16 best things to do in Rudesheim Germany : 2023 Ultimate Travel Guide

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Sustainable Travel in Slow Germany & Wheelchair Accessible Hikes

Step away from the crowded cities and into a mosaic of serene history, culinary and natural charms in delightful Rüdesheim, Germany.

Sharp Rieslings grown within sight from medieval cobbled alleys and castle hotels – Check! 

Wheelchair accessible hikes within vineyards overlooking the Romantic Rhine River gorge – YES!

TL;DR: Rudesheim Germany sits at the entrance to the dramatic and varied 40 mile long lush valley with over 40 castles located (google map GPS data) about every 2.5 km.  It’s a marriage of history and Nature unlike anywhere else. 

–>Read until the end where you’ll find a free download to the regions’ 40 castles located within this UNESCO site. I’ve included their history, architecture, location and contact information.  Some even offer authentic castle hotel stays to indulge your inner medieval nerd. 

Rüdesheim Travel Guide Table of Contents

Why You Should Visit Rudesheim

The glittering half-timbered gem of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley is Rudesheim Germany. It is a wine making town known for inclusivity, accessibility and sustainable travel with its train, ferry, hiking, biking and chair lift (seilbahn, gondola) systems.

Yes, you can float over perfectly lined vineyards and even sip wine at the same time!

Located in the heart of the wine-making Rheingau region, it’s not only a summer and Autumn destination. Locals flock here for its atmospheric Christmas market and year round outdoor and cultural activities. 

Rudesheim Map with Best Things to Do in Rudesheim

Try this Google Map for your phone like a tour guide in your pocket. Open the side bar for links to hotels, restaurants and tours.

How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”

Where to Stay in Rüdesheim

This post links to products and services I love (like Booking.com), which I may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. This is how I can continue to make Sustainable Outdoor Travel Guides!! – Morgan

Best Stay in the Heart of the Old Town

Have a true Rhine History and Castle Hotel Experience!  Schloss is the German word for palace. 

In the center of the old town is a four-star hotel, Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss – the place to try the top cuisine and wine from this region and features a live band in the summer.

The monthly changing menu is focused around seasonal produce from the area, with favorite dishes including Hessian tapas, riesling-cheese soup and schloss (castle) duck. The building was first constructed by the archbishop of Mainz in 1729, and it’s now a Unesco World Heritage site. It’s the perfect setting to end a day of easy hiking, wine tasting and sightseeing in the historic old town.

Best Hotels in Rudesheim

Most Serene Palace Hotel 

For a quieter experience you can Book the Hunter’s Palace or Jagdschloss Hotel Niederwald to have complete serenity in the middle of the Niederwald forest sitting atop the town of Rüdesheim.

Most Medieval Castle Hotel 

Fancy a hotel stay in a truly medieval fortress castle hotel?  Just across the river and serviced by the abundant ferries is the Burg Reichenstein castle hotel.  It’s located in Trechtingshausen and serves one of the most delicious breakfasts I’ve experienced with window seats overlooking the Rhine River. 

Most Riverside Room

The Hotel Krone offers free breakfast and is located directly near the riverside for some peaceful moments and is a short 300 meter walk to the cable car. 

Most Budget Friendly

Going on a budget and having an SUV? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in Germany in a parking lot. Make it comfortable with a comfy SUV air mattress.

Top 16 Things to Do in Rüdesheim

Dive into History

Take this private walking tour of Rudesheim to hit all the highlights of Rüdesheim town and the hikes around to get the most history lessons. 

Capture Memories with Castle Flying Dress Photography

Want an insider’s guide to the most instagrammable spots in Rudesheim with a private English speaking photographer?

Medieval castles in the background with inclusive flying dresses.

Goddess Lens photography will help you capture truly unique vacation photography with a Castle and vineyard backed flying dress photography experience.  Contact for more information on how to book your German Flying Dress Photography Experience. 

