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This post lists the best things to do in Cochem in one day. Apart from that, this is also a detailed guide to the magical town of Cochem Germany.
If you follow me on Instagram (@thespicyjourney), you would be tired of hearing me talk about how magical Germany is. Contrary to popular belief (and stereotypes), Germany is not all about beer and football. Well, it is but Germany has so much more to offer. Take Cochem for example. It’s a small town nestled on the banks of the Moselle river, encompassed by vineyards from all sides and a majestic castle towering over all of Cochem. Sunsets here are vivid, peaceful and truly magical. To top it all off, it makes for an easy day trip and can be coupled with a visit to Burg Eltz, one of the best castles in Germany. Continue reading to see the best things to do in Cochem, Germany.
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Where is Cochem Located??
Cochem is located on the banks of the Moselle river in the Rhineland-Palatinate state towards the west of Germany. The Moselle valley is known for its scenic views and the wine that is locally produced here. Cochem is close to the major cities – Frankfurt and Cologne. Most people prefer to do a day trip to Cochem from Cologne, given the close proximity. However, if you have the time, I would suggest spending one night in Cochem to cover all the places to visit in Cochem and to explore all of it in depth.
How Many Days or Hours to Spend in Cochem?
Now this is an excellent question! Cochem is a small town in the Moselle valley and is actually perfect for a day trip. All the things to do in Cochem can be covered within 1 day, especially if you’re coming from a close-by place. Even if you arrive here by 10 or 11 am and leave by 5 pm, you can still cover most of the places to visit in Cochem. However, if you want to visit Cochem in depth, you can spend the night here. You can easily find hotels in Cochem – I recommend Pension Haus Andreas which is a lovely bed and breakfast run by a local woman. Read more about that at the bottom.
How to Reach Cochem, Germany
Cochem is well-connected to nearby cities by train, bus and road.
Frankfurt to Cochem takes about 2 hours by road if you’re driving on your own. By bus, it may take around 2 and a half hours, depending on traffic conditions. You can even take a train from Frankfurt to Cochem Germany which also takes 2.5 hours.
Cologne is the nearest city to Cochem. By car, Cologne to Cochem will take you 1 hour 30 minutes and a little longer by bus or train.
Map of Things to do in Cochem Germany
Places to Visit in Cochem in One Day
1. Reichsburg Cochem
No matter what places you visit in Cochem, you will always see the Reichsburg Cochem castle lingering in the background. To reach the castle, you will have to walk to the Cochem market square and then further upwards. It’s a short but steep walk up cobblestone steps. On the way, you’ll pass by many wine stores and as you get closer to the Cochem castle, you’ll pass by vineyards too. From inside the castle courtyard, you will get a panoramic view of the Moselle valley, river and of Cochem itself. To tour the inside, you will have to pay for tickets to the guided tour.
2. Cochem Promenade
Despite all the awesome things to do in Cochem, visiting the Cochem promenade is something that might sound underwhelming but it’s in-fact super romantic! For one thing, there’s the Mosel river on one side of it. Plus, there are tons of fancy and charming restaurants on the other. You’ll see people dressed nicely sitting on the terrace, basking in the sun, sipping wine and sampling finger food here. Moreover, the entire promenade is lined with street lamps laden with colorful flowers. Not to mention the Reichsburg Cochem castle surrounded by vineyards hanging in the background.
3. Pinnerkreuz Viewpoint
The Pinnerkreuz viewpoint is an observation deck located high above Cochem town. You can easily get here by foot which could take 30-40 minutes depending on your fitness level and speed. However, the way up is very steep so if you cannot walk, you can even take a cable car ride that costs €6.90 back and forth. At the top you will find a restaurant that sells food and drink at a high cost but with an insane view! Moreover, you’ll get a panoramic view of Cochem and nearby towns from up here. It’s ideal to come here during sunset so you can get a golden hour view of the town.
