Sharing its border with France, Belgium and Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate is one of Germany’s 16 states. It’s renowned for its picturesque wine-growing region and abundance of castles, as well as its atmospheric riverside towns. On the eastern edge of Rhineland-Palatinate is the state capital, Mainz, with its half-timbered houses, cultural museums and Romanesque cathedral.
Things to do in Rhineland-Palatinate
With its monumental cathedrals, captivating castles and dreamy riverside scenery, Rhineland-Palatinate always leaves a big impression.
Cruise the Rhine River. Across its 1,233-kilometre length, the Rhine River is flanked by stunning scenery, with one of the most picturesque stretches extending from Koblenz to Bingen. From the water, you can admire Rhineland-Palatinate’s medieval castles, picture-perfect villages and centuries-old fortresses as they glide bay. Most cruises allow you to hop off along the way to explore the vineyard-covered hills or sample the local delicacies.
Visit Speyer Cathedral. In the south-east of Rhineland-Palatinate is the city of Speyer, which is famed for its red sandstone cathedral. Established in the 11th century, it has been expanded several times since and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at its Romanesque exterior and four corner towers, then step inside to see the crypt where medieval emperors and kings are laid to rest.
Tour Burg Eltz. Rising atop a rocky spur overlooking a tributary of the Moselle, Burg Eltz is a medieval castle owned by descendants of the family who lived here in the 12th century. It is located on an ancient Roman trade route and is open seasonally for guided tours. A highlight of this fairytale-like castle is the treasury, which is filled with centuries-old porcelain and armour.
Getting around Rhineland-Palatinate
Frankfurt Airport is around an hour’s drive from Rhineland-Palatinate and has flights to destinations across the globe. Trains link to major towns and cities throughout the state while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around Rhineland-Palatinate.