Day 1: Frankfurt. Frankfurt is your international gateway to Bavaria and the Romantic Road. If you arrive in Frankfurt early enough enjoy this very modern metropolis which nevertheless offers many historic sites such as the Römerberg with its beautifully restored timber-framed houses, of course the Goethe Haus where the world famous poet once lived, the Paulskirche, symbol for democracy and freedom in Germany, "Alt-Sachsenhausen", where in Schellgasse number 6 you will find Frankfurt's oldest timber-framed house which was built around 1291, to name only a few of Frankfurt's historic landmarks.
The Frankfurt museum riverbank is one of the most important locations for museums in Germany and Europe. The exhibition buildings are lined up on both sides of the Main riverbank, several famous museums are to be found in the city centre. Visit the "Städel", the German Museum of Architecture as well as the Museum of Applied Art or the "Schirn Kunsthalle" to name only a few.
Don't miss out on Frankfurt's "Zeil", a huge pedestrian zone where shopping is the name of the game. In addition to the large department stores in the pedestrian zone in February 2009 "MYZEIL" was opened, a shopping center with 80 shops and Frankfurt’s longest escalator (46 metres).
Day 2: Aschaffenburg - Wuerzburg. Today you will have an early start: take the High-speed (ICE) train to Aschaffenburg to visit the Renaissance palace (closed on Mondays), built in 1605-1614, served until 1803 as a second official residence for the archbishops and electors of Mainz. It features an art gallery with works by Lucas Cranach the Elder (Branch of the Bavarian State Galleries), the Vestment Chamber of the Palace Church with ecclesiastical vestments from the Mainz Cathedral treasury, the Princes' Apartments with neoclassical furnishings and the Municipal Palace Museum.
Take a train to Würzburg, your first stop along the Romantic Road. The city is idyllically located amidst vineyards, with the mediaeval fortress Marienberg towering above. Würzburg is old bishop´s see and lively town, proudly presenting monuments of different eras. Culture, art, history and hospitality are ever-present in this remarkable city!
The Fortress Marienberg, Würzburg´s landmark, has of course changed its appearance a great deal since it was first mentioned, today the oldest part of the fortress is the "Rundkirche" (round church) which was built in the year one thousand. Please note that Marienberg Fortress and the Rundkirche are closed on Mondays and from November to March 15th. The Cathedral, the Marienkapelle, the "Alte Mainbrücke" (old bridge across the river Main), the Juliusspital and the "Käppele" are musts, but make sure that you do not miss out on the "Fürstbischöfliche Residenz" (Prince bishops residence).
This "Palace above all Palaces" is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are only a few cities in Germany which present buildings of so many different eras as Würzburg does, some of them being true masterpieces of their time. Enjoy this beautiful town which offers not only cultural but also culinary highlights such as the hearty cuisine and of course the world famous Frankenwein!
Day 3: Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In the morning take a train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Germany's most beautiful mediaeval cities. Taking a walk thru this charming little town is truly a journey back in time. Rothenburg ob der Tauber was once a powerful free imperial town and its monuments, landmarks and buildings still bear witness to these days. Marvel at the half-timbered buildings and at town walls which are withstanding time since hundreds of years, protecting the city since the Middle Ages.
Visit the town's most famous spot, the Ploenlein square, probably the most photographed place in Rothenburg. Also very interesting to see is the Spitalbastei Gate, created by Leonhard Weidmann, the latin inscription on the gate reading: "Peace to those who enter, health to those who leave". The Gothic St. James church is the town's most prominent church, here you can take a minute and relax in quietness while you enjoy the beauty of the famous Altar of the Holy Blood and the Twelve Apostles Altar. Every step you take in this old town is a step thru history with yet another beautiful spot to be discovered around the corner.
Rothenburg also offers museums which are cultural highlights, such as the Christmas Museum with an exhibition showing Christmas tradition in Germany, the Doll and Toy Museum where the history of playthings is shown, as well as the Crime Museum, where the visitor gets an insight into the law and especially its execution during the last 700 years. In the evening take the train back to Würzburg.
Day 4: Nuremberg. The Regional train (RE/RB) will take you from Würzburg to Nuremberg. The city's history reaches back to the year 1050, its name "nourenberc" translating into "rocky hill". Nuremberg's famous landmark, the "Kaiserburg" (Imperial Castle), towers above the Old town, which is protected by the five kilometers long city wall with its many towers. When exploring the beauty of Nuremberg's mediaeval Old Town one can start at the Koenigstor ("Kingsgate"), from where the timber framed buildings, the Gothic Church of St. Lawrence and the Church of St. Sebaldus can be easily reached by foot.
Right next to the Koenigstor is the Handwerkerhof (craft center), here you will feel like you are back in the mediaeval times, there are craft workshops like they used to have a long time ago as well as a gingerbread bakery. Make sure to enjoy a Nuremberg Bratwurst along with a beer or a glass of Frankenwein.
