Camping in Germany: Road trip Franconia and the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Franconia therefore. A road trip. By car, camper or motor home. But you can also go very comfortably by train. On the way in a rather small target area succeeds so a Roadtrip almost by itself. The target area is called this time: Franconia!

The goal of my road trip is to visit the Franconian world heritage of the UNESCO. In these times it makes a lot of sense to discover the perhaps not so well known Germany and its attractions.

And indeed, a look at the map helps a lot, because several world heritage sites worth visiting can be found in Franconia, i.e. in the north and northeast of the state of Bavaria (for the non-Franconians among us). The Franconian World Heritage Site includes:

  • The margravial opera house of Bayreuth.
  • The phenomenal old town of Bamberg.
  • The Residence of Wurzburg.
  • The Rhaetian-Upper Germanic part of the Roman Limes, which also runs through Franconia and has been a World Heritage Site since 2005.
  • And in addition, not a world heritage site but one of the most beautiful old towns in Germany: Coburg.

Everything in a comfortable distance to each other and reachable in short stages, whether by car, campmobile or by train, so perfect for a really relaxed road trip.

These four great sights are to be complemented with the not far away very picturesque historic city centers or. Old towns of

  • Nordlingen
  • Dinkelsbuhl
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Because that's what makes a road trip beautiful and valuable: That you don't spend hours at the wheel and in the traffic jam of the German autobahn. But in a short time and with little effort you can collect the maximum of experiences and impressions. Because for me, the UNESCO World Heritage sites are almost always a worthwhile and quality destination. They are historically and culturally exceptional, perfectly marketed and accessible to tourists, at least in Germany, and thus always worth a visit.

Even destinations that might not seem so exciting at first glance, such as the ironworks in Volklingen in the Saarland or the Bergpark in Kassel, turn out to be sensational world-class attractions. In addition, the world heritage sites in Germany are all wonderfully maintained and lavishly cared for. It is nice to see that our tax money is invested in the heritage of our country sometimes very profitable! In fact, it does not mean that every world heritage site is automatically overcrowded. Especially in places where busloads of visitors do not automatically arrive, one finds quite empty World Heritage Sites.

Road trip Franconia: Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth

Road trip Franconia: Bayreuth, Bamberg, Coburg, Wurzburg

As a travel blogger who travels more in South America in Peru or Colombia and in Africa preferably in Botswana and Tanzania, I am always surprised what great destinations there are to visit in Germany.

What you may not know about your own history, but then learns. And as a result, that's exactly what happens, which is why I travel: Realization. Departure and arrival. To lose oneself and to find oneself again in the foreign and in the stranger. Welcoming the new, saying goodbye to the old and rejecting it. Letting go. Hold on. Be open. Ready to find happiness in uncertainty.

Travel is movement, inwardly and outwardly. Travel is life. Standing still, mentally and physically, is death. And: You don't always have to go to the end of the world.

My road trip starts in the far east of Franconia, where the area is closer to the Czech Republic than to the rest of Bavaria, namely in Bayreuth.

And yes, at this point it should be noted that I know that it is locally common and mentally desired to divide the region into Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia. However, since I am not a Franconian and also in the expectation management quite bad, I may ignore this!

My road trip Franconia begins in Bayreuth

For me Bayreuth was positively surprising. One automatically thinks of a certain Mr. Richard Wagner, who is somehow unpleasant to me personally. How does the old Woody Allen joke go: Whenever I hear Wagner, I want to invade Poland. Exactly. But Bayreuth is friendly and pleasant and relaxed. And: In Bayreuth, the actual world heritage site, namely the baroque opera house of the margraves, has absolutely nothing to do with Wagner. The opera house was still a pretty spectacular construction site when I last visited:

"What I could see was an opera house inside of which the planks were torn out of the floor, the plaster was knocked off the walls and no stone was left on the other. In other words and to make it short: the opera house is not accessible at the moment. It is closed. Until the reopening in summer 2018. What remains is a view into the construction site, my photo gives, I think, a good insight."

