15 Best Things To Do In & Around Rothenburg, Germany

things to do in rothenburg germany
| 5 min read

Rothenburg is a beautiful medieval city in Germany, which is an ideal place to spend some time and experience the Gothic culture and fun. Rothenburg gets a lot of Goth-inspired visitors and offers excellent views of medieval art and architecture, loads of shopping, some interesting museums and sculptures including a famous ancient wood carving, and Gothic-inspired walking tours. Rothenburg is also a place to get into the Christmas spirit, as it holds one of the most popular Christmas markets in the world. Read on to learn about the best things to do in and around Rothenburg, Germany.

1. Medieval Crime Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Einen wundervollen und gemütlichen Sonntag euch allen

Posted by Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum on Sunday, January 17, 2021

Located within the city walls and housed in 14th-century St. John’s Commandery, Medieval Crime Museum boasts an extensive collection of torture contraptions and legal tomes and symbols. The museum’s collection started as a small private collection at the end of the 19th century and grew up to 50,000 exhibits, making it one the most important law and crime museums in Europe.

Medieval Crime Museum

Address: Burggasse 3-5, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Website: Medieval Crime Museum

Price: 7.5 EUR (9 USD)

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2. Rothenburg Tower Trail

Rothenburg, Germany
Source: Photo by Flickr user Larry Syverson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With 42 towers and 6 gates lined along the sturdy city walls, the 4 km-long (2.5 mi) long Tower Trail is a great way to become accustomed to Rothenburg’s medieval past. As you walk along the trail, stop at the many advantageous viewpoints so gracefully offered to take postcard-perfect pictures.

Rothenburg Tower Trail

Address: 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Website: Rothenburg Tower Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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3. Old Town Rothenburg

Rothenburg - Rödertor (3263128083)
Source: Photo by user Roger Wollstadt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Here one can watch the spell of medieval Germany and be part of the famous romantic road, the area is considered one of the most preserved medieval districts in the country. The ancient architecture is fenced by the old wall of the city and one can also visit the old façades and medieval homes besides cobblestone streets. One can also climb the tower of Roedertor, 60 meters (200 feet) tall, to admire the signature line of the red roofs of the city. The town also offers specialty food like Schneeballen or sugar coated fried dough.

Old Town

Address: 91541 Rothenburg, Bavaria, Germany

Website: Old Town

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4. Town walls

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (5282373514)
Source: Photo by user InSapphoWeTrust used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One can climb these walls or even experience medieval Germany from the alleys and pathways alongside. The walls surround the historic center of the city dotted with historical towers and spectacular gates of the past. One can walk on the magnificent walls to get an idea of the town horizon and the medieval structures in the city. One can also go up to the top of the watchtower to see the countryside and also the center of the city.

Town walls

Address: Around the Old Town, Rothenburg

Website: Town walls

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5. Town Hall

Rothenburg ob der Tauber town hall, May 2013
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The town hall, with an excellent façade of the Renaissance, dominates the market square. The local master architect Leonhard Weidmann designed and built this fine specimen of Renaissance architecture in the northern Alps. This was the site of a Gothic building which can still be seen in one of the painting panels by artist Friedrich Herlin on the main altar of the Church of St. James.

While the eastern part of the building was destroyed, the western part with a narrow bell tower can be found. Strictly horizontal lines of windows and cornices are broken only by a simple tower and a large, elegant corner. The Baroque game room was created later while the weapons of electoral princes decorate the arches.

The tower is located on top of the gothic part of the Town Hall and one can see the stunning panoramic view of the medieval city and its environs from the observation platform. Even in dull days, one can admire the picturesque Tauber Valley and its magnificent windmills from here. The platform is accessible by climbing 220 steps from the main gates of the Town Hall.

Town Hall

Address: Marktplatz, 91541 Rothenburg

Website: Town Hall

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6. Burg Garden

Source: Photo by user Geak used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This is a prominent garden in the town where one can walk along in the day or even night with a night watchman. The garden has a variety of flowers, well preserved lawns and interesting sculptures, while the path along the city wall manifests the surrounding valley, with its small villages and winding roads. The Imperial Castle of Rosenburg was located in what is now called the Castle Garden.

The garden is very large and beautiful, and also romantic, in the day or night. The outer path along the garden wall offers an exclusive view of the valley around Rothenburg, as well as the city itself. The corner of the garden is a favorite spot to watch the sunset.

