Are you planning your summer holidays already? Here is why you should spend it in the Rhine Valley and come to Bingen am Rhein.
Bingen is located directly at the Rhine river. It is one of the stops between Mainz and Koblenz if you travel with Mittelrhein Bahn. There are two train stations in the city: Bingen City and Bingen Main Station (Hauptbahnhof). They are in a walking distance from each other, so just take any of them.
No matter if you have just one day or whole week, for sure you will enjoy your time in Bingen. Here you can find my recommendations and favourite sights in this little city. So what should you do in Bingen?
Explore the riverside
The whole city life is connected to the Rhine river. From here you can take a cruise down the Rhine and explore the beautiful Rhine Valley with its green hills, vineyards and castles. There are multiple companies which offer trips. Tickets can be bought eg. at the promenade.
Rheinpromenade is the most popular “street” in Bingen, among locals and tourists. From here you have a wonderful view to the opposite site of the river with another interesting place to visit: Ruedesheim. It can be easily riched by a ferry. Among many attractions of Ruedesheim I will just mention Germania monument and ruins of the Ehrenfels castle, which can be directly seen from the river banks.
Here you can also have a rest in a park or eat some local specialties in one of many restaurants or wine cellars. In meanwhile your kids can play in one of the best playground I have ever seen. In German it is called “Rhein zum Spielen – Spiellandschaft”, which is located in the park at the Mouse Tower. They can play in a sand, climb the bamboo house or even do some rafting.
Interested in the history of river transport or fishing? The next place at the promenade is the Binger Schiffer und Lotsenmuseum. You can find it in the Hindenburgpark in a little house. The entry is free. Inside it looks like a little ship with a lot of gadgets used for navigation, some photos and old logbooks.
Walking along the promenade towards north you reach a place called Rhein-Nahe Eck, where another river – Nahe meets the Rhine. That’s probably the best view spot in the city. You can see all atractions of Ruedesheim, the famous Mouse Tower and the hills with the nice forest -Binger Wald.
Alternatively you can have a farther walk along the Nahe and reach the Drusus Bridge. It is one of the oldest stone bridges in whole Germany. In one of the pillars of the bridge, there is a Romanesque chapel. To visit it you first need to get a key in the Tourist Information point.
If you like nature and hiking you can take a 4,5 km long trail within the forest. It is kind of educational with descriptions of plants and animals. From up the hills again there is an amazing view to the river. One of the best points on a trail is a little suspension bridge.
“Say and write down what you see and hear”
That was a life mission of a nun and prophet – St. Hildegard from Bingen. She lived in 12th century. This nun was really talented – she was writing songs, biographies of saints and she was interested in nature and medicine. She also funded her own monastery. Her spirit seems to be still present in the city. There are multiple places dedicated to her: museums, churches or even hiking trails. More information can be found on the website: landderhildegard.de
Shopping while traveling
Once you visited all the interesting sights, it is time for shopping! I was very positively surprised with the selection of stores in such small city. I found an “umbrela street” with small bakeries, souvenir stores and shops with the cutest pottery and kitchen accessories. Farmers’ Market offers a lot of goodies from the area – eggs, meat, flowers, wine. Don’t miss the chance to try some local food.
Events and highlights
During winter and autumn Bingen is rather calm and quiet. But as soon as the days become longer and sun is shinning on the steepy hills people enjoy the nature around usually with a glass of wine in their hands.
The best time to come is during the Rhine in Flames festival. You can enjoy the fantastic fireworks displays from illuminated ships or from the castles.
Since the region is full of vineyards, obviously there are multiple wine festivals as well: Sparkling Wine Festival, Romantic Wine Night, Winegrower Festival.
The tradition of German Christmas markets is also cultivated here. It is joined together with the medieval market from time of St. Hildegard.
Things to see in Bingen:
- Mouse Tower
- Klopp Castle
- Drusus Bridge
- Old Crane
- Stefan-George Museum
- Hildegard Memorial Church
- Museum on the River
- Basilica of Saint Martin
- St. Rochus Chapel
- Binger Wald (forest)