This has passed, and the most important sight of Bayreuth is open and accessible again. One more reason to go there outside of the Wagner Festival.

Roadtri Franconia: UNESCO World Heritage in Bayreuth

Anyway, the very appealing town of Bayreuth has a very pretty old town to offer even beyond the Wagner Festival, with many cafes and restaurants. The ducal New Palace in the city center with its baroque garden is another worthwhile walk.

By the way, the entrance to the garden is free. The original Walk of Wagner leads uphill from the train station to Mr. Wagner's Festival House. And Bayreuth in Franconia would be atypical for the area, if you do not also in the evening a delicious beer (Maisels! Kulmbach!) and regional food. (Note: The Wagner Festival is usually in high summer, late July into August)

Road trip culture and history: On to baroque Bamberg!

From Bayreuth we continue to Bamberg. That's from Bayreuth only ca. 100 kilometers. Bamberg certainly possesses one of the most beautiful late medieval or. baroque old town ensembles in Germany.

Road trip Franconia

One can really feel transported back into a distant century, and the many very appealing hotels in the old town let a visitor, who does not want to swim in the stream of day tourists, dive deep into a romantic picture of the late Middle Ages.

If you come to Bamberg for a short trip, you can safely park your car outside the city walls, so to speak, and explore the old town and the area around the cathedral on foot. I am convinced that this is the best way to get a feel for Bamberg's history – stumbling over the cobblestones on horseback, with the city's battlements in view – wonderful!.

For Bamberg, the old traveler rule applies: stay there until the evening or spend the night in town, because when the day-trippers have boarded their buses again, it becomes beautiful.

From Bamberg we continue to Coburg.

From Bamberg to the beautiful residential town of Coburg

Half an hour on the highway and you have traveled from Bamberg to Coburg. This actually somewhat remote town I have only recently traveled and therefore inserted here in the Franconian road trip. Coburg is a really pretty residential town, with a picturesque old town, a Saturday market, a fortress above the town, and many buildings within the town walls that are worth seeing.

You can stroll and linger there, on the market square, in the cafes, and Coburg is much less frequented than Bamberg, but at least just as worth a visit. Everything is right about the tourist infrastructure, the residence town of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha has a rich atmosphere and history, lots of greenery, old restaurants and modern museums to offer. It's really pretty here, and because of the short distances to Bamberg and Wurzburg, Coburg can be easily integrated into the Franconian road trip.

Old town of Coburg as a stage in the road trip Franconia

From Coburg it goes over the federal highway in ca. half an hour to Wurzburg. If you travel from Bamberg to Wurzburg, you do so along the Main River.

Always on the road along the Main, the inclined visitor from Bamberg comes quite quickly to the venerable residence city of Wurzburg.

By the way, the Main seems to me to be one of the underestimated and little sung about rivers of our country.

Historically, the Main, beginning in Bayreuth and Bamberg and flowing past Aschaffenburg, really has all kinds of things to offer. Not only cultural history, but also industrial history comes alive, u.a. in Schweinfurt and yes, even in Offenbach.

Touristically appealing areas such as the Odenwald and the Spessart border its banks, and Romans and Celts and Germanic tribes and have left their traces behind. But the Main always remains in the shadow of the Rhine, as its most important tributary, with a rather inconspicuous mouth into the Rhine opposite Mainz, in the most German of all rivers. Kind of a shame for poor old Main!

Wurzburg, Nuremberg and Ludwig's castles

Anyway, in Wurzburg the Main is clearly perceptible, although not really impressive. Some wine along its steep slopes, a few bridges, the railroad line. However, Wurzburg scores with another UNESCO World Heritage Site, namely the Residenz, a baroque wonder of the world from the 18th century. Century and excellent example of the Rococo in Southern Germany.

