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Bacharach, Germany - Cultural and Travel Guide, Itinerary

Updated: Feb 22

A view of Bacharach

Bacharach is a small town of less than 2000 people, located in West Germany on the Rhine Valley, a tourist spot for everyone cruising on a boat to discover the amazing landscape of the area and for Romantik-enthusiasts!

Close to Koblenz, Mainz and other main cities on the Rhine, this little gem can be visited in 4 hours, but spending an entire day here, sipping a good Riesling and admiring the river landscape from atop can definitely be a good idea.

Bacharach is the perfect spot for wine, relax and nature, but it is also where visitors can have a glance at medieval Germany and even hear some centuries-old stories.

And in case this was not enough to entice you, there is more: as part of the Middle Rhine Valley, since 2002 Bacharach and its historical monuments are included in a UNESCO World Heritage Site!


In this article:

Bacharach: History and Traditions
Bacharach: What To See
Bacharach: To Do & To Know
Bacharach: What's Next


Bacharach: History and Traditions


If in Bacharach or heading there, you probably know that the area you are exploring is called the Rhine Valley, its name coming from the majestic river crossing a huge portion of Western Germany, as well as Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

However, if you are not local or at least German, you may not be aware of the incredible treasures that this area actually hides and of the popularity that it had throughout the past centuries, historically and touristically.

Personally, before moving there I knew very little of what awaited me and everything was a surprise - which is good, but in hindsight it would have been better to get there prepared, knowing how to plan my time and trips, so here we go!

A map of the Rhine Valley around Bacharach
A map of the Rhine Valley around Bacharach

The Rhine Valley

The Rhine Valley, fertile and lush by nature, although politically divided between several countries and the German States, is united by a common geographical and natural landscape, as well as a long and complex history that saw it developing as a highly productive zone for vineyards and cultivations, as a river trade center, and as a strategic military standpoint.

This resulted in an area that today welcomes visitors attracted by its fruity wines, medieval(-ish) ruins and by infinite possibilities to enjoy a few relaxing days on a boat cruise, hiking or simply eating good food during a local festival.

Specifically, Bacharach lies on the Mittelrhein (Middle Rhine), probably the most touristic and crowded portion of the Rhine Valley, which main spots you may check on the map here above! Also, at the end of this guide is a brief itinerary across these places, so that you may easily decide where to go next!

The Mittelrhein owes its cultural heritage and consequent popularity to a long history of settlement in the area, which significance was recognized since as far as more than 30.000 years ago. After the Bronze Age, Celtic people lived here until the Romans eventually came. It was the 1st century BCE when Caesar laid eyes on the Mittelrhein and occupied it.

In Roman times, the Middle Rhine got separated from the East of today Germany and, protected and defended from external dangers, could flourish. When, during the 3rd century CE, the Germanization began and the Romans were gone, this area was already the most institutionally and architecturally developed.

Charlemagne and the Carolingians brought further development and the Rhine Valley was established as the Axis of the newly-founded Empire, economic-, political- and cultural-wise. Then, in medieval times the power of the Church spread and grew stronger (and this is why visitors encounter so many cathedrals and religious buildings along their way through the Valley!) and helped keep the area under control, although over time both the Emperor and the cities gained more and more influence.

A game-changer was the advent of Protestantism, which switched the focus from episcopal sees and pilgrimage to secular activities such as craftsmanship and trade. However, decades of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants triggered antagonisms that over time ended in the Thirty Years' War, which devastated the area and saw the towns (Bacharach included) being attacked directly - they would never fully recover and one would have to wait until the end of the 18th century to see the light after what was a long decline.

The Rheinromantik

The way out from the decline came in the late 18th century, when the Middle Rhine became one of the protagonists of the Romantic Era.

Romanticism was a literary, artistic and cultural wave that blossomed in response to an ever-changing world that was slowly moving toward industrialization and city life, increasingly oblivious to an epoch-long history of slow lifestyle and strong bond to the country and land. It flourished in Germany and England but touched most of Europe, reviving a sense of melancholy for the long-gone medieval times, now perceived as pure and supreme.

The Rhine Romanticism was a declination of this current, a fantastic and dreaming interpretation of a landscape and of the Middle Ages-centered history of the Valley. It lasted until the late 19th century.

