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History Buff? Add These Places in Germany to Your Must-See List

The Roman Empire made great inroads into southern Germany, establishing villages, forts, and trading routes. Follow the remnants of the empire from Frankfurt to Munich and take in ancient history along the UNESCO-recognized Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes.

The City center, cathedral, city hall and the old main bridge across the Main river at night time in Germany, Lower Franconia, Würzburg


©GNTB/Francesco Carovillano

At the crossroads of several European empires, Germany has a storied history. Though each empire left its unique mark, the Romans may have held the greatest cultural influence in the south as they expanded their empire along what’s now referred to as the Limes Street. The UNESCO-recognized Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes follows a trail of fortresses and ruins of what was once the wealthy and powerful Roman Empire.

Learn about life over the last two millennia by visiting the five museums along the route. Stop to take in the remains of small forts and encampments dotting the countryside and you’ll be surprised not only by what you learn but also by how well-preserved some of these millennia-old structures are.

Begin in Frankfurt

A room with a view of the skyline at Hilton Frankfurt City Centre, Germany

Hilton Frankfurt City Centre

Courtesy of Hilton

Start your tour in Frankfurt with a stay at the Hilton Frankfurt City Centre, a remarkable hotel with a pool and spa located beside the Alte Oper, the magnificent opera house. Once an important royal palatinate of the Eastern Franconians and the Roman kings’ permanent city of choice, Frankfurt is home to the Imperial Cathedral (Kaiserdom), where several emperors were crowned after 1562.

The city has remained an important center for finance and trade, which you can witness up close with a stay in the Hampton by Hilton Frankfurt City Centre East in the heart of the financial district. Learn more about the connection between the Romans and trade at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, which is within walking distance of the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt City Centre.

Enjoy a stay at one of three Hiltons near the airport after taking in the city’s historic district and pedestrianized shopping streets, like Hilton Frankfurt Airport, Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, or Hampton by Hilton Frankfurt Airport. You could also find a pleasant place to stay off the beaten path, such as at the DoubleTree by Hilton Frankfurt Niederrad or near the convention center at the Hampton by Hilton Frankfurt City Centre Messe. Consider as well the nearby Hilton Garden Inn Mannheim before journeying onwards along the Roman Trail.

Würzburg’s Residence Palace and Court Gardens

The gilded and ornately decorated Imperial Hall of the Residence Palace in Wurzburg, Germany

The Imperial Hall of the Residence Palace in Würzburg

©Romantische Straße Touristik-Arbeitsgemeinschaft GbR/Eugenio Bersani/Latitudes Travel Magazine

Head into Würzburg to catch a glimpse of the 18th-century baroque masterpiece, Residence Palace in Würzburg with its quiet Court Gardens. Though much of the original structure was damaged during World War II, the palace’s restoration has proven remarkable, and the interiors contain reconstructed frescoes alluding to Roman history, including nods to Emperor Barbarossa.

Carry on a bit north of the Limes trail to the medieval village of Bamberg, which retains its original centuries-old buildings, including architectural styles from the Age of Enlightenment. Constructed as something of a “second Rome,” Bamberg links its agricultural surroundings to urbanity today without losing its historical atmosphere.

The modern, self-serve area where guests can get complimentary breakfast at Hampton by Hilton Nuremberg City Centre, Germany

Complimentary breakfast at Hampton by Hilton Nuremberg City Centre

Courtesy of Hilton

After a stroll through the city, go to Nuremberg to spend the night at the Hampton by Hilton Nuremberg City Centre. Offering complimentary breakfast for all guests, the hotel is also ideally located a short walk from its central station and just a few miles from the pedestrianized shopping square in the historic Old Town. Famed for its Christmas market in winter and car-free inner city that allows for gatherings in the town square during warmer months, Nuremberg combines the old with the new in unique ways. Enjoy a gingerbread or tiny sausage in the city center before touring the Imperial Castle, a 900-year-old fortress designed during the reign of Emperor Konrad III. Then travel to the outskirts of the city to learn about more recent history with a visit to the Documentation Center at the former Nazi party rally grounds, and the Memorial to the Nuremberg Trials of 1946.

Old Town Regensburg

Germany, Bavaria, Upper Palatinate, Regensburg - The Stone Bridge, St. Peter's Church and the Old Town of Regensburg reflecting on the Danube river at night.


©GNTB/Francesco Carovillano

Moving along the Limes trail, stop off briefly at the resort town of Bad Gögging on the Danube River, and immerse yourself in its thermal baths which are said to have healing waters. Carry on to Regensburg, where artifacts from millennia past are around every corner in the UNESCO-recognized Old Town. The quaint village holds architectural treasures from the 11th to 13th centuries and retains its Old World charm.

A guest room with curtains drawn at Hampton by Hilton Regensburg, Germany

A guest room at Hampton by Hilton Regensburg

Courtesy of Hilton

Stroll through the picturesque city streets and across the 12th-century Stone Bridge over the Danube to the Stadtamhof district, from where you can see the towers of St. Peter’s Cathedral, or Dom. Learn about regional history at the House of Bavarian History before turning in for the night at the Hampton by Hilton Regensburg, just a short drive from the insightful Walhalla Museum and a series of restored castles. Enjoy free WiFi and a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning before you head out.

Passau’s Roman Fort

A view from above at night of the Roman fort at the Danube to Passau, Germany


©Lookphotos/Brigitte Merz

Trace the Romans down the Danube to Passau, with its UNESCO-recognized Roman Fort at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. After a devastating fire destroyed much of the city (famous for its sword-making during the Renaissance), the historic core was rebuilt in a stunning baroque style. If you’re longing for more cultural immersion, consider a longer trip with additional stops to take in Augsburg and Bayreuth, home to the intricately decorated Margravial Opera House, with its illusionistic painting and Italian-inspired theater.

Hilton and the German National Tourist Board
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