Thinking of taking a road trip around Southern Germany?
All the castles, quaint towns, the autobahn, amazing food, intriguing history, The Neuschwanstein Castle, and of course, all the beer your heart desires.
Germany was a dream trip for me and I cannot wait to return!
Now, you can easily get around Germany using public transportation but, that wouldn’t really be a true road trip around Southern Germany. You can easily rent a car from the airport to maximize the stops and travel at your own pace. Here is a play by play of our 7 day road trip around Southern Germany:
Day 1 Frankfurt to Cologne
- Oberwesel – Liebfrauenkirche (church) Schonburg Castle, Drove The Rhine River and saw a ton of castles.
- Bonn – Skate Park
- Cologne – Dom, The Reichard, Chocolate Museum, and Love lock bridge
The day was filled with many laughs around public toilets. You have to pay to use them! It’s a small fee around 25 cents and you usually get a return when you exit. For example when you go to the bathroom at a gas station you insert your coins into the machine, it prints you a ticket, and when you pay for your gas you turn in your ticket and they take that amount off of your total. Why? Almost every single place employed a bathroom attendant and they are responsible for keeping your bathrooms spotless and they sure are clean! Matter of fact, all of Germany is incredibly clean!
Another, fun new toilet experience was in a bathroom where all the stalls had see through doors. Embarrassingly, I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to figure out that it changes when you lock the door.
Driving the Autobahn back to Frankfurt was amazing. If you’re a fan of slower drivers staying in the right lanes, you will absolutely love driving in Germany. It is actually illegal to pass on the right. The left lane is properly used as it is intended, for faster traffic. People move over quickly. Semis and large trucks are only allowed in the far right lane and cannot go over 55 mph. They are allowed to move into a left lane in order to pass a vehicle (unless posted) but, they must immediately return to the far right lane.
Day 2 Frankfurt to Nuremburg
It was a wonderful January day filled with a little bit of a snowstorm. We were not going to let that stop us from cruising the autobahn around 100 mph all the way to Nuremburg.
The Nazi Party Rally grounds ‘Reichsparteigelande‘, Zeppelinfeld, and the Documentation Center are all on the same piece of property approximately 11 km or 7 miles.
[Photo of me black and white]
This is Zeppelinfeld, where Hitler gave his famous speeches for the Nazi rallies.
After the war many of the large swastikas and several other places were blown up by the US and the Germans also took part in destroying quite a bit. Since there was no maintenance for these places for about 20 years or so, all of the original pillars had to be removed for safety reasons. What is left of the 11 km area has been under monument protection since 1973 as significant examples of NS architecture.
Documentation Center – Make sure you carve out a few hours for all of these historical sites, there is a lot to see and a lot to listen to inside the documentation center. There is a small fee; You can choose a guided tour or tour on your own, either way you will get a pair of headphones where you’re able to select your native language in order to translate the German documents for you.
It’s an experience I still can’t quite out into words on how it felt to stand where Hitler himself stood, looking out onto the field, trying to imagine 200,000 standing in this open field. When I say field, I mean the area is the size of 12 American football fields!!
Heidelberg. This adorable little town turned out be be one of my favorite towns. It is beautifully located on the Neckar River. We stopped to visit the oldest university in all of Germany, Heidelberg University. For being a college town, it draws a lot of tourists in, for good reason if I might add. Since it was founded in the early 14th century you get Gothic vibe. Heiliggeistkirche church towers over the cafe-lined Marktplatz, a town square in the Altstadt (Old Town). The red-sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a noted example of Renaissance architecture, stand on Königstuhl hill.
By this point Klaus was laughing at me saying things like, ‘ohh look at that church’ or ‘oh my gosh, look at that castle’ with the excitement of a small child.
Darmstadt for lunch.
Ulm. Fun fact, Ulm is home to the tallest church in the world. Contrary to popular belief Ulm Minister is actually a Lutheran Brick Church, not a cathedral and it proudly stands at the record height of 530 feet.
Füssen. By the time we arrived it was dark and frankly after four days of touring around we were ready for some food, drinks, and relaxation. We found all three coincidentally at a place called, Relax.
Church of The Holy Spirit, Heidelberg Germany
Started the day off properly with a carriage ride up to the Neuschwanstein Castle tour. A lot of people recommend buying your tickets prior to. We arrived day of and didn’t have any issues however, it was off season. The history of this castle is a little comical due to the simple fact that King Ludwig II never would have wanted anyone seeing the inside of his castle. In fact, he had specific rooms that only he was allowed into. Six weeks after he passed away his family turned it into a museum anyways.
Stops back to Frankfurt:
- Munich to eat at the Hofbräuhaus
- Bad Soden
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Honestly, this is definitely one of the towns I am going to return to spend a few days in! The only word that comes to mind when I think of this town is, quaint. It’s very well-preserved medieval charm has been a popular destination for tourists. Back in the 1930’s it was actually deemed to be The Most German of German towns. Here’s a direct quote I found in the town, “This ideal Nazi community reminded the peoples of Germany of the way the Nazis wanted them to live as a family and as a community; Rothenburg simply exemplified this Nazi ideology as an idealised family life. Additionally, other German towns followed the ‘example’ set by Rothenburg for the Nazis, this began a trend of Nazi German Nationalism which led to the creation of an “ideal” Nazi community in Rothenburg”
You can easily spend a few days walking around this beautiful town. Between the history, the shopping, and the gorgeous town you will not want to leave.
Here are a few spots we loved along with the addresses. Even having a German native along with me it was difficult to get to places putting the destination into the GPS.
Marktplatz, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
St. Jacobs Church
Klostergasse 15, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Burggasse 3, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Herrngasse 1, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Wondering how I can afford to travel full time?
Click here to read all the very real ways I saved to make this happen.
During the war a few small sections of the wall were destroyed but, with the help of a few amazing donors the wall has been fully restored. Highly suggest walking the entire wall or parts of it each day. You will have so much fun doing so. There have been great efforts to preserve and make the 3 mile walk easier. Let your inner childhood adventurous self come out while you climb up the stairs, peep out the many look out points, and hide behind the medieval walls that have protected this town.
Day 6 Idstein
If, you’re going to take a road trip around Southern Germany, The Black Forrest is a must see.
Ominous Day In The Black Forrest
Home of the oldest city gate in all of Germany.
Porta-nigra-platz, 54290 Trier
Cathedral St. Peter
Liebfrauenstrasse 12, 54290 Trier
Brückenstrabe 10, d-54290 Trier
Roman Imperial Baths
Weber Bachstr 41, 54290 Trier
From Trier we continued onto
The Eltz Castle 56294 Wierschem