Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Market

1st December 2017 - 23rd December 2017

Cobblestone streets, impressive parapets and proud towers greet you as you enter through the old gates of a town that dates back to 1142. Visitors immediately feel as though they have stepped into a painting or the pages of a book as they enter a town discovered by painters and poets and that became a symbol of the Middle Ages in Germany. Rothenburg's centre, with more than two square-miles of imposing medieval buildings, remains untouched, offering more than 800 years of history to explore and making it seem like a place out of time.

As you pass along, you will notice some breathtaking romantic scenery over the roofs of the old town. The surroundings feature enchanted alleys, magnificent mansions, and the idyllic valley, where the river Tauber peacefully meanders through the wonderfully natural landscape.

Besides its wealth of medieval buildings and extraordinary museums - like the Medieval Crime Museum or the Imperial City Museum - Rothenburg is home to the most charming Christmas store in the whole world, Käthe Wohlfahrt. Inside, exquisite traditional works of art like Christmas tree decorations and Christmas pyramids carry visitors away to a magical festive world. The Advent period in Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been accompanied by a wonderful Christmas market since the 15th century and over 500 years of tradition and customs have been held onto and closely followed.

The smell of "white" mulled wine, made with the famous Franconian vintages, combines with the scent of roasted almonds to create a feast for your senses as you wander through the Rothenburg Christmas Market. The illumination of thousands of fairy lights and the festive music provided by local brass bands provides an atmosphere like no other as this medieval town is transformed into a winter wonderland.

You can find everything the heart and taste buds desire here. Old German Christmas pastries and handcrafted treasures of all shapes and sizes are joined by local specialities known as snowballs. These round treats are a bit like shortbread; some are covered with sugar or cinnamon while others are topped with chocolate, coconut or almonds. They are definitely something you must try as you wander around the many stalls situated by the town hall.

The Rothenburg "Reiterlesmarkt" can look back on a 500-year tradition, during which time it has thankfully altered very little from its historical origins.

Things to do and see

Käthe Wohlfahrt: Don´t miss the world famous “Christmas Village” in the centre of the town. Experience the fascinating atmosphere of a Franconian village with snow covered roofs

German Christmas Museum: Learn about the history of the family festival steeped in tradition and how decorations have developed. Enjoy the fantastically beautiful Christmas tree decorations and the 150 historical Santa Claus figures.

Take a walk on top of the medieval walls that embrace almost the entire town.

Not for the faint of heart, the Medieval Crime Museum is known as Germany’s most complete law museum of medieval times. It captivates its visitors with old torture devices, gruesome tales and peculiar laws of the olden days.

Additional Information
Hotel Recommendations

Hotel Eisenhut 4*

Why we like it: The grand wooden staircase gives it a traditional feel. Location: This romantic hotel is situated in the centre of the picturesque medieval town of Rothenburg. It consists of the four patrician houses dating back to the 12th century, furnished with antiques and offering a unique experience. Features: Restaurant, bar, lift, terrace, parking. Accommodation: 77 rooms all with en-suite facilities, hairdryer, TV, telephone, Wi-Fi.

Hotel Reichskuechenmeister 3*

Why we like it: The charming 3-star hotel is ideally located in the heart of the Old Town and just a few minutes from the train station. In the historic building, you can feel the charm of medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Location: Just a few minutes from the train station in the heart of the town. Features: Restaurant, bar, lift, sauna, solarium, steam bath, whirlpool, terrace, garden, parking. Accommodation: 45 rooms with en-suite facilities, hairdryer, TV, telephone, safe.

Hotel Rappen 3*

Why we like it: The restaurant's beautiful wood panelling represents its medieval history. Location: The hotel is situated immediately outside the city walls in front of the 'Würzburger Tor' - the city gate. Features: Restaurant, lift, beer garden, parking. Accommodation: 22 rooms with en-suite facilities, TV, hairdryer, telephone.

Nearby markets worth visiting
Useful Information
  • Flight time from London: 1hr 40min
  • Nuremberg Airport: 119km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 45 min
  • Nearest railway station: Rothenburg ob der Tauber Railway Station 
  • Currency: Euro
Deck The Stalls Christmas Has Come Early
Now is the perfect time to book your festive trip to one of Europe's beautiful Christmas markets. Here's a look at a few of them in more detail.