Germany Trip Plan:
Follow the Brothers Grimm on their Fairy-tale Route through Germany

Germany trip plan: Follow the Brothers Grimm on their Fairy-tale Route through Germany
Grimm Brothers Monument at Hanau, GNU, author Dr. Meierhofer
[ source: Wikipedia]

Once upon a time two German brothers traveled the country and gathered legends and saga, all documented in a unique fairy-tale book, and translated into over 160 languages. Visit the places and towns those stories were originated, see and experience for yourself the influence they still have in modern daily life.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 10 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Frankfurt Airport

Trip Plan Details:

Once upon a time two German brothers traveled the country and gathered legends and saga, all documented in a unique fairy-tale book, and translated into over 160 languages. Visit the places and towns those stories were originated, see and experience for yourself the influence those stories still have in modern daily life. You will enjoy your 370 miles long journey, along one of Germany\\\'s oldest scenic routes from Hanau near Frankfurt to Bremen in the north. Be enchanted by beautiful historical castles, towns and villages all linked to fairy-tales of the most famous storytellers of all times, the Brothers Grimm.

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $1050 for 2 persons / 10 days
Admissions: starting at $750 for 2 persons / 10 days
Car Rental: starting at $700 for 2 persons / 10 days
Gas: starting at $450 for 2 persons / 10 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $2950 / 10 days
 4 persons, starting at $3950 / 10 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Hanau

Day 1: Hanau
Grimm Brothers Monument at Hanau, GNU, author Dr. Meierhofer
[ source: Wikipedia]

Your first travel destination along the Fairy-tale Route is Hanau in the state of Hesse, in about 18 miles distance east of Frankfurt am Main. This is the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm, Jacob in 1785 and Wilhelm in 1786. A national monument on the market square commemorates these 2 famous citizens. The Philippsruhe Castle is well worth a visit with its historical museum, Brothers Grimm section and the paper-theater museum. Explore the lovely city and if you happen to be there on a Wednesday or Saturday, don't miss Hesse's largest and nicest farmers' market.


Day 2: Hanau to Marburg

Day 2: Hanau to Marburg
Market square Alsfeld with townhall right, winehouse left, in between oldest half-timbered house and tower of Walpurgis Church in the back. GNU, author 2micha
[ source: Wikipedia]

Travel north-east through the beautiful Kinzig-Valley to the small town of Steinau. Stop here to visit the museum in the Brothers Grimm House. This is the place were the young Brothers Grimm spent their care free childhood. However, the boys were only 10 and 11 years old when their father died and from that time on they had to face a harsher reality. You might also like to see the nice Renaissance Castle before you continue your travel passing through Schlüchtern with its Benedictine monastery from the 8th century, one of the oldest architectural monuments in Germany. Your next stop could be the historic old town of Herbstein, displaying a circular layout around the14th century parish church of St. Jacobus. Alsfeld will be your last stop of the day before arriving in Marburg. Alsfeld is a model European city which has preserved its medieval heritage. Visit the world-famous Town Hall, one of Germany's finest examples of half-timbered architecture. Then step into the magical world of Alsfeld Fairy Tale House! In this half-timbered house built in 1628, all rooms are filled with a variety of fairy tales. Listen to the old tales in the listening room, told by a professional storyteller. Clearly not only for children! Make another stop at the Grabbrunnen, after all this is where the stork fetched newborn babies, according to legend.


Day 3: Marburg

Day 3: Marburg
Castle Marburg
[ source: Wikipedia]

Take a full day to explore the picturesque university town of Marburg and the historical old quarter at the castle hill. The Brothers Grimm were first educated at the Lyceum Fridericianum in Kassel and later studied law at the University of Marburg. It was here, now in their 20s, where they were inspired to collect almost forgotten stories and tales of peasants and villagers. Although the Brothers' primary goal was linguistic research they ended up with the richest collection of fairy-tales which made them so famous. The Marburg born painter Otto Ubbelohde, illustrated many of Grimm's Fairy-Tales, drawing on familiar motifs from the area. You will recognize many sources of inspiration around Marburg, among them in Gossfelden, Otto Ubbelohde's home; in Amönau, Rapunzel's Tower; in Christenberg, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and in Mellnau, Mother Hulda.


