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Rhine River Valley vs Munich?

My wife and I will be arriving into Munich the morning of June 16. We need to end up in Belgium by mid-late afternoon on June 19. Our current plan is to spend the 16th and about a half day of the 17th in Munich, then travel to the Rhine Valley. We’ve already booked a room in Oberwessel for the night of the 18th so we could have that as an option. We will not have a car and plan to do all of our travel via train, or potentially bus if it’s more optimal.

My question: where should we book the hotel for the night of the 17th? Do we book it in Munich and spend extra time in Munich and travel to Oberwessel on the 18th? Or book a room at one of the towns in the Rhine Valley and leave Munich mid-morning on the 17th? Any recommendations from those who have experienced both places? Favorite towns in the Rhine Valley? If we proceed with the Rhine Valley option, we’re hoping we could drop our bags off somewhere between hotel check-ins as to not have to bring them with us on a river cruise, exploring by foot, etc.

Thank you very much in advance for any ideas!

Posted by
6798 posts

Book the17th in O’wesel so that you have your bags in your room all day and plenty of time for the cruise (Bingen - St Goar) as well as Rheinfels castle and the train rides you will need before and after your cruise.

I would include a visit to Bacharach in the pm on the 18th and a walk around Oberwesels old town as well.

Posted by
9044 posts

I would spend my time on the Rhein instead of Munich.
My favorite towns are Eltville, St. Goar, Bacharach, and Oberwesel. Maybe even Rüdesheim.

Posted by
1123 posts

It really helps to know what you enjoy. Small villages on the side of the Rhine that are filled with tourists? Because that's what you'll find in June in St Goar, etc. Not that they're unattractive, but I think they, and the river cruise, are over rated and very touristy. But then, I visit them in the off season. If you already have train tickets don't waste money on a boat ride, just go village to village and see what you want. If you really want to do the boat ride stay in Bingen, and take your luggage with you on the boat so you don't have to backtrack.

You could spend weeks in Munich and not see everything. The Alte Pinokothek, the Egyptian Museum, the Bavarian Museum, the Deutsches Museum, the Paleontology Museum, the Hunting and Fishing Museum, and that's not half of them. Schloss Nymphenburg, the beer gardens, the English Gardens, the Residence; all worth half a day (minimum). The Olympic Park, the Flohmarkt, the Opera, and surfing on the river are fun too. Yes, Munich gets it's share of tourists, but most of them are near the Marinplatz and that's all they see of a really interesting city.

Not knowing where in Belguim you need to be at on the 19th, I'll offer this option; don't go to the Rhine, but go to the Mosel. Munich to Trier is just as long a train ride and a lot more convienient to Belguim. Plus it's more interesting than Bingen or Oberwesel, and you can take boat rides on the river from there to places like Cochem.

Posted by
8648 posts

Either way, you are really only spending one full jet-lagged day or less in Munich. Not really enough time to see much. Do you have to go there at all? Too late to change your flight plans?

Yes the Rhine valley is more interesting than Munich, if you're not heading to the alps.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your responses! Very informative and much appreciated.

For more clarification, this trip originated due to a conference we’re attending in Bruxelles (why we need to end up in Bruxelles on the 19th). We found airfare direct from Charlotte, NC to Munich about 35% cheaper than any other route, is how we ended up starting our travels in Munich. We additionally have always wanted to visit Germany. We know we have such a short time this particular trip, and planning on late notice, so certainly going into this with a “we’ll be back to visit more” mentality.

We were interested in the Rhein region due to the natural beauty and more relaxed nature since we will be spending plenty of our trip in larger cities (Bruxelles then London). We were having trouble deciding between the Rhein and Mosel to spend our time - both seem to be very much what we’re looking for.

Any suggestions on potential vineyard walks/nature walks? We are also very interested in trying the wine of this region, so any wine suggestions are greatly appreciated. We would love to support smaller, local operations if possible.

Thank you again for your thoughts!

Posted by
1503 posts

I'm with Jo. Skip Munich and spend the time on the Rhine. With a free day you could explore the Mosel as a day trip from where ever you end up on the Rhine. I've only stayed in Bacharach on the Rhine. Have stayed in Cochem on the Mosel twice and LOVED it!

Posted by
2483 posts

Lots of hikes alng the Rhine and I’m sure along the Mosel also.

Last trip I walked to the ruin Burg Stahlberg which is about a mile away from the Rhine at Bacharach. One person there was all. I think she was there as part of a longer 7+ mile hike.

There are paved farmer’s roads thru all the vineyards so you can walk anywhere. In Ruedesheim you can take the gondola up to the monument and walk down. Also a chairlift in Boppard so you can walk down. Great views of the Rhine. Also in Boppard is the Hunsruck train that you can take to one of the stops and hike back.

I would never advise to skip the rhine boats and just visit by train.

Posted by
9044 posts

One of the fun places to do some wine tasting is in Rüdesheim at RheinWeinWelt. Located in the old Asbach factory, for 10€, you get 10 chips to taste 10 different wines from the Rheingau. All local vineyards. Taste the expensive ones, white, red or rose or even the non-alcoholic wines. It is located right across from the train station, so easy to find. They have some yummy food there too.
https://www.rheinweinwelt.de/en/