Germany Trip Plan:
Spa Town Bad Urach and the Swabian Alp

Germany trip plan: Spa Town Bad Urach and the Swabian Alp
Marketplace with city hall, GNU- Ssch
[ source: Wikipedia]

The spectacular northern rim of the Swabian Alb, a low mountain region, represents the pinnacle of the breathtaking surrounding landscape. Imagine yourself vacationing in the midst of natural beauty with a multitude of fortresses and castles and so famous cities such as Tübingen, Stuttgart and Ulm in your neighborhood.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 7 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Stuttgart Airport

Trip Plan Details:

The spectacular northern rim of the Swabian Alb, a low mountain region, represents the pinnacle of the breathtaking surrounding landscape. Imagine yourself vacationing in the midst of natural beauty with a multitude of fortresses and castles and so famous cities such as Tübingen, Stuttgart and Ulm in your neighborhood.

The spa town Bad Urach lies at the foot of the Swabian Alb. It is famous for its historical town center, pleasant cafe culture and stately medieval residences. At the AlbThermen, Thermal Baths, you can experience quality wellness treatments while the surrounding hills and valley invite you for hiking, Nordic walking or mountain-biking. And in the frosty season cross-country skiing, winter hiking, alpine skiing and snow boarding are very popular. Bad Urach and the local region also offer great opportunities for an ultimate shopping experience. Metzingen is located in the immediate vicinity of Bad Urach and besides lush vineyards it offers, with over 50 outlets of well-known brand manufacturers, a unique selection of current fashion and top design brands at bargain prices.

Cost Estimate:

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

Lodging: starting at $385 for 2 persons / 7 days
Admissions: starting at $250 for 2 persons / 7 days
Car Rental: starting at $420 / 7 days
Gas: starting at $300 / 7 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $1355 / 7 days
 4 persons, starting at $1790 / 7 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Day 1: Arrival
Bad Urach, CC-Raboe001
[ source: Wikipedia]

Bad Urach has been the former residential town of the Counts of Württemberg-Urach and will charm you with its history, still visible everywhere. Make yourself comfortable in your spacious vacation apartment and during your first walk around, enjoy the great neighborhood. If you can't wait to get a mountain view of your new location you should know that it only takes a 20 minutes walk up to the top of Michelskäppele, overlooking Bad Urach and the fantastic Erms-Valley below. Tip: GPS-devises for this and other tours are offered at the local spa-administration in Bad Urach. A great way to learn more about the surroundings while enjoying your walk.


Day 2: Bad Urach

Day 2: Bad Urach
Castle Urach, GNU-Rainer Kunze
[ source: Wikipedia]

A wonderful day awaits you exploring Bad Urach! You will feel the good old times combined with the pulsating life of this pleasant modern-day town. Start right in the center at the market square with its town hall and half-timbered houses dating back to the 15th and 16th Centuries. To make the most of your discovery tour we recommend to follow the Residenzrundweg A (red), or B (green). Path A leads you through the former Grand Quarter and the oldest part of the town, while Path B focuses on more modern middle-class locations. Worth a visit is the former residence-castle of the Counts of Württemberg, now a museum also displaying the largest parade-slay-collection in Europe. Back to nature brings you a walk to the spa-center and the nearby Uracher-Waterfall. Also in the very romantic setting of the former Güterstein Monastery lies another Waterfall, not to be missed by any nature lover. Back to the town center take advantage of the many lovely cafes and restaurants offering you an excellent range of authentic local and international cuisine. Maybe you get the chance to listen to the legend of a baker from Urach who is said to have invented the Swabian Pretzel, Brezel.


Day 3: Tübingen

Day 3: Tübingen
Market place of Tuebingen, PD-Ramessos
[ source: Wikipedia]

It is believed that the University of Tübingen was founded in Bad Urach. You won't be able to confirm that today by visiting this city, but you will be amazed by Tübingen's beauty, architecture and location on the Neckar River and in the Mountains of the Swabian Jura. Around 22,000 university students make Tübingen in fact a very young city with a unique medieval charm. Stroll around the completely preserved old town up to the Hohentübingen Castle, giving you great views of the city and the surrounding stunning nature. Side walk cafes, wine bars and students pubs add to Tübingen's undoubted charm. To get another perspective take a boat tour on the Neckar River, perhaps in one of the famous Stocherkahn, which are navigated by a long wooden pole.


Day 4: Esslingen and Stuttgart

Day 4: Esslingen and Stuttgart
Market square Esslingen, GNU-Magnus Manske
[ source: Wikipedia]

On you day tour to Stuttgart make a stop at the former free imperial city of Esslingen am Neckar, beautifully embedded in the Neckar valley and surrounded by vineyards. Part of the German Framework Road the timber-framed structures of the Old Town provide a timeless look into a long history. The Esslinger Castle, dating back to the 14th century, was never owned by a noble dynasty but built by the citizens of Esslingen and have since then become a multi purpose majestic city park. Only a few miles north lies Stuttgart, charmingly embedded in one of the largest wine growing regions of Germany. Stuttgart is particular attractive with its beautiful squares, noble castles and buildings displaying differing architectural styles. Vineyards which reach into the inner city, parks, forests and orchards cover more than half of the 11,000 hectare large city, making it one of the most beautifully located large cities of Europe. Go on a walking tour in the historic center or join a guided coach tour taking you to the city's most important points of interest. The tour includes a road trip offering wonderful panoramic views all the way up to the TV Tower with a splendid view of Stuttgart and its surroundings. In the evening you might like to see a musical: Wicked - the witches of Oz or We will rock you.