Figures such as authors Friedrich Schlegel and Lord Byron and painter William Turner, with their works and mentions of the place, made the Valley over-renowned, turning it into a popular tourist destination. Its many ruins became a must for visitors and a massive rush for restoration and construction of medieval or medieval-ish buildings began, leading to what is now a land crowded with a variety of churches, castles and fortifications, surrounded by vineyards and nature, that give it an unmissable historical touch.

William Turner, The Lorelei Rock, 1817 ca.
William Turner, The Lorelei Rock, 1817 ca.


Even though the Rhine Valley had much history in Roman times, Bacharach was first mentioned in a document in the 11th century (1094), but it is likely that the area was already occupied in the 7th century, at the time of Archbishop Cunibert of Cologne (600-663CE ca.). He, along with his successors, at the time was the de facto ruler of the town.

This beginning makes the town a veritable medieval child.

During the later Middle Ages, Bacharach was governed by the Counts Palatine, who resided in Burg Stahleck and had a strong influence over the lands surrounding the town, with a significant exception dating back to when the daughter of Count Konrad von Staufen (1156-1195) secretly wed a son of the Welfs, who were family foes. This meant that Bacharach fell into enemies' hands at least until 1214 when the order was restored.

Besides medieval drama, the town began to attract crowds of visitors thanks to the cult of Werner - which had its focus at the Wernerskapelle, today a beautiful ruin.

With Middle Ages heading to their sunset, the Valley became renowned for wine production and Bacharach itself acquired economic significance as a reloading station for the wine trade. The barrels were loaded onto large ships from smaller ones, the only ones to pass through the Binger Loch, a narrow section of the river.

Early Modern Era saw Bacharach defending itself with strong walls and becoming Protestant - following the trend of the Rhine Valley. As mentioned before, decades of religious conflicts all over Europe inevitably jeopardized diplomacy and political relations, leading to the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). During the conflict, the town endured great distress and was occupied eight times (first in 1620 and last in 1632)!!

Fires, violence and soldiers brought so much destruction that Bacharach was left unrecognizable - in 1689 Burg Stahleck and much of the city walls were blown up by French troops and occupations continued throughout the Modern Era, until the town was acquired by France and remained under French control from 1794 to 1814 (Napoleon Era). In 1815 it was eventually re-assigned to German governors and became part of the State of Prussia.

During those long decades, Bacharach's port silted up, dragging the town into stillness and decline until a rebirth with a different destiny came.

Nikolai von Astudin, Bacharach, 1923
Nikolai von Astudin, Bacharach, 1923

Rebirth came in the form of the Rheinromantik, which gave Bacharach new meaning and a fresh start as a tourist destination for Middle Ages-and nature- enthusiasts. With its ruins, ancient buildings and medieval atmosphere, Bacharach enticed Friedrich Schlegel during his Rhine journey in 1802; Clemens Brentano, who wrote a ballad dedicated to the nearby Lorelei in 1802 and Lord Byron, who visited in around 1814.

In 1840 even Victor Hugo reached these lands and visited the city, stunned by its ancient beauty and sense of wilderness - actually a consequence of decades of destruction and neglect.

The 20th century initiated a season of preservation and promotion with the aid of the Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Landscape Protection (Rheinischen Verein für Denkmalpflege und Landschafts­schutz) and today the ruins of the Wernerskapelle are even protected as a national monument, with Bacharach relying upon tourism and wine.


When I visited Bacharach I had been living in the Rheinland-Pfalz (the State hosting the Mittelrhein) for several months and I knew how good wines could be in the area! Not a fan of beer, I enjoyed white wines in purity or diluted in sparkling water (the ultra-popular Weinschorle, a must for all Germans I met!).

But on top of that, Bacharach can be a perfect spot to try some good local cuisine, take part in wine festivals, or explore the multitude of medieval buildings in the area!

Wines & Vineyards

Indeed, the whole Pfalz and the Rhine Valley are renowned for their quality choices of Riesling, a white wine with fine aromas and racy acidity.

Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are also produced here, but Riesling keeps its primacy and is also used for wine tastings in the town and to make the typical ice cream taste of the Valley (which sounds a bit too touristy for me though!).

As a land dedicated to wine, Bacharach is surrounded by vineyards and Weingüter (wineries), where you can relax and taste the local specialties.

