Sankt Goar Things to Do Tips by Rusket Top 5 Page for this destination
Sankt Goar Things to Do: 35 reviews and 98 photos
Info board, St. Goarshausen
I had some time to spend in St. Goarshausen while waiting for the bus up to the Lorelei Cliff, and took a stroll. I crossed the street from the ferry landing to take a closer look at this info board. It gives you directions to the Loreley statue on a peninsula in the river, to a guesthouse, wine testing and more. But then my eyes caught a glimpse of the tree statue in the background. It is worth a closer look! (pics. 2 - 5) It is carved out from the remains of an old tree, and tells you everything about the area: A train coming out from a tunnel, Father Rhein, Loreley on the cliff etc. Amazing, it became the best part of my Loreley expedition! I have searched the web for more info about the tree statue, like who the artist is, but found nothing. So, if anybody knows more about it, please let me know!
Address: St. Goarshausen
Directions: Across the street from the ferry landing
Burgexpress St. Goar
Use the train to avoid climbing when going up to Burg Rheinfels, or take the trip for fun and to have a quick sightseeing of the historical part of St. Goar. It is a cute little train, and the driver gives some comments along the route. Departure three times every hour from 9:30 to 18 in the period from easter to 1 November. The price of a return ticket is 3 € for adults, 2 for children.
Being a train freak I just had to try it even though we stayed in the youth hostel right below the castle. I had to pay a little more than half price for the one way ticket, but the moose went for free :-) We both enjoyed the ride very much. After a lot of walking in St. Goarshausen and on the Lorelay cliff, we could relax in this slow moving vehicle and enjoy the views on our way. Absolutely worth the price.
0171/4 96 37 62 or 01 71/3 31 93 47
Directions: Main stop right outside Hotel Goldenen Löwen, where we had our first meal in St. Goar.
Other Contact: info@st-goarer-burgexpress
Phone: +49 (0)171 4963762
The castle was a bit dissapointing, too. They charged me 4 € and gave me a map with two marked trails and explanations on the back. The map was difficult to understand, especially since they were out of english versions. Fortunately I can read german, but it was difficult anyway. There is an inner trail, and one between the two defense walls. The stairs I should have taken to get down to the outer trail, was blocked due to reconstruction work. Private arrangements made me feel like an intruder, and prevented me from going where I wanted. Only later did I discover another possibility to get down onto the outer trail. But it was already closing time, and I was afraid I would be locked in. Seems like the german tourist industry is based on groups coming with their own guide, and not on solo travellers like me.
The absolute best parts were sitting on the restaurant terrace admiring the view, the trip with the Burg Express to get there (separate tips), and the walk back down to the youth hostel. I did not feel very welcome in the restaurant, either. The staff seemed more interested in the ongoing football cup than in me, and I got the feeling the restaurant was meant more for hotel guests.
But I have been there, I have seen one german castle from inside. I am completely satisfied by having seen the rest of them from a distance, I don't feel the urge of wasting a lot of time feeling like an unwelcome intruder.
Opening hours: 15 march - first sunday in november from 9 - 18, last entrance at 17. During winter, when the weather conditions are good: saturdays and sundays 11 - 17, last entrance at 16.
Address: St. Goar
Directions: Take the Burg Express from downtown, or walk to the youth hostel and up the path starting at the hostel terrace.
The area between Rüdesheim/Bingen and Koblenz has been on the Unesco World Heritage list since 2002. It is packed with castles, cute little towns, wineyards and narrow parts of the river which used to be very dangerous. Not to forget the fameous Loreley cliff (pic. 5).
The Loreley statue (well, the main one, there are several) is best observed from the river or the road beneath the cliff, as it is situated on a peninsula downstream of the cliff. There are different myths about Loreley. The one I had heard before, was that she was a mermaid captured by a fisherman, and sat on the cliff singing sad songs about longing to go back to the sea. What is the same in all the myths is that her singing made river sailors loose their concentration and capsise. The river is very narrow here, with strong currents. There used to be a waterfall, and there is a very special echo (hard to hear nowadays because of sound pollution) that created the illusion of her singing.
When we passed the cliff, Heinrich Heine's fameous Loreley song was heard on the loudspeakers (English translation of the poem in TL), and a brief version of the myth was told in several different languages, among them japanese.