Rüdesheim Wine Tasting

rüdesheim germany

Rudesheim is the heart of the region known as the Rheingau.  It is known for its amazing wines on steep vineyards facing the Romantic Rhine River.  This full day guided trip from Frankfurt includes tours of the castles, hikes, river cruise and Rudesheim wine tasting

Rüdesheim Christmas Market 

Christmas markets are magical in Germany and the one in Rüdesheim is atmospheric and a regional favorite. You’ll be fighting some crowds because everyone wants to experience it. Here are the most recent updates for the Rüdesheim Christmas Market

If you want to step outside the old town and get some frosty views, try booking this Christmas boat tour in Rudesheim and sip some Glühwein while viewing the misty gorge from the boat.

Go River Cruising: Rudesheim Rhine River Cruise

Sweeping vineyards, mountaintop castles and adorable villages are what you’ll see on a Rhine river cruise. 

Sip on wines and cruise through the Rhine Valley on this half or full day cruise from Frankfurt.

Walk the Drosselgasse Rudesheim – The Old Town Half Timbered Heaven

Visit the historical center of Rudesheim by strolling down the 150 meter long Drosselgasse boat alley. Meander by adorable half timbered buildings dating back to the 15th century on a passage home owners used to get items from boats on the river to their gorgeous homes. 

To learn more about the detailed history of the Drosselgasse and more monuments around, take this private history walking tour of Rudesheim.  

Sail past Mäuseturm on the Rüdesheim Ring Tour

On this self guided tour utilize the cable car, ferry and your own two feet to get a view of Rudesheim and it’s highlights from land and sea including the famous Mäuseturm castle tollbooth castle in the middle of the Rhine River.

Visit the Rudesheim Torture Musuem

The Medieval Torture Museum illustrates the history of punishment and torture in the Middle Ages as well as the time of witch-hunting in Germany. It sits just north of the Drosselgasse and is open year round.

Soak in the Views from Niederwalddenkmal Monument 

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The Niederwald in Rudesheim is a public forested park sitting atop the town accessed by gondola.  There’s a parking lot that costs 4 euros directly at the monument and near the Niederwaldtempel Rüdesheim am Rhein – a gorgeous pillared temple known for having artists like Beethoven visit, view the Rhine River and gain inspiration.

The famous Niederwalddenkmal statue looks over the opposing town of Bingen, towering at 125 feet high. It’s magnificent and grand, much like the statue of liberty, except she’s watching over a patchwork of perfectly lined vineyards and the Rhine River.

Her name is Germania and she was built to celebrate Germany’s unification into the German empire in 1871. 

Feel your Inner Goethe: Adlerturm Rüdesheim

Among the sights to see in Rudesheim Germany beyond the Niederwald monument is the 20 meter high Late Gothic Eagle Tower. It was built in the 15th century as a part of the Rüdesheim city fortification. In the 19th century, when the Adlerturm housed an inn called “Zum Adler” (In the Eagle), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s greatest poet and literary man, frequently stayed here during his Rüdesheim visits in order to enjoy the magnificent view of the Rhine.

Learn Winemaking at Brömserburg Castle

One of the oldest of the dozens of castles in the Rhine Gorge World Heritage site, Brömserburg Castle was originally the residence-stronghold of the bishops of Mainz built in the 10th century. 

The walls are 5 meters thick in parts!  15 foot walls make for a great wine cellar. 

The Rheingauer Weinmuseum Brömserbvurg houses an outstanding wine museum which informs how winemaking has evolved throughout the ages and exhibits an extensive collection of wine presses.  It’s currently being renovated but the website above will list opening time so you can learn more about the Rheingau wine region.  

Free Dolomities Packing List

Another strange wine maker is the Eibingen Abbey in the run by benedectine nuns. Founded by St. Hildegard of Bingen in 1165 and today offers Rieselings and sparking wines. You can even arrange a stay in their guest house.  Contact by email to learn more: gaeste@abtei-st-hildegard.de

Listen in at Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet 

Germany’s mechanical instrument museum provides a vast collection of fascinating musical instruments dating back 3 centuries. Listen to the carillon played every half hour in the courtyard by bells made of original Meissen porcelain.

Taste Rüdesheim Restaurants & Sip Rüdesheim Coffee

In town for a wine festival and want to know where to eat in Rüdesheim?  There are so many choices and you almost can’t go wrong!   

