When to Go

Late summer and early autumn are the best times to travel the Romantic Road, as the grapes ripen on the vines around Würzburg and the geraniums run riot on the medieval walls of towns such as Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl. You'll also miss the high-season summer crush of tourists. Otherwise, consider visiting the region in December, when Christmas markets fill the ancient town squares and snow gives the turreted Schloss Neuschwanstein a magical touch.

Planning Your Time

While the two bigger cities of Augsburg and Würzburg can handle large influxes of visitors, it pays to visit any of the quaint villages lining the Romantic Road to get a feel for the laid-back local lifestyle. In the two most popular places, Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber and Neuschwanstein, an overnight stay will help beat the crowds. On summer nights, you can follow the night watchman in Rothenburg as he makes his rounds, and stroll through the town in the early morning before the bus-tour groups push through the streets. At Neuschwanstein, it's even more important to get an early start, as tickets are often booked out; even after reserving online ahead of time, expect a long wait during high season.

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