Category Archives: Germany

What to do in Germany; German attractions and the best places to visit in Germany.

Things To Do With Locals in Munich

If you’re visiting the German city of Munich, why not arrange to do some activities with locals. This will give you some real insight into Munich, as opposed to sightseeing as a tourist. All the tours and food experiences are private, so it will only be members of your group attending. The Withlocals activities in Munich have been reviewed and rated by previous participants.

Below are some of the activities on offer in Munich.

Traditional Bavarian Brotzeit Dinner

A Brotzeit dinner is a cold platter selection including bread, pretzels, sausage, obazda cheese spread and pickles, many of which are home-made, or grown, on the host Monika’s family farm outside Munich.

The price is 21 Euro per person, based on 2 people booking, which includes up to 1 litre of beer, or a soft drink.

Traditional Bavarian Brotzeit Dinner

Walk Through the City with a Munich Lover

Your host Travis will share her historic and local knowledge giving you some insight into WW2 history, a visit to a secret church and a drinks stop at an landmark hotel.

Walk through the city with a Munich lover

The tour lasts for three hours and costs 50 Euro per person, based on two participants, with the price reducing to 25 Euro per person if there are four people on the tour.

Traditional Bavarian Breakfast

Your host Sven will cook a traditional breakfast of either Weisswürste  (white sausage) or Wiener Würste (Vienna sausage), served with a beer. Then he will show you around the nearby Olympic Park (site of the 1972 Olympic Games) and BMW World.

The activity lasts for around three hours and costs 35 Euro per person.

Traditional Bavarian breakfast

A Photo Walk in Lovely Munich

Your host Angela will show you some great places in Munich to capture in your holiday photos. She’ll also give you tips on how to take the best shots.

The price for the two hour photography tour is 35 Euro per person, based on one person booking, reducing to 30 Euro per person with the maximum of four people.

Photo walk in Munich

Smoothies & Raw Food Workshop

You’ll prepare a raw meal at host Irina’s home in the Five Lake County, located a 30 minute drive outside Munich. Most of the ingredients for your three course vegan meal are selected from her garden. One of Irina’s specialties is Green Smoothies.

The price for this four hour activity ranges from 30 to 38 Euro per person, depending on the number of attendees.

Smoothies & Raw food workshop

There’s the option to personalise most activities. For example, if you’d like to try specific food, or a tour to be designed around a particular theme which is of interest to you. You need to get in touch with the host directly to arrange this.

Review of Art’otel Berlin Mitte

Our son Simon stayed in the Art’otel Berlin Mitte for two nights in October 2012, redeeming his Club Carlson Reward Program points to pay for his stay. Here’s his review.

“I wasn’t familiar with the Art’otel brand before but having previously stayed in Redizor Group hotels such as the Park Inn and Radisson I was satisfied with their quality and was keen to try their “design hotels” offshoot of which there are several branches in Berlin, fitting the city’s status as a worldwide contemporary arts hub.

artotal berlin mitte exterior

Exterior of Art’otel Berlin Mitte

The Berlin Mitte Art’otel Berlin-Mitte is dedicated to German artist Georg Baselitz whose works, often demonstrating techniques such as wood cutting and dry etching, adorn the walls of each room. These were a great touch as I enjoyed these vibrant, abstract works compared to the safe choices found in many hotel rooms.

artotel berlin mitte artwork

Georg Baselitz artwok in my bedroom at Art’otle Berlin Mitte

My room at the Art’otel Berlin Mitte was clean, comfortable and spacious, although at times I felt it lacked the extra touches that often make the difference in 4-star hotels – the bathroom contained only a shower which was directed at a sloped section of the room’s floor rather than a separate cubicle or bathtub, and the room was slightly stuffy due to ineffective air conditioning and the windows only permitting a small gap for ventilation. Plus points for the room included a decent wi-fi signal (free of charge) and a quiet environment with no noisy guests.

artotel berlin mitte room

My room at Art’otel Berlin Mitte

The location of the hotel was ideal for my purposes: only a few minutes’ walk from the main museum district (including the Museum Island), just across the river from the TV Tower, and well served by public transport with the U-Bahn station Märkisches Museum right next to the hotel and Heinrich-Heine-Strasse a five minute walk away. The latter station is handy for getting to the areas of Kreuzberg and Neukölln which suited me as several of my friends and favourite Berlin shops, bars and clubs are in these areas, although I also discovered that it’s a manageable (30-45 minutes), picturesque and safe walk back from the likes of Hermannplatz when I decided to skip the train.