Burg Garden

Address: Burggasse, 91541 Rothenburg

Website: Burg Garden

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7. Saint Jacobs Church

St. Jacob Rothenburg1
Source: Photo by user Chris06 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This church contains a famous altar as well as pictures of The Last Supper and other Biblical stories. The stained glass windows are impressive and the church also has a connection with Galicia in Spain, through the medieval route of pilgrimage called The Way of Saint James.

Saint Jacobs Church

Address: Kloster Alley 15, 91541 Rothenburg

Website: Saint Jacobs Church

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8. Christmas Museum

Posted by Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum on Thursday, 25 June 2015

A visit to the Christmas Museum will put you in a festive atmosphere, even if it’s not Christmas. The museum doors are open year-round and one can also get a visual impression of the history of Christmas decorations. One can also enjoy a special atmosphere of charming Christmas tree decorations, cribs, Christmas pyramids from workshops, figurines, candles, and incenses.

Christmas Museum

Address: Herrn Alley 1, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Website: Christmas Museum

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9. Night Watchman Tour

Rothenburg ob der Tauber 7064
Source: Photo by user Flominator used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is a tour of the city by a Goth style man and meets at the Town Hall and travels to key points in the city from the marketplace. The tour is full of fun and eerie stories that make it an interesting itinerary and is offered both to children and adults. The tour gives an idea of medieval life, street culture and fascinating stories about the town of Rothenburg.

The watchman also offers to take pictures with him as a souvenir document besides, of course, photography of the travel points. The tour offers history and stories about the city points and tradition and there is also a full DVD available for purchase. The Night Watchman Tour is a great way to learn the history and culture of the city in an entertaining, interesting and down to earth format like simple walks and group meetings.

Night Watchman Tour

Address: Market Square Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Website: Night Watchman Tour

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10. Double Bridge

Rothenburg - Double Bridge (2972089875)
Source: Photo by user Roger Wollstadt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Double Bridge is a pleasant promenade outside Rothenburg town and is an ancient architecture located west of the walled town and formed the defenses of the city even after a devastating earthquake.

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11. Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Mittelalterliches Kleinod an der Romantischen Straße 02
Source: Photo by user Holger Uwe Schmitt used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This is an enchanting and sparsely populated area of the Rothenburg surroundings and contains many historical souvenirs, including a palace with the best Baroque garden in Germany. Further south at the foot of the Alps, one can find the fabulous castle of Ludwig and a popular institute for performing arts. In addition to the many castles, the region offers impressive views of mountains and also sports activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, and sailing, as well as refined hotels. Many hotels offer rooms with views and fitness programs and one can also walk outside the village to nearby farms, forests, and mountains. It is also easy to find a place with just nature, birds and winds.

Romantic Road

Address: near Rothenburg town

Website: Romantic Road

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12. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rob Faulkner used under CC BY 2.0

This is a symbolic palace in the southwest of Bavaria in a mountainous area near the Austrian border displaying superb furniture, luxuries, and crafts in an impressive bohemian environment and landscape.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Address: above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen

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13. Salzburg and Lake District

Fuschl am See (DFdB)
Source: Photo by user Dein Freund der Baum used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Salzburg is a charming city located nearby famous for the Sound of Music film besides the house of Mozart and a beautiful cruise on the Lake Wolfgang.

Salzburg and Lake District

Address: near Rothenburg region

Website: Salzburg and Lake District

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14. Teddyland Gift Shop

Herrngasse 10 (Rothenburg ob der Tauber) Frontal
Source: Photo by user Rosty used under CC0

Rothenburg attracts not just freaky Goths but is also child-friendly with shops like this one with cuddly teddy bears which ranks as the largest teddy bear shop in Germany.

Teddyland Gift Shop

Address: Herrngasse 10, 91541 Rothenburg

Website: Teddyland Gift Shop

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15. Councilor’s Tavern and Main Square

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (5281774013)
Source: Photo by user InSapphoWeTrust used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the highlight of the main square along with a chapel and tourist information center besides local markets like the Christmas market and the famous wine festival.

Councilor’s Tavern and Main Square

Address: Marketplace area, Rothenburg

Website: Councilor’s Tavern and Main Square

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Rothenburg is not just Gothic inspired tourist trail in Germany

One can just walk around and admire the medieval environment and architecture and also take guided tours like the Night Watchman tour. The town also has a lot of souvenir and gift shops besides medieval walls to climb and outlets to enjoy local Bavarian food in a charming mountain and rustic setting with Gothic inspiration and culture.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Msah is a writer from Calcutta, India and interested in exploring untrodden destinations and areas with an interest in activities, art and culture and nature space.

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