Please sign in to post.

What would be a realistic enjoyable day in the Rhine Valley (1 day plus travel)

In mid June I plan on taking an early train from Dusseldorf for the day to the Rhine valley and then taking the train back Dusseldorf in the evening. I'm planning on doing the river cruise and touring Rheinfels castle. RS also suggests the Burg Eltz, Marksburg, and Rheinstein castles as great ones to tour. I know I don't have time to do everything. What would be a good itinerary for the day? Is it completely unreasonable to do the Burg Eltz Castle as well as the river cruise and the Rheinstein castle? Biking sounds like a lovely option for part of the day , or would that cut into seeing the sights? Would a train be better?

Also I have read about rail passes etc. etc.... I will be traveling a lot by train for 3 plus weeks out of Dusseldorf while my husband recovers from a surgery. Mostly I will do day trips but plan on 2 nights in Munich and one night in Amsterdam. Please help me know which type of train pass would be best for me. Thanks you in advance!

Posted by
6798 posts

Burg Eltz is probably not realistic. Marksburg is terrific. See it instead. Here's a template you can make adjustments to according to your preferences. Check times for your exact travel date. See if you can snag saver fares bought in advance at €19 for D'dorf-Bingen and St. Goarshausen - Braubach. That will cover all your trains. (You can stop over in Braubach on this ticket, but you MUST be on the high-speed train at the scheduled time for Koblenz-D'dorf, so you must also leave Braubach in time to catch that Koblenz train.) Show your train ticket to Bingen to get a 20% discount on the cruise.

Of course if you have a rail pass the above ticket info is moot.

  • Train to Bingen (7:27 - 9:46)

  • Cruise to St. Goar (Rheinfels) (10:30 - 11:55) Walk up to Rheinfels and back, quick lunch.

  • Use ferry crossing to St. Goarshausen - runs every 20 min. or so.

  • Train to Braubach (14:32 - 14:53.) Walk up to Marksburg for 4 pm tour. Meal in Braubach's old town after tour.

  • Train to D'dorf via Koblenz (18:54 - 21:04)

Posted by
20461 posts

As far as what kind of pass, a 5-day German Rail Flex Pass 2nd class is 223 EUR. 45 per travel day is not too bad. You might want to get advance purchase ticket for Amsterdam. Looks like 29 EUR each way if you can commit now to a date and buy Sparpreis tickets.

Figure out how many big trips you need with the GRP, some trips can be done with NRW days tickets.

Posted by
154 posts

Russ is the best! I have a question about this:
See if you can snag saver fares bought in advance at €19 for D'dorf-Bingen and St. Goarshausen - Braubach

if you just want the St. Goarshausen - Braubach is it needed to book in advance? Or if you are seeing different cities the same day on the Rhine ( Braubach, St Gaorshausen, St Goar (ferry fm St Goarshausen) Bacarach, etc) would the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket be better and you can just buy it there. That was what I was intending.

Posted by
6798 posts

I wrote... "See if you can snag saver fares bought in advance at €19 for D'dorf-Bingen and St. Goarshausen - Braubach "

callen510 responded: "if you just want the St. Goarshausen - Braubach is it needed to book in advance? Or if you are seeing different cities the same day on the Rhine ( Braubach, St Gaorshausen, St Goar (ferry fm St Goarshausen) Bacarach, etc) would the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket be better and you can just buy it there. That was what I was intending."

WHOA, thanks for the heads up callen, and sorry for the big error, yvettepz...

Obviously, getting only to Braubach doesn't cover all your trains!!! I MEANT to write St. Goarshausen - Braubach - D'dorf for yvette. And it's little complicated to book this ticket, so I must explain...

A saver fare schedule for St. Goarshausen-D'dorf will show a stopover in Koblenz (where you switch to your long-distance, high-speed train.) The St. Goarshausen to Koblenz segment before that involves only connecting regional trains. DB does not care which regional trains you use at what time prior to Koblenz, or how many stops you make on the way, as long as you travel the same route, and as long as you can get on your scheduled train from Koblenz to D-dorf. This long distance train, however, must be used exactly as scheduled when you buy the saver fare online. So then... your plans for the day must allocate a certain amount of time for your stopover in Braubach. I suggested about 4 hours - Here's that part yvette:

  • Train to Braubach (14:32 - 14:53.) Walk up to Marksburg for 4 pm tour. Meal in Braubach's old town after tour.

  • Train to D'dorf via Koblenz (18:54 - 21:04)

It's this second train to D'dorf that DB insists you use. So to search for your saver fare at the DB itinerary page, enter your date, and for the time, enter 21:04 and click on the ARR button (instead of the default Dep button.) You should get a schedule with Train 1 departing St. G'hausen at 18:32, with Train 2 arriving in D'dorf at 21:04. You can book this ticket and use it as I just outlined above for the trip from St. Goarshausen to Braubach (14:32 - 14:53) and then later for the departure from Braubach at 18:54 for Koblenz (19:06.) And there you change to the high-speed train.

