towns, you see the Golden Arches of McDonald’s and an occasional Aldi. 

Therefore, if you decide to move forward with planning and driving the Romantic Road, you absolutely MUST manually plug into your GPS that you want highways only. Depending on exactly which towns you go to, the Bundestrasses that you’ll most likely be on are:

  • B13
  • B290 
  • B25
  • B2
  • B17
  • B16

If you don’t see these,, or worse, see “A3” or “A7” (autobahns) then double check your route before heading out.

Why I Think Germany’s Romantic Road Is Overrated (or at least not ideal for *most* tourists)

german romantic road
You can go to this church near Neuschwanstein without needing to do the Romantic Road

I always struggle to write something so opinionated because I know not every traveler is like me. I also know that such sweeping, generalized statements don’t apply to EVERYONE. Therefore, if you are still in Team “I MUST DO THE ROMANTIC ROAD ROUTE!” then more power to ya and I genuinely hope that it’s everything you had envisioned it would be and more.

However, I will tell you that time and time again in my Travel in Bavaria Facebook Group, it is blatantly clear that I share the same sentiments with most people that have done a Romantic Road Tour….. It was overrated and not worth their time. But why??

It’s, well…Overly Romanticised 

I have to give it to the tourism people that first coined the slogan of the “Romantic Road” in Germany in the 1950s (and geared towards US Military personnel at the time). Using the word “Romantic” already slings a person into what they envision the “perfect Germany” postcard to be. 

And most likely, when you are reading other blogs you’ll hear them describe the Romantic Road with other great buzz worthy lingo like “Enchanting” or “Charming.” But I feel like they have been given these phrases to regurgitate, or quite frankly, just don’t know what else there is on offer from Germany for other “Alluring” routes and activities.

Most of The Villages Don’t Have a TON to Do Or See 

The reality is that most of the villages along the Romantic Route don’t have a ton to lure tourists in for long. I’m sure each town and Tourism Board would argue with me on that though. And I’m not saying that they don’t have anything to offer. However, what most of them have are a nice, small, cute, main squares in their Altstadt and maybe a few surrounding streets that have cute shops or maybe even a museum or 2.

But they are all pretty darn similar. I’m not the kind of traveler that says, “Once you’ve seen one Altstadt, you’ve seen them all” because that is far from the truth. Some German towns have completely different vibes than others. Some have more to offer for tourists than others.

But when it comes down to it, the majority of the villages and towns along the “Romantische Strasse” are more or less kind of the same vibe, feel, and “things to do.” 

Most Tourists Don’t Have the Time To See So Many Villages

Chances are, if you are reading this you are a tourist coming to enjoy Germany. (If you happen to live here in Germany, then you can obviously disregard this particular argument).

As a tourist, most of the time, you already have very limited time and probably a loooong list of places you want to visit on your bucket list. Most travelers that reach out to me are coming to Germany for anywhere between 7-14 days (2 weeks being a minority since many times these tourists are actually going to try to cram in a few other countries in that time as well).

There are SOOO many amazing things to do in Germany that it is often hard to narrow down itineraries. I mean, you can spend an amazing 2 Days in Berlin, go visit the beautiful Neuschwanstein Cinderella Castle, do a road trip through the Black Forest  or you can relax away all your troubles in the famous Therme Spas in Baden Baden and still not have seen all the main highlights.

And that’s not even taking special events like Oktoberfest, attending the AMAZING Almabtriebs, visiting the Best German Christmas Markets, or celebrating Fasching and Karneval into account!

Just to be completely honest, there are way more efficient ways to truly deep dive into all that Germany has to offer than doing a 1 Day Romantic Road Itinerary (or more!) 

If Charming, Quaint German Villages Is What You Want, There are Plenty of Other (Better) Options

Again, it’s not that the towns on the Romantic Road aren’t good or cute. It’s just that I think your time could be spent better in a place that you can slow down in and really enjoy rather than just zip through a bunch of towns for the sake of saying, “I did the Romantic Strasse.” Germany has plenty of amazing places (and nearby, too, if you want to stay in this area)

So Is The Romantic Road Worth It?

