Where is Koblenz?
Koblenz is a place of incredible beauty and romance in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate, enjoying a picturesque location of the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle, which is famously known as the ‘Deutsches Eck’ (meaning the German corner). This 2000-year-old city is surrounded by the low mountain ranges of the Eifel, Hunsrück, Westerwald and Taunus mountains. As one of Germany’s most historic cities, it’s an excellent place for international tourists to visit and a very good point of departure for trips out into the incredible UNESCO World Heritage area of the Rhine Valley, the lovely Mosel Valley, and beyond.
What to see in Koblenz
Visit the Deutsches Eck (German Corner), which is a fascinating area of land sandwiched between the rivers Rhine and Mosel. This historic place has played a part in the city’s defences for around 1,000 years and was once the home of the Teutonic Knights. You can see the remains of their ancient Deutschherrenhaus fortification and enjoy the splendid views across both rivers. Best of all, marvel at the monument built in honour of Emperor Wilhelm I, which towers above the ground at an impressive height of 37 metres.
Don’t miss the Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, perched 118 metres up above the city on the eastern bank of the Rhine and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It dates back over 200 years and you can access it by cable car, which is a lot of fun. Take in the site’s museums and educate yourself on the city’s archaeological and historical past.
Culture vultures will enjoy the Forum Confluentes, a centre for arts and culture and which can be found in the city’s main square. Visit the Middle Rhine Museum and take in the history of the area with ancient Middle Rhineland sculptures and Baroque and Romantic period paintings. Explore the Romanticum with its nautical theme and go on a virtual cruise along the Rhine while learning about the area’s fascinating history.
Another amazing place to visit is the neoclassical Electoral Palaces, near to the banks of the Rhine, which enjoys a spectacular riverside position with wonderful views. Take in the many exhibitions and events there and take a stroll through the marvellous gardens.
Stolzenfels Castle is just outside of Koblenz and has an imposing position 154 metres above the Rhine. This is possibly one of the most romantic castles you’ll ever see and was the former King of Prussia’s summer residence. Be prepared to walk up a fairly steep path to get there but it’s well worth it when you arrive.
The ancient Basilica of St. Castor dates back to 836 AD and is the place where the Treaty of Verdun was signed. Stroll through the stunning Rhine Gardens, which stretch for 3.5km. There are many attractions such as the Pfaffendorf Bridge, the historic Weindorf (a 1925 replica of a Mosel village), and the Rhein-Mosel-Halle convention centre. Possibly the best highlight is the Empress Augusta Gardens with incredible views of the Rhine in a pleasant tree-lined setting boasting many sculptures and colourful flowers.
No visit to Koblenz is complete without seeing the old town, restored after partial destruction in World War 2. Marvel at the Schängelbrunnen monument, the Town Hall, the Florinsmarkt, and the Altes Kaufhaus (Old Merchants’ Hall). The Church of Our Lady is the highest point in the Old Town and is a peaceful, restful place to visit with its wonderful stained glass windows.
The best time to visit
You can visit Koblenz all year round but if you don’t mind the crowds, the best time to visit is from June to August when the Rhine area is in full bloom. The climate is temperate and, although it can be cold in the winter, it’s unlikely to be freezing. In general, you can expect full sun and/or showers at any time of the year.
Typical regional dishes
One of the most famous Koblenz dishes is Pfälzer Saumagen, or ‘sow’s stomach’, which has a tasty filling made up of minced veal, diced vegetables, potatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices. The dish is sliced and fried to serve and goes well with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and, of course, a glass or two of dry white wine.
Pfälzer Spundekäs is another regional speciality and is popular for spreading on bread. It’s made from cream cheese, quark, and sour cream. Also, you can enjoy many other regional specialities such as Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup), Leberknödel (liver dumplings), Bratkartoffeln (pan fried potatoes), Zwetschgenkuchen (plum cake), and even Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake)!
Wine buffs can sample wines from the Rhine and Mosel areas, where there are around 16 family-owned wine businesses all making regional speciality wines. Many of these vineyards offer visits and wine-tasting sessions.
Where to stay
Like all cities, Koblenz has a range of hotels from budget to luxury, as well as apartments for larger groups and families. Choose from an array of cosy German bed and breakfasts or large-scale international hotels such as the Mercure Hotel Koblenz or the Ibis Koblenz City. These hotels are both centrally located. If, however, you prefer something that isn’t part of an international chain, try the Hotel Brenner or the peaceful Kleiner Riesen. If you don’t mind staying slightly out of town, the Horchheimer has pet-friendly apartment accommodation. Of course, the many accommodation websites around offer a huge choice of accommodation and, if you look hard enough, for example on Airbnb, you can find some real German gems to make your stay unique, comfortable and memorable.
Public and private transport
As is typical for many Germany cities, Koblenz enjoys excellent public transport with a great bus service that covers the entire city and almost always runs on time. Koblenz buses are well maintained and clean inside. The city’s main train station is on a main bus route too. From here, you can catch a train to virtually anywhere locally, nationally or even internationally. There are plenty of taxis serving the city if you prefer a direct, one-to-one and place-to-place service.
Where to shop
In addition to the many shops and boutiques dotted around the city, there are two significant shopping centres that are well worth a visit. There’s the Forum-Mittelrhein on the Zentralplatz which has dozens of shops, restaurants, and cafés. Also, the Löhr-Center in the Hohenfelderstraße is an excellent place for shopping with around 130 shops to enjoy spending your holiday money in. Buy something for yourself or souvenirs and gifts to take home.
In Koblenz, you can visit one of the many vibrant pubs, sample a cocktail bar or go to a club for a great night out. The city enjoys a big pub culture and there are entertaining pubs like Spöckes, where game fans can meet up and enjoy board games or darts and snooker. The Irish Pub is also very popular and is one the older pubs in the city. If you go there on a Wednesday, you can enjoy the karaoke evening. In terms of cocktail bars, try the Enchilada on Josef-Görres-Platz. As well as cocktails, you can sample Mexican food with your beverages.
As a University City, Koblenz has a great nightlife scene. There’s the popular Zenit Club with drinks at good prices and two floors where you can dance to different types music. For a trendy club experience, visit the Palais. During the daytime, it’s a restaurant and by night, it transforms into an exclusive club.
Other Koblenz tips (off the beaten track…)
- The Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein mentioned above offers a unique Baroque dining package experience with music and theatre.
- Weingut Karl Lunnebach is a family-run vineyard, which provides the opportunity to learn about the region’s wines direct from the grower. You can make a reservation for a wine tasting session and sample authentic regional foods served by the family.
- A true insider tip is to visit the Irish pub on St. Patricks Day (17th March) for a great celebration party. The theme is green and you can go along and join the party.