Rhineland Ideas

Old Apr 28th, 2022, 11:46 AM
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Rhineland Ideas

Flying in and out of Frankfurt in September. We (wife and I) have 6 days and 5 nights to explore the Rhineland before we fly to Amsterdam to start a Viking Rhine river cruise. Towns that we are considering are Mainz, Bacharach, Cologne, St. Goar, Burg Eltz, and possibly Heidelburg. Weare looking for itinerary and transportation help.
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 11:56 AM
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Rhineland itinerary and transportation help

My wife and I are flying in and out of Frankfurt in September. We will have 5 nights and 6 days before we fly to Amsterdam to start a Viking Rhine river cruise, Towns we are considering are Mainz, St. Goar, Cologne, Bacharach, BurgEltz, and possibly Heidelburg. We need help with Itinerary, travel, and lodging ideas.
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by geraldcollins4053 View Post
Flying in and out of Frankfurt in September. We (wife and I) have 6 days and 5 nights to explore the Rhineland before we fly to Amsterdam to start a Viking Rhine river cruise. Towns that we are considering are Mainz, Bacharach, Cologne, St. Goar, Burg Eltz, and possibly Heidelburg. Weare looking for itinerary and transportation help.
Not sure I follow... you want to visit the Rhine area, before getting on a cruise to explore the same Rhine area, is that right? That's fine as long as you're covering new places as there is plenty to see...
Most if not all of that area is very well served by trains. You can look up schedules at bahn.com.

Since Cologne is halfway between FRA and AMS, Instead of flying to AMS, consider taking a train from Cologne. It could save you a lot of time and effort, and money.
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 01:01 PM
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Your two threads have been merged
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 01:45 PM
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I am also confused by these requests. If you see these areas before the cruise what is the point of the cruise? You could look at areas along the Rhine that are not much visited by cruises - is this your cruise?

https://www.vikingrivercruises.com.a....html#noscroll

In this case, since it visits Cologne, Koblenz and Rüdesheim, you could take a base along the Rhine and take trains up and down both banks, skipping those cities. Some people like a small-sized town like Boppard (further north) but I personally like Mainz as it's a bit bigger and there is more to do. Cruises also never visit Wiesbaden but it is also quite a nice city. Koblenz is the intersection of the Rhine and Mosel (the "Deutsches Eck", or German corner), Cologne has the cathedral (which you will see by default if you catch a train to Amsterdam from there, it's right at the station), and Rüdesheim is the place where a lot of tour buses converge and many local cruises start. It is a sweet town overrrun by tourists, but you will find lots of drawcards like wine tasting rooms, the Asbach Uralt factory, a cable car and lots of shops and restaurants.

Heidelberg is a way away from the Rhineland although not that far from Mainz by train. For your day of town-hopping along the Rhein, you could get a Rheinland-Pfalz ticket which allows unlimited travel on local trains, which will also take you as far as Mannheim, where you can buy an extension to Heidelberg.

https://www.vrminfo.de/en/tickets/ti...-pfalz-ticket/

You can buy a 2-person ticket so you can travel on the same ticket.

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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 01:52 PM
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Mainz is also good as a base for the airport - it's about 40 mins west of the airport on the same train lines.

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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 01:57 PM
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We plan to visit towns not on the cruise. There is so much to see. We originally planned to tour after the cruise but had to switch to before cruise to accomadate my wife's work schedule.I am more worried about coordinating train schedules and having a coherent itinerary.
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 02:38 PM
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There are three types of trains in Germany, ICE (InterCity Express, the high-speed trains), IC (intercity, moderately fast) and slow local trains (RE is the code before the number). Most of the trains up and down the Rhine that you will be wanting are RE trains, and that is what the Länder-Ticket (the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket) allows you to take. There are heaps of trains and they come frequently so don't worry about coordinating timetables, there will always be another train. Between Mainz and Wiesbaden and Frankfurt (and the airport) the trains are S-Bahn trains. They are city trains like a kind of metro system and the code starts with S (so S8 is the line between Wiesbaden, Mainz and the airport). They are separate to the three first kind of trains I mentioned at the beginning. Those trains are run by Deutsche Bahn, while the S-Bahn is run by RMV (in Hessen) and VRM (in Rheinland-Pfalz). There are of course also ICE and IC trains between those bigger cities but the tickets are correspondingly more expensive. If you were travelling from Frankfurt to Cologne then an IC or ICE would be appropriate.

If you want to work out timetables in advance, here are three websites that can help you: www.bahn.com , https://www.rmv.de/c/en/homepage and https://www.vrminfo.de/en/ .

You can just play with the timetabling feature by plugging in dates and destinations. The bahn.com website in particular also tells you about buses and where you will have to walk between stations or stops and how long it will take.

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Apr 28th, 2022 at 02:42 PM.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 07:51 AM
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Thanks so much for all of this great information. The value of this information is wonderful. I have narrowed our precruise area down to possibly staying in Mainz and Boppard and travelling out from there. Now I am looking for lodging in each area.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 08:06 AM
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You could look at the Rhine as part of your boat tour and the Mosel as part of an alternative tour. The Mosel is just another river but smaller and even more serpentine and you could tour up it by boat or train as well.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 02:59 PM
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Yes, lots of people do the Rhine and Mosel together. The Rhine is busy with lots of traffic, while the Mosel is slower, but you have similar opportunities in terms of boat and train travel and wine tasting and just generally exploring. The Mosel takes you down to Trier (interesting Roman history) and eventually on to Luxembourg, so that is another avenue for exploration. People from Fodors often stay in Cochem but Bernkastel-Kues or even Traben-Trarbach would be interesting as a base. I think I recall a lot of people here stayed in Haus Lippmann in the past (I think this is in Beilstein) but I have no experience of it personally as we usually drive through the Mosel area and stay in Luxembourg. Koblenz is where you would start boat tours or where you start train journeys (in the direction of Trier). I think the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket is valid here also.

Lodging: in Mainz you could see if the Hilton Mainz fits your budget. It's right near the riverside with nice views. Otherwise Mainz is very walkable. Last time I stayed there I stayed in a hotel near the university for my work and that is set back from the town in the hills. For normal tourism purposes it's not really suitable so I won't recommend it. But anywhere in the old town or even near the station would be OK. The area around the station is fine unlike some cities.

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Apr 29th, 2022 at 03:24 PM.
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