The Rhineland: Places to Explore


  • Aachen

    At the center of Aachen, the characteristic three-window-wide facades, give way to buildings dating from the days when Charlemagne made Aix-la-Chapelle (as it was then called) the great center of the Holy... Read more

  • Alken

    One of the Mosel's oldest towns (the Celts were here by 450 BC), today Alken is best known for its 12th-century castle, Burg Thurant. With a pretty seaside setting backdropped by rolling vineyards and... Read more

  • Bacharach

    Bacharach, whose name may derive from the Latin Bacchi ara (altar of Bacchus), has long been associated with wine. Like Rüdesheim, Bingen, and Kaub, it was a shipping station where barrels would interrupt... Read more

  • Bernkastel-Kues

    Bernkastel and Kues straddle the Mosel, on the east and west banks, respectively. Bernkastel is home to famed Bernkasteler Doctor, a small, especially steep vineyard that's also one of Europe's most expensive... Read more

  • Bingen

    Bingen overlooks the Nahe-Rhine conflux near a treacherous stretch of shallows and rapids known as the Binger Loch (Bingen Hole). Early on, Bingen developed into an important commercial center, for it... Read more

  • Bonn

    Bonn was the postwar seat of the federal government and parliament until Berlin became its capital again in 1999. Aptly described by the title of John le Carré's spy novel A Small Town in Germany, the... Read more

  • Boppard

    Boppard is a pleasant little resort that evolved from a Celtic settlement into a Roman fortress, Frankish royal court, and Free Imperial City. Boppard's tourism board conducts walking tours (in German... Read more

  • Brühl

    In the center of Brühl stands the Rhineland's most important baroque palace, the Augustusburg. Brühl is also home to one of Germany's most popular theme parks, Phantasialand.... Read more

  • Cochem

    Cochem is one of the most attractive towns of the Mosel Valley, with a riverside promenade to rival any along the Rhine. It's especially lively during the wine festivals in June and late August. If time... Read more

  • Cologne

    Köln (Cologne in English) is the largest city on the Rhine (the fourth largest in Germany) and one of the most interesting. The city is vibrant and bustling, with a lightness and cheerfulness that's typical... Read more

  • Dhrontal

    If the heat of the Mosel's slate slopes becomes oppressive in summer, you can revitalize body and soul with a scenic drive through the cool, fragrant forest of the Dhrontal (Dhron Valley), south of Trittenheim... Read more

  • Düsseldorf

    Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine–Westphalia, may suffer by comparison to Köln's remarkable skyline, but the elegant city has more than enough charm—and money—to keeps its own self-esteem high... Read more

  • Ediger-Eller

    Ediger-Eller, once two separate hamlets, is another photogenic wine village with well-preserved houses and remnants of a medieval town wall. It's particularly romantic at night, when the narrow alleys... Read more

  • Eltville

    The largest town in the Rheingau, Eltville rose to prominence in the Middle Ages as the residence of the Archbishops of Mainz. Today it's cherished for its wine and roses, which are celebrated most colorfully... Read more

  • Koblenz

    The ancient city of Koblenz is at a geographic nexus known as the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) in the heart of the Mittelrhein region. Rivers and mountains converge here: the Mosel flows into the Rhine... Read more

  • Königswinter

    Home to one of Germany's most popular castles, Drachenfels, Königswinter is also the gateway to the 30 large and small hills that makes up the Siebengebirge, the country's oldest nature reserve. In early... Read more

  • Oberwesel

    Oberwesel retains its medieval silhouette. Sixteen of the original 21 towers and much of the town wall still stand in the shadow of Schönburg Castle. The "town of towers" is also renowned for its Riesling... Read more

  • Oestrich-Winkel

    Oestrich's vineyard area is the largest in the Rheingau. Lenchen and Doosberg are the most important vineyards. You can sample the wines at the outdoor wine-tasting stand, opposite the 18th-century wine-loading... Read more

  • Rüdesheim

    Tourism and wine are the heart and soul of Rüdesheim. With south-facing slopes reaching down to the riverbanks, wine growing has thrived here for 1,000 years. Since being discovered by English and German... Read more

  • St. Goar

    St. Goar and St. Goarshausen, its counterpoint on the opposite shore, are named after a Celtic missionary who settled here in the 6th century. He became the patron saint of innkeepers—an auspicious sign... Read more

  • St. Goarshausen

    The town closest to the famous Loreley rock, the pretty St. Goarshausen even calls itself Die Loreleystadt (Loreley City). It's a popular destination for Rhineland travelers, especially during the Weinwoche... Read more

  • Traben-Trarbach

    The Mosel divides Traben-Trarbach, which has pleasant promenades on both sides of the river. Its wine festivals are held the second and last weekends in July. Traben's art nouveau buildings are worth seeing... Read more

  • Trier

    Thanks to its deep history, the Trier of today holds a wealth of ancient sites. It's also an important university town, and accordingly boasts a surprisingly rich modern cultural landscape for a city of... Read more

  • Wiesbaden

    Wiesbaden, the capital of the state of Hesse, is a small city of tree-lined avenues with elegant shops and handsome facades. Its hot mineral springs have been a drawing card since the days when it was... Read more

  • Winningen

    Winningen is a gateway to the Terrassenmosel (Terraced Mosel), the portion of the river characterized by steep, terraced vineyards. Winches help haul miniature monorails with the winegrowers and their... Read more