Try the famous Art Cafe right on the Drosselgasse for some delicious Baumstriezel and Rüdesheimer Kaffee.  It’s a bit boozy, but delicious.

The Restaurant Rosenberger serves up a higher end white tablecloth experience with delicious Flammkuchen, Schnitzel, roasted meats and more. 

For affordable food and a fun Biergarten go to Jakobsklause and stock up on local snacks and schnitzels. 

For a funky interior, salads and great coffee check out Graf von Rüdesheim

Hike from Castle to Castle Hotel : Part 5/5 Rüdesheim to Assmannshausen

rudesheim germany

Hike an easy 6 miles section hike along the Rheinsteig long distance path takes you from one magnificent historical or castle hotel to the next on this brand-new multi-day hiking path spanning 5 days in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.  Check out the Lorch to Assmannshausen section.

Check out all the Rhine River Castles

Go castle spotting by river cruise, train, car or bicycle.  This guide will inform you of its history, age and location by GPS so you can understand what the history is you

Get your free download spreadsheet of the Castles of the Rhine

Fly Over the Vineyards on Rüdesheim Cable Car – Wheelchair Accessible

rüdesheim

The Rudesheim gondola is wheelchair and stroller friendly.  The Rudesheim cable car is also known as the “Seilbahn Rudesheim”.  It looks like a ski chair lift or gondola and helps people skip the hike up the steep hill to get to the top of Rüdesheim to enjoy the sweeping river views and walk within the wheelchair accessible forested history/nature park on top. 

Access to the Rüdesheim Cable Car

From the train station in town, walk about 6 minutes or less than one third of a mile (500 meters) to the Rüdesheimer Seilbahn talstation

For car parking this lot is near the station. 

Rüdesheim Cable Car Opening Hours: 7 Days a Week

It is typically open late May until the end of October and again during the 2 weeks of Christmas market season.

The cable car is open daily until 30 October and then again from 21 November to 23 December daily from 11:00 a.m. for the Rüdesheim Christmas Market.  For more details check their website

Seasonal Opening Hours

In May it opens at 9:30 am and closes at 6:00 pm.

In June and September it opens at 9:30 am and closes at 6:00 pm Monday-Friday and 9:30 am – 7:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

In July and August it’s open 9:30 am to 7:00 pm everyday.

In October it is open 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday and 9:30 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.

During the Christmas market season it is open 9:30 to 6:00 pm during the week and until 7:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

Wheelchair Accessible Hiking

People of all mobility levels can get ALL the views and experience the heights of Rudesheim. 

After reaching the top of the gorge via the Rüdesheim cable car, you’ll walk or roll along a flat path with many historical stops marked with placards in German and English.  The path makes its way to the Jagdschloss Hotel (hunters palace hotel). Then you’ll return back along the same flat and wide path to return back to Rudesheim via the cable car. 

If you want to continue to the next village of Assmannshausen that is know for it’s red wine, there is a chair lift down to the village but it is not wheelchair accessible. 

It descends into the much less busy village of Assmannshausen or you can simply walk 20-30 min downhill, going past an enclosure with very cute deer.  There is a vending machine to purchase feed pellets that you can try to hand feed the deer through the fence. 

rüdesheim germany

Assmannshausen Chairlift

It operates on a slightly different schedule than the Rudesheimer Chair lift, so check before going.  A single ride costs 6 euros and here is their timetable

This article is about Rudesheim.  However, the über-cute Assmannsahusen offers not only a unique name but a more intimate Rhine Gorge wine village experience. Often people never make it past Rüdesheim into the Rhine River Valley.  If you’ve got the time, I highly recommend diving deeper into this UNESCO world heritage site and getting the feel of villages that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time with really great food. 

FYI: the hikes around the Rheinsteig often include little wooden huts with wine automats.  Yes, wine vending machines that are trailside in the middle of the forest..  

Rudesheim Cable Car Price

The ferry is dog, children in strollers, and wheelchair accessible and a perfect way to skip the steep hill going out of the town up to the gorgeous Niederwald forest and monument. 

