10 Best Things To Do in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber With Kids

Old World Disney Charm. Incredible History. Delicious Schneeballs.

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber was a dream come true for our family.

We recently spent four unforgettable nights there with our children, ages 8, 10, and 12, as part of a tour through Bavaria. This trip will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

While most travel bloggers recommend a day trip to Rothenburg or perhaps a night or two to experience the city more deeply, we decided to stay for four nights—and we absolutely loved it!

In this blog post, I’ll share the top things we did with our kids, along with some hidden gems and pro tips to help you plan your family vacation in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber.


Night Watchman Tour

The Night Watchman Tour is a must-see event that takes place every evening at 8:00 p.m.

The tour guide, dressed in authentic medieval attire, makes a grand entrance in the Market Square, quickly drawing a crowd.

His presence and storytelling skills are captivating as he leads you through the town, pausing at significant landmarks to share historical tidbits and humorous anecdotes.

His charisma and wit kept my kids engaged throughout the entire tour, making it both educational and entertaining.

We chose to do this tour on our first night to get an overview of the town’s history and layout, setting the perfect tone for the rest of our stay.

Plonlein

The most recognized image from Rothenburg is the Plonlein House, known as the inspiration for Pinocchio.

The Plonlein itself is a charming street just off of Market Square lined with shops and bakeries. This is the heart of Rothenburg, popular with tourists.

Walk the City Walls

The following morning, we embarked on a walk along the historic city walls. These remarkable fortifications, dating back to the 14th century, are exceptionally well-preserved.

We entered at the north end of the city, but there’s no specific entry point—just stroll along the perimeter, and you’ll find an entrance soon enough. The existence of these medieval walls is incredibly rare.

Some sections were destroyed during WWII, but they were meticulously rebuilt with contributions from people worldwide. As you walk, you’ll notice plaques bearing the names and towns of those who helped in the restoration.

Walking the wall is suitable for all ages, though there are some uneven spots and precarious stairs, so use caution. You can explore for as long as you like and easily exit if your kids get tired.

To walk the entire wall would take about 60-90 minutes, but you can tailor the experience to your family’s pace and interest.

City Wall Playground

We exited the walls near Rodergasse and the Roderturm Tower to take a break and let the kids play at a nearby playground. This playground, situated just outside the city walls, quickly became a favorite for our children—they kept asking to return!

While the kids enjoyed themselves, we took the opportunity to walk to a nearby gas station for affordable snacks and water. It’s a convenient spot to recharge, with free public restrooms available nearby, making it a perfect rest stop during your explorations.

Roderturm Tower

After re-energizing with snacks and water, we decided to climb the Roderturm Tower. For just 2 euros per person, this historic tower offers a fantastic view of the city.

Built in the 13th century as part of the city’s fortifications, the Roderturm Tower stands as a testament to Rothenburg’s medieval heritage. Climbing the tower is both a historical journey and a visual delight, providing panoramic views of the town’s charming rooftops and surrounding countryside.

At the top, the kids were thrilled to find stamps they could collect as a memento of their climb, adding an extra layer of fun to the experience.

Schneeballs

For an afternoon pick-me-up, we headed back to the main drag to indulge in some delicious Schneeballs, the traditional pastry of Rothenburg. Schneeballs, or “snowballs,” have been a local delicacy for over 300 years, originally made as a special treat for weddings and festive occasions.

These pastries are made from strips of dough, shaped into a ball, and deep-fried to a golden crisp. While the plain powdered sugar variety is the classic version, I highly recommend skipping past those and diving into flavors like vanilla or hazelnut.

I bit right into mine and enjoyed it with a latte macchiato—an experience I’m still dreaming about! The combination of the rich, crispy pastry and the creamy coffee was simply divine, making Schneeballs a must-try treat when visiting Rothenburg.

Teddys Rothenburg

One of my daughters is absolutely enamored with stuffed animals and has amassed quite a collection over the years.

To our delight, we discovered Teddys Rothenburg right off the Market Square, an enchanting shop dedicated to all things plush. The entrance is flanked by a giant teddy bear, perfect for photo ops and instantly drawing the kids in.

Inside, the shop is a wonderland of stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes. While some of the plush toys are quite pricey, we set a budget and told her she could pick any stuffy under 20 euros. She carefully explored the delightful selection and eventually found a new puppy love to bring home.

Kathe Wahlfahrt Christmas Store

No matter what time of year you’re visiting Rothenburg, a stop at the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store is a must. Located just off the Market Square, this store is impossible to miss, thanks to the vintage Christmas truck parked outside during opening hours.

Inside, you’ll be transported into a whimsical world filled with animated stuffed animals, traditional Christmas decorations, and a stunning Christmas tree. The store’s enchanting atmosphere captures the magic of Christmas, making it a delightful experience for both children and adults.

We also visited the Christmas Museum located upstairs. While it offers interesting exhibits on the history and traditions of Christmas, we found the store itself to be the real highlight. The museum isn’t too expensive, but unless you’re particularly passionate about Christmas history, it might not be a must-see. However, the store’s vast array of ornaments, nutcrackers, and other festive items make it a memorable stop that encapsulates the holiday spirit of Rothenburg year-round.

Toppler Castle & Dopplebrücke

One of my absolute favorite experiences was hiking outside the city walls to Toppler Castle, a water castle and holiday home that dates back to the 14th century.

