Plan The Perfect German Road Trip

Munich is a city known for Germany’s traditional Bavarian culture and the ideal starting point to plan the perfect German Road trip. It’s new and spirited population have filled the old city with modern technologies and exciting new cultures. Before you drive off, spend some time getting to know one of Germany’s great cities. Explore the bustling beer halls, historic buildings, and enthralling museums.

When you have had your fill of Munich’s exceptional sights, why not explore the surrounding region by jumping in a rental car and going on some adventurous Munich day trips. By driving through the brilliant Bavarian countryside, you’ll experience some of the German towns, villages, memorials, and castles that many travelers don’t get to see when they visit Munich. You also get to explore the locations in your own time – taking as little or as long as you want.

Get planning with our Munich day trip guide as you follow Neuschwanstein Castle tours from Munich:


MUNICH

Munich Downtown

Start your journey in the thriving city – with its lush green city parks and regular festivals, there’s always something to do in Munich. Lined with buildings that are centuries old, Munich is ideal for history buffs who love tasty beer and delicious local food. What’s more, the large cosmopolitan city is also a modern mecca with a world-famous nightlife and plenty of modern art galleries to explore, as well as a connection to its surrounding Alpine landscape. Try to visit the city around its most famous festival, Oktoberfest, the beer-toasting super festival that consumes that city and fills it with fun and games! (Honestly, everyday is Oktoberfest in Munich – head to Marienplatz in the centre of Munich and grab a beer or 2 and a sausage).

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE

Dachau Concentration Camp

The concentration camp at Dachau was Nazi Germany’s first ever concentration camp. The prison held over 200,000 people during its 12 years, but since 1965 the site has been a memorial to the devastation of that era and the lives that were lost. Dachau is located close to the city and 30-minute long or two-and-a-half-hour long walking tours are available as well as audio guides. (It’s not an easy tour but well worthwhile).

LANDSHUT

Landshut Day Trip

The picture-perfect town of Landshut is bright and beautiful – with stunning multi-colored houses and a very famous castle. It hosts the Royal Wedding Festival every four years to celebrate the companionship of Bavaria and Poland. Discover the town’s differing architecture, from the Middle Ages to Renaissance-Baroque. There are Bavarian beer halls, delicious local restaurants, and Trauznitz Castle, which dates back to 1204.

HERRENCHIEMSEE NEW PALACE

Herrenchiemsee New Palace

This impressive palace was the incredible vision of King Ludwig – precisely his idea to build an exact replica of Versailles Palace in Paris. The stunning complex of royal buildings is located on an island in the region’s large lake – the Chiemsee. Explore the majestic interior of this fairytale palace, which features marquetry floors, carved panels, stucco marble, and ceiling frescoes. (King Ludwig is also responsible for the ultra famous Neuschwanstein Castle- below).

WENDELSTEIN MOUNTAIN

Wendelstein Mountain

Wendelstein Mountain is probably one of the easiest access points for exploring the Alps in Bavaria. Drive to the base of the mountain, before taking the cable car or train to reach the 6,000-foot summit. Revel in the spectacular Alpine views from the top, where you can also enjoy a warming coffee or hot chocolate in a delightful cabin restaurant or cafe. If you are more of an adventurer take the hiking trails to the top – although you might want to allow more time for this option.

LANDSBERG AM LECH

Landsberg am Lech

Just half-an-hour from Munich, Landsberg am Lech is yet another shining example of a stunning and traditional Bavarian city. On a first glance Landsberg am Lech looks as though it hasn’t changed at all since its creation, with buildings dating back to the Medieval period – including the impressive Mother’s Tower and the Schmalzturm Tower. Visitors can trace the ancient lines of the city by walking the old city walls or learning more about its intriguing history at the Herkomer Museum.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle Road Trip

The absolutely mesmerizing Neuschwanstein Castle is the moment that those fairytale dreams truly become a reality. The breathtaking 19th century palace is something to behold – and is known for being the real life inspiration for Disney’s fairytale classic “Sleeping Beauty”. Originally built for Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle has been open to visitors since his death and offers its guests unique views across the Bavarian landscape. Be sure to spend some time exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens here, too. (Allow most of a day for your visit. The parking lot is busy and a 10 minute walk from the base of the mountain. You can walk up to the castle (minimum 30 minutes) or pay to ride in a horse drawn wagon. You’ll also wait and pay an admission to get inside the castle).

Travel Freely and At Your Own Pace

When you are looking to experience the best Germany has to offer, you’ll need a reliable means of transportation. Book an affordable car rental in Munich and you’ll have access to endless touristic opportunities and sites! Compare rates, shop names you recognize and find the best deal. Save time and money with my link to Auto Europe.

 

Family Road Trip in France: 6 Must-See Sights

Visitors to France might focus their trips on the large cities of Paris and Nice, but to miss the Alsace region and its major cities of Strasbourg and Colmar, is truly a mistake. The region lies approximately five hours by car to the east of Paris and is a must family road trip in France. It offers something not found in other parts of France, German influence, as it was once part of Germany and retains quite a bit of its former heritage. This makes for a fascinating place explore and we have 6 must-see sights in Strasbourg and Colmar as well as the surrounding region.

