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9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

jakarta
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9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

We will arrive at Frankfurt airport (FRA) on Saturday morning at 06:00am on 29 March 2014. I am a teacher travelling with 9 students (between 15 and 17 years old). There are 10 of us in total.

We are thinking of staying at either Bingen or Ruedesheim. Any suggestions which town to stay? - considering I’m taking 9 teenagers with me. I don’t want them to get bored. Teenagers have a short attention span :)

We'd like to spend our time on a short Rhine cruise and visit several towns for the castles and other sights. However, our trip is at the end of March 2014, and I'm having trouble finding boats/cruises/ferries that run during this winter period. We want to be able to hop on and off the ferries/boats and trains/buses to the villages on the Rhine’s left bank (eg Bingen, Bacharach, Boppard, St Goar) and right-bank villages (Assmannshausen, St. Goarshausen, Braubach).

We are leaving Bingen/Ruedesheim for Cologne (Koeln) on Monday,31 March. We have to get to Cologne by 4pm the latest on Monday 31 March. Are 2 nights enough time to spend to see the main villages of the Romantic Rhine?

We are thinking of buying the HAPPY WEEKEND PASS (Schoenes-Wochenende Ticket to be used on Saturday, 29 March – the day we arrive in Germany) to go directly from FRA airport to Bingen/Ruedesheimer. We are also thinking of buying another Happy Weekend Pass (to be used on Sunday, 30 March).Are these the right tickets for us to buy?

This is our first time going to Germany and I don't know where to start. Any suggestions? Thanks very much.

Boppard, Germany
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1. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

Rüdesheim is more touristy than Bingen. Both are connected by frequent ferries, so you can see both, no matter where you stay.

Frankfurt airport to Bingen or Rüdesheim:

RMV tariff for the greater Frankfurt area applies: http://www.rmv.de/en/

Unless you intend to travel beyond Bacharach or Lorch on the same day, the best tickets would be RMV group day tickets for 5 persons (Gruppentageskarte 5 Personen).

Airport to Bingen is € 26.60:

http://www.rmv.de/en/

For train travel in the Middle Rhine valley you could get 2 "Rheinland-Pfalz Tickets":

https:/…laender-ticket.shtml

These are also good on some railway lines outside of Rhineland-Palatinate, like Mainz to Wiesbaden and Wiesbaden to Kaub via Rüdesheim.

Ticket to Bingen or Rüdesheim can be bought at the airport, the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket from any Deutsche Bahn ticket machine.

Edited: 03 December 2013, 10:23
Paradise, California
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2. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

For Sunday: The R-P ticket detbo mentions works just like the Happy Weekend ticket, will cover the area you intend to see, and will be slightly cheaper. Buy 2 tickets for 5 people each (38€/ticket) from a ticket machine in Bingen. Here is a map of the R-P ticket coverage area:

vrminfo.de/fileadmin/data/pdf/2012/RLP-Ticke…

For Saturday: If you will be traveling north beyond Bacharach later in the day (like to St. Goar for Rheinfels Castle...) the R-P ticket alone would get you there, but sadly, it would not cover the trip from Frankfurt to Mainz in the morning, and the Happy Weekend ticket becomes your best option - it will cover everything that day. Buy two from a FRA ticket machine at the airport station.

To use any of these tickets you will be riding the regional and local trains. There are 2 stations at FRA; the Regionalbahnhof is the one that sends off these trains.

Neither Bingen nor Rüdesheim would, IMO, be your best base for a stay in the area; I would probably suggest St. Goar instead, which puts you somewhat closer to the center of the scenic Middle Rhine area. From there it's a little more convenient to reach most other destinations (like Marksburg Castle) and Rheinfels Castle is right in town. Boppard, Oberwesel, and Bacharach, all on the same side of the Rhine as St. Goar, are all about 10 minutes or less from St. Goar by train. For Marksburg, ferry across from St. Goar (ferry runs all day) and take one train north (22 min. to Braubach.)

(You'd use the Happy Weekend ticket to reach St. Goar from FRA on Saturday.)

If you only have 2 days in the area, I would discourage you from trying to cruise the river. It not only takes up time, but it is also uncomfortably chilly to be on the deck of a boat at that time of year.

