Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is Germany’s best preserved walled town. This picturesque medieval village is one of the highlights on the Romantic Road, and it receives over 2.5 million visitors a year. We spent the day in Rothenburg during our road trip through Bavaria and it was by far the cutest village we visited during our 4 days on the Romantic Road.
How Long To Stay
To do it justice, I think 4-6 hours is a great amount of time to give yourself in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. This allows you to walk around, have a meal, shop and maybe see a museum. If you can, I highly recommend staying the night as the town has a much different vibe once the day tourists have vacated. We grabbed some ice cream and sat in the main square, and felt like we had it all to ourselves.
What to Do in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is most famous for it’s appearances so most of your time will likely be spent walking around and appreciating just how adorable it is. Rothenburg was actually the inspiration for the village in the Disney film, Pinocchio.
Speaking of Disney’s German influences.. check out my post on inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle.
Climb the Town Wall
We discovered this by accident and there was hardly anyone else doing it. At the entrances of the wall, you’ll notice that you can climb up and walk almost the entire perimeter of Rothenburg which gives you a unique look at the town.
Photo Op at Das Plonlein
The Plonlein is the most famous postcard image from Rothenburg Op Der Tauber. It’s just three blocks down from the main square. Make this your first stop in the morning to beat the crowds.
Rothenburg is the ultimate stop for souvenir shopping. The town has dozens of shops filled to the brim with German souvenirs; from beer steins, to Christmas ornaments to cuckoo clocks.
You can buy Christmas decorations and visit the Christmas museum year round in Rothenburg, but during the month of December, they really get into the holiday spirit. The Christmas Market is a 500 year tradition that townspeople claim has barely changed since the 1500’s. Drink mulled wine while taking in the festive winter wonderland that Rothenburg transforms into during their favorite time of year.
Christmas Market Dates
December 1 – December 23
Most restaurants within the walls are either German or Italian. We found dozens with great reviews but by the time we got to Rothenburg, we were a little tired of German food.
We discovered Rothenburger Ritterrolle which makes these flatbread wraps that were vaguely reminiscent of a burrito. They offer 5 different types of wraps (including one vegetarian one), and all for under 6 euro. It was a quick, cheap and delicious meal.
Schneeballs can be found in most Bavarian pastry shops but for some reason, they’re incredibly popular in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. They’re made from deep fried shortbread pastry and are decorated with everything from chocolate to sugar, to caramel drizzle. Schneeballs look too good to pass up, but unfortunately the taste didn’t live up to the visual. We took a few bites and threw it in the garbage.
If you are driving, you must park at one of 5 designated lots right outside the town wall. Parking is 5 euros per day.