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Germany is the stuff of fairytales: crumbling castles, enchanted forests, gingerbread houses, and numinous tales. If you think fairytales are for just kids, be forewarned, it's not all lollipops and rainbows. Travellers who wander Germany's Romantic Road are sure to discover that this playful itinerary contains some darker narratives. To chase the whimsical and the wicked, start in Berlin and travel south to Bavaria, making these 10 bewitching stops:  

 

Berlin

Pulled apart, cut in half and stitched back up again, Berlin is a patchwork of distinct districts. Trying to describe the city in a single word is like trying to capture sunlight in a bottle: basically impossible. But that's exactly why this multi-faceted capital is so intriguing.

Charlottenburg PalaceBy Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de, CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia

Fairytale chasers will certainly want to visit Charlottenburg Palace to walk the halls of a palace fit for a queen consort. Stroll the Tiergarten (former hunting grounds-turned city park), sit beneath the soft glow of string lights at an outdoor biergarten, or visit a burgeoning studio in Kreuzberg.

Lübeck
Lübeck germany street tilt shiftstephaniem40

This Hanseatic city's architecture might look like gingerbread, but it's marzipan that Lübeck is famous for. What's marzipan, you ask? A sugary confection with flavours of honey and almond. Legend goes, the sweet's production began during a famine year. You can sample marzipan at Café Niederegger, the best-known producer in town.

Hamburg

HamburgJens Theeß, Unsplash

Laced with canals and dusted in history, Hamburg is a romantic place to take a walk—and an informative place to take a walking tour. You can explore the Red Light District, discover eccentric street art or take a Beatles tour with a personal guide. For a more intimate experience, rent a boat and float along the Elbe River. 

Bremen

The city of Bremen claims to be made of stars. These stars come in the shape of fine dining, exquisite architecture, preserved history, and Becks beer. The cobblestone alleyways, city gardens and a promenade immerse visitors in Germany’s quixotic charms.

The Town Musicians of Bremen statue bronzejokapix

Bremen also happens to be the intended destination of the Donkey, Dog, Cat and Rooster in the Brothers Grimm tale The Town Musicians of Bremen. Keep your eyes peeled for the famous bronze statue. 

As if Bremen wasn't whimsical enough, the best time to visit is in the winter, when you can cuddle up with a steaming mug of Glühwein at the Christmas Market. 

Hameln

Pied PiperPixabay

The Pied Piper of Hameln has been immortalized in his hometown. A stained glass window in the Market Church contains an image of the legendary figure, as does a famous clock, and a fountain at city hall. Hameln is lovely to explore and features numerous buildings in the eye-catching Weser Renaissance style. (Just try and tell us they don't look like gingerbread houses!)

Kassel

brothers grimm

A mecca for artistic endeavours, Kassel is home to the legendary Brothers Grimm. Their first collection of fairytales was published some 200 years ago, and their fame lives on in Kassel. Stop by Grimmwelt to explore the oftentimes dark fantasy world of these perplexing authors. 

Marburg

marburg germany

Described as a “medieval fairytale” by Russian poet Boris Pasternak, Marburg is the romantic traveller’s dream come true. With a castle that has been converted into a museum, the oldest Gothic church in Germany and a Protestant university that dates back to 1527, Marburg is known as an adorable, well-preserved town that boasts exquisite architecture and culture.

Würzburg

wurzburgJR Photography

Couples will enjoy strolling the streets of baroque and rocco architecture, looking for wine bars and cellars to duck into. One needn’t look far; Wurzburg is the hub of Franconian wine country. This scenic town is lively enough for its numerous students and quiet enough to be an amorous getaway.

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der TauberRoman Kraft, Unsplash

This sleepy town was the inspiration for the Disney film Pinocchio. The 500-year old wood-carved altar in the back of St. Jakob’s Church holds a rock crystal capsule, which supposedly contains a drop of Jesus’ blood. Climb to the top of Rathausturm Tower for a commanding view over the classic orange-tiled rooftops, before joining “the night watchman” on a medieval city tour.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein CastleJoshua Stannard

No German fairtyale trip would be complete without visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle was built by the reclusive King Ludwig II, known as the “Fairytale King.” Is it any surprise to learn that Neuschwanstein was inspiration for Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando? 

Munich

munich oktoberfestPixabay

The capital of Bavaria is best-known for hosting Oktoberfest. However, Munich is also home to stunning landmarks.

munich glockenspielPixabay

One such attraction is the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Marienplatz. Every day at 11 a.m., the glockenspiel chimes with 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures that act out stories from the 1500s.

 

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This fairtytale article was brought to you by our friends at ColletteFeeling inspired to write your own storybook trip? Collette's 12-day Romantic Road and Fairytale Road itinerary visits every destination we highlighted in this article. 

            

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