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THE MOST SCENIC DRIVING ROUTES IN GERMANY

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It's all about the journey

So many destinations. So many routes to reach them. As long as you're on the road, why not make your drive time part of the journey? We've collected the most scenic drives in Germany so you can make the best out of the panoramic sights around the country – without even leaving the comfort of your car. With its picture-perfect mountains, vineyards, UNESCO sites, and fairy tale castles, Germany offers some of the most epic road trips in Europe for your driving pleasure. Read on to learn more about 7 beautiful drives with different cultural themes that stretch across the country:

German Avenues Route | Wine Route | Romantic Route | Fairy Tale Route | Alpine Route | Romantic Rhine Valley | Most Scenic Autobahn

Image Alleenstraße German Avenue Road by Karsten Würth / Unplash

German Avenue Route

The German road trip

Time: 5-7 days | Distance: 1 950 km
Start: Rügen Island, Baltic Sea | End: Reichenau Island, Lake Constance
Best for Home Area(s): Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf

The longest scenic driving route in Germany, the Avenue Route ("Deutsche Alleenstraße") is the quintessential German road trip. Seemingly endless tree-lined avenues accompany you through 10 federal states and form a dense canopy of foliage over your drive.

Originally planted over 250 years ago to guide travellers, the linden trees, maples, oaks, fruit trees and birches cast incredible light and shadow plays over the roads and look especially great in autumn. Although the avenue has been overhauled in many parts of former West Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall sparked renewed interest in preserving the route, which runs symbolically from East to West across the whole country. To make the most of your trip, start from the Baltic island of Rügen up north and follow the route down to Reichenau Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on Lake Constance. The trees will guide you through the Harz Mountains, beautiful valleys, ancient forests, glittering rivers, and numerous historic sites. The best travel guides break the route down into 10 manageable sections, but you have the freedom to plan your trip just the way you like. Thanks to the sprawling length of the Avenue Route, you can easily join the route anywhere from the middle. As they say, the rest is history. • Image: Alsheim © Karsten Würth / Unsplash
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German Wine Route Vineyard SHARE NOW – Jugenheim in Rheinhessen

German Wine Route

A summer bouquet

Time: 1:50 h | Distance: 104 km
Start: Schweigen-Rechtenbach | End: Bockenheim an der Weinstraße
Best for Home Area(s): Frankfurt, Stuttgart

The Wine Route ("Weinstraße") takes you on a pleasurable tour through one of the sunniest, warmest regions in Germany. You don't have to be a wine connoisseur to savour the sprawling vineyards and panoramic landscapes on this 85 km long route.

Starting at Schweigen-Rechtenbach on the French border and ending at Bockenheim an der Weinstraße, you'll be rewarded with picturesque towns, refreshing vineyard tours, excellent wine tasting, and delicious Rhineland-Palatinate cuisine. In August-September, the route plays host to a couple of Germany's largest wine festivals – merry occasions that are worth a detour for the wine sampling – or just the atmosphere alone. And if you're not into the uppity fun of describing bouquets and tannins during dégustation sessions, the drive alone will do – both sides of the road are flush with rows of cherry blossoms and rolling vineyards for as far as the eye can see. We recommend making this trip in summer or autumn for best results – and bringing at least one designated driver along, so everyone gets their turn to have a swig at it! • Image: Jugenheim in Rheinhessen © Sven_Wilhelm / Unsplash
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German Romantic Road – Scenic Driving Routes – Neuschwanstein

German Romantic Route

Castles in the air

Time: 6:30 h | Distance: 423 km
Start: Würzburg | End: Füssen
Best for Home Area(s): Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart

Of all the scenic routes in the land, the Romantic Route ("Romantische Straße") might just be the fairest of them all. Picture-perfect landscapes and fantastical landmarks come to life against the majestic backdrop of the Bavarian mountains and almost always defy the imagination.

