We already know what some of your might be thinking… Why would I want to visit an overcrowded town that attracts thousands of tourists a day?! Honestly, we felt the same! Yet, after experiencing Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany ourselves we’re so glad we went. It might be hard to believe, but there are actually ways to experience this magical town without the crowds. Here are our best Rothenburg ob der Tauber tips, things to do, and why this is such a must-visit destination in Germany.
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Why Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany?
After our many trips to Europe, it’s so rare that we fall in love with a town that attracts thousands of visitors a day. Taking all the warnings about overcrowding to heart, we knew we still wanted to stop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany!
Driving through the stone walls of the outlining fortress, we quickly realized the reason behind all the fuss about Rothenburg ob der Tauber. From the moment you begin to explore the rough and narrow street, the colorful buildings will transport you back in time.
The many local restaurants and hotels in Rothenburg ob der Tauber will draw you in, all carrying their own authentic flair. Really until you witness the beauty for yourself it’s hard to truly understand it! Here are some Rothenburg ob der Tauber tips for beating the crowds and why we grew to love this popular town.
Avoiding the Crowds in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The biggest issue you may have with seeing Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany is beating the crowds! Remember that this is literally one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Europe. Yet, as you’ll see in this Rothenburg Germany guide, there are ways around it!
1. Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Off-Season
First off, traveling in the off-season (late September) is a good start. Now, this is pretty much a running “how to beat the crowds” tip, but also a great way to save money. During the shoulder season prices for Rothenburg ob der Tauber hotels, tours, and even food can drastically decrease.
With that being said, this German town has two high seasons to be aware of. The most crowded stretch is typically in the summer months, but also around Christmas time. During the holiday season, Rothenburg Germany transforms into a winter wonderland as a large Christmas market and decorations help ring in the New Year.
2. Stay Overnight in Rothenburg Germany
If you truly want a great experience in this amazing place you have to stay overnight! That’s because out of the thousands of daily tourists the large majority only come for a few hours. That means the late morning and afternoon is peak time for Rothenburg ob der Tauber tourism.
Once they have left for the day the city relaxes, and that’s when you can enjoy the spirit of this magical town. We didn’t arrive until the early evening ourselves. However, that meant we had the whole night to explore and enjoy the city after the massive tour buses left.
3. Timing is Everything
Following up on the staying overnight tip, we can’t stress enough how timing can make or break your experience in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany. Once the buses and tourists move on the whole feel of the city changes.
The streets are clear and everything at once feels quieter. That is why after 5pm (and before 10am) is the perfect time to be soaking in this gorgeous mountain town and all the best things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Best Things to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Now that you have a few basic Rothenburg ob der Tauber tips it’s time to get into why everyone comes in the first place! There are so many fun things to do in Rothenburg Germany!
The best part is the town is small enough that it is extremely walkable. That means you can ditch your car immediately after arriving and get right to exploring. We’ve also included more Rothenburg ob der Tauber tips for beating the crowds for each specific activity below.
4. Walk The City Walls of Rothenburg Germany
This is by far one of the best things we did in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The city walls surround the entire town in a large circle. Take any of the stairs up 200 feet above the town, and make your way around the area for unparalleled views.
In total, the wall stretches almost 1.5 miles and takes about an hour to complete including photo stops. We loved it so much we did it at night when we arrived, and again in the morning!
Beat The Crowds: Nothing sounds worse than being packed atop the city wall with thousands of other tourists squeezing past. Head up late in the afternoon once many have left for the day or even first thing in the morning! While everyone is waking up and having coffee you can be taking in the sites and sounds of Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany.
5. Visit The Castle Gardens
This little bubble of green oasis is not to be missed. Stroll along the plateaued garden paths that jet out from the town, and overlook the German countryside. The best view that we had was on the west side of the garden. There is a small wall that you can sit on and overlook the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber from a different perspective.
Beat The Crowds: We visited the castle gardens at sunset in October, and it honestly felt as if we had them all to ourselves. There were still people in town and the restaurants were packed. Yet for some reason, there really weren’t many others in the gardens. It was the perfect place to admire the city without the usual Rothenburg Germany tourism.
6. Eat at the Local Rothenburg ob der Tauber Restaurants
You can’t visit Germany without indulging in some of the hearty delicious meals they have to offer. Now I have to say we were worried about eating out in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany.
With it being such a touristic town, that can often mean overinflated prices and unauthentic food. Nevertheless, we ended up having one of the best meals out of our whole trip in Germany here!
Beat The Crowds: Stay away from the main square and hit the back streets. You can still find a great local meal as long as you’re willing to look. Right off the main road, we found a hole in the wall called Gasthaus Zum Ochsen that serves traditional German food. We had a delicious meal, great beers, and honestly felt like the only non-locals in the whole restaurant!
7. Get in the Christmas Spirit
Who’s ready for Christmas? In Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany it really doesn’t matter what time of year it is. It almost always feels as if the whole town is preparing for Christmas.
During October you could feel the excitement in the stores, and even at the Christmas museum. We can’t even imagine what Rothenburg Germany is like when it’s actually the holiday season… But we hope we one day find out!
Beat The Crowds: While it is sometimes hard to beat the crowds at the Christmas museum, wander off to the shops on the back streets. Here you’ll find other entire stores dedicated to Christmas ornaments and gifts year-round. So no matter what time of year it is, you might want to consider doing some early holiday shopping!
8. Take Epic Photos of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany
In a place so beautiful, it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo or even put your camera down for that matter! Take tons of photos, but also remember sometimes IT IS OK to put the camera away. Leave yourself some moments to take in the beauty of one of Germany’s prettiest towns.
Beat The Crowds: Now if you’re anything like us you want the best photos possible. Waking up early in the morning in Rothenburg Germany is the best for this! At night there will still be some of the same stragglers from the day with so many tourists around. Yet, in the morning before stores even open is the perfect time to take amazing photos of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Have any questions on this article or your own Rothenburg ob der Tauber tips for how to beat the crowds? Comment below and let us know!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany
Ultra Luxury – Hotel Herrnschloesschen – This luxury hotel situated in the center of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the perfect place to take in all the charm of the town. Set in a traditional German building with modern class.
Fun Vacation – Historik Hotel Goldener Hirsch Rothenburg – As far as Rothenburg ob der Tauber hotels go, it doesn’t get more traditional than Historik Hotel Goldener Hirsch Rothenburg. Set overlooking the beautiful German countryside but still in the walls of the city, this is an amazing place to stay while on a fun German vacation!
Hostel Life – Hostel Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Since this is the only hostel in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, make sure to plan head! Located a quick walk to all the main attractions this is a sweet hostel choice for anyone visiting the town.
For more places to stay in Rothenburg Germany explore the latest prices here!
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Germany Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can find everything from a Hamburg harbor cruise, to a Berlin walking tour, and day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein castle.
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Germany than driving or taking the train!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Germany road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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