The Romantic Cities are a group of destinations located in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. They are amongst the 15 oldest cities in the country and offer their own unique charm and highlights. The individual cities are Worms, Mainz, Koblenz, Speyer, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Idar-Oberstein and Trier (the oldest city in the country). They are all located within a relatively small area and are perfect for a multi-centre break. Five airports surround the Romantic Cities, so you can choose to fly into Cologne-Bonn, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Baden Airport or Frankfurt-Han, depending on where you wish to start your journey.
The cities are littered across one of Germany’s most popular wine regions, meaning there are plenty of chances to taste the local vintages. There are wine festivals in spring (to celebrate the start of wine season) and autumn (to celebrate the grape harvest), and the German Wine Route links many of the towns in the area together. Locals also sell home-grown wine from temporary bars called Straußenwirtschaft. Look out for bunches of twigs hanging above residential doors to signal this.
Trier – There are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the area, including the stone Roman gate known as Porta Nigra. There is the option to take part in a guided tour hosted by a Roman centurion and an open-air music event is held every year on the penultimate weekend in June.
Koblenz – Highlights include Deutsches Eck, where the Mosel and Rhine Rivers meet, and the cable car that will take you up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. If the weather is favourable, head to Weindorf on the banks of the Rhine to relax and sip some wine.
Mainz – Visit the famous Gutenberg Museum of Printing, named after Johannes Gutenberg. Also, a new Hop-on, Hop-off bus service can take you to many of Mainz’s top attractions in comfort and with 360-degree views.
Speyer – Speyer’s cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was where German emperors were buried for 300 years. During the summer, you will find a party atmosphere at the Speyer Rhine Beach, a short walk from the cathedral. With sand, deck chairs and a beer garden, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the hot weather.
Worms – The Nibelung Museum focuses on The Song of the Nibelungs, an epic poem written in the year 1200 and set in and around Worms. If you would like to know more about this famous ballad, or simply try some of the local beers, the Nibelung beer cycling tour visits some of the places mentioned in the poem, as well as 23 different breweries.
Neustadt an der Weinstraße – Hambach Castle proudly flies the German flag from atop its hill and is known as the birthplace of German democracy. The current exhibition looks at the events of the Hambacher Festival in 1832, a political rally disguised as a country fair. Neustadt is also home to the historic Kuckucksbähnel steam train.
Idar-Oberstein – This city’s main attraction is the Felsenkirche, a church built directly into the rock. Over the years it has been used as a shelter during wars, a place of worship and now sees around 100,000 tourist visitors every year. Idar-Oberstein is also where you will find Europe’s only gemstone mines.
The castle which is known for being the place that Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned commemorates this with an exhibition between 20th May 2017 and 18th April 2018.
17th September 2017 to 15th April 2018 – ‘Richard the Lionheart’ exhibition at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate.
5th May 2017 until October 21st 2018 – Karl Marx 200 years anniversary exhibition.
1st to 3rd June 2018 – Festival of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
27th to 29th July 2018 – Mainz summer lights (fireworks like The Rhine in Flames).
11th August 2018 – Major Rhine in flames event including summer festival.
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
End of September until the beginning of October – W.I.N.E.FESTival 2018 and German grape harvest festival including the selection of the German wine queen.
The beginning of August 2018 – German gem-cutter and goldsmith market with street theatre.