You'll be enchanted by the swiftly changing landscape in Bavaria, historic home state to the "mad" King Ludwig II – a ruler much mocked in his time for devoting the monarchy's finances to building fairy tale castles and gardens, but to whom we owe the star attractions of this whimsical road trip. Start your journey at Würzburg and discover along the way delightful attractions, including scores of romantic towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the beautiful medieval city of Augsburg. The route will take you to see highlights including Harburg Castle, the Wieskirche Pilgrimage Church, Hohenschwangau Castle and, of course, Neuschwanstein – the most famous castle in the world thanks to Disney's iconic silhouette – before culminating in the feverishly beautiful highlands of Allgäu. En route, road trippers are treated to jaw-dropping scenery, incredible stories of Wagner-inspired caves and mysterious murders, and scrumptious Bavarian food. • Image: Neuschwanstein © Luis Fernando Felipe Alves / Unsplash
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Fairy Tale Route Germany Pied Piper Hamelin

Fairytale Road

Tales as old as time

Time: 13:30 h | Distance: 791 km
Start: Hanau | End: Buxtehude
Best for Home Area(s): Frankfurt, Hamburg

This magical route brings to life nearly all the famous childhood bedtime stories we have ever heard. Germany’s legendary Fairy Tale Route ("Märchenstraße") stretches for 600 km from the town of Hanau in Central Germany all the way up to Bremen by the North Sea.

Connecting the many fabled attractions are the world-famous storytellers Brothers Grimm. Born in Hanau, the brothers spent their lives studying and living in several picturesque towns dotted along the route, while collecting the hundreds of folk tales that make up their lives' work. Without the Brothers Grimm, the tales of Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and many more may have never been turned into the delightful mainstream adaptations we know today. In Hanau, the story of the brothers' lives are well documented and are nearly as fascinating as their household tales. En route, you'll follow the steps of the Pied Piper in Hamelin, visit Snow White’s hometown in Bad Wildungen and Red Riding Hood’s house in Alsfeld, and encounter the Four Musicians in Bremen. Even if you choose to skip out on the main tourist highlights, there are plenty of charming towns along the route and as many as 20 castles and palaces, nearly all of which have also found their way into the childhood stories now firmly fixed in our popular imagination. Happily ever after, indeed. • Image: Pied Piper Statue in Hamelin © Marc Venema / Shutterstock
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Image Tegernsee Alpenstraße

German Alpine Road

Discover Bavaria on just one route

Time: 9:00 h | Distance: 500 km
Start: Lindau im Bodensee | End: Schönau am Königssee
Best for Home Area(s): Munich

There's nothing more thrilling than the towering views of the Alpine Route ("Alpenstraße"). This breathtaking high-altitude panoramic tour will get you exclaiming "Wow!" more than any other scenic driving route.

The Alpine Route takes you through the German Alps along the border to Austria and conveniently starts and ends at two of Germany's most famous mountain lakes. En route, you'll enjoy incredible views of lush Alpine meadows, majestic forests, astonishing mountain passes, romantic valleys, and crystal-clear lakes. Your journey starts from the town of Lindau on Lake Constance (the largest lake in Germany) and takes in along the way 450 km of stunning natural beauty as well as a fair share of cultural attractions before reaching a well-deserved climax at Schönau on Lake Königssee. Popular stops along the way include Bad Hindelang, Füssen, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (a favourite ski resort in Bavaria), Tegernsee (a luxury spa town that often draws in wealthy celebrities), Bad Tölz, and the surreally beautiful mountain lake Königssee – a relaxing final stop to round off an unforgettable journey. Take a convertible in summer and a SUV in other seasons – either way, you'll be glad to have an unfettered 360º view of your surroundings or the optimal comfort of a four-wheel drive. • Image: Tegernsee © Philipp Schneidenbach / Unsplash
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Image Pixabay Rheinromantik Ehrenfels Castle

Romantic Rhine Route

Valley of delights

Time: 6:30 h | Distance: 388 km
Start: Cologne | End: Cologne (via Mainz & Wiesbaden)
Best for Home Area(s): Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt

Also known as the Middle Rhine Valley, the Romantic Rhine Route ("Route der Rheinromantik") takes you from Cologne to Wiesbaden on the banks of the sparkling Rhine River. Highlights of the drive include charming terraced slopes and a staggering number of over 40 medieval castles.

