13 days, including travel
Evening Departure from New York. Take overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
7 hrs nonstop
Arrival in Frankfurt. Check into centrally located and highly rated hotel (Adina Apartment Hotel)
Start discovering Frankfurt from The Römerberg, Frankfurt's Old Town Center.
The Römerberg is an irregularly shaped square with the Justice Fountain (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen) at its center. Not only is it Frankfurt's most picturesque public square, it's the city's busiest pedestrian zone and home to numerous tourist attractions and things to do. These include its many open-fronted shops, once common throughout the old town, and the Römer, with its 11 lovely buildings, faithfully reconstructed in 1954 from original 15th- to 18th-century floorplans. The area also includes the Old Town Hall (AltesRathaus), with its Imperial Hall (Kaisersaal), once the scene of splendid banquets, and other notable buildings include the New Town Hall (NeuesRathaus) from 1908; the 14th-century Gothic Church of St. Leonhard; and St. Nicholas Church, with its carillon. Visit Roman Catholic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral ,Frankfurter Dom. It was built of red sandstone in Gothic style between the 13th and 15th centuries, and at 95 meters, still manages to stand out in this city of skyscrapers.
Explore nearby The Eschenheimer Tower (Turm), built in the early 1400s, remains the finest relic from Frankfurt's old town walls. At 47 meters high, it still impresses with its dimensions and dominates the Eschenheimer Gate district. Today, the tower houses a café and meeting rooms used by local historical societies.
Visit and explore one of Frankfurt's busiest pedestrian areas, the Hauptwache.It is literally translated, the Main Guard - is famous for its mix of fine historic buildings and modern structures. The most notable building here is the old Baroque Guard House after which the square is named. Built in 1730, it once housed the city's militia, a prison, and later, a police station, and now serves as a café. The square itself is one of Frankfurt's main shopping areas, complete with a large underground mall. It's also the point from which the city's main shopping and commercial streets radiate. Pedestrian-friendly Zeil heads east, and Kaiserstrasse, with many places of entertainment.
Cross the Main River and spend evening in visit the South Bank, or 'Sachsenhausen' area of Frankfurt.This part of the city known for the abundance of garden restaurants and bars serving local specialties like Rippchen, HandkasmitMusik, Abbelwoi and Green Sauce. Lots of fun, lots of hospitality.
Departuren from Frankfurt. Head to Wurzburg
Check into centrally located and highly rated hotel in Wurzburg.
WURZBURG is the starting point and The 'Pearl of the Romantic Road', amid its vineyard-covered hills sits regal castles and fortifications that once housed the region's prince-bishops.
Visit and discover Würzburg Residence. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the palace for the Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn is on a scale that has to be seen to be believed. Constructed from 1720 to 1744, the Würzburg Residence is among Europe’s great Baroque palaces. The grand staircase is nothing short of dazzling for its self-supporting trough vault that climbs to 25 yards, and painted with a gigantic fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. This is the largest fresco in the world and symbolizes the four continents: Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Visiting dignitaries were received in the breathtaking
Imperial Hall, a dazzling mass of painting, stuccowork, statues and marble completed at head-spinning expense in 1751.
A permanent landmark on the left bank of the Main, the Marienburg Fortress crowns a spur high above the river, in a spot that has been fortified since Celtic times. The castle’s story begins in the 1200s when defensive walls were built around Würzburg first church, which had stood here since the 8th century. For almost five centuries up to 1719 the Marienburg Fortress was the seat of the Prince-Bishops, and it gradually changed from a defensive building into a Renaissance and then Baroque palace after it was almost razed by the Swedes in the Thirty Years’ War.
In the 17th century the Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp von Schönborn created an adorable little formal garden on one of the former gun platforms atop the old ramparts at the fortress. The Fürstengarten is on the eastern flank of the complex and is arranged geometrically with fountains, neat flowerbeds and pavilions.
Cross the iconic pedestrian bridge Alte Mainbrückelinking Würzburg Altstadt with the old fishermen’s quarter. As you cross there are fabulous views east towards St Kilian Cathedral and the Alstadt.
Depart from Wurzburg. Continue your Romantic Road journey further south toward Rothenburgob der Tauber
Check into centrally located and highly rated hotel in Rothenburg.
Rothenburgob der Tauber
Immerse yourself in Germany’s Fairy-Tale Dream Town of Rothenburg, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Picturesquely positioned on the steep banks of the River Tauber, its walls and towers look much as they did in the 16th century, while many of the buildings inside the walls are even older.
Start your visit from The Old Town and Rathaus (Town Hall). Dominating the Marktplatz at its center is the imposing Town Hall, one of the finest in southern Germany. The oldest part of this majestic building, constructed in the 13th century, faces Herrngasse. A later addition is the 16th-century, 50-meter-high tower, from which you'll find views over the Old Town.
One of the favorite things to do in Rothenburg is to take the half hour or so walk around the Old Town Walls. This fascinating and attractive walk is best started from the Spitaltor, a massive gatehouse built in the 1500s, and then heading toward the equally stunning Rödertor, stopping along the way to enjoy the views.
