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Bern Eltz or Romantic Road

We will have a car leaving Koln, Germany next summer and can't decide if we take the day to drive to Bern Eltz and tour the castle on our way to Rothenburg ob der Tauber or from Koln drive the romantic road route on our way to Rothenburg.

Posted by
12040 posts

The Romantic Road is just a road. It links together some scenic towns (which aren't exactly a rare thing in Germany), but the scenery along the road itself is nothing special for that region of Germany. If you want a REALLY scenic drive from Köln to Rothenburg odT, take A4 east of Köln in the direction of Siegen, then A45 towards Frankfurt, and consider a detour to Marburg. From the Autobahn alone, you can see several castles.

Burg Eltz is a little out of your way, but reasonable to visit in one day's drive between your destinations. The drive is rather scenic as well. Another consideration would be the equally well preserved Marksburg on the Rhine, which lies more along your direct route of travel.

Posted by
481 posts

I know Rick Steves considers Burg Eltz one of his favorite castles and it is nice. Our family loved Marksburg castle along the Rhine. We just drove along the Rhine, saw lots of castles from the distance and then stopped at Marksburg for a guided tour. I would suggest this over Burg Eltz, since it would be a bit out of the way.

Posted by
18940 posts

"next summer"?.

fortunately you have some time to plan before than. Make sure you know the exact names and spelling of where you want to go, like "Burg Eltz". It really makes it easier to find these places on the Internet and on maps.

I'm not sure why it is Burg Eltz or the Romantic Road, unless it's just a matter of available time and seeing one wouldn't leave time to see the other. Burg Eltz and the Romantic Road are not that far off the line between Köln and Rothenburg to make them mutually exclusive.

Most of the Romantic Road is actually beyond (south of) Rothenburg on your approach route. There is a small loop, from Würzburg (the north terminus of the Road) to Rothenburg, that would add time, and you might want to consider whether the towns on the Road are worth the extra time it takes from Würzburg to Rothenburg. I did this loop in 2007, stopping in Bad Mergentheim and Weikersheim. I enjoyed these town, particularly Bad Mergentheim and the Deutschesordnung Museum, but I'm not sure the extra time to get to Rothenburg is worth it, and it's the towns, not the Road itself, that you want to see. However, once you get to Rothenburg, some of the towns to the south - Dinkelsbühl, Harburg, and Nördlingen - are worth a visit.

Most of these places are directly accessible by train, and a few, like Dinkelsbühl, by bus (from Nördlingen). You might want to consider if the extra cost of a car is justified.