A historic trade route dating back to the Middle Ages, the most famous part of the route lies in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley between Koblenz and Bingen. In 2002, the route was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its unique geological, historical, cultural and industrial features. Besides the many folklorish castles, the Romantic Rhine Valley is dotted with vineyards and charming old towns that retain that historic feel. You could travel the length of the entire route and back on different sides of the Rhine River within 6 hours, but we recommend taking the time to drop in on a few of the many fabled castles, take a boat cruise, and be transported away by the many folklorish legends. Who knows? You may even get to hear the call of the Loreley, the legendary siren calling out to travellers on the Rhine from her rocky seat on the cliffs.  • Image: Ehrenfels Castle on the Rhine © Klaus Dieter vom Wangenheim / Pixabay
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Image A8 Autobahn Drackensteiner Hang by Dr. Eugen Lehle

The A8 Autobahn

A nod to the fast lane

Time: 1:10 h | Distance: 92 km
Start: Ulm | End: Stuttgart
Best for Home Area(s): Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt

We had to include this unusual number as a nod to the homeland of car-sharing. First invented in Ulm in 2008 and operated out of Stuttgart until 2019, car-sharing and its roots still run deep in the automotive stronghold of southern Germany.

The A8 takes you past rolling meadows and farms before reaching the famously beautiful section between Mühlhausen im Täle and Hohenstadt. The 16 km stretch is marked by signs reminding you that you're driving on "Germany's Most Beautiful Highway" and climbs 230 metres until the view gives way to the Swabian Alb mountain range. A series of elegant and architecturally prized viaducts at Drackensteiner Hang and Alblaufstieg are often considered the main highlights of the route. Fun fact: Some sections of the A8 have no speed limit, so it's no surprise that it's become a favourite playground for professional high-speed test-driving. En route, you're likely to spot new unmarked vehicles zipping past in the fast lane with prototype stickers still on – usually by world-class automotive companies Mercedes-Benz and Porsche who call Baden-Württemberg home. • Image: Drackensteiner Hang © Dr. Eugen Lehle / Wikimedia Commons
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MEET THE FLEET

In case you need a car...

Feeling the Wanderlust? From SUVs to convertibles to compact city cars, you get to choose your adventure. All prices include fuel and basic insurance. Pre-booking is free for trips of 1-30 days and we'll even deliver the car to the pick-up address of your choice. See all cars →

BMW 1 Series

Comfort with class.
from
0,31 €/minute²
6,67 €/hour³
26,67 €/day³
See more →

BMW 2 Series Convertible

Open for big adventures.
from
0,34 €/minute²
7,50 €/hour³
30,00 €/day³
See more →

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Power and performance.
from
0,31 €/minute²
6,67 €/hour³
26,67 €/day³
See more →

BMW X1

Solid style.
from
0,34 €/minute²
7,50 €/hour³
30,00 €/day³
See more →

BMW X2

Dare to dream big.
from
0,34 €/minute²
7,50 €/hour³
30,00 €/day³
See more →

MINI 5 door

Style uncompromised.
from
0,28 €/minute²
6,34 €/hour³
21,67 €/day³
See more →

MINI Convertible

Freedom with class.
from
0,28 €/minute²
6,34 €/hour³
21,67 €/day³
See more →

MINI Countryman

Let them stare.
from
0,28 €/minute²
6,34 €/hour³
21,67 €/day³
See more →

Notes

1

You are responsible for parking costs incurred in private parking garages. Additional parking rules apply.

2

The minute rate includes 200 km of mileage. A long distance rate of 0,39 € per kilometer will apply for each additional kilometer after the included mileage. Hourly and daily rates do not include mileage and each kilometre driven will be charged 0,19 €. The daily price displayed is for a 30-day rental.

3

All SHARE NOW cars are covered by third-party liability insurance and your deductible is always automatically reduced to a specific amount in case of an accident. This agreement is waived, however, in cases of gross negligence. To learn more, please check out our terms and conditions.