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2 Days In Cologne & Area

Ottawa
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2 Days In Cologne & Area

Hello!

Based on my plans so far, I have a few questions...

Day 1 - explore Cologne (Cathedral is a must, look in some shops, have a beer); early dinner, concert (Radiohead) at Lanxess Arena, go for a beer/snack after the concert.

Day 2 - Rhine River cruise, dinner, bar/pub for the evening.

1) What area would be good to stay in so we have a hotel that is in an entertaining area (ie. close to shops, bars etc), yet ideally a walkable distance from Lanxess Arena?

2) For our River cruise, is it ok to keep our hotel room in Cologne, then take the train to Koblenz, and be able to get back to Cologne the same day? Is this realistic? I've read the nicest part of the river is from Koblenz to Bonn. Any suggestions on this would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

The best part of the Rhine is south of Koblenz. Suggest you take the train to Bingen and cruise north - if you get off in Koblenz, it will take SIX hours to reach Bingen by boat!

From Bingen you can cruise north about 1.5 hours and reach St. Goar, home of Rheinfels Castle; nice place for a meal next door at the Landgraf terrace restaurant:

http://www.st-goar.de/17-1-.html

http://sr47.de/t/pics/d3b0ffbb92.jpg

Or get off in Boppard, about 2.5 hours from Bingen: no castle but nice town with several wineries and lots of places to eat. There's also a chairlift ride to a lookout, where the Gedeonseck restaurant is located:

sesselbahn-boppard.de/chairlift_boppard/inde…

http://www.gedeonseck-boppard.de/

OR.. cruise to Braubach (about 3 hours) and tour Marksburg Castle\:

http://www.roadstoruins.com/marksburg.htm

www.marksburg.de

You'll see lots of castles and great scenery from the train as well, so even if you don't see every last kilometer all by boat, you should see a lot anyway.

There are advance sale tickets for as little as 29€ on the fast trains for two between Cologne and Bingen; check prices and schedules for your travel date at http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

The 8:18 direct train from Cologne gets you to Bingen at 9:50, plenty of time to catch that 10:30 boat.

Cologne, Germany
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2. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

The nicest part for a cruise it not between Bonn and Koblenz, but between Koblenz and Bingen. Still doable as a daytrip from Cologne, although you need 1:30 to 1:50 hrs to get to Bingen (depending on type of train) and 0:52 to 1:35 back to Cologne from Koblenz. Staying overnight somewhere in the Rhine valley (Boppard for instance) could be an option, but that depends largely on where you come from and where you will be going to afterwards.

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3. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

I would suggest trying to get a hotel in Deutz, where the arena is. Some of the hotels near the exhibition halls offer some good deals (depending on your budget check the Hyatt Hotel next to the river Rhine).

Alternatively check hotels in the Old town.

There are some nice bars both in Deutz and in the old town

Ottawa
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4. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

Hi Russ, This is very helpful!!

Thank you for taking the time to reply in such detail and with various options. Much apprecaited. I'm very interested in the castle tour at St. Goar and the enjoyment of a chair lift ride and wineries in Boppard. This sounds like a perfect day. I'll start in Bingen, hop off at St. Goar, then back on again to go to Boppard. I would think this would be a full day? If there's time left over I'd take your advice and go further North to Braubach. Do you have a recomended tour provider that I could go with?

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5. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

Do you need to return to Cologne? It would be more fun to stay for the night in Bingen, Braubach or somewhere along the Rhine.....

Ottawa
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6. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

Ger_Holland, not at all!

If you have reccomendations of where to stay on the Rhine, please let me know.

I have a full day dedicated to enjoying the Rhine, then it's off to Amsterdam the next day. No need to return to Cologne.

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7. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

"I'll start in Bingen, hop off at St. Goar, then back on again to go to Boppard. I would think this would be a full day? ...Do you have a recomended tour provider that I could go with?"

Tour provider? You can do what you've planned independently. There's no time for Braubach, but you could squeeze in one hour for Bacharach, a village with very handsome half-timbered buildings.

Assuming your travel date is in high season (before Oct. 4):

- morning train to Bingen

- 10:30 KD boat from Bingen to Bacharach, arrive 11:15, tour on foot for one hour

- 12:15 boat to St. Goar, arrive 12:55; 3 hours for castle, meal, look around

- 15:55 boat to Boppard, arrive 16:50; head to chairlift ride asap

- evening in Boppard

- train to Cologne

If you're doing this after Oct. 4, the 11:30 boat from Bingen is probably your only choice - so you'd bypass Bacharach and pull into St. Goar at 12:55 as above.

Boat schedules: k-d.de/english/…c572

Ottawa
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8. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

Thanks again Russ.

My travel date is after October 4th. Departing Bingen at 11:30 is a good option and will allow me to see St. Goar, then end the day in Boppard. I think i'll stay overnight in Boppard as well since I have no need to return to Cologne.

Really apprecaite your help!

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9. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

If you have substantial luggage with you...

You'll need to schlepp it a ways to reach the Bingen KD dock from the station. It's slightly closer to the Bingen Stadt station than the main Bingen station (Bingen Hbf.) If you need a taxi, you'll probably find one at the Hbf station.

In St. Goar, you can schlepp it again to the TI office (no lockers there) which is closed between 12:30 and 1:30 for lunch but will keep bags for visitors.

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10. Re: 2 Days In Cologne & Area

I am going to be in Cologne next week for two nights. Am thinking about doing the river cruise, but is there a tour bus/company that can arrange the land and river travel from Cologne, return. Have a 4 year old kid to tag along and prefer not to do a complicated public transport thing.