Endless glowing hills full of vineyards, villages with cobble-stone streets & half-timbered houses, and stunning viewpoints on the meandering river, that’s what characterizes the Moselle valley (also written as Mosel valley) in Germany. The first view I ever saw of the Moselle river left me speechless, just like it enchants every visitor with its charm. I captured this view and displayed it as the headline picture of this blog post. So that you too can start dreaming of a visit to this valley.
The Moselle Valley in Germany is known as one of the country’s (and the world’s) best and oldest wine regions, known for among others its Riesling grape. If you visit this region, you should and must have a winetasting as well as stay in a traditional German Weinstube. But with a length of 544 km in Germany alone, there’s a lot to explore on the Moselle river. That’s why, in this post, I’ll give you an overview of the most charming cities and villages you should visit on the banks of the Moselle!
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The 6 most charming cities & villages on the Moselle
I’m sure that if you look at the villages on the Moselle river from the water, all of them will look charming and appealing. But only a few of them are really worth that stop. Which ones? You can find these below.
When visiting the Moselle valley, either start in Koblenz and go upstream or start in Trier and go downstream. Both directions are perfect!
This is the city where the Moselle flows into the Rhine on the corner called die Deutsches Eck, where emperor Wilhelm I will look down on you. This historic city makes the perfect city trip when exploring both the Moselle as well as the Rhine valleys. Have a stroll through the Altstadt, take the cable car over the water up to the fortress, and enter one of the many churches, of which some are over 1000 years old!
Find more info about what to do in Koblenz in my blog post!
Cochem is probably one of the most well-known villages on the river Moselle because of its picturesque looks that could be portrayed on any German postcard. The highlight of this town is the Reichsburg of Cochem, standing tall on a hill overlooking the town and its surroundings. Stroll through its tiny alleys and buy yourself some wine in one of the local wineshops. Or take the Sesselbahn up to the Pinnerkreuz from where you’ll have a magnificent view of the valley!
Find more info in my blog post with the best things to do in Cochem!
Beilstein feels like you’re stepping straight into the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. This tiny village with only 126 inhabitants is characterized by half-timbered houses decorated by grapevines, a small market square where you’ll be sipping wine while admiring the red-white houses, and, how could it be different, the ruins of an old castle.
Visit the castle, stroll through the tiny streets, and foremost, taste some wine and local delicacies at one of the many restaurants. From my own experience, I would recommend Hotel Restaurant Gute Quelle. You’re welcome!
Traben-Trarbach is another picturesque village located on the Moselle banks. When entering, you’ll be welcomed by a majestic gate, called the Brückentor, and the many houses in white, red, pink, or yellow colors. Once again, you can find castle ruins (the ruins of Grevenburg) here on top of a hill, from where you also have an excellent view!
In particular around Christmas, Traben-Trarbach is known for its underground Christmas market. Yes, you’ve read that well! Not visiting during Christmas time? You can still visit the underground wine cellars where this event is usually held, called Unterwelt Traben-Trarbach.
Bernkastel-Kues consists of two separate villages on opposite sides of the river Moselle. While Kues can be considered the practical side to live, Bernkastel is clearly the most historic and enchanting part! Think of red-white half-timbered houses, a market square with a fountain, again more castle ruins which you can visit, and even a waterfall a few hundred meters further in the forest. It can’t get any more perfect, isn’t it?
Warning! If you’re planning to hike all the way up to the castle, you can expect to arrive completely exhausted. 😉
The last charming stop alongside the Moselle river is the roman city Trier, also the oldest city in the country. You might know this city because of its impressive remains of roman times, no wonder this is the favorite destination for history teachers and middle-school students!
Visit amongst others the Roman bridge, the famous Porta Nigra, the 1600 years old roman thermal baths, and the spectacular dom, all of that under the approving glance of Virgin Mary overlooking the city from the top of a hill on the other side of the river.
How to get to all these places
Thanks to the geography of the Moselle valley there are several ways to visit all these beautiful cities and towns. The most obvious one is by car. This is an easy way to get to all these places but you’ll likely pay quite a lot for parking.
Another great way of exploring this region is by boat. There are many companies offering river cruises on the Moselle. Personally, I have experience with VIVA Cruises. They offer the most amazing all-in river cruises on the most beautiful rivers in Europe, among others also the Rhine and Moselle. With your hotel traveling with you, this is the perfect way for a week of city-tripping!
If you like a bit of movement, you can also visit the entire valley by bike. Every year, many tourists bike the entire Moselle river, stopping in one of the charming villages along the way, looking for a “zimmer frei” to stay the night. Is biking not your thing? Then hike your way alongside the Moselle river on the Moselsteig Trail from Trier to Koblenz, 375 km in total!
The last way to get to all these towns is by train. Most of these cities and villages have a train station, and let’s be honest, what’s more romantic than going from destination to destination while seeing the Moselle valley pass by?
Where to stay
When traveling through the Moselle valley, you should definitely stay in a typical German Weinhaus. If you’re not familiar with it, a Weinhaus is often a guesthouse with a large wine cellar or wine domain. So here you can taste the best quality wines of the region!
When I visited the Moselle region, I stayed in Weinhaus Lenz in Briedern, which is a pretty good hotel, but not anything extraordinary. However, the village and window views are quite nice!
I hope this blog post made you curious about the Moselle Valley and ready to discover all these cities and villages! One thing you can be sure of: these are the absolute best destinations on the Moselle river. However you decide to explore the region, I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time!