All the hotel staff who I dealt with were friendly and courteous and although I did not require any further assistance or encounter any problems after checking in I have no doubt they’d have been up to the task. The lobby, reception and bar areas were spacious and informal.

artotel berlin mitte lobby

Lobby at Art’otel Berlin Mitte

Overall, the Art’otel Berlin Mitte is a great hotel for anyone wanting to stay close to Berlin’s main attractions while also getting to sample some unique artwork and, although slightly basic by the standards of four-star hotels, it was a very pleasant place to stay.”

Click here to check availability and prices of the Art’otel Berlin Mitte.

Read our Best of Berlin tips to help plan your trip.

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10 Great Festivals in Germany

After living in Germany for several years, I knew that each year I had numerous local festivals to look forward to. These Germans know how to organise a festival – after all, Germany is the home of Oktoberfest! And that means that every year across the country there is a huge range of weird and wonderful festivals, no matter what your interests, and even some festivals that you could never imagine. Here are ten German festivals to whet your appetite.

Landshut Wedding

The Landshut Wedding festival in Bavaria is centred on a massive historical pageant, celebrating the medieval era. Every four years a couple of thousand people dress up to recreate the wedding between Hedwig and George from 1475 and to go with the pageant there are jousting bouts and some impressive feasting.

landsghut wedding

Landshut Wedding by estrangelo_edessa

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Wurstmarkt

What would a list of German festivals be without a wine festival? However, this one’s a real trick because the name Wurstmarkt  means “sausage market” – and yes, you’ll find sausages in abundance but the focus is actual on some great German wines. It takes place in Bad Dürkheim every September and is one of the largest wine festivals in the entire world, and one of the oldest too, running for nearly 600 years.

festivals Germany

Enjoying Wurstmarkt by gromgull

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Grabenstetten Kite Festival

Head to Germany in April and hope for wind – then the Grabenstetten Kite Festival will be at its peak. It’s a very social festival where everyone with any kind of kite is welcome to take part and after a day of kite flying there are fireworks to celebrate the occasion.

festivals Germany

Drachenfest – Kite festival by no

Bavarian Finger Wrestling Championships

Apparently they’re not only drinking beer in Bavaria: they’re also practising some finger wrestling! The Finger Wrestling Championships take place in Ohlstadt and the competitors get separated into weight categories, just like in real wrestling.

festivals Germany

Finger wrestling (Fingerhakeln) by Wikicommons

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Heidelberg Castle Festival

One of my favourite spots in Germany is Heidelberg and I’d love someday to attend some events at the Heidelberg Castle Festival. It’s held in June and features music and theatre performances, with the music mostly being classical and opera. Various parts of the castle and its ruins are used as venues.

festivals Germany

Heidelberg Castley by mattwyn

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Lübeck Dragonboat Festival

In northern Germany, the Lübeck Dragonboat Festival is actually one of the largest dragonboat festivals in the world. It takes place in August (fortunately, so if you fall in it won’t be too freezing) and it recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Click here for the lowest prices on Lubeck hotels

Limburg Whisky Festival

Beer, wine and whisky – German has it all. The Limburg Whisky Festival takes place in April each year and a very reasonable entry price includes numerous tastings. They focus (curiously) on Scotch single malt – one of the largest such festivals in the world.

festivals Germany

Whisky Fair Limburg by rund_um_whisky

Tübingen Duck Race

Who doesn’t enjoy a good duck race? In Tübingen they get the plastic yellow ducks out every October and race them down the Neckar River and there are a whole swag of prizes if your duck is amongst the winners. Apparently last race there were around 6,000 ducks swimming!

festivals Germany

Ducks in Tübingen by to.wi

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Schäferlauf Festival

In Markgröningen, the Schäferlauf (shepherd run) Festival takes place every August. It has historical roots back as far as 1651 but over the years has, of course, evolved from a celebration just for shepherds into a festival for everyone around, with all kinds of traditional cultural activities and music to enjoy.

Schäferlauf  in 1900 by Wikicommons

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Brot und Spiele Festival

In one of Germany’s oldest cities, Trier, the Brot und Spiele (Bread and Games) festival takes place in late summer, and it is the largest Roman festival in Germany. There are all kinds of Roman-related events including performances of gladiator shows in the amphitheatre, with a different main play featuring each year.

