Bacharach boasts a captivating history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination in the Rhine Valley.
The town's history stretches back thousands of years, with notable milestones that shaped its development. In the 11th century, Bacharach was a significant trading and shipping hub as part of the Archbishopric of Cologne. Its economic prosperity led to its inclusion in the influential Hanseatic League, an association of merchant guilds. The legacy of its prosperous past can still be observed throughout the town.
How to Reach Bacharach:
Since we opted for the 49-euro ticket, we chose to travel by regional trains, which resulted in an approximately 8-hour journey from Munich to reach Bacharach using the Deutschland Ticket.
If you prefer to avoid long train rides, you also have the option to include an ICE (InterCity Express) train on busier routes by purchasing a separate "Spreis" ticket. This would allow you to reach your destination in less time, at an additional cost.
We thoroughly enjoy traveling on regional trains, so we had no issues with the long travel time. It provided us with the opportunity to relax and appreciate the scenic views along the way.
Where is Bacharach located:
Bacharach am Rhein, situated in the Rhineland-Palatinate region, is a charming town nestled along the banks of the Rhine River. It stands as a well-preserved medieval gem, captivating the attention of tourists from near and far.
Things to do in Bacharach:
The town's narrow cobblestone streets and timber-framed architecture transport visitors back in time, evoking the genuine ambiance of medieval Germany. Exploring Bacharach allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and picturesque charm of this captivating destination.
However, Bacharach faced its share of challenges over the centuries. During the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century and the French Revolutionary Wars in the 18th century, the town suffered considerable damage. Despite these adversities, Bacharach managed to preserve its unique charm and architectural heritage.
Bacharach became a popular destination among Romantic poets and artists in 1the 9th century who were inspired by its idyllic setting and historic charm.
Visitors to Bacharach have the opportunity to explore its rich history, appreciate its well-preserved buildings, and immerse themselves in the enchanting atmosphere that has endured through the ages.
1. Stahleck Castle:
Climbing to Stahleck Castle is a must-do when visiting Bacharach. With its convenient proximity of just a 10-minute hike from the old town, the castle offers various trails for exploration.
Stahleck Castle, steeped in history, has been transformed into a youth hostel that welcomes families, friends, and young travelers on a daily basis. For an authentic castle experience, visitors have the opportunity to book a stay at the Stahleck Castle Youth Hostel, which offers affordable accommodations.
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Upon reaching the castle, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding valley, the majestic Rhine River, and the lush green vineyards. To enhance the experience, an open café within the castle provides a perfect spot to relax, enjoy a refreshing drink, and savor delicious cakes while taking in the panoramic vistas.
As we made our descent from the castle, we were enchanted by the sight of beautiful houses adorned with picturesque backyards, creating a heavenly view that truly captures the essence of Bacharach's charm.
2. Best panoramic view of Bacharach's Old Town:
For the best panoramic view of Bacharach's Old Town, Stahleck Castle, St. Peter's Church, the Rhine River, and the lush green vineyards, there's a spot you simply cannot miss.
Make sure to climb up to Postenturm. To reach it, follow a small walking track that winds through the vineyards. Once you reach the top, prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty that unfolds before your eyes.
Additionally, we took a short stroll up to the nearby field, where you'll find a few seats strategically placed for visitors to relax and soak in the best views near the vineyards. This serene setting offers a perfect spot to appreciate the natural splendor that surrounds Bacharach. Don't forget to capture the incredible sights and create lasting memories of this picturesque destination.
3. Stroll around Bacharach Old Town:
Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting old town of Bacharach, which stands as one of the prettiest destinations in the Rhine Valley. Prepare to be continuously amazed by the town's beauty and charm, as cobblestone streets wind their way amidst timber-framed houses that exude picturesque allure.
As you explore the narrow streets, you'll encounter a multitude of inviting restaurants and hotels, many of which offer outdoor seating areas.
It's worth noting that most restaurant kitchens close at 9 PM, so if you plan to have dinner in town, ensure you arrive before that time. However, even after kitchen hours, you can still enjoy a refreshing drink at these establishments.
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Don't miss the opportunity to visit the renowned St. Peter's Church, an iconic landmark that graces the old town of Bacharach. You may recognize it from one of the popular pictures capturing the essence of the Rhine Valley, with the church and the Rhine River creating a breathtaking backdrop.
Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Bacharach's old town as you embrace the charming atmosphere and explore its delightful treasures.
4. Walk around fortified walls in Bacharach:
One of the fascinating aspects of Bacharach is its well-preserved fortified walls, adding to the town's charm and historical significance. These walls remain intact in one part of the city, providing a unique experience for visitors.
As we walked along the wall, we discovered that some of the apartments and hotels in Bacharach have entrances directly from the town wall. This integration of the wall into the buildings adds a distinctive touch to the architecture and ambiance of the town.
Located near the train station, the town wall also features several terrace restaurants. While enjoying a relaxing cafe experience, you can witness the passing trains just beside you, creating a blend of modernity and the town's rich history.
To access the old town, there are various ways and stairs that allow you to go up and down from the wall. These pathways provide convenient access for exploring the town and its many attractions, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable visit to Bacharach.
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5. Rhein River Cruise:
If you are visiting Rhein Valley, it's a must activity to do a boat Cruise in the Rhein River. There are many small magical towns located on the Rhein River and the boat takes you to different towns.
There are many cruise companies that offer Rhein River cruises who are offering boat cruises. We opted for a K-D cruise company to have a cruise in the Rhein River. You can find the timing and prices of the different cruise package and their ticket on their website.
6. Ruine Wernerkapelle:
One of the must things to do in Bacharach am Rhein is to visit the Ruine Wernerkapelle. It's a ruined chapel but indeed a fascinating historical site from medieval times.
The chapel was constructed in the 13th century and now you can visit to enjoy the beautiful view of the valley.
When it comes to dining in Bacharach, there are a couple of the best restaurants in Bacharach:
Best restaurants in Bacharach:
Pippo Bistro Zur Alten Backstube:
Pippo Bistro stands out as a top choice, offering an exquisite Italian dining experience. We had the pleasure of savoring their delicious Gonzalo Gnocchi and vegetable pizza, which brought back memories of a delightful dinner in Milan. If you're in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine, this restaurant is a must-visit.
Hotel Rhein-Hotel & Stübers Restaurant Bacharach:
For those looking for a place to enjoy drinks, the terrace of Stübers Restaurant provides a lovely setting. Situated next to the train track, it offers a unique atmosphere. Keep in mind that the proximity to the tracks may create some noise, so if you prefer a quieter dining experience, you may want to consider an alternative option. Nevertheless, the terrace is an excellent choice
to enjoy refreshing beverages in a vibrant environment.
There are several pretty towns located near the mid-Rhine Valley. It's highly suggested to settle in either one of the towns and explore the surrounding towns or you can also stay in Mainz and conveniently commute to different towns and enjoy the mesmerizing castle along the Rhine.