Frankfurt, Römerberg, Hanau, Gelnhausen, Marburg, Oberstadt, Alsfeld, Bad Wildungen, Waldeck, Baunatal, Kassel, Fridericianum, Reinhardswald, Goettingen, Hamelin,...
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
There is a kingdom where fairy tales exist, and it’s a magical land where Sleeping Beauty slept, and the dwarfs surrounded Snow White. Journey through the world of the Brothers Grimm, where fictional tales are created from the realm of the real. Rapunzel's hair flicked over a castle wall, the tales of the Pied Piper, and surreal medieval villages of knightly stories. The relics of the brothers and fables of their characters blur into reality with this unique 10-day tour that immerses you in the...
Frankfurt – Poetry and History in a Compelling City
Frankfurt's modern metropolis hides a compelling history, one of the timber-framed houses and poetic echoes. While the skyscrapers are glass-fronted, the old riverbank still remembers the city's more than 2,000 years of history. Touch down in Frankfurt and be greeted by a local guide for transfer to a five-star hotel in the city. Rest and relax before an afternoon tour loops around the historical landmarks; the iconic home of Goethe, filled with his scribbled lines, ancient houses with wood frames found around Römerberg and then the museum riverbank and views of the country's innovation. The German Museum of Architecture connects the centuries, while the Museum of Applied Art has your eyes firmly in the experimental design of the future. But which future? That dreamt up in the 18th-century or that one that leads on from now? The evening is at your leisure, and the guide can make dinner recommendations as Frankfurt is the culinary center of Germany.
Hanau to Gelnhausen to Steinau an der Strasse – The World of the Brothers Grimm
The Fairy Tale Route begins with the Brothers Grimm. To understand their magic, explore their background and discover the inspiration that extended from their balconies. They were born in Hanau, where a sandstone monument proudly remembers the town's famous sons. Cobblestone lanes wind past the Neustädter Rathaus (Town Hall) to Philippsruhe Castle, a renovated ruin that is enveloped by a historical park. Next, it's Gelnhausen where a witch-tower holds grim tales from the 15th-century, and a time when fairy tales were the work of suspicion. The brothers also lived in Steinau an der Strasse, a beautiful medieval town where timbered houses lean over the lanes. Your hotel is nestled among the old cobbled center of Steinau an der Strasse and small puppetry acts play out the famous fairy tales throughout the evening. Already, the distinctions are beginning to blur, and you can sense the fantasy that surrounds you.\
Marburg – Grimm Brothers Fairytale Paintings Beneath a 10th-Century Castle
Landgrave Castle stands imperiously above Marburg, a 10th-century fortress of thick stone archways and geometric lines. It's the starting point of today's tour, a landmark of surreal grandeur and the most unusual shape. From here you will wind down the narrow lanes into Oberstadt, the enchanting old town that appears to come straight from the folk literature. It was here that the Brothers Grimm wrote several traditional fairy tales based on the stories that floated from ear to ear through the surrounding area. Fairy tale aficionados can gaze out from anywhere in Marburg and will recognize something as Otto Ubbelohde, the Brothers' painter-illustrator, used many motifs from the town and countryside which continue your vacation's blur between reality and fiction.
Alsfeld to Bad Wildungen – Through Little Red Riding Hood Land to the Village of Seven Dwarfs
Start the day in Fairytale House, a call back to the legacies found in the Marburg countryside. Inside the timbered house, find old paintings and manuscripts that would become legends, along with memorabilia from the 18th-century tales. Journey next through Little Red Riding Hood Land as indigenous forests are still dotted with white horses. Stop in Bergfreiheit, where Snow White's house is set neatly in a picturesque village as legend tells of Margaretha von Waldeck, a local beauty who was poisoned by her stepmother in 1554.
At the nearby copper works, just 450 years ago miners came from other countries with promises of no taxes in exchange. Only short, wiry and strong men were invited to apply, hence the legend of the dwarves. Snow White's house was home to such miners, and all were kept away from the young Margaretha's beauty. Spend the night just a couple of miles from the house, in the historical spa town of Bad Wildungen, where soothing thermals and steam baths will provide a relaxed evening in the heart of Germany.
Baunatal to Kassel – The Heart of the Fairytale
While the Grimm Brothers brought the fairytales to an international audience, they had been shared across Germany since the Middle Ages. It was Dorothea Viehmann who passed them down to the Brothers, and her home is an essential stop in the fairy tale narrative. Nearby is the Brothers Grimm Museum in the Palais Bellevue, filled with original documents and stories that continue to ignite the imagination. Follow the historical slant to Kassel, where the Murhardsche Library houses an incredible array of fairy tale archives. Think of a tale, and it's earliest written and drawn incarnations are likely here. Next, there's the Electoral Library, where the Brothers worked for many decades and wrote so much of their work. Complementing the facts is Kassel itself, a medieval town that could have been the setting for a hundred fairy tales. It's a destination straight from travel reverie, filled with exquisite small castles, ornate townhouses, and a maze of lanes that encourage you to explore and get lost. End the night with the illuminated Herkules monument, a sweet end to a fairy tale day.
Reinhardswald to Goettingen – The Sleeping Beauty Route Through Germany, With a Little Braid of Rapunzel
Today's route is bathed in fantasy, wrapped in legend, and a delight to decipher. Sababurg Castle climbs above the trees in Reinhardswald as spiral staircases make postcard-perfect loops through the circular domes. This is the residence of Dornröschen, otherwise known as Little Briar Rose or Sleeping Beauty. A production of the story is played out in the castle courtyard over lunch, the story enhanced by the thorny rose briars that surround the fortress. In the surrounding villages, there are tales of Prince Charming – again a fusion of reality and ridiculous bedtime story – then the plait of Rapunzel that hangs over the crenelated tower of Trendelburg Castle.
