Bavaria, Germany is the perfect destination for a romantic escape for two — whether in the wintertime, when the Christmas markets are fairytale-esque and the skiing is abundant and world-class, or in the summertime, when the landscape lights up bright green & blue. Home to the Alps, the verdant Bavarian Forest, the peaceful Allgäu and Swabia, the medieval Franconia region, and even some exciting metropoles including Munich and Nuremberg, Bavaria offers pure romance to all types of lovers — and the romantic hotels in Bavaria promise to be the cherry on top of a dreamy stay.
Where to stay at a romantic hotel in Bavaria? Important locations at a glance:
Romantic Road to Swabia: Magical Bavarian road trip
© Landhotel Gockelwirt The famous Romantic Road connects Würzburg in the northern state, Franconia, to Füssen in southern Bavaria. It spans 350 kilometers and links a suite of especially beautiful and quaint locations, including medieval towns and amazing castles such as Neuschwanstein, which famously served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Everyone knows there’s hardly anything more romantic than a road trip — and this is one of Europe’s favorites. En route, you’ll pass Friedberg in Wittelsbacher Land, Landsberg am Lech, Schongau, Peiting, and Steingaden, as well as a series of cultural and historical gems and some sweet romantic hotels which burst at the seams with the famous German Gemütlichkeit. This is one of the unique cases where the destination is just as beautiful as the journey — the Swabian Alps region is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Geopark and is dotted with thousand-year-old caves, one of which, the Swabian Jura Cave, is home to some of the oldest figurative art in the world, apparently dating back between 43,000 and 33,000 years ago. The romantic hotels in Swabia are fit for royalty, some boasting in-house spa centers, modernly designed rooms, cozy interiors, personal balconies, and more. In and around Füssen, you and your beloved will find a great balance of natural beauty like that of Hopfensee, and cultural opportunity like in the art museum housed in Füssen’s Gothic castle, Hohes Schloss.
Allgäu: Swabia’s supremely serene Alpine region
© Hotel Oberstdorf One particularly beautiful pocket of Swabia is Allgäu; here, life centers on hiking, biking, wellness, enchanting cities, and wintry fun. Brimming with romantic hotels and more romantic moments, Allgäu has all one needs for a truly dreamy vacation on the beautiful Forggensee, Lake Constance, or Alpsee, or in a paradisical village like Oberstdorf. The idyllic Oberstdorf is Germany’s southernmost village and is set within an especially awesome landscape, spanning green rolling countryside to the jagged peaks of the Allgäu Alps. Days spent soaking up whichever wonderful scene you’ve found yourself within are best ended curled up at a romantic hotel housed in an old chalet, modern lakeside resort, or even in a castle. Activity-inclined couples will be in heaven here: Allgäu offers everything from high-altitude guided mountain treks to sunset strolls along the shoreline of a breathtaking Alpine lake. In addition to traveling by foot, there is a long list of preplanned bike trails which crisscross the beautiful countryside and Alpine foothills, in addition to plenty of chance to plan your own route. A romantic hotel in Oberjoch, Germany’s highest mountain village, guarantees stunning panoramic views, top German cuisine with a touch of influence from its neighbors in Italy and Austria, and even well-equipped spa centers where you can settle in for a romantic couple’s massage or a stint in the sauna. If you’d rather stay low and look up at the Alps, the romantic hotels on Lake Constance promise stylish interiors and totally pampering hospitality.
Upper Bavaria: Luxurious Munich & sprawling Alpine views
© Hotel Opéra München Upper Bavaria, perhaps unintuitively, makes up the southeastern part of Bavaria, and is home to the Bavarian capital, Munich. Munich is known for its old-world charm and for fulfilling all stereotypes of a German city, namely, a fairytale Christmas market, stunning medieval architecture, Oktoberfest, and all the beer and wurst you could ever want. Romantic hotels right in Munich’s magical Old Town boast spectacular views, rooftop pools, and/or special romantic touches such as super tasteful, cozy lobbies with fireplaces and walls lined with bookcases. Outside of the big city, you’ll find some of Germany’s finest natural scenes, including the country’s highest peak at 2,962 meters, Zugspitze, as well as the second highest, Watzmann. In the area surrounding Zugspitze, expect to experience real Alpine bliss in all the little mountain villages on lakes and cables cars up to snowy peaks. Perhaps one of the most beautiful corners of Bavaria can be found in Berchtesgaden. This little town is just a half-hour drive over the Austrian border to Salzburg; along the way, you’ll find Hitler’s Eagles Nest retreat and the accompanying museum which sheds light on the history of the area, the 500-year-old Salzbergwerk salt mines, magical views at the top of the Kehlsteinhaus, as well as plenty of skiing. The romantic hotels near Berchtesgaden, Zugspitze, and also on Tegernsee promise to take your breath away and stop at nothing to ensure a fairytale stay.
Franconia: Food, drink, & Nuremberg Christmas
© Hotel Schloss Leitheim Not a precisely defined state, Franconia makes up the northern part of Bavaria, as well as chunks of Baden-Württemberg and South Thuringia, and is known for its special culture and language, its landscape of rolling vineyards, cherry blossom fields, and secret caves, and special cuisine which includes the tasty Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and the Nuremberg bratwurst. Franconia is all about eating and drinking — local establishments in the area work to highlight local breweries and vineyards, always offering a wide range of delicious German beers and crisp local wines, which are produced on the over 6,000 hectares of vineyards. Make sure to take a home one of the famous Bocksbeutel bottles, a small and more curvaceous bottle unique to the region. Head to a romantic hotel in Ansbach, Aschaffenburg, Bamberg, or in the more rural Franconia and prepare to be pampered, whether with a glass of Pinot noir in the sun-soaked garden, in cozy bathrobes lounging around your luxe room, or in the hotel restaurant with some more wine paired with tasty Schäufele (pig’s shoulder) and first-rate service. The de facto Franconia capital, Nuremberg, also has much to offer in terms of romance. Perhaps best known for hosting the infamous Nuremberg Trials following World War II, the city has endured a long and sometimes troubled history and pays tribute to it in its preserved medieval architecture and Memorium Nuremberg Trials museum. Beyond the history, Nuremberg is widely revered for its world-class Christmas Market, to which visitors flock yearly to experience the otherworldly festival atmosphere.
Bavaria, like most of Germany, is extremely well connected by train — even many of the smaller mountain villages can be reached via train from any of the more major cities. Munich International Airport (MUC) is Germany’s second busiest after Frankfurt, thus serving as a good home base for your travels around Bavaria if you’re coming from out of Germany. Many visitors, naturally including those interested in driving the Romantic Road, rent a car in Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich and go from there. Note that if you are planning to rent a car in Munich, try to avoid doing so at the airport as they will charge you a hefty fee.