Rothenburg - worth it in May?

Old Nov 7th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Rothenburg - worth it in May?

My husband has been to Rothenburg before and enjoyed it, and I love the pictures I've seen (I love quaint old towns), but I hate overcrowded tourist traps. Is it worth it? We'd be going in May. Are there any comparable towns in southern Germany that are less touristy?
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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I didn't think I was going to like Rothenberg nearly as much as I did. We took a day trip there from Nuremberg. It was July when we went, so there were a lot of people pretty much everywhere.

The neat thing about Rothenberg is that there are some out of the way streets where there aren't a lot of people.

When we got to the Altstadt (followed all the people walking from the train) we immediately went up on the catwalk on the old wall. We left the crowds behind and were pretty much by ourselves for awhile. Most of the other people were headed to the Rathaus and the platz there. We got there later on and the area around the Rathaus was pretty crowded.

We had lunch at this little outdoor hidden-garden type of a place behind a Gasthaus (saw a sign pointing down an alley) where there were more Germans than non-Germans.

Later we got some ice cream and wandered up a small street to find ourselves pretty much alone except for a cat that was making his rounds.

So while there were a lot of tourists there, we found that by going a different direction, we left the others behind pretty quickly.

I wished we had an overnight there because I think it would have been really neat to wander around the town at twilight.
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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We were there last summer in July as one of our ports on our Budapest to Amsterdam rivercruise.Loved Rothenburg. Really a charming little town.Didn't seem all that crowded,Vienna was worse.
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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I am also one who loves Rothenburg; I've been half a dozen times. I agree that you should get off the beaten path and also stay overnight. Once the tour buses leave, the town is much quieter. Visit the old city wall and the lovely city park for some relaxing moments.

Another lovely town that is definitely NOT a tourist trap is Bad Wimpfen. It is about an hour from Heidelberg on the Neckar River. Narrow cobble stone streets, two amazing medievel towers, ruins of an Imperial Palace and old city walls overlooking the Neckar River make this one of my favorite places. We were there in May and never saw another American.

www.badwimpfen.de

Other towns on the Romantic Road that we have enjoyed are Dinkelsbuhl, Noerdlingen and Feuchtwangen.

www.dinkelsbuehl.de
www.noerdlingen.de
www.feuchtwangen.de
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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I agree with bettyk Badwimpfen is a beautiful town I was there last year in august and they had a midieval festival and it was just beautiful.
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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It seems to me that May ought to be a good time to visit Rothenburg. There shouldn't be as many tourists there as in the summer months. I also agree that it's good to stay overnight. It's a different place in the morning and evening when the tour busses are gone.
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 10:39 PM
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On the north rim of the Harz, there are several historical towns which are less touristy and offer more authentic atmosphere:

Wernigerode
Quedlinburg (UNESCO World Heritage)
Ilsenburg

http://www.wernigerode-tourismus.de/intro.html
http://www.quedlinburg.de/
http://www.ilsenburg-tourismus.de/ilsenburg/english.php

I admit this in not southern Germany, but these towns are gems which are strangely ignored by international tourists.

In the area around Würzburg, you may like Iphofen/Kitzingen/Mainbernheim, Bamberg, Fulda, Alsfeld.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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I agree with bettyk - to really enjoy and appreciate this great town you need to stay overnight and get off the beaten path. We have only been there in the winter months so it was never real crowded, but still very busy during the day. By dinner time it is quiet and very peaceful. We prefer to stay in the Eisenhut hotel in the heart of town. Great hotel with outstanding service.

Go. Enjoy.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Hi abbynicole27,

I spent a few days in Rothenburg last Dec and didn't really enjoy it a whole lot. I found it to be over-the-top touristy; the crowds did not diminish in the evenings when I was there.

I would calm myself by getting out of the town and taking nice hikes in the woods around it. I would look back and see the throngs clumped on the main street and feel great that I had escaped.

I think you can find similar historic towns without the throngs of tourists.

s
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Actually, Bad Wimpfen does get its share of tour groups, but they tend to be German tourists. We have family who used to live in BW and who now live one town over in Bad Rappenau, which is even quieter than BW (but not as attractive). BW is a really pretty little town; it's worth it if you can get someone to give you a walking tour. (My husband's cousin was our tour guide and dished the dirt on some of the leading citizens as well as giving us a good overview of the town's history).

