Road-Trip to Castles in Bavaria, Germany: 5-Day Itinerary
Arts & Culture
Road Trip Travel
Germany is a wonderful destination for historical tours, fairytale castles and family adventures. This itinerary takes you on an adventure through Bavaria, the southern part of the country, making stops at several palaces and castles near Munich and Frankfurt. Exploring this part of the country truly takes you back in time and away from the hustle and bustle of the usual cities.
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Where to stay
Sofitel Munich Bayerpost
French luxury and local cuisine at this palatial-style Munich hotel, excellent for business and holiday.
$100 food / beverage credit.
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Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich
Situated in Munich's historic center, this luxurious hotel is a perfect romantic escape that also features a health and beauty oasis.
Complimentary lunch or dinner for two.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Minimalist hotel with a romantic air in the city of Heidelberg with all its historical sights and cultural events right at the doorstep.
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Day 1: Arrive in Munich & Have Lunch at Hofbrauhaus
Arrive in Munich, the capital of the southern state of Bavaria, and make your way to your hotel. After dropping your bags make your way to the old town to explore Marienplatz and its historical charm. Next stop into the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall for lunch. Seating is first-come, first-served, so get ready to meet your neighbors during popular times of day.
If the weather's nice, try to grab a table out in the courtyard. Order yourself a beer (I recommend the dunkel), a pretzel and a traditional Bavarian weisswurt! After you've recharged, continue on to the Englishen Garten taking the scenic route through the Hoftgarten. When you reach the park stop at Eisbachwelle, watch locals try their hand at surfing.
Continue on your leisurely walk through the park, and, if you're feeling parched, there's an outdoor beer garden in the center of the park. Next, make your way back to your hotel to rest and freshen up before heading out to dinner. Head back to Marienplatz to Ratskeller for some traditional German food, or, if you're tired, head to the corner doner kebab shop for a quick sandwich.
Day 2: Visit Nymphenberg Palace
After catching up on sleep, enjoy breakfast at your hotel or local bakery before heading out to the first palace of your trip. Make your way to the Hauftbanhof, the main train station, and jump on the train to one of the most prominent castles in the state of Bavaria, Nymphenberg Palace, which dates back to the 1600s.
Spend your morning touring the palace then grab lunch an explore the grounds. Make your way back to your hotel and head out to one of the great restaurants Munich has to offer.
Day 3: Tour two Castles & Drive to Heidelberg
Start your day bright and early, picking up your rental car and hitting the road to your first stop of the day in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle. Purchase tickets in advance or jump in line as soon as you get there. Getting there first thing in the morning will help you avoid the tour buses and the crowds that come with them.
Spend the morning touring the castle and if you haven't gotten enough jump over to Hohenschwangau Castle. After touring the castles, stop by Fussen a local village for lunch.
After lunch, you'll jump back into the car and head to Heidelberg, where you'll be staying the night. If you want to take a more leisurely route you can instead spend the night in Stuggart before driving to Heidelberg in the morning.
A note from Caroline
Resist upgrading to a larger vehicle, you'll want a small car as you navigate the narrow streets of the villages.
Day 4: Explore Heidelberg
Today you'll spend the day exploring the cobblestone streets of Heidelberg, a city just outside of Bavaria. Take the railway up the hill to the Heidelberg Palace, stroll along the river and stop into a local coffee shop for an afternoon treat. At night sit outside in one of the squares or head to Weinstube Witter if you haven't gotten your fix of schnitzel yet.
Day 5: Tour Eltz Castle & Travel to Frankfurt
The last stop on your whirlwind journey is Berg Eltz, a castle nestled among the treetops 2 hours north of Heidelberg. After parking your car, you'll have the option of taking the tram or making your way through the forest on the footpath to the castle. I suggest the footpath as it changes your experience when you see the castle as you emerge from the woods.
You can explore the exterior of the castle on your own or chose to take a tour of the interior. After finishing at the castle, make your way driving own the Rhine river. Make sure to stop in at one of the villages such as Oberwessel or Bacharach for lunch and a glass of local riesling wine. You can chose to stay a night in one of the riverside villages or make your way back to Munich (or to Frankfurt) to end your trip.
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