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Just a short drive south of Koblenz, you’ll find an idyllic town in Western Germany, surrounded by charming rural communities and villages. These places speak to the heart of the country’s history. Bacharach am Rein is the full name of this hidden European gem that’s known better as simply “Bacharach.”
Author Victor Hugo once called this place one of the “prettiest towns in the world.” Wine enthusiasts have been coming here for years to enjoy its top-notch vineyards, wineries, and wine-tasting opportunities.
More and more travelers have discovered Bacharach, and it’s quickly become a destination for vacationers in the know. It’s much more than a tourist trap. Bacharach offers unique local events and stunning vistas of the Rhine River, and it’s also known for its wine, history, and art.
If your upcoming vacation takes you to the Rhine Valley, stick around to discover why Bacharach deserves a place on your itinerary. We’ll tell you our favorite attractions so you can plan the ultimate vacation to remember in one of the most beautiful small towns in Germany.
Now, let’s get right into the best things to do in Bacharach, Germany!
- Things to Do in Bacharach
- 1. Climb the Postenturm (Post Tower)
- 2. Enjoy traditional Rhineland Cuisine at Altes Haus
- 3. Visit St. Peter’s Church
- 4. Discover the old town wall at Marktturm
- 5. Tour Rheinstein Castle
- 6. Explore Burg Stahleck
- 7. Enjoy a wine-tasting at Bastian Vinothek
- 8. The Ruins of Werner Chapel
- 9. The Ruins of Stahlberg Castle
- 10. Cruise The Rhine River
- 11. Take a day trip to Rüdesheim am Rhein
- 12. Walk along the riverside to the Three Poets Sculpture
- Is Bacharach, Germany, worth visiting?
Things to Do in Bacharach
1. Climb the Postenturm (Post Tower)
Address: Blücherstraße 28, 55422 Bacharach, Germany
Start your visit to Bacharach with a brief hike through well-marked trails to the Postenturm (Post Tower). It may not look much at first, but trust us. This place has everything you need to get your vacation off on the right foot when you visit Bacharach.
This former defense stronghold now stands as an unassuming observation tower that’s open to the public. From below, it may seem like a simple tower. But when you reach the top, you’ll experience some of the most remarkable views in the Rhine Valley. Visitors love to look out over the town and point out destinations they want to visit.
Surrounded by rolling vineyards below, Post Tower feels remote, but it’s easily accessible from the main street of town for those able to take a short walk.
Bring your kids to show them the fantastic view, or bring your sweetheart and enjoy a sip of wine after a romantic adventure. This is the kind of place that takes your breath away and reminds you why you came to Western Germany.
See Related: Things to Do in Düsseldorf, Germany
2. Enjoy traditional Rhineland Cuisine at Altes Haus
Address: Oberstraße 61, 55422 Bacharach, Germany
If the hike to Postenturm helped you work up a hunger, head to Altes Haus or “The Old House.” About one minute away from the tower by car, this 14th-century house is now an excellent restaurant.
You’ll enjoy their traditional dishes, local wines, and culture while you’re there. If the weather permits, outside seating is also an option.
Despite being the oldest house in town, the beloved and exceptionally well-maintained Altes House looks anything but old and run down. This is one of the more iconic half-timbered buildings located in the town of Bacharach.
It’s a feast for both the stomach and the eyes, with its traditional facade, interior, and delicious home cooking. Their menu offers dishes that truly give you a taste of being along the Rhine.
Offering a variety of meals and meal times, Altes Haus has different hours of operation throughout the week. Check their hours in advance so you can decide whether to come for their lunch or dinner menus. And if you go for dinner and indulge a little too heartily, consider staying nearby at the Altkölnischer Hof, which is almost just as old!
See Related: The Ultimate German Food Tour
3. Visit St. Peter’s Church
Address: Blücherstraße 1, Bacharach, Germany
Bacharach’s famous St. Peter’s Church dates back to the year 1094. Standing like a beacon in the town center, it’s impossible to miss.
One of the oldest buildings in town, it’s a true example of what most European travel enthusiasts look for in historic sites on the continent. Architecture and art enthusiasts will have plenty to take in at this church.
