Rhineland-Palatinate

Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz) is a state of Germany. The largest wine producing area in Germany, it is home to 6 of the 9 wine-producing districts in Germany and is full of museums, exhibitions and castles.

Regions

Rheinland-Pfalz is a region of rolling hills cut by deep river valleys.

Regions of Rhineland-Palatinate
Eifel (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Volcanic landscapes and blue crater lakes makes the Eifel region a special experience.
Hunsrück
Follow the footsteps of the Romans and the Celts, explore their ancient settlement sites in the hills.
Middle Rhine Valley
A famously scenic section of the Rhine, much of it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Moselle Valley
The Moselle glides peacefully through the Moselle Valley, decorated with castles and romantic wine villages on its way.
Naheland
The Naheland has been blessed with natural riches. The river Nahe passes a region whose fruity, aromatic wines fascinate lovers of the grape.
Palatinate
The weather treats this region particularly well, and pink almond blossom appears every spring to please the senses.
Rhenish Hesse
Germany's largest wine-making region with urban cities like Mainz and Worms within its borders, in addition to Mediterranean-like wine villages.
North-East Rhineland-Palatinate
Includes part of Lahn Valley and the Westerwald east of the Middle Rhine Valley and north of the Taunus. A great region for hikers.

Cities

Mainz: Gutenberg Museum - house Zum Römischen Kaiser

Other destinations

Get in

By plane

Rhineland-Palatinate has only one airport with scheduled passenger flights, in Hahn. Branded Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (IATA: HHN) it is used by low-fare carriers as an alternative to major airports in West Germany. The airport is, however, nowhere near Frankfurt but rather deep in Hunsrück. Public transport operators from major cities in Rhineland-Palatinate offer direct bus shuttles to the airport. Unlike most other German airports it currently (2015) has no rail or rapid transit connection of any kind. Plans to build a rail connection have been announced but whether they will ever come to fruition remains to be seen.

The actual Frankfurt Airport is in the neighbouring Land of Hesse and is Germany's busiest airport with connections all over Europe and the entire world. Direct high-speed and local trains connect the airport to Mainz and Koblenz, where you can change to regional trains and buses to further destinations. Mainz and Koblenz are also served by direct hourly regional trains from Cologne-Bonn Airport (IATA: CGN) and Düsseldorf Airport (IATA: DUS). Some high-speed ICE trains to Koblenz and Mainz also stop at DUS.

By train

If traveling into Germany by train, Rhineland-Palatinate is easily accessible from Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart.

By boat

The river Rhine has been a key factor in the history of the region and now a major tourist attraction. The Rhine together with the Main and Danube (connected by a canal through Franconia and Bavaria) provides a navigable route from the North Sea, Rotterdam to Basel, and Budapest and on to the Black Sea. The Moselle (German name: Mosel) also provides a winding route into France. Cruise companies such as Avalon and Viking provide trips into an through the region.

By bus

Until 2012 or so only a very limited number domestic bus routes and a handful of international lines went into and out of this Bundesland , but since than the market was deregulated and now you can get a domestic bus from or to almost any place. Expect nothing fancy, though as the station infrastructure is still very limited.

Get around

The region has very good connections by train or bus, and all destinations and attractions are easily reachable. Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern, Speyer and the other romantic cities are easy to reach via train, and in the cities you can also move forewards with a bicycle, which is often as rental-bike available. You can also cruise up or down the Rhine between Koblenz and Mainz; see Rhine Valley for details. A boat trip that will be a memorable experience forever. Several car-rental opportunities are to be found in the region, also a practical possibility to get around easily.

Some good offers to explore the surroundings include the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, offering unlimited travel in local trains for up to 5 persons inside the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Wiesbaden. The ticket costs 24 - 44 € per day (as of Dec. 2015) if bought via automat or internet, or 26 - 46 € if bought at a ticket stand and is available at all train stations.

See

Rheinstein Castle near Trechtingshausen in the Middle Rhine Valley, look from Assmannshausen
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle (Burg Pfalzgrafenstein) in the middle of the river Rhine

The Palatinate Forest is the biggest coherent forest in middle Europe; it is a biospehere reserve.

The Speyer Cathedral is the biggest romanuesque church worldwide; its foundation stone was laid in 1030. It is the resting place of 7 salian emperors.

The Palatinate Forest hides over 50 castles and ruins that were mostly destroyed in the War of the Grand Alliance, for example:

The Middle Rhine Valley has a continuous stream of castles including

In the Moselle Valley region

There are a number of museums worth a visit, of note:

Do

The Rhineland-Palatinate region is ideal for outdoor activities like Hiking, Biking, Golf, Nordic Walking, Camping or whatever the heart desires. An important history gives the chance to experience old times, through a range of museums, castles, churches and different exhibitions. There are also the possibility to sleep over in old castles, and live the life of the old empires.

Events

Special Events like for instance Rhine in flames, wine festivals, Christmas markets and concerts are also to be mentioned.

Itineraries

Drink

vineyards in Rheinhessen

The wine regions of Ahr, Pfalz, Mosel and Rheinhessen are within the state providing plenty of opportunities for tasting. There are also a number of brewries in the region, probably the most well known being Bitburger.

Go next

As well as adjoining the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Saarland and Baden-Württemberg it also borders the Liège (province) of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Lorraine region of France.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.