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More Tips for Things to Do in Germany

Amanda’s post has 25 travel tips on what ot do in Germany.

25 Museums in Berlin

Berlin is easily one of my all-time favourite cities to visit, with so much to see and do that even a month-long stay isn’t enough for me! And you can see why when you read this post on 25 museums in Berlin – just visiting museums alone will keep you busy for a long time, and that’s before you enjoy all the other great stuff that Berlin has to offer!

The museums in Berlin vary widely, although my favourites definitely include those connected to relatively recent history – the Berlin Wall and the Cold War era. But it’s not just a cliché to say that in Berlin there is a museum to suit everybody’s interests – and these 25 are just a taste, as there are close to 200 museums in the German capital.

Pergamon Museum

Easily one of Berlin’s most impressive museums, the Pergamon Museum is on the Museuminsel (Museum Island), and is an amazing collection of artefacts from the ancient world. It includes life-size reconstructions of ancient buildings like the Pergamon Altar, with as much as possible recreated from the real remains.

Ishtar Gate by Heatheronhertravels

Haus am Checkpoint Charlie

On my first visit to Berlin in 1990, I was lucky enough to experience the reunification of east and west – since then, the stories of those who tried to escape across the wall before the Wall fell in 1989 have been particularly fascinating to me (although some are very sad). The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum is the best place to hear stories and see artefacts related to Berlin Wall escape attempts, and a whole lot more.

Haus am Checkpoint Charlie exhibit by Olivier Bruchez

Museum of Photography

Berlin’s Museum of Photography (Museum fuer Fotografie) has photography exhibits ranging through the 19th to 21st centuries and it  includes a special exhibit on Helmut Newton.

Museum of Photography by hiddedevries

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10 Things to Do in Dresden

Dresden’s a real jewel of a city – one of those places that I think everybody should go to now that it’s easily accessible. Formerly a part of East Germany, Dresden is a couple of hours south of Berlin and close to the border with the Czech Republic– I visited it on a trip including Berlin and Prague, as it makes a very worthwhile stopover in between these two cities. Here are my travel tips for what to do in Dresden.

Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)

The Frauenkirche is the symbol of Dresden, for me. A church building in various incarnations had been on the site since the eleventh century until it was destroyed during Dresden firebombing of World War Two in 1945. It was eventually rebuilt (after German reunification) and the current reconstruction was completed in 2005, and it’s a magnificent place both inside and out.

what to do Dresden

Frauenkirche by loop_oh

Semper Opera

The Semperoper or Semper Opera building is one you can’t miss in Dresden. When I visited it jumped right out at me as it had been featured in the advertising of a German beer. It also suffered from the bombing of Dresden but was rebuilt a little sooner, and now features an excellent programme of opera and ballet.

what to do Dresden

Semperoper by az1172

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25 Things to Do in Germany

Ah, Germany. Everyone knows it’s there, but few people put it on the top of their travel list, preferring the standard France, Italy or Greece, or going more exotic to eastern Europe or up to Scandinavia. And that’s a pity because there is just so much to see and do in Germany. I lived there for two and a half years (and married a German, so we return regularly) and still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. In case you need more convincing, here are 25 tips for what to do in Germany to prove that there is definitely something for everyone. Some are very well-known activities like Oktoberfest in Munich or visiting the Berlin Wall remnants; others are well off the beaten tourist track; but all of them are well worth a look.

A view of Bacharach along the Rhine by Jeremy Branham

The Berlin Wall

I could write a book about the Berlin Wall, but instead I’ll just heartily encourage you to take advantage of any Berlin Wall-related sightseeing spots in Berlin. The Eastside Gallery is a great way to see some of the famous artistic moments of the wall, and the Topography of Terror exhibition located at the old SS headquarters gives some scary history from those times. My favourite Berlin Wall attraction is probably the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum which includes incredible stories (and artefacts) about those who escaped or attempted to escape into the west.

what to do in Germany

Haus am Checkpoint Charlie exhibit by boreritos

We’ve lots more tips on things to do in Berlin.

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Tips for Things to Do in Cologne

Cologne, or Köln, as the locals call it, is one of my favourite German cities – not too big, not too small, lots of interesting stuff to see and do. It also has its own unique culture within German, being famous (or sometimes infamous) for its strong dialect – although I can speak German fluently, “Kölsch” sounds almost like another language to me! This list of things to do in Cologne should enable you to get a taste for this special city in Germany.

