What to see in the Rhine Valley in 5 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Are you looking for a different destination, perhaps one that combines both culture and history and nature? Then the right solution for you could be the Rhine Valley, a territory to be discovered, which it gives postcard landscapes, between the wonderful cities Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn and Cologne and the small medieval villages located on the banks of the Rhine. Here you can immerse yourself in history, visiting the wonderful castles that are located along the river, and in nature, thanks to the many trekking routes. Moreover, it is an area that lends itself a lot to being visited by bicycle, thanks to the presence of the cycle path, one of the most beautiful in Europe.

The things to see are many, one ideal tour includes at least between 7 and 10 days, especially if you want to visit the area by bicycle. But if you have less time, don't worry, here are our tips on what to see in the Rhine Valley in 5 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. How much does it cost 5 days
  7. Before leaving: useful tips
  8. User questions and comments

1 day

Each Rhine Valley tour starts from Mainz, in German Mainz, a city located on the Rhine, 30 km from Frankfurt (reference airport), you can choose to visit the city comfortably with a bike tour.
Start the visit of the Altstadt, the historic center. Visit to Mainz Cathedral, the Romanesque-Baroque cathedral of the city (9: 00-18: 30, Sun 12: 45-15: 00 and 16: 00-18: 30) and after Gutenberg Museum, one of the most important in the area (Tue-Sat 9: 00-17: 00, Sun 11: 00-17).

Stop for lunch at Wilma Wunder, a typical German restaurant (average cost € 20,00).
Then stroll through the streets of the center and stop to visit the Kath. Kirche St. Stephan, the Church of Santo Stefano, one of the most beautiful in the town (every day 10: 00-16: 30).
Arrive at citadel, the Citadel of Mainz (always accessible), a historical site, which was built between 1620 and 1629 at the behest of the archbishop of Mainz. From here you can admire a beautiful view over the whole city and maybe even a beautiful sunset!

For dinner, return to the historic center and stop by Stadtbalkon, a place open until late, where you can taste traditional dishes and excellent beers (average cost € 20,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,4 km / 43 min
  • Places visited: Altstadt (free), Mainzer Dom (free), Gutenberg Museum (€ 5,00), Kath. Kirche St. Stephan (free), Zitadelle (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 45,00
  • Lunch at Wilma Wunder (Get directions), Dinner at Stadtbalkon (Get directions)

2 day

For this second day rent a car (best way to get around if you only have 5 days) and set off to discover the Rhine Valley.
First step Rüdesheim am Rhein (37,5 km, 34 min from Mainz). Here the main attractions are there Abtei St. Hildegard, or the Abbey of Santa Ildegarda (every day 10: 00-17: 00, free offer), a beautiful complex surrounded by nature, and the Niederwalddenkmal, memorial to the unification of Germany.

Stop for lunch at the Am Niederwald, with a beautiful view of the Rhine and the valley (€ 25,00).
Get back in the car and reach Sankt Goar (33 km, 58 min), on the way do not forget to admire the beautiful views out the window, you can see several castles!
This little town rises in the heart of the Rhine Gorge. Stroll through the historic center and visit the Rheinfels Castle, one of the largest castles on the Rhine (Tue-Oct daily 9: 00-18: 00). Inside there is also an interesting museum that tells the local history (10: 00-12: 30 and 13: 00-17: 30).

Stop for dinner in the historic center of Sankt Goar, at the Restaurant "zur Krone" (€ 20,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 39,3 km / 1 h 17 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Rüdesheim am Rhein (free), Abtei St. Hildegard (free offer), Niederwalddenkmal (free), Sankt Goar old town (free), Rheinfels castle and museum (€ 6,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 55,00
  • Lunch at Am Niederwald (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurant "zur Krone" (Get directions)

3 day

Leave early in the morning and reach Koblenz (44 km, 30 min from Sankt Goar).
Dedicate thefull day in this city, starting with Schloss Koblenz, its castle, of which you can only visit the gardens (every day 9: 00-17: 00).
Once you have crossed the gardens, walk along the river until you reach the Basilika Sankt Kastor and then the Deutsches Eck, huge statue that rises where the Rhine and Moselle meet.

Stop for a quick lunch break at Königsbacher Biergarten am Deutschen Eck (€ 15,00).
Then take the cable car at the Seilbahn Koblenz-Talstation stop e enjoy a wonderful panorama over the city as you reach the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Seilbahnstation stop (every day 10: 00-18: 00; combined ticket fortress + cable car return € 14,80). Spend the afternoon on this side of the river, visiting the fortress and Festungs Park, up to the panoramic terrace Aussichtsplattform Rhein-Mosel-Blick. Then take the cable car back to the center.