In case you are wondering where to have a good wine tasting in Bacharach or to discover more about wine production in the area, here are a few ideas right on the main street Oberstraße or nearby!

  1. Weingut Toni Jost - one of the most renowned wineries in Bacharach

  2. Weingut Friedrich Bastian - long history and a good offer

  3. Weingut Zum Rebstock - on Mainzer street

In case you wish to check all available wineries yourself, here you can easily choose your favorite destination in Bacharach or nearby!

Middle Rhine scenery, Germany
Middle Rhine scenery

Of course, if there are vineyards and wines there are also wine festivals - this is way too obvious!

For everyone who has visited Germany at least once, the love for festivals, fairs and carnivals that all Germans share is probably an established fact already. Thus, following this lead, Bacharach and the Rhine Valley host several themed festivals throughout the year, with a peak during spring and fall.

To make sure to always rely on the most updated program and to find the perfect event for you, you may refer to this very throughout calendar here on the town's website.

Local Cuisine

In all places with a long and multifaceted history of conquests and trade, local cuisine is inevitably a mixture of traditions and influences that are still visible today.

As we said, Bacharach has been a river trade center for a long time and has been dominated by Emperors, German lords, and by the French over time. Therefore, the most classic German food here can be sometimes "contaminated" by spices and perfumes coming from faraway lands or may have a French touch.

The hearty Rheinischer Sauerbraten - a local version of a national dish consisting of a roast of marinated meat - is a must here, as is the Dippekuchen, a tasty combination of potatoes and eggs.

Then we have the Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup), Reibekuchen (potato pancakes), the essential Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and the Zwiebelkuchen, onion cake typical of the wine regions.

➜ Craving for seafood? Surely Germany may not be the right place, but a former trade center may surprise you! Try the delicious Rhenisch Style Mussels, cooked in a vegetable stew.

All dishes are perfect for German weather that never gets too hot and is always enjoyable, even during summer!

A tranquil corner of Bacharach, guarded by Burg Stahleck , Germany
A tranquil corner of Bacharach, guarded by Burg Stahleck (left)

Bacharach: What To See

Renowned as a beautiful medieval gem, Bacharach surely gives its visitors a chance to jump right into the past, although very little of what we see today actually comes from the Middle Ages.

Centuries of devastation, occupations, fires and wars have damaged the original buildings and cancelled most of what Bacharach used to be - and still, the town has done much over the last two centuries to restore and revive the most significant period of its history.

Today, welcoming visitors is the old city center, which hardly betrays its difficult past; the Burg Stahleck, which seems in full force and ready to defend the area, and St. Peterskirche, shining bright with colors.

The Wernerkapelle stands there in ruins, a gentle reminder of what was and of the centuries that have passed. Otherwise, it is a true journey through the Middle Ages, so get ready for the atmosphere!


As said, Bacharach can be easily visited on foot and a cultural/historical tour around the town would not take you more than 2/3 hours.

However, its small dimensions do not mean that Bacharach has little to offer! Its history is long and rich and has left numerous traces all around.

Here, I imagined a tour that would begin from the railway station and touch all the most important sights in town! Of course, it can be modified and readapted according to your means of transport and interests - Bacharach is so small everything you see is just minutes away from one another!

Itinerary in Bacharach

  1. Railway Station: your starting point for this tour!

  2. Haus Sickingen: Next is the main street of Bacharach - Oberstraße! First stop here is Haus Sickingen, taking its name from its owners, the Von Sickingen family. Scroll down for some extensive information on everything on Oberstraße!

  3. St. Peterskirche: Second stop on this street is the larger and most important religious site of Bacharach - the St. Peter church! Below you may discover more about this beautiful place.

  4. Wernerkapelle: Let's take a diversion from the main street - we will come back later - and let's head to the landmark of Bacharach, the ruins of the Wernerkapelle! This beautiful sight deserves some further explanation, so find more below!

  5. Malerwinkel: We can now begin our climb to Burg Stahleck, the ancient hilltop stronghold of Bacharach! Before heading up (or on your return), why not stop by at the Malerwinkel - painter's corner - a picturesque spot with some half-timbered houses that would definitely deserve their place on a painting!

  6. Burg Stahleck: Climbing up a hill to reach a former stronghold is the quintessential experience in all medieval towns like Bacharach! The climb begins at Wernerkapelle/Malerwinkel and will take you around 15-20 minutes - it's pretty steep but you can have a good rest and a drink at your arrival! Below you may find more information about the long and turbulent history of this place.

