What town is the best to stay in for a 3 day vacation along the Rhine? I was thinking of staying in Bacharch, but it seems it will be very hard to get to from Paris and to leave to to travel to Amsterdam afterwards. Any ideas?
Any town along the Rhein, Bacharach, Oberwesel, St. Goar, Boppard, Braubach, will be equally difficult (or easy) to get to. Take the ICE/TGV from Paris to Frankfurt and local trains from there to the Rhein. It's not far, less than 2 hrs. To Amsterdam, go to Koblenz, then Köln. There will be express trains from Köln to Amsterdam. Find schedules at http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en.
Dont overlook St Goarshausen, just across the river from St Goar with frequent ferries across the Rhine between the two. Pleasant little town to wander through
Probably the two easiest cities to reach on the Rhine would be Cologne or Mannheim, but these probably aren't what you had in mind. As for towns on the Rhine gorge, perhaps Bingen or Koblenz would allow slightly easier access because they're fairly large and sit at either end of the gorge, although I wouldn't particularly want to stay in either with so many better options in between.
I really don't see a problem with going between any of these towns. Except for Boppard, these are all small towns connected by regional Bahn (RB, milk run) trains. (Oh, Braubach is on the other side of the river. You can cross it at Koblenz, Boppard, or St. Goarshausen.) In addition to the RBs, Boppard has some limited-stops trains.
I usually try for either Bacharach or St. Goar. My favorite is Burg Stahleck, a castle turned hostel overlooking the Rhine. It's a walk up the hill from the river though.............Another good choice is a local pension. The hotels are right on the tracks and I would think noisy. If you can stand a little walk uphill, skip the hotels and choose a pension instead.
We really liked St. Goar but explored Bacharach and found it equally worthwhile. In St. Goar, I would recommend Hotel Hauser. We took a KD boat from St. Goar and a quick train ride back from Bacharach.
"We took a KD boat from St. Goar and a quick train ride back from Bacharach. " Wrong direction, IMO. Take the train to Bacharach and the boat back to St. Goar. The boat from St. Goar to Bacharach, up the river against the current, takes 70 min. Down from Bacharach to St. Goar, with the current, only takes 40 min. It's only about 9 miles. That's plenty of time to see everything.
Wrong direction??? I suppose you might think that if your intent is to go with the current, save time, or go somewhere other than from St. Goar to Bacharach via boat. None of these applied to me, so I guess I was going in the right direction, IMO.
Melissa, I'd also suggest Bacharach for a good place to stay along the Rhine. I visited St. Goar on a day trip but found that I preferred the smaller town ambience of Bacharach. ¶ One comment regarding the Hotels - while some are located along the rail lines, I didn't find the noise to be a problem. I stayed in Hotel Kranenturm (an old Castle with very thick stone walls) and wasn't bothered too much by the noise (although keeping the windows closed is a good idea in rooms facing the tracks). ¶ As someone else mentioned, Burg Stahleck is also a good choice if you don't mind a Hostel. It has a great location and great views of the river, but it's a ways above town so taking a Taxi would be a really good idea (especially with luggage)! Happy travels!
We just got back from 17 days in Europe and we stayed at Pension Im Malerwinkel in Bacharach. What a lovely place! We went to St. Goar to see the castle ruins. We thought Bacharach was prettier than St. Goar. The trains were great and on time and everything was easy to get to.
Just got back from my last trip a couple of weeks ago and I can't say enough good things about the Hotel Hauser in St Goar. Spent the first 3 nights there. I always get a room with a balcony. Love to just sit and watch the activity on the river. Lovely room, great breakfast and the owner and staff are just wonderful. Visited towns on both sides of the river from Bingen to Remagen.Easy train connections.