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Ultimate Guide to the Fairy Tale Town of Bacharach, Germany

Ultimate Guide to the Fairy Tale Town of Bacharach, Germany

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Since first reading about Bacharach in our trusty Rick Steve’s travel guide, Marty and I knew that we had to visit this charming little town on the Rhine River. 

I mean, Bacharach seemed like the perfect place for us to hub out of as we explored the castles and vineyards of the beautiful Rhine River, and boy were we right! This town definitely checked several items off of our couple’s bucket list.

We fell in love with Bacharach and decided to write this guide to Bacharach, Germany so you can too!

Bacharach lies along the UNESCO World Heritage portion of the Rhine River that stretches from Bingen and Rudesheim north to the city of Koblenz. From its beginnings, Bacharach was a major hub of the wine trade industry, and so instantly had my attention.  

It has been said that kings from around the region would only drink Bacharach wine.  All of this trade, coupled with the fact that Bacharach also collected customs duties, made it a very wealthy town.

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Guide to Bacharach, Germany

Arriving in Bacharach

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After leaving Munich, Marty and I boarded a train and headed for the gorgeous Rhine River town of Bacharach.  As we walked from the train station into the town, I felt as though I were transported back to the 11th century.  Walking down the cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered

houses made my heart skip a beat.  Looking up, you can see Stahleck Castle on the hill looming over the town as if still protecting it.  I closed my eyes and imagined this area before technology, before cars, before life transported us to this place of non-stop entertainment and information overload.

Looking up at the endless vineyards dotting the hillside, I imagined a more relaxed and simple pace of life.  A pace where it’s acceptable to sit for hours drinking wine while watching the world go by on the Rhine River.  

A pace that I could easily become accustomed to if I could just convince my brain to escape the fast-paced world for a little while!

When to Visit Bacharach

We recommend visiting Bacharach in the summer.  Summer months (June-September) are an ideal time to be in the Rhine Valley.  The boat tours are running and the temperatures are pleasant.  

August is the wettest month, so avoid August if you don’t like the rain.

How Long to Stay in Bacharach

Depending on what you want to get out of your visit will determine how long to stay.  Marty and I planned 2 nights in Bacharach, but I wish that we had planned 3 because we really wanted to tour more of the castles and explore more of the small towns along the Rhine.

With 2 nights you can explore the town of Bacharach, cruise the best part of the Rhine (from Bacharach to St. Goar), and take a train to some of the small cities to tour a castle or two.  With more time, you could include a trip to the Mosel River Valley as well.

Where to Stay in Bacharach

You won’t find any big-name hotels in this charming town.  What you will find are reasonably priced bed and breakfasts and charming individually owned accommodations.  

For this trip, we paid about 60 euros a night (the absolute cheapest on this trip to Europe) for a room at the bed and breakfast, Bistro Rene.  

Bistro Rene had three rooms, ours was the smallest, but we had a private bathroom and a balcony that was overlooked by the castle!  Our hosts were knowledgeable, nice, and made a mean coffee.  You can’t beat that!

Find your perfect Hotel in Bacharach, Germany. We love booking with Hotels.com.  Not only do you get a great rate, but with every stay, you are earning free nights.

Getting to Bacharach and Around the Rhine

By train:  Bacharach is easily accessible by train.  It is a gorgeous 50-minute train ride on the non-stop express train connecting Koblenz and Mainz.

There are hourly regional trains that hit every town along the Rhine (Bacharach-St. Goar in both directions).  The small stations are not staffed, so you will purchase your ticket at the machines.  We found the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket to be the best bet for us.

On the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, 1 person was 24 euros, and an additional person was 5 euros, much cheaper than purchasing separate tickets.

By boat:  While some people choose to do the whole Rhine River by boat, we opted just to do the “romantic” portion of the Rhine from St. Goar to Bacharach.  We bought our tickets for the Koln-Dusseldorfer (K-D)

Line right at the dock in Bacharach and hopped on to enjoy our cruise.  Get your Rhine River Cruise Pass today!

