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Five Must-Visit Fairy Tale Towns in Germany

Everyone knows Germany as the land of bottomless pints, sauerkraut and bratwurst, Oktoberfest, and fast cars. But if you’ve been to Deutschland, you know that it has so much more to offer — including romantic, fairy tale towns that look as if they should only exist in children’s storybooks!

During our Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises (which sailed through Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands), we stopped at the most magical medieval towns in the regions of Bavaria and Franconia. These fairy tale towns in Germany are so well-preserved, enchanting, and simply beautiful, that you can’t afford to miss them either, during your next trip to Europe!

So without further ado, here are five fairy tale towns in Germany that you must visit… Like now!

Five Must-Visit Fairy Tale Towns in Germany

5 Must-Visit Fairytale Towns in Germany - Via

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which occupies the region of Franconia, might be the most beautiful town in all of Germany!

Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber to walk the streets of a perfectly preserved medieval town, walk inside the town’s surrounding fortress, take in the bright colors of each old building, and drink fresh-pressed apple juice in the town’s main square.

Rothenburg is also the place to shop in Germany! Make sure to look around for Christmas ornaments and decorations, as well as hand-carved trinkets, beautiful cuckoo clocks, and unique souvenirs.

When it was time to return to our Viking ship, we almost couldn’t leave. Rothenburg is more than a fairy tale town; it’s a dreamland. And it still blows my mind now, to know that it actually exists in real life. You need to go, too.

5 Must-Visit Fairytale Towns in Germany - Via


Bamberg is another fairy tale town in Germany that was left mostly untouched during World War II. This town usually flies under travelers’ radars, but Viking River Cruises changed that for us.

Bamberg may be a small city, but it’s full of life and character. Buildings dating anywhere between the 11th and 19th centuries line the city’s old town, while people bustle along its cobblestone streets. When you want to escape the crowds, though, the riverbanks allow for peaceful strolls and the most stunning views of boats floating by, past jaw-dropping medieval architecture.

While in Bamberg, you must do one thing: try Bamberg’s Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer. If you’re a beer drinker, you’ll love this dark, smoke-flavored brew; and if you don’t like beer, well, try it anyway — you might be surprised!

5 Must-Visit Fairytale Towns in Germany - Via


The charming town of Wertheim is situated at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers, and is home to a population of just over 24,000 people.

Of these five fairy tale towns in Germany, Wertheim is the least touristy. As we explored the town, the only foreigners we spotted there were ourselves!

Between the Wertheim Castle, the beautiful medieval buildings, the Glass Museum, and the peaceful river views, there’s no way you won’t love Wertheim. So add it to your list!

5 Must-Visit Fairytale Towns in Germany - Via


Visit Regensburg, and you’ll feel as though you’ve gone back in time, without ever leaving modern day.

Regensburg is a must-visit fairy tale town in Germany for its many outdoor biergartens, its enormous gothic cathedral, cobblestone streets, and old, brightly colored houses. Regensburg is almost perfectly preserved, with buildings dating back hundreds of years — its famous stone bridge, which crosses the Danube River, still stands from 1135!

In Regensburg, carts selling pretzels and bratwurst line the streets, cafés sit on every street corner, and each alleyway is as quaint and picturesque as the last. If you haven’t been to this fairy tale town yet, you’re surely missing out!

5 Must-Visit Fairytale Towns in Germany - Via



Nuremberg is most famous for the Nuremberg Trials that occurred after World War II, so you know that it’s full of fascinating history and important sites!

But beyond Nuremberg’s riveting history, lies a beautiful fairy tale city. The canals, biergartens, quiet alleyways, and the main square’s farmer’s market are good places to start.

And if you’re lucky enough to visit during Christmastime, Nuremberg plays host to Germany’s most famous Christmas market, Christkindlesmarkt, where you can indulge in gingerbread, glühwein, bratwurst, roasted almonds, and everything else Christmas!

Fairytale towns in Germany - Travel Alphas

Five Must-Visit Fairy Tale Towns in Germany

We visited these five fairy tale towns in Germany while on a Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises. Over 15 days, we cruised through Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, stopping in the most incredible villages and cities, and we had the time of our lives!

If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon, we can’t recommend this cruise itinerary enough. It’ll be a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget!

All the details: four countries, 15 days, 13 towns and cities, 12 guided tours, from $3,899 per person. For more information, click here!


