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Need advice for the romantic Rhine & smalltown Germany (with a baby)

Hello... we have an upcomig trip in early April with 4 adults and 1 baby. :) We'll be passing through Germany for a few days and want to make the most of it, but don't want to push TOO hard with the little one in tow (he is 7 months old & travels well).

Here's our loose itinerary for this portion of our trip:
Day 1: travel from Amsterdam to St. Goar, night booked in St. Goar
Day 2: spend day exploring Rhine towns, night booked in Rudesheim
Day 3: ? 1 more day in Rhine towns? OR possibly Rotenburg? travel to Fussen & spend extra time there?
Day 4: Neuchwanstein castle & night in Fussen

So, a few questions:
1. Is 1 day enough to explore a few different towns along the Rhine (only towns between St. Goar & Rudesheim)?
2. Since it's the off-season, can we buy tickets for the KD boats (or any boat taxi/ferry option) the day of? And can you buy tickets for shorter sections of the Rhine? I only saw tickets online for full-day access across much larger sections.
3. We are open to renting a car, or taking trains from Rudesheim on to Fussen. We want the trip to be relaxing, but see as much as we can. Will we get plenty of cute storybook town scenery in the Rhine towns (St. Goar, Bacharach, Rudesheim) & Fussen... or will we be missing out if we skip Rothenburg?

4. By taking a car between Rudesheim & Fussen, the travel time is drastically reduced & we can see more (ie. Rothenburg)... but it also means we need to get a car in a smaller town, get a carseat & return the car either in Fussen or in Salzburg (our next stop). Any suggestions based on that dillema?

We so appreciate any input here! Thank you in advance :)

Posted by
9110 posts
  1. Not even. It's going to take you four or five hours to get into the area. There's hardly anything left. Rudesheim is upstream on the right bank, St Goar is downriver on the left bank. The railroad and most of the more scenic towns are also on the left bank. You say you're going downstream on Day 1 and back upstream on Day 2. It doesn't make sense.

  2. Yes and yes.

  3. Most likely you'd have to go into Mainz or Wiesbaden to get a car. That's going to eat up a lot of time. You will already seen some really good small towns. Rothenburg is not the center of the universe.

  4. See my 3 above for Germany. Dropping the car in Austria will add a very hefty expense.

Posted by
102 posts

I think one day is enough time to drive up and down the main drag of the Rhein and see a couple of the sights. Two days would be better if you’re really interested in touring more sights.

Also, why not spend two nights in St. Goar? You’re packing your bags up just to go a few kilometers up the river.

I would suggest taking the train directly from Amsterdam to the Cologne Central Station. Rent a car and then drive to Sankt Goar, maybe driving the last 30km from Koblenz to Sankt Goar in the valley. Depending on how early you can leave Amsterdam you may have time to get in some sightseeing.

With a car the next day you will be able to see a lot more. Drive down one side of the Rhine, take a ferry across, drive back up the other side, and cross again at Sankt Goar.

It’s a several hour drive to Füssen the third day, but you can easily break it up with a stopover in Rothenburg, Heidelberg, or Speyer. Or drive it straight through to spend more time in the Alps.

On your last day you can get in Neuschwanstein and some villages in the Alps.

Drop your car at Munich’s main train station the next morning and catch a train to Salzburg.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Cute, storybook town scenery" is everywhere in Germany (well, perhaps not so much in the lower Rhine and Ruhr areas to the north), you don't specifically have to see it in Rothenburg- there's even another well-presered walled town just off the Rhine near Koblenz (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler). Rothenburg's a reasonable choice, because it lies between your start and end point, but don't think there aren't other substitutes if you miss it.

"Since it's the off-season" In April, not really. You won't see as many tourists as pack certain towns in the summer, but it won't be deserted either. And KD is not the only excursion company on the river, although they make the most stops.

"Is 1 day enough to explore a few different towns along the Rhine?" Depends on how many castles you want to explore and if you want to check out Koblenz (unjustly disparaged on this website, in my opinion). Also, if you wanted to see anything between Bonn and Koblenz (other than an ugly industrial strip immediately downriver of Koblenz, another area that I think gets overlooked too often). Except for maybe Boppard, Oberwesel and Rudesheim, I find many of the towns rather interchangeable.