Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany | Medieval towns in Europe

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Photo of St. Mark's Tower in Rothenburg, Germany
Photo of St. Mark's Tower in Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a city located in the state of Bavaria, Germany and is one of the most touristy cities in this country due to the preservation of its medieval heritage. It is considered by many as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe. Rothenburg ob der Tauber means "Red Fortress over the Tauber" and its origins date back to 1170. From 1274 to 1803 it was a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire, an emblem (shield with the eagle) that can be seen in various parts of the city (such as the defence towers). During the Second World War the city was bombed, although practically all the old part and its historical buildings remained intact.

How to get to Rothenburg?

We have always used public transport and the only way to get to Rothenburg is by train. Unfortunately, there is no direct connection to the big cities, which is extremely rare considering that Rothenburg is one of the main destinations in Bavaria and one of the most beautiful villages near Munich. We set off from Wurzburg and then made a transfer in Steinach. The airports near Rothenburg are: Munich (230 km), Frankfurt (180 km) and Nuremberg (80 km). Here below you can play around with the departure points and dates to see which is the most convenient way to get to the city. We also recommend renting a car to move around the area, by clicking here you will find a large selection of vehicles at the best price.

Things to do in Rothenburg

We recommend that you stroll through the city without hurry, walking through its cobbled streets, enjoying its colourful half-timbered houses and the magnificent views from the wall. Our recommendations are listed below:

  1. The Market Square (Markplatz): This is one of the city's main points and is where several events take place. Here you will find:

    • The Town Hall (Rathaus): This building is composed of two well-defined parts, a Gothic one from the 13th and 14th centuries and a newer one that was built in 1501. Its main façade is Renaissance, from the 16th century.

    • Photo of the House of Councillors in Rothenburg, Germany
      Photo of the House of Councillors in Rothenburg, Germany
    • The Councillors' Tavern: This was the place where the councillors met to drink after the meetings. It is now the city's tourist office.

    • Marienapotheke: This pharmacy has been in operation since 1812, although its wonderful half-timbered building was built by a mayor in 1448.

  2. St. James Church: Initially conceived as a Catholic church, it is now an Evangelical Lutheran church and was built between 1311 and 1484. Here you will find different works of art, such as the famous altar of the Holy Blood by the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider, carved around 1500.

  3. Photo of Rothenburg city wall, Germany
    Photo of Rothenburg city wall, Germany
  4. The Plönlein: It is one of the most famous and picturesque images of the city and one of its most photographed corners. It is a small square formed by a narrow half-timbered building with a small fountain in front, framed by the Kobolzeller and Siebers Towers (both from the 14th century).

  5. Markusturm and Röderbogen: Another typical picture of the city is composed of St. Mark's Tower and the Röder Arch, which date back to the 12th century and were part of the first city wall.

  6. The walls: The historical centre of the city is surrounded by a wall with more than 40 towers and gates, the most notable being the Markusturm, Burgtor, Weisser Tor, Galgentor and Klingentor. We recommend that you walk around the wall and enjoy the beautiful views. It is a walk of more than two kilometres and the best thing is that it's totally free.

Finally, here is an interactive map of Rothenburg, where you can easily find the location of each point of interest. By clicking on the markers, you can also go directly to the paragraph containing the information about the place of interest. Moreover, if you allow us to get your geographical location by clicking on the button below the map, you will also be able to see your position and thus to find out more easily the points of interest (reverse lookup provided by

Accommodation in Rothenburg

We toured this city in one day, although when we got to know it we were amazed and for that reason we recommend at least two. Here we leave you with two alternatives:

  • If your budget is very limited, we recommend that you evaluate the option of sleeping in hostels (perhaps sharing a room). By clicking here you will find the widest variety and the best price.

  • If your budget is a little more flexible, then the best option is certainly to sleep in a hotel. By clicking here you will find and book in the best hotels in Rothenburg.

Where to eat in Rothenburg?

As a city that depends primarily on tourism, you will find a wide variety of restaurants. We ate at the Hotel & Restaurant Reichsküchenmeister Das Herz von Rothenburg, which is located in the historical heart of the city. We actually ate very well, our choice was: sausages with sauerkraut, potatoes and some well-deserved German beers. The attention was excellent and the price just perfect! An interesting fact to keep in mind: the German portions are always large.

Lunch in Rothenburg, Germany. Sausages with sauerkraut, potatoes and beer
Lunch in Rothenburg, Germany. Sausages with sauerkraut, potatoes and beer

More information?

Below you will find our video of Rothenburg, in which we further expand on the above. If for some reason the video does not load or you find any other problem in its reproduction, by clicking here you will be able to watch the video directly from our YouTube's channel.

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