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Fairy tale road...? Worth it?

Hi everyone! :)

My husband and I are traveling for our anniversary 11 days in Germany and Austria. We have never been there. I finally have a better idea of an itinerary thanks to the answers to my last question.

Question, is fairy tale road worth 2 days out of my trip or should I give those days to other locations that are more interesting? I am going to Germany mostly because of the fairy tale romantic look that it seems to have. However, I don't want to miss out on better locations and I don't want to visit places that look exactly like other villages I'll be seeing along the way. I will have a rented car through out the entire trip.

COLOGNE - arrive at 7 am, cathedral, tour city a bit and sleep early to end the jet lag
OBERWESSEL(Rhine area)- Burg Eltz in the morning, St Goar in the afternoon (should I stay here longer instead...?)
MARBURG or ALSFED???? fairy tale road or skip completely?
SABABURG- sleeping beauty castle/ fairy tale road or skip completely???
ROTHENBURG- crime and punishment museum and night watchman tour
FUSSEN or MUNICH to sleep the night?- Ludwig's famous castles
SALZBURG- Eagles nest, salt mine, and Mozart dinner concert
SALZBURG - Hallstat, (Salt mine..not sure if I should do this one instead?) sound of music tour if time allows
SALZBURG - Tour to the Ice Caves
MUNICH - early city tour, Dashau concentration camp, beer hall at night
Fly back home...

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. As well as things to do, places to stay and restaurants :)

Thanks so much...!

Posted by
31675 posts


IMHO, this Itinerary is FAR too ambitious and may be difficult to achieve. There's too much moving about, so you'll end up seeing Germany mostly through the windshield, without having much time to see and enjoy the places you're visiting. Is there any possibility you could add some more time to this trip? Also, have you booked air tickets yet, and where are you flying from?

A few thoughts and questions.....

  • Arrival day - Don't underestimate jet lag. You may find that you're not able to get as much touring done as you planned.
  • "Rhine area" - Burg Eltz is on the Mosel, some distance from St. Goar.
  • Rothenburg ODT - are you planning to stay one night there?
  • Füssen or Munich - I wouldn't bother sleeping in Füssen just to see the Castles, as that's easily done as a day trip from Munich. You'll have to make the time specific castle tour reservations on your own, unless you're taking a day trip with Radius Tours or other firm.
  • Salzburg - in additon to the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, there's also an excellent Dokumentation Centre and Bunkers that can be toured there (slightly uphill from the town as I recall). If you're planning to also visit Hallstatt, I'd skip the Salt Mine tour in Berchtesgaden.
  • Munich - it would be more efficient (IMO) to combine your Munich visits and spend a couple of nights there. That would provide time for both the daytrip to the Castles as well as to Dachau.

It's difficult to suggest "things to do, places to stay and restaurants" until the Itinerary is a bit more finalized.

Good luck with your planning!

Posted by
12040 posts

Yes, even though you're not traveling particularly far on any day, that's too much moving around for 11 days. Some of the Fairy Tale Road locations are within day trip distance of the Rhine (Sababurg being a little further away).

The Fairy Tale Road isn't really one road, but it's a bunch of sites that have a connection to the literary history of various fairy tales. The sites themselves don't always have a "fairy tale appearance", (like Kassel, for intstance), but many of them do. As compared to the more well-known Romantic Road, I wouldn't say the sites and towns on one are no more or less worth visiting than the other, but the driving in the territory of most of the Fairy Tale Road is more scenic. And Marburg is simply one of the most beautiful towns in Germany.

My suggestion would be to focus the trip on either the Rhine and central Germany or southern Germany and Austria, but not both.

BTW... this is the second proposed itinerary in a few weeks that mentions Sababurg and the Fairy Tale Road. Did Mr. Steves' add them to his Germany book?

Posted by
6 posts

Hi Ken,
Yes I have the flight. I will be flying into Dusseldorf at 7:45 am (renting a car there) and returning back home on day 11 from Munich at 9:45 am
Staying the night in:

Night 1 - Cologne

Night 2 - Oberwessel

Night 3 - ??? not sure if to give the Rhine more time or drive to Alsfed even though it looks similar to Rothenburg online?

Night 4 - ???

Night 5 - Rotheburg

Night 6, 7, 8 - Salzburg

Night 9 & 10 - Munich (like you suggested :)

What do you think? What has me mostly confused is those days in between. I'm afraid of missing out on places but at the same time I rather enjoy and not rush. Please help :/

Thank you so much for your time and advice

Posted by
6 posts

Hi Tom,

I haven't seen any info on fairy tale road in Mr. Steves books. That's why I was so confused :/ I was thinking that maybe I could just stay in the Rhine for 2 nights instead of 1 and then stop for 1 night in Marburg before heading to Rothenburg, since its in the way down. You originally helped me a whole lot with my last question. That's probably why your reminiscing on the fairy tale road topic. I took your advice and removed black forest ( read the article you suggested) out of my itinerary as well as Thuringen. Hopefully my Itinerary has improved from my first crazy idea two weeks ago :)

Again, thank you very much for your time and amazing advice!

Posted by
31675 posts


Your revised Itinerary still seems a bit too busy. With such a short trip, you're not going to be able to fit in too many destinations, so it would be better to focus on fewer locations and more quality time (IMO).

As you haven't specified anything for nights 3 & 4, you might consider using those to add one night in Oberwesel and one night in Munich. Keeping in mind that you'll still be jet-lagged, one more night in Oberwesel would allow some time to explore Bacharach, St. Goar or take one of the KD cruises on the Rhine. You could take the train to Bacharach and board the ship there for the trip to St. Goar, returning to Oberwesel by train. While in St. Goar, you could explore the famous Rheinfels Castle. As I recall, groups are taken to the Castle in a small tourist train pulled by a bright yellow UniMog.

For your time in Munich, as you plan to take day trips both to the Castles and Dachau, I believe that one more night there would be a really good idea as that will provide some time to also see some of Munich (which is a beautiful city and one of my favourites).


Posted by
2764 posts


We did a similar trip for 10 nights in October 2007. Flew into Frankfurt, picked up a car and stayed 4 nights on the Mosel (Valwig/Cochem), 2 nights Rothenburg and 4 nights Berchtesgaden/Salzburg. Flew out of Munich (we had a 3:20pm flight home, so stayed in the Berchtesgaden area our last night). Since 2006, we've spent 17 nights (on 5 different trips) based in the Berchtesgaden area.

I'd add a night or two to your stay on the Rhine. Burg Eltz is a must see (on the Mosel) as is Marksburg castle on the Rhine. 1 night on the Rhine is not enough. If you only add 1 night to the Rhine, add the other to Salzburg. You can also do a day on the Wolfgangsee (St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, Strobl), perhaps a drive along the Rossfeld Panorama Road, ride a couple of Sommerrodelbahns (luge rides) or maybe the Konigsee.

Between Salzburg and Munich, stop and visit "Mad" King Ludwig's amazing Herrenchiemsee Palace (Neues Schloss).


Posted by
12040 posts

Alsfeld and Rothenburg are similar, in that they have well-preserved centers with lots of Fachwerk (as do hundreds of towns in Germany), but Alsfeld doesn't have its city wall anymore. And whereas most of the economy inside of Rothenburg's wall is based on catering to tourists, Alsfeld is still much more of a regular town where people live and work in non-tourism related businesses.