Germany: Dinkelsbuhl

And just when you think Rothenburg was a magical town unlike any other, comes a very similar, albeit smaller, absolutely fairytale town of Dinkelsbuhl to the south. Many Germans, as I have been repeatedly told, consider this to be the most beautiful town in Germany. Completely walled off with all the defensive towers intact, this medieval fortress of a settlement dates to the 11th century and was a Free Imperial City under the Holy Roman Empire. Inside the town, there are several spectacular 16th century cathedrals, a town hall and rows and rows of colorful house (many used to be merchant houses since Dinkelsbühl owes its prosperity to the wool trade of the 15-16th centuries). And unlike in Rothenburg, there are no hordes of Chinese tourists here and the exploring the town is actually pleasant and not a Manhattan-at-rush-hour type of experience.