48 hours in Rothenburg – 2 Day Itinerary
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. It is a popular tourist destination for both Germans and international tourists. This may be because it is such an extremely picturesque town and it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
The ancient city is located in the region of Bavaria and has a population of over 10,000 people. The city is famous for its well preserved medieval walls and towers, as well as its impressive fortifications. There is plenty to do and see in this German town, so here is a 2 Day Itinerary for Rothenburg to get you started.
The best time to go to Rothenburg is during the summer months from May to September due to the warmer and more pleasant weather. Average temperatures in summer can rise to a lovely 24 degrees. Rothenburg can get quite a lot colder in winter, with January being the coldest month and regularly plummeting into minus temperatures.
Don’t let the cold put you off altogether as the Christmas market here is truly wonderful. The best place to stay is close to the city centre as this is where all the action is. You will be close to all of the stunning buildings and sightseeing activities.
If you’re wondering how many days in Rothenburg is ideal or how many days do you need in Rothenburg? well it all depends on what your plans are? You could easily spend 2 weeks in Rothenburg or 2 months and still not see or do everything.
Below is a great guide on what to do in Rothenburg for 2 days because sometimes 2 days in Rothenburg is all you have, especially if you’re going over on a cruise or you’re short on time and want to be able to tour some of the other areas within Rothenburg.
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Day 1 in Rothenburg
For the first day on your 48 hours in Rothenburg itinerary, you should spend your time exploring the city. You can start off by visiting Market Square. Here you will find some of Rothenburg’s most beautiful buildings including the Town Hall.
From here, you can walk along the cobbled streets which are lined with half-timbered houses where there are lots of shopping opportunities. There are numerous cafes to relax at with a cup of coffee, plus several restaurants where you can enjoy some traditional German cuisine.
Take a walk in the Old Town
Rothenburg is a UNESCO world heritage site and for good reason. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany.
The old town is small enough to walk around comfortably and the maze of narrow alleys and cobbled streets will keep you entertained for hours! The main Market Square is a fantastic place to begin your exploration of the city.
Here you will find an impressive number of shops, cafes and restaurants all around the square and beyond. The square is surrounded by medieval buildings including the Town Hall, with picturesque architecture.
Spend your morning having a leisurely breakfast at Konditorei Café Prezel or Cafebar & Confiserie where you can eat fresh breakfast pastries.
Town Hall Tower
You should make time to visit the Town Hall Tower as it is one of the most popular attractions in Rothenburg. Situated in the main Market Square, you can climb to the top and get a bird’s-eye view of Rothenburg.
Due to it being the tallest spire in the city, at 200 metres tall, you can get a really good view of the surrounding area. There are many steps to climb to the top but it is definitely worth the effort.
Explore the City Walls
The city is surrounded by strongly fortified walls that are fun to explore. The walls were built back in 1142 and were used as a defence system against enemies. They helped to protect not only the royal castle inside but the trading centre within the city.
These powerful walls meant that the city flourished and grew to become one of Germany’s largest cities back in the 15th century.
Today the stone city walls still stand tall and it is possible to walk around the entire length which is approximately two miles long.
The walls are high above the buildings it surrounds meaning you can get really good views during your walk up here.
You can also go inside some of the towers that are dotted along them for even better views. Some towers to look out for include the Women’s Tower, Gallows Gate, Kummereckturm and Thomasturm.
The Medieval Crime Museum
For your afternoon, visit the Medieval Crime Museum. It is located to the south of the city centre and is a great place to learn about the history of crime and punishment in the middle ages.
The museum is 9 euros per person to enter and has many interactive exhibits and displays.
The museum takes you through various rooms where you can see different kinds of punishments over the years as well as learn about some famous past criminals.
The museum also has a cafe on site which sells refreshments and snacks. Plus a gift shop to buy souvenirs and gifts to take home with you.
The Night Watchman Tour
The Night Watchman Tour is the perfect way to see Rothenburg at night. It is a one hour long walk through the city with a local guide, who will tell you all about its history and culture.
The tour starts in front of the Town Hall in the main Market Square at 8:00 pm for English speakers or 9:30 pm for German speakers.
There is no reservation required, but it can get very busy during the peak summer months, so be sure to arrive early enough for a good spot.
The tour runs from the start of April through until the end of December and costs 9 euros per person. Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes as well as warm clothing as it can get cold at night.
Day 2 in Rothenburg
For the second part of your 48 hours in Rothenburg, you will get to experience the magic of Christmas, a huge tradition in Germany.
If you are visiting in December, make sure you also check out the Christmas markets in Rothenburg, as they are not to be missed. The city is absolutely beautiful during the Christmas season and it has a magical feel to it.
German Christmas Museum
Christmas is a huge tradition in Germany, so it is no surprise that there is a whole museum dedicated to this in the heart of Rothenburg.
