Guest post by Dina6040
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
We took this wonderful road trip in October of 2018 and were blown away by this part of Europe! Neither of us had been to these countries before and we loved every minute of it.
Day 1: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Hotel-Gasthof Goldener Greifen
Fantastic start to our trip as we drove from Frankfurt to Wurzburg and then began the Romantic Road. We spent the night in Rothenburg which we absolutely loved. Although we aren’t usually fond of tours, we took the highly recommended Night Watchman’s Tour which starts in the main square every evening. The guide is really funny, entertaining and informative. We had a delicious dinner right on the main square and stayed in a 600 year old hotel which was fantastic. The location could not be better. Rothenburg was wonderful!
Day 2: The Romantic Road
- Dachau Concentration Camp
The great trip continued today with tremendous site seeing. We wandered around Rothenburg some more in the morning before and after a very nice breakfast at the hotel. I walked on the town walls and took in the fall views. After that we headed down the Romantic Road, ending in Munich. Along the way we stopped in the charming towns of Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl and a nice castle we found along the way. This afternoon, we toured Dachau which was overwhelming and horrifying. I’m so glad the history is preserved to serve as a warning and a reminder. This wasn’t an enjoyable tour but an important one. Afterward, we continued on to Hotel Laimer Hof in Munich which was wonderful. We had dinner and German beer at the Hirschgarten – considered the largest beer garden in Europe!
Day 3: Munich
We spent all of the day exploring the sites of Munich. We had booked 3 nights at the Hotel Laimer Hof . We spent some time in the English Garden, including their tree- shaded beer garden. Explored the Old Town (Marienplatz) and the Town Hall. We did a lot of walking around Munich and taking in the sites.
Day 4: Neuschwanstein Castle
Today we drove to Neuschwanstein Castle enjoying sites and scenery along the way. It was a very pretty drive, particularly with the fall foilage. We walked up to Neuschwanstein Castle and enjoyed the nearby lakes. This took most of the day before we headed back to Munich for our final night. We had a really nice last night in Munich eating a great dinner and returning to the Hirschgarten which was walking distance from our hotel. We loved Munich and would be thrilled to return soon!
Day 5: More of Bavaria
- The Eagle’s Nest
- Berchtesgaden National Park
- Villa Trapp
This was a fun day for us! We had some beautiful scenery to drive through and explore as we climbed up to the Eagle’s Nest. The views were spectacular while the weight of the place’s history was heavy. We were fortunate to have excellent weather and enjoyed taking in the 360 degree views from the top. An accordion player in lederhosen added to the atmosphere. We also stopped a Lake Chiemsee which seemed to be a popular spot in the summertime with many vacation homes and hotels. We enjoyed the views, a giant Bavarian pretzel and a nice hike. After that we were on to a real highlight of my life – a night at Villa Trapp. This is the real house were the Von Trapp family lived. This was a dream come true for me and a fantastic overnight stay!
Day 6: Salzburg
The landscapes today were jaw-dropping! We started the day off looking around the grounds of the Villa Trapp before heading into Salzburg proper to look around. Parking in Salzburg lived up to its nightmare-ish reputation. We spent only a few hours in Salzburg but enjoyed the Sound of Music sites and wandering around the streets. We found a nice outdoor market with plenty of good things to eat! Next, we drove to St. Gilgen Austria, soaking in views of the Alps all along the way. St. Gilgen was quiet and entering its offseason. We were so glad we had 2 nights here at the Hotel Garni Schernthaner. It’s a beautiful small town situated on a lake with mountain scenery all around. We also had two of the best dinners of the trip while here.
Day 7: Strobl
- Wolfgangsee Lake
- St Wolfgang im Salzkammergut
Today was a fun day for us. The front desk worker at our hotel (which was absolutely fabulous!) recommended that we drive out toward Strobl and up into the mountains surrounding it. It was a beautiful drive and we had no exact destination as we just drove higher and higher, taking in the views. There was a ski area we stopped to have breakfast but otherwise, the area was pretty remote and we saw very few people or places for gas/food. We spent half a day or so doing this and taking a couple of short hikes. We then drove around Lake Wolfgang and stopped in St. Wolfgang. We enjoyed the evening back in St. Gilgen where we had a fantastic dinner and photographed the little town!
Day 8: Český Krumlov
This morning we checked out of our hotel and headed toward the Czech Republic. We got to Cesky Krumlov and loved the town! We spent the afternoon just wandering around, stopping in the shops and enjoying the place. There were many places which were excellent for photography and the town was very charming and fun to explore.
Day 9: Prague
We traveled from Cesky Krumlov to Prague, making a day out of the journey and stopping wherever we felt like along the way. We stayed at a wonderful hotel, the Hotel Julian which we really loved. We headed into the old town area and checked out some of Prague’s amazing architecture. We would be here for the next 3 nights.
Day 10: Prague
Full day of exploring Prague. We walked along the Vltava River, walked the Charles Bridge, went into the churches lining the square (including Church of Our Lady before Týn) and just generally enjoyed the city of Prague.
Day 11: Prague
Another full day of exploring Prague. The city has a lot to see and do. We went to Prague Castle and walked around Petrin Hill. We enjoyed the various viewpoints and windy streets and squares and monuments. Prague exceeded my expectations and is really a world- class city on par with Rome, Paris, London (in my opinion!).
Day 12: Frankfurt
Today we made our way back to Frankfurt in order to fly home tomorrow. We enjoyed the drive and of course stopped along the way. In Frankfurt, we stayed near the airport in a comfortable room. We headed into the Old Town which was fine but certainly not a highlight. We walked around and had a great final meal in Germany. The next day, we flew from Frankfurt back to Pittsburgh (by way of Reykjavik).
This trip was better than I expected! Bavaria is such a warm, charming part of the world and I would love to go back! This time of year was chilly but beautiful. Munich and Prague are incredible but the smaller towns – Rothenburg, St. Gilgen, and Cesky Krumlov have such a special vibe.