Things to do Cologne

Cologne at Night by James Cridland

Sightseeing in Cologne

Easily the most impressive landmark in Cologne is the Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom. It’s a UNESCO-listed building dating back to the thirteenth century and it’s one of the largest gothic churches in Europe. Just looking around inside is impressive enough but if you’re feeling fit you can also climb the tower for views over the Rhine River and the city of Cologne.

Things to do Cologne
Cologne Cathedral by Amanda Kendle

Dating back to the times of a Roman governor in Cologne, the Praetorium is an amazing array of Roman ruins found underneath the city – in fact, just under the Town Hall. You can also see parts of the old sewer system and archaeological finds.

Things to do Cologne

Cologne Praetorium by Jen Guttman

Of course, you also can’t forget the fact that Cologne lies on the Rhine River. If you cross the main bridge across the Rhine, you’ll find many thousands of padlocks have been attached to the bridge by couples hoping for good luck for their relationship. You can also cruise the Rhine to various destinations from Cologne using KD boats.

Things to do Cologne

Padlocks on the bridge by Amanda Kendle

Museums in Cologne

In light of Cologne’s deep Roman ties, it’s no surprise that the Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum) is an impressive one, with numerous Roman artefacts from the Cologne area and along the Rhine River on display. The Praetorium mentioned above is adjacent to this museum.

Things to do Cologne

Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne by Eoghan OLionnain

For art lovers, the Museum Ludwig, easily found in central Cologne, is a must visit. It’s most famous for its postmodern art collection but it’s actually got a bit of everything from the 20th century. For those who like their art a bit older, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum features art from between the 1200s and 1800s; both of these museums feature both local German artists and numerous famous international artists, too.

Things to do Cologne

Museum Ludwig by mueritz

And finally, one museum which I’ve often been told of (given my well-known sweet tooth!) but never had the chance to visit, the Chocolate Museum (Schokolade Museum) in Cologne is trying to document the “cultural history of chocolate”. You can also see some great examples of how chocolate is made and importantly, there is a cafe offering (naturally enough) plenty of chocolate-based treats.

Culture in Cologne

Cologne is famous not only for its historical past but for its modern day culture too, and it’s well known as the gay capital of Germany. Every year, the Cologne Gay Pride parade takes place with up to a million people attending (in 2011, the parade will take place 1-3 July).

Things to do Cologne

Gay Pride Parade by norbert_blech

However, the biggest parade of the year comes with Karneval. Usually held in February, Karneval can attract almost two million people with a very colorful street carnival, plenty of wild costumes, and all kinds of related celebrations.

And in late November and December, Cologne is one of the best places to come to in Europe for Christmas markets. With no less than half a dozen separate markets, you can easily spend a long weekend there and still not enjoy the Gluhwein from every Christmas market!

Things to do Cologne

Traditional gifts at Cologne Christmas Markets by timo_beil

Last but not least, it’s important that you try the local German beer, named (like the dialect) Kölsch (and sometimes seen as Koelsch). There are several varieties of it, available everywhere and you’ll be well-respected if you drink the local beer rather than some other kind of German beer while in Cologne!

Things to do Cologne

Kölsch beer by sights set

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Best of Munich Tips

Munich is probably one of everybody’s favourite German cities (and one of mine, too!). With all the stereotypical Bavarian traditions and plenty of good beer (heard of Oktoberfest?!), it is easily one of Germany’s most-visited cities and it’s easy to spend a few days or a week there enjoying different Munich attractions. This collation of Europe a la Carte’s best tips for things to do in Munich will help both persuade you to add Munich to your must-visit list and give you ideas for planning your trip once you’re there.

Things to do Munich

Munich’s famous Glockenspiel by Amanda Kendle

Beer and Oktoberfest in Munich

Munich is certainly well known amongst beer lovers and is synonymous with the excitement of Oktoberfest. Fortunately, if your visit doesn’t coincide with late September and early October for Oktoberfest, you can visit the Hofbrauhaus all year round. It’s an enormous pub in the centre of Munich with plenty of character and, of course, plenty of beer!

Things to do Munich

Beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich by Jeremy Branham

If you are able to time your visit for the Oktoberfest fun, be prepared for Munich to be pretty crowded but for your trip to be memorable (well, depending upon how much beer you consume!). Located on the Theresienwiese, all the major beer companies set up their tents and it’s advisable to get a seat in a tent as early in the day as possible – in many tents you’ll only get served beer if you’ve got a seat. Then sit back and enjoy the traditional costumes, music and good German beer. It’s probably advisable to book a taxi in Munich for your journey back to you hotel.

