Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Rhine or Black Forest what would be your choice?

Rhine or Black Forest what would be your choice?

Nov 5th, 2010, 04:53 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36
Rhine or Black Forest what would be your choice?

We are flying into Frankfurt and don't know whether to go to the Rhine or Black Forest. We want to see some of Northern Italy so we don't have time for both. What if your recommendation? PS : It is June and we are flying home from Zurich, 2 couples in our 50's. Thanks for your help.
llilley is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 05:30 AM
  #2  
RJD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 663
Both the Rhine and the Black forest can be quite dull. Not much to see or experience. Check a Germany guide book. Much prefer the Mosel valley from Trier to Koblenz. Great little towns and good wine. But you can't go wrong with Northern Italy, which deserves a lot of time.
RJD is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 05:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,740
Do you like walking in the woods and visiting breweries => B Forest
Do you like visiting twee little towns along a river, with fine white wine=> Rhine

Mosel is a prettier version of the Rhine but you lack the merits of say Strasbourg, Mulhouse etc.

Having hung around in all these areas I'd recomend, the Mosel, pop through Pfalz and spend time in Alsace (it's all germany really visiting the cities I mention
bilboburgler is online now  
Nov 5th, 2010, 06:46 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 785
Ditto the above. I'm not a Black Forest fan. I'd also pick the Mosel over the Rhine. But I like Biblo's advice to go through the Pfalz and Alsace...
NanBug is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 07:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 356
We enjoyed the Rhine last June. Stayed in St Goar for 4 evenings. Spent 1 day on Burg Eltz, which was an awesome castle in the hills by Cochem. Did a river cruise and saw the castle above St Goar.

One of the best parts of the Rhine was the lack of English speaking tourists. There were some French and German tourists but almost nobody else was speaking English.
lindy27 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 08:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 824
The Black Forest is mostly ill-named. I like the rolling grazing land and the farmsteads on them. The tourist sights are not as closely located to each other as on the Rhine. I think that it is best experienced by car. As I prefer train travel, I would prefer the Rhine.

I like both the Rhine and the Mosel. I am not sure how St Goar or Bacharach are more "twee" than Cochem or Bernkastel-Kues. If you are traveling by train, more of the Rhine is easily accessible. The Rhine is very historically significant, a battleground of German and French cultures.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 11:59 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
I lived in Stuttgart and so have visited both areas numerous times. The Rhine wins in my book over the Black Forest. We love to hike and enjoy the outdoors but we were never all that impressed with the Black Forest. The Rhine villages are lovely and if you enjoy castles, you will be in heaven. The Mosel is even more scenic, as it is a narrower valley with very dramatic steep slopes lined with vineyards. You could easily see the highlights of both areas in a week's time.
hausfrau is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 03:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
RJD writes, "Both the Rhine and the Black forest can be quite dull. Not much to see or experience."

I couldn't disagree more strongly.

If you want to hike or bike, the Black Forest is terrific, especially around the Hinterzarten/Titisee/Neustadt area, but you can hike along the Rhine too, and the vistas from the cliffsides are equally enchanting. One of my favorite shortie-treks connects St. Goar and Oberwesel and passes the Loreley cliffs. A newly opened long-distance hiking trail along the Rhine (the Rheinsteig trail) has become popular very quickly. I suspect RJD has not tried the trails there.

Nor perhaps visited Marksburg Castle (never destroyed, very interesting tour: www.marksburg.de) or Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar (ruins, interesting museum) or Burg Maus Castle (free-flight birds of prey show on castle grounds) or the WW II museum in Remagen ( www.bruecke-remagen.de ) or the wine villages of Bacharach, Oberwesel, Boppard, and Linz (plenty of ancient cobblestones and half-timbered buildings.) Auf Schoenburg Castle-Hotel in Oberwesel offers unique accommodations, and so do several other local vintners.

Cruise boats head up and down the Rhine several times per day and provide a unique way to spot castles (there are dozens along this river between Bingen and Koblenz)

The Mosel is very attractive too. The number of castles if smaller, but the number of wineries and small villages is greater there, I believe. You might do both. I find the Mosel scenery more bucolic, the Rhine scenery more dramatic.
Russ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 04:33 PM
  #9  
RJD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 663
Ah the Lorelai cliffs. If they played Wagner while you go bye on the cruise you would still find it difficult to stifle a yawn.
RJD is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 05:55 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
"Ah the Lorelai cliffs. If they played Wagner while you go bye on the cruise you would still find it difficult to stifle a yawn."

