Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town neighbourhood City street sky house facade real estate window tourism Village building
Trip Ideas

12 Fairytale Towns in Germany

Walking through the small towns of Franconia and Bavaria might feel a bit like strolling through the German pavilion at Disney’s Epcot—except this is as authentic as it gets. Traditional timbered houses, historic town squares, steep cobblestone streets, centuries-old churches both Gothic and Baroque—there’s a photo op at every turn and German flavors (schneeballen, schnitzel, bratwürst) to be consumed. Here, 12 picture-perfect towns straight out of the pages of Brothers Grimm.

Travel Tech Travel Tips building outdoor Town road neighbourhood street City human settlement scene vacation tourism residential area way infrastructure cityscape Downtown facade travel Village stone
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas City landmark urban area Town sky cityscape aerial photography bird's eye view evening night metropolis historic site tourism landscape panorama middle ages
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town neighbourhood street alley City sky urban area road house real estate facade home window mixed use tourism building tree
1

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Stroll through this medieval town’s cobbled streets lined with impeccably preserved timbered houses and towered walls and you’ll agree—this is one of the prettiest towns not only in Germany but the world. From the 16th-century Spitalbastei (tower gate), you can see over the city ramparts down to the Tauber River. At street level, the Schmiedgasse is one of Rothenburg's most famous stretches, where you'll find some of its best shops and restaurants. Don’t miss a peek inside the Gothic St. Jacobskirche, whose half-century-old wooden altarpiece was crafted by master sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider, or a taste of schneeballen—round sugared pastries unique to Rothenburg.

Book Hotels in Rothenburg
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas waterway reflection Nature sky water Lake mount scenery Town tree River bank loch Canal mountain range fjord Village reservoir tourism mountain watercourse mountain village real estate alps lake district estate City plant landscape cottage house
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas tram transport mode of transport Town cable car urban area metropolis vehicle metropolitan area neighbourhood City track street Downtown public transport electricity electrical supply
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas City Town landmark sky cityscape urban area skyline metropolitan area daytime tourism tourist attraction bird's eye view metropolis River tower
2

Würzburg

A special kind of energy surrounds the city of Würzburg, the wine capital of Franconia, and it’s not just because of the university (founded in 1402, it’s one of Germany’s oldest). The feeling is tangible wherever you go. You’ll find it at Marienberg Fortress, a hilltop stronghold built for prince-bishops back in the 16th and 18th centuries with two museums that loom over the city. You’ll find it in the area’s sloping vineyards, where some of Franconia’s best grapes—Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau—are grown. You’ll find it at Residenz, arguably Germany’s most impressive Baroque palace home to the largest fresco in the world as well as an underground candlelit wine cellar dating back to 1128. And you’ll find it on Mainbrücke, an old bridge that spans the River Main, where, at sunset, locals of all ages and backgrounds convene to sip wine and beer and bask in the day's last rays of sunshine.

Book Hotels in Würzburg
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town landmark building town square plaza château City sky medieval architecture arch classical architecture facade metropolis neighbourhood window metropolitan area street palace history Downtown arcade seat of local government historic site tourism
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town infrastructure neighbourhood street road alley window facade house City building door
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas building medieval architecture landmark Town stately home neighbourhood listed building City facade window sky history chapel Church almshouse gothic architecture house cathedral classical architecture abbey place of worship university estate metropolis street seat of local government tree college brick synagogue château
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas waterway sky landmark City reflection Town water cathedral spire tourist attraction building cityscape River Church evening tree medieval architecture steeple Canal place of worship château house skyline facade tower
3

Görlitz

Wes Anderson chose Germany’s easternmost town of Görlitz as the setting for The Grand Budapest Hotel—which tells you all you need to know about this town’s allure. A history of wealth here meant outstanding examples of Renaissance, Art Nouveau, and Gothic architecture were built up over the centuries, while an influx of Czech, Hungarian, and Polish expats (Poland is just across the river) led to a beautifully diverse culture of art, fashion, and food. Whether you're taking a tour of the world-famous sun organ at St. Peter and Paul's Church, snapping photos of the city's many-windowed pastel townhouses, or dining beside 500-year-old frescoes in Hotel Schwibbogen, you'll feel like you're living in another era.

