Complete Guide To Visiting Majestic Cochem Castle

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An iconic landmark of the Moselle River Valley, Cochem Castle, is not only a historical gem but also a symbol of the rich heritage and architectural splendor of the Rhineland region in Germany, known for its Riesling and scenic river vistas.  

The Cochem Castle dates back to the 11th century, although the French destroyed it in the 17th century during the Nine Years’ War. The castle lay in ruins for centuries until it was purchased and rebuilt by businessman Louis Ravené in 1868. He rebuilt it in a neo-Gothic architectural style that was popular at the time.

Some say he built the castle for his wife, who later left him for another man whom she had 9 children with, while others say he had a deep appreciation for medieval architecture and history, which drove his quest to rebuild this iconic structure. Either way, it is presumed he also saw the ruins of Cochem Castle as an opportunity to preserve and showcase the region’s cultural heritage while attracting visitors to boost the local economy. 

No matter the motivation behind the castle’s rebuilding, the castle’s stunning architecture, perched high on a hill overlooking the Moselle River, is a marvelous sight to behold!

What to Know Before You Go

You can only access the interior of the castle with a guided tour. They offer German and English tours year-round. The tour lasts about 40 minutes. Times and availability area subject to change so it is best to view their website for updated visitor information. 

You are allowed to take photos or videos of the inside and outside of the castle (no drones allowed). 

There is a cafe and gift shop on site that you can access without a ticket to tour the castle.

Cochem is a tourist town with river cruises and tour buses stopping here daily, so it can be busy with tourists. If you are visiting in the tourist seasons (summer, June-August, or Christmas time), arriving early or late after the groups have left is best. I visited in mid-April and didn’t find the tourist crowds too overrun. 

On the castle tour, you are able to explore some of its interior, which is furnished in a lavish and historically accurate manner. You’ll see a collection of rooms, including a few bedrooms, day rooms, a dining room, and the armory, and walk through the back courtyard and see the original water well. The interior has a lot of dark Oak wood beams and some rooms have beautiful painted ceilings and stained glass windows (I don’t know why I didn’t take more photos of the inside).

One of the highlights of visiting Cochem Castle is the panoramic views it offers of the surrounding countryside, including the picturesque town of Cochem and the winding Moselle River.

Plan at least two hours to visit the castle, including transportation and the tour, longer if you want a bite to eat.

Getting to the Castle

You can reach the town of Cochem by train, car or bus. You can walk through town on the castle footpath (a steep uphill climb) or take the shuttle bus to get to the castle. 

There is no public parking at the castle.

The Footpath 

The footpath runs from the bus station through the center of town along Schlossstraße, which is the main tourist street. On a paved footpath, the walk is about 15-20 minutes (0.6 miles one way). 

There is an incline, especially near the end, but the road is paved, and the walk goes quickly. I walked up and took the shuttle bus down just to see what the shuttle was like. I prefer walking as the charming village has a lot of cute nooks and side streets to admire during the walk.

The Shuttle Bus 

Once in town, you can pick up the shuttle to the castle from the bus stop area (Endertplatz). It drops you off at the base of the footpath to the castle, under a tree. The walk to the main entrance is just a few minutes, with an easy, gradual incline.

Look for the Reichsburg-Shuttle Line 701 operated by RVB Reuter Verkehrsbetreibe GmbH.

This bus operates between May and the end of October. You can find the timetable on the Reichsburg Shuttle page.

You can purchase a bus ticket on the bus. It’s about 2.50 euros each way per person and takes about 15-20 mins.

Car

If arriving by car, you will need to park in town and then either walk up to the castle or pay for the shuttle bus to drive you to the castle.

There are a number of public lots in town, but they do fill up quickly, so arrive before 9 a.m. to get a spot if you are visiting during summer.

Make sure to have coins to pay for parking, as some of the lots do not accept bills or credit cards at the onsite payment machine.

Bus

The closest bus station is Endertplatz. Once you disembark, you can choose to walk to the castle, get a taxi, or walk to the bus station and take the local bus to the castle drop-off point. It’s about 2.5 euros pp to the castle on the local bus. You can purchase the ticket on the bus. 

You will then need to walk up the final incline to the castle, it’s a short 3 min walk. 

Train

The closest train station is Cochem Bahnhof station. This station offers regular connections to major cities such as Koblenz and Trier. 

From the train station, you can either walk to the castle, take a taxi, or local bus from the bus station to the castle entrance. The walk from the train station is a bit longer 1.5 km (25-30 mins).

***

Overall, Cochem is a picturesque medieval village on the banks of the Mosel River surrounded by vineyards. It was one of my favorite day trips from Koblenz during a longer road trip through Germany. With an onsite cafe, stunning panoramic views, and the charming town of Cochem right at your fingertips, I highly recommend a visit to Cochem Castle!

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Sam wearing backpack and hat walking through town.

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