In order to complete my Frankfurt Travel Guide (and add some nearby destinations), I did a day trip to Rüdesheim and Bingen on one of the days.
So if you too are planning the same, this travel blog is for you.
Other than tips on how to plan a day trip from Frankfurt, this blog will help you explore things to do in Rüdesheim and Bingen.
Day Trip To Rüdesheim and Bingen
As a town, we are talking about two of the most touristy places in Germany — something more touristy than the towns of Romantic Road Germany.
Here, tourists start pouring in as early as 8 in the morning, as the many souvenir shops prepare themselves with a mix of wine and craft items.
Dozens of restaurants — mostly with traditional German cuisine — look fancy, and already full, before you even decide where you want to eat.
Speaking of things to do in Rüdesheim, one of the delights of visiting Rüdesheim am rhein and the Rheingau can be a walking wine-tasting tour with one of the many local wine farmers. Vineyards in this region are better than you can find anywhere else in Germany — even better than most places I travelled to in Bavaria (read my Bavaria itinerary if you are going that way).
There are many tours to book as farmers tell you about the history of the region and escort you to some of the top wine estates and vineyards.
If not, you can also create your own wine-tasting tour, and give your Rüdesheim and Bingen day trip a new form (as I ended up doing) by wandering through a few popular streets, trying some traditional German food (with a bit of wine-tasting, of course) and taking a boat ride along the Binger Loch.
While an experienced guide will definitely enrich your experience, it’s not as overwhelming, as it may appear, to tour and know the region on your own.
However, to do so, and to know about the popular things to do in Rüdesheim and Bingen it’s highly recommended you first visit the Tourist Information Centre in Rüdesheim and get your bearings right.
Get a free city map and start with what appeals to you better.
My recommendation is to spend at least a couple of days in Rüdesheim am rhein, and give yourself more time so you can visit the town with enough time for walking and hiking in the valley.
But even if you’ve only one day to explore Rüdesheim — as was the case with me — you can follow my recommendations and make the most of your day trip to Rüdesheim Bingen from Frankfurt.
Two more beautiful small towns in Germany that I have explored and always recommended are Kuhlungsborn (located in the Baltic region) and Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber (in Bavaria).
Things To Do In Rüdesheim
Walk The Drosselgasse
Probably the most popular street, Drosselgasse is the heart of Rüdesheim. Whether you’re in town for a day or a week, a visit to Drosselgasse is definitely a no miss.
On its two-meter wide and roughly 144-meter-long paved road, the hustle and bustle never stop here.
So as soon as you get off the train station and start your Rüdesheim day trip from Frankfurt, the very first thing I would recommend is taking a walk along the street of Drosselgasse.
Here you’ll find tourist shops selling some of the cheesiest souvenirs imaginable, with tourists from all over the world continuously bursting into wild screams of joy and wonder.
A quick walk across Drosselgasse will set you in the mood and prepare you for what you should be expecting in the town, and that is — trying Riesling!
Drosselgasse is moreover one of the most popular things to do in Rüdesheim, with a mention in every travel guide.
Siegfried’s Music Cabinet
As you conclude your walk across Drosselgasse, the next destination can be the iconic Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet.
Though in theory, it can be a museum of automated, self-playing musical instruments, dating back their existence hundreds of years ago, in reality, it’s much more than that.
Exploring various exhibits in action, you realise how a simple passion can sometimes turn into something much bigger and prominent, and that’s exactly the story of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet.
It all started with Siegfried Wendel when a man from Germany found himself fancied with an arsenal of Player pianos and other automaton instruments, back in the 1960s.
Bitten by anxiety and a die-hard will, he started collecting rare musical instruments, ranging from tiny music boxes to a giant player piano, and soon ended up with over several hundred different musical instruments.
Visiting Siegfried Musical Cabinet is certainly a highlight of any Rüdesheim day tour.
As you take the 45-minute long guided tour and listen to the different musical instruments — through mostly European — you realise how different regions can influence our taste and adaptation.
