Frankfurt is first and foremost a city of modernity. Business, architecture and Europe's third-largest airport – they're all here and they're all at the cutting edge. Perhaps that's why Frankfurt has grown a particular fondness for museums that vary greatly in terms of size, style and subject matter. The city prides itself on always staying ahead of the times, whilst preserving traditions at the same time.
The UNESCO 'Roman remains and Bavarian cheer' route starts in Frankfurt and runs right through Germany's gregarious musical south. This route is all about idyllic scenery and stunning Bavarian cities such as Würzburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Augsburg and, of course, Munich, the state capital.
UNESCO World Heritage sites:
- Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes
- Würzburg Residenz Palace and Court Gardens
- Bamberg Old Town
- Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth
- Old Town of Regensburg and Stadtamhof
- Danube Limes: Time Travel into an Ancient Culture
- The water management system of Augsburg
Other towns and cities worth seeing:
The longest and one of the most impressive archaeological monuments in Europe, the Limes marks former Roman boundaries from the Rhine to the Danube over a distance of 550km. Around 2,000 years ago its forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades protected the mighty Roman Empire from the Barbarians.
Würzburg Residenz Palace is generally considered the purest and most remarkable of all baroque palaces in Germany. Built between 1720 and 1744 and enhanced by the magnificent gardens between 1765 and 1780, it exemplifies a glittering era and is one of the most spectacular royal palaces in Europe.
A centre of imperial and episcopal power for almost a thousand years, and often referred to as the Rome of Franconia, Bamberg stands on seven hills surrounded by beautiful countryside. Dominated by its imperial cathedral, the town is a unique and superbly maintained masterpiece of urban design, uniting medieval and baroque architecture.
The Margravial Opera House is regarded as a triumph of 18th century baroque theatre design. Visitors find the splendour of its interior simply awe-inspiring. The most beautiful baroque theatre remaining in Europe, it was built by Giuseppe Galli-Bibiena and his son Carlo, the most famous theatre architects of their day.
A city of emperors and princes, leaders and followers, inventors and scholars, Nuremberg has mirrored German history ever since the Middle Ages – the power, the tension, great achievements and great tragedies. Protected by the castle, arts and crafts once flourished, while a new spirit of freedom enlivened the city at a time when few other places could offer such a quality of life. And the same is still true today.
Regensburg, the town of emperors and kings, offers impressive perspectives of around 2,000 years of history. The centre has over 1,500 listed buildings; of these, 984 form the 'Old Town with Stadtamhof' ensemble, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006.
The Danube Limes offers a fascinating insight into the time of the Roman Empire. This 600 kilometre long Roman military border along the Danube from Lower Bavaria through Austria to Slovakia has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021, following a proposal made by Germany, Austria and Slovakia. For centuries, soldiers and their families were stationed along the "wet limes" of the Danube. Even today, remains of legionary camps, forts and settlements bear witness to the highly developed ancient culture on the borders of the Roman Empire.
Even back in 1545, the people of Augsburg knew the importance of keeping process water separate from drinking water. It took 800 years to build the only innovative and sustainable water management system of its kind, in which 530 bridges connect must-see technology, industrial archaeology and architecture, including water towers, monumental fountains and the oldest waterworks in Central Europe.
Lifestyle, joie de vivre or lebensart – whatever you call it, Munich has it in spades. It might be down to the clear blue skies or simply the city's beauty, but one thing's for certain: the people of Munich always like to show their best side, whether they're in a beer garden, on one of the exclusive shopping streets, or in Bayern Munich's stadium.