Rhine and Moselle Rivers Travel Guide

2 great rivers and their hinterlands provide an intriguing landscape to explore.

Rhine and Moselle school trip travel guide

An introduction to the Rhine and Moselle

If for example, your tour starts in Cologne, you may find it difficult to wrench yourself away from this intriguing city. With a fierce sense of identity (the locals consider their city more important than Berlin) and a liberal artistic atmosphere, there is a huge variety of things to occupy a school group.

The centrepiece is the Kölner Dom, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest gothic church in Northern Europe. Home to relics of the biblical 3 Kings and boasting the largest facade of any church in the world, it is worth spending a day in or around the church to truly understand it's importance to the city over nearly 800 years.

Explore the many art galleries and museums, or stop for coffee and some people watching, whatever your objectives, Cologne is a great start point. Next head out to Bonn, the old West German capital and then into the stunning landscapes of the river valleys themselves. Fairytale castles abound; stop by Koblenz where the rivers converge, take a Rhine steamer trip and finish the tour with a day at Phantasialand theme park.

All visits are covered by our externally verified Safety Management System and are pre-paid when applicable. Prices and opening times are accurate as of May 2018 and are subject to change and availability. Booking fees may apply to services provided by Voyager School Travel when paid on site.

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Marksburg Castle

You will see many 'Schloß' on a visit to the Rhineland, peering down at you from almost every vantage point overlooking the river, but when you look at Marksburg Castle you're looking at the original...it's the only hill castle in the Rhineland to never have been destroyed.

With over 800 years of history and various wealthy owners there is much to admire here including a keep, gun battery, gothic hall and torture chamber complete with instruments of punishment.

Price 4,50€, 6,50 per Adult
Opening times March 17 to November 1: 10.00 to 17.00
Nov 2 to March 22: 11.00 to 16.00


Deutsches Eck, literally meaning 'German corner,' sits at the point where the Rhine and Moselle meet and the city of Koblenz, not surprisingly, due to its strategic location, has grown up around it. 

The city was founded by the Romans as a military outpost in 8 BC, and over 2000 years of occupation it has developed into a very pleasant city with a beautiful old town with narrow streets and pretty city squares.

Highlights include Fort Ehrenbreitstein overlooking the town and valley and intended to be one of the biggest military garrisons in Europe, along with the Koblenz cable car, since 2010 Germany's biggest aerial tramway.

Burg Eltz

Unlike the many castles lining the river, the Eltz family seat (the present owners represents the 33rd generation of Eltzes to live here!) is hidden away in the woods. If you have time, take a walk through the pine forest to get there for a truly spectacular 'reveal' of this picture postcard fairy-tale castle.

One of the highlights is the Treasure Vault, found in the cellar of the Rübenach house (The House of the Silver Lion) and containing an exceptional collection of artworks of including gold and silver, weapons, knight’s armour and sacral objects. 

Price 6€ for a guided tour of the Castle & Treasure Chamber
Opening times 09.30 to 17.30 daily until Nov 1

Burg Rheinfels

This enormous castle complex may not be as pretty as some of its neighbours but it has plenty of interest within. First built in 1245 it wasn't until the 18th century that it was taken by opposing forces. Even then it was handed over to the French Revolutionary army without a struggle. They then blew the castle up and created the ruin you see today.

Price Students 2/2,50€, Adults 5€
Opening times

March 25 - October 27:  09.00 to 18.00
October 28 - November 11: 09.00 to 17.00


Boppard is not alone in being a picturesque riverside town in the middle Rhine, but a million visitors and about 300,000 overnight stays per year suggest it is a major tourist destination.

With a Roman fort, many castles, stately homes and churches, there's plenty to do but the most popular excursions from here are river cruises or a trip on the Boppard chairlift.


As Germany's fourth largest city Cologne is truly cosmopolitan, with over 17 different nationalities with populations of over 3000 people being represented amongst its residents (not including the Germans!). 

It offers some nice contrasts between the historical and the modern; the old town of winding streets, beautiful squares and ancient churches is as atmospheric as its medieval origins, whereas much of the city is modern and post-war due to the bombings that thankfully damaged the Cologne Cathedral centrepiece minimally. 

In winter, Christmas markets are in abundance and this could be a good time to visit, but year-round there are festivals and a general exuberance among its natives that is quite infectious.

Cologne Cathedral

'Kölner Dom', as with many major churches that have become sites of pilgrimage, began life with the arrival of the 'relics' of the Magi from Milan in 1164. It is Germany's most visited tourist attraction and with good reason, it is truly enormous with its dominating facade reaching up to the spire which, at 157m was the tallest church in the world until 1880 (it remains the 3rd biggest today).

Do go inside, (although not during mass), it has a a capacity of 20,000 people, and marvel at this Gothic masterpiece.

