Favorite thing: Apart from seeing Bingen itself, one very obvious reason to come here is to take a boat trip on the Rhine. Boats leave from one of several jetties in the middle of the riverside walk, depending on the company (there are three; we went with the Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) Line). There is also a ticket office here but in our case Ingrid had already purchased our tickets at their office in Koblenz, so all we had to do was be at the jetty in good time and show our tickets on boarding. While waiting we checked out the information board here which showed that addition to trips right along the Middle Rhine to Koblenz (which is what we did), it’s possible to do what must be a nice little round trip, taking a boat across to Rüdesheim on the opposite bank, the cable car up to the Niederwalddenkmal, a walk on the footpaths up on the hillside with views of the river to a point where a chairlift brings you back down to the water where you can catch a boat back to Bingen.
But as I already said, for us it was a boat back to Koblenz, having travelled here from there by train. We could also have done this the other way round but because of the river current boats sailing northwards travel faster than those heading south, so a four hour journey from Bingen to Koblenz becomes a more than six hour one going in the opposite direction.
The boats have seating indoors, with large picture windows and table service for food or drink. There is no obligation to purchase the latter, but most of us did have a drink – coffee, wine, beer or the famous Rüdesheimer Kaffee. I had sampled the latter on my previous visit to this region when I cruised the Rhine with my husband and mother-in-law, and was very happy to be able to do so again, especially on what was a rather grey and chilly day.
Despite the slight disappointment of the weather we had an excellent VT outing. Ingrid had managed to reserve tables for us in the prime position on the boat, right at the front, so we were able to relax and watch the wonderful scenery as we passed, popping outside whenever we felt the urge to take photos. This is a great way for a group of friends to spend some hours as you can both socialise and sightsee at the same time!
I have covered the castles of the middle Rhine and other sights extensively in the page I wrote about that previous trip, Castles in the Air, so I won’t repeat them here.
Favorite thing: Bingen has a lot more to offer than just being the hub to the Rhein/Rhine Valley. In 2008 the city hosted Landesgartenschau, a regular horticulture show held in Germany’s states. The premises have been converted into a kind of fun, educative and action park, with several interesting exhibitions, educational trails, cherry blossom in spring, activities for kids and the like. It is easy to reach: it stretches from the ferry station to Rüdesheim to the confluence of Nahe River into Rhein River. Entrance is free.
Bingen’s tourism website describes more of the sights to see and the museums around town, sadly only in German (although there was an English version in the past.....). They offer Geocaching, city tours, city walks, specific tours in reference to Hildegard of Bingen, romantic gardens and of course the castles.
In case you want to visit more than one castle, from 2016 on a guest card "Romantic Rhine Card" will be available which enables free entry (or discounts) to the castles and fortresses, public transport and more attractions - for the Rhein/Rhine River section between Bingen/Rüdesheim in the south and Remagen in the north.
The "10 Burgen Ticket" 10 castle pass will no longer be available. It might still be mentioned in older guide books or websites covering the region.
Rhein in Flammen, Rhein in flames, is another very exciting event held in Bingen, or better between Bingen and Niederheimbach north of town. During the evening, ships sail from Niederheimbach to Bingen in a kind of convoy and in late evening (usually between 10 p.m. and midnight), a huge set of fireworks is shown. You can experience this on one of the many boats or from high above on the hills, either on Bingen side or near Niederwald Denkmal on the other river side. I have seen this in July 2011 and it was truly magic: Rhein River romance: the fireworks in Bingen
In 2014 this is been held on July 4th (and in general first Saturday in July).
© Ingrid D., December 2010, updates June 2015 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.).
This is the end of my description of Bingen and surroundings. Thanks for having followed my tour. If you wish, please return to my Intro page
- Budget Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Favorite thing: Who likes wine might know ice wine. For a long time it was only produced in Germany and Austria but I have read that other countries are also producing it in the meantime. What most wine lovers might not know: it was in Bingen where this wine was “invented”. More by accident the vintners found how interesting the result of the frozen berries tasted in 1829, following a horrible year for wines. Over the years producing ice wine became something like a work of art. The grapes must be picked very early morning, when they are already frozen on the vine and covered with ice and snow. This is usually in January and at temperatures at least minus 7 °C (19°F). The resulting wine has a higher acid content and is sweet in taste.
At the river bank in Bingen there is a lovely monument to this discovery: just next to the restaurant "WeinZeit". Who would like to read more about ice wine, please have a look at the excellent 72 pages pdf document magazine of the German Wine Institute (pages 14, 18 and 53) or the video by Schloss Vollraths about this wine and the grape harvesting (in English).
© Ingrid D., December 2010, updates June 2015 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
continue with next review
- Wine Tasting
- Luxury Travel
Favorite thing: As I was tracing (St.) Hildegard von Bingen's footsteps in Bingen am Rhein, I was informed that I should go to St Rochuskapelle. It's quite far from the main part of the city, and you can see the chapel in the middle of the woods if you are coming across the river. It took me about 40 mins to walk to the chapel. There is a bus going that direction although I'm not familiar with the schedule. If you are a Hildegard fan, this is quite an amazing little chapel you should visit. Inside it, there are little boards depicting Hildegard's life. Outside, at the back of the chapel, there is a little theatre-like place and you can look up to the amazing stone works on the walls. You can get the city map from this website: http://www.bingen.de/tourist/englisch/index.php