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Stay in Bacharach or St. Goar for one night?

We have a "snapshot" visit planned of the Rhine valley, arriving around 2:30 pm in Bacharach, and leaving the next day by a 10 am train for Paris. I know Rick Steve recommends Bacharach over St. Goar, but noticed a Rheinhotel St. Goar that overlooks the Rhine, and thought that would make the stay more interesting (assuming the hotel is available). We'll do the afternoon cruise from St. Goar to Bacharach, or vice versa, in the afternoon.

Any opinions and suggestions are appreciated.

Posted by
3620 posts

Have been to both and staying in one or the other is six of one half a dozen of the other as the town are very similar. If your arrival in Bacharach can not be changed, why not walk about the town a bit and then (assuming the boat schedule permits) head on to St. Goar and stay there. Of course you could do the reverse if your arrival can be changed. Why not do some googling (particularly with googlemaps.com) and see what you think of the towns.

Posted by
8105 posts

Bacharach is prettier and has more restaurant options.
Do cruise the Rhine more than just Bacharach to St. Goar. This is such a tiny piece of the river and I have no idea why this is considered a recommended cruise. You are there to see castles and vineyards and historic towns, so travel farther up the Rhine to Bingen and cruise back down the river to St. Goar.

Posted by
5555 posts

"We have a "snapshot" visit planned of the Rhine valley, arriving around 2:30 pm in Bacharach"

Where are you arriving from? Are you using trains? Could you arrange to arrive first in Bingen by around 2 pm? If so you could catch the 14:30 boat from Bingen to St. Goar (arrive 15:55.) Since you get off the boat there, St. Goar is the logical overnight stop if you're cruising that afternoon. There's still time after checking in for a visit to Rheinfels Castle (which is right in town.)

KD boat dock in St. Goar: http://www.bensbauernhof.com/kdboat2010a.jpg

I would say that the buildings in Bacharach are more attractive, but that St. Goar's natural setting is more impressive, and that the views from the riverfront and the Rheinhotel St. Goar are superior to the Bacharach waterfront (where there are no hotels so close to the river, and where the closest hotels are also on the railroad tracks, as you can see in this photo.)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/Bacharach_Luftbild_01.jpg/1280px-Bacharach_Luftbild_01.jpg

River gorge around St. Goar: https://i2.wp.com/herbert-piel.de/wp-44b92-content/uploads/2016/01/Loreleytal.jpg?fit=960%2C641

View across the Rhein from St. Goar: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/78022484.jpg

St. Goar has a multitude of restaurants - traditional German, Chinese, Italian and more... no problem there.

Posted by
18301 posts

All other things being equal, I'd rather stay in St. Goar than in Bacharach. There is a good selection of hotels right around the KD dock and the market square in St. Goar. All are in a good location. You don't have to stay at Rheinhotel St. Goar. Last October I stayed at the Hotel am Markt and was happy with it. You can specify a room with a river view. The train station in St. Goar is about a block up the hill from the market square. Being higher, you really don't get the train noise. But the point is, everything is right there, the KD dock, the hotels, and the train station. It's a lot more convenient than Bacharach.

I say all other things being equal. You have to pay attention to the schedule for the KD boats and the trains. I would much rather take the train to Bingen or Bacharach and the boat back to St. Goar. I once made the mistake of taking the boat from St. Goar to Bacharach. That's upstream, against a strong current. That direction is soooo slow. By the time I got to Bacharach I was bored with the river. So I would take the train and come back on the boat. Just mind the boat schedule and make sure you have time to get to the boat before the last trip back down the river.

As for the subject of Bingen to St. Goar or Bacharach to St. Goar, you do see more castles between Bingen and St. Goar than you see between Bacharach and St. Goar, but either way, you see enough. The important part, to me, is seeing the Pfalzgrafenstein and the Loreley, both of which are between St. Goar and Bacharach, and you can see them without going to Bingen.

Posted by
31471 posts

Andy,

I really enjoyed my stay in Bacharch, and would certainly recommend that. I didn't care as much for St. Goar, so it wouldn't be on my list for places to stay.