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Rhine trip help

We will be going to the Rhine from Berlin. We want to walk along the Rhine and we want to take a boat trip back in the most scenic spots. We plan to stay for 3 nights and then head to Munich. We will not have a car.
We wonder which town to stay in- preferably all 3 nights in the same town and do day trips.
Which sections should we hike on and which sections should we ride the boat on?
Any specific advice about trains from Berlin (to which town?) and then trains to Munich.
thanks

Posted by
12040 posts

Unless you plan to walk for 8+ hours a day, you won't get all that far on foot. There's scenic hiking trails that run throughout the Mittelrhein (usually through the hills and vineyards), but these are more useful as a scenic excursion, not a method to tour the overall gorge. Without a car, rail is probably the easiest way to go from town to town.

I have no preference as far as towns along the river. Maybe a slight edge to Oberwesel, Boppard or Koblenz. Or even Wiesbaden or Bonn. Each are a little further up and down river, respectively, from the Mittelrhein, but you're within easy commuting distance.

Trains from Berlin to the Mittelrhein will route you through Frankfurt, Köln, Bonn, an Koblenz, depending on what time you leave. To Munich, you would most likely route through Frankfurt.

Posted by
18 posts

I agree with Tom. without a car, you aren't going to see much by foot. trains are your best bet.

we stayed in Oberwesel and I'd stay there again. but for 3 nights? you'll run out of stuff to do for sure. the boats will allow you to see the most compared to trains.

Posted by
16956 posts

The scenic stretch of the Rhine is the section between Boppard and Rudesheim (castles, Rhine Gorge, Lorelei). The K-D line runs 5 trips a day each direction beginning March 29. Going down river (south to north) is the fastest for obvious reasons. For a cruise, travel by train to a boarding spot and take the boat home. Last season's timetable: http://www.k-d.com/fileadmin/user_upload/redaktion/Linienfahrten/Bilder/KD_Fahrplan_2013_intern_web.pdf
Bacharach seems to be the most popular spot according to questions on this helpline thanks to the RS guidebook. Hotel prices are also the highest (for the same reason?)

Posted by
16 posts

thank you for your replies.
A few other questions:
1.) should we stay in Koblenz or Boppard to visit the Marksburg and Rheinfels when we arrive from Berlin or does it matter where we stay to visit these sites?
2.) which town (smaller if possible) would be a good place to stay the night before we travel by train to Munich-a fairly close walk to the train station that has several trains that could get us to Munich?
3.) Our plan had been possibly to pick one of the towns and stay there and then take a train trip to the sites and then go back to the hotel and then another day trip train to Bingen or Rudesheim and take the boat trip bake down the river to our hotel town. Wondering which town would be a good place to do all of this from or would it be better to change towns and not stay in one place for the 3 nights?
thanks

Posted by
18 posts

hey eracah,

we stayed in koblenz. it was an accor brand hotel close to the river that we could walk to from where the boat docked. i think koblenz gets overlooked: it really is the "heart" of germany with the intersection of the rivers.

if you don't mind the hotel shifting, i'd stay in a different town each nite. we stayed at the burghotel schoenburg and it was awesome but expensive in oberwesel. each town has it's own vibe. and don't overlook hotels not within walking distance of the train station. i think the close ones are more expensive and book up faster. taxis are usually plentiful at the stations unless you get in really late.

bingen was where we picked up the KD boat. it's a pretty good sized town too. we left our car right where the boat dock is and then took a train back to pick it up after we stayed in koblenz.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you visit Rüdesheim, you'll want to go at dinnertime. That's when many of the restaurants feature live Schlager music, and things get even better when the tipsy pre and post wedding parties start to arrive from the nearby cities.

"which town (smaller if possible) would be a good place to stay the night before we travel by train to Munich-a fairly close walk to the train station that has several trains that could get us to Munich?" You're not going to catch a direct train to Munich from anywhere on the Mittelrhein. Likely, you would have to procede further to the rail hubs of Frankfurt or Mannheim.

Posted by
5894 posts

The normal answer to your question does not include Cologne. But without a car, I would consider three nights in Cologne and a day trip ( train ) to the medieval Rhine, with a KD boat ride. Just look into it in case it compliments your interests.

Posted by
132 posts

I recommend staying in Bacharach and taking the KD to visit other relatively close-by towns like St.Goar and Boppard. Bacharach is a smaller town, but an absolute great place to stay. Walk up to the castle at the top of town (currently a hostel), climb one the remaining towers in the vineyards surrounding town, try one of the nice family run restaurants on the main street and last (but definately our favorite) - order a wine carousal at one of the restaurants in town that offer them and have a blast!
PS - Don't forget to visit the "peep show" referrenced in the Rick Steves Guidebook. Spoiler alert - a rated "G" adventure.

Posted by
132 posts

Forgot to mention - St.Goar has an excellent half-ruined castle. If your feeling adventureous tour the hidden tunnels underneath it (bring a flashlight and nerves of steel - it's unescorted, dark, damp and hard to navigate, but definately fun!). Took the kids and made it through unblemished).

Posted by
35 posts

We like to stay put as much as possible & spent 5 nights in St Goar last October, also without a car. We found it to be a good base for exploring the Mittelrhein region. Since you would like to walk, there are great trails both along the river (flat) & across the vineyards for as long as you'd like to go. I walked to Oberwesel & took the train back - great view of Loreley from this side of the river. The ferry across the Rhine to St Goarhausen is at St Goar & the walk from there to the Loreley Visitors Center is a good hike - challenging going up, much easier coming down! I liked the short walks from town to Rheinfels Castle as described by Rick in his guidebook - one through the vineyard, one along the old town walls. We did day trips to Bacharach & Marksburg Castle, & to Burg Eltz (a long day trip!). We did not do a KD river cruise as it was late in the season but the ferry does stop in St Goar. There are easy train connections from St Goar to Frankfurt (~1.15 hr ride) to then travel on to Munich.