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If you’re looking for castles in Germany, the Middle Rhine Valley is the place to be. You’ll find more than a dozen stunning castles in less than an hour’s drive.
The Middle Rhine Valley is the Rhine waters between Bonn, Germany and Bingen, Germany. This specific area of the Rhine is particularly special because of the valley. Unlike other parts of the Rhine River, the Middle Rhine was affected by an erosion that caused the river to remain level and the remaining grounds to erode into a valley. At certain points along the Middle Rhine Valley, you will find points that drop to more than 400 feet.
The top half of the Middle Rhine Valley between Koblenz and Bingen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to more than 40 castles that sit above the vineyards of the Middle Rhine.
If you’re traveling from Düsseldorf, I would recommend you drive the highway until you reach Koblenz or Boppard (avoiding traffic in Cologne) and then start your Rhine River route from there.
Depending on how long you would like to spend driving the Middle Rhine Valley, you can drive it in a day, or you can spend a long weekend exploring the sites and sounds.
Vierseenblick in Boppard
Don’t have a car? You can consider taking the train to particular stops along the way, but you won’t get the full experience unless you’re willing to drive. Use a price comparison website and you’ll find some rental cars for as little as 10 Euros/day (often much cheaper than the train rides).
Otherwise, you can take the train to Cologne and hop on the Rhine River Cruise which is a full-day excursion that takes you through the Middle Rhine Valley. There is also plenty of different location stops along the way where you can hop off and explore every little romantic town along the Rhine River. At the moment, this KD RhinePass costs 35 Euros per person – AMAZING!
From Düsseldorf to Bingen (along the water) will take you about 2 hours and 45 minutes (200 kilometers). If you’re interested in driving back on the other side of the Rhine, you can cross the bridge over to Wiesbaden and back up. The entire trip will take you about 7 hours, driving 500 kilometers (or you can simply turn around and drive the same way back).
Interested in spending a few nights along the Middle Rhine Valley?
Here are a few town recommendations that you might enjoy:
- Boppard, Germany (take the Klettersteig hike to the Vierseenblick, should take about 2 hours)
- Bingen, Germany
- Kaub, Germany
- Mainz, Germany
- Wiesbaden, Germany
If you’ve got a bit more time, head from Wiesbaden along the German Half-Timbered House Road instead.
I’ve put together another blog post sharing the best of the German Half-Timbered House Road that is close enough to home.
Still looking for some inspiration along the Middle Rhine Valley?
Here are just a few of the castles that we were able to capture along the way!
Town of Kaub & Burg Gutenfels
Mäuseturm / Mouse Tower
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