By bike:  We saw so many bikers during our time in Bacharach.  There is a 35-mile bike path that runs between Koblenz and Bingen, and the six-mile portion between Bacharach to Bingen is flat, smooth, and scenic.  

While walking in Bacharach, we noticed several bike rental places, including Hotel Hillen.  It seems that most people bike one way and take the cruise or train back in the opposite direction.

Exploring Bacharach

As I stated above, Bacharach is like stepping into an 11th-century village.  Sure, they have modern amenities like wi-fi, cell service, and cars, but this little village has managed to retain its quaint charm.  

We had a great time just exploring this picturesque town, including the castle, churches, the old town wall and towers, the vineyards, and doing an AMAZING wine tasting.

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Seeing the half-timbered houses on the quiet cobblestone streets is a great introduction to Bacharach.  The town is easily accessible on foot, so just stroll around, and get acquainted.

The town church is located just off of the square.  Though not as impressive as most of the churches we have visited in Europe, it was still worth a visit.  Inside you will find brightly painted walls and Gothic arches.  

Be sure and notice the blue-and-white plaque hanging just outside the entrance warning that this building should not be targeted during times of war.

Just down from the church, you will find the Posthof, symbolized by the golden horn hanging overhead.  In the old days, the postman would blow this horn and traffic would stop as the mail sped through the town.  As you enter, notice the beautiful door.  

History buffs will appreciate seeing a historical piece, a fascist eagle from 1936 over the door.

Stahleck Castle and Wernerkapelle Ruins

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Steep steps alongside the church leading up to the town castle.  Feeling ambitious and ready to burn off some of the German food we had been eating, Marty and I laced up our tennis shoes and started the climb up to Stahleck Castle.  

On the way up to the castle, you will pass the Wernerkapelle Ruins.  What’s left of this enormous chapel is hauntingly beautiful.

After taking a break to view the ruins, we continued up the steep steps toward the castle.  I have to admit that I had to stop several times to catch my breath.  

I think all those pretzels were catching up with me.  The trek was definitely worth it though.  We had so much fun exploring the castle grounds.  Since it’s a hostel, we just acted like we owned the place and walked around.  

Be sure and grab a glass of wine and sit on the terrace to enjoy the beautiful views-you earned it on that hike!

The Old Town Wall and Towers

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You can walk along the old town wall in several places in Bacharach.  We enjoyed walking the section of the wall down by the river.

To find this section, walk toward town from Riverfront park, with the Catholic church on your left, cross under the train tracks, and head right up the stairs onto the town wall.  

At the top of the stairs, we turned left to see the old well that is located about 30-yards on the left-hand side.   Continue along the wall to view the crane tower.  

This is where they would lower their amazing wine onto ships to be sent down to the river.  After the crane tower, you will come to the Markt Tower.  The Markt Tower was once one of the town’s original 14th-century gates.

We also enjoyed hiking through the vineyards up to the Tall Tower.  To get to the Tall Tower, go up Rosenstrasse just past the well, and follow the tiny slate-stepped lane up into the vineyards.

Wine Tasting in Bacharach

Since Bacharach is famous for its wine, you really should treat yourself to a tasting.  A weinstube, or wine room, is a great place to do just that.  We chose to do our tasting at Weingut Karl Heidrich.  

This cute little winery had a nice outdoor dining area right on the main street in town.  They offered three different types of tasting flights to choose from, dry, sweet, or combination for about 15 euros for six wines.  

The pours were big and the wines were delicious.  Marty and I chose to pair our wine with a meat and cheese plate that was amazing!  We wound up sitting for hours drinking wine, laughing, and munching on food.  

A welcomed slow pace for us!

Eating in Bacharach

Deciding what to eat in Germany is easy for us, and Bacharach was no exception. They had some incredible German cuisine to choose from!