Hey, different strokes are fine with me. But there's no debate that there's a good bit to see and do in the area. Here's a short video with a glimpse of a few of the castles in this Unesco World Heritage site:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1066/video
Russ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,343
Hate the Rhine - it's a noisy twin tracked rail corridor and bargeway.

Most anywhere else I can use my imagination to take me back in time, but not on the Rhine with it's endless stream of Deutsche Bahn trains thundering up both sides and the water clogged with barges and tour boats.

Yecchhh.
Aramis is offline  
Nov 5th, 2010, 11:01 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
The Rhine is dull??? Why do you have to "go back in time"? What is wrong with today? Germany is not a movie. The Rhine is very pretty, with stunning scenery, dozens of little towns and castles and personally, I enjoy watching all the barges and ships. It gives it a liveliness, not stuck in time somewhere.

The Black Forest is well, lots of trees on some hills. If you live in the desert or some flat farmland, then it is going to be something special, but otherwise, you can go to the Harz mountains, the Taunus mountains, the Odenwald or the Bavarian forests. Cute, old towns are everywhere in Germany, so don't know why people go out of their way just to visit the Black Forest.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Nov 6th, 2010, 06:46 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,008
There are more castles on the Rhine River but it is a bit noisier and busier due to all the trains and boats/barges. The Mosel is more scenic. We loved Bernkastel-Kues and the much smaller Beilstein.

We enjoy staying in a smaller, quieter town where you can come back at the end of the day and relax. Unless you are big on nightlife, you would probably be happy in one of the small towns on the Mosel. Cochem is busier both with tourists and activity but some people enjoy those aspects.

I am also not a big fan of the Black Forest altho we have enjoyed past visits to Freiburg, Gengenbach and Staufen.
bettyk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 03:50 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,005
>>>Rhine or Black Forest what would be your choice?<<<

This is one of those questions which cannot be answered properly if you do not know about OP's preferences and style of travel.

Starting with Black Forest:

>>>Freiburg, Gengenbach and Staufen<<< Interestingly, these are not Black Forest towns but, as Baden-Baden, are located in the upper Rhine valley or, like Gengenbach, in the foothills of Black Forest. The upper Rhine valley has lots of picturesque towns, vineyards, orchards like Alsace on the other bank of the river. Food is particularly good in the area.

The Black Forest is a chain of mild mountains which reaches its climax with the Feldberg (1,493m / 4,900 feet). The Black Forest has not many spectacular attractions but a lovely landscape with lots of lakes, mountains, beautiful valleys, traditional farmhouses, and typical regional fare (fir-smoked Black Forest ham, trout, venison, Black Forest Cake etc.). It is an area where you can spend a relaxed time with hiking and enjoying yourself in cozy wood-paneled taverns. Here some pictures:

http://www.black-forest-travel.com/photo-galleries/

The Middle Rhine Valley has been described by other posters. It is a river gorge with dozens of castles on rocks above the river and picturesque towns at the bottom and vineyards in between. It is scenery and wine-tasting and castle-visiting. And do not forget Eberbach Monastery.

The Mosel is a tributary to the Rhine, so Rhine and Mosel are basically the same region (with many similarities). Hence, there is not the alternative Rhine OR Mosel but Rhine AND Mosel. At the upper Mosel, Trier is a town with rich Roman heritage and should not be missed.

This website gives you an impression of the Middle Rhine:
http://www.welterbe-mittelrheintal.de

And this one of the Mosel:
http://www.mosel-reisefuehrer.de/
Echnaton is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 11:18 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36
Thank you all!!!! You are so helpful. I am looking at the suggestions.
llilley is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 12:45 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 461
Echnaton, interesting that in the BF site you recommended, Baden-Baden IS considered part of the Black Forest, although near the very northern end of it. Similar definition in schwarzwald.com, schwarzwald.net, etc. Anyway, I think of BB as in the "tal der Oos" not the Rhine. So it's not unreasonable to a visitor to think of Baden-Baden as part of the BF-they'll have plenty of company in that regard.

I like the Black Forest. For me, it's not about "must see" attractions, but rather about wandering through the hills and small mountains (the Alps aren't far away, but I like the more gentle terrain of the BF), visiting the small towns, sampling the local wines (maybe not great vintages, but still very drinkable and pleasant), paying a visit to Freiburg and then total relaxation in the resort town of Baden-Baden.

I too prefer the Moselle area to what is more commonly called "the Rhine" - dón't forget the Rhine runs through Basel, too, and like some others, to me, Basel is really the far south of the Black Forest region - explore the villages of Basel land (touching into canton Solothurn and a bit of France) and you won't find that many differences between them and the Black Forest.

Which area the OP chooses depends on what they want from their vacation.
MLF611 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:07 AM.