Strausbourg

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame

This magnificent cathedral rivals its Parisian counterpart in every way. Construction of this Romanesque cathedral began in 1015, but only the crypt and original footprint remain. The crowning glory is its Gothic spire that was completed in 1439. Until the 19th century it the largest cathedral in Christendom. The rose color sandstone changes color with the light of day and the beautiful stained glass windows are not to be missed. An astronomical clock is one of the main attractions, giving a performance once a day with parading apostles exiting and entering the clockworks. Visitors can climb to an outdoor viewing platform for a spectacular view of the city when the weather is good. This is the crown jewel of Strasbourg.

Explore Strasbourg by boat

One of the best ways to get an overview of Strasbourg is to take a boat tour. This allows visitors to see the must-see attractions of the Alsatian capital, including the Petite France quarter with its 16th and 17th century houses, the covered bridges, the Vauban dam, the German quarter, and the major European government buildings (Strasbourg is the home of the European parliament). Once visitors have a lay of the land they can head off on foot to explore on their own.

Haut-Koenigsberg Castle

Located 40 minutes south west of Strasbourg, this magnificent fortress has an interesting history. It was built in the 12th century to watch over trade routes, but was destroyed by Swedes during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Left in ruins for centuries, Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to rebuild it in 1899, wanting to make it a museum that would symbolize Alsace’s return to Germany. Although built in modern times, the castle reflects the architecture and art of the medieval times and those who didn’t know the story might believe it was the original castle.

Colmar

Explore Colmar on foot

The best way to see the sights in Colmar is on foot. Once you’ve parked the car, head for the town center and start exploring. Whether on your own or with a guided tour, you’ll want to look for the Dominican Church (it is massive and hard to miss), Little Venice (charming area of town where colorful houses line the canals), the Unterlinden Museum (a former monastery converted to a museum known for its Issenheim Altarpiece), and the Bartholdi museum (home of Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty). Strolling the quaint town and sampling some tarte flambé is a delightful way to spend the day.

Neuf-Brisach

Approximately 20 minutes southeast of Colmar is the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach. Built in 1699 for Louix XIV, the fortress is unique as it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most accomplished defense system of the 17th century. Guided tours are offered or visitors can explore on their own by walking around the outer ramparts.

Alsatian Heritage Museum

Located in Ungersheim, about 25 minutes south of Colmar is the Alsatian Heritage Museum (Ecomusée d’Alsace). This is an outdoor museum made up of over 75 houses and buildings brought from throughout the region to this one location. This living museum is one of the largest in Europe, covering over 100 hectares of land. Here you can find craftsmen demonstrating their skills, sample Alsatian cuisine, and learn about Alsatian culture through the centuries. A wonderful way to learn about locals and the story of the people in this region.


Should you desire to go further afield, Freiburg, Germany and Basel, Switzerland are only an hour away. Alsace also has wonderful vineyards, plenty of roads for cycling, rivers for kayaking, and forest trails for hiking. Whatever adventure your seeking, Alsace can make it a reality and having an automobile makes everything accessible.

 

This guest post written by Kirsten Maxwell of Kids Are A Trip, a family travel blog. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Kirsten is a wife and mom to 3 over-scheduled kids & a rambunctious pup. She loves sharing her family’s travel adventures and tips, including the challenges of traveling with a child with food allergies. Find inspiration for your next family trip.

Day Trips from Florence Italy: Tuscany Tours from Florence

Known for its romance, architecture, and famous works of art, Florence is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities. Located in the heart of the the sprawling Tuscan countryside, surrounded by palatial vineyards and verdant landscapes, embarking on day trips from Florence Italy to explore neighboring cities and villages is an excellent way to experience the breadth and complexity of Italian culture, see a wide-variety of historically significant sites, and enjoy the many authentic home-style bistros and eateries scattered throughout the region.

Here are our top day trip itineraries for Tuscany Tours from Florence:

Siena

Florence to Siena Day Trip Route

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Florence to Siena Day Trip: 75.5km – 1 hour 12 min

Siena may be a small city, but it has a lot to offer travelers exploring Tuscany. This 13th-century town is steeped in history, and is considered one of the most well-preserved cities in the region. Keep an eye out for well-known 14th century frescoes in the historic town center, which includes the 800-year-old town hall Palazzo Pubblico. You can also enjoy the city’s many wine bars, boutiques, and restaurants, which add their own element of Italian charm to this already beguiling city.

