Trier is everything you think of when you imagine a fairytale German town. Founded in 16 B.C. by Roman Emperor Augustus, Trier is known as the oldest city in Germany. Because the city was so spectacular, it eventually became known as the second Rome (Roma Secunda). Therefore, you can see both Roman ruins as well as enjoy Trier's rich German history.
Best Time To Visit Travel experts recommend that you visit sites in Trier in September when crowds taper off and you can focus more on sight-seeing.
You Should Know Suggested places to visit include the Trier Toy Museum and Eltz Castle. The Porta Nigra is the largest ancient Roman gate in Europe. The city is also home to an ancient Roman amphitheater and old Roman thermal baths. Trier University makes Trier a thriving university city. The city is the birthplace of Karl Marx, who was born in 1818 in a three-story house on Bruckenstrasse – a historic street in Trier.
Traben-Trarbach - Germany
If you appreciate Art Nouveau, you will love the town of Traben-Trarbach. Many of the town's buildings were built during the height of the movement or during the early part of the 20th century.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Traben-Trarbach is when the temperature begins to cool, or when crowds begin to diminish during September and October.
You Should Know The best way to see Traben-Trarbach is to schedule a walking tour. You can find one of several tours featured, including a city tour, a night watchman's tour, an Art Nouveau tour, and a Mont-Royal tour. If you cannot participate in a wine festival event, plan to visit one of the town's many wine cellars and take part in a wine tasting activity. Popular Art Nouveau mansions in Traben-Trarbach include Villa Bruecker (built 1905) and Villa Huesgen (built 1904).
Cochem is considered a dropping off point for visitors who wish to see the vineyards of the nearby municipal district of Winningen or wish to make a trip to Reichsburg Castle overlooking Cochem. The castle, which was first erected in 1000 AD, can be accessed by cable car. During the 1800s, the castle's façade was renovated, and it was upgraded to a neo-Gothic design.
Best Time To Visit Based on tourism weather information, the best time to see Cochem for warm-weather sightseeing is anywhere from late June to the last part of August.
A small town in the Moselle River valley, Zell is known for its climbing and hiking trails, and its wine – specifically, Zeller Schwarze Katz. If you are less active, you can always stroll to and visit the city's church, constructed in 1792.
Best Time To Visit If you love to hike or climb, you will find the summer temperatures amenable as well as the cooler temperatures in early fall. However, if you want to experience drier weather, plan a visit around September.
You Should Know After Piesport, Zell is known as the largest wine-growing center in Moselle wine-growing country. Traditionally, Zell is known for its production of Riesling wines. The town is the seat for winemaker, Zimmermann-Graeff & Mueller.
Koblenz - Germany
Sitting where the Moselle meets the Rhine River, 2,000-year-old Koblenz has been described as one of the most beautiful and historic towns in Germany. See sites, such as the Basilica of St. Castor (which goes back to the ninth century) and Liebfrauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady), built during the 12th century.
Best Time To Visit Travel experts suggest you see Koblenz from June through August when the Rhine River region is lush and green.
You Should Know Take a look around the reconstructed medieval square of Florin's Market. The square features a clock tower, built in the 1700s, a church, and a Gothic jury house, built in the 16th century. Go by cable car to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. You will be able to see amazing views of the Rhine Valley at the top of the hill where Ehrenbreitstein stands. If you are not squeamish about heights, one of the gondolas in the cable car system features a glass floor.
Bernkastel-Kues - Germany
Notably pretty, the German town of Bernkastel is often called the wine capital of the Moselle River Valley. That appellation is fair, as the town stores wine in its cellars from 5,000+ vineyards. The medieval Marktplatz in Bernkastel features a town hall that was built in 1608, which also displays a pillory. Across the River in Kues, the heart of the founder of the town's Gothic chapel, Nicholas of Cusa (born in 1401), can be found within the church. The cardinal and philosopher's astronomical instruments, including the oldest celestial sphere in the world, are featured in the St. Nicholas Hospital library, located next door.
Best Time To Visit If you go during the first weekend in October, you can also take part in nearby Piesport's wine festival. Other favorable times to visit are June through August.
You Should Know Established in 1458, the St. Nicholas Hospital has been renovated and now serves wine connoisseurs. The basement of the building has been turned into a vinotheque, which allows visitors to sample up to 160 varieties of wine. Most of the restaurants in Bernkastel-Kues stock a large selection of wines.
Piesport - Germany
Sitting on a bend of the River Moselle, Piesport is an ancient wine-producing town. In 1985, a Roman wine press was found in Piesport, made around the fourth century. It is the largest wine press of its kind discovered north of the Alps.
Best Time To Visit Visit the Piesport is when it holds its wine festival during the first week of October.
You Should Know Piesport's signature wines originate from the Goldtropfchen vineyard, which refers to "droplets of gold." In fact, the Rieslings produced from the vineyard are some of the finest wines in the Moselle River Valley. An interesting winery in Piesport is the Weingut Vereinigte Hospitien. Cellars of the winery were built around 330 AD. The Roman brickwork is still noticeable today.
Famous for its university, Mainz also is dominated by its cathedral, which sits in the center of the city. The church is notable, as the stone for its foundation was laid in 975 AD. The contrast of the city's history with delightful timber-framed homes, cafes, boutiques, and small shops, make Mainz an interesting and memorable cruise stop on a Moselle River Cruise.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Mainz is when the vineyards are lush and growing, or during the months of August through November.
You Should Know One of Mainz's three main festivals is the Weinmarkt. It was introduced in 1946. French occupying forces gave the town 100,000 liters of wine in a gesture of conciliation and friendliness. The Gutenberg Printing Museum and the city's Romano-Germanic Museum stand out as being two of the best museums to visit in Mainz.