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The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: Luxembourg and Germany Road Trip Itinerary

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com

Two weeks ago, I set off with my mom, dad, sister and daughter to discover the wonders that awaited on our Luxembourg and Germany road trip itinerary: over the next 11 days, we wound our way from Munich to Fussen to the Rhine Valley to Trier and, finally, Luxembourg City.

I've been home for four days now, and I'm still exhausted! I don't know if it's because we packed so much into our trip or because I'm not as young as I think I am, but I'm struggling to get back into our regular schedule.

Even with the tiredness, I wouldn't change anything about our Europe road trip for anything. If you haven't been to this area of the world, you absolutely must put it on your travel list immediately.

This is one of the best European road trips for getting samples of the different cultures that make up this area of the continent: you'll be able to figure out what you'd like to go back and see for longer on a later trip.

I'm happy to report that this itinerary from Germany to Luxembourg is extremely kid-friendly, as my toddler loved seeing the castles, walking through the cobblestoned streets, tasting the new foods, and hearing the church bells in the small towns.

Two of her new parlor tricks are saying, "Ding, dong! It's 2 o'clock!" (regardless of the actual time) and "Guten Tag, Mama!"

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Check out that sweet Luxembourg and Germany map of our road trip!


Day 1: Travel to Munich
Wednesday, October 14

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Britton getting ready for her first ever plane ride. Go big or go home!
We flew from Charleston to Atlanta, and then changed planes for our final leg between Atlanta to Munich. Munich is quite a large airport, so it's a great spot to start your Bavaria and Beyond road trip.

Day 2: Munich
Thursday, October 15

After a very long flight wherein my toddler decided that she wasn't going to sleep, we arrived in at Flughafen München, which is easily one of the cleanest, nicest airports I've ever seen. The airport has an S-bahn station underneath it, so getting into central Munich is incredibly easy.

We hopped aboard the S-bahn and rode it to the Hauptbahnhof (the main train station). The journey took about 30 minutes. We then walked to our hotel, the Citadines Arnulfpark, where we unloaded our luggage with the desk clerk.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com


We were all pretty tired at this point (as none of us had slept in more than 24 hours), but our hotel room wasn't ready. We decided to keep pushing on until our room was ready around 2 PM and did a little sightseeing in the city center. I had my first taste of wurst, brezel, and kraut at a little stand in the Vikualienmarkt, and we heard the Glockenspiel chime in the New Town Hall in the Marienplatz.

The tiredness took over soon afterwards, so we spent the evening back at the hotel.

Overnight: Munich

Day 3: Munich
Friday, October 16

This was our big sightseeing day in Munich since we'd given up the day before. I'd highly recommend taking a walking tour when in Munich to help you learn more about the history, architecture, and layout of the historic city center.

There are some great guided tours, but you can easily get by with a self-guided one, too. (We opted for a self-guided one from our Rick Steves book, so we could stop and start as necessary with my toddler.)

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Me (with my handy dandy guide book), my dad, my mom, and my daughter at the Sendlinger Tor, one of the remaining medieval gates in the city


Your Munich stops absolutely should include: the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz, the Sendlinger Tor the Viktualienmarkt, St. Peter's Church, St. Michael's Church, and the Residenz.

Overnight: Munich

Booking.com


Day 4: German Alps
Saturday, October 17

Our true road trip in Germany began today! We sadly said goodbye to Munich on Saturday morning and got our rental car from the Hauptbahnhof. The Ford C-Max we rented easily held all four adults, a child seat, and our luggage.



With my dad at the wheel (he's the only one who knows how to drive a manual), we headed into the German Alps. When we first spotted the mountains, we were all hanging out in the windows with our mouths hanging open. (A pretty picture, I know.)

I'm glad he was the one leading this expedition since driving in Germany is not for the faint of heart. The speed limits on the AutoBahns are basically guidelines rather than rules, and we'd pass someone as quickly as we could, only to find out that we were about to get blown off the road by a super fast vehicle behind us. Even with the stress that came with driving in Germany, he did a great job focusing and getting us to our destinations safely.

We stopped at the incredible Ettal Abbey in Ettal: there, you can admire the gorgeous Rococo decorations on the interior, and then head over to the brewery to see how the Ettal monks have been producing their own beer for centuries.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Linderhof Palace: small, but gorgeous!

Our second stop of the day was just down the road at Linderhof Palace. This was the smallest of King Ludwig II's homes, but it was the one that he loved the most.

We had dinner in Fussen and checked into the Hotel Sonne for the first of two nights. [Read my review of the hotel here.]

Overnight: Fussen

Day 5: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
Sunday, October 18

Just a five minutes' drive from downtown Fussen are these two stunning castles. Hohenschwangau was Ludwig II's childhood home, while Neuschwanstein was his unfulfilled dream in later life (he died/killed himself/was murdered before he could finish it).  They're perched on the sides of two facing mountains, and are everything that you'd want from a German castle experience.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Hohenschwangau


Allot an entire day to visit the two castles. When you purchase your tickets, you'll be given specific entry times for each. If you miss the entry times, you can't get in the castles, so make sure to be at each entrance early! Make sure to consider the transportation time to each castle as well: you cannot drive up to either palace, so be prepared to walk, take a bus, or hop on the horse and buggy carriages.