2 days is probably enough just for the area above if you get around a bit on Saturday. But with another night, you could do a daytrip into Mainz, where there are a number of things to see and do, or over to Cochem on the Mosel River, or to the Rheinland-Pfalz Freilichtmuseum in Bad Sobernheim, a simply amazing collection of historical buildings from the area that give visitors a glimpse of what local life was like over the last 5 centuries or so. It's open every day except Monday beginning in mid-March and only about 45 minutes from Bingen, and group entrance fees are very cheap.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g494948-d1…

jakarta
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3. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

Thanks to you both “Detbo and Russ”.

Detbo, you were saying that to check the cheapest ticket is by going to the RMV website.

I just went to RMV and entered “Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof to Bingen am Rhein Stadtbahnhof”- leaving Fra Airport at 07:59am, arriving at Bingen at 08:59am.

Then I chose “Tageskarte” and I got 2 options: “ohne Umweg” and “Bad Kreuznach”.

For “ohne Umweg”, the price category is 5 (Eur 26.60) for Gruppentageskarte 5 Personen.

For “Bad Kreuznach”, the price category is 6 (Eur 31.80) for Gruppentageskarte 5 Personen.

My question is - which one should we choose (Preisstuffe 5 or 6)? We want to get to Bingen the cheapest and fastest way with Regional train(s).

Once we have reached Bingen (from FRA airport) at 08:59am, we’d like to also go to Ruedesheim and other nearby villages by trains/buses. Can we use the same ticket (the existing ticket: Euro 26.60) – the one that we would have purchased earlier at FRA airport upon our arrival? How far North along the Rhine river can this ticket (Preisstuffe 5: Euro 26.60) be used?

FYI when I went to RMV, I also got the following information “FRA to BINGEN (ohne Umweg)” - Price category 5. Fare zones available: 3700, 6500, 6865, 6870, 6877, 6880, 5090, 3570, 5082, 5084, 6683, 6690, 6694.

And also the following info “FRA to BINGEN (Bad Kreuznach)” - Price category 6. Fare zones available: 3700, 6500, 6865, 6870, 6877, 6880, 6901, 6970, 5090, 3570, 5082, 5084, 6683, 6690, 6694.

Do you happen to have a weblink about all these zones (Tariff zones plan/Tarifgebietsplan and Fares table/Fahrpreistabelle)? I could not find any on RMV website. I find the zone system very confusing...

Boppard, Germany
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4. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

IMO, the English version of the RMV website is not very good, many sections are in German only. I think they had commuters in mind, not tourists

Umweg = detour. A direct train from the airport or Mainz to Bingen will not go through Bad Kreuznach, so you need "ohne Umweg", unless you intend to visit Bad Kreuznach.

If you buy a Gruppentageskarte to Bacharach instead of Bingen , you can go to Bingen and visit Bacharach later in the day. To Rüdesheim, just take the ferry from Bingen.

If you go further along the Rhine on the first day, you should get one of the tickets Russ mentioned.

Tariff zones: rmv.de/linkableblob/de/67494-59817/data/uebe…

You can see that Bingen is not really in the RMV tariff area, but in an area called RNN which cooperates with RMV. The tariff area (Verkehrsverbund) further north (VRM around Koblenz) does not cooperate with RMV or RNN, so you need standard Deutsche Bahn tickets to get there.

All these "Verkehrsverbünde" have their own rules when it comes to ticket types, validating the tickets etc. If you find that confusing, I can assure you that many locals do so too.

Germany
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5. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

Honestly I would not stay in either Bingen or Rüdesheim.

The best about Bingen is the newly renovated youth hostel. Rüdesheim is more cute and touristy. But your students will feel so by 50 years of age out of the place.

Either stay somewhere interesting like the youth hostel Burg Stahleck in Bacharach or Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz.

diejugendherbergen.de/die-jugendherbergen-au…

Or at the bigger places. Boppard is the biggest out of the medieval towns of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Or in the city of Koblenz - which has however not that much charm (largely destroyed in WWII).

Most interesting castels to visit are the Marksburg (Braubach), Rheinfels (St. Goar) and nearby in the Moselle Valley Burg Eltz (re-opens on 30. March 2014 from winter break).