We found food in Bacharach to be very reasonably priced and overall really good.  The Altes Haus, the oldest building in town, serves up traditional German food in a historic atmosphere.

The Posthof restaurant and cafe in the Posthof courtyard have a nice outdoor seating area with a direct view of the chapel ruins above you.  For lunch, we grabbed a cheap pizza from Bacharacher Pizza and Kebap House.

We walked up to the old carousel that overlooks the river to eat, but they were closed, let us know how it is if you have ever eaten there.

For dessert, make sure you visit Eis Cafe Italia on the main street and try some Riesling-flavored gelato!   Or, be like Marty and hunt down the perfect apple strudel!

You cannot ask for a better German town to relax in and explore.  It was so easy to allow ourselves to acclimate to the slower pace of life and to just enjoy being together and enjoy being on vacation.  

After exploring Bacharach, we venture out into the Rhine and Mosel Valleys to tour an awesome castle and cruise the river.  Read all about our Rhine River Cruise!  Bacharach is a true gem and a town that we will definitely return to.

Final Thoughts on Guide to Bacharach, German

I hope our guide to Bacharach has inspired you to visit this great region. There is so much to do and see here in Bacharach that we are sure that you will fall in love with it also.

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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight:

We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.

Book Your Vacation Package:

If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.

Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!

For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.

Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”

Book Your Accommodations:

We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!

There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.

Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!

HotelsCombined is another cool site. They allow you to compare all of the top travel sites with one search to ensure you are finding the best deal out there. Kayak works in this way as well.

If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.

Tour Companies We Trust:

We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!

For a guided city tour, check out City Sightseeing and BigBus Tours. These bus tours are so much fun and easy to hop on and hop off at top attractions in cities around the world.

CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.

Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.

Looking to Save Time and Money?

Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!

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    Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

    About the Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures.  While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time. 

    Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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    Wiley Whitfield

    Friday 26th of November 2021

    When my wife was 15yrs old living in Granite city Illinois her cousin painted a picture for her 15th birthday. It was a picture of an unknown city in an unknown place.Only his imagination. This happened in the year 1959. In 1979 my wife Carol and I were on our honeymoon touring Italy and Germany we were shopping for souvenirs one Sunday morning and I spotted a small wooden plaque hanging on the wall and I told Carol that it looked like the picture she was given 20yrs ago.She could not see any resemblance.It was a picture of the city of Barackarack Germany burned on a wooden plaque. Title The Backarack.This painting was done in 1979. By a German painter. I have had the painting 40yrs. In that length of time I have discovered between 25 and 30 points of interest that appear to be the same. How can this be with 20 yrs difference in time. Wiley whitfield 325 Todd ln Belleville Illinois 62221

    thattexascouple

    Sunday 28th of November 2021

    Wow, Wiley! What an incredible story. I loved reading this. Did you and your wife make it to Bacharach to visit?

    Lisa - The Wandering Lens

    Monday 5th of March 2018

    Such a dreamy little town! I love all the fairytale towns of Europe, an endless roadtrip exploring them all would be incredible :)

    thattexascouple

    Monday 5th of March 2018

    I completely agree, Lisa. That will be one of my must-do items once I move to Europe. LOL!

    Kelly

    Sunday 4th of March 2018

    This quaint slice of heaven sounds like my kind of place. Would love to take your advice and spend 3 days in the summer. Looks like such a lovely place.

    Sarah Shumate

    Sunday 4th of March 2018

    Germany's small towns and villages are the BEST! I hadn't heard of this one before, but now I absolutely must visit. What a beautiful place. A fairy tale town, for sure! Thanks for the tips! :)

    thattexascouple

    Sunday 4th of March 2018

    I am so happy that I could introduce you to a new place! It really was amazing!

    Emma

    Saturday 3rd of March 2018

    What a fairytale town! I love that it had some amenities but still held on to its roots and charm!