Overnight: Fussen

Booking.com


Day 6: Romantic Road and Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Monday, October 19

We wanted to go on the Tegelberg cable car this morning, but (like much of the trip) the weather was cold, rainy, and very foggy. I was really looking forward to going, and this absolutely will be on my next trip!

Instead, we hopped back in our rental car and headed towards Rothenburg ob der Tauber via the Romantic Road. The Romantic Road (or Romantische Straße) winds its way through some beautiful towns, including Fussen, the walled Landsburg am Leche, and the tiny Hohenfurch.

We weren't able to travel the entire length of the Road due to time constraints, but a road trip in Germany just through this area would be so much fun! We did make a stop at the Pilgrimage Church of Wies to learn more about the controversial (and supposedly bleeding) statute of Jesus.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Pilgrimage Church of Weis, Steingaden


We ended up in Rothenburg ob der Tauber late that afternoon, where we ate and window shopped. I had my first sample of a schneeballen, which is a gigantic lump of shortbread and filling that's then dipped in chocolate, coconut, or some other sugary substance.

Overnight: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Day 7: Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bacharach
Tuesday, October 20

Since we hadn't gotten to experience much of Rothenburg, we headed back into the gorgeous walled city to explore more. We again did a self-guided tour from our Rick Steves book since my two-year-old loves to stop and touch things more than a regular guided tour would allow.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you visit Rothenburg, give yourself plenty of time to just wander the town. It's been nearly unchanged since the 1300s (besides allowing cars in, of course), and you can easily forget that you live in the 21st century! Take pictures, get a little lost, and soak up the atmosphere.

We made a stop at the Kriminalmuseum, which focuses on the laws and punishments in this area of Germany in the Middle Ages. As someone who's deeply enthralled with both the medieval period and gruesome laws, I thought that the museum was well worth a few hours of my time. [Read more about our time in Rothenburg here.]

After lunch, we bid Rothenburg Auf Weidersehen and headed towards the Loreley Valley along the Rhine. We spent the evening exploring the charming and tiny town of Bacharach before resting our heads at the Hotel am Markt. [Read more about our time in and around Bacharach here.]

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Exploring Bacharach at dusk
Overnight: Bacharach

Day 8: Loreley Valley and Trier

Wednesday, October 21

In the second upset of the trip, we attempted to leave Bacharach and go to Marksburg Castle, which would've been about a 45 minute ride to the other side of the Rhine. However, life had other plans, and the one road up to Koblenz and over to Marksburg Castle was completely closed. Instead of taking hours to backtrack, we decided to push onward to Trier and do some sightseeing.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
The awe-inspiring (and gigantic) Trier Cathedral (on the left) and the Liebfrauenkirche (on the right)


Trier ended up being a bustling town filled with some incredible historic ruins. Make sure to visit the Porta Nigra, the Throne Room, and the Trier Cathedral during your visit! All three date back to the 300s when Trier was a major Roman outpost.

We stayed just outside of Trier at the hillside Burghotel Kockelsberg.

Overnight: Trier

Booking.com


Day 9: Luxembourg City
Thursday, October 22

We woke up early, packed the car, and started our last major leg of the road trip into Luxembourg City. We found our hotel (we stayed at the Ibis near the airport since our flight was leaving so early on Saturday morning), dumped our luggage, and then headed back to the city center.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Britton and I in the Place Guillaume II
We grabbed a guidebook and led ourselves around the easily walkable center. All of the major points of interest, including the Grand Ducal Palace, Place Guillaume II, and the Notre Dame Cathedral are within a 5 minute walk. The casements under the city were closed during our visit, but I really want to go back and see them!

For dinner, we grabbed some pizza on the Place d'Arms before heading back to the hotel. [Read more about what to do in Luxembourg here.]

Overnight: Luxembourg City



Day 10: American Cemetery and Vianden
Friday, October 23

Our last day on this trip was incredible.

In the morning, we visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial where over 5,000 soldiers were buried after they fell during the Battle of the Bulge. One of those people is my great-uncle Ernest, who died in March 1945. My great-grandfather didn't want to bring his body home, so my great-uncle was buried here. My mom, dad, sister, daughter, and I were the first family members to ever visit his grave, and our experience there was incredibly touching.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com


We had the afternoon free, so we voted on whether to visit the Battle of the Bulge Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium, or see the Vianden Castle in Vianden, Luxembourg. The castle won out, as I think we were all disappointed that we hadn't been able to make it to Marksburg Castle earlier in the trip. [More on that experience here.]

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle was stunning! It's only a 45-minute trip outside of Luxembourg City, and the very detailed tour is well worth the €6 entrance fee. 

Overnight: Luxembourg City



Day 11: Travel home
Saturday, October 24

Time to head back to Charleston! We got up at 3:00 AM in order to be at the airport by 4:30. We then embarked on a very, very, very long trip home that took more than 16 hours and three plane rides.


WHEW! I still can't believe that we covered so much ground on our Luxembourg and Germany road trip itinerary. The weather wasn't the greatest, as it rained most days, and we very rarely saw full sunlight.

Regardless, it was still one of the best European road trips that I've experienced so far. I can't wait to go back and see even more of Germany and Luxembourg!

Have you been to Germany? Which of the stops on our driving tour of Germany would you be the most interested in visiting?

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. 

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
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