- 1 Würzburg — Most important sights are the Fortress Marienberg and the Würzburg Residence.
- 2 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town.
- 3 Dinkelsbühl — St. George's Minster and St. Paul's
- 4 Nördlingen — surrounded by a wall, built in the 14th century, which follows the rim of the crater caused when a meteorite struck the earth 15 million years ago.
- 5 Harburg — Harburg Castle, old town and old stone bridge over the river Wörnitz
- 6 Donauwörth — Liebfrauenmünster church, Teutonic Order House, and the Reichsstraße ensemble of bourgeois gabled houses.
- 7 Augsburg — Town hall with the "Der goldene Saal"
- 8 Halblech — Lovely little Bavarian Alpine village near Neuschwanstein, Germany's if not the world's most famous castle
- 9 Füssen — A well-preserved old town and easy access to the castles of Schwangau, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
The towns of Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are the only towns in Germany which still have a completely established city wall.
The term "Romantic Road" was first used in around the 1950s by travel agents in the American-occupied section of Germany. The name was known predominantly among American soldiers, who took their families on vacation there. The route is now popular with all nationalities, especially Americans and Japanese. Signs can nowadays even be seen in Chinese.
The places on the path show "quintessentially German" scenery and culture - however it also is quite touristy and may feel somewhat overrated to visitors looking for authenticity. As some say - "it's like a minified Prague, but the number of people is the same".
While the whole route only passes through one federal state from north to south (Bayern or Bavaria) people in the northern part (Würzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber) might consider themselves as Franconian rather than Bavarian and people in Augsburg might say they are from Schwaben (swabia) rather than Bavaria. Although getting this wrong shouldn't cause major offense, keep in mind that many Germans are prouder of their region than their country and don't want to be "misidentified".
Some of the destinations on the road were part of the Grand Tour in early modern times.
The most logical major international airports to enter or exit the road are Frankfurt airport (direct ICE to Würzburg) and Munich airport (less frequent connections to Füssen). Nuremberg also has an airport with some international connections, although all are to Europe or Turkey.
While Würzburg has excellent high-speed rail connections served by ICE, Füssen does not. Most intermediate towns along this road are surprisingly unconnected to major train routes, considering their touristic significance. A good deal for small groups or round trips is the "Bayern-Ticket" (€23 +€4 for any additional person up to five per group) valid from 09:00 to 03:00 of the following day valid on all regional trains (i.e. everything excluding ICE, IC or EC or to simplify: all red trains but none of the white trains) and many of the local transport systems (bus, streetcar, S-Bahn or U-Bahn)
- See also: Intercity buses in Germany
Many places along the Romantic road have long distance bus service at least daily. In addition to buses that mostly do the route itself, there are buses to places as far away as Berlin from e.g. Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
By organized tour
One of the preferred methods for many Japanese and American tourists, definitely cuts down on the stress while also limiting your possibility to "explore" on your own.
Euraide operates along the Romantische Straße between April and October. €58.50 is the adult fare one way from Würzburg to Füssen.
Those with more time on their hands can travel at a more leisurely pace by bicycle along the 420-km stretch of road in about ten days. Guided tours are also available to take some of the stress out of the journey—they will take care of your luggage and accommodation, and you can travel in their bus when it rains.
Most of the destinations along the Romantic Road can also be reached by train.
The best-known places along the route are Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Baroque city of Würzburg (a major wine region), Füssen (at the foot of the Alps), Augsburg, and the small but delightful town of Dinkelsbühl.
- Walk around the old town walls, visit the medieval torture museum and buy Christmas decorations in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
- Visit the cathedral and sample wines in Würzburg.
- Visit the Crater Museum near Nördlingen. NASA trained here for the Apollo space program and as a gesture of gratitude actual rocks from the moon are on display here
- See the fairy-tale castle of 1 Neuschwanstein near Füssen.
- 2 Harburg Castle
- German beer. Try the Radler (beer mixed with lemonade) if you are cycling. Note, the limit for alcohol in your blood when you are driving a car is 0.05%, the limit for cyclists is 0.16% but is not enforced nearly as often).
- Sample wine from the distinctive Bocksbeutel (a bottle whose name supposedly comes from being shaped like a ram's scrotum) in Würzburg.
Observe the road rules.