4. Cochem AltStadt
I’ll be honest – the Cochem Altstadt didn’t wow me at all. Given that I live in Germany, I’ve seen market squares that are many times more beautiful than the one in Cochem. When I visited the Cochem Marktplatz in the Altstadt on a sunny September morning, it was annoyingly crowded and way too small. However, most people who visit Cochem come here only for a day trip so the marketplace gets empty during the evening and at night. This is when it’s worth coming here, and sitting at one of the outdoor cafes.
5. Secret Viewpoint in Cochem
I first saw this viewpoint on Instagram while looking at pictures of people who have been to Cochem. Luckily for me, this viewpoint was located just 200 m from the hotel where I stayed at. To look it up on Google maps, search for Aussichtspunkt “Am Tummelchen”. Alternatively, when you’re walking on the steep road up to the Cochem castle, be on the lookout for a smaller road on the right when you’re about 250 m from the castle.
From this viewpoint, you will get a panoramic view of Cochem city, a close-up view of the Reichsburg Cochem Castle and an up-close view of vineyards. Not to mention how peaceful and secluded it feels to enjoy a secret viewpoint in this beautiful town. You´ll find many such medieval towns in Europe where the best thing to do is to relax and enjoy undisturbed viewpoints.
Best Things to do in Cochem
1. Relax on a River Cruise
Taking a River Cruise in Cochem is one of the best things you can do here, even if you have just one day in Cochem. The cruises are offered for different duration of time. We opted for a 1 hour cruise down the Mosel river. There was a counter near the foot of the bridge where we paid €8 each (for adults). Next, we went to the port to wait for our boat. They took us inside the boat 10 minutes before it was due for departure. The boat had ample seating over 3 levels, with washrooms in the lower level only. We headed up the top-most level for the most spectacular views. There was a food and drink service on the boat but you had to pay for anything you ordered by yourself, nothing was included in the tickets. Overall, the boat ride was enjoyable and highly recommended.
2. Take an Easy Day Trip from Cochem to Burg Eltz
Given that you can easily cover all the things to do in Cochem within one day, or even half a day, you’ll have time to spare for a quick day trip. Burg Eltz is a fairytale castle nestled deep inside the woods. Getting here from Cochem takes about 30 minutes by car, which is super close-by. From the car park, it’s a 5 minute walk or a 1 min shuttle bus to the castle itself. If you have time, you should definitely consider this magical day trip to Burg Eltz from Cochem.
3. Enjoy some Wine Tasting
You can’t come to the Mosel valley and leave without tasting the Mosel Valley Wine. To do a Mosel valley wine tasting, you can take up a tour via GetYourGuide to Airbnb Experiences. The benefit of this is that your tour guide will give you information regarding the process, the history and the speciality of the local wines so you will get information about what you’re tasting. On the flip side, you could just walk into a bar or pub in Cochem and ask to try some of the local specialties – the choice remains yours.
4. Admire the View of Cochem City
You will get the best views of Cochem Germany from the other side of the bridge. To get here, go to the foot of the bridge which is near the River Cruise counter. From here, walk over to the other side of the bridge then continue to walk towards the right side. You will come across a nice garden that has an epic instagram-worthy view of Cochem. Moreover, this garden has benches to sit and enjoy the view.
Where to Eat in Cochem, Germany
You will not find a shortage of places to eat in Cochem. The promenade area is lined with a number of restaurants and cafes. Sit on a roof, soak in the sun, sample locally-produced wine and gorge on German food at one of these restaurants. Alternatively, you can grab takeout and eat while facing the river at one of the benches in the garden.
Where to Stay in Cochem
Because Cochem is a small offbeat town, there are limited options for hotels in Cochem. Most of the hotels are located near the city center, whereas the rest are on the other side of the river. When I visited Cochem with my husband, we stayed at Pension Haus Andreas. This bed and breakfast is situated on a steep hill, very close to the Cochem Castle.
The place is run by a really old lady who is feisty, active and runs the place super efficiently! Our room was large and clean with lots of cute finishing touches. Breakfast was included, where we were served a hot drink of our choice, orange juice, a selection of breads, jams, cheeses, meats, eggs and various other condiments. Parking was available too, with a charge of 4 Euro per day. All in all, I loved our stay here and would recommend it if you’re looking for a budget hotel in Cochem.
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