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Weekend Trip

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Weekend Trip

I will be in Cologne on Saturday and Sunday 10 & 11 November. I would like to see the Cathedral, Old Town, some of the better part of the Rhine River and spend some time on Sunday at the Festival.

It looks like KD may have a boat from Bingen to Bopard depending on demand. If they do, should I take that or just take a train both ways getting on and off?

Could you please offer suggestions on how I should plan my days/time to see as much as possible. Thanks.

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1. Re: Weekend Trip

I would double check the KD boat availability since the last in-season day was October 21st. The boat ride is really nice but may be a bit chilly (if you want to be on the upper deck where you'll have the best views). If you decide to take the train, the Quer-durchs-Land Ticket may be the cheapest ticket option for you (bahn.de/i/…quer-durchs-land-ticket.shtml). Note that on Sunday all of the shops will be closed, although restaurants and most tourist attractions should be open (e.g. Marksburg Castle or Schloss Drachenfels).

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2. Re: Weekend Trip

Or the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket for 21 Euros: vrminfo.de/en/…

Paradise, California
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3. Re: Weekend Trip

I wouldn't fuss with the boats. It's time-consuming enough already by train when the daylight hours are few in number. Trains are generally warm, frequent, dependable, and you can see basically the same scenery.

The R-P ticket (21€) is only valid for Bonn and to the south - not for Cologne.

The QDL ticket is 42€ for one.

Your best daypass option on a Sat or Sun is the Happy Weekend ticket at 40€.

But you can also add on a round-trip Cologne-Bonn VRS ticket (price level 4, 7.10€ each way) to the R-P ticket. Buy the VRS and R-P tickets from a ticket machine in Cologne. Total cost = 35.20€ this way.

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4. Re: Weekend Trip

Thank you. The boats run a limited schedule with enough advance demand but it sounds like I am better off skipping the boat. If I were to leave Cologne Saturday morning and plan to spend the day seeing the Rhine do you have a couple "must stops" so that I can get back to Cologne for dinner.

I will plan on spending Sunday seeing Cologne and the Carnival.

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5. Re: Weekend Trip

I have searched the forum some more and I would like to see Marksburg Castle and spend some time in Koblenz. Based on time can you suggest any other must dos for a one day trip by train from Cologne.

I could also use help understanding what trains to take and where to stop. Any advice is appreciated.

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6. Re: Weekend Trip

Carnival? That's in February. But I think there's usually some street partying going on on 11/11 at 11:11, the official opening of Carnival season.

Now to your trip.

The 8:42 RE train out of Cologne gets you to Koblenz at 9:42. But this journey isn't the most scenic. You'll need to continue south, preferably by slow train, to spot the 40 or so castles that dot the landscape between Koblenz and Bingen (or Rüdesheim, on the opposite side.) Suggest you catch the 9:53 south from Koblenz, arriving in Bingen at 10:43. After a quick glance at Bingen, catch the 11:09 train north to Bacharach, arriving 11:21, and walk the town - very nice half-timbered buildings. The 12:27 train from Bacharach takes you north to Koblenz (arrive 13:07.)

Now, Koblenz itself is a mostly modern city that is OK but not that unique; unlike the Rhine villages, it is also large and time-consuming to visit on foot. To see Koblenz and still see Marksburg, and still return to Cologne early, you'd need to sacrifice at least part of the scenic rail trip above. The station unfortunately lies a healthy distance from old-town Koblenz. Grab a bus from in front of the station if you wish to get into the historic district quickly to see whatever you have in mind.

On to Marksburg: Bus 570 for Braubach leaves Koblenz station every hour at :14 min. after the hour (30 min. ride.) Trains leave Koblenz station every hour at :54 min. after the hour (12 min. ride.)

(If you decide to try getting into Koblenz by bus before Braubach: you can then catch Bus 570 for Braubach at the "Zentralplatz/Görgenstraße" stop at :09 after the hour, or 2 minutes later at the "Christuskirche" stop.)

If you skip Koblenz (which I recommend generally for your short visit to the area) you can hustle out of Koblenz station and catch Bus 570 at 13:14, or maybe grab a quick lunch at the station and take the train at 13:54. You'll arrive in Braubach at 13:44 (or 14:06 by train) in plenty of time to reach the castle and get a tour of Marksburg (closes 4 pm.)

From Braubach, trains for Cologne leave at :53 after the hour. The 15:53 train gets you back to Cologne at 17:28 (with a connection in Koblenz to 16:16 train) if you must be back early.

Alternatively, take the same 15:53 train from Braubach to Koblenz, but then on the way to Cologne make a stop in the most attractive village on the Rhine, Linz am Rhein. Unlike Koblenz, you can easily see Linz on foot in a short amount of time. From Koblenz take the 16:18 train north along the east bank and get off (16:52) in Linz for an hour's walk around town. Then catch the 17:53 train north and arrive 18:53 in Cologne for dinner.

Linz am Rhein town brochure: http://www.linz.de/pdf/Linz_Prospekt_2007.pdf

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7. Re: Weekend Trip

Russ,

Thank you so much for the helpful information! After reading your response I think I will pass on Koblenz and see Linz.

Do you have a link to the two train schedules you mentioned so I can print them off in case I make adjustments during the day? I really appreciate the advice!

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8. Re: Weekend Trip

Russ,

One more thing, if you have other suggestions for the day please let me know. I do not have to be back to Cologne at any set time, I am staying in Cologne at the Marriott on Saturday evening but I could get dinner in another town. I will have all day Sunday to see Cologne.

Thanks again.

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9. Re: Weekend Trip

I found the train schedules and website so I think I am all set. Thanks so much! Best regards.

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10. Re: Weekend Trip

When you use the DB itinerary page, be sure to specify "only local transport" under "means of transport" - that will ensure that you get itineraries for the local and regional trains, the ones you can use with the daypasses mentioned above.

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

If you have more time after Marksburg, you might want to linger in Braubach for a look around the old town and a meal, or in Linz for a meal.

Braubach: see Ben's comments on Gasthaus Zum Goldenen Schlüssel here:

bensbauernhof.com/pensionfelsenkellerbraubac…

The Zum Weissen Schwanen is an attractive place - haven't eaten there myself but it gets good reviews - the ones in German are flattering. Use a translator?

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g642094-d1…

Edited: 7:28 pm, October 31, 2012