Niederwald monument, Rudesheim am Main
Germany

Rüdesheim am Rhine – Rhine Valley

Rüdesheim am Rhine - Rhine Valley

Did you ever ask yourself what makes the Rhine Valley so special?

Besides being one of the major European rivers, flowing from Switzerland, through France, Germany, and Netherland, all the way to the North Sea. The Rhine is, without a doubt, Europe’s most beautiful river. Especially the part of the river that flows through Germany’s Middle Rhine Valley.

These dramatic 65 kilometers of Rhine River stretched between Rüdesheim and Koblenz will leave you speechless. No wonder that it is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The first time I’ve heard about the natural beauty of the Rhine Gorge (another name for the Middle Rhine Valley) was about 3 months ago. My colleague told me that there are several famous tours in Germany and she gave me the book “Traumstrassen Deutschland” (Dream Roads Germany).

Before I go too far into the content of the book, I will only say that this river enchanted me with its beauty. Not only the Rhine River, but entire Germany in general (about that some other time 😊).

Like I’ve said, I had already planned to explore Rhine Valley by this time. I know, again, me and my planning. Maybe it’s time to be more spontaneous, and less a planner. What do you think?

Nevertheless, I managed to explore only one tiny part of this jaw-dropping beauty. All I can say is that I can’t wait to continue my journey.

With its half-timbered houses and steep slopes with medieval castles on the top, plenty of hiking, and cycling routes, this place has something for everybody.

Oh, and wine! How could I forget the wine? Literally, wherever you look, you will see vineyards. Heaven on earth for wine lovers!

Rhine Valley- Romanic Tour

Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rüdesheim am Rhine is a small picturesque place that will get under your skin. Even in the offseason, this place is pretty busy with tourists. But don’t let that discourage you, this place is worth waiting in lines.

Tip: there is also Rüdesheim an der Nahe, the small town nearby, so don’t mix them

The first thing we did when we arrived was to stroll around the Old Town. Charming streets with half-timbered houses, restaurants, cafes, and wine stalls just waiting to be explored. One of the most beautiful streets located in the heart of Rüdesheim’s Old Town is Drosselgasse.

Drosselgasse in Rudesheim am Main, Rhine Valley
Drosselgasse

This 144 meters long and two-meter-wide cobblestone street built in the 15th century is a historical landmark of the town. Filled with wine taverns and live music, Drosselgasse is a great place to try some local specialties and wine.

After exploring the lovely old town, we were ready to begin our hiking adventure. Rüdesheim is a great start position for hiking, and there are many options you can choose from. We opted for a slightly simpler tour this time. Well, at least we thought so.

Romantik-Tour

We started our adventure at the Seilbahn-Rüdesheim (Cable car), and we bought tickets for a Romantik-Tour. Each ticket costs 20 Euros. A reasonable price considering what is all included in the price.

Cable car in Rudesheim am Main

Romantik-Tour includes:

  • Cable car ride from Rüdesheim to the Niederwald monument, with a fantastic panorama
  • Walking tour to several viewpoints
  • Chairlift to Assmannshausen
  • Boat trip to the Rheinstein Castle and admission for the castle
  • Boat trip back to Rüdesheim 

It seems like a really nice relaxing trip, but we had to complicate that a little bit 😉. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t be us.

So, as I’ve said before, we took the cable car from Rüdesheim to Niederwald monument. An amazing ride above the vineyards. It was the first time in our lives that we rode a cable car. Since I’m a little afraid of heights, it was a ride full of mixed feelings of fear and admiration. The beauty of this landscape prevailed, and I forgot all about my fear of heights.

View from Cable car

10 minutes later, we were on the hill that overlooks Rhine Valley. Of course, you can choose to drive in a car to the top. But the cable car gives some special flavor to this experience. It would be like deciding to prepare your favorite dish without salt and pepper. Yes, you won’t go hungry, but you won’t enjoy it either.

Another great option is to hike through scenic vineyards to the top. An amazing experience as well, but again, special ingredient is missing – the view from above.

View from cable car

Niederwald monument and walking tour

As soon as we got out of the cable car, we were stunned by the view. So, we decided to take a little break on the restaurant’s open terrace to enjoy the view and try the wine. Just to make sure it’s as good as the wine we tasted in the Old Town 😉.

And I have to tell you that it is maybe even better. Or maybe it was the atmosphere…

View from Niederwaldtempel, Rhine Valley
Niederwaldtempel in Rudesheim am Main, Rhine Valley
Niederwaldtempel

After the break, we continued to the Niederwald monument. These glorious 38 meters tall monument, built at the end of the 19th century, represents the union of all Germans. It is truly a landmark in this region, and you shouldn’t miss it. Actually, it’s so massive that you couldn’t miss it even if you tried.

Niederwald monument, Rudesheim am Main
Niederwald monument

On our way through Niederwald Landscape park, we came across some astonishing viewpoints. Just be careful to follow the right trail. Even if you go some other route, you won’t fall off the cliff. You’ll just miss some, in my opinion, fantastic views.

Viewpoint in Niederwald Landscape park, Rudesheim am Rein, Rhine Valley
Viewpoint in Niederwald Landscape park, Rudesheim am Main, Rhine Valley

This walking tour takes about an hour, depending on how much time you spend enjoying the view.

