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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rothenburg o.d.T: The jewel of the Romantic Road in Germany

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Rothenburg, Germany is a magical walled city that is home to the largest year round Christmas shop in Germany, Kathe Wohlfahrt. The shop is open year round  and is modeled after the annual Christmas market in the town square.  I would love to go back to Germany during December to enjoy a holiday market filled with gingerbread, mulled wine and booths of Christmas goodies.
Shopping in Rothenburg, Germany - The Tipsy Terrier blog
Here is Rothenburg decked out for the holidays with a fresh dusting of snow!  To plan a trip in December to Bavaria consult this site for a list of all the markets and outdoor activities.
Photo Credit
Rothenburg is on the Romantic Road, see map below, that starts in Wurzburg and ends at Neuschwanstein.  When I first visited Rothenburg in 1999, after my semester abroad in England with my family, we ended up at the wrong Rothenburg wondering where the walled city was...luckily we were only 45 minutes away.  So it is important to type the full name of Rothenburg ob der Tauber into your GPS. 

Photo Credit
For this trip we arrived by car from Heidleberg.  We decided to rent a car for a few days while we explored Bavaria since many of the castles that we planned to visit were not close to train stations.  It is still possible to visit these locations with public transportation but more planning is required.

We stayed at Goldener Hirsch Gastehaus, our room was across the street from the main hotel in the blue building in the photo below.  Breakfast is included, wifi is 1 euro and parking is 6 euro a day adjacent to the hotel.  Make sure to find a hotel that has a lot close to your actual room or you will be hauling your bag over cobble stone streets for blocks. We chose this hotel because it was with in the walls of the city, it is a few blocks from the town square and it is reasonably priced. 

Where to stay in Rothenbrg o.b.T, Germany - The Tipsy Terrier blog
 This intersection is quite picturesque and can be found on artwork sold throughout Bavaria.

We arrived in town on the afternoon on the last Wednesday in September.  I was expecting to see a a ton of tourists but they must of been in Munich for Oktoberfest (don't worry we go there too!)  There were a few buses of people but not overwhelming. We went shopping at Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop to buy ornaments, smokers and to see the museum on the second floor. 
Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop in Rothenburg - The Tipsy Terrier blog
Rothenburg o.b.T at dusk - The Tipsy Terrier blog
Rothenburg o.b.T at sunset - The Tipsy Terrier blog

After dinner at a quaint restaurant, off the main square, of delicious Bavarian fare (read meat, potatoes and beer!) we stopped into a cafe to have a schneeballen and a latte.  Schneeballen, snow ball, is a pastry made out of strips of dough folded around into a ball, deep fried and then coated with powdered sugar, chocolate or other flavored toppings and it originated in Rothenburg over 300 years ago.  I prefer the simpler ones compared to the ones we bought here.

A typical pastry of Rothenburg - The Tipsy Terrier blog
Right after breakfast we set out to walk the historic wall surrounding the city.  Rothenburg is a very well preserved walled (fortified) medieval town that has been featured in many movies including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a few Harry Potter films and inspired Walt Disney for the animated film Pinocchio - Geppetto's village.
Rothenburg - The Tipsy Terrier blog

Rothenburg - The Tipsy Terrier blog
There is an elevator (2 euro) that will take you to the top of Town Hall so you can get a birds eye view of the town.
Rothenburg Germany - The Tipsy Terrier blog

Cedric the Gnome in Rothenburg, Germany - The Tipsy Terrier blog
Cedric enjoyed tagging along for this adventure

Jessica@The Independent Travel Cats has written a very informative blog about the top seven things to do as well as history and other pertinent details when visiting Rothenburg o.b.T

Our other stops in Germany: Cologne, The Rhine River by ferry and train, Burg Rheinfels - traveling the Rhine, Marksburg Castle, Burg Eltz, Heidleberg 

Have you been to a Christmas market or plan to visit one this season?



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  1. Amazing that so you guys took so many similar photos as us, I guess Rothenburg is a small place! Sounds like you had a fun visit, and thanks for including a link to our Rothenburg ob der Tauber article! For those interested in the films and other media that have included Rothenburg, there was an exhibit about this at the Medieval Crime Museum (in the second smaller building).

    1. I totally agree with your top seven things to do in Rothenburg odT. We went to the Medival Crime Museum and the Church but did not make it on the walking tour. Rothenburg odT is one of my favorite places in Germany - so much history and unique architecture.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Tyler! Do you remember our trip here?

  3. Dropping over from the Travel Tuesday link up! WOW! This place looks amazing. I lived in England as a kid and made it to Germany quite a few times, but never here. I loved birds eye view photo. This looks so cool...and the Christmas shop! AMAZING!!!

    1. Hi Elicia, Thanks for stopping by from A Compase Rose's link up. Rothenburg is a magical walled city that feels stalled in time....if they could only ban the cars.

  4. Rothenburg is my favorite Christmas market! I went last year and may have to go back this year. I thought the schneeballen was gross, though it looks really good. Hmm, I always thought Pinocchio was set in Italy. Very interesting!

    1. Hi Brittany! Pinocchio is an Italian fairytale but Walt Disney used Rothenburg as inspiration for Geppetto's village during production. Walt must of toured Bavaria quite a bit because Sleepy Beauty's castle at Disneyland is modeled after Neuschwanstein Castle. I hope to visit Rothenburg during the holiday season someday.

  5. Oh my gosh!!! So beautiful! That view from the top of town hall is gorgeous!!! And the bavarian-style buildings are so quant and Christmas-y!

    1. Thanks Elle. I bought quite a few Christmas items from Rothenburg and love this time a year when I get to bring them out.