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5 nights in Bacharach and 5 nights in Cochem

My wife and I are planning our trip to Germany, part of which will be spending time in Bacharach and Cochem. We are in our 70s but fit and want to see as much as we can from each base. We would love suggestions as how best to use the 5 nights in each place.

Posted by
5610 posts

Your choices will depend heavily on the season. When do you plan to be there? And what sorts of sights/activities interest you when traveling? Sounds like you wouldn't mind some walking/hiking - both places are good for that normally - but how much?

Posted by
1814 posts

For a stay of this length, I would prefer Boppard over Bacharach. Bacharach is pretty, but tiny. When I was there recently, many restaurants were still closed postpandemic. Boppard has more life and also slightly better train connections. There are quite a few hotels of all price levels right on the waterfront (one of the very good but pricey).

Posted by
26 posts

It certainly depends on when you'll be there but I'd say 5 nights in Bacharach is too much, way too much. We've stayed and visited in all 3 sites over the years. if you're planning on doing day trips via car, train or cruise- it can work but I'd say go with Cochem or Boppard for multiple overnights. Bacharach is very sleepy. I'd recommend looking at Oberwesel, Sankt Goar or Rudesheim for a little larger town feel and dining, activity options if possible. You can visit these towns as day trips and likely think- we should have stayed overnight here...

Posted by
6801 posts

I've been to Bacharach four times, but I agree five nights is too much. There is nothing "to do" there other than eat and sleep. Thats partly why its so charming, but really, you could leisurely stroll from one end to the other in 15 minutes. The only things to do there is to get on a train or the cruise boat and go up and down the river. Dont be fooled by the castle on the hill - a great view but its not visitable. Two nights should do.

Posted by
1796 posts

I’ve stayed up to a week at a time in Bacharach. No problem. You won’t be just staying in town, but doing day trips. Mainz, Koblenz, Cologne, Burg Eltz, Oberwesel, St. Goar, Boppard, Lahn Valley, Ruedesheim, Eltville

Posted by
5610 posts

stephen has it right... this area is ripe with day trip options. Bacharach, St. Goar, and Oberwesel are all about the same size - x-small - almost no one would choose to spend just 5 days in any one of them. The UNTOURS company understands this and in fact sells vacations with a choice of a 1 or 2 week apartment stay in Bacharach or another Rhine town, and they include a 1 or 2 week German Rail Pass - for outings of course.

My opinion is that St. Goar or Boppard are normally the best for slick logistics as you move around the area.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks to all for suggestions. We did plan to see as many Rhine villages and castles as we can using Bacharach as a base. If it is logistically better staying in Boppard we might look into staying there and spending a day in Bacharach. Any suggestions for a hotel with a river view in Boppard?

Posted by
5610 posts

Bellevue has a very good reputation in Boppard.

Bacharach is quite a beautiful town but also quite small, with not so many sights in town. A full day there could be VERY relaxed - or for active people, possibly WAY TOO relaxed. If you were to catch a morning train to Bacharach (about 20 minutes from Boppard) then train to Bingen (20 min.) for a cruise to > St. Goar, you would still have time to visit Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar before the final 10min. train ride back to Boppard.

Posted by
2150 posts

We were in Boppard this past May, and stayed in the Bellevue Hotel right in the center of the riverfront. I'd highly recommend this grand hotel, with a river view room with balcony . The hotel has a pool and sauna, and a sumptuous buffet breakfast. We booked directly with the hotel, and communication was prompt. Do find the Boppard chairlift, walking distance, and have a drink above the valley.
Safe travels!

Posted by
26 posts

Hotel Garni Gunther in Boppard was great for us in August 2021. On the water , city parking directly in front and plenty of restaurants and sites just outside the door.

Posted by
10 posts

The Bellevue Hotel had no availability, so decided to just stay in Bacharach and visit as many villages, towns as we can. What are the ‘must see’ on The Rhine?
Cochem will be our next stop. Would love suggestions as to what to do in that area.
We really appreciate all your replies, thank you!

Posted by
5610 posts

"What are the ‘must see’ on The Rhine?"

Marksburg Castle in the town of Braubach
Rhine cruise from Bingen (or Rüdesheim across the river) to St. Goar.

Rüdesheim, Oberwesel, St. Goar, and Boppard offer additional sightseeing choices nearby; use this map to click on these and other Rhine town names to find more options.