Well, if you’ve read this far, you can fairly assume that I don’t think that following all 31 stops along the Romantic Road map is necessary. However, that doesn’t mean that I think you should just completely skip the whole thing either if you’ve got plenty of time on your trip. However, even with a short one week in Germany itinerary, I think your time will be better spent elsewhere or just choosing 1 or 2 main stops along the route.

On the other hand, if you are a bit more of a “slow” traveler and can spare a day, I never say no to a drive through the Bavarian countryside!

Romantic Road by Train or Car?

Germany Romantic Road Train
Train Ride Through Bavaria in the Spring

By Train: There is not a railway route that is specifically a “Romantic Road Train” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go city to city yourself. I’ll detail a specific itinerary below that you can use if you are just doing the Romantic Road by train only. However, know that many of the small villages either aren’t serviceable, or realistic to get to by train. 

By Car: Therefore, for the most flexibility and control over your itinerary and timetable, I pretty much only recommend renting a car if at all possible. Driving in Germany is actually quite easy and I go over everything you need to know to feel comfortable behind the wheel. The Romantic Road Germany by car is definitely the preferred option by most travelers.

Compare Car Rental Prices Here

Romantic Road Bus Tour

For people who don’t want to rent a car and don’t want to deal with the headache of figuring out public transportation for the Romantic Road, there is another option. There is a private bus company that runs the “Romantische Straße Bus.” You can See the Timetable Here to get a better idea of the stops. Probably the most appealing part of this tour is that, if you request it ahead of time, they will stop at the smaller towns that are really difficult to do on your own with the trains.  

Tickets/ Prices:

  • From /to Frankfurt am Main: € 99.00
  • From / to Würzburg: € 54.00

You can buy the tickets here or from the driver on the bus (if you purchase online you must have it printed out for validation)

Prices Include:

  • Roundtrip journey from the starting point
  • Tour Guide/ Driver
  • Admission to Weikersheim Palace (guided tour of the Knight’s Hall and visit to the Baroque Gardens)
  • Information from Bus Tour Guide
  • visit to the Baroque palace

Days of Operation:

This bus doesn’t run daily. In fact, it only goes during high tourist season and only on certain days, so you’ll need to probably book ahead and plan accordingly. The bus leaves Frankfurt at 9am and, if you choose, you can travel the whole route and then be dropped off in Munich all in one day (that is a lot and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it). Many people use the bus just to get to the Rothenburg stop and then choose to stay overnight and then make their own way back to Munich by train. 

  • May 7- 24 September 2023: Only on Sundays. Departs at 9am
  • Sundays and Wednesdays: Bus operates from Munich to Rothenburg (and back) 

Romantic Road Tours

Since, again, not all the towns along the Romantic Trail are necessarily worth stopping in, you’ll find that most options offering a Romantic Road Tour actually will only go to 1-2 stops (typically it’s pretty much just Rothenburg).

Romantic Road- Rothenburg Tour: Munich->Harburg->Rothenburg->Munich Tour: This tour collects you in Munich and then goes to the Harburg Castle for a short stop. It continues on to Rothenburg for the rest of the day and then returns you back to Munich in the evening. 

Romantic Road: Know Before You Go

Don’t Rely Just on Your GPS

Ok, ok, I’ve already beat this point to death, but it’s THAT important to bring it up again! Do NOT just plug in towns to your GPS and blindly follow! Be sure you’ve looked at a map (even Google Maps works just fine) or get a good paper map before putting your foot on the gas peddle so that you know roughly what Bundestrasses you need to be on so that you don’t make the huge mistake of just taking the Autobahn the whole way!


Grab a Romantic Road Map and Booklet to help you navigate as well as really understand the places you are visiting. 

Pick 3-5 Towns To Stop At

Again, sorry if I’m sounding like a broken record, but out of the 31 towns along the Romantic Road, only a small handful are actually, indeed, “Super Romantic” and charming feeling. The others are just normal, small villages that don’t really have much to offer a tourist, unless you’ve got all the time in the world and don’t mind frequent pit stops. 

