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14 Things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Best Medieval Town in Germany

Updated: 2 days ago


Rothenburg is one of the best-preserved towns of Germany which takes you back into the Medieval times. The town is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria. The town has intact medieval walls which used to be for feeding farm animals in old times.



Germany has countless towns that present the livelihood of the Medieval times like Bamberg, and Bad Windsheim but undoubtedly our favorite Medieval town is Rothenburg. Don’t get confused as there are several Rothenburgs in Germany, Make sure you have planned for Rothenburg ob der Tauber.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
View of Old town Rothenburg from Town Wall

Rothenburg used to be the second largest city in Germany in the Middle Ages but now it’s a small town which welcomes uncountable tourists from all over the world and provides them the chance to experience the Medieval times in Germany.



How to Reach to Rothenburg:


Train:


If you are living in Germany, it’s highly recommended to take a High-Speed train (ICE train) or you could also use a Deutschland ticket if you're traveling from a nearby German State. Tickets. High-speed train tickets are more expensive than the bus but if you book your trip in advance then you can get a cheaper ticket.


If you don't have a Deutschland ticket and you are planning your one-day trip within Bayern state, then the Bayern ticket is the best and cheapest way to travel within Bayern state for a day.



Bus:


You can also take a Flixbus. It's a cheaper option but takes more time than the train.


Check below to find out the best prices of tickets to travel to different destinations using Omio.




Things to do at at Rothenburg ob der Tauber:


1. Exploring Old Town:


The Old Town of Rothenburg literally transported us back in time to the medieval era. The narrow cobblestone pathways and captive architecture of half-timbered houses are truly mesmerizing. Every corner of the old town surprised us with its charm.


We entered the town from the southeastern entrance of the Röder Gate and were amazed at our first impression of the picturesque village.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Röder Turm, Rothenburg ob der tauber

The city used to have an imperial defense hold in the past. It had 46 defensive watch towers and 4 KM long walls.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Röder Gate, Rothenburg ob der tauber

You can also take a tour of Rothenburger Turmweg with a guided tour.


More German Markets Travel Blogs:


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburger Turmweg

After that, we walked on Obere Schiedgasse towards Marktplatz. It's one of the most famous streets of Rothenburg with the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals. The street has local shops, cafes, and hotels on both sides.


We were totally impressed by traditional crafts and artistic workshops presenting the century-old cratsmanship. There are also many local bakeries offering mouthwatering pastries.



During the daytime, the old town is bustling with visitors, but as the day ends, most of the day travelers go back - it's a perfect time to enjoy the town.


2. The Old Town Walls:


The Old Town Walls gave us a sneak peek of the history of when these walls played a huge part in the defense of the city. The wall was constructed between the 13th and 14th centuries and protected the city from the siege during different times.


We entered the city from the Röder Gate and we climbed up the stairs and walked on the walls of the old town.



The view of the old town was just mesmerizing from the walls and watch towers. We were totally lost in the beauty of the town.


Rothenburg city walls
Rothenburg city walls

We also experienced the tunnels beneath the medieval walls. There are still some cannons installed over there.


We walked along the walls of the old town and enjoyed the panoramic views, picturesque gardens, and red-tiled rooftops. There are different towers and gates and you can climb up and down at different points.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Tunnels beneath defense wall

3. Plönlein (Little Square):


Plönlein is the most famous landmark of Rothenburg which provides the best background for photography of the Medieval town. It's a yellow timber framed house with a fountain on the front at the entrance of the Spital Quarter. 


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Plönlein, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Plönlein is a half-timbered house with colorful facades that take to our storybook. Plönlein means a "little square" and it's inspired by the famous German Christmas carol, "O Tannenbaum" ("O Christmas Tree").





Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Kobolzeller Tor, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

This medieval classic was copied and used by Walt Disney’s famous Pinocchio in 1940 to present the medieval scene that made Plönlein a World famous landmark.


4. Rothenburg Town Hall (Rathaus):


The Rothenburg Town Hall or Rathaus is one of the main landmarks of Rothenburg. It has baroque architecture with 3-storey buildings.


Rothenburg Town Hall
Rothenburg Town Hall

On the other side of the square are timber-framed houses which are a typical specialty of Rothenburg. The Clock tower has a balcony with an elegant clock tower.


We climbed up to the top of the tower and enjoyed a beautiful view of the town.


5. Hangout at Marktplatz:


The Marktplatz of Rothenburg is a charming square that is a center to socialize and enjoy the town's rich cultural heritage. The Marktpltaz is a Renaissance-style building and it has colorful half-timbered houses, and charming cafes and Town Hall.