Rheinfels is huge and something to explore (bring flashlights)

www.st-goar.de/17-1-rheinfels-castle.html

Burg Eltz is the ultimate medieval castle. And they do regular tours in English (which the Marksburg does not).

http://www.burg-eltz.de/en.html

http://www.marksburg.de

As I would not overdue it with old towns and castles with a group of students further ideas:

north (downstream) of Koblenz: Bridge of Remagen - peace museum

http://www.bruecke-remagen.de/

And another place which ends its winter break right for your visit, Andernach Geyser, the largest cold water geyser on the planet. Between Koblenz and Remagen.

http://www.geysir-andernach.de/english/

While also old, much older and thus different: Roman sights of Trier, in Roman times the largest city north of the Alps.

http://www.trier-info.de/english/index

.

To sort out your public transport ticket options makes only sense after you have finalized your plans. Not to confuse you with all possible options unnecessarily. No need for rush on this as all mentioned tickets are available on spot.

Edited: 04 December 2013, 09:12
Mainz, Germany
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6. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

>>Honestly I would not stay in either Bingen or Rüdesheim.

The best about Bingen is the newly renovated youth hostel. Rüdesheim is more cute and touristy. But your students will feel so by 50 years of age out of the place.

Either stay somewhere interesting like the youth hostel Burg Stahleck in Bacharach or Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz.

Or at the bigger places<<

Totally agree. Even given that there's a certain level of excitement just for being abroad, I could imagine your students quickly getting bored in places like Rüdesheim or Bingen. All those picturesque half-timbered houses and ruins become yet another old building after a teenager has seen so and so many of them - and let those aside there is not too much exciting going on for young people in either town.

Choosing a castle as base for your stay would certainly be a great idea.

jakarta
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7. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

Thanks all for your help. I really appreciate it. The reason why I initially chose Bingen as our base is because it’s only one ferry away to Ruedesheim. Also, Bingen is only 1 hour away from FRA International Airport by train. When we reach FRA airport late in March 2014, we will have spent over “20 hours” traveling from Jakarta to Frankfurt via Singapore with Lufthansa. I think my students will have gotten really exhausted by the time they get to FRA airport at 06:00am on Saturday morning.

I was originally thinking of buying/using “KD Ring Ticket” around the Niederwald forest for my 9 (nine) students. I thought of starting our tour in Rüdesheim with a 10-minute ride on the chair lift up to the Niederwald forest recreation area. Here a beautiful walk of about an hour will take us around the Niederwald monument (Germania) along peaceful forest paths, past magnificent lookout points. From here we take the cable railway down through the steep vineyards to Assmannshausen. A 45-minute KD cruise will then bring us back to Rüdesheim, departing from Assmannshausen at around 14:30.

Russ got me thinking of staying at St. Goar because of its proximity to Rheinfels Castle. Russ gives superb suggestions, very detailed information. Abalada also gave me an excellent advice about staying at Burg Stahleck in Bacharach.

I’ve now narrowed down our 2 (two) options and have decided that we are staying at either “St. Goar” or “Bacharach”. Forget about Bingen : )

Basically, we only have 2 whole days to spend in Middle Rhine Valley:

1. Saturday (the day that we arrive in Germany at 06:00am with Lufthansa) and,

2. Sunday (the whole day),

3. On Monday at 10:00am we have to catch a train straight to Cologne.

What we want to do during our time in Middle Rhine Valley:

1. Visit medieval towns and castles. We want to visit these left-bank towns (Boppard, St. Goar, Bacharach) and right-bank towns (Braubach, Ruedesheim) and also Burg Eltz (thanks Abalada for your kind suggestion)

2. Cruise either “Rhine or Moselle rivers”

Mainz, Germany
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8. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

That Rüdesheim - Niederwald Monument - Assmannshausen circle is a wonderful opportunity to take in many of the things that make this area so unique: Vineyards, small towns, river views, ruins of castles, hiking trails. I'm sure your party will enjoy it very much. I wouldn't squeeze that into your arrival day, though. If you decide to stay in St Goar or Bacharach there's enough to explore on the first day.

sydney
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9. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

If you decide to visit Rudesheim I think your students would enjoy a visit to Seigfreids Musical Instrument Museum tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g187345… - tours are available in english and from memory, cost about 6 euro and take a bit over an hour.

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10. Re: 9students traveling to Bingen am Rhein in winter.HELP needed

Both places are very small your teenagers will get bored if you don't go out to other places. Rudesheim is really a place for the old-aged, and Bingen more or less the same. I do like the Paulaner Biergarten in Bingen thoough but that's more for the summer.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 10:13
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