Weekend drives

Weekend drives

by: Genevieve Northup | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: September 19, 2016

Whether you have a destination in mind or want to get lost for the day, bask in the beauty of autumn with a leisurely drive. Set the GPS to avoid autobahns and let the hairpin turns of country roads take you to places you’ve never been.

Nearby scenic routes

Follow the Romantische Straße between Würzburg and Füssen to see Ludwig II’s fairy-tale castle and the whimsical walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Just beyond Füssen, ride the cable car to the Zugspitze’s summit and appreciate the views at a restaurant atop Germany’s highest peak.

The Deutsche Weinstraße meanders through quaint villages, the buildings entangled with grapevines. Purchase wine to take home, then sip a Riesling while strolling through vineyards at Freinsheim’s Wine Wandering or visit the famed Wurstmarkt in Bad Durkheim.

Miles of vineyards and majestic towns lie along the route of the Mosel River. Don’t miss Cochem’s hilltop castle or beautiful Bernkastel-Kues.

See dozens of castles and ruins among the hilly vineyards along the Rhine River. Enjoy the city bustle and historical sites of Cologne, or feel like royalty during a retreat at the Auf Schönburg castle hotel in Oberwesel.

Explore the renowned Black Forest (Schwarzwald). Hike the Feldberg, the Black Forest’s highest mountain. Get your thrills on the Hasenhorn Rodelbahn, Germany’s longest toboggan coaster. At the Alpirsbacher Beer World, take a tour, buy beer-infused confections, and become an aficionado with a beer seminar. Then let the Badparadies Schwarzwald’s indoor oasis and water park transport you to the tropics.

Designate a driver if you’re drinking.

Cruisin’ in the right car

Let’s be honest — rounding curves in a zippy coupe with the top down is exciting. Luckily, you won’t need a loan to rent a sporty car at major rental car companies in Germany. Make reservations in advance. 

Beyond the weekend

For high-octane thrills, book a driving tour of Germany and beyond. Packages range from a day to weeks and include lavish accommodations and the keys to a speedy luxury car.

Navigate mountain passes through the Alps and Dolomites in a Porsche 911 Carrera, or take an Ultimate Drive across Europe in a Porsche Boxter or Asten Martin. Luxurious getaways are also available through Autobahn Adventures and GT Car Tours. If heart-pounding excitement is more up your alley, book with Ultimate GT to discover ice driving in Finland and race around Germany’s infamous Nürburgring.  Or rent your dream car and blaze your own trail, whether soaking in the Tuscan sun in a Ferrari or maneuvering a Lamborghini along the Monaco Grand Prix’s daring circuit.

Time is not your enemy — focus not on getting somewhere quickly but on making the most of your drive. Stop to buy fresh produce from farmers’ stands. Sample local dishes while dining alfresco or stretch your legs with a wander. Photograph the landscape and explore cultural sites. Most of all, be safe and have fun!

Auto museums

Germany is home to many innovative car manufacturers. After a visit to these immersive museums, you’ll understand Germany’s love affair with cars and may develop a crush of your own.

Auto & Technik Museum - Sinsheim
Tour 320,000 square feet of exhibits, including race cars, vintage automobiles, military vehicles, motorcycles and airplanes. 

BMW Welt (BMW World) - Munich
Drool over BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce exhibits and visit the plant to see where dreams become reality. 

Maybach Museum - Neumarkt
Only 160 Maybach limousines exist around the globe today, 16 of which are on display here. 

Mercedes-Benz Museum - Stuttgart
An open floor plan, curved walls and 1,800 abstract windows complement this museum’s incredible 160 vehicles and 1,500 displays. 

Porsche Museum - Stuttgart
More than 80 automobiles and 200 exhibits explain Porsche’s car-making history. 

Volkswagen Autostadt - Wolfsburg
Explore the Zeithaus car museum and glass towers packed with new vehicles. Also wander the seven pavilions, each dedicated to a different car brand. 

Volkswagen’s “Die Gläserne Manufaktur” (“Transparent Factory”) - Dresden
Tour this sleek glass-enclosed factory to see where the magic of manufacturing happens. 

For more tips about living and traveling in Europe, check out our digital edition of Welcome to Europe on Stripes.com.

Tags: Austria, castle, Dresden, Europe, Germany, history, Ludwig II, Munich, museum, sport, Technik Museum, wine
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