Not a single thing I heard during the tour was any familiar to the kind of music my Indian roots were familiar with, but their melodies were nonetheless soothing — making it something to surely try during a day trip to Rüdesheim from Frankfurt.
Eat At Hotel Grünen Kranz
A few hundred meters away from the Music Cabinet, lies the popular historic hotel and wine restaurant “Grünen Kranz”, which has been appreciated for generations for its cozy atmosphere and hospitality.
The Rhenish cuisine it excels in is cooked with many regional and local ingredients. Eating here is certainly one of the top things to do in Rüdesheim.
Since it was too early for me to take anything alcoholic (as I feel lazy after consuming limited alcohol. It should either be too much or not at all for me!) I ordered a Ginger Ale with traditional Rheingau wild boar goulash with wild mushrooms and red apple cabbage.
Nothing could taste any better.
Binger Loch Boat Cruise
With a happy stomach, next in my Bingen and Rüdesheim day trip from Frankfurt was a boat ride along the river Rhine.
Enjoying the ruins of Ehrenfels as well as the many castles of Rheinstein and Reichenstein, as you slowly sail in the river Rhine is another must-do thing during your Rüdesheim day trip. The views of the vineyards, the picturesque landscapes, and villages from the water are no less magical either.
Sit back and relax with a good company, a glass of local wine (or coffee, as was the case with me again!), and a happy company of fellow-tourists as the countryside passes by very gently. The experience reminded me of the boat trip I had during my one day in Prague.
An ideal thing to do here — as I was suggested by Bingen Tourism — was cruising with Bingen-Rüdesheimer from Pier 8, and getting off on the other side of the river at Bingen on your way back.
The 45-minute ride can surely be an amazing and relaxing way to explore more of the surrounding area.
Things To Do In Bingen
Riverside In Bingen
Next in our Rüdesheim and Bingen day trip is the cultural riverside (known as Kulturefer) of Bingen.
With three-kilometer promenade directly on the Rhine, a quick along the stretch can sum up and moreover give you a better idea of the kind of life locals around the area love to lead — that is, of love and laughter, with a glass of wine at all times.
Walking the riverside is certainly one of the top things to do in Bingen.
Interesting around the area can also be the park at the Mäuseturm.
The Mouse Tower (Mäuseturm), a former fortress and watchtower from the 14th century, is the town’s landmark but you can visit it only for three days in the entire year.
The park has many playgrounds and a little museum called “Stellwerk Mench” or “Technik” — much popular among the visitors. But if you’ve only limited time to spare and still fancy a quick visit to one of the museums around the area, I’d recommend Museum am Storm or the Museum on the River.
With its many exhibitions displaying 2000 years of culture and history, Museum am Storm, talks about three topics in particular: the Hildegard of Bingen, the romantic Rhine and the history of Bingen (though don’t forget to ask for the English translations at reception, if you don’t happen to understand German).
The museum’s Roman surgical instruments (from the 6th century) with 70 individual pieces are nonetheless unique and another strong reason to visit the museum.
Where exploring Mäuseturm is one of the top things to do in Bingen, for me, it was worth exploring even if I was doing a trip to Rüdesheim alone.
Dine At Weinzeit In Der Vinothek
Next in the Bingen and Rüdesheim day trip is dining at Wienzeit.
Though the cultural riverside in Bingen offers a number of options for a delightful culinary feast and a bit of wine tasting, one of the recommended riverside restaurants are the Vinothek — or it was, at least, recommended to me by the Bingen Tourism.
But due to time limitation and a bit of reckless wandering — adding more to the unfortunate circumstances — I couldn’t make it to my reserved table and missed the most significant part of being in the area — the wine tasting!
That’s all about what you can do in on a day trip to Rüdesheim and Bingen, while not missing any of the top things to do in Rüdesheim and Bingen.
I wrote this post in accordance with Rüdesheim Tourism and Bingen Tourism. Though my tour in the city was hosted, all the recommendations and ideas are solely personal.
I also suggest you check their website for booking a tour or more tips.