The Fairy-Tale Road: Places to Explore


  • Bad Karlshafen

    Popular with holidaymakers in mobile homes and trailers, who park up on the banks of the Weser directly across from its historic center, Bad Karlshafen’s a pretty little spa town whose baroque architecture... Read more

  • Bodenwerder

    The charming Weser town of Bodenwerder is the home of the Lügenbaron (Lying Baron) von Münchhausen (1720–97), who was known as a teller of whoppers and whose fantastical tales included a story about riding... Read more

  • Bremen

    Germany's smallest city-state, Bremen, is also Germany's oldest and second-largest port (only Hamburg is larger). Together with Hamburg and Lübeck, Bremen was an early member of the merchant-run Hanseatic... Read more

  • Bremerhaven

    This busy port city, where the Weser empties into the North Sea, is part of Bremen, which is an hour to the south. You can take in the enormity of the port from a promenade, which runs its length. In addition... Read more

  • Celle

  • Fulda

    The cathedral city of Fulda is well worth a detour off the Fairy-Tale Road. There are two distinct parts to its downtown area. One is a stunning display of baroque architecture, with the cathedral, orangery... Read more

  • Gelnhausen

    Perched elegantly on the side of a hill above the Kinzig River, Gelnhausen’s picturesque Altstadt (Old Town) offers the first taste of the half-timber houses and cobblestone streets that lie in abundance... Read more

  • Göttingen

    Distinguished by its famous university, where the Brothers Grimm served as professors and librarians between 1830 and 1837, the fetching town of Göttingen buzzes with student life. Young people on bikes... Read more

  • Hameln

    Given their relationship with one of the most famous fairy-tale characters of all time, it’s unsurprising that Hameln’s townsfolk continue to take advantage of the Pied Piper. Known locally as the Rattenfänger,... Read more

  • Hanau

    The Fairy-Tale Road begins in Hanau, the town where the Brothers Grimm were born. Although Grimm fans will want to start their pilgrimage here, Hanau is now a traffic-congested suburb of Frankfurt, with... Read more

  • Hannover

    A little off the Fairy-Tale Road, and better known internationally as a trade-fair center than a tourist destination, the Lower Saxon capital holds an attractive mix of culture, arts, and nature that justifies... Read more

  • Hannoversch-Münden

    You'll have to travel a long way through Germany to find a grouping of half-timber houses as harmonious as those in this delightful town, seemingly untouched by the modern age—there are some 700 of them... Read more

  • Höxter

    Höxter is not actually in Lower Saxony, but just over the border in North Rhine-Westphalia. The town appeal lies in its Rathaus, a perfect example of the Weser Renaissance style, and its proximity to the... Read more

  • Kassel

    The Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel, their mother's hometown, as teenagers, and also worked there as librarians at the court of the king of Westphalia, Jerome Bonaparte (Napoléon's youngest brother), and... Read more

  • Marburg

    "I think there are more steps in the streets than in the houses." That is how Jacob Grimm described the half-timber hillside town of Marburg, which rises steeply from the Lahn River to the spectacular... Read more

  • Sababurg

    Sababurg’s not really a village as such, but it is the location of an enchanting, 700-year-old Renaissance castle, an impressive animal park, and Germany’s oldest forest nature reserve, all of which lie... Read more

  • Steinau an der Strasse

    The little town of Steinau—full name Steinau an der Strasse (Steinau "on the road," referring to an old trade route between Frankfurt and Leipzig)—had a formative influence on the Brothers Grimm. They... Read more