Germany is an ideal location for romantic getaways. From picturesque old-world towns to castle hotels and gorgeous scenic drives, a Germanic countryside is an enchanting place that’s perfect for inspiring anyone’s romantic side. Whether you’re visiting for Valentine’s Day, your honeymoon, or just looking to get away with that special someone, here are some locations worth checking out.
To begin your romantic getaway you must travel to Lindau. Situated at the foot of Alps, Lindau possesses a charming small town atmosphere and a sensational natural setting. It sits on Lake Constance, the third largest lake in Europe, and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The region actually consists of several islands, offering visitors access to medieval villages, wineries, butterfly sanctuaries, and beautiful beaches, among other things perfect for a romantic vacation. Restaurants in the area serve traditional German cuisine, and many specialize in preparing the fish that’s caught right there at Lake Constance. Tourists can go skating and skiing in the winter, and biking and swimming in the summer.
One of the mainstays of Lindau is its famous harbor. Guarded by a 19th-century lighthouse and a Bavarian lion sandstone statue, visitors can hop on any of the ferries that travel between the cities bordering the lake. If you prefer tours over sight seeing, the town also offers themed cruises with live entertainment. Don’t forget your camera!
The islands along the Baltic Sea are a popular destination for romantic getaways. Germany’s Rügan Island is a particular favorite. Regarded by many as a naturally beautiful place, it boasts almost forty miles of sandy beach dotted with spa hotels and resort towns. The island also contains plenty of architectural and historical wonders to explore, as well as natural parks and a UNESCO rated biosphere.
Besides the romantic aspect, Rügan also provides plenty of biking trails, sailing tours, fishing villages, and even a century-old railway to carry patrons between seaside resorts. Perhaps the island’s most famous structures are the white chalk cliffs, made popular in a painting by Caspar David Friedrich. From late June through early September, Rügan also hosts the Störtebeker Theatre Festival, which pulls in more than 100,000 spectators annually.
Island of Sylt
Sitting at Germany’s northernmost tip, Sylt is famous worldwide for its pristine beaches, a striking dune landscape, and thatched-roof houses. The nude beaches, first officially opened in 1920, are also popular here. The North Sea borders Sylt to the west, while the Wadden Sea sits along its east side. Visitors can see Denmark from here on a clear day.
One of the most recognizable landmarks on the island can be found near the town of Keitum. An old brick lighthouse sits hidden among the dunes, having long since been retired. A newer one was built in 1855 between Wenningstedt and Kampen.
The island is also fascinating for its history. One of just many stories involves the village of Eidum, which was destroyed by storm surge in November of 1436. The survivors founded the town of Westerland nearby, and it eventually grew into the health resort that it has become today.
Another place you can go for a romantic getaway is Neuschwanstein castle, nestled above the city of Füssen in the Bavarian Alps. It is perhaps most famous as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Compared to most other structures in Germany, it is not very old and was never built for defense. It was constructed in 1869 by King Ludwig II to serve as a summer retreat. He never got to enjoy it, though, because he drowned in a nearby lake before it was finished.
An interesting aspect of this castle is its design. It appears medieval, yet it was constructed using then-modern technologies that even included a central heating system, running water (both hot and cold), and flushing toilets. The interior clearly shows Ludwig’s admiration for the German composer Richard Wagner, with many of his scenes depicted on the castle walls.
But what truly sparks the imagination is the building’s elegant spires that jut out against Germany’s spectacular mountainous and forested background. Thanks in large part to Walt Disney, the location has come to represent the classic model for the romantic castle.
On that note, visitors can experience royal accommodation at any of the country’s many castle hotels. With more than 20,000 medieval palaces and castles, some lie in ruins, but several have been converted for the tourism industry. The best part? It doesn’t cost a fortune to stay at one. Depending on what strikes your fancy, there’s a castle hotel to cater to everyone.
One of the oldest castles in Germany is the Castle Colmberg, a 13th-century structure that borders both the Castle Road and the Romantic Road. Patrons can experience ancient stone towers, large royal stables, fortified walls, an elegant on-site restaurant, and even a deer reserve. The location also offers booking for weddings and other special events.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway on a budget, Stahleck Castle is a youth hostel with a high satisfaction rating and a friendly atmosphere. Towering over the Rhine Valley and the romantic town of Bacharach, this 12th-century castle has been modernized to cater to all types of travelers young and old alike. While it lacks some of its original medieval charm, it still offers breathtaking views of the nearby river and vineyards.
Rather than being a single location, Germany’s Romantic Road is a scenic drive that treks through Bavaria and leads from the wine country of Franconia to the lower hills of the German Alps. All along this 261-mile thoroughfare, drivers will find unspoiled scenes of nature, half-timbered houses, romantic hotels, medieval castles, and picturesque towns.
During the middle ages, the Romantic Road was a major Roman trading route. After World War II, Germany was desperate to rebuild their tourism industry and so marketed the route in 1950 as a way of encouraging tourists to explore the countryside. The first visitors were American soldiers and their families stationed at the military bases in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Despite its modern roots, the road has become popular for its preservation of the country’s history.
Germany has no shortage of locations for the perfect romantic getaway, with several hidden gems to discover. So talk to the locals and explore the country a bit. You might be surprised at what you find!