St. Peter’s Church has been renovated to keep its structure and beauty intact and retains a lot of the original furnishings. And history buffs won’t want to miss the site of Johann Friedrich von Wolfskehl’s tomb. Mortally wounded in 1609, this knight fought and died in France.
His monument is an actual work of art, depicting several fascinating symbolic images and phrases. Make sure to plan time to appreciate this beautiful element of the area’s history.
See Related: Things to Do in Rhineland-Palatinate
4. Discover the old town wall at Marktturm
Address: Marktstraße 1, 55422 Bacharach, Germany
When you’re checking out the top Bacharach attractions, you’ll quickly realize the importance of wine in this town. Vineyards and cozy pubs fill the small town with a classy, laid-back feel – and this is an important part of Bacharach’s history.
From the 15th to the 18th centuries, an annual wine market occurred in what is now known as Marktturm. From then, it held various other historical purposes until it became a tavern and a private residence.
That means you won’t be taking a tour of the inside, but the architecture and façade of the tower are well worth a look. It’s within walking distance of the train station and most local attractions, so you’ll want to stroll or drive through to appreciate the beauty.
5. Tour Rheinstein Castle
Address: Burg Rheinstein, 55413 Trechtingshausen, Germany
Many people looking for places to visit in the Rhine Valley come to Rheinstein Castle. Constructed in the early 14th century, this epic stronghold boasts some of the most striking scenes of the region. Partially reconstructed in the 19th century, the castle also features a variety of historical and architectural influences.
Today, it’s a memorable museum site open to the public. In the Knight’s Hall, guests will see some of the most amazing stained-glass windows in this part of Germany.
The courtyard opens up to a remarkable view of the Rhine. This courtyard, known as the Burgundy Garden, features a 500-year-old vine that continues to produce grapes.
And, of course, you’ll want to stop by the gift shop for a souvenir. There’s even a restaurant reserved for castle visitors. Rheinstein Castle belongs on any tour through the Rhineland and Bacharach.
See Related: Top Most Beautiful Castles in Germany
6. Explore Burg Stahleck
Address: Burg Stahleck, 55422 Bacharach, Germany
While discussing great castles, it’s time to add Burg Stahleck (Stahleck Fortress) to your list. Like many German castles, this has an intriguing past and has been rebuilt after falling to ruin hundreds of years ago.
Now, it is a popular youth hostel that is nearly always booked with school groups. But backpackers take note, they also take adults and family groups. Still, you’ll need to plan well in advance if you want to stay here.
The site is worth visiting even if you aren’t an overnight guest. Explore the architecture and imagine the position it once held as one of the most heavily fortified strongholds on the river. After the Thirty Years’ War and the Palatine War of Succession, Burg Stahleck had fallen to ruins.
It remained a relic until 1925 when builders brought it back to its former glory using historical models. Today, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the river Rhine at Burg Stahleck while you sip your wine and contemplate the past.
See Related: Best Castle Hotels in Germany
7. Enjoy a wine-tasting at Bastian Vinothek
Address: Oberstraße 63, 55422 Bacharach, Germany
For a truly unique local experience, look no further than the Bastian Vinothek. This family-owned wine business includes most of the vineyards in Bacharach, making it one of the best places to learn about wine production in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
The family also owns Heyles’En Werth, where it operates another vineyard. That’s the island in the middle of the Rhine visible from just about any Bacharach site-seeing location.
Friedrich Bastian is the current owner of the family, but his skills don’t stop at winemaking. He’s also known for being a classically trained opera singer. If you catch him at the Vinothek, you just might be able to hear a song or two while you enjoy your drinks!
See Related: Best Family Vacation Ideas in Germany
8. The Ruins of Werner Chapel
Address: 55422 Bacharach, Germany
If you’re on your way to Stahleck Castle, this is a stop you’ll want to make. It’s a short walk from the castle destination and worth your time. If you hadn’t guessed it from the header, Werner Chapel is no longer a functioning chapel.
It stands in ruins today, but it’s no less of a top attraction and a great photo op. Despite being ruins, it’s a fantastic example of a High Gothic church built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and its heartbreaking history makes this picturesque location a must-see.
Before its construction, violent religious riots had broken over a false accusation of murder – one of many chapters in German history where the Jewish community was unjustly blamed and attacked wholesale. Werner Chapel was built to commemorate this awful event and serve as a reminder of peace.
