Dinkelsbühl, January 2015 – As in the past, Schloss Neuschwanstein continued to head the list of the most popular sights for foreign tourists in Germany. This is the result of the third ‘Top 100’ survey conducted by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) between August 2013 and April 2014 and published on www.germany.travel/top100 and in the Top 100 app.
An overview of the Romantic Road in the Top 100
The old town of Rothenburg o.d.T. takes fourth place followed by the Wieskirche church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 24th place and the Würzburg Residenz Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 44th place. The Romantic Road itself holds 11th place, thus underscoring its position as the ‘Original Tourist Route’, a success that, despite all attempts to imitate it, has never been paralleled.
The Road as the destination
With its 24 million day visitors and well over 5 million guest nights, the Romantic Road was described by Focus magazine as “Germany’s most famous tourist attraction”. Additionally, the magazine singled out Dinkelsbühl’s old town as the most attractive in Germany. Following the Thirty Years War, time stood still in this picturesque town, which was thus able to retain its charm until the present day.
Romantic Road app
The Romantic Road app includes a list of attractions, an interactive map and quick access to information about all the sights along Germany’s oldest tourist road, e.g., a brief description, information about accessibility, admission prices, hours of opening, getting there by car or public transport, links and information about other tourist highlights in the vicinity. Using the app, tourists can plan their journey from the River Main to the Alps in detail before leaving home and update their plans at any time ‘on the road’. The app is free of charge and available in German and English for iOS and Android devices.
The triad of nature, culture and hospitality has been the trade mark of the Romantic Road since 1950. Running from the River Main to the Alps, it is Germany’s best known and most popular tourist route. The name Romantic Road expresses what many guests from home and abroad feel on seeing medieval towns or the fairy-tale castle at Neuschwanstein: fascination and the sense of being transported back in time. From Würzburg to Füssen, the Romantic Road opens up a wealth of European history, art and culture to travellers. On the way from north to south, the landscape changes from river valleys, fertile agricultural land, forests and meadows to dramatic mountain scenery: from Würzburg and wine, the Tauber Valley and Rothenburg, via the Ries, Lechfeld and Pfaffenwinkel districts to the castles of King Ludwig. However, a journey along the Romantic Road offers much more than beautiful countryside and culinary delights. The Romantic Road thrives on the harmony of culture and hospitality, on the unending series of new vistas in polymorphic landscapes, on towns with impressive buildings that have preserved their original appearance over the centuries. Balthasar Neumann designed the Residence in Würzburg. Tilman Riemenschneider is present throughout the Tauber Valley. Carl Spitzweg was fascinated by Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl. In the Ries district, you can see the history of the earth for yourself. Augsburg bears witness to the Romans and, with the ’Fuggerei‘, is distinguished by the first social housing, which dates back to the 16th century. The ’Wieskirche‘, one of the most famous Rococo works of art, is to be found in the Pfaffenwinkel district. Hohenschwangau and, above all, Neuschwanstein, the world-famous castle of Bavarian King Ludwig II, are dreams in stone of bygone times and mark the end of the Romantic Road at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.
If you are travelling by car, mobile home or motorcycle, simply follow the brown signs that link the individual towns along the Romantic Road. Cyclists can follow the green signs of the Romantic Road Long Distance Cycle Route over the 440 km from Würzburg to Füssen. Under the number D9, this route is also part of the German Bicycle Club (ADFC) network of cycle routes. The blue signs mark the long-distance hiking route, a genuine pleasure route of almost 500 kilometres that passes through beautiful countryside and romantic towns and villages. Take time to explore the landscape, art and culinary delights that await you along the Romantic Road. On the way from the River Main to the Alps, you can be sure of discovering a host of extraordinary, inspiring and amazing sights well off the beaten path of mass tourism.