Check Prices for Hotel Schwibbogen Gorlitz in Gorlitz

Loading Price
Trip Ideas building classical architecture stately home palace mansion estate château facade historic site window monument town square house sky statue plaza
Trip Ideas building Town stately home château facade window palace listed building seat of local government City house almshouse medieval architecture college
Trip Ideas flower plant Nature landmark yellow flowering plant City flora tourist attraction sky Town Garden tree tourism spring plaza botanical garden wildflower estate landscape palace house tours town square park
4

Bayreuth

Pronounced “buy-roit,” this upper Franconian city is a fair distance away from the nearest main hub (roughly two-and-a-half-hours’ drive from Munich or Dresden), but there’s more than enough here to justify the journey. The cultural powerhouse that Bayreuth is today—including the “Bayreuth rococo” and Baroque architecture it’s now famous for—is thanks to two great patrons of the arts. The first, Margravine Wilhemine, sister to Frederick the Great, commissioned grand churches, palaces, and theaters during her reign in the 1700s including landmarks like the New Palace and the now-UNESCO-listed Margravial Opera House (which recently reopened following a five-year restoration). The second was famed German composer Richard Wagner, who built his own theater here and founded an annual opera festival that still draws music enthusiasts from around the world. His home, Wahnfried, is open for public tours.

Check Prices for Hotel Goldener Anker in Bayreuth

Loading Price
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas yellow Town neighbourhood mixed use City sky house home real estate facade building window street tourism evening
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town landmark sky City building urban area town square neighbourhood metropolitan area metropolis Architecture medieval architecture house château facade tourist attraction mixed use Downtown street plaza evening window estate palace seat of local government listed building
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas sky cloud château historic site tree castle national trust for places of historic interest or natural beauty Village fortification rural area estate reflection medieval architecture building field grass moat landscape roof
5

Dinkelsbühl

If the crowds of Rothenburg get to you, jump in the car and head just a half hour south to Dinkelsbühl. Despite its likeness (and proximity) to Rothenburg, this town manages to fly under the radar save for the most plugged-in Instagrammers. You’ll find everything you’d want in a Bavarian fairytale here: half-timbered townhouses, flower-filled window boxes, a deep-rooted history (Dinkelsbühl welcomed both Protestants and Catholics during the Reformation), and sidewalk cafés galore, where you can sip your coffee and take in your surroundings in peace. Architecture buffs will want to carve out time for the Castle of the Teutonic Order (which contains a breathtaking Rococo chapel) and Saint George’s Minster, a feat of Gothic design.

Book Hotels in Dinkelsbühl
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas sky building outdoor Town landmark house tourism vacation waterway River tower château rural area old Village yellow Church middle ages travel monastery place of worship stone arch
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City street neighbourhood landmark sky urban area road alley Downtown building facade tourism town square lane marketplace medieval architecture pedestrian house metropolis tree plaza
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas reflection waterway water sky Town City tree River residential area bank real estate mixed use home Canal neighbourhood estate plant house metropolitan area suburb watercourse Lake cottage facade landscape
6

Bamberg

Bamberg’s UNESCO World Heritage designation is well-deserved. The Old Town—with its cobblestone streets, arched bridges that span the river Regnitz, and 1467 town hall known for its exterior murals and traditional fachwerk—comprises some of the most well-preserved medieval architecture in all of Germany. You can almost feel the history inside the Romanesque Bamberg Cathedral (first founded in 1002) and timbered Old Court turned historical museum, both on Domplatz square. Buildings aside, Bamberg is also known for its breweries like Schlenkerla, which has been serving the town’s signature smoked brew, Rauchbier, since the 15th century.

Book Hotels in Bamberg
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas waterway Harbor sky Town City landmark water marina port reflection tourist attraction cityscape building tourism tower channel watercraft skyline evening Canal River Boat tree dock
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas water Winter sky reflection snow morning ice City building freezing boardwalk evening tourism
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas waterway water City Harbor marina sky aerial photography Sea Boat port reflection tree bay bird's eye view tourism Lake River Coast landscape plant reservoir dock cityscape leisure channel
7

Lindau

Almost straddling the border between Germany and Austrian, Lindau benefits from a beautiful lakeside setting that looks straight out at the snowcapped Alps. Boat rides around Lake Constance are a favorite prelude to swims or strolls around town, where you’ll find your typical timbered houses and historic inns and taverns. If you’ve got energy left, take a hike to Bregenz, whose peak affords even better views of the water and mountains.