Undoubtedly the most picturesque spot in an extremely pretty town is Plönlein, literally translated as "Little Square". It looks like something right out of a fairytale book.
Explore fascinating the Medieval Crime Museum (MittelalterlichesKriminalmuseum) deals with more than 1,000 years of crime and punishment in Europe, with a particular focus on the medieval period. Highlights include artifacts used to extract confessions and inflict punishment, many of them extremely gruesome, along with fascinating documentation and details pertaining to the often-flawed logic behind their use.
The imposing Klingentor Towerconstructed between 1395 and 1400, is one of the most architecturally interesting of all Rothenberg’s towers. Sitting alongside St. Wolfgang's church, it forms a gate in the town walls. It served another purpose as well, as a water tower, with its huge copper tank feeding the town's fountains. You can climb it for a small fee to see views across the town and Tauber Valley.
Strolling along the Schmiedgasse, a fine old street running south from the Marktplatz, you'll come to No. 3, the Master Builder's House (Baumeisterhaus). This fine old building with its spectacular façade from 1596 is widely considered to be one of the finest Renaissance houses in Bavaria, and was where Rothenburg's Master Builder, Leonard Weidmann, lived and worked. A testament to his skills, the house is famous for its carvings of dragon motifs, along with statues representing the seven cardinal virtues and the seven deadly sins.
Depart from Rothenburg ob der Tauber heading toward Augsburg and visiting Nordlingen,the one of Germany's most mysterious and unique towns.
Evening arrival in Augsburg and check into centrally located and highly rated hotel.
Stop on the way and discover walled town of Nordlingen. It is located near a Roman settlement built on the road north from Augsburg. The "official" first mention of Nordlingen comes in 898 when "Nordilinga" is used - the 1100th birthday festivities took place in 1998. Nordlingen grew to prominence because of its importance in trade in the area. It was a Free City and the local fair was one of the most important in this region in the Middle Ages.
You can walk around the rampart walkway with its 11 defensive towers, the most noteworthy of which are located between the Berger Tor, the Alte Bastei (Old Bastion) and the Reimlinger Tor.
At the center of the circular Altstadt, within the walls, is Rübenmarkt. If you stand in this square on market day, you'll be swept into a world of the past -- the country people here have preserved many traditional customs and costumes, which, along with the ancient houses, evoke a living medieval city. Around the square are a number of buildings, including the Gothic Rathaus.St. Georgskirche, on the square's northern side, is one of the town's oldest buildings, and its most striking sight.
Visit Rieskrater-Museum that documents the impact of the meteorite that crashed into the earth here on the Alb plateau nearly 15 million years ago.
In the late afternoon continue your journey to Augsburg.
After arriving in Augsburg spend a wonderful evening and dine in one of many Augsburg traditional German restaurants. Every restaurant in Augsburg can surprise its guests by truly excellent signature dishes. The national cuisine of Augsburg will surely appeal to travelers who are keen on quality beer and nutritious meat food. In addition to wonderful cuisine many restaurants please their guests with rich cultural program.
Spend a day Augsburg,the third oldest German city after Neuss and Trier
Augsburg was founded by the Romans in 15BC.Visit City Hall . Built at enormous expense in the 1610s when Augsburg was at the peak of its powers, the City Hall is a reflection of the wealth and power of the city during the Renaissance. On the outside that confidence is summed up by an outsized image of the Reichsadler, the Imperial Eagle beneath the pediment on the gable. Continue exploring old Augsburg discover Schaezlerpalais, the former home of the 18th-century banker Benedikt Adam Liebert is a Rococo treasure in its own right. It has dazzling gardens, courtyards and interiors, culminating in an exceptionally rich ballroom from the 1760s embellished with chandeliers, a grand ceiling fresco, high mirrors and masses of gilded stucco. But the palace is also valued for its lavish art collections.
Explore Fuggerei, the world’s oldest Roman social housing project was started in 1516 by Jakob Fugger, the powerful merchant banker. Within a decade 52 houses had been constructed, and the sequence of streets and squares, served by a church, became a kind of town of its own. On eight streets, these long terraces of ivy-clad homes still have residents.
Visit Mozarthaus. Such is the impact on European culture made by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that even places related to his family have become the objects of fascination. The gabled 17th-century house where the great composer’s father, Leopold Mozart was born in 1719 is now a museum.
In the late afternoon visit and explore Maximilianstraße area of Augsburg. People have been walking this north to south street through the center of Augsburg since the days of the Romans. The northern stretch is on the Via Claudia Augusta Roman Road, a trade route from Germany to Rome. The sheer number of historically significant monuments and buildings on Maximilianstraße is almost bewildering, and even after the attractions on this list there are three that deserve a mention. These are the Mannerist fountains which as a trio are known as the AugsburgerPrachtbrunnen (Augsburg’s magnificent fountains). They are the Augustus Fountain from 1594, the Mercury Fountain from 1599 and the Hercules Fountain completed in 1600. And all three are a link to Augsburg’s ancient origins having been crafted to commemorate the city’s 1,600th anniversary.
