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Roadtrip from Stuttgart in early Dec

Hey all - we’re planning an early Dec trip to Germany, flying in & out of Stuttgart, renting a car. We’re aiming for good Christmas markets (we’ve never been!), small villages, mountain scenery. We have two teen/tween kids, so looking for ice skating & horse carriage kinds of things too.

Here is our general plan…

Day one - Arrive Stuttgart at 11am, drive to Esslingen or Dinklebuhl to overnight
Day 2 - Wander Dinklesbuhl
Day 3 Drive south to ??, via Nordlingen, Donauworth etc
Day 4 Fussen area
Day 5 Fussen area
Day 6 Drive to Stuttgart for a late afternoon flight

Question 1) For our first two days, should we spend a few hours in Stuttgart and then drive onwards to either Esslingen or Dinklesbuhl? Preference for either of those two places for an overnight or two? Or anyone feel strongly that we should stay in Stuttgart for one night?
2) Suggestions for a small town to stay in between Dinklesbuhl and Fussen? Or should we just keep driving and add a night in the Fussen area?
3) Any favorite unique places to stay along this route? Family run hotels, farm stays that kind of thing?


Posted by
3679 posts

We’re aiming for good Christmas markets

Stuttgart has one of the very best large city Christmas markets. The stands decorate their roofs to add extra festiveness (there is a competition for best decorated roof).

Esslingen has one of the very best small town Christmas markets. The town itself was largely saved from Allied bombing during WWII, so it has a lot of nice half-timbered buildings. Esslingen's medieval market is something very unique and worth experiencing.

Posted by
7016 posts

Doing the Romantic Road, which is great.

Surprised you are visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is a must see.
Dinkelsbuhl is similar, but a bit smaller.
North to South Distance

Tauberbischofsheim 38km
Lauda-Königshofen 10km
Bad Mergentheim 11km
Creglingen 25km
Rothenburg ob der Tauber 19km
Dinkelsbühl 45km
Nördlingen 32km
Harburg 17km
Donauwörth 12km
Augsburg 44km
Landsberg am Lech 39km
Schongau 29km
Pfaffenwinkel (Rottenbuch) 17km
Schwangau 29km
Füssen 4km

We lived in Augsburg for four years and loved that city founded under Caesar Augustus. It is a medium sized city (about 350K), but well worth a day. If you don't stay there, try Donauworth (small town).