Going from there to Triberg, so Cochem adds 45 mins travel time, but it feels like it will be worth it. Advise appreciated!!!
Why would you go to either one? What would you do while there? What draws you?
I visited Cochem briefly mostly as a base to stop and visit Burg Eltz. But you could easily base yourself in Barachach and still day trip to Burg Eltz, if you had an interest in seeing it. (And day trip to Cochem too.) From my recent trip to Germany, the two pictures that have gotten the most "wow!" reaction from people have been 1) pictures of Burg Eltz and 2) pictures of Cochem at dusk, reflected in the still Mosel River. Cochem itself is a very pleasant town, nicer than I imagined (and bigger) though it is quite touristy. Burg Eltz was less impressive on the inside actually - I've seen more interesting castles, but it sure does look amazing from the outside. Of course, there are lots of castles in the area.
I didn't get to stop in Bacharach.
Between Bacharach and Cochem... I'd go with Cochem. Charming old town, nice location. Loved our 4 nights here. Very convenient to Burg Eltz, which is simply the best castle experience in my opinion. We didn't stay in Bacharach, but we did visit, and weren't really impressed at all. Nice, but..
Thank you. I have a room reserved with a balcony river view in Cochem and that is what I really want, but as this is a birthday present for my husband, I was just having trouble finalizing my decision. My inclination was to stay on the Rhine. In fact, I didn't even know much about the Moselle before I started this planning. I'm going to keep the room I have reserved. Thank you!
I think both are nice, especially in September. The Mosel is a little quieter than the Rhine so I prefer it slightly.
Two nights equals one full day, during that day in Cochem you can visit Burg Eltz and Trier plus enjoy a couple of dinners and sunsets on the Mosel. Two nights seems about right for the Mosel.
The Rhine has more castles and a few more sights (that may or may not interest you). I did like Rick's walk around Bacharach and Burg Stahleck is one of the nicest hostels anywhere. Rheinfels castle ruins in St.Goar is one of my favorite places to visit.
Balcony view...any chance you booked at the Hotel am Hafen in Cochem? You can read my recent review of it from last month (most recent review). Just don't ask them to print out a train ticket for you!!