Dinkelsbühl: The Complete Guide

Dinkelsbühl is an idyllic and quintessential Bavarian town, often visited by travelers on Germany’s renowned Romantic Road. This charming fortified city boasts a rich 800-year-old heritage and exudes an enchanting atmosphere, carefully maintaining its untouched medieval architecture and ambiance.Together with its neighboring towns, Rothenburg to the north and Nördlingen to the south, Dinkelsbühl stands as one of the few surviving walled medieval towns in Germany. The grand minster and the picturesque timbered buildings offer visitors a vivid glimpse into the captivating essence of the Middle Ages, allowing them to envision how these towns thrived during that era.

History of Dinkelsbühl

Dinkelsbühl occupied a crucial position at the crossroads of two significant trade routes: the Germany-Italy route running north to south, and the route connecting Rhine towns to Eastern Europe.

Believed to have been established in the 8th century, the town’s earliest documented mention (as “Tinkelspuhel”) dates back to the 12th century, when it already possessed the privilege of hosting a market.

During the 13th century, Dinkelsbühl became an Imperial free city and embarked on the construction of the fortifications that still encircle its historic center today.

The town’s prosperity flourished through weaving and cloth manufacturing, with the trading guilds spearheading efforts to expand their influence and secure privileges, such as membership in the town council.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Dinkelsbühl experienced the tumultuous religious conflicts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Control over the town alternated between Protestant and Catholic authorities several times. Despite the majority of the population being Protestant, the 17th-century Concordance of Equality brought a settlement that ensured fair treatment for believers of both religions.

However, these wars, along with industrial and economic shifts in clothing production, led to a period of decline for the town. Consequently, many of the old town walls and buildings were preserved, as people lacked the financial means to construct new properties, which would have resulted in the demolition of older ones.

Another factor contributing to Dinkelsbühl’s current appearance was the decision by Ludwig I of Bavaria in the early 19th century to protect and safeguard the historic buildings from destruction.

The Kinderzeche festival, held annually in July, draws inspiration from the Thirty Years’ War. This children’s festival depicts the town’s rescue from Swedish mercenaries by the intervention of the gatekeeper’s daughter and the children of Dinkelsbühl. It also carries historical connections to the feasts and outings enjoyed by Catholic and Protestant schoolchildren at the end of the school year during the Middle Ages.

Visiting Dinkelsbühl for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Dinkelsbühl on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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12 Best places to See in Dinkelsbühl

This complete guide to Dinkelsbühl not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Dinkelsbühl and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Nördlingen Gate and Town Mill (Dinkelsbühl)

Nördlingen Gate Town Mill Dinkelsbühl
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
The Nördlingen Gate, constructed around 1400, features a stepped gable adorned with shell-shaped decorations dating back to the 16th century. Within the vaults of the gate, there are tar holes. Additionally, in accordance with a privilege granted by Emperor Karl IV in 1378, the town mill was built in Dinkelsbühl. This mill, which originated in […]
Location: Noerdlingen Gate Nördlinger Str. 62 91550 Dinkelsbühl Germany | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Nördlingen Gate and Town Mill (Dinkelsbühl)

Wörnitz Gate, Dinkelsbühl

The oldest among the four town gates, the Wörnitz Gate, showcases rusticated ashlars that date back to the Hohenstaufen period. Towards the end of the 14th century, the tower was raised in height. The Renaissance gable, featuring a clock tower, was added in the 16th century. Adorning the outer side of the gate, as seen […]
Location: Woernitz Gate, Altrathausplatz, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Wörnitz Gate, Dinkelsbühl

House of History, Dinkelsbühl

House Of History, Dinkelsbuhl
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
The remarkable structure, known as the “Stainhaus” or stone house, was first documented in 1361. It is a rectangular building that underwent expansions to its wings between 1524 and 1550. Serving as the town hall until 1855, the old town hall is a prominent setting each year for the ceremonial handover of the town to […]
Location: Haus der Geschichte Dinkelsbuhl Altrathauspl. 14 91550 Dinkelsbühl Germany | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting House of History, Dinkelsbühl

St. Georg (Dinkelsbuehl)

