Bacharach, Germany which is located along the Rhine River brings you to a calmer, less busy, small town vibe location in Germany. Plus there are castles to explore, history, riverside dining and cruises!
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Things To Do In Bacharach
When we first arrived it seemed like there wasn’t much to do in Bacharach but we quickly learned that wasn’t the case and we ended up with a fun day full of exploring this unique town.
The Werner Chapel started being built in the 13th century. And has a history of being destroyed (it was left to decay in the 17th century), restored, and now remains as ruins for people to see. It has a gothic look to it and you are able to walk up the hill and into the ruins – there is not a roof on the structure.
There is also an inscription on the chapel that encourages brotherly contact between Christians and Jews.
This is the large castle you see at the top of the hill in Bacharach. It is home to a youth hostel so you can’t tour the castle but you can go up and walk around the castle courtyard.
We took an interesting route up the side of the hill to get to the castle that had us using ropes to pull ourselves up the side of the hill. I am guessing there is an easier way to get there – but we had fun doing it this way!
This is a post tower at the top of a hill filled with vineyards. We were able to walk on the trail through the vineyards and straight up to the top of the tower.
No one was there. It was just us. At the top of the tower you have a gorgeous view out over the Rhine River.
Streets of Bacharach
Make sure you have time in your day to just walk the streets of Bacharach. The architecture, the streets, the history, it all makes for an enjoyable time walking through the streets and imagining what life was like here 100’s of years ago!
This is said to be the oldest building in town and was built in 1368. It definitely looks like the oldest house and looks like it tilts to the side a bit!
That being said it does look like a house out of a fairytail with its timbered structure, gables and turrets. It currently houses a restaurant with a limited menu. We didn’t go in but just checked it out form the street.
A wooden tower built in the second half of the 14th century. The tower use to be used to control the road and stands at the western corner of the city fortifications. It has its original roofing from the 14th century! Now it is a cool historical landmark to check out.
Weingut Karl Heidrich
We stopped in here for some wine tasting and it was super busy!! The streets weren’t busy at all and it must have been because everyone was here. Being that the wine trade is part of Bacharach’s history we knew we wanted to stop.
I got some wine to sample and Craig got a beer. Since it was so busy we knew food would take a while so we ended up getting the kids pizza at Bacharacher Pizza and Kebab Haus and they took it back to our place to eat. This made everyone happy!
We wanted to get out on the river so we went to the KD Ticket Office to figure out how we could do that. There we were able to buy one way tickets to ride the boat to St. Goar and we could take the train back (the train was faster so we figured we would be ready to just get home when we were done).
We got on the boat and off we went. As we were going down the Rhine River you can see castle after castle on the river shore. It was really cool to see all the different styles and designs. None of them were the same!
There was outside seating at the top of the boat and they even had a slide and small playground area for the kids. Our kids were a little too big for it but it didn’t stop them from going down the slide a few times.
I would highly recommend doing a river cruise when you visit Bacharach. It is one of those places that needs to be seen and enjoyed from the water. It is great how easy it was to walk up, buy a ticket and take the train home.
Things To Do In St Goar
We picked to stop in St Goar specifically to see the Rheinfels Castle ruins. When we got off the boat we also realized how cute of a town St Goar was! It was a bit more busy and lively compared to Bacharach.
Rheinfels Castle Ruins
They were gorgeous ruins and we were the only people in there exploring. They had stairs to go up to get an even better view of the river, and some underground rooms you could explore.
There was one room that just kept going and it was getting darker and darker! We freaked ourselves out and ran out of there.
We also stopped to try to get some fun and funny family pictures with the Castle ruins. Everything was so picturesque!!
You do have to pay to get into the castle but they have a family pass. They also offer tours – we didn’t do that and just went on our own. This meant we didn’t learn much about the history of the castle – so if you want to know more about the castle you should do the tour.
Note there are times when the castle is closed due to the bats that live there.
After exploring the castle we stopped at Rebstock Garden which was a cute restaurant right on the river. We sat down to get some snacks and a few drinks. The kids walked down the walkway a bit and found a basketball court so they were happy!
It was fun to watch the river and see all of the Rhine River Cruise boats go by. That would be an awesome way to travel the Rhine River!
Streets of St Goar
The streets of St Goar were also very cute and there were a lot of little shops and ice cream places.
After visiting St Goar we decided if we came back we would probably stay there. I think it was because the river front was more accessible in St Goar and we really liked how they had the restaurant and walkway along the river.
Many people visit this area going from Koblenz and Mainz on a river cruise of the
upper middle Rhine Valley. We had heard that the stretch between Bacharach and St Goar was one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. We would have to agree that it was beautiful!
A multi night river cruise wasn’t in our plans this time around but visiting Bacharach and enjoying the cobblestone streets and the fairy tale looking timbered houses was a great way to see the Rhine Valley area.
The famous poet Victor Hugo calls Bacharach “the most beautiful and mysterious town in the world”.
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