Are you traveling to Germany soon? Looking for some Germany travel inspiration and tips? Here are five of the most picturesque, fairy-tale towns in Germany. These towns will absolutely be a highlight of your trip to Europe. Wondering which towns are pictured here? Regensburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are two of them. Click through to find out the other three quaint towns we visited in Germany on our Viking River Cruise.

Have you visited any of these fairy tale towns in Germany? Which is your favorite? If not, have you added any to your Germany bucket list?

Travel Alphas embarked on the Grand European Tour as guests of Viking River Cruises, but as always, all opinions are our own!

Maddy Cornelius

Maddy is the co-founder and editor of Travel Alphas. Mint tea, handmade pasta, gelato, and red wine are among her favorite treats. New York City, Budapest, Bali, and Florence are a few of her most-loved destinations.

  • Ella

    Awesome photos! I love learning about the smaller towns in Europe… I’d love to one day do a road trip or train journey between all these little towns and explore them for a few days at a time. Maybe I’ll have to add these German towns to my dream itinerary :)

    August 15, 2016 at 12:32 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Thanks! A day is enough time in each of these towns; a few days might be too many. But either way, they’re highly recommended. Definitely add them to your dream bucket list and you won’t regret it :)

      August 15, 2016 at 9:19 am Reply
  • eden

    All these towns really do look like they are from a fairy tale! I love the colorful buildings and style of the architecture. Makes me want to visit and get lost exploring around these towns.

    Eden | Mint Notion

    August 15, 2016 at 3:38 pm Reply
  • Verena

    You should definitely add Meersburg in the area of Lake Constance to your list! It’s tiny but so worth the visit – plus there are many other, pretty amazing places in that region. Loved your photos by the way! :)

    September 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Thanks for the tip! We’ll have to check Meersburg out next time!

      September 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm Reply
  • Marion Sauer

    I recomment you Bad Wimpfen next to Heilbronn. Urgently you should go to see it!

    September 28, 2016 at 11:12 pm Reply
  • Anita

    You forgot Esslingen am Neckar!

    November 3, 2016 at 11:08 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      That wasn’t one of the stops on our Viking River Cruise. Will definitely look it up for next time though! :)

      November 3, 2016 at 5:48 pm Reply
  • Deal Man

    Beautiful place germany, my frined vist next month. Urgently you should go to see it!

    February 11, 2017 at 7:15 am Reply
  • David

    Great post on Germany. We spent three weeks last summer exploring the divergent sides of Germany. We snapped over 5k in photos. It is a Beautiful place to visit and should be on the top of anyone’s travel list.

    May 1, 2017 at 8:34 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Agreed! We’re glad you enjoyed your trip and thanks for your input.

      May 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm Reply
  • Robert M Teague

    I lived in Wertheim in the late 1970s. There used to be a US Army base at the top of a nearby town. It looks like you missed it, but up near the middle ages fountain at the head of the town (dedicated to the victims of the black death), there is a small restaurant where the owner display a license plate, bearing the US flag and “God Bless our Country”. This town is well known to Americans in times past.

    May 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      We made it up to the castle in Wertheim, but yes, we must have missed the Army base! If we ever make it back to Wertheim, we’ll have to check it out. Maybe other readers will see your comment and make it over there! Thanks for your input. :)

      May 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm Reply
      • Robert Teague

        It’s in Reinhardshof, at the top of the hill opposite the castle. I used to see the castle walking down the hill. Back then, there were no trees lining the road and there was an open view of the town and castle. If go there, continue to Vockenrot and visit Gasthof-Hotel Zum Ross. They have a great restaurant. I used to visit there often when I live there, and I see it is still there.

        May 13, 2017 at 6:33 pm Reply
  • peter coath

    I loved Nurnberg. Very pretty town. Full of German history. Tbe walk along the river is gorgeous.
    Also have been to Bamberg and found that charming.
    Another favourite that has been left out is Dresden. Very different to thd medieval towns and hosts great baroque architecture. .

    June 10, 2017 at 2:58 am Reply
  • Tracy @ Savvy Journey

    Thank you! One of my dreams is to visit Germany and see the fairytale towns and castles. These will definitely be added to my list! Your pictures are beautiful!

    June 10, 2017 at 6:27 am Reply

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