CHRISTMAS is just around the corner, but there’s a town in Europe where every day feels like a festive holiday.
A Christmas museum, Christmas shops and snowball-shaped snacks all make Rothenburg ob der Tauber the place to go for anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit.
The small settlement in Northern Bavaria, Germany, is known for its half-timbered medieval buildings, pretty cobbled streets and its love of all things Christmassy.
It has been described as a “fairytale” by previous visitors, including travel bloggers My Right Sock, who wrote: “A few weeks ago, we chanced upon a real life fairytale town in Germany.
“It’s the prettiest little vintage town in the Franconian region of Bavaria, Germany.
“The second you get there, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time and all the fairytales you grew up reading will come to life.”
Read More on Christmas Markets
Perhaps one of the reasons it brings these stories to life is because some famous Hollywood blockbusters were filmed along its ornate streets.
Most famously among them are Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with the town’s market square or Marktplatz where the toymaker ushers the Potts family into his workshop so they can escape the child catcher.
Rothenburg can also be seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, with Gellert Grindelwald seen stealing a wand in the town during a flashback.
However, Christmas is where Rothenburg specialises, with the winter festival what it’s most famous for.
The Deutches Weihnachtsmuseum (German Christmas museum) telling the story of Christmas in Germany.
It also exhibits different festive decorations up until the mid-20th century and is open all year round.
The museum was created following the opening of Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Village back in 1981.
The village is predominantly a shop, boasting the largest selection of Christmas decorations “worldwide”.
Travel blogger Mama Ayla’s Adventures wrote about her visit to the store, saying: “Giant Christmas trees towered over us, twinkling stars dotted the ceiling, snow covered the ground and the rooftops, and we wandered around dancing along to merry Christmas tunes.
“I would have gladly emptied my bank account out with each little decorative item, pretty bauble, joyful Santa Claus statue and soft reindeer toy, each more irresistible than the last.”
Rothenburg celebrates Christmas in plenty of other ways too, with its famous snack schneeballen made to look like little edible balls of snow.
The city’s schneeball tradition is said to date back to the middle ages, when they were served on special occasions, such as weddings.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that such a festive-focused place puts on its own Christmas market every year and Rothenburg’s is said to be one of the most atmospheric in Europe.
It has been carrying out the tradition for more than 500 years.
European Best Destinations wrote: “Ever since the 15th century, the festive time prior to Christmas has been accompanied by a delightful Christmas Market.
“The narrowly winding streets and picturesque squares around the town hall and its archways are lined with wooden booths, appropriately decorated for the season.”
The market runs from December 1 until December 23 and will be open once again this year.
One person who is looking forward to it opening is Tiktoker Madeline (@lu_madeline) who shared footage of the town during a snowy visit.
Her video revealed just how festive the quaint streets look during the winter when they’re decorated for Christmas.
Her followers were stunned by what they’d seen, with one saying: “I wanna visit Rothenburg so badly.”
Another wrote: “This is too pretty.”
Meanwhile, these are the best Christmas markets to visit in the UK this year.
And these are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.