  7. Postenturm: Whenever you are ready, it is now time to climb the hill down, reach the Malerwinkel and move forward to Postenturm. Reaching it will bring you some minutes away from the city center and directly into the vineyards, so this is definitely worth the quick stroll! Built as a defence tower in times when Bacharach was frequently under attack, the Tur (tower) has been also used as a water reservoir and an observation tower. Thanks to her prominent position it gives the visitors a perfect view of Bacharach and the valley!

  8. Altes Haus: Time to get back to Oberstraße and check the Altes Haus (Old House), the oldest surviving building in Bacharach. More about it here.

  9. Alte Münze: Another unmissable stop on the main Oberstraße - the old Mint of Bacharach will greet you just a few steps away from the Altes Haus. This is really the heart of the ancient town!

  10. Riverside: Our tour will be over soon and is time to get back to the railway station to catch our train. Enjoy the riverwalk and the sight of the romantic Rhine - this is the greenest and most relaxing area of the city center. Have you changed your mind and wish to jump on a boat instead? You are in the right place!

View of Bacharach, Germany, Deutschland
A classic view of Bacharach


All small towns with a historical center have that one street where a treasure pops up at your every step. In Bacharach, this is called Oberstraße and it's a journey through half-timbered houses, centuries-old buildings and churches. Here are a few:

➊ Haus Sickingen: this half-timbered house was constructed during the 15th century for a Peter Ackermann, who however did not bond his destiny to the house. Its name, in fact, comes from its long-term owners, the family Von Sickingen. The house was inaugurated in 1450, as reported by an inscription at the house gate. Very little remains of the original structure though, only the substructure has been preserved to this day.

➊ Josefkapelle, meeting point of the Catholic community of Bacharach - a silent, tiny worship place. It was built in the 18th century.

➊ Altes Haus: its name means Old House, and for a reason: despite the multiple fires and destruction the town went through over the centuries, this building almost came to us intact. Today a homonymous restaurant serving local cuisine, the current half-timbered version was constructed in 1586, while an inscription in the house tells us of a previous building dating back to at least 1368.

Altes Haus in Bacharach, Germany
The Altes Haus in Bacharach

➊ Posthof: this building ensemble came to light in the 16th century and got its name from the postal activity that has been going on here from 1724 to 1987. Worth noting here is the Winand Tower, built in the early 17th century and today hosting wall paintings.

Posthof in Bacharach, Germany
Posthof in Bacharach

➊ Alte Münze: the Old Mint of the town today is an inn (the Kurpfälzische Münz, where you can have a taste of local cuisine and wine). Its structure, partially dating back to 1596 when the mint was built, is still half-timbered.

➊ Wineries: last but definitely not least, Oberstraße is also one of the best places for wine tastings, local cuisine and Riesling ice cream. I left you some suggestions here, but keep your eyes open to find your favorite!

Wernerkapelle, Bacharach, Germany
A solitary view of the Wernerkapelle


 The chapel is free entry and can be visited while on your way to Burg Stahleck. This won't take you more than 15-30 minutes. 

The Wernerkapelle, beautiful remains of a medieval church, is the landmark of Bacharach and probably the primary contributor to its fortune during the Rheinromantik.

Today roofless, with no windows and resembling a skeleton, this place once was an important pilgrimage center and the protagonist of a sad and violent story.

Built on the site of the former Kunibertkapelle, dedicated to the saint-archbishop of Cologne, construction works of the chapel began soon after the martyr of Werner von Oberwesel in 1287.

Young Werner von Oberwesel was the unlucky protagonist of events that brought him too soon in the presence of death. The 16-year-old Werner was mysteriously found dead on the Holy Week that preceded Easter in 1287. His body was discovered near Bacharach and rumours that his death was in fact a ritual murder perpetuated by the Jewish community of the area spread fast. The motive of the murder would have been to use the boy's blood to perform Jewish rituals on Passover, a mock against Christians.

This event ignited a series of grievous reactions ending up in pogroms that left many Jews dead. Unfortunately, medieval life was heavily driven by religion and living as a non-Christian among Christians was extreme at the time. Although Jewish communities were the norm across Europe over the centuries, superstition and suspicion were likewise on everyone's agenda and misunderstanding any situation was too dangerously easy.