Hope that's clear. If not lemme know.
Russ

Posted by
6798 posts

callen:

(FYI St. Goarshausen-Braubach costs only €4.70.)

The R-P ticket is probably right for you if you intend to visit all those places in a day. Are you starting out that day by using the train to reach Braubach via Koblenz? Starting from where, ending where? Is there a KD cruise involved? If you want to share the details and date I can have a look.

Thanks again for catching my mess.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks all for the great information! Wow I am grateful. :)

Russ....My itinerary would be to leave early from the Mariott Hotel in Gelsenkirchen and tour the Rhine valley and then take the train back to my hotel late in the day.

There are so many types of possible train tickets to save money. I'm understanding that if I can commit to a particular day, I can get a better fare..right? How many days in advance...I could probably commit several days in advance for the Rhine trip.

Also I should add that I plan to go to Amsterdam for one night and Munich for 2 nights. The Rhine trip would probably be separate from either of these. Hubby will be recouping from a surgery, so I am playing it by ear with how much I can be gone at one stretch if that makes sense. I'm planning on hubby feeling well enough to do without me about 2 1/2 weeks after his surgery: I do have a hotel booked in both Amsterdam 6/14 and in Munich 6/18, 6/19. Thank you for any help with good fares on train tickets!

Posted by
6798 posts

yvette - OK, your information puts it all in a whole new light.

A few days in advance will mean pre-purchasing from very limited discount options.

You can do Gelsenkirchen - Bingen by direct high-speed train in 2.5 hours. But it's €55 one way, walk-up price.

St. Goarsh. - Gelsenk. will cost between €42 and €50 one way.

Your trip will cheaper but it will be made even longer if you go for one of the cheap regional train day passes. If you do this on a weekday, there's an "after 9 am" restriction on the day passes as well.

I think you're best off with the high speed trains if you want a nice full day on the Rhine.

Munich: I take it this trip is subject to change depending on the medical situation. Same thing - limited options just a few days out.

So you already have maybe €100 wrapped up in a high-speed train trip for the Rhine. Munich will be expensive too.

What you should consider is a German Rail pass flexi pass from DB. It's €198 for 3 days of travel (so €66/day) in 2nd class. That would lock in your costs and cover the Rhine day and your round trip to Munich. And you could travel on ANY 3 days. Use any trains you like at any hour of the day.

You might also consider the GRP for 5 days at €223. The additional 2 days would cover you to and later back from the NL border; buy separate tickets for the Netherlands parts of those journeys (border-A'dam-border) from www.ns.nl??

Posted by
1912 posts

Regarding biking, it doesn't cut into sight seeing but rather is sight seeing! The trail is dead flat and safely only for bikes, though runs next to the road for most of the good part of the Rhine. Even if you just ride 10 or 20 miles in an hour or two it's not a mistake - literally you can always see a castle :)

Posted by
3 posts

Russ and others...Thanks for the good information!

Russ....I appreciate your information about train tickets! There IS a chance that my husband will be doing great early on.....and then perhaps I can get the tickets a week in advance! In that case...could I get the discounted tickets to both the Rhine valley and also to Munich? How soon in advance do you need to snag the best deal on train tickets?

My husband MIGHT (a big maybe) join me in Munich and just do what he can and then hang out in the hotel. He thinks that flying will be easier on him than train travel. Our hotel is very close to the Munich airport. What do you think? Cost-wise and time-wise? RT tickets to Munich are around $150 per person from what we could see. :) THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by
6798 posts

"...then perhaps I can get the tickets a week in advance! In that case...could I get the discounted tickets to both the Rhine valley and also to Munich? How soon in advance do you need to snag the best deal on train tickets?"

It's really hard to generalize. Tickets are on sale 6 months in advance nowadays. You could buy now for late November if you wanted to. Most people don't buy so early, but the cheapest tickets are few in number, as a rule. Only 1 week in advance...? You will probably get some kind of discount on at least some of the trips, but it may be smaller than you hope... You could look now for tickets 7 days out just to get an idea of costs... But then your June dates may be more popular than next week - who knows?

"My husband MIGHT (a big maybe) join me in Munich and just do what he can and then hang out in the hotel. He thinks that flying will be easier on him than train travel. Our hotel is very close to the Munich airport. What do you think? Cost-wise and time-wise? RT tickets to Munich are around $150 per person from what we could see. :) THANK YOU!!!!"

I have no info on comparative costs to offer you for train vs. plane. DB and the airlines can fill you in on those, and the travel times. "Munich Airport T" is the station name for the airport.

If your June train "saver fare" round trip ticket to Munich is coming up at $300 (€268) TODAY, you can pretty much count on paying a good bit more if you try to by them just one week in advance. A German Rail Pass (3-day twin-pass flexi) at €292, which covers TWO adults for 3 days of travel, looks very attractive by comparison. And besides the round trip to Munich, it would of also cover your Rhine journey - or your AND HIS Rhine journey - if he is somehow able to join you. (If he is not, there is no penalty for using the pass without him.)