Best Times to Go

As a general rule of thumb, summer in Germany is high tourist season, with the culmination of it being in July and then in August when all the locals have off school as well. I’ve been to numerous towns along the Romantic Road in “off season” and it’s been much more enjoyable than when I’ve been there in the summertime. Late September and into October are great times as are early spring (May and early June) if you want a few less people. 

If you want those “Picture Perfect” shots, like in Rothenburg, be prepared to have to be there suuuuper early to avoid the crowds. 

Which Direction To Start From?

Many people will tell you to start from the North and go South. This is mostly because if you end in the South, you finish with the spectacular Fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. Some people feel like that’s the perfect culmination to the route. However, I think that if you do this itinerary right, you can still thoroughly enjoy ending at Wurzburg as well. 

Romantic Road Germany Itinerary

Yeesh, ok, let’s finally get into some actual itineraries, shall we!? I’m going to give you a few itineraries based on how many days you might have. 

Be Sure to Read My In Depth Guides on some of the Sites On the Romantic Road:

1 Day

Just to be upfront, even though you can blast through the vast majority of the 31 towns along the Romantic Road, you can’t and won’t be able to do the Romantic Road in 1 Day. However, you can enjoy some really beautiful Bavarian countryside on your way from one destination to the next. For example, if you want to see some of the Romantic Road here are a few good options:

  • Romantic Road from Munich to Neuschwanstein: Go straight East and get on the B17 going South. You can still drive along the B17 and drive through most of the Southern towns along the route, starting with Landsberg. You can then end at Neuschwanstein, which is one of the many popular Day Trips from Munich anyway.
  • Romantic Road from Frankfurt: It’s easy to get from Frankfurt to the Romantic Road since Würzburg is just over an hour from Frankfurt. You can then follow the highways down as far as you want to go, although if you just have one day, most people will go all the way down to Füssen/ Neuschwanstein or will just stop at Rothenburg.
  • Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Many people choose to start their Romantic Road itinerary from Rothenburg and don’t count this as one of their “days” for the Romantic Road at all. You can get there and spend 1 Day in Rothenburg and then continue to make your way down the highways to Füssen the next day.

2 Days Romantic Road Itinerary

Day 1: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Spend the whole day in Rothenburg, including spending the night. Be sure to do the Night Watchman’s Tour and enjoy the town when all the other day trippers have left

things to do rothenburg ob der tauber

Day 2: Dinkelsbühl, drive, and Neuschwanstein

Get a VERY early start on your day. First, head to Dinkelsbühl and enjoy this charming town for a few hours in the morning. Next, be sure to stay on the highways and then make your way down to Füssen by the early afternoon. Spend the rest of your day at Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenscwhangau. If you have any extra time, you can always wander the Altstadt of Füssen.

neuschwanstein castle germany near munich

3 Days Romantic Road Itinerary

Day 1: Würzburg + Optional Tauberbischofsheim 

You can definitely spend a full day here. This beautiful Baroque town feels elegant and opulent but is laid back and wonderful for wandering.

  • Start your day by going to the Residence. This is one of the highlights of the city. Do both an inside tour and absolutely spend time meandering through the stunning outdoor palace gardens. 
  • Tour the Marienberg Fortress. You can’t miss this looming fortress over the city but up close it is really beautiful
  • Wander the Altstadt.
    • Don’t miss the Falkenhaus, a really unique Rococoo Facade practically hanging over the river below
    • Marvel at the Marienkapelle 
    • Stroll down the stone bridge
    • Enjoy a local, Franconian meal 

Many people don’t know that Würzburg has some of the best wines in all of Germany. No trip to Würzburg would be complete without some wine tasting! A popular choice is the Bürgerspital, where you can go to a local producer’s vineyard and cellar and of course, do a wine tasting!

romantic strasse germany

Optional: If you want to spend about 3/4 of your day in Würzburg, you can also stop by the nearby village of Tauberbischofsheim (about a 30 minute’s drive). While there isn’t a ton to do in and of itself, the Altstadt is actually very pretty with its classic half timbered buildings. You don’t need a ton of time, but it’s a nice bonus if you are trying to cram as much into your Romantic Road Itinerary as possible!

