Things To Do in Koblenz in 1 Day
Koblenz seems to be the ideal day trip, whether you are based in Cologne, Frankfurt or Luxembourg. Due to its relatively small size, the city on the Rhine and Mosel river is ideal to be explored by foot without any need to rush from one place to another by car.
It’s also the best way to slow down and enjoy the cosy (wine) atmosphere of Koblenz.
Whether you just go for one day or a weekend, I want to share with you my favorite things to do in Koblenz, Germany.
Did you know that Koblenz’ history dates back to the Roman Ages? Located at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel river, Koblenz was one of the first commanderies of the Teutonic Order.
Together with the fairytale castles, the centuries-old vineyards and impressive history of the Upper Middle Rhine River Valley, Koblenz has been UNESCO listed.
Thus, I highly recommend to extend your stay in Koblenz and enjoy a Rhine river cruise along some of Germany’s best castles. I’ll share a selection of day trips from Koblenz at the end of the article.
Koblenz’ attractions mentioned in this post are selected based upon my preference and upon the criteria of being easily connectable in a self-guided walking tour.
The map at the end of the article will provide you a better overview of Koblenz’ points of interest.
How to get to Koblenz
|From Mainz||From Cologne||From Frankfurt||From Luxembourg|
|By train from train station Mainz. 2 trains per hour.
Book here your train tickets to Koblenz.By river cruise from Mainz to Koblenz
Book here your boat tickets from Mainz to Koblenz
|By train from train station Cologne. 4 trains per hour.
Book here your train tickets to Koblenz.By river cruise from Cologne to Koblenz
Book here your boat tickets from Cologne to Koblenz
|By train from train station Frankfurt Main. 3 trains per hour.
Book here your train tickets to Koblenz.
|By train from train station Luxembourg. 1 train per hour.
Book here your train tickets to Koblenz.
Where To Stay in Koblenz
|Hotel Hau Morjan ***
Hotel Brenner ***
|Diehls Hotel ****
Mercure Hotel Koblenz ****
|CONTEL Hotel Koblenz ****|
My personal favorite
Sander Hotel ***
1. Koblenz Cable Car
Without any doubt, taking a ride with the Koblenz cable car is one of the top things to do. The cable car connects both river banks and takes you from the old city center to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress.
Thanks to the panoramic views, you’ll get a great perspective of the size of Koblenz and its unique geographic location on the Rhine and Mosel river. No wonder that this view has been UNESCO-listed!
The cable car of Koblenz was built for the Bundesgartenschau (horticulture trade show) and was supposed to be dismantled after the fair. However, it became quickly one of the most coveted attractions in Koblenz and thus the cable car can stay for a few more years.
Did you know that the cable car of Koblenz has the highest passenger capacity in the world? It can transport up to 7600 people per hour! On top, every cabin has been designed in a different style. Cabin 17, for example, has a glass floor!
I highly recommend taking the cable car in the early morning or at sunset, as the light was simply stunning then.
2. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress: the Koblenz Castle
The cable car is the perfect way to reach Koblenz’ impressive castle: the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The first ruins of the fortress go back to the 11th century and had a tumultuous history ever since.
The site has been destroyed several times, besieged and swapped between French settlers, Archbishops, the Prussians and the princes of Saxony. The fortress, as you can still visit it today, was completed by the Prussians and is the second largest in Europe.
Located at 118m above the Rhine river, the fortress does not only take you back to medieval times, but also provides lovely views on the historic city center of Koblenz.
Nowadays, the Koblenz castle hosts a museum with historic artifacts and its high walls and corridors can be visited.
3. Deutsches Eck, the German Corner
After returning from the Ehrenbreitstein castle by cable car, you can go straight to the next attraction of Koblenz: the “Deutsches Eck”, (German corner). It’s located at only 5 min walk from the cable car lower station.
Located at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers, the Deutsches Eck had very special importance since the early German history. Indeed it was the place of one of the first commanderies for the Teutonic Order.
In 1897, the first statue of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st was erected. After being destroyed during World War II, the massive equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st was reconstructed after long debates in the 1990s.
Nowadays you can even walk up to the statue and enjoy a great view on the confluence of Germany’s most important rivers: the Mosel and Rhine river.
4. St. Castor Basilica and Courtyard
The St. Castor basilica and its quaint courtyard are located at only a stone’s throw from the German Corner.
The basilica is considered to be the oldest church in Koblenz and it’s here where the division of the Frankish Empire was decided. The foundations of the basilica go back to more than 1200 years!
After the basilica had been damaged during the Second World War, it has been repaired with great care. I particularly liked the courtyard which was full of colorful flowers. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the silence of this oasis of peace.
In case you’re planning to have lunch, I highly recommend to enjoy the refined German cuisine at Gerhard’s, located in the old buildings surrounding the St. Castor courtyard.
Next stop of your one-day itinerary in Koblenz is the Jesuitenplatz. Thus we finally will enter the old town (“Altstadt”) of Koblenz.
Koblenz is full of quaint little squares and each one has a different vibe. One of my favorites was definitely the Jesuitenplatz. The square got its name from the former Jesuit college dating back to the 17th century and which is now the Koblenz’ town hall.
I particularly liked the towers and the passage through the grand gate. The tower clock is one of the main reasons why many travellers visit the Jesuitenplatz: it plays a lovely melody at the full hour.
At nightfall, the Jesuitenplatz has a truly enchanting atmosphere.