Day 4: Marburg to Kassel

Day 4: Marburg to Kassel
Castle Friedrichstein in Bad Wildungen, GNU, author Asio otus
[ source: Wikipedia]

Your first stop along the route to Kassel should be Schwalmstadt in the district of Treysa. You will find yourself in fairy-tale scenery with the well-preserved medieval city fortification. Enjoy the scenery and the exciting panorama view of the Schwalm River Valley all the way to the Knüll Mountains. The Schwalm region is considered the birthplace of some of the most popular fairy tales, for example Little Red Riding Hood. You may admire the Schwalm region Fairy-tale Costume at the museum in Schwalmstadt-Ziegenhain before heading north in direction Bad Wildungen. This town is a thriving spa center and famous for its elegant cityscape, healing mineral springs and wide parks and gardens. On a ridge, opposite Bad Wildungen's old town you will see the Baroque Castle Schloss Friedrichstein. It was home to Margarethe von Waldeck, a counts daughter and sister of the founder of the mining village Bergfreiheit. She was poisoned at a young age and it is believed that her fate served for the Brothers Grimms' fairy-tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the nearby village of you can visit the show mine and a museum. The Snow White House stands right in the center of the village. Continue your drive through the beautiful mountainous region to the small town of Wolfhagen with its many historical, beautifully restored half-timbered houses, town squares and narrow winding alleys. This is the place of Brother Grimms' fairy-tale The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids. On the historical market square is the Fairy-tale Well with a life-sized bronze wolf, its stomach full of stones, and the seventh kid standing at the edge of the well.


Day 5: Kassel

Day 5: Kassel
Palais Bellevue in Kassel, home to Brothers Grimm Museum, author Hagen + Tine Graf
[ source: Wikipedia]

Kassel lies in the heart of the German Fairy-tale Route. Explore the city full of tradition and enjoy the magnificent views when visiting the Hercules Monument. This is Kassel's city landmark in the midst of Europe's largest hillside park, the Bergpark. The Brothers Grimm stayed in Kassel for over thirty years after completing their studies in Marburg. Throughout the city, you will discover a unique range of museums which are among the best in Europe. Top of the list is the Brüder Grimm Museum in the Palais Bellevue.


Day 6: Kassel to Göttingen

Day 6: Kassel to Göttingen
Castle Sababurg, GNU, author Presse03
[ source: Wikipedia]

Make your first stop of the day in Hessisch Lichtenau, south-east of Kassel. This is the Gateway to the land of Grimms' fairy-tale Mother Hulda. Even today, the old city wall with its defense towers encircles the crooked alleys with half-timbered houses and keeps the romantic, fairy-tale flair of the old days alive. One of the nicest places lies at the Hohe Meißner Mountain. It is the Mother Hulda Pond, where the fairy is originated from a legend about this pond. Turn back in direction Kassel and head north to Immenhausen with its historic old town, the city wall from the 13th century and the Baroque half-timbered town hall from 1662. This town is also the location of Grimms' fairy-tale Hans in Luck. The neighboring town of Hofgeismar is the birthplace of the fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty. Take a tour to Sababurg, or Sleeping Beauty Castle and the ruin of Schöneberg Castle with the legends of giants, or listen to fairy-tale readings in the vaulted town hall cellar. Continue your drive to Göttingen with one little stop in Wahlsburg, with its fairy-tale figure The Brave Little Tailor.


Day 7: Göttingen

Day 7: Göttingen
Gänseliesl-, or Goose-Lizzy-Fountain in front of the city hall Göttingen, author Daniel Schwen
[ source: Wikipedia]

Between the years 1829 and 1837, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm both taught at the renowned Georg-August University of Göttingen, a city located in southern Lower Saxony, between the Harz Mountains and the River Weser. The medieval town hall in the old town center and the market fountain with the figure of the Gänseliesl, the most-kissed girl in the world, are only part of the attractions here. Half-timbered houses in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style give this large modern town the flair of medieval times and Hanseatic grandeur.


