Cochem, Germany is a little town on the banks of the Mosel (Moselle) River in Western Germany. Here, time slows down, and you are able to truly enjoy your surroundings of rolling vineyards and riverfront towns.
The Mosel Valley is best known for its charming riverside towns and its Riesling grapes. And, there is no better place in the Mosel Valley to open you eyes to the beauty of this region than Cochem.
Cochem is perfect for a relaxing escape from it’s larger neighbors Cologne and Dusseldorf, and enjoy a quiet bed and breakfast for the weekend.
In this post I am going to show you the best things to do in Cochem, where to stay, and where to eat!
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- What is Cochem Famous For?
- Is Cochem Worth Visiting?
- Best Things to do in Cochem, Germany
- Enjoy a Morning Stroll along the Mosel Promenade
- Climb up to Reichsburg (Cochem Castle) for a Spectacular View
- Tour the Reichsburg (Cochem Castle)
- Explore the Cochem Altstadt
- Take a Ride on the Cochemer Sesselbahn
- Admire the City Gates – Enderttor
- Brush up on History at Bundesbank Bunker Cochem
- Enjoy the Water with a Boat Tour (Schifffahrt Cochem)
- Admire the Castle in the Woods – Burg Eltz (Eltz Castle)
- Enjoy Mosel Valley Wine Tasting
- Watch Sunset from the Skagerak-Brücke
- Where to Eat in Cochem, Germany
- Where to Stay in Cochem, Germany
What is Cochem Famous For?
Cochem is famous in Germany for its wine, producing on some of the steepest vineyards in the world. Cochem is located in the Mosel Valley which is one of the richest wine production regions in Germany, along with the Ahr Valley, and the Middle Rhein Valley.
Due to the steep vineyards in Cochem, the grapes are sun-drenched for long months, resulting in high sugar levels. This sweetness is balanced with acidity and minerals from the slate-soil, resulting in the unique, crisp taste of Mosel Rieslings.
Wines varieties from the Mosel Valley generally include include Riesling, Elbling, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, and many others.
Is Cochem Worth Visiting?
Absolutely, Cochem is the perfect town along the Mosel to include in a road trip through Germany. If you want to explore more of the Mosel Valley (stretching from Koblenz westward towards Trier), I would suggest making Cochem your home-base as it is the largest town with the best hotel options in the area.
Best Things to do in Cochem, Germany
Enjoy a Morning Stroll along the Mosel Promenade
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the start to the day in Cochem is with an early morning stroll along the Mosel Promenade.
There is a great walking path along the Mosel River called the “Mosel Promenade” with a paved walkway, grass, benches, and flowers.
The mornings can be really foggy because of how low in the valley Cochem sits compared to the hills. Therefore, a morning walk after breakfast along the river is a nice way to wait for the fog to pass before heading up to Reichsburg (Cochem Castle).
Climb up to Reichsburg (Cochem Castle) for a Spectacular View
A staple of Cochem, you must walk up the steep hill to visit the Castle of Cochem (Reichsburg). This castle, and Burg Eltz, makes every list of Germany’s top ten castles.
The view from outside the Cochem Castle gives you a different perspective of this small town and a stunning vantage point over the Mosel River.
Tour the Reichsburg (Cochem Castle)
If you would like to tour the castle, currently you can only buy tickets on site. Tickets are 7 EUR for an adult and the tour lasts about 40 minutes. If you want more information, check out the official Reichsburg website here.
This was one of the few castle tours in Europe where even our dog was allowed on the tour. However, if you only have time to tour the inside of one castle, my preference was Burg Eltz.
To get to the castle from the center of town there is a steep 14 minute walk up Schlossstraße (translates to castle street), but you will be rewarded with views over the town of Cochem and the Mosel River that make it worth it!
Explore the Cochem Altstadt
The Altstadt, or Old Town, in any German village is the best place to go for instant charm, beautifully-preserved German architecture, and a lively crowd. The Cochem Old Town is very small, and cozy.
You can see it in about 5 minutes, but I encourage you to find a spot at one of the patio tables and enjoy some people watching.
When you are nearby the Old Town, make sure to check out the Fuchsloch, or Foxhole. The foxhole is a remnant of the city fortifications around Cochem. This is the smallest passage in the city wall and is fun to pass through at least once when you are in Cochem.
Take a Ride on the Cochemer Sesselbahn
The Sesselbahn is a open-air chairlift that will take you 255 meters above sea level to a station on the mountains for incredible sweeping views of Cochem.
There is a cafe at the top of the mountain where you can enjoy local specialties or treat yourself to some icecream.
Tickets for adults are around 7 EUR for a roundtrip ticket and can be purchased on site. You can find more information on opening times depending on the season of your visit here.
Admire the City Gates – Enderttor
Enderttor is one of three stone medieval city gates in Cochem. The other two city gates are Balduinstor by the city cemetery and St. Martinstor on Herrenstrasse in Cochem.
Enderttor was built in 1332 and still has a section of the stone medieval wall connected to it. This gate was specifically built to protected Cochem from attackers coming from the city of Endert, which is where it got its name.
Legend has it that attackers from Endertal turned back at this gate when, after successfully opening it, they were barreled over with the town’s empty wine barrels which the citizens had piled up against the gate as a second defense.
Brush up on History at Bundesbank Bunker Cochem
The Bundesbank bunker was the German central bank’s bunker in Cochem built for the preservation of an emergency currency reserve.
The bunker was built to be perfectly disguised by two inconspicuous houses. None of the locals knew that replacement funds were stored here only 30 meters underground.
