Rothenburg is a beautiful medieval former imperial town in the Ansbach district of Mittelfranken, the Franconian Bavarian region in Germany. It is one of the most apt places to experience the medieval life, as it was lived in Germany.
The wonderfully-decorated half-timbered houses with hanging flower baskets and window boxes, large churches, beautiful narrow winding alleyways would make one fall in love with the city at first sight. One can spend a day totally away from the busy urban life climbing the towers, walking around the city atop the medieval walls, relaxing in the colorful gardens, sipping in glasses of Franconian wine, or, just walking around every nook and corner of the city admiring its virgin beauty.
Best Things To Do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
- Take a walk around the old town peripherals by climbing the medieval walls. Most parts of the wall are preserved in their original form, built in the 13th and 14th century, and covered in majority. There are many points to climb up, and usually there are steps adjacent to the towers. This is definitely fun, and a special experience, since one gets the feeling of being able to walk on the most well-preserved medieval wall in Germany. Best time: early morning or around sunset.
- Get lost walking through and around the city on a self-guided tour. City maps are available for free from the Tourist Information Center located in Marktplatz 2. In case you stay there overnight, a Nightwatchman’s Tour is highly recommended. For further details, please refer here.
- Visit the German Christmas Museum (Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum) located in the upstairs of the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village Shop (entry fees 4 Euros). They sell traditional Christmas ornaments and are open all year round.
- Visit the Rothenburg Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). In case you are there shortly before the Christmas approaches, you can experience one of the best and most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.
Top 10 Places to See in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
I hate to confuse my readers by writing big descriptions about places. Hence, to make it precise and to-the-point, I am listing out some of the best places to see in Rothenburg.
- Rathaus or the Town Hall: at one side of the city’s central square. One can also climb atop its bell tower.
- The Historical Vaults
- St. Jakobs Kirche/ St. James’ Church
- The impressive Castle Gate/ Burgtor
- Castle Garden/ Burggarten
- Franziskaner Kirche/ Franciscan Church
- Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum/ German Christmas Museum
- Medieval Crime and Justice Museum
- St. Johannis Kirche/ St. John’s Church
- Plönlein/ Sieber’s Tower: one of the most photographed structures in Germany and entire Europe.
Please let me know in your comments about your experience in visiting one or more of the above places and suggest me if I need to make any changes to my recommendations.
Local Food and Drink Specialties in Rothenburg:
- Glass of Franconian Wine: one can not be disappointed by whatever choice of wine he makes. All are good. However, specifying your taste to the serving person would make your experience even better.
- Schneeballen: a local Rothenburg Pastry, deriving its name from its round, ball-like shape and a decoration with white confectioner’s sugar.
Best Time to Visit Rothenburg:
- The best weather is during spring, summer or early fall. However, it is during these times that the city is crowded with loads of tourists.
- Christmas Time, starting from end of November till before Christmas, since the city boasts of one of the most famous Christmas Markets in Germany.
How to reach Rothenburg:
- By Train – There is a small train station, 10 min walking or 2 min by taxi from the central square. For train details, check here.
- By Bus: ‘Romantic Road Coach’, a seasonal daily bus that stops in Rothenburg, apart from the several other stops in this quite popular route.
- By Car: From Munich Central Station, take A8 or A9 and drive to Neusitz (A6 or A7). Take exit 108 to Rothenburg o.d. Tauber. Estimated time: 2.5 hrs.
Parking in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
Please keep in mind that no motor vehicles are permitted within the center of the old town between 7 pm and 6 am. On entering Rothenburg, there are multiple parking directions and locations outside the city wall. Parking fees are applicable between 9 am to 6 pm. There are the following paid parking places:
P1: Am Friedrich-Hörner Weg (trucks, buses and cars)/ P2: Nordlinger Straße (buses, camper vans and cars)/ P3: Schweinsdorfer Straße (buses, trucks, cars and camper vans)/ P4: Hornburgweg (cars only)/ P5: Bezoldweg (cars only)
Important point to note:
Make sure to put the destination as Rothenburg ob der Tauber and not other old cities named Rothenburg in Germany. As an added attraction, it falls within the beautiful Romantic Road in Germany.