“Chill” is the right word.
It comes with a price, definitely. But for the scenic views, the peaceful and laidback atmosphere, it is worth every dime, in my opinion. This place is especially ideal for couples or families with an interest in taking a break from their hectic city lifestyles.
Things to do:
Afternoon teas, Cafe-hopping, hiking, castle exploring, wine-tasting (It’s famous along the Rhine), take a cruise up/down the river, exploring castles and ruins, strolling through tiny, cute 14th century towns along the Rhine river.
After a night in Rudesheim, we took a cruise up to Rhens, our next accommodation for about 40euros per person via KD Cruise. There are other options or the train too, but we took a cruise to enjoy the river experience. We then took a train up and down the river to visit other little towns over the next 2 days.
Towns I’d recommend:
Bacharach, Boppard, St Goar, Rudesheim and Bingen
Bacharach: We did not venture into Bacharach, but it did seem like a pretty town from our cruise.
Boppard: Quite a huge town as compared to ones such as Rhens, St Goar, or Rudesheim. Full of coffee houses and restaurants.
Bingen: Like Bacharach, we gave it a miss due to time constraints. However, we have heard of a number of good reviews.
Rudesheim: Famous for Wine tasting, tourist attraction. We took the cable car up to the Niederwald, took a short hike around the area, and then took the chairlift down to the neighbouring town, Assmannshausen (cable car + chairlift for approximately 8euros/pax, and approximately 2euro/pax train back from Assmannshausen to Rudesheim). There is a restaurant, and also free-of-charge toilets up there too (you will totally appreciate free toilets when you are in germany, having to pay 50cents or 1euro for every toilet entry when it’s usually free in Singapore). One thing we didn’t do was visit the Burg Ehrenfels while in the Niederwald landscape.
We’d suggest to try booking a hotel that has a river view as it does reward you with a pretty view especially in the day. We stayed in Hotel Traube. Although, rooms and the drinks by the bar are only average, they have really courteous staff, and a decent buffet breakfast, and a pool. Wifi, is available in the lounge too, but with restrictions of only one device per person.
St Goar, is a must-go, I’d say, with a beautiful castle ruin to explore called Burg Rheinfels. It’s just a 15-2minutes hike up to the castle from the town. With its tunnels (where you need a torchlight), and various routes (you don’t really need guided tours as they will provide you with a leaflet for you to read and guide you through – DIY), and really picturesque views 360degrees, it’s worth going (5euros per entry). Do go to the washroom before you enter the castle as there are no toilets within and you’d have to come all the way out if you are in need of answering nature’s call(at least none that i’m aware of). Then, you can go down to the town itself for a short walk around. If you’d like, you can even bring some food up to the castle and take a break and picnic within it. You can then take a ferry over to St Goarhausen (it’s just across the river, for a certain price) if you have the time, though we didn’t. Loreley, the statue is there, where you can take a 30-minute hike up. With so many things to do, perhaps St Goar could be a place to go to. There is a pretty hotel right in/next to the Burg Rheinfels, and also a hostel halfway up the hill to the Burg. So do check it out if you’d like to stay in this tiny town.
Towns I’d not recommend:
Koblenz. Why? We missed gazillions of trains everytime we were here. The food (asian stall called Ding Dong) ain’t that worth it. A lot of punks around (personal opinion) and there wasn’t that much to do except for viewing the church, the Deutsche Eck and taking another cable car up and across the river to the castle. From statements made by fellow travellers of the “German Efficiency”, I fully understand this claim from our experience with the railway system in Koblenz: wrong platforms stated, inaccurate timings, unfriendly railway information counter staff.
Town we stayed in:
Aside from Rudesheim, we stayed in a quiet little town called Rhens. Our airbnb was beautiful and nice, as we had a balcony. we had a ladder-like stairs up to our room from the shared apartment, with access to kitchen and utiilities room. Everyone was friendly in the little town. We had dinner in this tiny restaurant in Josefstrasse Rhens that had really polite staff and cheap but reasonably tasty pizza and pasta, and there is a restaurant that was said to have authentic German food in Hotel Roter Ochse. We cooked at home too, with groceries bought from Aldi / Lidl just a short 15minutes walk/5 minutes jog from our place. A short (15minutes bus ride, or 10minutes train ride from Boppard or Koblenz), this town is really convenient and worth it as long as you don’t mind having to travel.