Day 5: Bamberg and Bayreuth. Today a train will take you in around 45 minutes to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Bamberg. Bamberg is a rarity even by "German standards", as the basic fabric of the Old Town is largely obtained, over one thousand buildings are land marked. A "main" attraction is of course also the Imperial Cathedral, built on one of Bamberg´s seven hills. Marvel at the enigma of the cathedral's most well-known sculpture, the Bamberg horseman, as of today no one knows who the author is and whom it represents! The Imperial cathedral is one of the most important works of art in the surroundings.
From Bamberg you will take the train to Bayreuth. The train ride takes around 75 minutes to the town of the popular Richard Wagner festivals. The New Town Residence (admission included) was built in Bayreuth after the Old Palace burned down. Margravine Wilhelmine had considerable influence on its final form, designing some of the rooms herself, including the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors and the Old Music Room with its pastel portraits of singers, actors and dancers.
The Palm Room with its outstanding walnut panelling is a typical example of the Rococo style in Bayreuth. See the Margravial Opera House (admission included), built between 1744 and 1748, one of the few remaining 18th-century theatre buildings in Europe. The interior of this theatre with its tiers of boxes, made entirely of wood, was designed by Guiseppe Galli Bibiena from Bologna, the most important theatre architect of his day.
Margravine Wilhelmine, a sister of Friedrich der Große (Frederick the Great), Margravine Wilhelmine converted the Old Palace into a charming little summer palace. Her audience room, the Music Room, the Japanese Cabinet as well as the Chinese Mirror Cabinet are splendid examples of Rococo architecture. The Margravine, who was a theater buff, also had an artificial amphitheater ruin erected, in which she herself appeared along with the writer and philosopher Voltaire. A particular highlight of a tour of the palace is the interplay of water fountains in the grottos.
Day 6: Munich. Munich, famous throughout the world, is the Bavarian metropolis, close to the Alps and in the heart of Europe. Where to begin when one wants to name places to see and things to do in this extraordinary city which like few others combines modern life with lively history. There is Munich's old town where 850 years of history are showing off, there is the Marienplatz (Marien square) where 3 times each day thousands of people are spell bound when the world famous Glockenspiel (carillon) starts it's beautiful song.
Visit and marvel at the Frauenkirche, the town's landmark, do not miss the Hofbräuhaus and find out why the Münchner (inhabitants of Munich) don't want to miss out on their "Brotzeit" (a meal or snack consisting of bread, cold cut, cheese and so on, usually enjoyed between breakfast and lunch). These are only a very few ideas of what to see and to do in this great city which might deserve an extra day's visit!
Day 7: Royal Castles. This all day escorted coach tour will first take you to Oberammergau for a photo stop. Here the famous Oberammergau Passion Play take place every ten years. The next time it takes place is from May 15, 2010 to October 3, 2010. The tour will then continue to Linderhof Palace, the "Royal Villa" of Ludwig II. Visit this beautiful furnished castle with the Hall of Mirrors and visit the beautiful palace park laid out from 1870 to 1880.
The picture of Neuschwanstein Castle is probably present in everybody's mind but certainly for those traveling along the Romantic Road. Be prepared that reality will surpass all pictures and imaginations: Neuschwanstein seems to be taken out of a fairy tale!
Seeing the Castle from the outside is unforgettable, a tour of the insight, which was originally built for the one famous inhabitant, will make the picture perfect! But make sure to take some time to explore the castle grounds, the view of Neuschwanstein from the bridge behind it is like none other!
Day 8: Salzburg (Day trip by Rail). In about two hours the Regional train will take you from Munich to Salzburg. In Salzburg you will take the guided Mozart City Tour (approx 1,5 hrs) which includes the visit of the Fortress Hohensalzburg. The tour start off in front of Mirabell Palace, built by the Archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his mistress and their children. Today, the palace host the city council. The tour continues along the Schwarzstrasse and passes the Mozarteum (university of music) and the Marionette Theatre.
Further along you see the County Theatre and Mozart's Residence on the Makartplatz. Here you will also see the Church of the Holy Trinity, built by the baroque architect Fischer von Erlach. The tour takes you across the river Salzach and on your way to Hellbrunn Palace you're passing the Law Courts. A short stop is planned at this palace, built at the beginning of the 17th century by the court architect Santino Solari. Returning to the centre of Salzburg, you pass the Frohnburg Palace and the Nonnberg Abbey, the oldest monastery for nuns in German speaking countries, before reaching the old town again through the Sigmunds Tunnel.
You will see the Festival House, the Horse Pond and the St Blasius Church before the tour ends on the Mozartplatz. You will also receive a ticket for the fortress Hohensalzburg (up and down with the funicular and entrance to the courtyards). In the evening the train will take you back to Munich to your hotel.
Day 9: Munich. Tour ends in Munich. Your admission package is still valid for a visit of the sights which are included.
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