If you love Christmas then it is a must-see attraction during your stay. It is open from April through to the end of December and admission costs 5 euros per person.
The museum explores all aspects of Christmas, including its history, traditions and folklore. You will find interesting exhibits on how people used to celebrate this festive time of year, including advent.
It is a really interesting museum and you will definitely learn something new. If you have kids then they will love it too as there are lots to keep them entertained.
Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store
After learning all about the history of Christmas, visit the Christmas shop! The Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store is a huge ‘Christmas village’ based in Rothenburg.
The store may be Christmas themed but it is open all year round. It has the largest range of Christmas decorations for sale in the world! Making it a very important place for Christmas fanatics.
The shopping village is so large you could spend hours browsing the items for sale and it is free to visit.
Take a stroll over to the Castle Gardens, located to the east of the city. The gardens are a great place to relax and take in the views of the surrounding countryside.
The gardens are open all year round and have a number of viewpoints and structures to admire such as the Alte Burg Defensive Wall and the Aussichtspunkt viewpoint.
The gardens are surrounded by thick trees and you can see the countryside hills rolling for miles. The gardens are especially beautiful during the summer months when they are filled with flowers and the many fountains are running.
After some lunch at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the city, head over to the Rothenburg Museum. The museum is open all year round and costs 5 euros per person to enter.
The museum has many exhibits that are dedicated to the history of Rothenburg and the surrounding area. There are also paintings, sculptures and other works of art that have been found in the area.
The museum is spread over three floors with exhibitions covering topics such as former household devices, Jewish culture and hunting weapons. The museum is housed in a beautiful building, with a courtyard in the middle and is surrounded by attractive gardens.
For the afternoon, go and hire some bikes and take a bike ride. You can hire bikes from one of the bike rental shops around Rothenburg and enjoy one of the many cycle paths in the area. Tauber Valley is a particularly scenic place to spend a few hours cycling, with some of the bicycle routes stretching for miles on end.
There are plenty of places to stop off for a drink or snack, so you do not have to worry about getting thirsty or hungry.
The bike rental shops will also give you maps of the area so that you can plan your route in advance. Try to take in as much of the countryside as you can as well as the many attractions that you will see in the area such as the Tauber Bridge.
The Tauber Bridge or ‘Double Bridge’ is a structure that spans the River Tauber and Tauber Valley. It was built in the 14th century by the Romans and has since become an important symbol of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
It can now be seen on many postcards and posters and it is regarded as one of the most prominent features of the city.
The unique design of the bridge is what makes it so appealing. The stone bridge consists of two separate rows of arches, one on top of the other, which is not seen in many other bridge designs.
Nightlife in Rothenburg
The nightlife in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a fun experience for all. There are many different bars and restaurants that can be found throughout the city, each one with its own unique ambience and charm.
The most popular bars and restaurants are located in or around the Market Square but you will also find many hidden gems located throughout the city walls. Some great restaurants include Baumeisterhaus Inh. Dieter Neupert and VITO Restaurant Cafe.
Try German Cuisine
To finish off your trip you must make sure you have sampled the local delicacies. Be sure to try some of the local sausages, which are made from various types of meat, including pork and beef. Bratwurst is a very popular type of sausage and you can find it everywhere in Germany.
It is traditionally served on a bread roll. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also famous for its apple strudel and there are many bakeries throughout the city where you can purchase this delicious treat.
Make sure that you wash all the mouthwatering food down with some high quality German beer! German beer is world-famous and there are many brands to choose from, this will be served in almost every eatery in the town.
You should also try some of the local wines, which are very popular in Germany too. One of the most famous wines is Riesling, which is produced from grapes grown in the Rhine region.
Tour ideas in Rothenburg
A great way to explore the city is to choose a guided walking tour. If you only have 48 hrs in Rothenburg then choosing a guided tour means you do not need to spend any time looking for tourist information points or asking for directions.
You can just join the tour and have someone show you around!
This tour includes seeing sights such as Rothenburg Town Hall, The Market Square, Marienapotheke and The Plönlein.
The tour lasts about one and a half hours and is a great way to get started and begin exploring Rothenburg.
Rothenburg Germany should be on your bucket list if you are wanting to travel to Europe. It is a beautiful medieval town with cobblestone streets, historic buildings and beautiful scenery that will make you feel like you have stepped back in time.
It is a great place to visit and enjoy the culture, food and people. This romantic city looks as though it is straight out of a postcard and therefore it has become one of the most popular destinations in Germany. Combined with its true love of Christmas, this city is a very magical place to visit.
Recommended tours in Rothenburg
- On tour with a friend and his luxury van
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber Private Walking Tour With A Professional Guide
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Market Private Walking Tour
- Rothenburg Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Walking Tour