Book Hotels in Lindau
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas mountainous landforms Nature mountain village mountain range mountain sky mount scenery highland wilderness grassland alps leaf valley meadow hill rural area landscape hill station pasture grass tree field fell mountain pass national park autumn cloud national trust for places of historic interest or natural beauty plateau Village bank computer wallpaper tourism elevation
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Nature sky leaf woody plant tree autumn plant Church building mountain range mountain chapel tourist attraction place of worship Winter steeple house landscape alps
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Nature water wilderness River watercourse sky bank reflection leaf tree mount scenery mountain plant fluvial landforms of streams landscape mountain range national park stream tourist attraction alps grass bridge Village
8

Ramsau

St. Sebastian’s Church, in Ramsau, is a famous landmark recognized throughout Germany—as is Hintersee Lake, just nearby. This alpine village is only home to roughly 3,000 people, but its attractions more than compensate—especially Almabtrieb, the annual fall festival when outsiders come to watch herders in traditional lederhosen escort cows into town from their summer pastures.

Book Hotels in Ramsau
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City sky town square plaza tree street tourism car tours plant building Downtown facade
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas car Town City street neighbourhood sky urban area road transport tree Downtown metropolis vehicle metropolitan area building lane tourism plant facade tours sedan plaza house
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas waterway River City Town tree bank water sky loch reflection mount scenery hill station Village plant mountain Lake Canal fluvial landforms of streams fjord hill reservoir Boat landscape tourism lake district watercourse
9

Cochem

No matter where in Cochem you stand, it’s impossible to miss the towering 11th-century castle that sits high on a hill lording over the rest of the city. The best photo ops are found at the hill's base, where colorful buildings line the river Moselle. From here, you can take a boat tour through a historic lock to the tiny town of Beilstein, which has been referred to as a miniature Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rather keep your feet on land? The steep slopes by river’s edge are filled with rolling vineyards that grow the region’s famous Riesling.

Book Hotels in Cochem
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town landmark town square City building sky château Downtown metropolis tourist attraction plaza facade street neighbourhood house palace medieval architecture seat of local government window tours tourism classical architecture estate
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City neighbourhood public space urban area town square street marketplace sky tree mixed use Downtown market plaza house pedestrian facade recreation plant tourism
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas château sky tree building tourist attraction City castle medieval architecture stately home spire estate historic site national trust for places of historic interest or natural beauty steeple cathedral tours landscape
10

Bonn

Typical among Germany’s oldest settlements, Bonn was built up along the banks of the Rhine as a means for easy, strategic access back during Roman times. While it may not be a grand as nearby Cologne or Dusseldorf, Bonn still has a charm all its own, with numerous beer gardens, outdoor cafés, and picturesque streets to explore. Classical music lovers know Bonn as the birthplace of timeless German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, but nature lovers make their own kind of pilgrimage here during the spring, when cherry blossoms take over the city. (Neoclassical Heerstrasse Avenue is a good spot for snapping photos.) For the best view, climb the North Tower at the 19th-century Drachenburg Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the Rhine.

Book Hotels in Bonn
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City mixed use plaza neighbourhood town square sky building real estate tourism facade Downtown window apartment
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City landmark sky town square neighbourhood building urban area street metropolis Downtown facade plaza medieval architecture window tourist attraction house mixed use tourism evening
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas property house Town home cottage building estate sky facade real estate window Village medieval architecture Villa manor house farmhouse
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas reflection waterway water City sky River Town Canal bank Lake tourist attraction tree panorama evening watercourse skyline fluvial landforms of streams tourism
11

Meissen

We'd forgive you for mistaking Meissen for Prague at first glance, with its red-roof cityscape built up around a central castle and Gothic cathedral, but take a closer look and you’ll realize it couldn’t be more German. Built along the River Elbe, this romantic city is famous for its porcelain, which it has been producing since the early 1500s. Loads of shops sell various cups and plates, but for a one-stop shop, you can’t do much better than the Meissen Porcelain Museum, which also hosts interactive demonstrations.

Book Hotels in Meissen
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town City neighbourhood street tree house sky tourism Downtown marketplace plant building facade tours
Berlin europe Germany Trip Ideas Town street City neighbourhood urban area marketplace sky tourism Downtown town square mixed use road pedestrian plaza market facade recreation vacation
Offbeat Trip Ideas mountain tree outdoor mountainous landforms château castle mountain range Town landmark building season background autumn tourism alps monastery surrounded Forest hillside lush
12

Füssen

Anyone planning on making the pilgrimage to Neuschwanstein Castle should consider a stopover in Füssen, the southern endpoint on Germany's Romantic Road. Its location at the base of the Alps means some of the area's most scenic hiking trails are right at your doorstep. The town also possesses a deep history of violin-making (among other stringed instruments), which you can learn more about at the Füssen Heritage Museum. If you’re itching for more royal history after your castle visit, Hohenschwangau Castle—King Ludwig II’s childhood home—is also nearby.

Book Hotels in Füssen

Want more?