Must-sees near Cochem:

Burg Eltz Castle

Other options nearby:
Reichsburg Castle (in Cochem)
Trier
River cruise to Beilstein and back
Day trip to Bernkastel (train to Traben-Trarbach + cruise, or train + bus.)

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you so much Russ, we appreciate your suggestions.
This is our itinerary while in Germany.. we
Arrive in Frankfurt at the end of July and take train to Bacharach ..5 nights
Cochem..5 nights
Nuremberg..5 nights
Rothenburg on Tauber ..2 nights
Munich..7 nights
We then go to Oberammergau to watch ‘The Passion Play’..3 nights
Back to Munich to fly home !
We would prefer not to hire a car, so hoping to travel by train. Should we get a train pass, book ahead or is it doable on the day to most places? Any guidance will be most appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
5610 posts

Your Cochem > Nuremberg train journey is a long one that would be most convenient using high-speed trains. Normal walk-up price at DB Railways for such a ticket is around €185/2. But if you can commit to a travel date and hour, you can probably get a non-refundable or semi-refundable "saver fare" ticket for around €100. I do not have your travel date so I dunno. But you can check that. The 7:58 - 12:28 has only one change of train in Koblenz.

https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

The REST of your journeys can in fact be done by local or regional train on day passes that you buy day by day at the station. The day passes vary from location to location; there are small differences in conditions and price. Each type is good for all day or most of the day. A couple can expect to pay €30-€35/day on average for a full day of travel with these.

This page contains some but not all of the day passes you'd be using; read up so you get an idea of how they work:

https://www.bahn.com/en/offers/regional

It looks like you'll be doing day trips from Boppard, Cochem, Nuremberg, Munich, and possibly Oberammergau. I have no idea how many. So there's no way to say exactly what your whole trip will actually cost. But you have around 28 days altogether, so if you were to stay put only for one full day in each travel base (5 days) and take day trips on the others, that's 23 day trips X maybe €32/day. With the saver fare trip to Nuremberg, you'd be looking at roughly €800 plus for the two of you altogether.

You can look into German Rail passes for comparison; One twin pass to cover 2 people for 15 travel days of your choosing runs around €800+ as I recall. But you'd likely need more travel days than that, which would mean supplemental day passes.

https://www.bahn.com/en/offers/passes/german-rail-pass

Posted by
16941 posts

Cochem to Nuremberg is about the only long distance train ride you would need to take. That will run anyhere from 80 to 120 EUR for 2 if you buy them now. The rest of the time, the 9 EUR ticket will get you everywhere you want to go. You will have to buy 2 of them per person, one for July and one for August.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you so much, Russ and Sam. We will be in Germany late August and September. You have given us a lot to think about and read. 😁

Posted by
10 posts

So, we will be in Bacharach and Cochem in August. We could buy the 9 euro ticket for that time for the trains. We then would buy boat tickets each day. Is that right?

Posted by
5610 posts

At this point I can't tell when you'll be in Germany. July? August? September? All 3 are mentioned. My previous advice was offered with September in mind. Any travel by regional train prior to September can indeed be done on the €9 promotional ticket Sam has mentioned.

Yes, the Rhine cruise boats run by KD and Bingen-Rüdesheimer from Bingen are not covered by the €9 tickets - purchase those tickets separately at the dock in Bingen. The same is true for the Kolb boats that cruise between Cochem and Beilstein and elsewhere on the Mosel River.

Posted by
10 posts

Sorry, Russ, , I wrote July at first by mistake. We will be in Germany from 19th August for 28 days.

Posted by
16941 posts

So the 9-EUR will work for you for the first half of this trip. FRA to Bacharach to Cochem and to Koblenz. Buy discount ticket for the ICE train to Nuremberg from there, which if my calculations are correct, will be Monday, Aug 29. Prices vary from 27.90 to 45.90 EUR per person depending on the departure times for Super Sparpreis tickets bought today. These are train specific and nonrefundable tickets and the prices will go up as time goes by. Might as well spring for seat reservations as well. They cost 4.50 EUR per person. You might even want to spring for 1st class as they include seat reservations. The 16:48 departure is an especially good deal at 37.90 EUR per person.

