A popular starting point for the Romantic Road, Würzburg is a lovely and lively town. The former comes from its picturesque location in the heart of the Franconian wine region, with rolling hills, pretty vineyards, and many beautiful buildings. The town is famous for its '100 churches', and the Residential Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Other attractions include the Alte Mainbrucke, an old pedestrian bridge which provides great views of the river, the castle and the cityscape in general, a wonderful vantage point from which to take photographs and also a spot where you can hire a boat to take a cruise down the river. The castle, called the Marienburg Fortress, dates back to the 12th century and boasts lovely gardens as well as housing a museum and restaurant. The Saint Kilian Cathedral, one of the largest Romanesque churches in Germany, is also worth a visit.
Far from being a sleepy historical town, Würzburg is home to some 50,000 students who keep the nightlife jumping. A number of excellent German restaurants and colourful wine festivals add to the appeal. Located at the very northern tip of Bavaria on the Main River, Würzburg is linked to cities like Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich by train and makes an excellent excursion or weekend trip, even if you don't take the Romantic Road south.