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Stay in St. Goar or Bacharach before GAS Tour? Train/Boat/Hotel

Hi! I recently signed up for GAS Tour leaving in July (a little last minute). Our tour starts on a Saturday, and on the Thursday before I fly into Frankfort around 8:30am. I have not booked a hotel yet for my pre-tour days, but think I will go to the Rhine Valley. Would this be a good place to go prior to meeting up in Trier with the tour group?

It seems like a lot of people either stay in St. Goar or Bacharach, so was thinking I'd stay at one of those. Do you have a preference for one over the other? Any hotels that you recommend?

I definitely want to walk around Bacharach, visit Rheinfels Castle, and take a boat cruise along the Rhine. Probably take a nap and sip some wine as well. Thoughts on what I should do the first and second day? Do you recommend just doing the KD cruise between Bacharach and St. Goar /vise versa or doing the cruise between other stops? Do you recommend round trip on the KD?

Is it easy to take a train from Frankfort to Bacharach or St. Goar and then a train from one of those into Trier? Would I buy tickets for both of those when I'm at the Frankfort airport?

Thank you for your time and suggestions. I'm newish to planning international travel so any advice is welcome!

Posted by
5035 posts

There are a lot of fans here who like staying in Boppard, and much has been posted. Look at the wealth of info under Germany. The train from Frankfurt is easy- again much info has already been posted. The KD cruise Boppard To/ from Bacharach does not include the many castles beyond Bacharach. Probably the best castle route is from Rudesheim towards Boppard.
I'll attach my recent Trip Report, perhaps it will be helpful.

Have a great time!

Posted by
8597 posts

Hi Emily, welcome. Here's one tip when planning train travel: you have to make sure you have the correct local spelling of towns and cities, because it could make a difference in where you end up. So, its Frankfurt (am Main) not Frankfort.

But yes, you can buy all the all the tickets at the airport rail station. They'll have English-speaking agents if that helps, as well. But its not hard to figure out.

When we did the GAS, we stayed in Bacharach. Its a lovely, small town. You can stroll from one end to the other in less than 15 minutes. St Goar would have more to do and see, and places to stay and eat. So it depends on whether you want small and quiet, or more to do. Either way you can get to Trier easily. Just note the train station in Bacharach is unattended (I believe, still) so there is no one to ask for help if you need orientation.

Posted by
2467 posts

Any of the towns along the stretch between Boppard and Bacharach are fine. I stay in Bacharach in a small, 3 room b&b ( listed as a PRIVAT GASTEZIMMER on the town website ) run by the nicest lady, Irmgard Orth. You can usually find lists of all places to stay at the town website. For example, Bacharach’s is www.bacharach.de, On that site, click on MENU then UBERNACHTEN. You can always email the tourist office for infomation and help. I have always found them to be very helpful.

Posted by
873 posts

Familie Andreas Stüber have great place, see [email protected]

We liked it so much we sent the in-laws there on their visit to us when we lived in Germany.

Posted by
6754 posts

Any of the towns along the stretch between Boppard and Bacharach are
fine

I basically agree with stephen. You can have a nice stay in any of them. But the towns ARE different. It's a personal choice that depends on what you're looking for. Here are the differences as I see 'em.

Bacharach: the best-preserved half-timbered buildings on the Rhine, very charming. Somewhat inconvenient for doing the classic Bingen > St. Goar cruise segment since one must start and end the cruise elsewhere.

Oberwesel: Also small, quiet; fortified town wall remnants surround the town and are walkable. Amazing castle-hotel there. Great hiking base. Same cruise issue.

St. Goar: Tiny like Bacharach, little to do - the only big differences being St. Goar' does have Rheinfels castle AND the most scenic location of any Rhine town - with hotels that take good advantage of that scenery. This, the plug-and-play ferry crossing for catching trains on the other side of the Rhine, its central location (Bacharach, Oberwesel, and Boppard are each just 10 minutes away) and its position at the end of the best river cruise segment, make it a very convenient place for booking.

Boppard: the megalopolis of the Rhine Towns with a whopping 17,000 inhabitants (including smaller settlements in the hinterlands) has the widest variety of hotels and restaurants, a terrific chairlift ride, riverfront cafes and hotels, and proximity to the Mosel River, Cochem, Koblenz, Marksburg Castle, and Burg Eltz (day trips from here are shorter altogether.) An extended cruise can end here too, though fewer boats stop here than in the other towns. If you want one place to stay for outings over several days, Boppard is a fine choice - especially since the town offers free train/bus travel to all guests who book there (VRM Guest Ticket.)

Posted by
5 posts

I just wanted to thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it. I just spent a couple nights in Sankt Goar and am on my way to Trier! I decided on Sankt Goar because it had close proximity by train to the other towns and I could end the boat cruise there. Everything there was booked and I ended up staying at an apt. in town that I found on AirBnb. It was quite the experience communicating with my host. He used a lot of exclamation points in his emails…”That is not possible!” “You must never lock that door!” “I need a valid ID as that driver’s license you sent is not a valid ID!” But Yusuf ended up being very nice, the place was great, and it was centrally located. It used to be called Hotel Lilie. I do think I may have blown a fuse using my converter thing which I felt bad about. Yesterday, I slept in a bit later than I should have (but I needed it) and went to the K-D boat dock in Sankt Goar to check boat times before taking the train to Bingen. Good thing I did as, the last boat from Bingen was not running that day because the water was low or the boat was broken. I ended up doing the really long upstream Sankt Goar to Bingen route and had a nice time. I met a couple and their grandson from Sevilla, and practiced some Spanish I hadn’t used in years. I had studied abroad for 5 weeks in Spain in the 90’s and had spent a weekend in Sevilla so they enjoyed that. I had beer and sausage on the boat…I guess sausage ion the boat is like 2 hotdog links in the US. It worked. Haaa.

I took the train from Bingen to Bacharach and did Rick Steves’ walk…it was around 8:30 by this point but I wanted to see this cute town. I walked the up the tower steps and man, that is a workout! Haaa. I met a couple also doing a sight-seeing walk around Bacharach from Amsterdam and they were impressed by the little Bacharach walking tour map/guide I had with me. I planned to catch a train around 9:10 back to Sankt Goar, but they changed the platform from 2 to 3 at the last minute and I didn’t realize that so ended up sitting at the train station in Bacharach until around 10:50pm to catch a train back to Sankt Goar. It was just me and one other guy who I think had one two many beverages. Short story long, I made it back to Sankt Goar ok!

I met a very nice couple from Estonia at the Sankt Goar train station today. They were in town for a big music festival. I’ve been doing okay with the trains but am very glad I don’t have to buy tickets each time since I have the 9 euro train pass. Very helpful. Alright, one more stop until Trier so am going to go! Thanks again!