California Globetrotter

The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany - California Globetrotter

The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany



Let’s be honest. When you think about Germany, everyone pictures Germans wearing Lederhosen, drinking beer and eating bratwurst, magnificent fairy tale castles perched high above the towns people and beautiful landscapes. While this is partially true, there is certainly much much more to this wonderful country.

There are three types of dwellings most Germans reside in: Big cities like Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt. Villages out in the countryside with endless fields of crops. And then there’s half-timbered storybook towns that we imagine all of Germany must look like.

Unfortunately, these are a dying breed and only make up a small fraction of Germany. There are dozens of amazing small towns, especially along the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße –  “German Half – Timbered Houses Route”, leading from the river Elbe in northern Germany to Lake Constance in the south. Along this route, 98 towns have united to protect these historic half-timbered towns!

Here are some of the most hidden, half – timbered towns throughout Germany, some not on the Half-Timbered route, all worth a visit if you’re looking to truly learn about the history and architecture of this amazing country. If you make it to the end of this post, you’ll find an interactive map showing the towns!

In case you’re interested, PIN IT FOR LATER!!


Rothenburg ob der Tauber

State: Bavaria

One of the most well-known and beloved of all the towns is undoubtedly the amazing town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber for its plethora of half – timbered houses surrounded by its Medieval walls. Located along the “Romantic Road”, there are endless lanes of cobbled-stoned allies and colorful buildings, offering an endless opportunity for picture perfect snaps! See for yourself! img_4816

Esslingen am Neckar

State: Baden – Württemburg

Probably one of Germany’s best kept secrets. Esslingen is located about 20 minutes outside of Stuttgart and is one of the few towns in Germany to survive the destruction of the war without any damage. Here, you’ll find Germany’s oldest lane of half – timbered houses as well as over 200 half – timbered houses throughout the entire town encompassed by steep hills full of lush grapevines. The Medieval Wine Town of Esslingen am Neckar - California Globetrotter


State: Baden – Württemburg

Another hidden town off the beaten track from many tourists, and even from Germans is this small half – timbered town of Blaubeuren. Not only does the town lay along the German Half – Timbered Houses Route, but there is also the hidden gem of the Blautopf –  the iconic spring with crystal blue waters and an amazing wood framed house.

Blaubeuren's Blautopf - California Globetrotter


State: North-Rhine Westphalia

Monschau is probably my favorite of of all the half – timbered towns we have visited is this small, almost forgotten town with over 300 historic wood framed houses virtually unchanged over the last 300 years. Located just 20 minutes away from Aachen, near the border to Belgium, this adorable little town was by far the most picturesque town yet, rivaling Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the title.

Monschau, Germany - California Globetrotter


State: Rhineland – Palantine

What could possibly be better than half – timbered houses and wine? Bacharach! Located along the Rhine River, this picturesque town is surrounded by steep rolling hills of grapevines, topped with a castle turned youth hostel. How could a town possibly be any more delectable?


Rüdesheim am Rhine

State: Hesse

Not far from Bacharach, further down along the Rhine River, Rüdesheim am Rhine is an adorable town which offers the most picturesque alley in all of Germany. Drosselgasse is lined with several half – timbered houses, wine taverns and cafes to stop and sip on freshly produced Federweißer wine. Also found in the town is the old aristocratic residence of Brömser Hof.

The Darling Storybook Town of Rüdesheim am Rhine, Germany - California Globetrotter

While there are certainly a plethora of half – timbered houses throughout Germany, they are far and in between. Some take a little bit of extra effort to get to than others but they are well worth the visit, especially if you’re looking for an authentic and historic atmosphere of a time long gone.

Should you not be able to make it to any of these towns, there are plenty of other large cities which offer a few half – timbered houses, some of which had to be rebuilt to their original beauty after the war.

Nuremberg, Bavaria

While a huge portion of Nuremberg was destroyed during WWII, there is just but one picture perfect alley, reconstructed to its former glory – Weißgerbergasse. There are a few other tidbits of half – timbered houses in Nuremberg, including the Kaiserburg Castle.