In this case, the violent reactions were so strong that the royal power had to intervene, ordering Werner's body to be cremated to avoid devotion and further bloodshed. Unfortunately, orders were not followed and Werner was soon declared a saint, initiating a local cult and pilgrimages out of multiple murders.

The cult of Werner continued and was even revived by local rulers until the town turned Protestant in the 16th century and pilgrimages stopped. However, although feeble, it never fully expired until Werner was removed from the calendars in 1963. Werner was never recognized as an official saint by the Church of Rome.

Anyway, the Wernerkapelle is still a beautiful place to visit despite its foundation story! As said, construction began soon after the death of Werner in 1287 and lasted until 1426. The site was built in Rhinish Gothic style.

Due to its role as a pilgrimage center, it remained in a good state for a long time, before being damaged in 1669 during the assault of Burg Stahleck. While the Burg was destroyed, the chapel stood still but using it without restorations became very unsafe.

During the 18th century, several parts were removed as they threatened to collapse: its declining importance and the disappearance of saints cults in Germany gave no reasons to restore it and it was left to its fate.

It eventually regained significance during the Rhineromantik when medieval ruins made many dream, and so in the 19th and 20th century it was secured but its ruined appearance was maintained - a rarity for the area where everything was rebuilt or restored.

Burg Stahleck, Bacharach, Gemany
Burg Stahleck, guarding the town from above


Burg Stahleck is the typical hilltop castle visitors expect to see when in a half-timbered medieval town!

The name Stahleck comes from Middle High German (an archaic version of what is today the German language) and essentially means "steel mountain spur".

As we know from the history of the city, Bacharach was ruled by the archbishops of Cologne when Burg Stahleck was first built (11th century) as an outpost of their influence area.

However, the Burg soon passed into the hands of the Counts Palatine, one of the highest dignitaries of the Empire, giving this place an unexpected prominence.

Its fortune continued until the 13th century, when a power shift brought the Burg under the family Wittelsbach's control and from that moment it was less and less used for official occasions. Nevertheless, its structure was still upgraded in the 17th century to sustain firearms attacks, meaning that it still played a defensive role for the area.

Unfortunately, the renovations did not save it from severe devastations brought by the Thirty Years' War, a true plague for Bacharach. In 1666 it was left in such poor conditions that it needed a full remodeling, before being destroyed again in 1689. This time it was not rebuilt.

Two centuries of complete neglect followed the destruction and by the end of the 19th century the Burg had become a wretched ruin, gradually collapsing.

As we know by now, the 19th century meant so much change for the area that when it was over the Rhine Valley was an established tourist destination already and having an imponent building such as Burg Stahleck in such poor state was not admissible anymore. In 1909 it became a possession of the Rhinish Association which finally put efforts in repairing it, at least until the First World War broke in, hitting the brakes on the works.

After years, in 1925 it was decided that the Burg should host a youth hostel, which it still does to this day.

During the 20th century it was enlarged, restored and ameliorated and today, while very little of the medieval structure remains, its form still shows more or less how it should have appeared when the Counts Palatine used to live here.

Burg Stahleck, Bacharach, Germany
The inner courtyard of Burg Stahleck, accessible to all visitors

Today, since the Burg Stahleck is a youth hostel, it is not possible to visit it as an archaeological site but you may decide to stay here for a few nights for a peculiar experience while exploring the valley!

Otherwise, you can limit your visit to a short break after the climb to the top of the hill or to the inner courtyard, which is open to the public and hosts the oldest parts of the Burg.

Peterskirche, Bacharach, Germany
St. Peterskirche in red and white | Photo Credits: Amanda O'Bryan on Google


➊ The church is free entry to visitors but timetables are apparently sloppy, so try to go there in the middle of the day or on a Sunday to find it open!

Every postcard or landscape picture of Bacharach would inevitably include a view of St. Peterskirche with its red and white bell tower - if in town you cannot miss it, find it right in Oberstraße!

A former collegiate church (a church equipped with properties and rights) at the time when Bacharach was still Catholic and the archbishops of Cologne had much influence over the town (12th century), it has been Protestant since 1556, right after the Reformation took in.

