Sights along the Middle Rhine

Sights along the Middle Rhine


Historic castles, sun-drenched vineyards, and varied hiking and cycling trails along the Rheinsteig: It's no wonder that the Middle Rhine with its numerous sights is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Choose from our sights of the Middle Rhine to find the best places and tours for your individual trip to the picturesque Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Obere Mittelrheintal).

Lorch am Rhein & “Rhine in Flames”

If you enjoy being active, the area around Lorch Rhine bank (Lorch am Rhein) is the perfect place for you. Here, there are not only many well-developed trails for hikers, Nordic walking enthusiasts, and cyclists, but the views of the Rhine Valley, the city, and the Wispertal Valley are also unique – especially from the Ruine Nollig. In the summer, you can also have fun water skiing on the Rhine in Lorch.

Extra tip: Every year in early July, a very special event takes place in Bingen, located about 25 km away – “Rhine in Flames”. Here, you can either enjoy the cultural program on land in Bingen or admire the illuminated castles and spectacular fireworks from aboard one of the many event ships – a river cruise like no other on the Rhine. Travelers with motorhomes have a short distance to go from the motorhome park in Bingen Kempten, located right on the banks of the Rhine.

Rivers, Bridges & Lakes

Stone ship in the Rhine: Palatine Castle (Burg Pfalzgrafenstein)

Only about 13 km away  from Lorch is a world-famous photo motif: the Palatine Castle (Burg Pfalzgrafenstein). The impressive building has the shape of a stone ship and was built in 1327 by the later Emperor Ludwig IV on the small Rhine island off the town of Kaub. A passenger ferry shuttles every half hour between the shore and the island and takes you to the castle with dry feet. However, during high water, the Palatine Castle is closed. A visit to this great sight along the Middle Rhine with an audio guide is worthwhile – even for families with children.

Castles & Ruins

Hiking, cycling, and more in Kaub.

Even though Kaub on the Rhine (Kaub am Rhein) is a rather small town with its 1,000 inhabitants, it has a lot to offer its visitors. These include the lesser-known Castle Gutenfels in contrast to the Palatine Castle and the Blüchermuseum. In the former Hotel “Stadt Mannheim”, an exhibition shows life during the time of the famous field marshal Blücher. For hikers, the Kulturweg Kaub is recommended – a beautiful circular hike with a panoramic view that leads past Castle Gutenfels and through the vineyards. This moderately difficult tour can also be easily done with a dog. In addition, several Rhine cycling routes pass through Kaub. On a tour of a total of 27 km, for example, you can cycle to the Höllenberg in Assmannshausen and enjoy the great view of the valley.

Towns, Villages & Squares

St. Goarshausen: Home of the Loreley.

After 10 km from Kaub, you reach the town of St. Goarshausen. The municipality includes a total of 13 castles, palaces, and castle ruins. So if you’ve always wanted to visit the most beautiful sights along the Middle Rhine, St. Goarshausen is the perfect starting point. Of course, the town is best known for the Loreley. A bronze Loreley statue on the harbor pier shows the great significance that the mystical rock has here.

Insider tip for hikers: From St. Goarshausen train station, you can pass by Castle Rheinfels to reach the Loreley viewpoint Maria Ruh. Here, you have a fantastic view of the Loreley. On the approximately 9.5 km long tour, which is also suitable for children, you have to cross the Rhine twice with a ferry.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Mythos Loreley

The probably most famous slate rock in the world is one of the sights in Germany and in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The Loreley Rock is inseparably associated with numerous myths and legends about a mermaid who enchanted passing sailors with her singing. After an hour’s walk through the forest or about 400 steps, you reach the famous natural monument. In the Culture and Landscape Park opened in 2019, you can learn exciting things about the cultural history and myth of the Loreley rock. But even just for the view of the Rhein curves, the sister towns of St. Goarshausen and St. Goar, as well as the Castle Katz and Castle Rhein Rock, the climb is worth it.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Castle Sterrenberg – one half of the “Enemy Brothers”

From the Loreley, you can reach 14 km to Sterrenberg Castle. Located about 150 meters high above the Rhine, it forms the “Enemy Brothers” together with its neighboring castle Liebenstein. The name is based on a legend that feuding siblings built the two fortifications at the end of the 12th century. The still preserved high wall is seen as a sign of enmity. Whether there is any truth to this story or not, you should definitely not miss a visit to the castle complex including the exhibition in the castle keep. For only 0.50 euros, you can also climb the castle tower. If you are looking for a place to stop for refreshments before heading to the next station, the Burgstube with its unique view is highly recommended.

Castles & Ruins

Liebenstein Castle: Great family destination

Just about 100 meters away from Sterrenberg Castle, you will come to the “Brother Castle” Liebenstein Castle. Good to know: When the Thuringian flag is hoisted, the ruins and observation tower are open for visitors. Liebenstein Castle is easily accessible for both hikers and cyclists. The ascent is also easily manageable with a stroller and a dog. In the evening hours, when the castle is illuminated, a visit is a beautiful experience. If you want to take a break after your hike or bike ride, you can treat yourself to a visit to the beautiful outdoor terrace of the hotel-restaurant in Liebenstein Castle. Here you have a unique view of the romantic Rhine valley and numerous sights of the Middle Rhine.

