Romantic Road Germany Rick Steves

January 29, 2016
The little village of

So much to see, so little time. How to choose? To help you get started, I've listed my top picks for where to go in Germany, my plan for your best three-week trip, and tips on when to go.

Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, here are my recommended priorities:

  • 3 days: Munich, Bavarian castles
  • 5 days, add: Rhine Valley, Rothenburg
  • 7 days, add: More of Bavaria and Tirol, side-trip to Salzburg
  • 10 days, add: Berlin
  • 14 days, add: Baden-Baden, Black Forest, Dresden
  • 17 days, add: Nürnberg, Mosel Valley, Trier
  • 21 days, add: Würzburg, and slow down
  • More time: Choose among Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig, and the Martin Luther towns (Erfurt and Wittenberg).

Germany's Best Three-Week Trip (by Car)

Day 1: Fly into Frankfurt, pick up car, drive to Rhine Valley (sleep in Bacharach)

Day 2: Rhine Valley (sleep in Bacharach)

Day 3: To Mosel Valley (sleep in Beilstein or Trier)

Day 4: Mosel Valley and/or Trier (sleep in Beilstein or Trier)

Day 5: To Baden-Baden (sleep in Baden-Baden)

Day 6: Relax and soak in Baden-Baden (sleep in Baden-Baden)

Day 7: Drive through the Black Forest (sleep in Freiburg or Staufen)

Day 8: To Bavaria and Tirol (sleep in Füssen or Reutte)

Day 9: Bavaria/Tirol and castles (sleep in Füssen or Reutte)

Day 10: More Bavaria/Tirol, then to Munich (sleep in Munich)

Day 11: Munich (sleep in Munich)

Day 12: More Munich, or side-trip to Salzburg (sleep in Munich)

Day 13: To Dachau, then follow Romantic Road to Rothenburg (sleep in Rothenburg)

Day 14: Rothenburg (sleep in Rothenburg)

Day 15: To Würzburg, drop off car*, then train to Nürnberg (sleep in Nürnberg or Würzburg)

Day 16: Nürnberg (sleep in Nürnberg)

Day 17: Train to Dresden (sleep in Dresden)

Day 18: Train to Berlin (sleep in Berlin)

Day 19: Berlin (sleep in Berlin)

Day 20: Berlin (sleep in Berlin)

Day 21: Fly home

*After Day 15, you're visiting well-connected cities, making a car unnecessary. Drop the car in Würzburg to save several days of car-rental costs and parking fees.

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