10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Koblenz
Koblenz, the former residence of the Electors of Trier, is beautifully situated at the junction of the Mosel and Rhine rivers. The city straddles both banks of each river, and has for centuries been an important defensive and economic center. Its strategic value can be seen in the remains of the many old fortifications built here, most notably the old castle of Ehrenbreitstein, which dominates the right bank of the wide Rhine. Koblenz also boasts many other well-preserved historic attractions, from sumptuous old palaces to some of the oldest churches in Germany. It's also perfectly positioned to explore the UNESCO World Heritage portion of the Rhine Valley, as well as the beautiful Mosel Valley region. Numerous river tour options are available, from pleasant one or two-hour sightseeing jaunts to longer overnight adventures.
See also: Where to Stay in Koblenz
1 Editor's Pick Deutsches Eck: The German Corner
The German Corner, or Deutsches Eck, refers to the long slip of land between the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Projecting into the fast flowing waters like the bow of a ship (it's a great spot for one of those Titanic-like movie shots), the meeting place of these two mighty rivers has been an important part of the city's natural defenses since 1216 when the Order of Teutonic Knights settled here (the remains of their old fortification, Deutschherrenhaus, lie nearby). In addition to its magnificent views over the rivers and the Rhine Valley, the German Corner is home to the city's impressive Monument to Emperor Wilhelm I, a spectacular 37-meter-tall equestrian statue of the old king.
Address: Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer, 56068 Koblenz
2 The Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein
Perched 118 meters above Koblenz on the east bank of the Rhine, the Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein (Festung Ehrenbreitstein) was built between 1817 and 1828 on the ruins of an older fort destroyed by the French. Now part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's best to approach the site via a fun cable car trip - the longest in Germany - across the Rhine with its superb views over the town and the two rivers. In addition to exploring the old battlements and the fort's many exhibits, visitors can enjoy a number of museums here, including the State Museum of Koblenz with its rich archaeological and historic collections, and a memorial dedicated to fallen soldiers of WWI. Other experiences offered include a unique Baroque dining package, along with a program of music and theatrical productions.
Address: 56077 Koblenz
3 Forum Confluentes
Koblenz is home to Forum Confluentes, a new arts and cultural center built in the heart of the city's central square. Really three unique attractions in one, this stunningly designed building echoes the shape of the famous German Corner, a nod to the city's location on both the Rhine and Mosel rivers. This unique building is home to the Mittelrhein Museum (Middle Rhine Museum) with its displays showing the city's history, as well as collections of Middle Rhineland sculptures of the 13th to 16th centuries and paintings from the Baroque and Romantic periods. It's also where you'll find the Romanticum, an excellent interactive attraction that takes visitors on a virtual cruise along the beautiful Middle Rhine Valley while introducing them to the region's major castles and the people that once inhabited them. Also in Forum Confluentes is the city's main Tourist Information Center which, in addition to its bountiful information on Koblenz, houses a large model highlighting the city's main tourist attractions.
Address: Zentralplatz 1, 56068 Koblenz
4 Alte Burg
On the banks of the Mosel in Koblenz stands the Alte Burg, a 12th-century castle that once served the Electors of Trier as they struggled to subject the locals to their rule. Surrounded by a tall wall, parts of which date back to Roman times, and a wide moat that's still fed by the Mosel, this impressive old building now houses the city's Municipal Archives and Library. Also of interest is the nearby Balduinbrücke, an old bridge crossing the Mosel that was built between 1343-1420, while a little further upstream is the New Mosel Bridge (Neue Moselbrücke). Of interest to military enthusiasts is the Langemarck Barracks, home to a fascinating collection of small arms, cannons, vehicles, and uniforms.
Address: Burgstraße 1, Koblenz
5 Stolzenfels Castle
South of Rittersturz on the outskirts of Koblenz and perched 154 meters above the Rhine stands the majestic Schloss Stolzenfels. Built in 1259 to collect river tolls, the castle was expanded in the 15th century and later in the 1800s when its current Gothic Revival features were added and it became the summer residence of the King of Prussia. Accessible via a 15-minute walk up a steep footpath, the castle remains one of the most romantic attractions in the region. Visitors can tour the interior where highlights include the Great Knight's Hall and the former royal living quarters. Guided tours are available.