Day 5: Blaubeuren and Ulm

Day 5: Blaubeuren and Ulm
Blautopf in Blaubeuren, GNU-Reinhard Kraasch
[ source: Wikipedia]

The old tanner quarter of Blaubeuren, about 10 miles west of Ulm, was widely known as Little Venice. With every step on the winding streets through town you encounter the late Middle Ages with splendid half-timbered houses and picturesque corners. The Blaubeurer citizens preserved and carefully restored its old town, which made it a real gem of the Swabian Alb. Hydropower from the Aich and Blau Rivers was used centuries ago with the establishment of seven mills, turning Blaubeuren into a very prosperous town. The famous Blautopf, Blue-Bowl, is a spring located in the city of Blaubeuren serving as the source of the river Blau in the karst landscape on the Swabian Alb's southern edge. The spring feeds the river Blau which flows in Ulm into the river Danube. The city of Ulm is home to the highest cathedral of the world! You can climb up the Munster with its 768 steps and be rewarded with panoramic views of Ulm and Neu Ulm, and maybe even get a glimpse of the Alps. The historic town center lies around the Munster and you will absolutely enjoy exploring more of the historical architectural splendor. Later, the Fishermen's and Tanners' Quarter on the banks of the River Blau will undoubtedly fascinate you with its medieval looks enhanced by cobblestone alleys, half-timbered houses and picturesque footbridges.


Day 6: Fairy tale Castle Lichtenstein and magnificent limestone caves

Day 6: Fairy tale Castle Lichtenstein and magnificent limestone caves
Lichtenstein Castle, overlooking the Echaz Valley, GNU-Andreas Tille
[ source: Wikipedia]

Duke Wihelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, must have shared the romantic passion for castles when he constructed Lichtenstein Castle in the nineteenth century. It is perched on a rock high above the valley floor near Honau in the Swabian Alb and gives the clear impression of a fabulous fantasy castle like Neuschwanstein, yet a bit more compact. Still owned by the Dukes of Urach, the castle is open to visitors and contains a large collection of historic weapons, armor and treasures. A guided tour shows the courtyard, weapons hall, castle chapel, drinking room, royal room, heraldic room, bay window room and the knights hall, and in the staircase the famous archer of Lichtenstein. The Swabian Alb is a huge limestone reef eroded by water over millions of years, resulting in a fascinating underground world with countless caves. The Nebelhöhle, Mist-Cave, near Sonnenbühl-Erpfingen and the Bärenhöhle, Bear-Cave, near Sonnenbühl-Erpfingen are illuminated caves well worth a visit for anyone. The magnificent Nebelhöhle, is a very large limestone cave with stalactites and stalagmites and described as one of the most beautiful show caves in the Swabian Alb. This fascinating natural display of the subterranean world measures a magnificent 1,250 ft. Thanks to modern lighting the geological peculiarity of its karst formation is made easily accessible and turns a visit to this special wonder of nature into an unforgettable experience. Bone finds indicate that the Bärenhöhle was inhabited already over 20,000 years ago. Rhinos, cave lions and of course also bears took shelter here. The cave was discovered some 50 years ago and opened for visitors with accessible 890 ft. Above the Bärenhöhle there is the large leisure park, Dreamland. This most beautiful amusement park at the exit of the cave provides the right relaxation especially for children after the educational excursion into the world below.


Day 7: Departure

Day 7: Departure
Swabian Alps winter impressions, GNU-Dr. Eugen Lehle
[ source: Wikipedia]

Whether you visit Bad Urbach just for a vacation and an occasional relaxation in the thermal waters, or take full advantage of the healing waters and the numerous offered treatments, it never gets boring. Tip: Between the months of October and May the AlbThermen offer a very romantic treat on each 1st Saturday. Candlelight, dreamy sounds ad special light installations turn the whole place into the backdrop of a fairy tale and special little surprises await you at their Cafeteria Cappuccino.


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Where to Stay?

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Bad Urach

Bad Urach
[ source: Flickr ]

Bad Urach is located in Baden-Württemberg at the foot of the Swabian Alb, and it is known for its spa and therapeutic baths. Looking for a therapeutic spa retreat? Look no further! The city is an officially recognized health resort and spa. The 61°…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bad Urach Vacation Rentals


Reutlingen

Reutlingen
[ source: Flickr ]

Known for its textile history, Reutlingen has the interesting fame of being home to the world's narrowest street, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Spreuerhofstrasse was built in the 1720s after the city was largely destroyed by a huge…  [ + ] More Details

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Stuttgart

Stuttgart
[ source: Flickr ]

Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Württemberg and has a population of almost 600,000. Presently it is the 6th largest city in Germany. It is most famous for its automotive industry - both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have their headquarters in Stuttgart…  [ + ] More Details

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Tübingen

Tübingen
[ source: Flickr ]

Tübingen's scenic location between the forests, the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb), and the river Neckar make it a beautiful locale in southwest Germany. The city dates back to 1078 and is remarkably well-preserved. The old town, which lies along the…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Tübingen Vacation Rentals


Ulm

Ulm
[ source: Flickr ]

Ulm is a town at the edge to Bavaria in Baden-Württemberg, south west Germany. Visit Ulm's old town: It has the highest steeple (Cathedral) in the world (161.53m) - the Munster - even higher than the Dome of Cologne. The famous Albert Einstein was born…  [ + ] More Details

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How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

You can cut down your vacation costs significantly by following these simple rules:

  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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