Travelers on the German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) from Hanau to Bremen can see top sights associated with the folktales told by the Brothers Grimm.
The German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) is a holiday theme route that connects numerous romantic sighs closely associated with the fairy tales and folk stories collected by the Brothers Grimm during the nineteenth century. Travelers to central Germany can enjoy marvelous architecture, romantic castles, historic villages, beautiful nature, and thick forests along the Fairy Tales Road.
Like the original fairy tales collection of the Brothers Grimm (Die Gebrüder Grimm), the Fairy Tales Road is not primarily aimed at children. However, many sights associated with the fairy tales offer performances and exhibitions on the folk tales that will enchant children of all ages. Visitors pass through Little Red Riding Hood country, may sleep in the castle of Sleeping Beauty, see rats while walking the streets of Hamelin, and head towards Bremen like the Town Musicians.
Travel the German Fairy Tales Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße)
The German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) is around 600 km (370 mi) long and follows back roads from central Germany to the North Sea. The official start of the Fairy Tales Road is in Hanau, where the Brothers Grimm were born, near Frankfurt am Main and the end is at Bremen.
No public transportation follows the whole Fairy Tales Road but many towns can be reached by train or bus. Long sections of the road follow the Weser River, which is open to boating and canoeing, while cycling and hiking are also popular options. However, on the whole, a car does make traveling the Fairy Tales Road easier and allows travelers to see more sights within a short period.
Highlight on the German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße)
Over 50 towns and sites are official members of the Deutsche Märchenstraße. Some of the highlights along this holiday route include:
- Hanau – each summer, the birth town of the brothers Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) hosts the annual Grimm-Märchenfestspiele festival.
- Steinau – the Grimms spent their childhood in the marvelous half-timbered Brüder Grimm Haus.
- Marburg – the Brothers Grimm studied in this lovely university town with a castle and an incredibly beautiful old town with half-timbered houses.
- Kassel – the Grimms lived here too and although Kassel was mostly destroyed during the Second World War (and rebuilt hideously), the romantic Wilhelmshöhe, Löwenburg Castle, and Karlsaue are worth seeing.
- Göttingen – another picturesque university town closely associated with the life and works of the Grimms.
- Hann. Münden – lovely half-timbered buildings in the only town in Germany that has an abbreviation in its official full name.
- Sababurg – the official castle of Sleeping Beauty now has a hotel and the grounds an animal park.
- Hameln – in addition to rats to commemorate the Pied Piper of Hamelin, this town has many marvelous Weser-Renaissance and half-timbered buildings.
- Buxtehude – this small town near Hamburg is the furthest north on the German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) and claims to be the origin of The Rabbit and the Porcupine story, a slightly more devious version of Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare.
- Bremen – the tourist office tends to underplay that the Town Musicians never made it to the Hanseatic City but the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed old town with brick-Gothic buildings are worth seeing.
Germany’s most famous holiday theme route is the Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) in Bavaria. However, the sights on the German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) are any time just as romantic. Travelers, especially drivers, can easily combine sights on both roads – Würzburg, the start of the Romantic Road, is only 100 km (60 mi) southeast of Hanau. The German Fairy Tales Road (Deutsche Märchenstraße) and Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) combined will take travelers north-south through the full length of Germany from the North Sea to the Bavarian Alps.