Address: Rhenser Strasse 33, 56075 Koblenz-Stolzenfels
6 The Basilica of St. Castor
Founded in 836 AD, the Basilica of St. Castor - Basilika St. Kastor - was where the historic Treaty of Verdun was signed in 843 AD that saw the division of the Carolingian empire. Recent excavations indicate the site has, however, been used for religious purposes as far back as the 1st century, and later by the Romans who built a church here that lasted until around 700 AD (much of the building seen today dates from the 12th century). Highlights of a visit include the Dwarf Gallery with its 21 arches and images of Christ as a lion, its many old tombs, and a 20th-century war memorial. Also of note in the square in front of the church is the Kastorbrunnen fountain, built in 1812 to commemorate the Napoleonic wars.
Address: Kastorhof 8, 56068 Koblenz
7 The Rhine Gardens: Kaiserin-Augusta-Anlagen
The beautiful Rhine Gardens, a three-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of promenade and walkways connecting the green spaces on the east bank of the Rhine, extends upstream from the Electoral Palace to the island of Oberwerth. Architectural highlights of this pleasant walk include the Pfaffendorf Bridge, the historic Weindorf (a reconstruction of a Mosel village built in 1925), and the Rhein-Mosel-Halle convention center. The big draw here, however, are the many splendid riverside gardens, in particular the Gardens of Empress Augusta (Kaiserin-Augusta-Anlagen). Laid out for the spouse of Emperor Wilhelm I, the project was completed in 1861 and remains a highlight of any visit to Koblenz due to its spectacular views of the Rhine, pleasant tree-lined pathways, sculpture gardens, and colorful flowerbeds. A great place for a photo is the large statue of Father Rhine and Mother Mosel, a 19th-century monument celebrating Koblenz as the meeting place of the region's two most important rivers.
8 Old Town Koblenz
As with so many of Germany's lovely old towns and cities, the old town center of Koblenz has been painstakingly restored after the devastation of WWII. Highlights of a walking tour of the area include the Town Hall (Rathaus), built between 1695 and 1700, in front of which can be seen the humorous Schängelbrunnen, a monument designed in 1940 by Carl Burger and dedicated to poet Josef Cornelius who penned the lyrics for the city's "hymn" (watch out for the spitting boy). Also worth visiting is the Florinsmarkt, home to the Romanesque and Gothic 12th-century Florinskirche, and the Altes Kaufhaus, the Old Merchants' Hall.
Address: Willi-Hörter-Platz, 56068 Koblenz
9 The Church of Our Lady
On the highest point in the Old Town is the Romanesque Liebfrauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady. Although what's seen today dates from the 12th century with later 15th-century additions, there's evidence pointing to a much older 5th-century place of worship having been built here by the Romans. Notable features include its splendid Gothic choir and the Baroque towers with their four bells, famous for tolling the "Reveler's Bell" at 10pm each evening.
Address: An der Liebfrauenkirche 16, 56068 Koblenz
10 The Electoral Palace
Just below the Pfaffendorf Bridge, close to the banks of the Rhine, the neoclassical Electoral Palace (Kurfürstliches Schloss) was completed in 1786 by the last Elector of Trier, Clemens Wenzeslaus. Although built as a residence, from the beginning it was designed to blend in with the spectacular riverside landscape. As a result, many of its rooms offer superb views of the river and Rhine Valley. Although in use by the city, be sure to pop your head in for a look if any of the public galleries happen to be hosting exhibits of artwork. Afterwards, explore the splendid old gardens, now part of the Gardens of the Empress Augusta.
Where to Stay in Koblenz for Sightseeing
We recommend these convenient hotels in Koblenz, near the Rhine River and within walking distance of the old town:
- Mercure Hotel Koblenz: mid-range pricing, overlooking the Rhine, contemporary decor, great breakfast.
- Brenner Hotel: affordable rates, wonderful staff, spacious rooms, secure parking.
- City Partner Top Hotel Krämer: value hotel, excellent service, lovely breakfast room.
- Ibis Koblenz City: budget-friendly rates, comfortable beds, sleek decor, underground parking.