Day 8: Göttingen to Hamelin

Day 8: Göttingen to Hamelin
Historical Play of the Pied Piper
[ source: Wikipedia]

Continue your travel up north along the River Weser. The small town of Polle is believed to be the area where the Grimms' fairy-tale Puss in Boots is originated. Your next destination is Hamelin, surrounded by some of the best-wooded mountain ranges of the lovely Weserbergland region. In this beautiful historic town center everything is related to the legend of the Pied Piper, being the towns' world famous landmark. Follow the Rat Trail with thousands of rats marking your way through the towns' walkways and alleys, leading you to all historical and architectural highlights.


Day 9: Hamelin to Bremen

Day 9: Hamelin to Bremen
Jordan Sprudel, the famous thermal Saltwater-Spring in Bad Oeynhausen, GNU, author Ingo2802
[ source: Wikipedia]

Make a stop on your way to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen in the historical spa town and health resort of Bad Oeynhausen, set in an attractive location with luxurious municipal parks and gardens. See the Jordan Sprudel, the famous thermal saltwater spring, the Siel Park with a saline educational trail around the museum, the water mill at Museumshof and the Schöne Mühle, a well preserved mill. The Museum of German Fairy Tales and Weser River Sagas is housed in one of the most beautiful villas in the spas' Park Garden.


Day 10: Bremen

Day 10: Bremen
Bremer Town Musicians, author fanslau-fotografie.de
[ source: Wikipedia]

Bremen, a port city in the north-west of Germany, is truly cosmopolitan with multiple faces displayed through history, heritage, science, high technology,space industry and home to the world-famous Town Musicians, the 4 animals from another fairy-tale of the Brothers Grimm. The best-known landmark is the bronze sculpture that stands on the west side of the town hall, but they reappear in the guild courtyard in the Böttcherstrasse where they adorn the fountain and in the oldest quarters of Bremen, the Schnoor.


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Where to Stay?

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Bremen

Bremen
[ source: Flickr ]

For most Americans, if they have ever heard of Bremen, the city name conjures up images of the Grimm Brothers' fairytale of the Bremen town musicians. This story of the animals seeking their fortunes in Bremen has been memorialized by the city through…  [ + ] More Details

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Frankfurt

Frankfurt
[ source: Flickr ]

Located on the river Main, Frankfurt is the financial capital of Europe and the transportation center of Germany. Frankfurt is the place of residence of the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Furthermore, it hosts some of the world's…  [ + ] More Details

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Göttingen

Göttingen
[ source: Flickr ]

Göttingen is a college town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.  [ + ] More Details

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Hamelin

Hamelin
[ source: Flickr ]

Hamelin (German: Hameln) is a town on the river Weser in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Hamelin-Pyrmont and has a population of 58,872 (as at 2005). Hamelin is also the gateway to the surrounding Weserbergland mountains,…  [ + ] More Details

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Hanau

Hanau
[ source: Flickr ]

Hanau is a town in the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is located 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main.  [ + ] More Details

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Kassel

Kassel
[ source: Flickr ]

With almost 500,000 residents, Kassel is located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse. This city is home to numerous parks and palaces, including Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having first been mentioned in written sources from…  [ + ] More Details

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Marburg

Marburg
[ source: Flickr ]

Marburg is located in Hesse, on the River Lahn. The city is famous for its medieval churches, especially the Elisabethkirche, one of the two or three first purely Gothic churches north of the Alps outside of France. Visitors will be delighted to discover…  [ + ] More Details

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Wetzlar

Wetzlar
[ source: Flickr ]

Wetzlar, in central Hesse, features an amazingly well-preserved and restored Old Town (Altstadt), with historic plazas, a 13th century Cathedral (Dom), and scores of historic houses. The tightly woven ensemble of the Altstadt with its half-timbered houses…  [ + ] More Details

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