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Austria & Germany : Regensburg & Rothenburg - Part 6

On the way to Rothenburg , we stopped at Regensburg for the night. This broke up the length of the train travel, & I had always wanted to see Regensburg. It has a long history, but is also a working city. We took a 7 Euro cab from the train station, which turned into Mr Toad's Wild Ride, as the driver sped thru narrow streets, often driving on the sidewalks. The trip was walkable, but we would've easily gotten lost in the maze of small, winding streets. We arrived on a Monday, & the town was very quiet; many shops were shuttered, so I assume the vendors are closed Sundays and Mondays. It's not that I need to shop, but I like the buzz when shops are open, & I enjoy interacting with the employees.
Our hotel was the Hotel Orphee- GroBes Haus, which was funky, historical, & charming. It is centrally located, just a block from the TI, and is decorated in a "Moulin Rouge" theme. The restaurant was very French, and we had a leisurely lunch after arrival; [breakfast was included, but it was not a buffet.]
Off to the TI looking for English walking tours, however there were none. There was a QR code provided, which would access an English tour via our phones; we didn't try it. We wandered over to the Danube River, which I had never seen before. Blue skies peaked out from the clouds, and we got some spectacular pix of this famous river. The historical bridge dated from the 1100's. Wandering more, we found the Gothic St. Peter's Church, with its beautiful stained glass windows. The tall spires were scaffolded, so we couldn't appreciate their ornate beauty.
Bikers were everywhere, as it was interesting seeing how much they could carry, especially the bike delivery folks.
The town is certainly pleasant, but really didn't speak to us, so we stayed less than 24 hours, and moved on to Rothenburg the next morning.

Rothenburg is one of my favorite places to be. I know the criticisms, but it is my guilty pleasure. Many complain of the tourist crowds, but they weren't there our week, which was right past Easter. We had 3 nights in Rothenburg, which was the middle of our trip, a time to slow down and enjoy just being in this well-preserved Middle Age city. I love walking the town walls, wandering, getting lost, sitting in the plaza enjoying excellent dry Riesling for 4.6 Euros. So often, the Germans sitting next to us heard our English, and would initiate conversations with us, which were entertaining and enlightening. They certainly know more about American current events and geography that we know about their country.
Mornings and evenings I love sitting in the Castle Gardens: it's so quiet, peaceful, the birds singing, with the views across the valley. We enjoyed the 8:00pm English Night Watchman's Tour, which includes the history and lore of the Middle Ages, mixed with humor. The same Watchman has been doing these tours for about 30 years.
[There is also 2:00pm English walking tour, which is a more serious trek, all starting from the Town Hall steps.]
And- there's the shopping, so many cute shops with the same owners for my past three trips- and the famous Christmas stores. The vendors are so happy the tourists are back, & are lovely with whom to interact. And, there's one small, jam-packed grocery store in town.
We saw the nesting storks!!! This is the first time I had seen these magnificent birds nesting above the rooftop- definitely a highlight!
We stayed at the Hotel Eisenhut, where I had stayed previously. Sadly, the main section of this large, historical building suffered severe water damage, and is under renovation. Our very large, quirky room was in the smaller building, & I think we were the only guests for a few nights. I look forward to the hotel returning to its former glory; [prices are reasonable.]
Since I am a repeat visitor, we didn't tour the church or "torture" museum, which are worth a visit. The RS Guide has a great section on this lovely town, to which I will return!

Posted by
2461 posts

Rothenburg is one of my favorite places to be. I know the criticisms, but it is my guilty pleasure.

Curious - what are the criticisms? Or is it just overly touristy?

Posted by
218 posts

We loved Rothenburg! Only stayed 2 nights but would’ve loved 3. Just wandering the streets, walking on and around the wall, enjoying the main square. And the Nightwatchman was definitely a highlight! My parents were German so I appreciated his dry wit!

Posted by
5035 posts

Some folks don't like all the tour groups, perhaps pre-covid issues, as it wasn't crowded at all, and it's not a working town, [all the businesses serve the tourist industry,] but I love the ambiance !

Posted by
2157 posts

We too loved Rothenburg and also stayed 3 nights. We did not encounter any crowds, except for the Night Watchman tour. Otherwise the town was pretty quiet, and that was September 2018. Your report brought back so many wonderful memories, so thank you! We are planning to be back in Germany in October and are trying to figure out just where all we want to go this time.