Cruise through Bavaria and get to know its culture! Themed routes let you discover local treasures. Whether it’s the production of porcelain or glass, Baroque magnificence and abbey culture, brewing tradition or Alpine scenery. Eight attractive examples
8 Top Scenic Driving Routes in Bavaria
Via Claudia Augusta: through Bavarian Swabia
This Roman road was laid in the 1st century. It connected the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River and was named after Rome’s ruler at the time, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. The route leads from Bavaria to Italy, starting in Donauwörth and passing through Augsburg, Füssen, the Fern Pass and the Reschen Pass, with connecting routes through the South Tyrol to Altino near Venice or Ostiglia on the Po River.
Length: approx. 700 kilometres. The route goes along rural roads and mountain passes. Along the way, travellers come across attractive villages, towns and sights. Information and navigation in guide books, apps or on the internet.
The Upper Swabian Baroque Route: and Rococo too
The Upper Swabian Baroque Route, created as far back as 1966, is 500 kilometres long. It travels past Baroque and Rococo masterpieces between Ulm and Lake Constance, taking in churches, abbeys, palaces and noble residences. Visitors can encounter works by famous artists such as the Asam brothers, the Zimmermann brothers or Johann Michael Fischer. Plus there is the beautiful scenery of the Alpine foothills.
The eastern part of this themed route goes from Ulm through Bavarian Swabia and the Allgäu, with highlights including Vöhlinschloss Castle in Illertissen, Buxheim Abbey near Memmingen, the Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren and the Basilica of St. Lorenz in Kempten.
The Castle Road: following in knightly footsteps in Franconia
Franconia is a land of castles and a paradise for romantic types! The Castle Road is a great way to explore the region. This holiday route runs from Mannheim to Bayreuth and traverses Franconia from the southwest to the northeast. Sixty castles and palaces are found along its 780 kilometre route!
These include the castle ruins in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the mighty Cadolzburg Castle near Fürth, the Kaiserburg in Nuremberg, Pottenstein Castle in Franconian Switzerland and the Veste Coburg in Upper Franconia, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval fortresses! Some of the historic buildings offer refreshments or accommodation.
The Franconian Beer Route: for beer aficionados
More than 260 breweries, countless beer cellars and beer gardens! In Franconia, beer culture is expertly fostered and frequently celebrated at folk festivals and parish fairs. The Sandkerwa in Bamberg or the Bergkerwa in Erlangen are the best known examples of such fairs.
Numerous brewery tours and three variants of the Beer Route run through this hop and malt paradise: through Franconian Switzerland to Bamberg, the capital of beer, to Nuremberg and Erlangen with trips to Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg, and to the historic beer town of Kitzingen and to Miltenberg, home to what is said to be Germany’s oldest inn.
bierstrasse-franken.de (only in German)
The Crystal Road: all clear in Eastern Bavaria
Glass manufacture in Eastern Bavaria dates back centuries, and came about due to the abundance of wood, as a source of energy, and quartz, as the main raw material. The Crystal Road is around 250 kilometres long. Divided into five sections, it leads through the Oberpfälzer Wald (Upper Palatinate Forest) and the Bayerischer Wald (Bavarian Forest), from Waldsassen to Passau.
Along the way, travellers will discover industrial, artisanal and artistic glass makers with showrooms and sales outlets. Galleries and museums such as the Frauenauer Glasmuseum are dedicated to this skill. Other attractions include the highest crystal glass pyramid in the world, a glass forest and a glass arch. In some glass workshops you can even have a go at glass-blowing yourself!
dieglasstrasse.de (only in German)
The Porcelain Road: on the trail of the white gold in Eastern Bavaria
The Porcelain Road begins in Franconia and ends in the Czech Republic. In Eastern Bavaria it runs through parts of the Upper Palatinate and Bavarian Forests. Through former and still active production sites, you can trace the history of this industry with its long tradition. You can also enjoy a landscape of rare beauty.
Important Eastern Bavarian towns along the way include Tirschenreuth, Mitterteich, Waldsassen, Weiden and Windischeschenbach. Big companies such as Seltmann and Rosenthal offer factory outlets, and there are a number of small ateliers and workshops.
The German Alpine Road: 500 kilometres of exhilarating curves
Driving pleasure and beautiful scenery through the Bavarian Alps. The German Alpine Road was planned as far back as 1932 but only completed in 1960: almost 500 winding kilometres from Lindau on Lake Constance to Schönau on Lake Königssee… or the other way around. Drive your motorbike, car, convertible, classic car or motor home through the most popular holiday region of Upper Bavaria and the Allgäu.
Attractions on the way include: Picnic stops with spectacular mountain views. Beautiful walks. A dip in one of the many lakes and refreshments in rustic inns. There is a wealth of culture in the towns and villages along the route: churches, abbeys, museums, castles and palaces. Not to mention the occasional folk festival. Duration: four to seven days.
The Romantic Road: dream tour through Upper Bavaria
Art and culture over 460 kilometres and 29 places. The Romantic Road has been in existence since 1950 and is one of Germany’s most popular holiday routes. It goes from Würzburg via Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Donauwörth and Augsburg to Füssen.
Upper Bavaria offers key stations such as Landsberg am Lech with its historic old town, Peiting with the remains of a Roman villa and Steingaden with the Wieskirche, a truly lovely Rococo church that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cyclists can use a separate, signposted long distance trail and walkers have their own long distance trail too. Those with less time to spare can use the seasonal buses that serve the towns along the Romantic Road.