Strong winds or thunderstorms will cause it to close. Bicycles are allowed but you must buy a children’s ticket.

DOGS ride FREE.

Rüdesheimer Seilbahn Costs & Castle Options

For a one way ticket as an adult it is €6.50.

For a return trip it is €10 euros.

If you want to go to Assmannshausen you can get a ticket for €11.00.

If you want to continue from Assmannshausen back to Rudesheim via the boat ferry it is €17.00.

If you really want the full experience including the boat and a castle it is €20 euros. This tour will cross the Rhine in Assmannshausen, where you can visit the Rheinstein castle with a 10 min walk and then return to Rüdesheim by boat.

Children 5-15 are generally 50% discount and group tickets of 20 are 10-20% reduced. 

You can book non-scheduled rides by contacting them directly.


FAQ – Quick Facts About Rüdesheim am Rhein

State: Hesse

Region: Rheingau

Closest Large City: Frankfurt Germany

Population: 9,683

Famous For: Wine, Festivals, Christmas Markets, Hiking and Rhine River Valley Gorge Gatekeeper.  The first wine town welcoming visitors into the UNESCO world heritage site lined with vertical vineyards and dotted with castles or castle ruins every 2.5 km along a steep and wooded river valley.

Check out these top selling Germany Guidebooks to prepare for your trip. Or if you are curious about German Castles this Castle Book really helps understand the history. 

About Rudesheim Germany

Rüdesheim Altstadt is a quaint medieval town at the southern end of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley gorge that is designated a UNESCO world heritage site.  The Rhine’s more relaxing neighbor is the less well-known Mosel River just an hour away.  For the steepest vineyard in Europe and more privacy check out the Calmont Klettersteig for amazing views and wine in a more chill relaxed experience.  Some sections of the walk have metal ladders, so bring good shoes.  And it’s not wheelchair or stroller accessible. 

Castles & Castle Hotels Near Rudesheim Germany

One of the most interesting things about the Upper Middle Rhine Valley gorge is the abundance of castles, fully restored and luxury castle hotels and castle ruins.

Imagine waking up in a 4 poster bed with the bathroom hidden behind a fake door that’s a wall of real books!?!  Yes, this is the beauty of booking BurgHotel auf Schönburg and its secret gardens, towers and even a playful crossbow range. 

rüdesheim germany
My Ruby girl hiking to the Hunters Palace Hotel

Book the Hunter’s Palace or Jagdschloss Hotel Niederwald to have complete serenity in the middle of the Niederwald forest sitting atop the Rhine River.  You’ll have easy access by car, but by foot you can easily go to both Rüdesheim and Assmannshausen by a secluded trail or the cable car system. 

Best Time to Travel to Rüdesheim

My personal favorite is during the unbelievable 2 weeks in mid-October with the colors of the trees along the River gorge and its vertical vineyards in full vibrant red, orange and yellow colors! 

But it’s truly all-seasons as winter hosts one of the dreamiest Christmas markets in Germany, summer is prime hiking season for the long distance Rheinsteig and spring offers miles and miles of views of pear, apple and forsythia blossoms. 

Weather in Rüdesheim Germany

The Rhine gorge has a little bit of a microclimate where it stays wetter and warmer than the surrounding mountain ranges of the Eifel and Pfälzerwald forests.  It’s truly all-season with lows in the upper 30s in the deep winter and highs in the upper 40s.  In summer the highs are usually mid 70s and lows in lower 60s.  Rain happens in Germany, but nothing like the asian monsoons so a rain jacket usually works well and brings a jacket.

If planning this as a winter (or late fall, early Spring) trip and you want to hike between villages, carefully consider your daylight hours as it is limited due to the northern latitude. There were many, many signs of wild hogs and you’ll want to avoid twilight on the trails.

At dusk they love to charge your dogs and your shins. If you have to be out there after dark, use this Clark Griswold Christmas Style Headlamp, it’s got 900 lumens and might scare away the wild hogs, maybe.

