If you are looking for a beautiful place and experience a real fairy-tale feeling you should add Rothenburg to your bucket list. Find out about best things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany and the best places to visit in Rothenburg.
Some places seem unreal — and if you are looking for a beautiful, but unreal, fairy tale-like town in Germany, then you should visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Believe me, Rothenburg is a place for your Germany itinerary.
I am sure you will not be disappointed and if you are wondering what to do in Rothenburg (as it is quite small) and best things to do in Rothenburg you´l field the answers in this blog post.
Best Things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
- 1 Best Things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
- 2 Important Things to Know Before Visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- 3 Best Things to Do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Rothenburg Itinerary
This post is about some important travel tips for Rothenburg and then you will find out about the most beautiful places in Rothenburg and the best things to do.
Why Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber?
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. It is one of the first (or last) stops of the RomanRoad – road trip. The end (or beginning) of the more than 400 kilometre long road trip (where you will pass many medieval towns and pretty castles) is Neuschwanstein Castle near the Austrian and Swiss border.
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 (UPDATED: I revisited again, one year later just because it is so pretty).
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 🙂
Important Things to Know Before Visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber
How to Arrive in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
I came by car, as I was heading to Switzerland afterward. 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 daytime; free parking from 6 pm until 9 am).
While I headed to Switzerland afterwards, Rothenburg is a popular stop when doing a road trip through Southern Germany.
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.
P.S. For tours I either book via Viator or -lately – with GetYourGuide. I think both are good, though I like the organization of the GetYourGuide websites a bit better.
Where to Stay 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 as 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
€ – Hotel zur Silbernen Kanne (that is the simple hotel I stayed at. If you plan to discover Rothenburg most of the time and be out, this is a good alternative if you are on a budget).
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? 🙂
Pin me for Later
I only had about 12 hours to actually do something in Rothenburg, and I can tell you: a day is not enough time for one of the best-preserved, medieval towns in Europe – if you can you should try to spend at least 2 days in Rothenburg – or a minimum of one day in Rothenburg (and I mean a real full day which means like 24 hours in Rothenburg).
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.
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.
Best Things to Do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Rothenburg Itinerary
Here are my ideas for things to do in Rothenburg in one day or two.
#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!
If you take some breaks and enjoy the views it should take about 2 hours.
#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
More Points of Interests in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
#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, it is lovely to walk around and wander aimlessly from one corner to the next.
Here you´ll find some of the most interesting tourist attractions in Rothenburg and these 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 and it seems to be a reason why this is one of the most popular places to see in Rothenburg old er Tauber.
#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 and I think it is even a cool landmark in Rothenburg.
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).
Wondering about more things to see in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany?
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):
Cannot Get Enough? Rothenburg ob der Tauber Things to Do…..
#6 Top of Town House Tower
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 and is one of the best sights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
#7 Medieval Crime and Justice Museum
Visit the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum and learn about the jurisdiction in the only law museum in Europe (not that romantic anymore).
#8 Night Tour
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 (about 6€).
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. Here is another stop of the Romantic Road – Wurzburg.
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