Roteiro da Alemanha Ocidental: Uma rota cativante desde Colónia

Difficulty

650 km

Distance

7+

Recom. Days

Culture

Trip type

Cora Harrison

Escritora freelancer da Indie Campers, atualmente a tentar encontrar-se na Indonésia, mas sem muita sorte. Gosta de explorar a estranha e as maravilhosas cozinhas mundiais - quanto menos identificável, melhor.

West Germany Road Trip Itinerary: Cologne Round-Trip

This West Germany road trip is a real treat to any traveller. It’s blessed with that perfectly German brand of romance: castles, half-timbered houses, and gorgeous cobbled streets.

And, of course, its star player, the Rhine river, weaving its way through a landscape of lush vineyards, sweeping forests, mountain-top castles, and perfectly preserved medieval towns. You can almost hear Wagner’s operas playing in the background.

Climb aboard for a road trip through this most captivating of regions. Begin with a high dose of culture in Cologne, before trading art and architecture for nature and the outdoors in Monschau. Then swap the bucolic for the boozy in Rudesheim, before journeying back through the centuries to historic Marburg.

Pick-up in
Cologne depot
1

First up, culture-loving Cologne

Arriving in Cologne, history buffs and culture-vultures won’t believe their luck. The city offers a mega medley of attractions, especially on the museum front. But visitors mainly come here for the cathedral. Because this one’s a big deal.

Seriously ornate architecture, two iconic spires, and 533 steps to the top. And then there’s the rest of the city. Light-hearted and high-spirited, Cologne knows how to live well — as you’ll see if you time your visit with the city’s uproariously fun carnival.

Bridge in Cologne during sunset, the beginning of this West Germany Road Trip

What else does the first stop on your West Germany road trip itinerary have to offer? Well there’s Museum Ludwig with its enormous art collection. Then perhaps treat yourself to a show at the Kölner Philharmonie. Or the Rheinpark hosts outdoor concerts if you prefer your music standing up and sweaty.

Be sure to try Kölsch, a hoppy beer drunk in tall glasses known as Stangen. Pair with Kölsche Kaviar, a type of sausage, or Hämmche, pig’s trotter. Apologies in advance to the vegetarians.

Visiting

Cologne

1-2

Recom. Days

Main route

15 km

from Cologne depot

20min

drive

Visitar

Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum

The history behind everyone’s favourite sweet treat.

Farina Fragrance Museum

Learn about the city’s iconic perfume.

Schloss Drachenburg

Stunning castle 30 minutes from Cologne.

Comer em

Haxenhaus

€€€

Beer hall that serves a metre-long bratwurst.

Café Feynsinn

€€

Star player in Cologne’s slow food movement.

Peters Brauhaus

€€

Brewery and fast food in gorgeous setting.

Estacionar

Contipark Parkgaragengesellschaft

€€€

Partially covered parking.

Ficar em

Campingplatz Stadt Köln

€€€€

Cycling distance from the city centre.

2

Pastoral pleasures in idyllic Monschau

Head on to the next destination on your West Germany road trip itinerary, into the Eifel region and onwards to the town of Monschau. Here you get a two-for-one deal: a beautiful historic town and a stunning landscape. 

Monschau, known as the ‘Pearl of the Eifel’, feels like a step back in time. Or a leap. Back to a world of cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, and over 300 listed buildings. It’s proper fairytale material. If you saw Hansel and Gretel run past, you wouldn’t be remotely surprised. 

Canal in Monschau, a must-visit on this West Germany Road Trip

Stroll the Altstadt, the dreamily historic old town. Visit the 13th-century castle, or the Rotes Haus, an 18th-century mansion whose unassuming exterior conceals a wonderfully over-the-top interior of antiques and tapestries.

Then head out to explore the 240 km of hiking trails through the Eifel area, leading you past volcanic crater lakes and through moorlands and forests. And, before you leave, make sure to try the Aachener Printen — a traditional gingerbread-like biscuit.

Visiting

Monschau

2

Recom. Days

Main route

100 km

from Cologne

1h30min

drive

Visitar

Senfmühle Monschau

Learn about the town’s famous Moutarde de Montjoie.

