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Rothenburg at the start of January

We’re thinking of taking the train from Berlin to Rothenburg on 2nd January, arriving around 1pm, staying there for the night and then leaving the next day around 5 or 6pm to go to Munich. As it is after New Years and is low season, will any shops or tourist sites be open? Is it worth going to Rothenburg at this time? Also, Is this enough time to stay there? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
15573 posts

I believe the Nightwatchman tour ends at Christmas (then he becomes the Nightwatchman of Phuket). As far as shopping goes, being that it is a tourist destination, I suspect they will open, especially Kaethe Wohlfahrt. Maybe they'll have some after-Christmas sales. I think your time there will be about right.

Posted by
605 posts

I would call the tourist office. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a tourist engine, so I would be surprised if the train slows down too much. The Weihnachtsmarkt will be closed and probably cleared. Locals may take a bridge holiday over Thursday and Friday as Monday 6 Jan 2020 is the Three Kings Day Holiday too. I've never spent more that a half day there, but have visited several times over the years. If you overnight make the most of it to include outside the walls and maybe into the Tauber valley. There was an old Kelten settlement across the river from Tauberscheckenbach about 10k from Rothenburg to give a broader perspective. January may not be the best time to visit it though, unless you want history, quiet and nature.

Posted by
4968 posts

Why not visit Bamberg? It doesn't get any play in Rick's materials, but it's a very good place. Bamberg is on the route to Munich. Rothenburg, which is for tourists only - and a huge detour - will add about 4 hours to your 4.5-hr. direct Berlin - Munich train trip. Unlike Rothenburg, Bamberg is a living, breathing, UNESCO-World-Heritage-preserved city with a handsome medieval town center, a university town with a strong beer-brewing culture, an emphasis on regional (Franconian) food, a varied sense of purpose (not just there to serve tourists) and LOTS to see and do if you wish to make time for it. And everything will be open.

Handy guide for visiting Bamberg (scroll down) in a short amount of time:

Posted by
1261 posts

I was just in Rothenburg in mid November. I noticed that some shops and restaurants were closed, to be reopened in Advent Season for Christmas Markets. After the markets end I suspect that some places will be closed again.

The Rothenburg City Museum is a favorite of mine and I noticed that it had much reduced hours in this offseason.

I like the city best for walking about - both inside and outside of the wall - taking pictures. That never closes. The city is nice when it is a little quieter. I go for two days but each has his own pace and tastes.

Posted by
665 posts

You do realize it will be dark around 4:30 at that time of year? Plus it's usually around 20 with snow. If you're going to shop, then you won't have time to see the town. If you want to see the town you're not going to have much time either. As noted, this is going to be a weird year with the holidays in the middle of the week. I wouldn't count on everything being open. Nuremberg would be a better destination.