Today, it is the main center for the Evangelical community of Bacharach (Evangelism is part of the Protestant spectrum) as well as a classic spot for tourists, but the history of the current building is rich and dates back to the 13th century when it was built (between 1230 and 1269).

Erected in this form in a period when Romanesque was rapidly becoming outdated but Gothic was still not fully defined, its style is called transitional, although what you see today is mostly the fruit of an intense renovation based on knowledge of what was - much of what restored during the 19th century was heavily retouched and rebuilt according to a fantastic canon or idea of medieval.

Looking at St. Peterskirche from the outside, it looks pretty small - the hillside location limited the space available. The exterior is strongly dominated by the tower, which still holds 15th-century parts.

The interior is freshly painted and this is definitely not a sign of antiquity! The current appearance was given in 1968-70 and 1992-95 when the whole church was restored. The colors are anyway inspired by the originals.

Inside decorations are scarce, but this is the norm for churches that have been Protestant for centuries - if you take a close look you will find leaves, keystones and nicely decorated capitals though! The church contains two tombstones, which are worth a moment of your time: that of Johann Friedrich von Wolfskehl (d. 1609) and that of Bacharach's bailiff Meinhard von Schoenberg (d. 1596).

Notable is also the organ, which was built in 1826 by the Stumm Brothers, a renowned family in the business.


Bacharach: To Do & To Know


Although being a rather small town, Bacharach enjoys good connections with nearby cities and places thanks to its tourist importance. Plus, German public transportation is notably pretty efficient, so it won't be hard to get there!

By Car

In case you are staying nearby and wish to spend some time in town or are on a road trip by car, Bacharach can be easily reached via the main highways:

Coming from Koblenz, use the A61 motorway – exit 45-Rheinböllen, then follow the signs to Bacharach.

Coming from Mainz on the A61 motorway - exit Bingen Ost or Mitte, then towards St. Goar/Koblenz until the Bingen-Bingerbrück. From there you reach Bacharach after a 11.5km / 7mi ride.

By Train

Trains in Germany are efficient and almost always on time - although bit expensive - you pay for the quality! I had a student pass when living there and that was super convenient for traveling and exploring.

Bacharach is very well connected and lies right on the Cologne-Koblenz-Mainz trail, so is easily accessible and the railway station is in a very strategic position (see it here) - less than 10 minutes from the Wernerskapelle!

  • From Koblenz trains run hourly and the price is around 15€ per 33-minute trip.

  • From Mainz trains run 1 or 2 per hour and the price is circa 12€ per 30 to 45-minute trip.

  • Arriving from Cologne trains are more expensive, in the range of 35€, and it would take you more than 2 hours to get there (so a good option if you are planning to spend the night!)

You may calculate your trip and check timetables and fares on the Deutsche Bahn website. Otherwise, you can also check Trainline, a useful tool that will automatically suggest the best options among trains and buses (which in Germany are pretty common and reliable).

By Boat

As a tourist destination on a river valley, Bacharach can be reached easily by boat.

  • The town is part of the cruises organized by Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt (KD), the company covering the Rhine Valley from Cologne to Mainz. There are many options within the offer of KD, including full trips, themed tours and more. Here you may find the official website where you can check the most updated timetables and fares.

  • You may also opt for the Bingen Rüdesheimer Schifffahrts Gesellschaft, another company serving in the area. Again, their offer is rich and includes themed tours - you may check all options and fares on their website here.

This is certainly a relaxing option but it can be slightly more expensive. To give you more context, a round trip Mainz-Bacharach with KD can cost you up to 57€ per adult. Each ride would last about 4 hours.

Overview of the Distances from Main Cities

In case you are planning a multi-stop trip, this is how far Bacharach is from some of the main cities in the area:

  • Mainz: 40km / 25mi - 40 minutes by car

  • Koblenz: 55km / 35mi - 45minutes by car

  • Frankfurt: 90km / 56mi - 1h20minutes by car

  • Trier: 113km / 70mi - 1h30minutes by car

  • Cologne: 154km / 96mi - 1h50minutes by car

  • Luxembourg: 156km / 97mi - 2h by car


When planning a trip to Bacharach, the considerations that you should do are pretty much the same as in Germany.

Useful Infos

When should you visit Bacharach? The weather would be pretty cold and foggy in late fall and in winter, while spring, summer and early fall are definitely the best seasons to be there! Temperatures never get too high even in August, so you wouldn't have to worry about that and should be able to go trekking or cruising at any time.

