Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/Philip Lange

Families will love:

  • Picturesque medieval villages
  • Unique, out-of-the-way castles and hotels
  • Variety of Brothers Grimm fairytale attractions

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, two brothers wrote about stories and legends told throughout their land. Today, the legends live on in some of the most popular fairytales the world has ever known. In fact, 2013 marked the bicentennial of the first published Grimm tale. Stories include Cinderella and Snow White, and the remarkably darker tales of Little ... more
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, two brothers wrote about stories and legends told throughout their land. Today, the legends live on in some of the most popular fairytales the world has ever known. In fact, 2013 marked the bicentennial of the first published Grimm tale. Stories include Cinderella and Snow White, and the remarkably darker tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and The Pied Piper.

Germany, home of the Brothers Grimm, has made it easy to step into this magical world, via Fairy Tale Road, a stretch from just outside Frankfurt to the port town of Bremen, several hours north.

The Fairy Tale Road meanders peacefully through German villages that look like they've jumped out of a picture book. Families will enjoy strolling the cobblestone streets past half-timbered houses that date back to the 16th century, each proudly displaying their colorful flower window boxes. There are also larger cities along the Fairy Tale Road, like the city of Kassel, where both brothers spent much of their lives working as librarians. It's now home to the Bruder Grimm (Brothers Grimm) Museum.

There are plenty of stops that make this drive enchanting for kids and adults. Little ones will be spellbound as they step inside the witch's lair at the Maerchen Haus (Fairy Tale House) in the town of Alsfeld. Consider overnighting or just stopping by for tea at Castle Sababurg, said to have inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty. March alongside the Pied Piper through the town of Hameln. Hike through the forests that inspired the grim (pun intended) story of Hansel and Gretel. Thankfully, your journey will have a much happier ending!

The Maerchenstrasse (Fairy Tale Road) tourism office has created a map of the towns along the route, which makes navigating the tour on your own relatively simple. But bringing or renting a GPS is still a must.

Combine Germany's rich history and beautiful scenery with the flexibility of being in your own car, and you're on the road to a vacation that's "wunderbar!"

Written by Andrea Guthmann less

German Fairy Tale Route Planning & Tips
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