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Strasbourg to Mosel Valley and Rhine

Traveling late Sunday night from Strasbourg, France to Mosel Valley and Rhine to visit castles, then onto Cologne.
What is the best "base" for this adventure? Do we need 2 nights or will 2 full days be sufficient? Is one train system better than another? Is there a train pass that allows discounts that allow travel from France, to Germany to Belgium?
Cheryl

Posted by
388 posts

Trier is a good place to base yourself for the Mosel river valley. If you want to do the region justice then two nights would make the most sense. By train from Strasbourg it would take a little over 4 hours with a change in Metz and Luxembourg city. From Trier you can take trains all the way up to Koblenz then south to Bacharach or Mainz. From Mainz to Cologne will take about 1.75 hours. You could do a rail pass but I think individual tickets may come out to be cheaper than a rail pass. Besides, since the train will have you going through Luxembourg you would have to have three countries on a pass. Otherwise you could do just a France/Germany pass and pay for the small section through Luxembourg separate. You can find information on tickets and passes on our website at the following link: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains. If you can commit to times and dates before you go, most of those tickets can be purchased at advanced purchase discount rates through the Deutsche Bahn (www.bahn.com). I hope this helps some.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for a speedy response!
The train info was particularly helpful. I plan to travel to Burg Eltz, Rheinfel's Castle, Marksburg Castle and Reichsburg.
Is Trier still your choice for a base city?
Thank you

Posted by
12040 posts

Trier's kind of on the far edge of the area that interests you. If you're trying to see the Mosel and Rhine in only two days, I would chose something a little more central, like Koblenz or maybe Boppard.

"Is one train system better than another?" I'm not sure what you mean by that question.

" Is there a train pass that allows discounts that allow travel from France, to Germany to Belgium?" Yes, but it won't give you a discount. The exact opposite, in fact. Third party rail passes are one of the most expensive methods of rail travel. For trains within the Mosel-Rhine area, this region lies entirely within the federal state of Rheinland-Pfaltz, so you should be able to buy a regional pass from Deutsche Bahn. I don't know too much about these passes, but Lee from Colorado can chime in, plus recommend the best way to get to Köln (which sits in a different state, Nordrhein-Westfalen).

Tell us more about what you plan in Belgium. Automatically, a third party rail pass is too expensive to even consider for this country, but specific recommendations depend on your plans.

Posted by
28147 posts

I wouldn't pick Trier as the destination on Sunday night. I visit it regularly but it doesn't fit with what you are looking for.

Strasbourg is already on the Rhine, and I take it that you want to see castles? You just need to go north down the Rhine, and you could locate in Koblenz or one of the smaller towns to the south.

Koblenz is where the Mosel joins into the Rhine, and is served by faster trains from Strasbourg. Koblenz also has the faster trains to Cologne.

I can't imagine Trier working for what you want in this circumstance, despite the RS staffer saying so.

What does concern me, Cheryl, is the late night journey from Strasbourg. What do you mean by "late night" and what time of year? What do you mean by "train system"?

You seem to think that 2 nights is longer than 2 full days. Generally 2 full days would be accomplished by arriving in the afternoon, spend the night, day one, night, day two, night, and leave in the morning - so 2 full days is actually 3 nights.

How much time do you actually have between Strasbourg and Cologne? Are you flying out of Cologne or doing more traveling there?

A touch more detail will result in a much better answer.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for all the helpful tips...very kind of all of you to respond!
We'll be staying in Koblenz! Train tickets will be purchased as needed!!
So happy with the quality of information shared!