Price Free
Opening times Nov – April 06.00 – 19.30
May – Oct 06.00 – 21.00

Reichsburg Cochem Castle

Built circa 1100, destroyed by the French in 1689 and rebuilt in 1868 by a wealthy Berlin businessman this castle overlooks the Moselle and affords the visitor an interesting history and fantastic views.

Price  Student <17 yrs 3€, Adult 6€
Opening times  see website for variable hours

Museum Ludwig Cologne

This impressive museum could easily be in Paris, London or Berlin, due to the huge number of modern masters it houses. There's a large collection of Picasso and many works by the Pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Liechtenstein.

Price Free
Opening hours Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00
Monday closed
Every first Thursday in the month: 10.00- 22.00

Roman Museum Cologne

Tracing the origins of the city to its Roman birth, this museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Roman glass.

Price Free
Opening hours Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00
Monday closed 
Every first Thursday in the month: 10.00- 22.00

Niederwald Memorial

After the Franco-Prussian war ended in 1871, the German Empire was re-established and this memorial, topped by Germania, a colossal female statue, was built to commemorate the event. Take the cable car to the top where the views are magnificent. The monument is over 132 ft. high and 120 ft. wide.

Karl Marx Museum

The Karl Marx House museum in Trier is the birthplace of the famous philosopher and revolutionary, born in 1818.

Price 1€
Opening hours 5th May–4th November: 09.00-18.00
5th November-30th December: Tue-Sun: 10.00-17.00; Mon: 13.00-17.00
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Rhine Steamer Trips

No trip to the Rhineland would be complete without taking a river cruise and what better way to do it than on a steamboat. You can pick one up all along the river in various towns, but be sure to book your group in advance. 

Rudesheim Chairlift

This chairlift is worthwhile as it takes you up to the Niederwald Memorial and the 20 minute ride affords spectacular views as you approach the "Vierseenblick" -  the view of the four lakes.

Price based on group 20+:
Return: Students 3,50€; adults: 7€
One way: Students 2.50€; adults: 4,50€
Opening times Peak season: 09.30 – 18.00/19.00
Off season: 09.30 – 16.00/17.00

Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett

A quirky little museum containing over 350 examples of mechanised musical instruments.

Price Students: 4,00€, Adults: 7,50€
Opening times From March 1: 10.00 to 16.00

Boppard Chairlift

This chairlift takes you up over 1000 metres and at the top, there are magnificent views of the largest bend on the Rhine and the ‘Four Lakes’.

Price Group fares (15+):
Children 4,00€ return
Adults 7,50€ return
Opening times Open daily from 1. April to 31. October
Peak season: 10.00 – 17.00/18.00
Off season: 10.00 – 17.00/17.30

Boppard Mini Train

This 56 seater mini-train offers a 30 minute tour around town taking in Roman and Medieval sites and giving your group an excellent historical overview of the town and the history of the Rhineland.

Price Students up to 14 yrs £3€, Adults 5€
Opening times April – October: approx. 09.30 to 18.00

FC Cologne Museum

Museum dedicated to the history of FC Koln, located at the current football stadium.

Price £6.50
Opening times Mon – Sat 10.00 to 18.00 Sun 10.00 – 20.00


A day at this theme park is a good idea if you plan it in your itinerary and your students need to let off a bit of steam! It's enormous with 6 different themed zones to keep you entertained.







Price Contact your Voyager salesperson
Opening times 09.00 to 18.00/20.00 summer
11.00 to 18.00/20.00 winter

Movie Park Germany

A theme park with real movie studios in Bottrop-Kirchhellen. Attractions include the Van Helsing's Factory rollercoaster.

Price 18,50/19€
Opening times See website for variable hours

Tree 2 Tree

An elevated adventure walkway high in the trees in Oberhausen!

Price 16€
Opening times See website for variable hours

Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo is large, with over 7,000 animals and 700 species to see. There are a number of endangered species that the zoo is host to and actively protecting.

Price 7€
Opening times Open Winter : 09.00 to 17.00
Open Summer : 09.00 to 18.00

West Bowling

Ten pin bowling alley in Cologne.

Price Shoe hire 2€
Lane hire from 18€ to 28€ per hour for 7 people depending on day and time.
Opening times 10.00 to 17.00 daily

Chocolate Museum

Visit the Chocolate museum in Cologne and enjoy an expedition through 3,000 years of chocolate history.

Price 6,50€
Opening times Tues. to Fri. 10.00 to 18.00
Sat., Sun, holidays 11.00 to 19.00
closed on Mondays in November

J Koll and Cie Winetasting

Now in the third generation, the Koll House has been family run and owned since 1898. Currently run by Manfred Koll, the current owner of the 'Weinkellerei' in Cochem on the Moselle.

Price 5€
Opening times Contact your Voyager salesperson

Cologne Christmas Markets

The city of Cologne offers eight Christmas Markets in total. Among them are four big Christmas Markets, located: at the Cologne Cathedral, on the Alter Markt, on the Neumarkt and on the Rudolfplatz. Every year these four Christmas Markets attract almost 2 million visitors.

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