Continue you journey further south to beautiful Alps and discover the most popular tourist destination in Germany. The royal castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.
Start you visit from iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, dotted with alpine lakes and thick fir forests. Set in the idyllic foothills that transition the Bavarian hills into the Alps proper of Austria, the castle of Neuschwanstein is a true masterpiece. Ludwig II of Bavaria made it a priority of his life to fund the residential retreat, as he invested most of his fortune and 24 years of his life into building it. He commissioned an architectural masterpiece of Medieval Romanesque style, made of light limestone, highly decorative and which can be seen as asymmetrically elevated above the town to this day.
Cross Marienbrücke Bridge and experience stunning views of Neuschwanstein Castle,Alpsee lake and Alp mountains covered with thick green forests. As if the entire monumental landscape wouldn’t be enough to dazzle the eyes, the surrounding area of the castle includes a 40-meter-long waterfall that crashes down from the mountains above. While constructing his masterpiece, Ludwig II commissioned the old bridge over Pöllat Waterfall to be replaced with a completely new, suspended iron structure, which today stands strong and breath-taking.
Visit another masterpiece of Schwangauarea, the Castle of Hohenschwangau. It was set in its current location during the 12th century, and then reconstructed under the auspices of Prince Maximilian II of Bavaria, who acquired the ruins of the former medieval fortress in the 18th century. The picturesque mountain location was such a favorite with the royal family that the son of Maximilian, Ludwig II, chose to build his own masterpiece directly adjacent to this one.
Finish your discovery day visiting The Museum of Bavarian Kings. It is a celebration of the Bavarian royal greatness that surrounded the kings of the land and resulted in the magnificent fortifications that dot the landscape here today. Set right on the shores of the Alpsee, the museum resides in the former
Grand Hotel Alpenrose and is an architectural mashup of modern glass pathways and timber structures. The exhibitions present the life of the various kings, their architectural endeavors, political machinations and more.
Arrival in Schwangau/Fussen area
Check into centrally located and highly rated hotel.
Start you day exploring nearby Fussen.
It is a tiny town in Bavaria less then a mile from the Austrian border, that has historically been a major center for violin making. In the late afternoon continue your journey driving up north to Bavarian capitol, Munich.
Visit the Museum der Stadt Füssen (the City of Füssen Museum) is all about the town’s history as a major center for violin and lute making. All that spruce in the neighboring forests makes beautifully resonant instruments, plus the town is on the trade routes to various musical cities in Italy and Austria.
Explore St Mang’sAbbey.The home of the oldest fresco in Germany, dating to the year 980.St Mang’s Abbey has been around for most of modern history. Originally founded by a hermit and his brother, the Benedictine monastery became one of the most powerful institutions in a politically and socially complex area before being deconsecrated by Napoleon in 1802.
Visit the High Castle.Right next to St Mang’s Abbey, you’ll find the HohesSchloß, or High Castle. These days, it’s home to the local tax office, the state art gallery, and a tower complete with dungeon. The interior of the castle is in good condition and offers a quick history of building styles from the 15th to 19th centuries. Look for the Gothic wooden ceilings in the Knight’s Room and take in the view of the Allgäu from the Veitskapelle, the highest castle chapel in Germany.
On the way to Munich, just 10 minutes away from Fussen stop and visit the Wieskirche. It is where Dominikus Zimmermann and his brother Johann Baptist created what has become one of the world’s most famous Rococo masterpieces and a UNESCO world cultural heritage site and a monument to what can be accomplished when architects embrace the philosophy of “more is more.”
Evening arrival in Munich. Hotel check-in.
Arrival in Munich. Check into centrally located and highly rated hotel (Cortiina Hotel).
Spend whole day exploring Munich, the lively capital of Bavaria.
Lift your spirits with a visit to Hofbräuhaus, the world's famous beer hall, and then see the highlights of the city. Discover beautiful examples of architecture and culture in Munichincluding the Marienplatzplace, the neo-Gothic Town Hall and the gorgeous Gothic-style Frauenkirche, or Cathedral of Our Dear Lady. Visit to the bustling farmers market in Viktualienmarkt. It is just behind the main square Marienplatz, nestling between huge churches in a cobbled square.
Discover the murkier side of Munich's recent history with Third Reich Walking Tour. Learn of the birth and development of the Nazi party with a tour of the significant sites. Your expert guide is on hand to provide important historical perspective as you witness how the area has rebuilt itself and has emerged as a brighter force.
Finish your Munich exploration day with Bavarian Beer & Food Evening Tour. Munich has long been considered the "beer capital of the world." Discover the rich cultural traditions of brewing as you combine the best of both worlds—history of the process and drinking the finished product. Begin with a tour of the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum, found in a charming old building, and hear the story of
Bavarian brewing including the writing of the Reinheitsgebot—a 16th-century law to ensure the pure production of beer.
Departure to New York from Munich Airport. Return rental car.
7 hours nonstop