Marktplatz Rothenburg
Marktplatz Rothenburg

Marktplatz organizes events and festivities and it also hosts the Rothenburg Christmas Market with different stalls and provides a lively environment.


There is a narrow way which takes to the Grüner Markt. And leads to the famous St.Jacob’s Church.


Rothenburg is also famous for its Christmas market. Check out our blog about the Rothenburg Christmas Market.



6. St. James's Church:


St. James's is a reflection of Rothenburg's rich history and architectural heritage. It was built in 1311 in the heart of the town. The church has gone through different renovations and expansions during different times which is quite visible. The Gothic architecture with spires and carved stones enhanced the beauty of the church.


St. James's Church, Rothenburg
St. James's Church, Rothenburg

The interior has significant artworks, including altarpieces, frescoes, and religious relics. The church also holds significant religious importance and hosts religious services.


7. Gerlachschmiede:


It's a most charming half-timbered house with the beautiful work of legendary blacksmith Gerlach Georg. To enjoy the best view of the building, it's highly recommended to step up the town walls and enjoy the view.


Rothenburg Old Town
Rothenburg Old Town

8. Souvenirs Shopping:


Rothenburg is the best place to buy lovely handmade decor for the home. You can find these shops on every street in Rothenburg's old town. The town offers an incredible shopping experience for Christmas as well.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg Christmas Shop

It has famous shops like Käthe Wohlfahrt which sell beautiful souvenirs, Christmas tree ornaments, cravings, decors, etc. The Käthe Wohlfarhrt also has a Christmas Museum inside the store.


More German Markets Travel Blogs:


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Käthe Wohlfarhrt, Rothenburg ob der Tauber


9. The Castle Garden (Burggarten)


The Castle Garden, also known as Burggarten is a serene oasis and provides a relaxing escape. It used to be a part of defensive walls of the town and now it changed into a Garden. It's a lush green garden with beautiful flowers and a peaceful experience.


The Castle Garden also hosts various events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibitions, and cultural festivals.


10. Medieval Crime Museum


The Medieval Crime Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber takes back to the time to discover the crimes and its punishments in the Middle Ages. You can find out the details about medieval law, how they used to investigate criminals and provide them punishments. There is also a collection of different torture devices.


11. Klingentor


Klingentor used to be another gate to enter the city from south back in time. It was constructed in the 14th century and served to protect the town from the direction of the river.


Klingentor Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Klingentor Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Apart from defensive purposes, the gate is also a beautiful masterpiece with Gothic architecture. From Klingentor, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


12. Spitalhof and Spitaltor:


After experiencing one of the most defensive city walls, we started walking towards the town center and entered Cobblestone streets from Spital Tor. We walked on the cobblestone streets of the famous Spitalgasse.


Old Town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Old Town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Passing through the Spitaltor, we found ourselves on the cobblestone streets of Spitalgasse has half-timbered houses, shops, and charming cafes.


As we walked along Spitalgasse, we were indulged in the beauty of old buildings adorned with colorful flowers.


13. The Master Builder's House (Baumeisterhaus)


The Master Builder's House, also known as Baumeisterhaus, takes back to the Renaissance period and it showcased the skilled craftsmanship and artistic flair of its time.


Rothenburg Old Town
Rothenburg Old Town

14. Night Watchman Tour:


The tour of Rothenburg is incomplete without the Night Watchman tour. As the sun goes down, the watchman carrying a flickering lantern wanders the cobblestone streets takes into the tour, and narrates the stories of knights, and merchants.


Recommendation for Restaurants/Cafe:


As the town is very touristy, they have lots of street cafes, Restaurants, and hotels. We have been to two different restaurants and loved it.


1. Hotel Roter Hahn:


It’s a restaurant within the Hotel Roter Hahn. It’s a typical German-style restaurant and was almost full of people. It has great Ambience but service was quite slow because of the rush.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Hotel Rother Hahan, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

2. Einzigartig Cafe:


The cafe is located on Galgengasse Street. Einzigartig means “Unique” and no doubt is a very interesting and unique cafe. The cafe is themed on art, antiques, and bells with Chic and vintage furniture. The cafe also offers a shopping experience so you can also shop for some vintage masterpieces from the cafe.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Einzigartig Cafe

They also have their apartments for their stay in Rothenburg. Be aware of the closing timings, because most of the Cafes close around 6 PM.


Ending Note:


Rothenburg is even a small town, it's highly recommended to stay a night in the town and experience the calmness and the beauty of the town when day triper leave the town.







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