On another end of Niederwald Landscape park, is a small animal resort, where you can feed deer. I don’t know what’s with me and animal feeding.

Anyway, we didn’t have much time for that, because we wanted to catch the first boat to Rheinstein Castle. So, we went straight to the chairlift to Assmannshausen.

I must admit, this chairlift wasn’t so fascinating like the first one, but it offers a few pretty views. The ride lasted about 20 minutes and was an excellent opportunity for resting our tired legs.

Chairlift, Rudesheim am Main, Rhine Valley

We took a quick walk through Assmannshausen, a small village known as red wine village, and jumped on the boat towards the Rheinstein Castle.

Assmannshausen
Assmannshausen

To make it a little more exciting, as if it wasn’t interesting enough already, we made a small detour. Instead of going directly to Rheinstein Castle, we decided to visit Reichenstein Castle first.

Reichenstein Castle

Reichenstein castle

Located 1,5 km from the boat dock, Reichenstein Castle dates back to the 11th century. Castle was destroyed in the 13th century and later reconstructed in the neo-Gothic style.

To find the castle, you will have to walk about 20 minutes. This mighty castle stands on a mountain spur, so it is really not hard to find. But you will have to put some effort to climb up to it.

Reichenstein castle

It was a detour, and the price was not included in our ticket, but we decided to visit it anyway. We were already here, so why not? An audio guide is included in the price, so you can hear all the stories about the castle as you explore it.

All areas inside the castle are marked with numbers, which makes it easy to explore with an audio guide.  

Reichenstein castle

I have to admit that this detour is to blame for our sore feet. We didn’t have too much time to rest. Rheinstein Castle was waiting for us to be explored, and our last boat was at 5.45 pm. Honestly, I don’t regret it at all. The pain in my legs is gone, all that’s left are wonderful memories!

Rheinstein Castle

Rheinstein Castle

Situated on a rocky ridge, Rheinstein Castle is a perfect example of Rhine Romanticism architecture. Originally constructed in Middle Ages, but was rebuilt later during the romantic period.

The boat dock is located directly under the castle, so it’s not hard to find it. But it also requires a little effort to climb to the castle, as it’s 82 meters above the river level. But it’s worth the trouble!

So, once we climbed to the entrance and passed the little gift shop, we came to the courtyard, also known as the “Burgunder Garden.” It is named after the Burgundy grapevine, which is around 500 years old and still produces grapes. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

We spent about an hour exploring the castle from inside and outside. We wanted to try how the wine tastes here 😉. But unfortunately for us, there was no available space in the restaurant. Bummer, right?

Tip: if you want to eat there make sure to book in advance

View from Rheinstein Castle

There is also a viewpoint located left from the castle, but somehow, I totally forgot about it while we were up there ☹. To reach this viewpoint, you will have to walk along a small path that starts on the right side before entering the castle. I saw on the internet that beautiful pictures of the castle could be made from there. So, don’t forget to do that, as I did! (Hence no amazing photos of the castle)

That missed opportunity for wine tasting really threw me off the agenda 😊.

Return to Rüdesheim

With the pain in our legs and a few glasses of wine in our bellies, it was time to go back. While we were impatiently waiting for the boat, which was about 15 minutes late, we enjoyed the last views of the castle.

Boat trip to Rüdesheim took about an hour. We had a seat on the deck, and after a full day of walking and exploring, this was the perfect end of a perfect day. Just to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Boat trip to Rudesheim am Main

Important information

  • Romantik-tour
    • Price: adults 20 Euros, children (5-15 years) 10 Euros
    • They are also offering several others tour, click here for more information
    • Opening hours Cable car Rüdesheim: daily from 9.30 am
    • Opening hours Chairlift Assmannshausen: daily from 10 am
    • Boat from Assmannshausen to Rheinstein Castle: daily at 2.15 pm, weekends and holidays: 10.30 am, 12.15 pm, 2.15 pm, and 4 pm
    • Opening hours Rheinstein Castle: daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
    • Boat from Rheinstein Castle to Rüdesheim: daily 2.30 pm and 4.15 pm, weekends and holidays: 10.45 am, 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.15 pm, and 5.50 pm
    • Tour duration: at last 5 hours
  • Reichenstein Castle
    • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
    • Price: adults 8 Euros
  • How to get to Rüdesheim 
    • By train – from Koblenz, Neuwied, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt, and the railway station is 7 minutes walk away from the cable car
      • Make sure to be on the right side of the river!
    • By boat – more information at Bingen-Rüdesheimer or K-D
    • By car – use navigation 😉
  • Parking
    • There is a parking lot not so far from the cable car
    • Price: 1,30 Euros per hour or 13 Euros per day

If you are spending more time in Rüdesheim you may consider visiting:

  • Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet
  • Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard
  • Brömserburg Castle
  • Asbach visitor center
  • Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss

All in all, it was a unique experience, and I would definitely recommend it to anybody. What I love about this tour is that you can do it in your own tempo, without stress and haste. You can take selfies and pictures all day long without anyone rushing you. At the end of the day, you may be exhausted, but delicious dinner in one of many charming restaurants in Rüdesheim tastes even better. Believe me, it’s worth the pain 😊

Have you already visited some of the magical places in Rhine Valley?  

Another hidden gem on this route:

Rhine Vallay - Rudesheim am Main
Rhine Valley - Rudesheim
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