Museums in Munich

Munich is particularly rich in interesting museums and their themes are truly many and varied. Perhaps one for the men (or, at least one I’m not particularly intrigued by!) is the BMW Car Museum. However, the museum does sound particularly well put together with interesting and interactive displays on the development of BMWs over the years and just the building it’s housed in is worth a look in itself.

Things to do Munich

The BMW Museum by arwa

For something totally different, you can try the Munich Toy Museum, located in one of the towers of the Rathaus (Town Hall). There are toys of all kinds from Europe and America from the past two centuries and even an impressive Barbie doll collection.

One of my favourite museums in Munich (or perhaps the world) is the Deutsches Museum. It’s an enormous science and technology museum with excellent interactive displays and exhibitions on a huge range of topics from art to computers to toys – you should certainly allow yourself a good few hours to have a look around.

Things to do Munich

An old computer in the Deutsches Museum by Amanda Kendle

Landmarks in Munich

It’s not just beer and museums that will keep you busy in Munich. The Tierpark Hellabrunn is the main Munich zoo and it has plenty of natural habitats for its large variety of animals. I’m a bit fussy about zoos but really enjoyed this one!

Things to do Munich

Zebras in Munich Zoo by Amanda Kendle

You can get right on top of Munich, literally, by climbing the St Peter’s Church Tower near Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. The view really is impressive and it makes the climb up the claustrophobically narrow staircase well worth the effort.

Things to do Munich

View from St Peter’s by Heather Cowper

Sports fans and lovers of green open space alike will be keen to visit the Munich Olympia Park, constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games. You can go up in the Olympic Tower for more great views over Munich, enter the Olympic Stadium, and look around the park areas too.

Things to do Munich

View from the Olympic Tower in Munich by arwa

And finally, if you are in Munich in late November or December, you won’t be able to miss the Christmas markets, spread from Marienplatz through to other smaller squares in the town centre. As you’d expect from a German Christmas market, there is Gluhwein and other drinks to warm you up, plenty of traditional gift ideas and some snacks for sustenance as you browse.

Things to do Munich

Christmas markets in Munich by Heather Cowper

Day Trips from Munich
Inka recommends a day trip to Prien am Chiemsee where you ride on the old steam tramway and visit the Heimatmuseum Folklore Museum, before taking a ferry over to HerrinInsel to visit Schloss Herrenchiemsee, the most lavish castle built for of King Ludwig the 1st of Bavaria.

Things to do Munich

Schloss Herrenchiemsee by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte

A heavier going but interesting Munich day trip option is Berchtesgaden, where you’ll find the Institute of Contemporary History Muncih-Berlin, home to a permanent exhibition documenting all many aspects of the Nazi period in Germany.

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Top Ten Things to do in Dusseldorf

In the far west of Germany not too far from the Dutch border, the financial centre Düsseldorf is attractive not just to business people. Some of the most interesting things to do in Düsseldorf include:

Altstadt/Old Town

Like so many German cities, the Old Town or Altstadt is a particularly interesting part of town. Düsseldorf’s Old Town is famously known as “the longest bar in the world”: there are over 250 bars and coffee houses within just a square kilometre, so you’ll have no shortage of places to hang out at night. The Old Town was almost completely rebuilt after World War Two but in typical old style, so it looks quaint and charming.

Things to do in Dusseldorf

Old Town by Effervescing Elephant

Rhine River Promenade

Many German towns and cities can be found on the Rhine, but the promenade where the river meets Düsseldorf is a particularly pretty walk and very popular with tourists.

Things to do in Dusseldorf

Rhine Promenade by Eichental

Marionette Theatre

Inside the Palais Wittgenstein close to the centre of the Old Town, the Marionette Theatre puts on performances for adults and children alike. The theatre is small – less than 100 seats – so it’s an intimate performance space and certainly not always “just for kids”.

Rhine Tower

The tallest building in Dusseldorf is the Rhine Tower, a 234 metre tower which includes a restaurant and viewing platform near its peak. As you’d expect, the views are fantastic, and on a clear day you can even see as far as the gorgeous Cologne Cathedral in the next city!

