Step past a 14th-century wall to uncover the medieval delights of a riverside town famous for its imposing castle and winemaking traditions.
Bacharach is a striking town in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Like many of Rhineland’s towns, it sits on the banks of the River Rhine, framed by beautiful rolling green landscapes. Wander the storybook town center, visit medieval monuments, join scenic river cruises and experience Rhine Valley viticulture. First mentioned in the 11th century, Bacharach grew to become an important wine shipping port. Its romantic charm has attracted artists and poets for nearly 1,000 years.
Enter the town through the gates of the ancient wall and discover a picture-perfect setting characterized by half-timbered houses with flower-filled gardens. Climb onto the old ramparts to enjoy top-down town views. Spot some of the 10 towers, such as Marktturm and Postenturm, which formed part of the wall. The largest tower, Kranenturm, is now a hotel.
Stroll along the main street, which changes its name from Koblenzer Straße to Oberstraße and Mainzer Straße. Admire the collection of historic buildings, including the Rathaus Town Hall. The 14th-century Alte Haus, Alter Zollhof and Haus Sickingen are fine examples of half-timbered architecture. Appreciate the Romanesque and gothic features of St. Peter’s Church.
Follow a path from Oberstraße to the gothic ruins of Werner Chapel. Continue uphill to the 11th-century Stahleck Castle. Once home of the Count Palatine of Bacharach and the King of Prussia, the castle became a youth hostel in 1926. Appreciate views of the Rhine Gorge from this lofty location above Bacharach.
Relax at the town’s grassy and tree-lined riverfront park. Ferries depart from the park’s jetties on tours up and down the Rhine River. Travel north to Oberwesel and Sankt Goar. Head south to Assmannshausen, Bingen and Rüdesheim am Rhein.
Bacharach is about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of Frankfurt and 118 miles (190 kilometers) south of Duesseldorf. Trains connect the town with numerous destinations across Germany. June is a good time to visit, when the nearby suburb of Steeg honors the Rhine’s winemaking heritage with the Weinblütenfest (Wine Blossom Festival).