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Questions on Rhine/Mosel or Heidelburg region

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After what seems like many vacation changes (one long story after another) we finally have flights booked to Germany next April, flying into Frankfurt and out of Munich. My husband and I (28 and 30, respectively) also invited my 23 year old brother along for the journey. Basically we all love history, castles, exploring interesting towns and beautiful scenery. My husband and I have been to Europe many times; my brother has been to Rome once, with us, a few years ago and loved it so he is aching to go back to Europe.

I am thinking that the first three nights of our trip may be spent in the Rhine/Mosel river region, and I'm looking for a great base. My husband and I prefer smaller villages, and have looked into Beilstein in the past, but I'm worried that my brother may get bored so we are hoping to find a base that is large enough to "do things" in (meaning roam the town, have a few beers at night) and may have a little more activity at night. Right now I'm looking at Cochem, but as I have never been to this region I'm hoping for a little advice.

Since I am looking for a slightly larger town, we are also considering Heidelberg and it's surroundings. Again, please note that my brother is 23 and, while not a partier, likes a little action. I'm leaning more towards the Rhine and Mosel, as the area looks interesting (lots of castles...something my brother is definitely interested in) and beautiful, but admittingly I don't know much about Heidelburg and the Neckar valley. Can someone tell me how this area compares to the Rhine/Mosel area and if you think it would be a better base?

Thank you for your help!
Tracy

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