Things to do in Dusseldorf

View towards Rhine Tower by Gunnar Por Hafdal

St. Lambertus Basilika

The St. Lambertus Basilika is famous for its unusual twisted, winding tower – even after it was destroyed in the war, it was reconstructed in the same way. Many would consider this the symbol of the city. The church itself is pretty and there are numerous legends from the city’s history based here.

Things to do in Dusseldorf

Lambertus Basilika’s twisted tower by hAdamski

Koenigsallee

Koenigsallee is the place to go in Dusseldorf if you want to indulge in some retail therapy! Since Dusseldorf is famous for the Igedo Fashion Fair, it’s also home to a huge number of boutiques and luxury retail stories. It’s also a pretty place for a stroll as a canal runs down the middle.

Geothe Museum

Housed in the Schloss Jagerhof, the Goethe Museum Düsseldorf contains all kinds of Goethe-related paraphernalia, but also has a section devoted to Faust.

Benrath Palace

The Benrath Palace is a beautiful rococo palace, and the park that surrounds it complements it perfectly. At the moment they’re trying to get listing as a UNESCO Heritage site. As well as admiring the architecture and gardens, you can visit one of several museums housed within the palace buildings.

Things to do in Dusseldorf

Schloss Benrath by morgaine

Japan Center

For something a little different, the Japan Center features traditional Japanese markets, restaurants and gardens – for a little taste of Asia within Dusseldorf!

Alter Golzheim Cemetery

As with many old cemetries in Germany, the Alter Golzheim Friedhof (Cemetery) in Düsseldorf is both a tranquil green space suited to a quiet stroll, as well as a historical landmark with the graves of quite a few famous German artists and architects.

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Exploring Rheinfels Castle on the River Rhine

One of the more fascinating aspects of Germany are the many castles throughout the various regions of the country.  Germany wasn’t united until the late 19th century, until then independent city states ruled various regions.  Since the Rhine was a major trading route, many castles were set up along the river to collect taxes for those passing through and helping these small city states prosper.

Rheinfels castle (Flickr: Nigel’s Europe)

One of the biggest of these castles along the Rhine is Rheinfels castle in St Goar.  Built in 1245, this castle was a menacing fortress which not only intimidated with its presence but also provided a strong defense when called upon.

In 1692, it withstood a siege of thousands of French troops as it withstood a fierce attack.  The castle employed many people and with its size and location, was tough to overtake.  In 1797, the French Revolutionary Army finally overcame the castle with barely a fight and destroyed most of it leaving what we now see today.

The castle, with its size and accommodations, is quite impressive even in its current state.  Even its location is part of the attraction as it rises high above the Rhine.  The castle sits high upon the hill of St Goar and is a 15 minute uphill hike or a few minutes ride on the tourist train to the castle entrance.

The interior remains of Rheinfels castle (Flickr: pixie_bebe)

Like many famous fairytale castles, the entrance includes a bridge and a moat which leads to the ticket office.  From there, you can call in advance to book a tour or round up enough people to request a tour from an English or German (and other languages) guide.

You can begin the tour of the castle with a stop in the museum to see a model of the castle during its glory years.  The fortification of this castle was impressive and the museum details the strength of the castle.  After its defeat by the French, it served as a quarry for many years.  The castle has stood ever since and unlike much of Germany, wasn’t subject to bombing in WWII.

Wandering deep inside the castle, you begin at the Medieval Castle Courtyard which served as a market and home for some servants.  Livestock, bread, fruits and vegetables, and more were inside this courtyard.  From there, wander through the castle garden and up to the highest lookout tower to see the view of the Rhine.

A view of the Rhine from the castle (Jeremy Branham)

Near the lookout tower were the soldier’s quarters, catapult areas, and slits in the tower for crossbows.  The soldiers were kept close to the primary areas of defense so they could get to their posts at a moment’s notice.  Other areas of the castle include a prison, slaughterhouse, a cellar, and even mine tunnels used to detonate explosives to unsuspecting invaders.

After touring the castle and its impressive views of the Rhine, enjoy a walk through St Goar with its many shops and eateries.  While the town is a fun stroll, the main attraction is one of the mightiest castles on the Rhine.  While Rheinfels is no longer a functioning castle, its place in history and its significance along the Rhine is worth making a visit if you love German castles.

If you want to explore more of the area, St Goar is just a few minutes boat ride from the town of Bacharach where you can explore more of the Romantic Rhine in a beautiful, German town.

Tips for What to Do in Germany

We’ve lots of travel tips for what to do in Germany.