If you are feeling very ambitious, you can continue on and request a late check in for a hotel in Rothenburg for that evening. That way, you can wake up extra early and beat all the day tripper crowds and get some fantastic photo shots of the iconic town without all the selfie sticks!

Day 2: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Spend the whole day in Rothenburg, including spending the night. Be sure to do the Night Watchman’s Tour and enjoy the town when all the other day trippers have left

rothenburg schneeballen
Don’t forget to try a Rothenberg “Schneeballen!”

Day 3: Dinkelsbühl, drive, and Neuschwanstein

Get a VERY early start on your day. First, head to Dinkelsbühl and enjoy this charming town for a few hours in the morning. Next, be sure to stay on the highways and then make your way down to Füssen by the early afternoon. Spend the rest of your day at Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenscwhangau. If you have any extra time, you can always wander the Altstadt of Füssen.

4 Days Romantic Road Itinerary

In all honesty, I don’t think you need a four day Germany Romantic Road itinerary. If you have that time, spend another half a day in Rothenburg or take half a day to add Linderhof and the Ettal Abbey onto your day at Neuschwanstein.

However, if you are insistent on getting the most mileage out of the Romantic Road, the other town that would be worth at least mentioning (but doesn’t need more than a few hours) would be Nördlingen.

romantic tour germany

One of the “draws” to this town is the fun fact that the village was built literally in the site of a meteorite crater (Although you can’t even tell unless you’ve got a bird’s eye view). The tower itself was supposedly made from the actual meteorite! As for things to do in Nördlingen, there isn’t a huge laundry list. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing would be that while people love to do the Medieval Wall Walk in Rothenburg, Nördlingen also has a completely intact medieval wall surrounding the entire city.  You can do the entire walk up along and “in” the wall (covered passageways) in less than 3km and since it’s not nearly as touristy as Rothenburg, it can be a nice “off the beaten path” experience with great views over the red roofs of the town below. 

Romantic Road Germany by Train

rail pass germany

If you are just Using Trains in Germany, you can still see the highlights of some of the towns along the Romantic Road by train. 

A few places to consider starting from are:

  • Frankfurt to Romantic Road via Würzburg: You can get from Frankfurt to Würzburg in as little as an hour by high speed train (note: when booking ICE/ IC trains, it’s always best to book these in advance
  • Nuremberg to Romantic Road via Würzburg: Even though both Nuremberg and Würzburg are in Bavaria and therefore you CAN use a Bayern Pass, the fastest way to get between the two is to use an ICE/ IC train (Not good with the Bayern Pass) and be there in under an hour
  • Nuremberg to Romantic Road via Rothenburg: You can use the Bayern Pass and get to Rothenburg from Nuremberg in about 2 hours. However, you’ll still have to make several transfers. One of the fastest routes will have you transferring in both Neustadt (Aisch) and Steinach in order to get to Rothenburg
  • Romantic Road from Munich:  To get from Munich to Romantic Road, there are several options here, but one easy option is to get from Munich to Neuschwanstein by train and then do the route going North from there, however it is a long train ride. 

No matter where you start from for your train journey on the Romantic Road, here is how to get to some of the major spots along the Romantic Road by train:

Würzburg to Rothenburg by Train:

Time by Train: Approximately 2 hours 10 minutes

  1. Buy the Bayern Pass (be sure to ONLY be on Regional Trains for this route!) 
  2. Take the RE10 Train in the direction of Nürnberg Hbf and transfer at Neustadt (Aisch) Bahnhof (about 40 minutes)
  3. In Neustadt, take train RB81 in the direction of Steinach (about 40 minutes) and transfer there
  4. In Steinach, grab the RB82 Train in the Direction of Rothenburg o.d.T (15 minutes)

Rothenburg to Dinkelsbühl by Train

Time by Train: Approximately 2 hours

  1. Buy the Bayern Pass (be sure to ONLY be on Regional Trains for this route!) 
  2. Take the 807 Train in the direction of Dombühl Bahnhof and get off at Dombühl Lindenstrasse (about 35 minutes)
  3. At the Dombühl stop,Take the 813 Train in the direction of “Dinkelsbühl Gymnasium” and get off at the Dinkelsbühl zob (main bus station)

Unfortunately, while it’s not hard to get TO Dinkelsbühl, there are not great connections to go further onto the Romantic Road (for example, it’s 4-6 hours depending on the time/day to get to Füssen) therefore, Dinkelsbühl would be one of the first towns I’d cross off my list if I was planning the Romantic Road by train only. 

