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St Goar or Bacharach before GAS Tour

Hello,

We just signed up for our 2nd RS Tour...Germany, Austria, Switzerland. We want to spend a few nights before our trip starts on Saturday August 17th in either Bacharach or St. Goar. We will head to Trier on Friday before the tour starts on Saturday.
So I am looking for advice on which town to stay in and hotel recommendations. Any other tips or advice is appreciated as well.

Thank you everyone!

Posted by
17867 posts

I think if I could stay here, away from the train tracks, at Im Malerwinkel, I'd stay in Bacharach. Otherwise I'd try for one of the hotels that's right on the market square in St. Goar .

A year and a half ago, I stayed in St. Goar at Hotel Am Markt and enjoyed it very much.

Posted by
3112 posts

I thought Bacharach was the more interesting of the 2 towns, but they're only separated by a 9 minute train ride or a leisurely Rhine river cruise (very worthwhile imo). Some hotels do have train noise, but I stayed at Hotel Kranenturm along the tracks and it didn't bother me (maybe I'm just a sound sleeper). The hike up to the castle, a youth hostel, rewards you with amazing views of the Rhine and surrounding countryside.

Posted by
5652 posts

kadams84, you said "a few nights". I think I would choose St Goar, because there's slightly more to see and do. Bacharach is so small you can stroll end to end in about 15 minutes. Nevertheless if relaxing and charming is what you want, Bacharach is fine. Note there is only a ticket kiosk at the train station there, so I'd have my onward ticket in hand.

Posted by
25 posts

Thank you for your replies!

Stan, what do you mean by “ticket onward in hand”? Do you mean to train ticket to trier?

Posted by
5652 posts

Yes that is what I meant. Of course you can use the ticket machine on the platform.

Posted by
1529 posts

Irmgard orth’s b&b in Bacharach. Great price, nicest hostess. We will be making our 4th visit in 8 years.

Posted by
4771 posts

Having been in Bacharach, I'll add to Stan's comment that it can be difficult if the ticket machine happens to reject your Americanski Chip and Signature card, and you have to find enough smaller Euro bills (and maybe flatten them) to buy two tickets to Trier, probably with a change of trains to be learned from a small LCD interface window!

Posted by
5652 posts

Tim, thanks for clarifying what I implied but did not say. Yeah, I've had trouble with those machines a time or two and when there's no manned office at the station, its frustrating. But the OP can get those tickets for Trier at the station in Frankfurt airport or any other station they are near.

Posted by
21 posts

Having stayed in Bacharach before the GAS tour a few years ago, I'm partial to that location. We did take a cruise up the river to St Goar to view Rheinfels Castle. We found Bacharach incredibly charming, relaxing and there was plenty to enjoy for the three nights we were there. We stayed at The Rhein Hotel and ate dinner at their restaurant...Stuber's, which was excellent. The morning breakfasts were also delicious. It's a family run hotel...and the chef/owner was born on there. Charming! Yes, it's right by the train tracks but they didn't bother us at all. Have a blast on your trip!!!

Posted by
7822 posts

Bacharach has far more to see than St. Goar and certainly more restaurants! For one thing it is larger. You might consider Boppard or Ober-Wesel too. All of these places are easy to reach by train.
For local transportation, use cash and not credit cards in the ticket machines, but something close to the appropriate amount. Trying to use a 50€ bill for a train ticket that costs 4.80€, is not going to work. Use a 5 or 10€ bill.

Posted by
17867 posts

As long as you leave after 8 AM on a workday (or anytime on a weekend day), you can use a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, 30€ for 2 people, for either Bacharach or St. Goar (or anywhere else on the Rhein below Mainz) to Trier. Get it using cash from the ticket kiosk the day of travel. If you want to get it the day before, make sure the date is for the next day. The ticket automat should give you the choice between today, tomorrow, and other (pick the date).

Posted by
17867 posts

Bacharach has far more to see than St. Goar ... . For one thing it is larger.

St. Goar is larger by about 30% according to Wikipedia (both are small), and Rheinfels castle is in St. Goar. I found that there were a lot of places to stay around the market place and boat docks in St. Goar, and they are well away from the train noise. I stayed there in fall, 2017, and had no problems finding restaurants.

If you want a larger place with more restaurants, stay in Boppard.

Posted by
277 posts

I will put my vote in for St Goar. We stayed here before taking the GAS tour. We stayed at the Rheinehotel which is a 3-5 minute walk to the train station. Gil, the owner is super nice. When we arrived, we took us up to our room, and said to take a few minutes to freshen up and then come back downstairs. He gave us a map and gave us some sample itineraries of things to do. He suggested a restaurant for us to eat lunch and called and told them to expect us. He also told us the best places to eat gelato. We booked a room with balcony looking out over the river. The KD ticket booth for the "castle part" of the Rhine River is right in front of the hotel. We spent 3 nights. First day we took the KD line up River to Assmanshausen and back on the river. The next day we went down river to Koblenz ( Gil gave us the name of a great gelato place here as well!). We rode the train back to St. Goar.

We were taking the train to several locations on this trip St Goar before the tour and Vienna to Rothenburg and Frankfurt after the tour. We purchased a 5 day train pass ahead of time from the RS office. We had it activated at the train office at the Frankfurt airport. They were very nice (and spoke English). They asked us where we were headed that day and told us where to get on the train, where we would change trains, and what platforms to get on. Then they printed it all out for us. Once we got on the train we figured out on the digital read-out that "nachster halt" means next stop. The trains are very prompt and only stop for a short amount of time, so be prepared. You'll love this tour no matter where you choose to stay.

Posted by
17867 posts

Some hotels do have train noise, but I stayed at Hotel Kranenturm along the tracks
and it didn't bother me (maybe I'm just a sound sleeper).

The local trains that stop at Bacharach stop running around midnight and don't start again until early morning, so you do get some respite from them. However, there are still some express trains and some freight trains going through during the night.

Although the station in Bacharach is a fair walk (over 500m) south of town, the tracks go right past the main part of town where all the hotels are. In St. Goar, the station is closer, 125m, but above town, so the sound goes above you, and you don't really hear the trains.

Posted by
862 posts

We went on the GAS tour in 2018 and stayed in Bacharach at Hotel zur Post for 2 nights before the tour and really loved it! It is not on the train tracks and was very quiet in the evening. We found it to be perfect for our first stop before the tour and easily got to St. Goar by train for Rheinfehls Castle, a Rhine River Cruise back to Bacharach, the RS town walk of Bacharach, and a finish at one of the wine places for a wine tasting/cheese plate/bread dinner on our full day there.

Posted by
17867 posts

The least expensive ticket from Bacharach to Trier is a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket (30€ for two people vs 69,20€, full fare), but if you want to get it in Frankfurt a day or two before you use it or online, make sure the ticket is for the date you intend to use it, because RL-P-Ticket are only valid for the date printed on the ticket - no exchanges.

Posted by
23 posts

We stayed in St. Goar last year and found it was a great location. It was an easy walk to the castle, train depot, and boat dock. Make sure you get the Duetsch Bahn app on your phone and link it to a credit card. Then you can easily buy tickets on the app, plot your route, and not worry about a ticket machine taking your credit card or having the right amount of cash. We used it for all of our train and bus ticket purchases and it worked great!

Posted by
25 posts

To Iken56...thank you for your response. I do have the DB Navigator app on my phone and feel this is the easiest way to purchase tickets, however I can’t seem to figure out how to add my cc to the app. Any ideas? Thank you!