September rolls around while you are in Nuremberg, so the 9-EUR tickets expire. For just the local Nuremberg area, you can get a daily VGN Tages Ticket Plus for 12.30 EUR/day coves 2 people. On Saturday Sept 3, when you got to Rothenburg, you can get an all-zone VGN Tages Ticket Plus for 21.50 EUR that will get you to Rothenburg, as that is within the VGN. VGN by the way, is the German acronym for the Greater Nuremberg Transit Authority.
https://www.vgn.de/en/tickets/all-day-ticket-plus/

From Rothenburg to Munich you can use the Bayern Ticket. Use local trains only after 9 am and travel all day for 34 EUR for 2 people. That includes all public transport in Munich for the rest of the day. While in Munich, you can buy public transport passes. The City Tour Card is good for 2 people for 6 days for 71.90 EUR for travel within the city and Includes discounts at various Munich sites and museums.
https://www.mvv-muenchen.de/en/tickets-and-fares/tickets-daytickets/citytourcard/index.html#c12632

Munich to Oberammergau and back to the airport you can use the Bayern Tickets.
https://www.bahn.com/en/offers/regional/regional-day-ticket-for-bavaria?dbkanal_007=teaserSliderBigImage_3-1_link_laenderticketbayern

Posted by
5610 posts

Summary of your likely ticket options...

(All tickets 2nd class; all except your 8/29 saver fare are by regional/local train only and can be bought at the station from ticket machines.)

8/19-28 Frankfurt Main Flughafen Regionalbahnhof > Bacharach = €9 ticket, 2x€9 = €18/2 pers./month of August

8/29 Cochem > Koblenz (same €9 tickets) using the 7:58 - 8:36 RE train (or an earlier regional train) to connect in Koblenz to your Nuremberg-bound ICE train...

8/29 Koblenz > Nuremberg DB saver fare

Best trip/fare for this day currently looks to be the direct 8:48 direct ICE train, €71.80/2 adults for the super saver non-refundable

ALTERNATIVELY: This train passes through the Romantic Road city of Würzburg on the way. If you wish to visit W'burg, it would be smart to book the 8:48 ICE only to Würzburg (currently €55.80/2.) That way you don't waste time backtracking from Nuremberg on some later date. Arrive in W'burg at 11:34, put your bags in a station locker, spend maybe 4-6 hours there, then continue to Nuremberg (approx. 1 hr.) on the REGIONAL trains at any hour you wish using your €9 ticket.

8/30-31 from Nuremberg Hbf (same €9 tickets) for local day trips (to Bamberg? Bad Windsheim? Bayreuth? Iphofen?)

9/1 -9/2 Nuremberg Hbf > = €21.50/day/2 pers., VGN Tagesticket Plus for the above-named destinations, buy at any ticket machine with a VGN logo.

Note: the VGN Tagesticket Plus bought for Saturday is also valid on Sunday 9/3, the day you travel to Rothenburg.

9/5 Rothenburg > Munich = €34/day/2 pers. on the Bayern Ticket day pass, leave R'burg after 9 am. Bayern Ticket is valid within Munich on public transport as well (bus, tram, subway.)

9/5-11 in Munich: several good day trips by Bayern Ticket... Landshut? Regensburg? Salzburg? Herrenchiemsee?
Within Munich on the MVV network: too complex for me... here's a primer: http://munich-touristinfo.de/Munich-Public-Transportation.htm

9/12 Munich to O'gau by "Regioticket Werdenfels" (€31/day/2 pers.) (see link below and scroll for description)

https://www.discover-bavaria.com/tickets

9/13-14 (??? several day trip options exist.) Free transport options come with your stay:

https://www.ammergauer-alpen.de/mobil (Click on the Brit Union Jack flag icon for English)

Mittenwald is a great day trip destination; the bus trip is cheap or if you prefer the train, the "Regioticket Werdenfels" day pass (€31) can get you there by train and back. It's a couple of Euros cheaper than the Bayern Ticket - and it lacks the after-9-am-only restriction on the Bayern Ticket.

9/15 The Regioticket Werdenfels gets you back to Munich or Munich Airport.

Posted by
5610 posts

Sam, you're faster than me!

Looks like we have some small date and ticketing discrepancies, but I think jim can work it out and follow up with questions.

Posted by
10 posts

I can’t thank you enough for your posts re trains, Sam and Russ. It’s great to hear from the experts! My wife and I will study the posts and get back if we have any questions. 😊😊

Posted by
8179 posts

If you are on the Rhein, I would include the following towns to visit.
* Eltville with Eberbach Monastery! For me, this is one of the most impressive sites in the Rhein region
* Ober-Wesel
* St. Goar with Burg Rheinfels, but also the St. Goar church next to the bahnhof. The interior has just been renovated and is very beautiful.
* Lorch
* Burg Rheinstein
* Mainz

Sadly, you have left no time to visit Frankfurt, one of the most historic cities in Germany as well as one of the oldest ones. Rick ignores this fact in his book and has left out most of the historic sites that you can visit here, including several medieval churches, dating from 850-1310. The neighborhood of Höchst is even on the Half-Timbered Route in Germany, yet he has never taken the time to visit. We have about 40 museums in Frankfurt that cater to a wide variety of interests. If you are interested in Jewish culture or Heritage, you can spend days here before you have seen all of it.

