Tristan’s 30th birthday was coming up and he had wanted nothing more than to spend his day in the sun and an adventurous country we hadn’t been to before. Perfect timing, as Covid-19 was doing its mischief in all the beautiful countries of the world 😅 and the Foreign Office in Germany was issuing travel warnings, so that my original plans for a trip to Albania were thwarted. ❌ So I had to find an alternative and that was: get in the car and head south, along the Romantic Road to the sun! 😎 Our first stop led us to the charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber in our home country Germany. To be honest, we didn’t realize at the time how much hype there was around the town, but we can definitely confirm that this huge popularity is justified. In my blog article, I will tell you our favorite sights and tips to experience the city in a relaxed way in just a few hours. ⏰
Welcome to the Middle Ages🏰
Rothenburg is enthroned on a hill and surrounded by a well-preserved city wall, where you can also park your car directly. 🚘 We parked at the P4 Galgentor parking lot and entered the old town directly through the gate. To be fair, I have to say that we arrived in Rothenburg already at 9:30 am, so the parking lot was still very empty at that time. Later, however, it looked quite different. 🙈
Through the gate and we felt like we were transported to another time – gorgeous half-timbered houses, charming alleys with cobblestones, pretty turrets, and fountains. We discovered one beautiful place after another and were quite enchanted. While I was cursing the current situation because of the Coronavirus, I could finally see something really positive about it, because while you normally have to share Rothenburg with many people or tourist crowds, the city was swept on this day as if empty and we could walk quite comfortably through the city. So what should you see on your tour? 👀
Central market place and town hall 🌸
The perfect starting point for your walk through Rothenburg is the town hall, which is located directly on the centrally located market square and can not be overlooked by its stair tower. The town hall tower offers a popular viewing platform to give you a view over the whole old town and surrounding area. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 protection measures, it was not accessible and the view was denied to us.
Nevertheless, you can admire a lot in the marketplace. Opposite the city hall, there are all kinds of nice cafes, restaurants, and stores that invite you to linger. In addition, you will find the old fountain Georgsbrunnen on the square and directly behind it the meat and dance house, as well as the magnificent pharmacy Marienapotheke – all great photo motifs. 📸
Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Dream 🎄
Turning right from the market square, you’ll come straight to the Herrngasse, where you’ll find one of my favorite places in Rothenburg, and that’s the German Christmas Museum and Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas stores. For all Christmas lovers, this is the absolute dream! 😍So in Rothenburg, it’s Christmas 365 days a year, meaning you don’t have to stop by during the pre-Christmas season. 👍
Like the town hall tower, the Christmas museum was unfortunately closed for Corona when we visited, but the Christmas store alone is a veritable Christmas village full of nutcrackers, Christmas tree baubles, wooden ornaments, and decorated Christmas trees. In front of the store was placed a Christmas vintage bus, just magical! 🎅 As a small souvenir, a pretty Christmas ball for our Christmas tree could not be missing, of course. 🙊
By the way, at the end of the street, you will also find the beautifully decorated fountain Herrnbrunnen. ⛲
Probably the most famous photo motif of the town is the narrow half-timbered house Plönlein, which is located on a small square surrounded by pretty houses, a fountain, the tower Siebersturm and the gate Kobolzeller Tor. It looks really beautiful and shows why Rothenburg is considered one of the most romantic cities in Germany. 💗 Of course, a photo for our photo book should not be missing.
On your way from the Christmas village to the Plönlein you will pass the bakery Striffler. There you can try Rothenburg’s specialty, the Schneeballen, and also watch them being made. A Schneeballen is a roundish (like a snowball) pastry made of shortbread, which you can get in different variations, for example, dusted with powdered sugar. My favorite was the dark chocolate snowball – yummy! 😋 Since they keep for about three weeks, it’s also no problem at all to take a few bales for home.
The tower trail 🗼
Something I find beautiful about Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the walkable city wall, from which you can see large parts of the pretty town. 😍 The tower trail takes you 4 kilometers around the city and has 22 stops. There are stairs and towers all along the wall to get to the top. We climbed up at Kobolzeller Tor and really enjoyed the sunny view of the many turrets. 🌤
Colorful Wenggasse 🌈
Back from Plönlein and Kobolzeller Tor towards the center, you pass the colorful street Wenggasse. Here you can expect colorful houses and beautiful flower tendrils. 🌷 The Wenggasse is very quiet and a great spot for a photo. At the end of the alley, you will also reach the Gerlach smithy.
The Gerlach smithy 🏡
Looking for a suitable place to taste our Schneeballen, we came across the beautiful and abandoned half-timbered house, the Gerlach smithy, at the end of the Wenggasse. As the name suggests, the house was once a blacksmith’s shop. Today, however, it is closed and is privately owned. Nevertheless, this hidden place is totally beautiful, and in front of the house, there are benches where you can let the sun shine on your nose. 😍
Markusturm and Röderbogen 👣
After the many new impressions, we felt like a cool refreshment, so we walked back to the market square via the street Rödergasse. Passing pretty cafés you walk towards the tower Markusturm and Röderbogen. From the flower-lined fountain Röderbrunnen, you have a wonderful view of both. Our Rothenburg visit ended with a cool beer in the sun and a view of the town hall. 🍻😎
Rothenburg Summary 🌺
Rothenburg ob der Tauber turned out to be a really beautiful, colorful old town with a lot of charm. No wonder that it is one of the highlights on the Romantic Road. 💗 Due to Corona, we could not visit everything, but the city was empty of tourists and that is also a pretty big advantage. So if you don’t fall in love with Rothenburg after walking through the old town, well, I can’t help you. 😃 My plan: at Christmas time we come again!