Nuremberg, Germany - California Globetrotter

Bamberg, Bavaria

Easily one of the most overlooked towns in Bavaria when compared to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and other amazing towns in Bavaria. But, Bamberg offers plenty of half – timbered houses to get you excited, including a Rathaus (City Hall) regally straddling the bridge over the Regnitzarm River. Plus it helps that the town is famous for it’s Smoked Beer. Chiemsee & Schloss Herrenchiemsee - Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter

Frankfurt am Main, Hesse

The most picturesque portion of Frankfurt is undoubtedly the row of houses commonly known as Ostzeile which date back to between the 15-18th centuries in the main square. The houses were practically completely destroyed during the war, but have been rebuilt to their former glory making for one of the most picturesque squares in Frankfurt.

5 Quick Things to do in Frankfurt am Main, Germany - California Globetrotter

Wondering where all of these towns are located in relation to one another?

If you’re incredibly motivated to visit all of these in one big go, then I congratulate you. While Germany is easy to drive to get from East to West, it will still take some time. However, if you can hit up a few places because they’re not far apart, then I highly recommend combining a few towns.

Here’s how I would combine multiple towns into one itinerary.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber



Baden – Württemburg

Esslingen am Neckar


Rhineland – Palantine & Hesse

Frankfurt am Main

Rüdesheim am Rhine


and if you’re motivated or near Belgium squeeze in Monschau

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide or the Lonely Plant Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! These are my travel Bibles!






Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Want More Adorable Towns?

Top 10 Adorable Towns in Europe

The Historic Town of Regensburg

Lose Your Heart in Heidelberg

Liked this post? PIN IT FOR LATER!!




Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

63 thoughts on “The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany

  1. So pretty!! This post is a dream for me… I love half-timbered houses!

    More in Baden-Württemberg: Calw, Weinheim and Nagold.

  2. I’ve just added all of these gorgeous places to my travel wish list! 🙂

  3. I am so in love with these houses! Thanks for the list!

  4. Oh my goodness, what gorgeous buildings!

  5. I love your blog, with each post I reminisce treasured memories of Germany. My husband and I have visited all but 2 of your featured towns and we will be sure to add the other 2 on our next visit. Please keep up the excellent website which is as informative as it is charming.

  6. I loved the list! I am currently living in Germany for a year abroad and I definitely have to visit these places! Loved your blog.

  7. I have to admit, Germany has never really been at the top of my travel list but the sight of these half timbered towns does entice me! 😉 #citytripping

  8. Such a useful post for clueless Travellers like me. Love how you grouped the towns together for easy planning. The photos are so gorgeous, I want to book a flight to Germany now! #CityTripping

  9. Your description of Germany made me chuckle, I may be guilty of visualising that stereotype. But those towns look gorgeous and Bavaria has always been on my list to visit one day!

  10. Thanks for this nice article about wonderful destinations to visit. Some of them are still on my list.
    I saw you have been in Cochem. Have you also visited Bernkastel-Kues, nice half-timbered houses. If you like, fell free to have a look at our vist

  11. such a useful list – everything looks stunning. I have only been to Germany once on a school exchange, near to Kassel (north of Frankfurt). #citytripping

  12. Great post! I do love half-timbered houses – they are so stunning. I really need to explore more of Germany! Thanks for sharing on #citytripping

  13. Germany is such a beautiful country, great post about the fairytale half timbered towns. #CityTripping

  14. This is a post for die hard travelers like me. I would like to visit all this town. At least, I will start by the Bavarian ones. Great to learn there is a movement trying to preserve the structures. #citytripping

  15. Such beautiful pictures! I love exploring the smaller, lesser known towns. Almost always a great experience #wanderfulwednesday

  16. Omfg, this looks like something out of a fairy tale. Such gorgeous pictures!

  17. I’m obsessed with all of these towns! This is exactly what I think of when I picture Germany (Even though I know it’s mostly false haha) I’ve been to a lot of the big cities like Munich, Hamburg and Berlin, but when I visted Lübeck, I absolutely fell in love. I think it’s because this little city felt so much more “German.” You’ve officially put this route on my bucket list! May just have to plan a road trip one day and hit as many as possible 😀

  18. OK, You just added a couple new stops to the Bavaria road trip my husband and I just started planning for 2018. 🙂 I think half-timbered houses are so picturesque. I remember there are quite a few in Strasbourg (not Germany but pretty darn close) as well.