Posted by
441 posts

You might be able to coordinate your plans to experience one of the spectacular Rhine in Flames nights. We went to one in St Goar even though we were staying in Boppard. (It was a short train ride. )
You do NOT need to be on a boat. In fact your view would be more limited there. We just found a place to sit next to the river, and had a wonderful view. Lots of food/ wine vendors made the wait very pleasant.
https://www.firework.rhine-river.com/

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you Ms.Jo and Travelling Mum for your suggestions. In hindsight we should have made time to see some of Frankfurt city.. maybe next time. We will find out about Rhine in Flames, sounds good. 😊😊

Posted by
138 posts

While Bacharach is my very favorite village in Germany, I think that 5 nights there would be too long. I always make Bacharach my first stop after flying in to Frankfurt. Even for me a couple of nights is enough. There is not a lot to do. You can hike up to Burg Stahleck, the castle or take a boat ride on the Rhine from Bacharach to St Goar or beyond. I usually do those things, but mostly I just enjoy the village.

My second stop is always Cochem. It is a little bit larger so has more to do. You can rent bikes and ride to Beilstein. There is a great walking/biking path and you can cross the Mosel River on the little ferry. Beilstein is so quaint! From Cochem it is relatively easy to visit Burg Eltz, take the boat through the locks on the Mosel or ride the chairlift for a great view. I like to spend 2-3 nights there, but then I'm ready to move on.

As I read through the posts I saw that you are planning 2 nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. If it were me, I would add a night there. Not an awful lot to do there either. I'm assuming that you are planning day trip from Nuremburg and other places. Bertchesgaden comes to mind.

Posted by
316 posts

Hi Jim- I see the Bellevue Hotel in Boppard was not available for your dates. This hotel sells out pretty fast starting in the spring- We stayed in the Rheinhotel Lilie for 3 nights in Boppard at the end of August before Covid happened. It is not as nice (and 2/3 rds as expensive) as the Bellevue but we found it to be more than adequate. In particular the outdoor Biergarten was located between the hotel and the Rhine. And we don't spend too much time in the hotel room anyway.

We stayed in the Hotel Restaurant Altkölnischer Hof in Bacharach for 2 nights that same trip. They even had washcloths in the bathroom! I would get awfully bored staying in Bacharach 5 nights. Be sure to check out Restaurant Zeus in Bacharach. It was the only place in town we could get anything to eat after we returned from the Rhine- in-Flames show. A small bus picked us up at the hotel around 5:30 PM and took us to the train station in Oberwesel. It was about a 4-5 block walk from there to a good spot on the western side of the Rhine to see the show on the Eastern side. . By the time you stake out your vantage point, get a bier (or 2), and eat a nice sandwich the show starts around 9 PM. About 10 PM the show ends and we walked back to the train station to get on our bus back to Bacharach. We stopped for a pit stop and a bottle of Bier on the way back to the bus. The bus waited for everyone to get back on before leaving Oberwesel for Bacharach . I think the Rhine-in Flames show at Oberwesel occurs on Saturday 10 September this year.

Have a great trip!!!

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you Joy and Kenneth for your suggestions, which we have taken note of. We can’t wait to start our trip in Germany! 😊

Posted by
58 posts

We just returned from our first trip to Germany and loved staying in Bacharach for 2 nights and 1 in Boppard. In Boppard, there are Roman ruins that we stumbled upon (we only spent one day there) and the chair lift Sesselbahn is a must-do. Rheinfels castle in Sankt Goar. We also liked Burg Eltz and found the Mosel Valley gorgeous as we drove through to the Rhine.
In Bacharach, walk up to the tower on the hill and enjoy the view over the town. There's a longer trail that continues. When you look up, it's to the right on the hill. You can also walk up to the Stahleck castle. We had a great laugh at 100+ children, about 10 years old, all hauling suitcases up the hill to the castle. Bacharach is super charming to stroll through. Eat at Stubers Restaurant at the Rhein Hotel. We plan to see Cochem and more of the Mosel on our next trip. Enjoy!