End the day with a dinner in the typical Altes Brauhaus restaurant in the historic center (€ 15,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 13,2 km / 2 h 53 min
  • Places visited: Schloss Koblenz gardens (free), Basilika Sankt Kastor (free), Deutsches Eck (free), cable car to / r Fortezza (combined ticket € 14,80), Festungs Park (free), Aussichtsplattform Rhein-Mosel-Blick (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 45,00
  • Lunch at Königsbacher Biergarten am Deutschen Eck (Get directions), Dinner at Altes Brauhaus (Get directions)

4 day

Fourth day in the Rhine Valley, leave Koblenz in the morning and head to the town of Königswinter (71,0 km - 56 min by car) and visit the wonderful Drachenburg castle, declared a National Monument since 1986 (from 11:00, the closure varies according to the period). Once you have visited the castle, get back in your car and reach Bonn (11,7 km - 19 min by car).

Stop for lunch at HANS IM GLÜCK Burgergrill & Bar (€ 20,00).
In the afternoon, as before, visit the neighbor Poppelsdorf castle, built between 1715 and 1753, which today also houses the botanical garden of the University of Bonn (Mon-Fri 10: 00-16: 00).
Then enjoy a nice walk in the historic city center and visit the Beethoven House, museum dedicated to the famous composer who was born right here in Bonn (every day 10: 00-18: 00).

For the evening, we recommend that you already reach Cologne, so that you can dedicate the whole fifth day to it (from Bonn 33,4 km - 35 min by car). Once in the city, take a walk in the historic center and dine at Servus Colonia Alpina (€ 25,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 57,4 km / 1 h 26 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Drachenburg Castle (€ 7,00), Poppelsdorf Castle (free), Beethoven House (€ 9,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 60,00
  • Lunch at HANS IM GLÜCK Burgergrill & Bar (Get directions), Dinner at Servus Colonia Alpina (Get directions)

5 day

Fifth and last day dedicated to the beautiful Cologne. A proper itinerary can only start from the famous Cologne Cathedral (6: 00-19: 00), the city's main monument and the its symbol. We recommend that you also climb to the top of its towers to admire the view!
Then stroll through theAlt Stadt, passing throughold market, the main square, reaching up to Frankenwerft, a beautiful pedestrian area on the Rhine, characterized by many pastel-colored houses.

For lunch, take a break at Haxenhaus (€ 20,00).
After that, enjoy a wonderful panoramic cruise on the Rhine, departing from the dock of the KD Reisebüro / Agentur Köln. Sail for about an hour on the river admiring the city from another point of view and thus also seeing points that you would not be able to see in a single day (departures 10:00, 12:00, 13:30, 15:00, 16 : 30, 18:00). After that, cross the Hohenzollern Bridge and reach the Koln Triangle, equipped with one panoramic terrace to admire the whole city (10: 00-23: 00).

For dinner, stop at the Grissini Restaurant, with a wonderful view of the cathedral and the city, to end the trip in style (€ 30,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,6 km / 45 min
  • Places visited: Cologne Cathedral (free), Cathedral tower (€ 3,00), Alt Stadt (free), Alter Markt (free), Frankenwerft (free), Rhine cruise (€ 11,00), Hohenzollern Bridge (free), Koln Triangle (€ 3,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 70,00
  • Lunch at Haxenhaus (Get directions), Dinner at Grissini Restaurant (Get directions)

How much does it cost 5 days

NB: The costs expressed in the table above are to be intended per person.

A trip along the Rhine Valley is absolutely an experience to try! Unfortunately 5 days are not many and you will have to do things a little in a hurry, but if you have more time you can also visit the area by bicycle (rental from € 10,00 / day)!

Il starting point is Mainz, we must therefore take how reference Frankfurt airport, while the arrival point is usually Cologne, so to return to Italy it will be necessary to book a flight from Cologne / Bonn airport. Booking in advance you will find great offers!
As for accommodation, in the big cities you will find options of all kinds and suitable for all budgets, while in the smaller villages you can stay overnight in small family-run b & bs and farmhouses, excellent for immersing yourself in this relaxed atmosphere.

Small insight on how to get around: having only 5 days, the best way is without a doubt therental car (from € 25,00 / day), as it guarantees you maximum flexibility and independence! And, above all, you can make small stops along the way.

  • to Frankfurt from € 130,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
  • Total cost of 5 days, flight included: from € 650,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit the Rhine Valley: from mid-May to September, as the temperatures are more pleasant and the days sunnier. In addition, various events and festivals are held in this period
  • Frankfurt airport 30 km from Mainz, starting point for the Middle Rhine Valley, reachable by direct train (20 min, € 9,00) - Flights from € 84,00; Cologne / Bonn airport (direct train 15 min, € 3,00) - Flights from € 40,00
  • in larger cities, we recommend staying as close as possible to the historic center. In smaller towns you can also experience more typical experiences and stays
  • Getting around: in the cities and villages on foot. Between the different villages by car, train or bicycle. The Valley is crossed by one of the most beautiful cycle paths in Europe, with a very simple route. Some cities can also be reached by ferry on the Rhine -
  • Recommended cards and passes: the KD Pass Reno is a day pass for a wonderful cruise on the Rhine. The departure points are different, as well as the arrival points, and you can decide where to leave based on your itinerary (€ 35,00)

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