It’s no secret that Germany is a popular destination for car enthusiasts. After all, it is where the automobile was invented by Karl Benz in way back in the late 1800s. Germany is also famous for major car brands such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche, and there are myriad places that auto enthusiasts can visit.
BMW Welt (World) in Munich, Mercedes-Benz Museum and Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, as well as Sinsheim Automobile and Technology Museum in Sinsheim, are just a few of the car museums you can visit. You can even be a race car driver for a day at Nurburgring, a motorsports complex in Nurburg.
But, self-drive trips are also increasingly popular in Germany, especially in the Bavarian capital of Munich. With its whimsical castles and museums, breathtaking alps and stunning landscapes, it offers much to see, savour and experience. Here are some scenic routes:
Jewels of Germany
Start your journey in the city centre, where you can visit iconic landmarks like Frauenkirche, Hofbrauhaus, Schloss Nymphenburg and the BMW Museum. From there, drive to Zugspite Peak, the highest mountain range in the region.
The German Alps is also the only alps region where you can take a cable car ropeway and glacier train. Take a ride up to enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view from 2,600m. Then, drive down to the neogothic-style Neuschwanstein Castle, home of King Ludwig II. There is also the famous 500-year- old Salt Mine Berchtesgaden.
If you have time, drive to Austria to visit the Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens, or check out other interesting places like the town of Innsbruck and tour the Old Town, Cathedral of St James, Hofkirche, Schloss Ambras, Olympiaworld sports complex and Tirol Panorama. Fans of The Sound Of Music can drive to Salzburg to visit places of featured in the film.
German Alpine route
Germany’s oldest route has much to offer travellers who are driving from Munich and Lindau on Lake Constanz, to Berchtesgaden on Lake Konigssee. The 450km route will take you to attractions such as the crystal clear lakes of Hopfensee, Walchensee, Tegernsee, Schliersee and Konigssee; the magnificent castles of Neuschewanstein, Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee, Ettal Abbey and Benediktbeuern Abbey.
It also goes to Unesco World Heritage Sites like Wieskirche Pilgrimage Church, Watzmann Mountain, St Bartholomew’s Church and Berchtesgaden Apline National Park.
Classic romantic route
Fussen is a 90-minute drive from the city centre. On the way to King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle, you can pause for a breather at Lake Starnberg, Germany’s fifth largest freshwater lake. Munich’s largest lake is Feldmochinger See, a place popular with families and large groups.
While on the way to Schloss Linderhof Palace, be sure to visit Oberammergau, known for its once-a-decade Passion Play at the Passion Theatre, intricate wood carvings and Luftlmalerei fresco paintings, for your Insta-worthy shots.
Lake Constance Drive
This two-hour drive from Munich to Lake Constance via the A96 highway features the Nymphenburg Palace, which is on the way to the Hohenschwangau Castle. Visit the fast-flowing streams of Scheidegg Waterfalls, the German Hat Museum in Lindenberg to find out more about the town’s centuries-long hat-making traditions. At the historic lake town of Lindau, make a quick stop to pick some apples.
Travel back in time to the 19th century from Munich to Meinheim via the A8, A9 and B13 highways. The drive is captivating and scenic, dotted with majestic castles and beautiful gardens. Some highlights you might want to check out include Schloss Blutenburg, Schleisshelm and Lustheim Palaces, and Englischer Garden before hitting the expressway.
Flavours of Germany
Savour some of the best in German cuisine while on your drive. Start from Munich to Berchtesgaden via the A8 and A99 highways. Visit the Herzogliche Fischzucht or Duke’s Fish Farm to enjoy some of the region’s favourite smoked trout and arctic char. There is also the organic dairy Tegernseer Land which produces milk products from alpine hay-fed cows. The dairy produces 19 types of milk products, including cheeses.