Castles & Ruins

Experience the Middle Rhine in Kamp-Bornhofen

Below the “Enemy Brothers” is the town of Kamp-Bornhofen. In addition to the two castles on the Rhine, the well-known Marien- and Pilgrimage Monastery in the district of Bornhofen is also a popular excursion destination. Many pilgrims also come here every year. There is a small parking area for motorhomes directly on the banks of the Rhine. You can also rent sleeping barrels here as accommodation.

Perfect for families with children: The campsite not only has a playground, but also the neighboring outdoor pool. From Kamp-Bornhofen, you can choose from numerous hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty. One particularly beautiful trail is the approximately 15 km long Path Kirschenpfad, which leads from the town of Osterspai over the Wilhemshöhe back to Kamp-Bornhofen.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Marksburg Castle: Impressive relic from the Middle Ages

From Kamp-Bornhofen, it’s only about 15 km and a fifteen-minute drive to the next “Places of Germany” tip: the Marksburg Castle. Located about 90 meters above Braubach on a rocky hill, the Marksburg Castle is considered a typical medieval castle. From the Renaissance Castle Philippsburg, you can take the Castle Trail with 14 stations to the Marksburg Castle. Another option is the rustic Marksburg Railway. Both ways to the castle are a great experience for children. You can only visit the impressive castle, which was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, as part of a guided tour. The impressive interior rooms such as the knight’s hall, chamber and castle kitchen provide an exciting insight into life in the Middle Ages.

Castles & Ruins

Medieval flair in the old town of Braubach

If you want to experience the typical Rhine romance, you should not miss the town of Braubach below the Marksburg Castle. Surrounded by vines and roses, the small town with its winding alleys exudes medieval flair. A great hiking tour is the 12.4 km long route over the Rheinschleife and the Marksburg to the Rheinsteighütte. In Braubach itself, you can also visit the Philippsburg Castle with its romantic courtyard and Renaissance garden. Today, the European Castle Institute, one of the largest castle libraries in Europe, is located here.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Summer fireworks on the banks of the Rhine in Braubach

The banks of the Rhine in Braubach are the perfect starting point to visit the many sights along the Middle Rhine. In addition to numerous parking options for buses and cars, there are also motorhome parking spaces right on the banks of the Rhine. The romantic half-timbered houses and well-kept Rhine gardens are beautiful to look at in every season. But in August, there is a very special spectacle here every year. In Spay, Rhens and Braubach, there are impressive fireworks displays that regularly attract many visitors.

Rivers, Bridges & Lakes

Burg Lahneck between the Lahn and the Rhine

Just about 6 km away from Braubach, on a rocky spur above Lahnstein, is Lahneck Castle. The romantic castle complex dates back to 1245 and offers a unique view of the Lahn as well as the Rhine and Stolzenfels Castle. Daily guided tours are offered here between March and November. Candlelight tours are also occasionally offered. During these entertaining tours, you will learn, among other things, what the Knights Templar and Goethe had to do with Lahneck Castle.

Attention: In case of bad weather, there is a risk of slipping when climbing up and down the castle!

Castles & Ruins

Part of the Camino de Santiago: Stolzenfels Castle

Stolzenfels Castle, which is located only 11 km away on the other side of the Rhine, belongs to the Stolzenfels district of Koblenz. The neo-Gothic castle was built at the beginning of the 19th century on the site of the former Electoral-Trier customs castle. The differences between the bright and fairy-tale-like castle and the other Rhine castles and sights on the Middle Rhine can be seen from afar. You can reach the castle from Stolzenfels via a serpentine road. The extensive castle complex with its magnificent inner courtyard, idyllic landscape park, and impressive old living quarters can be visited.

Extra tip: Pilgrims can receive the second stamp for the Camino de Santiago here.


Dreamlike overnight stay at Rheinfels Castle

From Koblenz-Stolzenfels, it is about 30 km further to Rheinfels Castle. The remarkable building is located in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lorelei Valley on the Rhine heights above the town of St. Goar. Today, Rheinfels Castle is a hotel with two restaurants: the rustic Burgschänke “Der Landgraf”, which is only open in summer, and the restaurant “Auf Scharffeneck”. The hotel has a total of 67 rooms, suites, and apartments. The hotel’s fitness room is aptly named “Folterkammer” (torture chamber). From St. Goarshausen, there are various hiking trails from which you can enjoy the unique view of St. Goar and the picturesque castle.


Oberwesel Old Town: City of Towers

After just 10 minutes or 8 km, you will reach the next stop: Oberwesel. Known as the “City of Towers”, this cozy wine-growing town still has a total of 16 of the original 22 towers preserved. You can climb both the city wall and some of the old defensive towers. There is a great hiking trail starting from the city wall with stops at St. Martin’s Church, the city garden, the Elfenley viewpoint, and finally the Schönburg with a view of Oberwesel. Cyclists will also definitely get their money’s worth here. Particularly popular with tourists in Oberwesel are the guided tours with the night watchman and wine tastings in the vineyard.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Pure romance at Rheinstein Castle

In just 8 km distance, you will finally reach Rheinstein Castle, which is located directly on the Rhine in Trechtingshausen. If you are traveling by bike, you can simply leave it at the railway underpass and walk the 10 minutes to the castle on foot. The castle itself looks like it’s straight out of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, with a romantic castle garden and playful facade. If you climb the steep stairs to the tower of Rheinstein Castle, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the castle complex and the Rhine from the battlements. A detour to the castle restaurant is also definitely worth it.

Castles & Ruins

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