Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to give it the full name which distinguishes it from Germany’s other two Rothenburgs, has few equals as a fairy tale destination. This perfectly preserved medieval town looks like a film set, and indeed the town’s tumble of half-timbered houses and stone watchtowers have been featured in numerous movies, including the last two Harry Potter installments.
Wandering the streets is the main activity here, but you can also climb the Röderturm to make sense of Rothenburg’s confusing layout and then walk along the intact wall which circles the town. Indoor attractions include the Kriminalmuseum, full of gory torture instruments or, for those with a more delicate constitution, there are all sorts of medieval art treasures in the Reichstadtmuseum. The Gothic church of St Jacob, which contains a magnificent carved altarpiece, once made the town a center of pilgrimage, and remains a magnet for visitors to this day.