However, the Rhine Valley and Bacharach are tourist destinations, so summer and harvesting seasons are the most likely to be packed with people - most of the visitors come from Germany and are habitué of this area. Personally, I visited Bacharach in early summer and it was crowded but enjoyable.

How much time should you spend in Bacharach? The town can be visited in 3 hours or one day if you plan to go for a wine tasting and stroll across the vineyards.

How should you visit Bacharach? Bacharach can be easily visited on foot - it is a nice and small place so everything can be reached in minutes!


  • Official website of Bacharach: here

  • For more information on the history and culture of Mittelrhein (in German): here

  • Official website of the Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Landscape Protection: here

  • Official website of the Rheinsteig, a trail across the Rhine Valley: here

  • Official website of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mittelrheintal: here

  • Portal about German wines: here

  • Website for the youth hostel at Burg Stahleck (in German): here

Oberstrasse, Bacharach, Germany
Oberstrasse, the main street full of half-timbered houses

Bacharach: What's Next


As we have seen so far, Bacharach is a beautiful destination in the Rhine Valley, but it's not the only one! Surely, if in Bacharach it is worth continuing the journey and discovering all the gems on the way! On the map that I left you at the top of this guide you may check a few major destinations, but here is also a brief itinerary with basic information and distances.

The tour is meant to start from Koblenz, the first stop not exactly part of the Valley but still unmissable if traveling in this area - Cochem and the stunning Eltz Castle -, then we proceed regularly on the Rhine, eventually reaching Bingen, which is the last major site before heading to Mainz:

  • Eltz Castle (60km / 37mi from Bacharach, 2 hours to visit): yes, Burg Eltz is the place to be if looking for those medieval castles that populate our books, novels and imagination! This 12th-century building is one of the best-looking and well-preserved medieval castles in Germany, and the visit is all about discovering how medieval landlords lived in these remote fortresses. Here is the official website: link.

  • Cochem (65km / 40mi from Bacharach, 3 hours to one day to visit): if Bacharach and its medieval atmosphere were just the beginning for you, Cochem an der Mosel is the perfect stop for your trip. Perfectly curated, flowery and all medieval-ish, this small town also hosts an imponent castle on the top of a hill, which can be walked around or visited and is so well-kept (the official website here)!

  • Boppard (27km / 17mi from Bacharach, 2 hours to one day to visit): Back on the Rhine coast, Boppard is a beautiful town, which vibes match Bacharach's (but it's bigger) and it is worth a visit for another bite of Rhein Romantik, some strolls in the vineyards (start your treks from here!) and good wine!

  • Sankt Goar (15km / 9mi from Bacharach, 1 hour to visit or one day if exploring): possibly my favorite place in Rheinland-Pfalz, Sankt Goar is a very tiny village close to stunning sceneries of the Loreley Valley/Loreley Rock, and it is also the best place where to access the Valley and start your treks to explore vineyards and countryside! It's at a point-blank distance from Bacharach and can be easily reached by boat or train with a quick ride.

  • Oberwesel (7km / 4mi from Bacharach, 2 hours to visit): the natural prosecution of your journey from Bacharach and your stop for a vineyards view, medieval city walls and churches and some more half-timbered houses - a small gem!

  • Bingen (17 km / 11mi from Bacharach, 3 hours to one day to visit): you may have heard of it before thanks to St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179, perhaps one of the most notable women in the Middle Ages), and if compared to the previous stop, this is a huge city! Elegant and well-curated, Bingen is your flowery destination for some relax and for enjoying the riverside (perhaps at the end of a boat trip) before heading forward to Mainz.

  • Rüdesheim am Rhein (25km / 16mi from Bacharach, 3 hours to visit): this is your bonus spot if coming from Bacharach and planning to stop in Mainz! The place is small but a protagonist of the winemaking traditions of the area, so get ready for some more wine tasting! Moreover, Rüdesheim has much historical significance, as it hosts the Niederwalddenkmal (monument celebrating the Unification of Germany in 1871), Burg Ehrenfels (a ruined castle in the fashion of Burg Stahleck), and the Eibingen Abbey (founded in 1165 by Hildegard of Bingen but today looking heavily restored), among other medieval sceneries.


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