The Rhine makes a sharp, scenic curve at Rüdesheim am Rhein, which is also a delightful place to stop on any trip through Germany’s Rheingau winegrowing region. When we visited last summer, Tom and I were surprised at the diversity of attractions on offer in this crook of the Rhine. From next weekend’s Rhine in Flames celebration until harvest festivals and beyond, there is always something happening on the tourism calendar in Rüdesheim.
Rüdesheim am Rhein is located in the UNESCO world heritage Middle-Rhine valley. Visitors with limited time can sample food, castles, river-boat rides and perhaps the cutest cable car going. For a longer stay in the area, options for active travelers include cycling and hiking. For everyone, the locals have made it a snap to sample Rheingau food and wine. Here are a few ideas for making the most of a visit to Rüdesheim, whether as a side trip from Wiesbaden, an evening out on a river cruise, or a long weekend of outdoor activities.
Rüdesheim am Rhein–plenty of German Gemütlichkeit
Take a “Romantik Tour”
Local transport providers and a castle museum have banded together to provide a four-in-one excursion package that delivers a great one-day overview of a unique cultural landscape. Their “Romantik” Tour enabled my husband and I to build a day that suited our schedule perfectly. We were atop the hill with ample time for walking and sightseeing around the Niederwald monument with its statue of Germania. We were also able to make a leisurely lunch stop in picturesque Assmannshausen, known for its Pinot Noir vintages, before our boat left for an afternoon visit to Rheinstein Castle.
No stop in Rüdesheim is complete without a visit to the Drösselgasse, a single atmospheric street lined with open-air terrace restaurants. Here and just around the corner, visitors have multiple opportunities for sleeping, dining, wine-tastings and shopping.
To discover the winemaking traditions of the Rheingau, a tasting walk with the Winetime Pass makes it easy to visit a number of Rüdesheim’s wine merchants. For a small additional charge, it’s also possible to add in the wine merchant in Assmanshausen.
Amselstraße 4, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
Oberstraße 39/41, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
Good food, lots of fun!
Eat (and sleep) at Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss
One restaurant in particular, Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss, proved delightful enough to draw us back for a return visit. The family-owned restaurant has been dishing up regional specialties for decades, and now offers hotel rooms and day excursions as well. Popular with cruise and tour groups, the restaurant is also fun for independent travelers. The house band has been pleasing guests for 14 years, with cross-over tunes from an extensive pop and country repertoire, and we took a few turns on the dance floor.
At Rüdesheimer Schloss, it is possible to try local dishes without ordering full-sized platters, and to choose from a wine list of more than 350 wines from the Rheingau (including some very rare–and pricey–ones).
The Schloss is also an official host of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Make (Mechanical) Music
Siegfried’s Mechanischem Musikkabinett and its collection of 350 self-playing musical instruments is well worth a stop. The museum is located in an old mansion with creaky floors and a family chapel, and escorted tours are mandatory (lasting 45 minutes and available in nine languages) and must be booked ahead of time. Museum guides demonstrate selected instruments, from fairground organs to mechanical piano-and-violin combinations, and tell the history of the preoccupation with mechanical musical instruments at the turn of the last century. The museum’s shop offers a wide range of musical souvenirs, from pricey replicas of the instruments on display to books and posters.
Rüdesheim is an ideal base for cycling tours in the Rheingau, including family outings. The route to Wiesbaden has gradients of 1-2 percent, and takes cyclists on a 25-kilometer tour through picturesque wine-growing villages such as Eltville and Oestrich. On the western side of the river, the cycling route runs for more than 65 kilometers through the Upper MIddle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site between Bingen and Koblenz , passing castles and vineyards along the way. Simply take the ferry across the river from Rüdesheim and start pedaling!
Rüdesheim, Assmannshausen and the surrounding area are ideal starting points for short strolls and long hikes. The premium Rheinsteig trail covers a distance of 320 km between Bonn and Wiesbaden, passes through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site along the way. This route is for energetic walkers and offers diverse scenery and numerous scenic vantage points.
If you go
Popular with Rhine River tour operators, the little town handles the influx of tourists well, and is an enjoyable destination for independent travelers as well.
- Consider leaving the driving to Deutsche Bahn and take a train to Wiesbaden (we traveled via DB’s ICE long-distance service), then onward to Rüdisheim (via a regional rail partner).
- For information about hiking around Rüdesheim, visit rheinsteig.de.
- Check out a summer’s worth of experiences on Rüdesheim’s events calendar.
- For a total Rüdesheim experience, stay near Drösselgasse. Here are three options:
* * *
We visited Rüdesheim am Rhein as guests of Deutsche Bahn and Rüdesheim Tourist AG. Thanks to Hotel Felsenkeller, Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss and Hotel Lindenwirt for showing us a great time!