How to get to Rüdesheim am Rhein Germany

Where is Rudesheim, Germany? Located at the entrance to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in western Germany.  Perfect for a day trip from Frankfurt, Cologne or Luxembourg.  Worthy of a romantic weekend hiking, bicycling, wine tasting and antique shopping.

How do I get from Frankfurt to Rudesheim Germany?

This region is about 45 minutes from Frankfurt international airport by car. The best way to access the hike is by train. This region is served by the MittelRheinBahn Train.  Download the DB Bahn app and you’ll find the best timetables. The train runs typically 1-2 times per hour. You can purchase tickets on app or at the local kiosk at every train station. There are toilets onboard. If you get caught not paying for a ticket there is a 60 euro fine.

If using a car, simply park in at the Rüdesheim Berg Parkplatz (4 euros per day) if doing the hike from the top, or if you want to take the cable car park in this parking lot.  

If you’re making this an overnight stay at a castle hotel, park in the lot at the castle you’ve chosen to stay and take the train/ferry to Rüdesheim.

How far is Rüdesheim from Stuttgart?

Approximately 3 hours by car or 2.5 hours by train. 

How far is Rüdesheim from the KMC?

Rudesheim is a 1.5 hour drive from the KMC, or Kaiserslautern Military Community.  It can be made a bit shorter with the ferry, but that depends upon when you arrive as it runs only every 20 minutes. 

How far is Rüdesheim from Wiesbaden?

It is 30 minutes from Rudesheim to Wiesbaden by car or train.

Rudesheim Ferry and Public Transportation

Public Transportationwww.bahn.de for train service on both sides of the river. For boat trips that make much more sense than driving around (very long rides at times) there are many options.  During the high summer season multiple operators act like hop-on, hop-off boat cruises.

This ferry service operates hospitality cruises and the regular car ferries.  Hospitality is from early April to the end of October and they offer tables and drink services. 

If you’re hiking during the off-season, it’s still a great way to cross the Rhine on a predictable schedule to take in some of the best sights. The car ferry is labeled “auto-fahren” and you simply drive on or walk on to cross the Rhine.  Cost are around 2 euros per person or 5 euros per car. There are benches to sit and take in the gorgeous scenery as you cross the Rhine. 

The ferries generally run from 5:30 am until 7 or 8 pm depending upon time of year. Check their website for updated information.

Beyond the Best Hikes in Germany & More Free Resources: 

If you’re looking for some amazing mountain adventures with WWI history, check out the Alta Via 1 Hike in the Dolomites. Hike and scramble over the path of the Alpini soldiers and explore the bunkers, via ferratas and outdoor museums at Cinque Torri.

You’ll be immersed in the history of the Italian Front during this gorgeous hike. It’s only possible in summer between mid-June and mid-September. It’s absolutely necessary to plan 6 months ahead of time to get lodging at huts directly on the high elevation trails.

It’s a 2-3 hour drive from Venice or a 7-8 hour drive from Ramstein Air Base. Here’s a detailed packing list of everything you would need to complete a 5 day hut to hut hiking trip to explore the Italian front of WWI.

Recommended Resources

Rhine River Castles

Autumn is my favorite time to walk along the Rhine – From Right bank you can view many castles on the other side.

Go castle spotting by river cruise, train, car or bicycle.  This guide will inform you of its history, age and location by GPS so you can understand what the history is you

Get your free download spreadsheet of the Castles of the Rhine


Looking for an amazing Hut to Hut Hike of a Lifetime? Stimulate the senses in the Italian Dolomites! Alta Via 1 Cicerone Guidebook

All 24 sections of the Moselsteig Long Distance Hiking Path

Section 7 of the Moselsteig with best places to stay and eat.

How to use Komoot – Tutorial for a European hiking & social GPS app

Reliable Rental Cars

Classic Rick Steves Germany Guidebook – This brand is so awesome, explore European through the backdoor.

‍If bikes are your thing and you want to continue exploring Germany’s gorgeous river valleys, the Rhine River is next Door. This book to explore the Rhine by bike will help you step by step.


Thanks for reading! Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures or ask questions from the community over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning

With 💞, Crave the Planet

Thanks for reading! Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures or ask questions from the community over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning