The Romantic Road winds its way through 180 miles of picturesque German landscape. Skirting the Austrian border, it passes dozens of charming medieval towns, quaint villages, and fairytale castles. The most famous along this daisy chain of towns is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Nestled alongside the Tauber River, the charming city in the Franconian heartland is considered by many to be the best-preserved medieval town in all of Europe. Compact and pedestrian friendly, it is best seen on foot as you stroll past timbered houses and squares where the history of the 30 Year’s War still echoes through the turrets. Here are our top 10 things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
Take a Walking Tour -- For tales of medieval life and a thousand years of Rothenburg history, there’s no better way to experience the town than on a guide-led walking tour.
Climb Town Hall Tower -- For the best views of the town and surrounding countryside, climb to the top of the tower and then stroll the 2.5 miles around the city wall.
Walk the City Wall -- When Rothenburg was the second-largest city in Germany, it boasted a protective wall of 70 watchtowers, covered ramparts, and soaring turrets.
Visit the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum -- Housed in a former monastery of the Monks of Saint John, the museum features exhibits on centuries of Medieval law, torture devices, and crime history - including the prosecution of the Bavarian witches.
Visit St. Jakob’s Church -- The city’s most important church dates back to 1485 and is known for its altar carving of the apostles, the huge stained glass windows, and the altarpiece carved by Riemenschneider, the Michelangelo of Germany.
Go Shopping -- Make sure to allow time in you schedule to roam the many charming shops in Rothenburg famous for wine glasses, Christmas ornaments, and art.
Go to Plonlein Corner -- The most iconic spot in the entire city, Plonlein Corner features colorful, half-timbered homes with window boxes spilling with flowers and cobblestone streets straight out of a fairytale. Make sure to have your camera ready.
Eat Schneeball -- This fried ball of piecrust is beloved in this part of Germany and a must to enjoy as an afternoon snack.
See the Christmas Store --If you can’t make it here during the festive Advent season, make sure to stop by the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store. Open year-round with five locations, the store is world-renowned for its ornaments and Christmas decor.
Go To Hell (To Hell Tavern, that is) -- The To Hell Tavern is one of the city’s best venues for authentic German food. Housed inside the oldest home in Rothenburg, the tavern got its name for its sheltered roof, which long ago made the lane dark at night and gave it the nickname of Hell. Enjoy some local Franconian wine while you sample the many local specialties.
You can spend some time exploring Rothenburg ob der Tauber on YMT Vacations’ land tour and river cruise: Romantic Rhine & Germany’s Highlights. This 14-day itinerary features stops in Berlin and Munich as well as a river cruise through the scenic Rhine Valley. To make your plans to join this trip, call you travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.