The 13 Best Things to Do in Koblenz, Germany

High Angle View Of River Amidst Buildings Against Sky
Matthias Fehring / EyeEm / Getty Images

Koblenz is a crossing point for the Mosel and Rhine river and is best known for its monument at Deutsches Eck or the "German Corner." A monument for unified Germany, Koblenz shows off some of the country's premier attractions from castles to riverfront promenades and regional Rhine-Moselle wine. This is one of the oldest towns in Germany with a storied medieval history entangled with the Order of the Teutonic Knights. Its strategic location on the river has made it a valuable spot for collecting tolls, as well as a hotly disputed property between Germany and France.

It is now an integral point of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Whether you are just stopping by for a few hours as a break from cruise life or spending a few days exploring, there are many things to do and see on a trip to Koblenz.

01 of 13

Hike the Rhine Castles Trail

Rear view of a woman hiking towards a traditional town

Gerhard Fitzthum / Getty Images

Stretching 118 miles (191 kilometers) along the Rhine River Bank, the Rhine Castles Trail can be easily accessed from Koblenz. Although it runs from Bingen to Rolandsbogen, you can try the 8 miles (13 kilometers) route to Rhens which typically takes over five hours and passes by Schloss Stozenfels and Denkmal Rittursturz, a viewpoint with a historic memorial.

There are many other historic sites on the trail such as ruins from a Celtic Fort and Roman Temple, and an old Jewish Cemetery. If you're staying in Koblenz, the train ride back only takes about seven minutes—a welcome and brief reprieve after what is sure to amount o a full day of walking.

02 of 13

Cruise the Rhine

The cruise ship Viking Bragi is moored the Deutsches Eck (German Corner), where the Moselle joins the Rhine, in Koblenz, Germany

Horacio Villalobos / Getty Images

An d. Liebfrauenkirche 16, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 31550

If you're taking a multi-day river cruise down the Rhein, you're bound to make a stop in, or at the very least pass by, Koblenz. However if you find yourself in Koblenz first without a boat, there's still time to hop aboard for a day trip down the River Rhein.

One of the most popular boats is the RMS Goethe, part of the KD fleet. You can book a tour and spend the whole day cruising through the Rhine River Valley. The classic ship is equipped with a saloon for refreshments and is trimmed with art deco accents. A guide will give more information about all the riverside castles and vineyards as you gently glide past them.

03 of 13

Stand at the Corner of Germany


Sina Ettmer / Getty Images

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer, 56068 Koblenz, Germany

Deutsches Eck (German Corner) is the primary landmark for Koblenz. The city is dramatically perched at the point between the Rhein and Moselle Rivers. With cafes and flowerbeds on one side and rushing waters on the other side, you'll have spectacular views in every direction.

Its strategic location made it an important point for natural defenses when the Order of Teutonic Knights settled here in 1216. The point is now topped with a copper monument of Emperor Wilhelm I on horseback. Originally erected in 1897, the monument was damaged during the war in 1945 and for decades, just the base was left.

After reunification in 1990, the monument was resurrected with a replica of the original statue plus the addition of 16 flags representing each German state. Extending from the monument, there are walking paths that run along the river and the Mosel promenade has three slabs from the Berlin Wall.

04 of 13

Admire the Old Town

Koblenz Altstadt
GettyImages / Domingo Leiva
Gymnasialstraße 1, 56068 Koblenz, Germany

Koblenz's reconstructed city center has cobblestone streets and charming squares surrounded by historic buildings. The Rathaus (Town Hall) from 1695 is actually three interconnected buildings from the late Renaissance, early Baroque, and modern periods. It sits on Jesuits Square with gas lanterns, fountains, and statues.

Nearby Florinsmarkt holds the distinctive 12th-century Florinskirche (Florins church). Its twin towers mark the city's skyline. Also on the square is the Old Merchants' Hall. Among the century-old buildings, there are also more modern structures. Look for the distinctive stylings of German Art Nouveau known as jugendstil.

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05 of 13

Storm the Fortress

Koblenz Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
GettyImages / Leonid Andronov
56077 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 66754000

Seated 287 feet high above the banks of the Rhine, Festung Ehrenbreitstein (Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein) is another impressive landmark of Koblenz. Built on the site of an earlier fortress, it served to protect the middle Rhine and once held the most valuable relic of the Trier See, the Holy Tunic. Its strategic location made it a continual point of contention between France and Germany, and its massive fortifications made it the largest military fortress in Europe, besides Gibraltar.

The fortress is now the northernmost point of this UNESCO World Heritage area. Visitors can enjoy the fabulous views from atop the hill or go inside for a bit of history through with an audio guide. There are also several museums now within the fortress, such as the Haus der Fotografie and Das Landesmuseum Koblenz which feature sections on archaeology, regional wine, and more.

06 of 13

Ride to the Sky

Koblenz cable car
GettyImages / Stig FIndholm
Rheinstraße 6, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 20165850

If you're wondering how you get up to the fortress, the Koblenz Cable Car is the most scenic way to reach the top. The ride takes you from the banks of the Rhine up to the fortress. Gliding along at 367 feet above the river, it covers a distance of nearly 3,000 feet. It is one of the most efficient cable car systems in the world with large, comfortable cars. For a little more excitement, car 17 has a glass-paneled bottom for dizzying views of the river and city below.