If you have a car and you go to BW, a wonderful place for dinner is Tando on BadWimpfenstrasse between Bad Wimpfen and Bad Rappenau (about two miles from Bad Wimpfen). Excellent food, very inexpensive, and pretty setting overlooking the countryside. It's a Chinese/German fusion place, which sounds odd but the result is terrific.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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BTilke, we were in Bad Wimpfen in May when the OP plans to travel. We spent 3 nights there and did day trips to Dinkelsbuehl and Schwabisch Hall. We saw NO tour buses or large groups of tourists while we were there. Also, we did not see the usual tacky souvenir shops you find in many of the tourist type towns. In fact, I had trouble finding post cards to send home! One of the many reasons I loved Bad Wimpfen!
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Thanks everyone. We've decided to do Rothenburg, but just one night. Bad Wimpfen sounds wonderful - I'm trying to decide if I want to add one night in Stuttgart and do it as a day trip. It would mean taking a night from Koblenz, but I hadn't decided yet what to do with my extra day in Koblenz, so this is a definite possibility.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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There are several places to buy postcards in Bad Wimpfen, although we spent our souvenir money at the local butcher on smoked pork chops to freeze and take back to Brussels.

They definitely do get tour groups all year. Our cousin is a volunteer tour guide who deals with many of them...but as I said, they tend to be other Germans and it's certainly not anywhere near Rothenburg scale. We were there in June and saw a few tour groups walk past the cafe we had stopped at for cake and coffee.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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Durn, I wish I could have brought home some of those smoked pork chops!!
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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Those chops were fabulous...

(Have you ever seen the 2006 movie Slither? Where the character Grant Grant goes on a buying spree in the supermarket's meat department? My husband had the same look on his face when he saw those pork chops. He bought out the entire supply in stock...they were a weekly treat for about two months.)
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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Bad Wimpfen was so much more exciting when it was full of tourists during my first visit there. There was so much excitement that we wanted to spend the night there but there wasn't a room available. The second time we went to Bad Wimpfen, it was a religious holiday so most of the commerce was closed and it became dead & boring for us.

I second a visit to Schwaebisch Hall for its timber buildings and dramatic old town cathedral steps. You may also consider staying in Heidelberg after Stuttgart if you are reducing a night in Koblenz or Rothenburg. You'll love the student town atmosphere,plus there's plenty of charm and architecture. You get to meet the local students if you make stops at the bars along the winding lanes.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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DAX, we don't mind dead and boring. We're there to see the sights so the fewer tourists the better. Besides, it makes for better opportunities to converse with the locals.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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My father ans I will be traveling through Rothenburg in late December. Any suggestions on a quaint place to stay and eat? Will there be a Christmas market and what was your favorite place in the city to enjoy the scenery and people watch? Thanks everyone!!!!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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I agree with previous posters. Stay overnight and enjoy Rothenburg in the evening after the tour buses leave, and in the morning before they arrive. No crowds - just a really charming, pretty, easy to manage town. And it makes a great base for day trips to Nuremburg, Bamberg and Vierzehnheiligen, Wurzburg, and smaller places like Wertheim and Miltenberg (speaking of less touristy).

I have stayed at the Gerberhaus twice. It's one of those hotels that you'll return to after you've stayed there once. Nice room, good location within the walls but far enough from the center to feel more tranquil, friendly staff. And a very reasonable price. It's been a while, but I recall paying about $80 a night for a nice double room. This was before the dollar collapsed, though.

Oh - with apologies to anyone who lives there, if there were a list of the 100 best places to see in Germany, Stuttgart would not be on the list. Stuttgart??? I think you're way better off going directly up to Koblenz or spending more time exploring the area close to Rothenburg.

Gute Reise!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Robertino - we are only going to Stuttgart for my husband to see the Porsche and Mercedes museums - we will be either arriving late in the evening, sleeping, seeing the museums in the morning and then leaving; or same but staying an extra day to do a day trip to Bad Wimpfen - we aren't actually staying in Stuttgart to see it, it's just a convenient place to get a hotel!
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