Koblenz[dead link] is a city in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the Middle Rhine Valley in the Federal Republic of Germany. Koblenz has about 114,000 inhabitants (2019); the surrounding area accounts for about 400,000 people in total. The city is the northmost point of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site.
Koblenz was the capital of the Rhine province of Prussia. Located in the confluence of the Moselelle and Rhine rivers, and watched by the gigantic Ehrenbreitstein fortress on top of the eponymous hill, the city was the battleground of multiple wars between France and the German countries between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Today, Koblenz is an attractive city that is often used as a convenient base for exploring the region, as it gives easy access, either by car, train, boat or even bicycle, to both river banks of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and also to the German Moselle Valley. The city itself also has major tourist attractions including Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, the Deutsches Eck and Castle Stolzenfels.
Koblenz is located within one hour travelling time of three major German airports:
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA IATA), which is one of the world's major intercontinental hubs and home of Lufthansa
- Hahn Airport (HHN IATA), the largest airport in the state, served by low-cost airlines
- Cologne-Bonn Airport (CGN IATA), one of Germany's largest airports and the main base of Lufthansa's low-fare subsidiary, Eurowings
Koblenz can easily be reached by train IC, for example from the Frankfurt/Mainz area, Cologne area or Trier. These towns are one to two hours away and connections run from early in the morning till late night.
Nightjet, the Austrian Railways' sleeper train, runs twice a week from Brussels via Bonn and Koblenz to Vienna, Munich and Innsbruck. It calls at Frankfurt airport, Würzburg and Nuremberg where it divides: one portion runs via Linz to Vienna, the other via Munich to Innsbruck. In 2020 it doesn't run in July and Aug, but it's expected to be year-round from 2021.
- 1 Koblenz Central Station.
Three German motorways lead to Koblenz: A3, A48 and A61. Parking in the center of Koblenz is sometimes restricted according to time. Park and ride is available. The train station has a parking garage, as does the Löhr Center. Pay attention to closing times at the Löhr Center parking garage: it closes shortly after the shops, typically catching at least a few tourists unaware.
Many bus companies offer trips to Koblenz for one or more days.
Buses leave from the central train station (usually between 5:30 and 23:00) and will take you to most parts of Koblenz. The city itself is quite small and easily accessible on foot.
You can reach Festung Ehrenbreitstein by taxi, bus, or by taking a ferry across the Rhine River and walking up the walled access road to the fortress. You can also ride a chairlift (Sesselbahn) to the top of the fortress.
Koblenz' buses can be confusing to the typical visitor. Navigation apps such as Google Maps do not really work for public transportation in the city, and in some places there are multiple bus stops, but buses passing in different stops might actually go to the same destination. The VRM website contains English transit maps [dead link] and a journey planner .
For a visitor, the most relevant stops are probably Hauptbahnhof (the main train station), Bf Stadtmitte/Löhr-Center (the city's largest shopping mall in the west of the shopping district, close to the Old Town), and Zentralplats/Forum (near another large shopping mall, in the east of the shopping district closer to the Rhine, and also close to Old Town). The Schlossweg bus stop of bus line 670 can be used to reach Castle Stolzenfels.
Buses can be paid in cash - you can use the journey planner above to calculate the fare. Alternatively, you can acquire a Koblenz Card [dead link] in the tourist centre in Forum Confluentes (Zentralplats/Forum stop), which gives you unlimited bus trips within the Koblenz city proper plus discounts or free entry on several attractions. While this may sound like a huge benefit, consider that many attractions in Koblenz close early and you may not be able to visit many of them in the same day.
Koblenz is a very pleasant place for cycling, as there are cycling paths along most of the banks of the Mosel and Rhine rivers. Bicyles can be rented at Micha's Rad-Atelier (Hohenzollernstraße 119, 56068 Koblenz, +4926197333166) near the train station, or Fahrradverleih (Gemüseg. 7, 56068 Koblenz, +4917670148061, [dead link]) in the Old Town. Cycling is a particularly convenient way to reach Castle Stolzenfels, since it's a mere 6 km from the main station and buses aren't very frequent. Other regional attractions within cycling distance are the town of Lahnstein which contains Castle Lahneck and Palace Martinsburg, and Braubach with the famous Castle Marksburg.