You will be greeted by a man in a suit of armor as you descend into a vaulted cellar you shake your head at the ten-meter tress of blond that hangs from a high window. How real is it? Well, it's certainly a ten-meter braid of beautiful hair, so it's up to you to decipher the narratives provided by a guide in shining armor. Finish the Sleeping Beauty Route (yes, this is a real route), in the university town of Goettingen, where the Grimm Brothers lived when they moved away from Kassel. At the heart of the old, boutique town is a bronze figurine of a poor, but beautiful, maiden who is claimed is the world's most kissed girl. Like everywhere on this tour, story and reality blur to capture your imagination.
Hamelin – The Iconic Pied Piper of Hamelin
Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper” has its origins in the town of Hamelin. Throughout the streets, there are pavement rat markers, corn sacks, cheese graters, and wonderfully picturesque stone and timbered houses. All of these combine as the tale is performed on the town square, the open air shows reminds you that this is a sad fairy tale, albeit one set in “a pleasanter spot you never spied.” The town is almost entirely from the medieval era, with hardly a modern building for miles. Watch a performance over an al fresco lunch on the town square then visit the Pied Piper House to discover the haunting stories that this legend was based upon. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure, and you would not be the first to hear flutes as they echo down the cobblestone alley.
Bad Oeynhausen to Buxtehude to Bremen – Local Legends Plus the Hare and the Hedgehog
This fairy tale route is enshrouded in a native forest as almost every drive leads you through the full awnings of ancient oaks and soaring beeches. While the settings are a blend of imagination and legend, the route is a real journey through magnificent woodland and along picturesque rivers. Today your chauffeured luxury saloon will take you through the World Heritage forest to the town of Bad Oeynhausen, where a museum is dedicated to the original legends of this land. Then it's on to Buxtehude, also wrapped in green as in the tale of the Hare and the Hedgehog. Like always, the driver guide illuminates the stories to reveal just how much reality there is in the fairy tales. End the day in Bremen, a World Heritage town that's easy to explore on your own. Every lane seems to lead past beautiful Renaissance architecture, and you're likely to hear the strange sounds of the town musicians, who are animals.
Bremen – World Heritage Renaissance and Famous Town Musicians
A donkey that plays music? A cat and cockerel call from beneath the pavements? For the Germans, one of the favorite Grimm fairy tales is that of the Bremen Town Musicians. The theatrics are played out on the main city square, and it's rather comical, especially as the donkey beats the drum. But still, not all fairy tales can be glamorous and glorious. On a city tour, explore the famous sights of Bremen as you start with the Renaissance townhouses that shimmer to World Heritage acclaim. Wander past the bronze statue of the town musicians and onto one of the historic mills that line the walls of the inner city, then to a cafe for an energizing coffee. Continue through the exquisite Schnoor, the old living quarters that survived World War II bombing and provide an incredible enchantment to complete the fairy tale itinerary.
Bremen – Departure
Return to the real world as you're transferred to the airport for your return flight. So many fairytales swill through the imagination, fusing the legendary stories of grandmothers with the scripts of the Brothers Grimm. A regional connection returns you to Frankfurt where you meet your intercontinental departure.
- Travel through the kingdom of the Brothers Grimm, an inspiring realm of fables and fairy tales
- Journey to Little Red Riding Hood Land and spend a night in the village of Snow White, where there are more than seven dwarfs
- Spend a day on the Sleeping Beauty route to discover her castle and the village that inspired the story
- Explore the local legends from Germany's past, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin and the village of the hare and the hedgehog
- Honor the most important landmarks from the time of the Brothers Grimm, including much original art and a library that celebrates their work
- Immerse yourself in the fairytale castles of the region, each with their mysterious narrative, like Rapunzel's braid dropping over a fortress wall
- Sleep in some of Germany's most enchanting medieval towns, where cobblestone alleys wind around romantic squares
- Discover the World Heritage renaissance of Bremen, with the farewell fanfare played by the city's famous musicians
Think of a fairy tale and the Brothers Grimm were probably responsible for its fame. From Little Red Riding Hood to Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel to Sleeping Beauty, these German siblings created a kingdom of make believe. All great fiction is based on fact, adapted from authors' experiences and environment, and that is the mysterious allure of the Fairy Tale Route across Northern Germany. Dotted along the trail, find dozens of very real odes to the Brothers Grimm including original artwork, libraries where they wrote and medieval towns where they worked. You will also discover the fabled history of their tales as bedtime stories from centuries before or towns with the legend of dwarfs. And then there's the blur, the link between fairy tale and the real world, the necklace of castles and attractions that nobody is certain about.
All of this envelops the route with an incredible mystique. Who was the owner of a ten-meter blond braid at Trendelburg Castle? Perhaps ghosts do fly through the Pied Piper town of Hamelin. These destinations fire the imagination, for it's immediately apparent that if anywhere could inspire a fairy tale, it would be the cobblestone and castles that fill this itinerary. Travel from Frankfurt and the Grimm brother's birthplace of Hanau as this unique 10-day vacation takes you along the Fairytale Route and through a kingdom that is as make believe as you want it to be.
Travel through Little Red Riding Hood Land to a village of dwarfs, where Snow White existed three centuries before the Brothers Grimm. Admire drawings made by the authors and original manuscripts that have been translated into 160 languages. Explore quaint cobbled towns surrounded by ancient forest, places that radiate tradition and imagination. Find castles hidden away, indulgent spas amid the trees, and local legends that became a worldwide phenomenon. With a specialist guide, journey north to Bremen and enjoy dozens of evocative stops on the route.
This vacation can be fully customized dependent on your interests, particularly for romance or for families with young children. It can also be tailored towards specific fairy tales.
$2,995 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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