07 of 13

Worship at the Oldest Church in Koblenz

Koblenz Basilica of St. Castor
GettyImages / Jorisvo
Kastorhof 4, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 36722

The Basilica of St. Castor (or Kastor in German) is the oldest church in Koblenz. Originally constructed in the 9th century, excavations have shown that the site was in use for religious purposes as far back as the 1st century. Just a short walk from Deutsches Eck, the elegant Kastorbrunnen fountain is in the square in front of the church. It was built in 1812 to commemorate the Napoleonic wars.

The grand basilica also has a fascinating interior. The 12th-century paintings are still on display, as is the Dwarf Gallery with its 21 arches and images of Christ as a lion. Down below there are tombs from throughout the centuries.

08 of 13

Learn About Middle Rhine

Koblenz Forum Confluentes
Holger Weinandt
Forum Confluentes, Zentralpl. 1, 56068 Koblenz, Germany

The unique Forum Confluentes was designed by German-Dutch architects Benthem-Crouwel. It reflects the design of the German Corner and has three points of interest: the city library, Romanticum Koblenz, and Middle Rhine Museum, which covers the 2,000 years of the region’s history.

The museum includes sculptures, coins, porcelain, furniture, and military paraphernalia. Among its most important assets is its collection of 19th-century paintings of the Rhine by German and British artists. Meanwhile, Romanticum Koblenz covers the romanticism of the region and its UNESCO site attractions. There is a virtual cruise along the Middle Rhine Valley pointing out the various castles and providing tourist information.

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09 of 13

Look for Cheeky Statues

Koblenz Schängel fountain
GettyImages / W. Meier

It's not all historic castles and monuments in Koblenz. There are also a surprising number of silly statues and fountains worth scouring the city for.

  • Schängelbrunnen is a cheeky fountain on Willi-Hörter-Platz of a little boy that randomly spits at people. He is not the only naughty boy on the fountain either. The base shows other little hooligans smoking, fighting, and generally being rude. Little Schang is a town icon and can be found on all the manholes and the name "Schängel" can be used to refer to the townsfolk.
  • The augenroller (eye-roller) on the town clock in Saint Florin’s market actually does roll its eyes every half hour and sticks out its tongue. Legend says it is based on Johan Lutter, a 16th-century robber that was sentenced to death. The people of Koblenz decided he would watch over them, rudely eye-rolling and tongue-lolling.
  • Historiensäule depicts 2,000 years of Koblenz history. There are 10 scenes showing everything from Roman settlements to WWII to modern development. A full explanation is provided in English.
10 of 13

Eat Like a German

Weinhaus Hubertus
Weinhaus Hubertus
Florinsmarkt 6, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 31177

Weinhaus Hubertus is one of the oldest half-timbered buildings in Koblenz. This charming restaurant was built in 1689 and was last renovated in 1921. Inside, you'll find an open fireplace and classic German cuisine. It is simple and warm and focuses on regional specialties, including the Rhine-Moselle wine. If you prefer, beers like Bitburger Pils and Gaffel Kölsch are on tap. In the summer, tables are put outside to take advantage of the sunshine and welcoming atmosphere.

11 of 13

Act like Royalty

Koblenz Palace
GettyImages / Hans-Peter Merten
Peter-Altmeier-Allee 9, 55116 Mainz, Germany
Phone +49 6131 2420

The Kurfürstliches Schloss (Electoral Palace) was built as a residence in 1786. It was the last great palace to be built before the French Revolution. The Schloss takes advantage of its position on the river with most rooms looking out at the Rhine Valley.

Today the building is used by city officials, but the art galleries and the cafe are open to the public. Outside, the terraced Rhine Gardens are 2.1 miles of walkways, green space and flowers, and an elegant fountain of Empress Augusta. Every two years, a botanical show is held here. 

12 of 13

Examine Fine Art

Koblenz Ludwig Museum
GettyImages / Hans-Peter Merten
Esther-Bejarano-Str. 1, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 1292406

The Deutschherrenhaus now holds the Ludwig Museum but was once the property of the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The museum exhibits post-1945 and contemporary art from France and Germany in a four-floor gallery. Among its most notable offerings is "Le Pouce" (The Thumb) by César, and the outdoor sculpture "Dépot de mémoire et d'oubli" by Anne and Patrick Poirier.

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13 of 13

Experience Medieval Life at Schloss Stolzenfels

Koblenz's Stolzenfels Castle
GettyImages / larigan - Patricia Hamilton
Schlossweg 11, 56075 Koblenz, Germany
Phone +49 261 51656

Located just outside of the city is yet another castle, Schloss Stolzenfels. It was built high above the river to catch sight of all passing boats and extract a toll. Originally constructed in 1259, it was modified, destroyed, and reinforced throughout the centuries. It was last rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style. Eventually, it became the preferred summer residence of the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV. He entertained such glamorous visitors as Queen Victoria.

The castle is now open to the public with visitors wandering the Great Knight's Hall and royal living quarters with original furnishings and decor. From the ornately sculpted gardens admire spectacular views of the river and valley. To get the most out of your visit, take a guided tour.

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The 13 Best Things to Do in Koblenz, Germany