- 1 Deutsches Eck. This spot (the name means German Corner in German) is where the Mosel River meets the Rhine River. The tip of the park is shaped like a ship's prow, overlooked by an enormous equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm mounted on an equally-huge stone base that you can climb for a great view of the rivers and opposite shore castle/fort. Not far from the German Corner, you can catch a little sightseeing train which will drive around & point out some of the interesting things about Koblenz.
- 2 Festung Ehrenbreitstein. This is a big military castle/fort in good condition. From there you have a good view over Koblenz. There is also one of the museum of Koblenz. It is located on the other side of the Rhine. entry fee about €8.
- 3 Schängelbrunnen. This is a nice little fountain near the town hall. You should stand three steps in front of the fountain and in front of the figure's face. Wait there three minutes. What then happens should bring fortune.
- 4 Militärmuseum. This is a big military museum. It is located on the other side of the Mosel. In the past Koblenz was an important strategic military area. On every side of the rivers were military castles/forts. Rivers were the most important logistic routes until the 20th century. Their possession could decide who won or lost a war.
- 5 Mosellum - information centre - fish pass Koblenz (Moselstaustufe), Peter-Altmeier-Ufer 1. Thursday to Sunday: 10:00-17:00. Information centre in the fish pass building dedicated to the river Moselle and fish migrations. €3.
- City Sculptures. Koblenz has a number of whimsical sculptures and fountains scattered throughout the city. Look for them as you walk around, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
- 6 Stolzenfels Castle (Schloss Stolzenfels) (Somewhat upriver from downtown but still inside the municipal boundaries).
- 7 Kurfürstliches Schloss (Electoral Palace), Neustadt 24. Daily 08:00-20:00. Free.
Upriver from Koblenz proper
- Rheinsteig. Walk part of the trail on the right Rhine side.
- Rheinburgenweg. Walk part of the trail on the left Rhine side.
- 1 Oberwerth-Stadium (Stadion Oberwerth), Jupp-Gauchel-Straße 10, ☏ . Football Stadium.
- Rhein in Flammen. Fireworks Show.
- Nacht der Museen (Night of Museums). Tours around different museums.
- Blaue Biwel (Blue Bowl).
Koblenz has two big shopping malls (Löhr-Center and Forum Mittelrhein) with some 130 shops, located in the city centre. There are also many downtown shops on or near Löhrstraße.
Koblenz is located in the wine area of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, mostly known for dry white wines, but also producing dry red wines, and in Germany, trying the beer is also a must. Southern and northern German beers differ in the proportion of hops and malt. More hops makes the beer more bitter, and this region is known for a higher percentage of hops. "Königsbacher" and "Koblenzer" are made by a local brewery.
- 1 Mercure Hotel Koblenz, Julius-Wegeler-Straße 6, ☏ . Reasonable sized rooms with good breakfast. Can be busy and expensive in holiday period.
- 2 Rhein-Hotel Diehl's Terrassen, Rheinsteigufer 1, ☏ . Is situated directly at the Rhine, below the Ehrenbreitstein fort, with a view of the Deutsches Eck from every room. 4-star, but unfortunately only a few metres from a busy railway.
- 3 Koblenz Youth Hostel (Jugendherberge Koblenz) (in the fortress "Festung Ehrenbreitstein"), ☏ . From here you have a nice view over Koblenz
- St. Goar — home to the famous "Loreley", the narrowest and once the most dangerous part of the Rhine for ships
- Treis-Karden — site of the stunning Eltz Castle, 30 km west of Koblenz
- Cochem — medieval town up the Mosel River