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Suggestions for scenic train trip in Germany

My cousin and I are just beginning to plan a trip to Europe for next spring, and, since we won't have a car and have a limited amount of time, I'm curious if there is a good train route that would allow us to spend a day seeing some of the sights of the Rhine Valley area. We would be moving very quickly, I realize -- we're more interested in just seeing the scenery, rather than stopping and touring everywhere. We would most likely be coming from Munich and heading to Amsterdam after, though that certainly isn't set in stone. Any suggestions appreciated (and we're certainly open to alternatives if this sounds like a bad idea)!

Posted by
20461 posts

Just go to www.bahn.com. Put in from Munich to Amsterdam, then click on "enter stopover" and put in Mainz. That will route you along the west bank of the Rhine river where you can see the gorge area between Mainz and Koblenz. Best route shows you change in Frankfurt and Cologne, depart Munich at 7:50 and arrive Amsterdam at 17:27.

Posted by
6798 posts

To "spend a day seeing some of the sights of the Rhine Valley area" you will need to spend a night there. It's a 10-hour trip between Munich and A'dam via the Rhine even if you don't set foot outside the train stations. A good 1-night stopover for you might be St. Goar, a town in what I consider the most scenic part of the river, just downstream from the Loreley cliffs with 3 castles visible from the town's riverfront. Rheinfels Castle (ruins w/museum) is right there in town. Oberwesel and Bacharach, 2 fine old-world towns, are 5 and 10 train minutes south of St. Goar respectively; you could easily see them on the day you arrive. St. Goar has lots of places to stay, including a hostel in an old cliffside villa just beneath the castle:

St. Goar Hostel
Oberwesel
Bacharach

The next morning, train north to Koblenz (a stop on the way to A'dam anyway) put your bags in a locker and take a train 11 minutes to Braubach (on the opposite river bank from St. Goar) where you can take a tour of the very best Rhine Castle, the never-destroyed Marksburg:

Marksburg
Marksburg website

Then return to Koblenz and head to A'dam.

If you do as Sam has outlined and travel straight through, the scenic part of the river between Mainz and Braubach will be a bit of a blur as you will zoom past it in less than 30 minutes.

If your time is really so short that you cannot stay a night, then make more time - but if you just can't, you might be able to squeeze in a stop of a few hours. My choice would in this case be to route yourselves from Munich to A'dam via Koblenz and get off in Koblenz for the 11-min. detour to Braubach for a tour of Marksburg. Leave Munich at 7:28, stow bags quickly once in Koblenz and board train to Braubach, arrive Braubach 12:36, scurry up to castle or catch the shuttle for English tour at 1 pm. Check out the old town in Braubach right after that (and have a meal?) before heading back to Koblenz and on to A'dam.

Braubach's old town

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for all the info -- it looks like there are definitely some great options, hopefully we will be able to spend some more time in the area.