From 1964 to 1988, the German central bank hid up to 15 billion Deutsche marks in this top-secret facility to protect West Germany from a national economic crisis in the event of potential hyperinflation that might be caused by the Cold War.
Although seemingly random, Cochem was deliberately chosen for the location of the bunker because the Moselle valley offered a very good protection against a nuclear blast.
If you want to find out more, and tour the bunker, you can join one of the daily tours, no reservations required.
Enjoy the Water with a Boat Tour (Schifffahrt Cochem)
If you are tired of just looking at the Mosel, and want to get out on the water, there are many daily boat tours that you can hop on right from the Mosel promenade.
Most of the tours around Cochem are about an hour and allow you to just sit back and enjoy the scenery. There are two main options for boat tours in Cochem:
There are also longer boat tours that you can join, going all the way from Cologne to Cochem for example.
Admire the Castle in the Woods – Burg Eltz (Eltz Castle)
Burg Eltz is located in Wierschem, Germany which was a short and very scenic drive from Cochem into a more forested area.
If you are driving in there will be a parking lot to park and then a 25 minute walk through the forest to get to the castle.
There is also a 45 minute hike from the local train station. If your not into all that exercise on vacation, here is also a shuttle bus a few feet from the parking lot if you wish to bypass the walk.
Plan to get here early, because the parking lot and the path leading up to the castle will get crowded especially in the summer months.
I would highly suggest you to tour the inside of Burg Eltz, as it is really well done and the tour guides do an awesome job. Tours are about every 30 minutes for different languages. Currently tickets are only available for purchase at the castle shop on site. Tickets are 12 EUR per adult, and unfortunately pets are not allowed on this castle tour. If you want more information, check out the Burg Eltz official website here.
Enjoy Mosel Valley Wine Tasting
Cochem is known for being a wine producing town, mainly harvesting Riesling grapes.
We heard about a small winery in town, J. Koll & Cie, that offers wine tastings. We didn’t make a reservation in advance, so when we arrived the door was locked and a note was on the door with the owners phone number to call in case you wanted to do a tasting.
We called the number and not 5 minutes later one of the owners of the vineyard came around the building and we proceeded to have a personal wine tasting. The owner was very friendly and we sampled over 6 different Rieslings all from around the Moselle Valley area. We even bought a bottle of local J. Koll & Cie Riesling to enjoy later at the hotel.
Some of the notable wineries in town are J. Koll & Cie. and H. Weiskopf Weingut.
Watch Sunset from the Skagerak-Brücke
The Skagerak-Brücke offers one of the most iconic views of Cochem. The bridge is centrally located in the middle of the city and connects Cochem from one side of the Moselle River to the other.
I enjoyed the view from this bridge the most at dusk as the buildings and boats along the river began to illuminate. The sun was setting early around 4 or 5pm so we stopped here for some quick photos on our way to gets some drinks before dinner.
Make sure to bring your tripod along for dusk photos!
Where to Eat in Cochem, Germany
Dazert – Traditional German Restaurant
If you are in search of an authentic German meal, this place is for you. The food was absolutely amazing, authentic, and tasty!
The décor is very outdated, but the waiters were very hospitable, the food was delicious and it stayed relatively crowded the whole time we were there. Don’t let the grandma tablecloths scare you away, the place has a charm to it once you give it a chance.
Location: Moselpromenade 10, 56812 Cochem, Germany
Zom Stüffje – Traditional Brauhaus
This is the perfect place for dinner to enjoy classic German cuisine and wine from the Rheinland-Pfalz region. Housed in a 1642 tavern with stained-glass windows, you can’t help but feel the authenticity here.
Location: Oberbachstraße 14, 56812 Cochem, Germany
San Christobal – Mexican Restaurant
If you are looking for a restaurant that is NOT typically German, definitely check out San Christobal Mexican restaurant. They have plenty of outdoor seating, great Mexican food, and great margaritas.
Location: Endertstraße 7, 56812 Cochem, Germany
Weinstube Schlossbergkeller – Wine Bar
After dinner, if you are still looking to try more wines from the region, be sure to check out this little spot. It’s incredibly charming and the wines are so well priced you can try many different varieties!
Location: Schlossstraße 15, 56812 Cochem, Germany
Where to Stay in Cochem, Germany
Hotel Villa Vinum Cochem – B&B on the Mosel River
We cannot say enough good things about Villa Vinum. This is a quintessential bed and breakfast with only about ten rooms total, offering a buffet breakfast in the morning, and a fully stocked bar on a “self serve” honor system. They even allowed dogs!
Another plus is that Villa Vinum has a private parking lot eliminating the need to look for parking in town when you arrive. Not to mention the views from the hotel windows were better than any tower you could climb in the town! You will not regret booking a room here.
Pension Moselvilla 1900 – B&B on the Mosel River
Pension Moselvilla is another amazing bed and breakfast option in Cochem with breakfast included, private parking, and a terrace overlooking the Mosel River. The B&B is housed in an original building dating back to the 1900’s.
You cannot help but notice the architectural details and charm that is so well preserved at Pension Moselvilla.
IchZeit Aparthotel – Modern Apartment in Cochem
For a more modern look, you may enjoy a stay at IchZeit Aparthotel which offers a shared lounge, a terrace and, room service for your convenience. There is also private parking available on site.
I hope you enjoy your time in the Mosel Valley and in Germany. This is truly a special region and I know you will fall in love just like I did. If you have any questions about planning a trip to Cochem, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below! For more travel inspiration and tips, follow me on Instagram for current updates.
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