Visiting the medieval walled town of Nördlingen, Bavaria, Germany

In En-Route, Europe, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travelby JanisLeave a Comment

Sited in a crater along the Romantic Road

Just like its Bavarian neighbours north along the Romantische Straße of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen is a rare example of medieval town entirely encircled by its historical walls and towers.

A view of the large, half-timbered, buildings that edge the pedestrianised Marktplatz with its sunken water feature, ice cream shop with tables & chairs outside.

Marktplatz and Tanzhaus

Gary and I have visited all three towns, and I’ll be upfront with you; Nördlingen isn’t quite as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl.

However, it has an incredible amount of charm, history, and the crowds are few and far between.

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Looking at one of the many medieval towers from the path along the city walls.

Medieval walls, ramparts and Löpsinger Tor

Nördlingen has the colourful quaint half-timbered buildings and an ancient covered medieval sentry wall but also has the feel of a town that’s very much still in the hands of its locals.

A brass tactile town map of the old town inside the city walls.

Touchy-feely town map

The location of Nördlingen is exceptionally unique as it sits in the middle of a giant crater created 15 million years ago. It is believed that the meteorite that hit the earth forming the Ries crater was 1km wide.

Romantic Road

If you’re looking to visit Bavaria, be sure to pick up the Romantic Road. You may recognise Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Neuschwanstein from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There are also the lovely towns of Füssen and Augsburg to visit.

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Treading in ancient footsteps

We love visiting these historic Bavarian towns, as so often it’s not just the beautiful buildings in the heart of the city that have a story to tell. If you wander just a few streets back, this is where daily life unfolds, and some little gems can be found. 

So, armed with our map, we set off on a discovery of the historic walled town of Nördlingen to see what we could find within its 3km walls.

A modern water feature in front of the Klösterle, once a monastery, the white building features are painted a contrasting bright mustard colour.

The Klösterle, once a Franciscan monastery

A brightly coloured old gabled building that has settled with time and so its lines are no longer true.

Gabled home in Hafenmarkt

We didn’t need to wander too far, as right next to our hotel NH Klösterle Nördlingen in the centre of town, is the Klösterle. Once a Franciscan monastery, then after the Reformation in 16th-century it was used as a granary.

Marktplatz, Nördlingen

Heading into the Old Town square, there are so many buildings full of character. Immediately you’ll notice the striking Gothic hall church, of St George’s. Although it’s the 90m tower that will catch your attention, which is named “Daniel’. If the mood takes you, you can even climb up it.  

Looking past the old town fountain up to St George’s Church with an impressive bell tower.

St George’s Church

Looking up at the Daniel Tower of St George’s Church caught in the golden light evening.

Daniel Tower on St. George’s Church)

Just by the church in Marktplatz is the 15th Century Trading Hall, known as the Tanzhaus. This beautiful hall was mainly used by the Cloth Traders of the town. 

The local storks appear to have made the top of the Tanzhaus their home too.

The trading hall, a large 15th-century building in the centre of the town.

15th Century Tanzhaus – Trading Hall

Then there’s the attractive Rathaus, which no German town would be complete without.

This 13th-century Town Hall has been used continually since 1832, by the ‘parliament’ of Nördlingen.

Take a peek around the back of the Rathaus, and there’s an incredible flight of Renaissance style stairs built-in 1618.

A bit more info

If you’re tempted with visiting Bavaria, the local tourism website gives some handy pointers. 

The town's 13th Century Rathaus or Town Hall standing along in the centre of town.

13th Century Rathaus (Town Hall)

The ornate gothic steps added to the Rathaus in the 16th century

Rathaus with external Renaissance stairs

Why not?

Start creating your own Bavarian adventure and discover the ancient town of Nördlingen for yourself. You can fly into Germany’s delightful city of Munich with easyJet & British Airways.

Or alternatively, if your venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour south under your own steam.

Tanners District

Stroll to the north within the ancient walls, and you’ll find the ‘Tanners District”. Here amongst the peaceful cobbled lanes are half-timbered homes, gabled buildings, and a tranquil stream keeping the watermill turning.

A typical half-timbered house we discovered as we walked along the cobbled lanes of Nördlingen.

16th Century half-timbered building

A restored mill with a waterwheel sitting in the stream that flows through the town.

Neumühle – Bottom driven watermill


A couple of beautifully maintained homes next to the old town walls.

Immaculate homes with the Nördlingen town walls

This is a lovely part of the town and so quiet. The only folk who were around, were groups of archers out and about, on an organised event and locals tending to their gardens.

A traditional home with gabled upper decks with brightly coloured flower boxes on the middle row.

Picturesque balconies on a local home

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Gates, Towers and medieval walls

As I mentioned, one of the unique points of this historic town is the medieval wall that completely encircles Nördlingen. Having thankfully escaped the devastation that WWII inflicted on other cities and villages around the country, you must take to the ramparts a go for a stroll.

A view across the town from the city walls to St George’s church and Daniel Tower.

St George’s church and Daniel Tower

Looking down the path that runs along the old city walls, covered by a red-tiled roof over a timber framework.

Strolling along the walls

You get a wonderful view across the rooftops of Nördlingen, with the centre point always being Daniel tower. The townsfolk have even made an effort to paint their satellite dishes terracotta colour, so they don’t stand out.

At ground level outside the city wall looking towards one of the Feilturm tower.

Feilturm, this tower was once used as a prison

The cobbled street in front of the city walls by the Spitzturm which is a steeply tiled tower.

Spitzturm rebuilt in 1592

Hit the road

Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us, if your unable to bring your own car or are flying into this lovely country give SIXT car hire a go. They cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations. 

Nördlingen to Munich is around 90 miles (155km) or alternatively if you’re in Nuremberg, it is only 60 miles (96km).

Stroll around the ramparts

There are so many towers strategically located all around the ancient walls. Various levels of restoration have been carried out over the centuries, one of the towers Feilturm was once used as a prison.

Looking up at the grand Reimlinger tower, above the gateway that leads to the centre of town.

Reimlinger Tor

Along with the numerous towers are five gates leading into Nördlingen centre. The Reimlinger Tor is the oldest of the five, parts of which date from the 14th-century. This road leads to Augsburg along the ‘Romantic Road’.

The Deininger Tor has a curved, tiled, roof - one apparent thing is that all the towers in the city walls are different.

Deininger Tor

Looking up at the Löpsinger Tor from street level with the arch at the base level.

Löpsinger Tor

Continuing further around the ramparts we come to the Deininger Tor and then Löpsinger Tor. The Löpsinger Tor now houses the ‘Townwalls’ museum which is displayed over six floors. 

Silver Screen

To get a bird’s eye view of Nördlingen, take a look at the final scene in the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. As the elevator soars above the rooftops, you’ll see Nördlingen below.

Quirky little things

Just strolling around the lanes of any village, town or city you come across some unusual things. It’s what makes a place unique and memorable. In historical locations like Nördlingen in Bavaria, you never know what you’ll find.

A stone decoration of a cheeky head with its tongue sticking out at the base of a house.

Greeting at your front door

A face carved on a stone bollard.

Cheeky little fella

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit Nördlingen?

Start creating your own adventure and take to the ramparts of this Medieval town.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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