More than 40 rooms have been carefully restored, you can admire the famous staircase by Balthasar Neumann with the largest ceiling fesco in the world, designed by Tiepolo. Some of the rooms, such as the truly fabulous Mirror Cabinet, are unique in terms of baroque and rococo splendor and sophistication of effects with mirrors, crystal chandeliers, paintings, silver and gold glitter. You don't need to go to the castles in Vienna Schonbrunn or Versailles, the Wurzburg Residence is one of the underestimated German World Heritage Sites, I think. Absolutely worth a trip. Amazement is guaranteed!

(Currently without guided tours, but you can stroll through the magnificent castle on your own. Entrance fee: 9 Euro per person.)

Wurzburg has a small but charming post-war old town, vineyards, narrow streets, and many Franconian restaurants. This is how you can end your road trip through Franconia, or just keep going and add a few more stops: Nuremberg as the most important Franconian city is only a stone's throw away from Wurzburg, has all kinds of outstanding historical monuments, a really beautiful and lively old town, with the home of universal genius Albrecht Durer one of the most beautiful sights in Germany, but not a single veritable UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And now for the travel tips for friends of camping.

Camping is travel, vacation and lifestyle at the same time. Within Germany, camping represents the most popular form of vacation – and few regions are better suited for camping in Germany than Franconia in Bavaria, which has long been known for more than just its linguistic idiosyncrasies.

Here you can find picturesque nature, and the Franconian lake district offers plenty of attractive places directly on the water. You can also camp at historic sites and spend the night at the Franconian World Heritage Site. With the wide range of possibilities in Franconia, there should be a suitable place for everyone's preferences.

Camping at the world heritage

In Franconia you can still get to the bottom of the eventful history of the region today. The Limes formed the border of the "Roman Empire" in Roman times. The rampart with a length of 550 kilometers represents the longest ground monument in Europe, and 158 of the kilometers lead directly through Franconia. Since 2005, the region around the Limes has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Franconia has particularly beautiful stretches, as the rampart blends into picturesque meadows, forests and hills.

Around the Limes there are numerous hiking trails where not only nature but also history is omnipresent. This makes the places special destinations, where there is something to discover at every corner. Besides hiking, Franconia is also predestined for one or the other bicycle tour or a tour with the mountain bike. Here you can even explore some places that are almost undiscovered and especially untouched. A discovery tour through the Limes region in Franconia is an adventure in nature for the whole family.

When it comes to the most beautiful campsites in Germany, Franconia leads the way. Around the world heritage and the lake district there are numerous camping possibilities in the middle of nature and at historical sites. At Reisemobilcouch you get an overview of the best campsites in Franconia.

What must not be missing when camping in Franconia?

If the bikes can be taken camping, then this is ideal in Franconia. There is a lot to discover here, and the routes can be bridged well with a bicycle. For example, you can discover the Limes and jump into one of the lakes in one day.

When packing, the question always arises: How much should be taken along?? To trouble tips from camper professionals, you can say: always less than you actually planned. Of course, you should look a little at the weather, but minimalism in packing is important. My tip: A flashlight should be in the backpack, because an adventure tour around the World Heritage is very attractive even in the dark.

Conclusion: Unique surroundings for a campsite

No question, Franconia offers unique opportunities for camping. Staying overnight at a world heritage site is not possible in many places, and the nature in Franconia is breathtaking. The choice of beautiful campsites is probably nowhere in Germany as large as in Franconia.

Durer House Nuremberg

Franconia's Tentative List

The historical moments of Franconia, which are not yet part of the World Heritage, but potential candidates for it, is manageable. Not even the Nuremberg Castle or the Albrecht Durer House are on the German proposal list ("Tentativliste") for further UNESCO World Heritage Sites – I can only assume that the King Ludwig Castles of Bavaria have been given preference here.

The Franconia road trip through the region's World Heritage Site can be completed in three to four days without stress – perfect for a long weekend! Who is on the way with the camper, hopefully brings more time with him.

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