How to Spend 36 Hours in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Some places seem unreal — and if you are looking for a beautiful, but unreal, fairy tale-like town, then you should visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. Here are some information on how to spend 36 hours in Rothenburg ob der Tauber -and other pre travel info.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is located in the southern part of Germany (in Bavaria), and though I am German, it took me quite a while to finally visit. And all I can say is: It took me way too long! I cannot believe I had not been to this town before.
After a day in Rothenburg, I am happy to say that it has become one of my favorite cities in Germany because it feels like you are in a fairy tale.
In June of this year, when I was heading to Switzerland to do my annual road trip, I decided to have a layover in Rotenburg.
I knew about the beautiful houses there and that Rothenburg is “romantic and fairy tale-like,” but apart from that, I did not know what to expect.
So when I “entered” Rothenburg, I fell head over heels in love with this gorgeous city/town (p.s. I still believe that Bremen, my home town is actually the very best place to visit in Germany though 🙂
How to Arrive in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
I came by car, as I was heading to Switzerland afterwards. There are parking options in the Old Town, but at very busy times, it might be difficult to find any (and it definitely cost money in the day time; free from 6 pm until 9 am).
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (there are several Rothenburgs in Germany, but some are spelled a bit differently, so make sure to look for the correct one) has a train station and it is very easy to get there by train — it takes about 2-3 hours from Munich (the capital of Bavaria), and then you can either walk to the old town or take a bus.
A Day Trip From Munich or Frankfurt to Rothenburg
Though I do recommend staying longer than 12 hours, there are several organized tours from cities like Munich or Frankfurt. If you are interested in doing an organized tour, you can click here and see what options are available.
Where to Sleep in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
I booked my room 2 or 3 nights prior to my arrival. I was looking for a budget hotel located directly in the old town of Rothenburg. I knew I was not going to spend much time in the hotel, so I did not care much about the amenities, etc.
However, I was surprised in a lovely way by this hotel that I stayed at. It was very basic, but cute, and had a great location.
Here are more hotel recommendations (which have very good reviews):
€€€ – Hotel Herrnschlösschen
€€ – Hotel Eisenhut
Arzo´s Random Thoughts
Bring cash — seriously, several restaurants and cafes denied me service because I could not pay in cash. There are ATM but I did not want to withdraw money from a bank that is not mine because of the fees.
Luckily, I found some cash in one of my bags back at the hotel and went back to have dinner, but I am not sure how many cafes actually accept debit/credit cards.
In some parts of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is free wifi (just have to log in once) – do we not all love free wifi? 🙂
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How to Spend 36 Hours in Rothenburg
I only had about 12 hours to actually do something in Rothenburg, and I can tell you: 12 hours is not enough time for one of the best-preserved, medieval towns in Europe. I am used to rushing through places, but Rothenburg was seriously one of those places where I wished that I had more time to spend.
Though 36 hours is not much either, you should not make the same mistake that I made and rush through it — Rothenburg is just too pretty for that.
Do you remember when I wrote, “when I entered Rothenburg…” at the beginning of my post? The reason I phrased it like that is simple:
Rothenburg´s old town is surrounded by walls, with several towers rising up.
The minute I passed one tower and was inside the “wall,” I felt like I was in a theme park — one without roller coasters, but with a fairy-tale theme.
The beautiful and colorful timbered houses that line the path (though there are also some newer houses) make for plenty of eye candy to enjoy. The more I saw, the more I liked Rothenburg.
Here are my ideas for things to do in Rothenburg:
#1 Walk Around the Old Town Walls
I recommend walking along the old town walls early in the morning or in the evening — the path is very narrow and does not allow two people to walk next to each other.
Some parts are even so narrow that it might be difficult to walk if you carry a few extra pounds with you.
Great views are guaranteed!
#2 Chill at the Burggarten
The Burggarten is also in the old town of Rothenburg and a perfect place for a stroll or to relax. If you like to enjoy the views from the bench, do not forget to get some drinks beforehand and then…just enjoy.
#3 Getting Lost in the Streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Yes, I know I mentioned it before, but Rothenburg is drop-dead gorgeous.
Before visiting it, I was kind of tired of medieval cities and old towns (as I saw too many last year), and I was also unsure if Rothenburg could live up to its name.
But be assured: it can! Rothenburg´s old town is bigger than anticipated, though not huge, but it is lovely to walk around and wander aimlessly from one corner to the next.
Places and buildings you should not miss while getting lost in Rothenburg: the Market Square, the Master Builder’s House (Baumeisterhaus), and the Plönlein — Rothenburg´s most photographed sight.
#4 The Christmas Museum
I woke up very early in the morning to walk around the old town walls and so I finished quite early — too early to visit the Christmas Village (Weihnachtsdorf von Käthe Wolfart), which is a museum dedicated to one of the most popular celebrations in the world — Christmas.
The museum is open 360 days a year! I was there before 10 am, so I could not get into it (also, I had my dog with me and dogs are not allowed).
For about 4€, you can visit one of the most famous attractions in Rothenburg.
#5 A Cafe You Must Visit
I do not often recommend cafes or certain restaurants because I usually just decide spontaneously where and what I want to eat.
However, if there is one cafe in the world that I could name as the cutest cafe in the world, it would be one in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This tiny, sleepy town is home to the sweetest cafe ever:
Cafe Einzigartig (translated: Cafe Unique). Be assured that its name reflects its theme: that cafe is, indeed, very unique.
As mentioned above, I did not have much cash on me, so I could only afford one cappuccino (though I really wanted to try the delicious-looking cake they had in the display).
What Else Can You Do in Rothenburg?
Assuming that you followed my advice and decided to stay longer than 12 or 24 hours, it was a good choice because there are a few more things that I recommend (though I did not do them because no one gave me that great advice to stay longer):
#6 If you have some extra time, visit the top of the town house tower (about 2€) and climb 220 steps to enjoy (apparently) great views of Rothenburg.
#7 Visit the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum and learn about the jurisdiction in the only law museum in Europe (not that romantic anymore).
#8 Do a night tour! It was rainy on the first day that I was there so I changed my plans and did not do the night tour. But, otherwise, this would have been on my list: The almost-daily walk with the famous Nightwatchman through the darkness.
I hope you get to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber on a beautiful sunny day (or actually two days) and you´ll have more time than I did, so you´ll enjoy this place even more.
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