One of Koblenz’ quirkiest points of interest in the old town is the Schängelbrunnen. The fountain shows a boy spitting water and its background is intrinsically linked to the history and image of Koblenz.
After passing the grand portal of the Jesuitenplatz, you’ll access the Willi-Hörter Platz and the fountain is located immediately at your left.
The fountain’s background comes from the “Schängellied” which is considered to be Koblenz’ anthem written in 1914. The song is about the roguish behavior of the town’s boys known as “Schängel”.
The boys born during the French occupation were known as “Jean”, thus “Schang” in Koblenz’ dialect. Coming from French fathers and German mothers, “Schängel” was considered for a long time as a derogatory name for illegitimate children born in that period.
However nowadays, every local from Koblenz is proud to call himself a “Schängel”. The fountain is thus one of Koblenz’ most important symbols.
7. Am Plan
Am Plan is probably the liveliest square of Koblenz. It is packed with terraces and a meeting point for every generation. It’s here where the Rhenish savoir-vivre is the most palpable.
The Am Plan square was formerly used as marketplace and tournament site.
Besides being a hub for bars and restaurant, the square boasts an important architectural heritage. The north side is characterized by Baroque buildings and the towers of the “Liebfrauenkirche” host the commandant headquarters. The square’s fountain dates back to 1806.
8. Wine tasting in Winery Göhlen
This is a real hidden gem of Koblenz. According to our guide, the winery Weingut Göhlen is even relatively unknown to most locals. After crossing the river to Ehrenbreitstein neighborhood, you follow Obertal and Mühlental road. I highly recommend going by car.
Even though it’s located at only 10 minutes from the city center of Koblenz, the Weingut Göhlen is a real oasis of peace where you can enjoy a glass of wine during warm summer nights on their terrace.
The winery is managed by Mr. and Mrs. Göhlen who created a charming microcosm of wine and German cosiness. Upon reservation, they serve a hearty snack and organize guided tours through the vineyard. Mr.Göhlen himself guides you through his wine cellars. Of course, every tour ends with a mandatory wine tasting.
Make sure to taste the Ehrenbreitstein wine, which is cultivated on only 10 hectares in entire Germany. “Weingut Göhlen” is just the perfect place to enjoy a charming, cozy evening in Koblenz.
9. River Cruise from Koblenz
A Rhine River cruise is one of the most funny things to do when visiting Koblenz. Indeed a cruise allows you to easily visit some of the best attractions of the Middle Rhine River Valley. And that mostly means fairytale castle hopping and quaint wine villages.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choose a Rhine river cruise departing from Koblenz.
Large operators sail up (and down) from Amsterdam to Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne,… The journey can take anywhere between 1-2 weeks with (luxury) accommodation on the boat. A great way to live and breathe the magic of the Romantic Rhine!
When it comes to ferries on the Rhine river, the Köln-Düsseldorfer Rheinschiffahrt, better known as KD, runs cruises and scheduled services up and down the river between Cologne and Mainz. The “KD” ferry easily brings you from Koblenz to wine villages and Rhine castles.
10. Night Walking Tour in Koblenz
I am a big fan of night walks! It’s just amazing to see how a town can entirely change when it gets dark. Koblenz is particularly suited for night walks as it is a) very safe and b) great illumination.
I highly recommend to include the Jesuitenplatz and the St. Castor courtyard in your night walk.
It’s also the perfect occasion to enjoy Koblenz’ nightlife which looked very cozy to me. Loads of terraces, international restaurants, and warm-hearted interiors.
My favorite place to eat in Koblenz was definitely restaurant “Gerhards” in the St. Castor courtyard. Located in ancient walls, the restaurant serves seasonal, regional cuisine inside or outside on the magnificent terrace. The quality and the atmosphere are enhanced by the vaulted ceiling.
The pickled salmon trout with caviar was probably one of the best fish dishes I ever ate in my life!
Extra Tips: Day Trips and Castles near Koblenz
Koblenz is a great base to explore the gems of the Middle Rhine River. The”KD ferry takes you quickly to fairytale castles and quaint villages. You can thus, either go for a day trip, or even spend the night in one of the Rhine’s famous wine villages.
My favorite castles on the Rhine river were
- Burg Stolzenfels castle
- Marksburg castle
- Burg Maus (Castle Mouse) and its counterpart Burg Katz castle (Cat Castle),
- Pfalzgrafenstein Castle built on an island
- the imposing Burg Rheinfels castle in St.Goar.
My favorite Rhine villages were:
All the villages and castles can be reached with the “KD ferry”. Purchase here your ticket for a day cruise from Koblenz.
Koblenz Map: 1 Day Itinerary
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. I travel with a FUJI XT2 (mirrorless, takes amazing photos) and Action Camera GoPro HERO5 Session (takes beautiful photos in the most extreme situations, slim & lightweight). All of the cameras are WiFi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!.
- To edit photos and answer mails while traveling, I usually take my Touchscreen 2-in-1 Business Laptop with me.
- When spending a lot of time on the road, I love to wear my trekking sandals.
- Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected against all odds with World Nomads.
In order to get more information on tourism in Rhine River Valley, Germany, I recommend the site of the Romantic Rhine Tourism.
Disclaimer: I have been a guest of Romantischer Rhein Touristik. All my opinions, as always, are my own. This posts contains affiliate links. In case you purchase one of the items, I’ll receive a small commission. The price remains the same for you.