Chianti Wine Region

Florence to Chianti Wine Region Day Trip

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Florence to Chianti Day Trip: 28.5km – 35 min

Step away from the city and into the most beautiful part of Tuscany – the Chianti Wine Region. Drive past flourishing vineyards and wineries, and soak in the breathtaking Tuscan countryside in this world famous wine region. The Chianti region’s blossoming landscapes and quaint historic villages provide travelers with unique insights into rural Italian life, and an excellent venue to sample some of the region’s most well known wines and culinary fare. Some of the best-known Italian wines, such as Chianti Rufina and Chianti Colli Fiorentini, can be sampled here. And if wine isn’t your thing, the region is also photographer’s dream, with hidden parishes, rustic cottages, and, of course, the iconic rolling green hills.

Pisa

Florence to Pisa Day Trip

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Florence to Pisa Day Trip: 83.5km – 1 hour 6 min

You have probably already heard of Pisa’s famous leaning tower, and just an hour from Florence, you can go see it for yourself with ease. Construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa – designed to be a 185ft white marble bell tower – began in 1173 during a brief period of local prosperity, but due to significant foundation design flaws, construction was halted 5 years later as the tower began to sink into the subsoil groundwork, preempting the eventual 3-stage, 199 year-long build process to complete the tower. Although, the accidental lean has, in fact, made the city of Pisa a very popular tourist attraction. The city also has some other magical monuments and great historical buildings, including the city’s cathedral, the Duomo di Pisa, which features a number of impressive ancient artifacts.

San Gimignano delle Belle Torri

Florence to San Gimignano Day Trip

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Florence to San Gimignano Day Trip: 53.1km – 57 min

The small town of San Gimignano delle Belle Torri dates back to the 8th century, and is one of Italy’s most storied, and intriguing small towns. Today, 14 of the 72 medieval towers that once guarded San Gimignano delle Belle Torri’s town walls, serving both as defensive structures and symbols of wealth, remain well-preserved, and help to cultivate the towns historic and feudal atmosphere. Just outside San Gimignano delle Belle Torri, travelers can enjoy the lush countryside speckled with ancient olive groves and ambrosial vineyards as far as the eye can see. Taking a day trip to this quaint Italian town is a great way to escape the frenetic pace of larger cities, and get a glimpse into the rich history of medieval Tuscany.

Cinque Terre

Florence to the Cinque Terre Day Trip

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Florence to the Cinque Terre Day Trip: 157km – 1 hour 57 min

For slightly longer day trips from Florence Italy that promise a contrast of scenery from Tuscany, drive your Italy car rental towards the 11 miles of postcard-worthy coastline that makes up Cinque Terre. Around 2.5 hours from from Florence by car, the Cinque Terre is home to some of Italy’s most iconic and picturesque coastal villages, with gorgeous views of the ocean, and secluded hidden beaches to enjoy. Try some of the local seafood, walk the cliff-top trails, or just spend your day sunbathing at the beach – no matter what you decide, the Cinque Terre is the place to enjoy a relaxing getaway from the city.

Cortona

Florence to Cortona Day Trip

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Florence to Cortona Day Trip: 116km – 1 hour 26 min

Escape to the natural world for a day, and drive into the Tuscan countryside, navigating at your own leisure through the region’s rolling viridian hills, punctuated by ancestral villas and tranquil vineyards, as you make your way to the quiet, culturally charming town of Cortona. Perched upon a hilly summit overlooking the sylvan landscapes below, Cortona offers spectacular views of the region, that help to cultivate an authentically Italian, relaxed setting to enjoy a vacation. Cortona, surrounded entirely by heavenly Tuscan landscapes, affords travelers the most authentic view of Tuscany, which might be why the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed in Cortona.

Bologna

Florence to Bologna Day Trip

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Florence to Bologna Day Trip: 89.1km – 1 hour 22 min

Drive a little over an hour from Florence, and discover the medieval city of Bologna, an ancient metropolis famous for its unique regional culture and modern edge. Bologna is home to one of the world’s oldest universities, as well as some of the most beautifully preserved piazzas and architectural wonders, yet it also has a contemporary side to it, with portions of the city dedicated to the advancement of modern technologies and industries. Many tourists come to Bologna from Florence to try the famous “bolognese sauce”, which is said to have originated in the city, and to see the city’s famous terracotta buildings, known as “la Rossa.”

Lucca

Florence to Lucca Day Trip

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Florence to Lucca Day Trip: 78.5km – 1 hour 5 min

To this day, the city of Lucca is still surrounded by Renaissance-era walls designed by Leonardi da Vinci, and its list of attraction credentials doesn’t stop there. Lucca has a wealth of ancient and medieval architecture throughout the city, with many monuments and structures dating back to the Gothic and Roman eras. The city also has some great parks, cathedrals, and a historic old town to be explored. The whole city is best navigated by foot, as driving on the inside of the walls is reserved for residents only.

Tuscany Tours from Florence with Auto Europe

Embark on one, or all, of our recommended day trips from Florence Italy, and experience Tuscany’s timeless blossoming landscapes, architectural wonders, and world famous regional cuisine, all at a pace that best suits your travel style. Auto Europe can take care of all your travel needs long before you arrive in Florence, so the only thing you have to worry about is personalizing your vacation itinerary, and packing your bags for the ultimate Italian road trip.

(This post provided by Auto Europe)