  19. I’d love to visit Blaubeuren and Bamberg! Have heard so many great things about the latter and I just loved seeing your pictures from Blaubeuren 🙂

  20. One of the things that I wanted to do so badly during our trip to Europe was to visit one of the beautiful half-timbered towns! They almost look more fairytale like than a castle! I guess that means that I need another trip soon!

  21. Boom! You did it! Awesome post of the most pretty towns imaginable. This will be so useful when I plan our Euro roadtrip. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles Lolo!

  22. Oh my the rathaus in Bamberg is amazing! This is such a great round up of beautiful places to visit, I love it! #FarawayFiles

  23. I love the way you grouped them for people to prioritize together. So helpful. So ridiculously charming. You’re right – this is the Germany people dream about – lovely post, thanks for sharing #FarawayFiles. Cheers, Erin

  24. love these kind of houses:) #farawayfiles

  25. So great to have the full list of half-timbered towns and cities with half-timbered bits all in one awesome post. I like the idea of the half-timbered route – think I’d like to combine it with the Fairytale castle route one day! Thanks so much for linking this up to #FarawayFiles

  26. These are absolutely delectable, chocolate box/biscuit tin perfection! I never knew half timber framed buildings were so beautiful. What a great road trip #farawayflies

  27. great stuff! I love Monschau!! 🙂 It is so magic during fall and winter especially! 🙂 Another one I also liked was Bernkastel-Kues. I need to save your tips for my future trips 😉 Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. I’m starting to hate you with your posts! It’s so pretty! I’m so jealous!!!! That German Half–Timbered Houses Route sounds like a great trip! I didn’t know there’s such a thing. 🙂

  29. Your collection of half-timbered towns is very pretty. I’d love to visit them someday.

  30. I always find such travel inspiration from your posts! Saving!

  31. Picture perfect photographs, I especially love the shot of the mill! I would add Dinkelsbuhl to your list, but otherwise spot on! #wkendtravelinspiration

  32. How helpful that there’s a half-timbered house route in Germany! I never knew that. This style of house is so distinct, and very different from the half timbered houses you see in northern France, and parts of the UK. I really want to visit them now! #FarawayFiles

  33. Half-timbered houses is what I’d hope to see in Germany, but I didn’t realize that they weren’t all that common anymore. All the towns you pictured are so pretty that I have a hard time deciding which I like the best. I am impressed by the people of Bamberg who decided that the best place to build City Hall was in the middle of the river.

  34. This is a nice list and great jumping off point for driving around Germany. I think Mittenwald and Rothenberg vie in my book for most charming German town. I like the scale of Mittenwald, especially in contrast to the Alps just behind it.

  35. Pingback: Strasbourg is THE “City of Christmas” | California Globetrotter

  36. Pingback: 2016: A Year in Review | California Globetrotter

  37. You could also check out Tübingen 🙂
    It’s in Baden-Württemberg and in the near of Esslingen.

  38. Reblogged this on L'arte Di Vivere and commented:
    Sone really great images of old Germany. Great eye.

  39. Pingback: Why You Will Never Be The Same After Living in Germany | California Globetrotter

  40. Pingback: 3 Bavarian Towns Surrounded by Medieval Walls | California Globetrotter

  41. These half timbered houses are very characteristic for Germany. I love your pictures, Lolo. They are so appealing that I feel like hoping on a plane and going there. I love Germany!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s