The hike starts just outside the city walls and takes about 30 minutes. While the path isn’t heavily marked with signs, it’s fairly straightforward if you follow a map or use a GPS. As you leave the hustle and bustle of Rothenburg behind, you’re greeted by picturesque countryside scenes, giant slugs, beautiful flowers, and trickling streams. The entire journey feels like walking through a storybook.

Toppler Castle, named after Heinrich Toppler, a former mayor of Rothenburg, stands as a testament to medieval architecture and history. This charming water castle, surrounded by lush greenery and serene waters, offers a glimpse into the past and provides a perfect backdrop for family photos.

Continuing along the route, you’ll come upon the Doppelbrücke (Double Bridge), a structure that looks straight out of a fairy tale. Built around 1330, the double bridge lies at the foot of the southwestern valley side below Rothenburg ob der Tauber and was part of an ancient trade route. Its unique design and historical significance make it a must-see landmark.

To get there, head southwest from the city center, following the path along the Tauber River. While it’s helpful to have a map or GPS, the path is family-friendly and suitable for all ages. Wearing comfortable walking shoes is advisable.

Waffenkammer

Another gem just off Market Square is Waffenkammer, a fascinating shop dedicated to medieval clothing, royal swords, helmets, and other unique historical items.

Your kids will love exploring this store, trying on various medieval garments, and pretending to be knights and royalty. The adventure continues as you head down into the cave beneath the store, adding an element of mystery and excitement to your visit. This hidden underground area is filled with more treasures and offers a unique glimpse into the past, making Waffenkammer a must-visit for families.

Jewish History

Our family is very interested in Jewish history, and Rothenburg offers a rich tapestry of it.

We began our exploration with a stroll along the Judengasse, the last remaining medieval Jewish street in Europe. This historic street once served as the heart of Rothenburg’s Jewish community.

Along our walk, we stumbled upon a charming courtyard tucked away from the main path. This courtyard used to be a bustling community center and gathering place for the Jewish residents. The walls bore ancient Hebrew etchings, and a lovely apple tree stood in the center, adding a touch of serenity to the historical ambiance.

We also visited the old Castle Grounds just outside the city walls, where a poignant memorial stands in remembrance of the Jews who were murdered during a pogrom in the 14th century. This period of violence saw the decimation of the Jewish community, which had thrived in Rothenburg until that tragic event. Despite this, the community saw a resurgence before being driven out again in the 20th century during the years leading up to World War II.

Rothenburg’s Jewish history is a testament to both the flourishing and the struggles of the Jewish community over the centuries. These sites serve as powerful reminders of the city’s rich cultural heritage and the resilience of its Jewish residents.

Rothenburg Museum

The Rothenburg Museum was a highlight of our stay. Housed in a former monastery, the museum boasts a vast collection of ancient artifacts, historical weaponry, household items, and much more, offering a comprehensive glimpse into Rothenburg’s rich history.

The museum features special readings and interactive activities designed for kids, ensuring they remain engaged while learning.

Additionally, there is a courtyard area with games, providing a perfect spot for the kids to take a break and unwind.

We were particularly interested in the Jewish History section. This area showcases a poignant collection of items, including old menorahs, kiddush cups, Shabbat candles, and even two gold stars that Jews were forced to wear in the 1930s. The display serves as a powerful reminder of the Jewish community’s enduring presence and the hardships they faced.

In accordance with Jewish tradition, small pebbles are available for visitors to place on the Jewish gravestones, a customary act of remembrance and respect. This thoughtful detail adds a deeply personal and reflective aspect to the museum experience, making it a meaningful visit for all ages.

Pro Tips:

Stay Overnight: To fully experience Rothenburg ob der Tauber, plan to stay at least a night or two. This allows you to explore the town before and after the day-trip tourists arrive. I enjoyed an early morning walk while my husband took a night walk. It was incredible to explore this historical town and capture photos without the throngs of people.

Public Bathrooms: There are free public bathrooms conveniently located just southeast of Market Square.

Spaghetti Ice Cream: A hit with our kids, spaghetti ice cream is a unique treat you can find in the north section of Market Square.

Favorite Ice Cream Spot: Our favorite spot for ice cream was a little Italian restaurant, Eiscafe Pizzeria Italia. They offered perfectly sized small scoops in small cones, costing under 10 euros for our family. We ended every day with this delightful treat!

Pizza: Trattoria Pane e Vino was a fantastic stop for our family to enjoy authentic Italian pizza.

Doner Kebab: Right off Market Square, the Doner Kebab shop was another family-friendly place to eat, offering delicious and convenient meals.

Medieval Crime & Justice Museum: While we didn’t visit the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum, as we thought it might be too disturbing for our 8-year-old, I’ve heard from many people that it is definitely worth a visit.

Burg Hotel: If you need space to spread out in your hotel, I highly recommend the Burg Hotel on Klostergasse. I’ve never stayed in a more picturesque, lovely place in my life. It’s located directly on the city wall, offering incredible views.

This family-run hotel includes breakfast each day, and we stayed in the spacious family suite. The hotel is managed by Otto, the sweetest 85-year-old man whose family has lived here for hundreds of years.

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Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber truly felt like stepping into a storybook.

From the enchanting Night Watchman Tour to the mouthwatering schneeballs, every moment was magical.

Our family made memories that will last a lifetime, and I hope this guide helps you plan your own unforgettable adventure in this charming Bavarian town.

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