St Georg Dinkelsbuehl
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Zairon
St. Georg is a church located in the town of Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Dinkelsbühl is a historic town in the state of Bavaria, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. St. Georg, also known as the Church of St. George, is one of the prominent landmarks in the town and holds significant cultural and historical importance. Construction […]
Location: St.-Georgs-Münster, Marktplatz, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting St. Georg (Dinkelsbuehl)

Weinmarkt, Dinkelsbühl

Weinmarkt, Dinkelsbühl
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
On the western side of the ‘Weinmarkt’ or Wine Market, one can admire a collection of splendid gabled houses from around 1600. These architectural gems include: The former council tavern, characterized by a decorative spire. It once served as the weighing building and provided accommodations for esteemed guests such as Emperor Charles V in 1546 […]
Location: Weinmarkt, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Weinmarkt, Dinkelsbühl

Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Dinkelsbühl

Hospital Of The Holy Spirit, Dinkelsbühl
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Tilman2007
The Hospital of the Holy Spirit (Spitalkirche) was donated in 1280. The hospital church was constructed in 1380 and underwent renovations around 1500. The interior of the church was modified to Baroque in the 18th century. This enclosed three-winged building with a charming inner courtyard served as an alms-house. Noteworthy features include the Church of […]
Location: Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße 8, 91550 Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Dinkelsbühl

New Town Hall, Dinkelsbühl

Rathaus Dinkelsbühl
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
Constructed in 1733, this building served as a private residence for Bauer, who held various roles including postmaster, senator, and later mayor. Since 1855, the town administration has been situated within its walls. Above the main entrance, a banner proudly displays a quote from the ‘Richtungsbrief’ (direction letter) of 1387, which played a significant role […]
Location: Rathaus Segringer Str. 30 91550 Dinkelsbühl Germany | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting New Town Hall, Dinkelsbühl

Bäuerlin Tower

Bäuerlin Tower
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
Situated on the shores of the Wörnitz River, the tower stands as an iconic symbol of Dinkelsbühl. Dating back to the 16th century, it features a distinct half-timbered structure and a sharply hipped saddle roof. The tower owes its name to the watchman and tanner Hans Bäuerlin.
Location: Bauerlin Tower, Oberer Mauerweg, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Bäuerlin Tower

Rothenburg Gate (Dinkelsbühl)

Rothenburg Gate Dinkelsbühl
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Calips
The Rothenburg Tower Gate, built approximately in 1390, exhibits a stepped gable adorned with flat columns. On the second floor of the gate, there are torture chambers and prison cells. The presence of tar holes and the protruding structure with its hipped roof and bays are clear indications of the robustness of Dinkelsbühl’s fortifications.
Location: Rothenburger Tor Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße 12 91550 Dinkelsbühl Germany | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Rothenburg Gate (Dinkelsbühl)

Armoury of the Dinkelsbühl 'Kinderzeche'

Armoury Of The Dinkelsbühl Kinderzeche
© Andrew AS
The municipal grain store, a half-timbered building dating back to the early 16th century, was transformed into a museum for the ‘Kinderzech’ stock after undergoing refurbishment in 2007.
Location: Kinderzeche Dinkelsbühl - Historisches Kinder- und Heimatfest, Bauhofstraße, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Armoury of the Dinkelsbühl 'Kinderzeche'

Three Kings Chapel, Dinkelsbühl

Three Kings Chapel, Dinkelsbuhl
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
The one-storeyed chapel, featuring pointed arched windows, is documented in records as early as 1378. During the 19th century, the tower was dismantled down to its ground floor and fitted with a hipped roof. Presently, the chapel houses a memorial with an information panel commemorating the victims of the NS regime.
Location: Adlergäßlein 3, 91550 Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Three Kings Chapel, Dinkelsbühl

Segringer Tor

Segringer Tor
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
After being besieged by Swedish troops in 1649, the ‘Segringer Tor’ (Segringen Gate) collapsed and was reconstructed in the Baroque style in 1655. The adjacent town wall served as a protective barrier, securing the southwestern flank with several fortified towers. Within the gate passageway, a stairwell leads down to the town moat. From the expansive […]
Location: Segringer Tor, Segringer Straße, Dinkelsbühl, Germany | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Segringer Tor

Tours and Activities from Dinkelsbühl