Some once believed this site contained healing powers, and worshipers made pilgrimages to the chapel. Unfortunately, this unlucky church would be destroyed in the War of the Grand Alliance in 1689.
9. The Ruins of Stahlberg Castle
Address: 55422 Bacharach (OT Steeg), Germany
Not to be confused with Stahleck Castle, the youth hostel, Stahlberg Castle is another major location that stands in ruins today. The exact history of this is somewhat a mystery, though most believe it was built in conjunction with Stahleck, which tracks. The clues are in the overall structure and shape we can see at the site.
The ringed wall will take you on an interesting path through the history of Bacharach. Much of it is overgrown with grass, but it is still walkable, and it’s the perfect way to spend a few hours on a clear day. Just don’t forget a good pair of hiking boots or walking shoes!
You’ll surely get a perspective of the old town you couldn’t see elsewhere. Stahlberg Castle will also treat you to mysterious towers and walls that seem straight from a ghost story. It’s another top photo op, so bring your camera!
10. Cruise The Rhine River
If you’re going to Germany, you must get to know the Rhine River and the corresponding Upper Middle Rhine Valley, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bacharach is a popular destination for travelers who want to explore the Rhine River in style. Cruises depart from the town regularly, serving wines and views on board a comfortable vessel that takes guests on a relaxing ride.
It’s one of the best ways to end your stay in Bacharach. On a day trip on board a Rhine River cruise, you can look back at all the locations you visited in Bacharach, taking pictures and sipping local spirits along the way. Words can’t describe the beauty of the Rhine, and there’s nothing like riding on the water.
See Related: Best River Cruises in Europe
11. Take a day trip to Rüdesheim am Rhein
Embark on a relaxing day trip from the charming town of Rüdesheim am Rhein to the equally enchanting town of Bacharach. Start your journey in this lovely place by taking a leisurely walk through the scenic vineyards surrounding Rüdesheim, basking in the area’s natural beauty.
While there, don’t miss the chance to sample the renowned local wines and enjoy tastings on the historic Gosselgasse. Once you’ve filled the vineyards, treat yourself to a mouthwatering meal of authentic German cuisine at one of the many cozy restaurants or inviting wine taverns lining the narrow streets of Rüdesheim.
Savor the hearty dishes bursting with flavor and paired with the perfect wines for a truly authentic German culinary experience.
See Related: Best German Street Food You Need to Try
12. Walk along the riverside to the Three Poets Sculpture
Riverside Park is the perfect spot for a half-hour respite, offering magnificent views of the river from any direction. The sculpture stands as a tribute to the literary heritage of the Rhine.
It features figures such as Charles Brentano, the main author of the Loreley legend, Heinrich Heine, who popularized this legend through his poem “Die Loreley” in 1824, and Victor Hugo.
Hugo, who visited Bach on several occasions, expressed a deep affection for the town. In his words, it was “the finest, most pleasant, yet least known” old town on Earth. I wonder if it’s as unknown today as it was in his time. Regardless, please do us a favor and keep this incredible city on the down low.
See Related: Best Things to Do in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Is Bacharach, Germany, worth visiting?
Nestled up next to the Rhine River and surrounded by picturesque vineyards, Bacharach, Germany, is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This enchanting medieval town has a rich historical background and culture, offering visitors a memorable adventure. Cobblestone streets wind through a maze of well-preserved buildings, taking you back in time.
From the impressive Gothic-style Stahleck Castle to the charming half-timbered houses lining the streets, every corner of Bacharach exudes old-world charm. A walk along the riverfront promenade reveals stunning views of the peaceful Rhine River and its majestic scenery.
For wine lovers, Bacharach is a paradise, situated in the heart of the renowned Middle Rhine Wine Region. Here, you can savor some of Germany’s finest wines and learn about the centuries-old winemaking traditions passed down through generations.
The quiet town of Bacharach, Germany, feels like stepping into a fairytale town. It’s filled with history, art, culture, and much more. The views are magical, and the wines are unrivaled.
This small location boasts more important sites than some cities, many times its size. For these reasons, Bacharach quickly becomes an essential stop on any European traveler’s itinerary.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.
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