Rothenburg to Füssen by Train

I hate to say it, but this is difficult by train as well. It’s not that you can’t do it, but you aren’t really doing the “Romantic Road” anymore and are spending a ton of time on the train. It can take upwards of 6 hours and you still have to transfer in several places, for example, Nuremberg and  Munich.

Therefore, if you are doing it all by train, forget the notion of the “Romantic Road” and instead, take the train from Rothenburg to Munich and then spend 2 days in Munich before then taking the train to Neuschwanstein. 

Try THIS Romantic Route in Germany Instead

Romantic Road Alternative route Germany

If want picture perfect villages, views out over sprawling vineyards, half timbered buildings lumbering over cobble stone streets, fairy tale castles….AND far fewer crowds, here is MY recommendation for what I would do instead of the Romantic Road. I’ll still keep a few of the same towns along the official Romantic Road, both because they are worth it but also because that way you can still say “CHECk! I did (part of) the Romantic Road in Germany!!!

Start in Bamberg

Day trip to Bamberg

I love this totally underrated Gem in Franconia. It’s got everything Rothenburg has (including a Nightwatchmen’s Tour!) without ALL the tourists! 

Time Needed: Minimum half a day (1 full day is ideal)

Go To Sommerhausen

If wine was your reason for visiting Würzburg, consider visiting Sommherhausen instead (they also have a fantastic Wine Festival every year!), just a stone’s throw away from Würzburg. Of course, if you wanted to see the Baroque town of Würzburg itself, then by all means, do that instead.

Time Needed: Do a half doing a wine hike through vineyards

Continue On To Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Since this is arguably one of THE biggest highlights of the Romantic Road, it would be silly not to have it be included for your itinerary.

Time Needed: 1 Full Day

Pop Into Schwäbisch Hall

go to Swabisch Hall instead of the romantic road

How is this town not on more radars!? It.Is.GORGEOUS! Everything about it just screams “Idyllic German Village!” 

Time Needed: 1/2 Day

Finish in Füssen and Neuschwanstein

Just as the Romantic Road ends in Füssen, I agree that it’s the perfect fairytale ending to your perfect fairytale road trip in Germany! 

Time Needed: 1/2- 1 Full Day (Add Ettal and Linderhof to make it a full day- if you do this, stay overnight in Oberammergau)

Romantic Road Germany FAQs

How long does it take to drive the Romantic Road?

If you drove the full Romantic Road from start (Würzburg) to finish (Füssen) it would take you approximately 6 hours total with no stops. It is about 220 miles (354 kilometers) long.

Is The Romantic Road Worth It?

Personally, no. I don’t think so in the sense of using it as a “Route” or “Scenic Drive.” While I do think that Rothenburg and Neuschwanstein are must sees in Bavaria, I highly suggest spending the rest of your time elsewhere exploring the beautiful country and state of Bavaria.

Is Neuschwanstein Castle on the Romantic Road?

Yes. The town of Schwangau, which is where Neuschwanstein is located, is the second to last “stop” on the Romantic Road.

Can you do the Romantic Road by train?

Not really. A few towns are easy enough to get to, but the further South you get, the longer and more transfers are needed and it just isn’t worth it by then.

Which is better, the Romantic Road Bavaria or Black Forest Germany?

If you want nature, countryside, half timbered houses, and villages then the Black Forest is where you should go. If you want walled, Medieval, cobblestone towns, with wine and castles then the Romantic Road is perfect for you.

Does the Romantic Road go through the Black Forest?

No. While a few of the towns along the Romantic Road are in Baden Württemberg (that state that the Black Forest is in), the two are easily still a few hours away from one another.

Is the Romantic Road in the German Alps?

Yes, some of the Romantic Road is in the Alps. For example, the towns of Schwangau and Fuessen are in the Allgäu region of the Alps in Germany.

pictures of neuschwanstein castle





Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *