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Map: The perfect road trip across Germany

Road trip

This map shows the perfect road trip across Germany

Randy Olson, an American data scientist, is specialized in calculating optimized road trips. He already computed maps for the United States and Europe which that show the shortest routes between landmarks. Based on 50 attractions hand picked by editors from the German travel magazine TRAVELBOOK, Randy now created the perfect road trip across Germany.

It is not easy to pick 50 attractions for a country like Germany, which is rich in culture, history and nature and has so much to offer. However, TRAVELBOOK, the biggest German online travel magazine, made the attempt and created a list with the most beautiful and important landmarks that every visitor to Germany should see.

The list includes historical sites, buildings, nature parks and some of the most beautiful lakes. It is the perfect bucket list for everyone who wants to get to know Germany (better).

„My optimization algorithm is harnessing the evolutionary process“

But how exactly does Randy’s algorithm work? „First, I query Google Maps for driving directions between every landmark, which provides me with 2450 driving directions for the 50 landmarks“, Randy explains TRAVELBOOK. „Next, I randomly generate 100 road trips, where each road trip has an itinerary that visits each landmark only once but in a different order.“

The perfect road trip through Germany passes by the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage SiteFoto: Getty Images

Then Randy chooses ten of those road trips that visit every landmark in the shortest driving distance and makes ten copies of each of them and includes some small adjustments to the route and picks again the ten shortest road trips. This process is repeated a thousand times. „At the end of the thousand iterations, the optimization algorithm provides the optimized road trip that we see here“, he says.

„My optimization algorithm is harnessing the evolutionary process to generate optimized road trips.“

3416,67 miles and 16 german states

The perfect road trip across Germany covers exactly 3416,67 miles and leads you through every state of the country.

„The entire trip would take an estimated 3.08 days of driving without stopping“, Randy tells TRAVELBOOK. „So a dedicated traveler could finish the trip in about 5 days if they only spent about 1 hour at every stop and did not stop to eat, drink, sleep, bathe, nor go to the bathroom. Unless you’re looking to beat a world record, I do not recommend taking this road trip that quickly.“

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains in the Saxon Switzerland National Park is one of Germany’s most beautiful natural wondersFoto: Getty Images

These are the 50 attractions on the perfect route through Germany

  1. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
  2. Sanssouci, Potsdam
  3. Bauhaus, Dessau
  4. Brocken, Harz
  5. AutoMuseum Volkswagen, Wolfsburg
  6. Schwerin Palace
  7. Seebrücke (pier) Heiligendamm
  8. Königsstuhl, Rügen
  9. Holsten Gate, Lübeck
  10. The Wadden Sea National Park
  11. Lighthouse, Ellenbogen, Sylt
  12. St. Pauli Piers, Hamburg
  13. Town Musicians of Bremen
  14. German Emigration Center, Bremerhaven
  15. Münster Cathedral
  16. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Essen
  17. Königsallee, Düsseldorf
  18. Cologne Cathedral
  19. Beethoven House, Bonn
  20. Deutsches Eck (german corner), Koblenz
  21. Porta Nigra, Trier
  22. Saar Loop, Mettlach
  23. Lorelei, Sankt Goarshausen
  24. Kurhaus Wiesbaden
  25. Römer, Frankfurt
  26. Heidelberg Castle
  27. Casino of Baden-Baden
  28. Europa-Park, Rust
  29. World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, Schonach im Schwarzwald
  30. Hölderlin Tower, Tübingen
  31. New Palace, Stuttgart
  32. Ulm Minster
  33. Mainau, Constance
  34. Breitachklamm ravine, Allgäu
  35. Neuschwanstein Castle, Schongau
  36. Königssee, Schönau in Bavaria
  37. Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), Munich
  38. Danube gorge, Kelheim
  39. Old Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  40. Chain Bridge, Nürnberg
  41. Bayreuth Festival Theatre, Bayreuth
  42. Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes, Saalfeld
  43. Wartburg, Eisenach
  44. Erfurt Cathedral
  45. Goethe-Nationalmuseum, Weimar
  46. Augustusplatz, Leipzig
  47. Zwinger, Dresden
  48. Saxon Switzerland National Park (Elbe Sandstone Mountains)
  49. Marienplatz, Görlitz
  50. Spreewald (Spree Woods), Brandenburg
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