Day 1: Frankfurt to Wurzburg. Arrive in Frankfurt and pick up your Rental car at Frankfurt International Airport or in Frankfurt City Centre. From the airport take the "Autobahn" to Aschaffenburg to visit Johannisburg Palace and Gardens (30 minutes, 47 kilometers - 30 miles). The important Renaissance Palace was built 1605-1614. It also features an art gallery (admission included). From Aschaffenburg follow the Autobahn right into Würzburg, your first stop at the Romantic Road (55 minutes, 80 kilometers - 50 miles).Your hotel is located in the City Centre (e.g. CP Hotel Strauss).
Würzburg 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. The city´s Christmas market is very atmospheric, its wooden stalls decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Culture, art, history and hospitality are ever-present in this remarkable city!
Würzburg´s 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 2: Day trip to Bamberg. Today you will make a day trip to an 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 (admission included), 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. Bamberg´s Christmas market is located in the middle of the town, besides the many different classical Christmas decorations and souvenirs it displays a large nativity scene, build in the style of an old franconian farmhouse.
Day 3: Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In the morning follow the Romantic Road via Bad Mergentheim (you might want to visit the market place), Weikersheim (Renaissance Palace and Garden) and Creglingen (Riemenschneider Altar in the Church of the Lord) 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. At night you may want to take an English-speaking tour with the Night watchman (EUR 6). In-between the old Town Hall and the church lies the charming Christmas market, one of Germany´s oldest and most charming ones, not only because of its very romantic sourroundings! Your hotel is centrally located in the Old Town (e.g. Hotel Spitzweg).
Day 4: Day trip to Nuremberg. Today you will make a day trip from Rothenburg ob der Tauber 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, admission included), towers above the Old town, which is protected by the 5 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 there 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. The Christkindles Markt in Nuremberg is held on Hauptmarkt square, one can enjoy the delicious Nuremberger Bratwurst while marvelling at the beautifully decorated stalls offering local and traditional handicrafts and specialities in a mediaeval atmosphere. In the evening drive back to your hotel in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Day 5: Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen. Following the Romantic Road on your way to Nördlingen (80 minutes, 80 kilometers, 50 miles) via Schillingsfürst (baroque Castle) and Feuchtwangen visit the former Free Imperial Town of Dinkelsbühl, located in the middle of the Romantic Road. The historical old town with 16 towers, fortifications and magnificent patrician buildings is under a preservation order. The most important sights include the Minster of St. Georg, one of Germany´s most beautiful late Gothic hall churches, the 'Weinmarkt' (wine market), the 'Deutsches Haus', the old hospital, the town mill and the picturesque 'Rothenburger' pond alongside the town wall.
From Dinkelsbühl follow the Romantic Road via Wallerstein to Nördlingen. The former Free Imperial Town of Nördlingen still has an almost complete medieval townscape. It is the only town in Germany with walls and battlements that can be walked all the way round. The historical old town is dominated by its landmark, the late Gothic hall church of St. George, with its 90 m high bell tower 'Daniel', which can be climbed 365 days a year. Nördlingen´s Christmas market calls itself the romantic Christmas market, an attribute which it rightfully deserves, as you will find out when you visit it, especially when it is already dark out, which fortunately happens quite early at this time of the year. You hotel is located in the City Centre (e.g. NH Hotel Kloesterle).
Day 6: Augsburg. Follow the Romantic Road to the charming city of Augsburg. Your hotel is located in the City Centre (e.g. CP Hotel Riegele). Augsburg, founded in the year 15 B.C. by the roman emperor Augustus, became a "mediaeval metropolis" due to its ideal location at the crossing of the most important continental merchandise routes. The families of the "Fugger" and the "Welser" elevated Augsburg to one of Europe's most important commercial towns. Augsburg's Town Hall is the most important Renaissance structure north of the alps, together with the Perlach Tower it is the town's landmark. Visit the "Fuggerei", also known as "The Town within a Town", founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger, it was the first settlement for hardworking but impoverished catholic citizens.
The city's cathedral has records reaching back to the year 823 AD, the oldest section probably being the crypt beneath the west choir. Here one can marvel at Romanesque and gothic frescoes and four panel paintings by Holbein the Elder. There are only very few German cities which combine bygone prosperity and contemporary life the way Augsburg does. Here in Augsburg the Christmas market has been held outside the Renaissance town hall for over 500 years. At night the town hall is transformed into a huge Advent calendar while the Augsburg Angels play their heavenly music.
Day 7: Neuschwanstein Castle. Follow the Romantic Road via Landsberg am Lech to visit the Market place and on to Steigaden to visit the World famous Pilgrimage Church of 'Flagellated Saviour in the Meadow', a late work of the brothers Dominikus and Johann Baptist Zimmermann. Drive on to Hohenschwangau where Neuschwanstein Castle is located. Your hotel is right in the centre of this small town (e.g. Schlosshotel Lisl).
The picture of Neuschwanstein 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 Ludwig II (admission included), will make the picture perfect! 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: Linderhof Palace and Munich. On your way to Munich visit Linderhof Palace and Park (admission included), the "Royal Villa" of Ludwig II in Ettal. 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).
Spend the evening discovering yet another beautiful and very traditional Christmas market, famous throughout the world. Munich's Christmas market is held on Marienplatz (Marien square) since the 14th century. Your Munich admission package includes the admission to Residence Museum, Treasury, Cuvilliés-Theater, Hall of Fame and Statue of Bavaria, Nymphenburg Palace and Park, Marstallmuseum and Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain. This day your tour ends. You can return your car in Munich (Airport or Main Station), Frankfurt or any major airport or town in Germany. Just let us know by the time of your booking. You can also add some days in Munich to your tour.
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