In a country famous for its automobile manufacturing, Germany has many scenic drives that appeal to travelers and locals alike. Three of the most popular include the Romantic Road, the Fairy Tale Road and the German Wine Road. The most beautiful routes through Germany are in the south and west, so skip Berlin in the east and start your trip from Munich, the capital of Bavaria.
The Romantic Road
The southeastern state of Bavaria is mostly forested—from the Bavarian Forest along the Czech border to the Bohemian Forest, part of the low mountain range through most of Central Europe. The Romantic Road covers nearly 350 kilometers through Bavaria, between Würzburg and Füssen. It passes several castles and scenery that many consider “authentic” German scenery or culture. That’s because most of the imagery comes from Bavarian culture—from beer houses to lederhosen & dirndls. Along the route, the town of Nördlingen is worth stopping in for its beautiful red-roofed houses. You’ll also find many castles along the Romantic Road. Neuschwanstein, a 19th century Gothic Revival palace is the one most visitors are looking for. It’s the palace that Disneyland modeled Sleeping Beauty’s castle after.
Fairy Tale Road
The Fairy Tale Road from Hanau to Bremen is over 600 kilometers and focuses on sights to do with the Grimm brothers who coined many of the fairy tales we’re familiar with today. Their most popular tale is “Little Red Riding Hood” and on the route from Alsfeld to Fritzlar is “Little Red Riding Hood Land,” a scenic forest that many relate to the fable of the same name. Other places along the Fairy Tale Road relate to the stories (the small town of Bad Wildungen looks like a scene out of Snow White), but most sights have biographical links to the Grimm brothers.
German Wine Road
In the far western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German Wine Road encompasses 85 kilometers through Germany’s wine region. From March to October there are many open-air wine festivals along the route. One popular stop is the world’s largest wine barrel in Bad Dürkheim. Each September, the town hosts the region’s largest wine festival called Wurstmarkt.