Felsenkeller Brauhaus & Museum

150-year-old brewery with tours.

Hellenthal National Park

64-acre park home to deer, deer, wild cats, and owls.

Comer em

Restaurant Rur-Cafe

€€€

Locally run restaurant serving typical German food.

Zum Haller

€€

Hearty traditional German cuisine.

Cafe Am Roten Haus

€€

Affordable homemade cakes.

Estacionar

Monschau Burgau

€€

From here, take the small train into the centre.

Ficar em

Camping Zum Jone-Bur

€€€

Quiet campsite a walk or bus ride from Monschau.

3

Get wined and dined in Rüdesheim am Rhein

You’ve trekked city streets and hiked up hills. Now it’s time to treat yourself. And the next stop on your West Germany road trip is, let’s be honest, all about the wine.

The vineyards surrounding Rüdesheim have thrived for a thousand years, and its acclaimed drinks include Riesling, brandy, and Sekt, a sparkling wine. And what a setting to enjoy it all in: the Rhine river winding past mountains and dotted with islands, and charming Rüdesheim itself.

Wine city of Rüdesheim, a waypoint on this West Germany Road Trip

Take a cruise along the Rhine for photo ops aplenty. Visit the Niederwald Monument — reached on foot or by cable car. You can even take the trip at night when the landscape will be lit up by the moon. Visit the taverns on Drosselgasse, nicknamed "the smallest but happiest street in the world."

And for something a bit different, there’s Pfalz Castle, a comically small castle on an island that used to exact money from boats as they passed, showing that size really doesn’t matter.

Visiting

Rüdesheim am Rhein

2

Recom. Days

Main route

220 km

from Monschau

3h

drive

Visitar

Eibingen Abbey

Nuns selling wine from a convent.

Assmannshausen

Gorgeous town with beautiful views and burgundy-style wines.

Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett

Musical instruments that play themselves.

Comer em

Restaurant Ratsstube

€€

German tavern food meets Mediterranean cuisine.

Café Rosenberger

€€

Regional dishes on the Rhine.

Unter den Linden

€€€€

Beautiful views, tradition with a modern twist.

Estacionar

Stadt Rüdesheim am Rhein Drosselgasse

€€

Uncovered parking close to centre.

Ficar em

Campingplatz am Rhein

€€€

On banks of river, walking distance from town.

4

Leave the modern day behind in Marburg

Worried about hitting your daily step count during this West Germany road trip? Marburg has you covered.

This historic town feels entirely composed of steps. Winding alleys weave their way up and down steep slopes, and some of the houses have back doors five stories above the front doors.

But that isn’t Marburg’s main selling point. This university town has a lively youthful energy, affordable and delicious food, and the Philipps-Universität – the world’s oldest Protestant university, whose alumni include the Brother Grimm.

View of the historic town of Marburg, the last stop on your West Germany Road Trip

Wander the crooked streets up and down. Then there’s the Elisabethkirche, built by the knights of the Teutonic Order to commemorate Saint Elisabeth, a pilgrimage site that brought fame and fortune to the town.

If you’re a morning person, head to the south side of the church for sunrise. Then high above it all there’s Landgrave Castle with its panoramic views. And when evening comes, the Schlosspark hosts concerts and open-air films in summer.

Visiting

Marburg

2

Recom. Days

Main route

140 km

from Rüdesheim am Rhein

1h40

drive

Visitar

Mittelalterliche Synagoge

Remains of an ancient synagogue.

Lutheran St-Marien-Kirche

Quite a climb to reach but spectacular views.

Botanischer Garten Marburg

Beautiful botanical gardens.

Comer em

Shaky Shake

€€

American-style burger joint.

The Bückingsgarten

€€€

Rustic restaurant by Marburg castle.

Das Kleine Restaurant

€€€€

Fine dining with four course menu.

Estacionar

Parkplatz Georg-Gaßmann-Stadion

Free

Free parking short walk from centre.

Ficar em

Damm Hammer Camping

€€€

Peaceful camping short drive from Marburg.

Drop-off in
Cologne depot

200 km

from Marburg

2h

drive