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Overnight in Rothenberg or nearby town?

We have one night to stay on the Romantic Road. I hear some say Rothenberg is their favorite stop and others say it's too touristy. Where would you suggest we stay for the night? We'll hit several towns on the road and at night want to stroll around a traditional-looking German town and have a nice dinner. I tend to like quieter towns. Thanks!

Posted by
2934 posts


We stayed about 10 minutes outside Rothenburg at this place and loved it:

After about 5 pm or so, the old town is terrific. Nightwatchman Tour at 8pm was a highlight for us. So was the 500 yr. old wood carved masterpiece of an alter by Tilman Riemanschneider in St. Jacobs church. It's in the back, up a few stairs. Walk the wall in the evening or early morning.


Posted by
19170 posts

We stayed inside the pedestrian zone of Rothenburg. I would recommend that. Nice to be right there and walk around the town at night.

As an alternative, I would recommend Nördlingen, south of Rothenburg on the Road; the wall is almost intact, and you can walk on it. It's a lot like Rothenburg but far less touristy. No Christmas shop or C&P Museum, but you can climb to the top of the church tower in the center of town.

Posted by
408 posts

I loved Rothenberg both times I stayed there. Do the night watchman tour, it's nice and educational.

Posted by
994 posts

I enjoyed staying in Rothenburg. I agree it was much quieter at night. We went on the Nightwatchman's tour one night and loved it. I highly recommend the tour. Also, another night there we walked around as the sun was setting and really enjoyed it.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies! I think I've been convinced that it's worth the touristy stuff during the day.

Posted by
12040 posts

A note on Nördlingen, which I visited yesterday for the first time, on a Saturday, during the height of the tourist season. Only a scattering of visitors were visible. I found it a very nice town, although if you're looking for cheesy souvenirs, you won't find any.

For a walled, well-preserved town on the Romantic Road, I was rather surprised how few tourists seemed to be at Nördlingen (for some reason, most of the non-Germans visitors appeared to be Italian). So, out of curiosity, I drove a little further north to Rothenburg to compare. I couldn't even find a parking space at any of the public lots I knew of outside the wall, and I stopped counting the number of tour buses after 20.

Posted by
154 posts

I personally would stay in Rothenberg since it has enough to enjoy a day there and then you will have an easier time getting to enjoy the Night Watchman walking tour. It is also a good middle location on the Romantic Road.

Posted by
4684 posts

I agree that Noerdlingen is nice. I mainly visited for the railway museum, but the town is generally very attractive.

A Bavarian friend of mine reacted with horror when I asked if Rothenberg was worth a visit (the same way I would if a foreign friend asked about Madame Tussauds), so I didn't bother.

Posted by
768 posts

Re Night watchman’s Tour: We did it too. At times it was a bit theatrical, but walking the city as it changes from daylight to nighttime is most interesting. After the tour, I agree with others that it's worth a walk around town to see how different it feels when you're on the street pretty-much alone. Note that the place pretty-much locks up after sunset; check to see if a restaurant of your choosing will be open when you want to dine. We stayed just outside the wall in a B+B that was quite pleasant. If you're interested, send a PM and I'll provide the name.

Posted by
12172 posts

Wurtzburg is my favorite because it has a lot more to see than other towns along the Romantic Road. The other towns I chose to visit are Rothenburg (stayed there a couple of times), Nordlingen, and Dinkelsbuhl. IMO Rothenburg has an edge on charm that, during the day at least, is lost behind a wall of tourists.

Posted by
7209 posts

Medieval Castle Colmberg is about 10 minutes drive from Rothenburg and has very nice rooms to stay in. They also have a nice restaurant for dinner as well. Breakfast is included with your stay. Do something different and stay in a castle: