Castle of Neuschwanshtein
Wherever travellers find themselves on the Romantic Road, exceptional cuisine, delicious wines, glorious land- and city-scapes, castles, churches and fortresses inspire the appetite and the soul. Here, in one of the most charming and beautiful sections of Germany, even the most cynical and unromantic traveler cannot help but be seduced.
B) The Classic route.
Whether we pass through Erfurt, Weimar, Jena or Gotha, names such as Goethe, Schiller, Wagner and Strauss always linger on any trip through the "green heart of Germany". The town of Eisenach is known as the home of the "Wartburg", the castle once inhabited by the famous Martin Luther. It is also, however, the city of minstrels and birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose history can be traced in the local "Bach House" museum. Eisenach is a medieval town which both Goethe and Wagner liked to visit, and it is a joy to wander through the splendid forest landscapes of this area.
Along the classic route, Gotha is also worth a visit. The "Friedenstein Palace" and annual events such as the "Ekhof Festival" all contribute to give the town a unique touch. In Arnstadt, we reach "the gateway to the Forest of Thuringia ".Excursions to the "Wachsenburg Fortress", "Gleichen Castle Ruins" and "Mhlburg Ruins" are highly recommended.
Next stop is Weimar, "European Cultural City 1999", which links to Goethe and Schiller. Besides "Goethe's residence", his "summer-house on the Ilm" and the "German National Theater", the "Goethe National Museum" represents a special attraction in the city. Not far from Weimar is a town called Jena, known foremost for the work and life of Friedrich Schiller and which has therefore become a popular destination.С) The Castle Road
Historical places and charming countryside with many romantic fortresses and fairy tale castles make the 975 km long castle route from Mannheim to Prague a varied route. The glory of time's past still has an effect today on many towns and villages. The countryside is as varied as the history. The river Neckar winds its way through the Odenwald, the Hohenloher Ebene seems to stretch endlessly into the distance, next the rolling Frankenhhe and then the northern part of so-called Franconian Switzerland. The legacy of the artloving Electors of the Palatinate can still be admired in towns such as Mannheim, Heidelberg or Schwetzingen.
Ludwigsburg Castle Schwerin CastleOn the tracks of the Palatinate Earls, Mosbach, Neckarzimmern or Bad Wimpfen are certainly well worth a visit, with their picturesque old town centres and romantic halftimbered houses. Near Heilbronn the route passes through winegrowing areas, the medieval free city of Nuremberg and the vererable towns of Rothenburg o. d. Tauber, Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach, Bayreuth right through to Karlsbad and Marienbad, the famous spa towns, to eventually reach Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
All these towns with their 70 fortresses, ruins and castles line the castle route like many pearls in a row and present themselves as impressive witnesses to the past. Medieval towns, monasteries, historic buildings and cultural treasures make sure the journey along the castle route becomes a special and varied experience.
5. A Journey to Berlin
The might and scope of Prussian achievement is manifest in Berlin, one of the world's most fascinating and troubling cities. Of strategic importance since it first straddled the Spree River in the 13th century, Berlin never hogged centre stage quite like it did this century. This is the heart of Germany, its stoic beat echoing through grand public buildings, glorious museums and theatres, and its urbane restaurants, bustling pubs and raucous nightclubs. Today, the city, restored as the nation's capital, is the focus of the mammoth project of reunification and readings of Germany's mood are taken most accurately here.
Berlin is a good city to explore on foot. Take time to stroll from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate along Unter den Linden. The nearby Kulturforum is a cluster of museums and concert halls on the south-eastern side of Tiergarten that can take days to explore.
5.1. Accommodation in Berlin
During the cultural festivals? Trade fairs and conferences? Hotels are totally booked up. The flood of tourists has increased since the opening of the wall. Unless you have alternative accommodation, a spur-of-the-moment trip to Berlin can be marred by an unpleasant or futile search for a hotel room. Reservations made several weeks in advance are definitely recommended.
Bristol Hotel Kempinski (Kurfurstendamm 27) – The epitomy of traditional luxury
2. Grand Hyatt Berlin
In the new heart of Berlin at Potsdamer Platz, the modern design hotel Grand Hyatt Berlin is adjacent to restaurants, shopping arcades, a casino and the city's main musical theatre. The Philharmonic Theatre, New National Gallery and Picture Gallery are located in the immediate neighbourhood; the Government District, the city park Tiergarten and Berlin's greatest cultural treasures are within walking distance. The city train and subway stations at Potsdamer Platz are nearby, and Tegel International Airport is 9.4 miles/15 kilometres from the hotel.
3. Grand Hotel Esplanade ( Lutzowufer 15) - The modern, polished design emphasises functional luxury. Centrally located between the Kurfurstendammm, Unter den Linden and Potsdamer Platz, opposite the Tiergarten Park, this designer hotel captures the spirit of contemporary Berlin in a sophisticated setting. The hotel offers flexible and attractive conference and banqueting rooms for up to 450 people. Hotel room have bathroom, WC, telephone, fax, modem-connection, radio, TV, safe, minibar, sound insulation, air conditioning, restaurants, 2 bars, swimming pool, whirlpool, 3 saunas, solarium, beauty center, massage, fitness center, hairdressing salon, 6 conference rooms for up to 450 persons, garage parking, and conference boat. The "Esplanade" is a 5-star boat available for conferences, parties and private celebrations. Room facilities: Air conditioning, Minibar, Radio, Safe, Satellite TV, Sound insulation, Telephone with modem-connection.
4. Inter-Continental (Budapester strasse 2) – the largest hotel in town. Famous for its luxury.
5. Palace Hotel (Budapester strasse 45)
This luxury 5-star city hotel presents 282 individually decorated rooms, including 32 suites about 55 - 225 sqm. Cable TV, refrigerated mini bar, trouser press, soundproofed windows and further extras belong to our standard. Its suites are appointed with marble bathrooms, exclusive hifi, as well as whirlpool and large dressing rooms. The elegant banqueting floors offer 12 different function rooms that can be extended to accommodate 10 - 700 persons as well as 5 banquet rooms in the adjoining Business Centre. Breakfast restaurant "Bon Dia", "Lounge" and "Sam's Bar" offering snacks and cocktails. Michelin-rated-Restaurant "First Floor" with chef Mathias Buchholz, Cafe-Restaurant "Tiffany's" and the rustic restaurant "Alt- Nurnberg" in the bordering Europa-Center. Money exchange, room service, laundry- and shoe cleaning service. Admission free to the "Thermen am Europa-Center", a large health spa with sauna and swimming pool.
Art hotel Sorat (Joachimstaler Strasse 28-29) – Art and accommodation: the Wolf Vostell designer furniture sculptures make each room a unique experience.
Avantgarde (Kurfurstendamm 15) – Neo-Baroque house with huge rooms decorated with stucco mouldings.
Artemisia (Branderburgishe Strasse 18) – tiny, attractively decorated hotel reserved exclusively for women.
Dom Hotel (Mohrenstrasse 30, Mitte) – fine modern hotel overlooking the most beautifull square in the city: the Platz der Academy.
Mondial (Kurfurstendamm 47) – spacious rooms. The entire hotel is designed for use by handicapped.
Hotels & Pensions.
Alpina (Trabener Strasse 3) – small villa with gardennear the Grunewald S-Bahn Station.
Kreuzberg (Grossbeerenstrasse 64) – for young, undemanding guests.
Savoy (Meinekestrasse 4) – Small but nice.
Terminus (Fasanenstrasse 48) – neither plush nor dingy.
Transit (Hagelberger Strasse 53-54) – Charming hotel for young people who care more for atmosphere than luxury.