Part of the Romantic Road through southern Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a lovely well-preserved medieval town. Some say that the name “Rothenburg”, which comes from the German words rot (red) and burg (burgh, medieval fortified settlement), refers to the red-colored roofs of the houses which overlook the Tauber river. Indeed, the little houses with those adorable red roofs are only one of the many enchanting things about this city. I’ve spent one day there during my road trip in Germany and have prepared a guide, so get your comfy shoes and get ready to walk a lot and enjoy this city to the most!
First things first: the breakfast
The einzigARTig Café was a happy find. I was attracted to the café’s coziness from the look of their outside seats and they won me with their kind staff and the food: delicious with a presentation that matches the beauty of the cafe. Everything is homemade with visible love and care. The place looks like a grandma’s house: pretty, heartwarming – and you can even buy their decoration!
I loved this place so much that I went back at the end of the day for a lemonade. A curious thing (totally new and memorable for me) was that they exchanged plastic straws for spaghetti! Zero plastic waste and works perfectly – better than paper straws!
You can find the cafe here.
The Medieval Wall walk
Rothenburg still has its city walls from the middle ages standing and available to be walked. It is a covered walkway, allowing you to explore it even in a less than favorable weather. It is free of charge, an easy walk (around 4km) and offers excellent views over the Tauber Valley and of the town itself. Be careful with some slippery rocks on the floor and low ceilings!
The City Centre
In addition to its picturesque beauty, you can find lovely stores everywhere selling handmade toys, the famous cuckoo clocks, Christmas decorations, souvenirs… it is like the entire city is a permanent Christmas market. It has also some medieval-themed stores.
This picturesque yellow house is the postcard of Rothenburg and probably the most photographed corner in Germany. Usually crowded by tourists, the best idea is to arrive early in the morning to appreciate the view and take some good photos.
You can find Plönlein location here.
Lunch at The Roter Hahn
In the heart of the city, after walking all morning everything you need is good food and a nice Franconian wine. Dating from 1380, this restaurant (that is also a Hotel) has many food options for non-vegetarians and a few – but delicious – for vegetarians. The service is lovely and the environment resembles a tavern. Worth the visit!
You can find the restaurant here.
“Snowball”, in English, is a round shortcrust pastry (with varying sizes that can even be even bigger than your head!) that has been a delicacy for at least 300 years in the region of Franconia. Besides the classical ones dusted with confectioner’s sugar, there are recipes glazed with chocolate and nuts or filled with marzipan. Considered the signature dish of the town, it is a very common souvenir. You can find it almost everywhere there!
For people who love the Christmas season like me, this is a must visit. Christmas trees first gained popularity in Germany and the German Christmas Museum will tell you all about its origins. The museum is very informative and has a vast collection of so many aspects of Christmas and the decorations used over time. The entrance is only 4 euros. Photographing the collection’s items is not allowed.
At the main floor and downstairs, there is a museum store. It is a delight to the eyes. Some parts of the store don’t allow pictures unfortunately. There are so many Christmas decorations and Christmas trees that you’ll instantly get your “Merry Christmas” mood!
You can find the museum here.
If after all that you still have time, allow yourself to wander in this city. Every corner and random street is beautiful and looks like it came out of a fairytale book.