Antistar has a tip about upstream and downstream. I had decided to take the boat upstream to have as much time as possible. But then, why not take it both ways! So I did, which gave me time to explore the boat itself (separate tip). Price one way is 14.90 € , for the return trip it was 17.30 (2006). En extra 1.50 € to go with the paddle boat. It was absolutely worth it!
The Goethe is only one of 14 ships in the KD fleet. On our way we passed their newest addition, the large, modern catamaran RheinEnergie (pic. 4)
Address: Between Cologne and Mainz
Directions: I took the boat from St. Goar to Rüdesheim and back. Tickets are obtained in a booth by the landing, centrally located in St. Goar.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +49 (0)221 2088 318
View from Backstage, Loreley
The Loreley Cliff was a dissappointment. Nothing to see on the cliff itself. Well, it was a nice walk and beautiful scenery. And buss loads of tourists with their guides. But nothing about Loreley, the actual Loreley statue is on a peninsula in the river! There is a hotel / restaurant close to the cliff edge, a hostel and a campsite. Guess some of the hotel rooms have a great view, but I prefer to stay somewhere closer to public transportation and further away from the crowds coming to see the cliff every day.
Behind the open air stage, where all kinds of concerts are held during the summer season, there is cafe called Backstage, where you can relax with a cold drink and a light meal. Beautiful view, typical bar food and stinky toilets.
The visitor center situated by the parking lot (pic. 5, link below) is open daily between 10 and 18 from march to the beginning of november. Entrance fee is 2.5 € for adults, 1.50 for children. I did not go inside, since I felt I already knew enough about the Loreley myths, and I wanted to have time to visit the Rheinfels castle as well. But I did sit down in the cafeteria to cool myself with a cold drink while waiting for the bus.
There is a 3 km walking path down to the riverside, and you can also join the Rhein-Wein Wanderpfad from here.
Bus 595 from St. Goarshausen runs once every hour in the tourist season, that is from the end of may till end of september the first one is at 10:15, then 11:30 - 16:30. From 10 april to end of may + 1 october to mid october the first one is at 11:15, and then 12:30 to 15:30. The fare is 1.40 € (2006)
Address: St. Goarshausen
Directions: Bus no 595: take left when leaving the ferry, appr. 100 meters.
Seeing these wineyards (pic. 2 - 5) brought back dear memories: I celebrated my 29th birthday (no, not this year, the REAL 29th ;-) in the Ruwer valley, further west in Rheinland Pfalz. The owner of the guesthouse where my boyfriend and I were staying, took us, together with another norwegian couple also staying there + a business collegue of mine and his wife, to a nearby farm to test wines. We learned a lot about the history of german wine industry, importance of hill slopes and sun days for the wine quality etc. We also tasted different wines, of course, and we did NOT spit the samples out! Actually, we were not given samples, but full glasses of each kind of wine :-) Before we left, I signed the guestbook, where I wrote something like "This was a very nice way to celebrate my birthday". The owner managed to read this before our host had started the car engine, and we were called back. And THEN the party started!
In the Rhine valley you can combine wine testing and hiking. The map in pic. 1 shows the trail Rhein-Wein Wanderpfad with distances, totally 52 km between Kaub and Kamp Bornhofen. They recommend you make it a multiple day hike, but you don't need to bring a lot of stuff, there are several accomodation possibilities and restaurants along the route. And it takes you close to many of the castels, museums and more. (More info on linked page.)
Directions: From St. Goar take the ferry across to St. Goarshausen and go up to Burg Katz or Burg Maus, which are both on the trail.
Phone: +49 67 71 919 115
Dolls and bears museum, St. Goar
Elge liked the museum a lot, but he was SOO afraid I would leave him there! It doesn't look much when you enter, but there are several floors, enough to get lost! We were not allowed to take pictures inside. That is a pity, the place was incredible! The lady said there would be pictures on their home page, but there are very few. You simply have to go and take a look yourself!
There were not only dolls and bears, but workshops where you can make your own dolls, doll and bear hospital, cars, doll houses, miniatures of shops, suitcases, shoes, paper dolls, theme exhibitions from different countries and eras, ..., ...
Opening hours are 10 - 17 daily (14 - 17 saturdays and sundays only from January to easter), entrance fee is 2 Euros.
Address: Sonnengasse 8
Directions: The street runs in parallell with the railway line, on the way from the train station towards the castle / youth hostel.
Phone: +49 (0) 67 41 72 70
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