Located at the start of the World Heritage Rhine Gorge, Koblenz is a cute town in the heart of the Middle Rhine Valley. Surrounded by forested hills and backdropped by castle ruins, Koblenz is a popular stop on Rhine River cruises. Spend longer than an afternoon, and the city invites visitors into a treasure chest of old-world charm and picturesque riverside architecture. Hiking trails wind high above the Rhine Gorge, and there’s always another serene lookout point to discover.
Koblenz stands at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, and there’s a park at Deutsches Eck, the very spot where the waters merge. Most of the city’s attractions are along the waterside, including the military museum, town hall, and Heart of Jesus Christ Church. High upon the slopes is Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which contains a museum of the city’s history. However, for most people, the main attraction is the water itself. Koblenz is a gateway for Rhine River cruises, and various companies operate day trips to see the castles and vineyards of the Rhine Gorge.
Three airports are within one hour of Koblenz, including Frankfurt International, Frankfurt Hahn, and Cologne. Regular trains arrive from Frankfurt and Cologne along with services from other towns in western Germany. The old town is within walking distance of the central station, and a number of companies rent out bikes and e-bikes for tours along the riverside. To reach Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, take the chairlift from Deutsches Eck.
The city’s name comes from its location. Koblenz comes from the Latin “confluentes”, or “merging of rivers”. It’s since been adapted through local dialects to “Covelenz”, “Cobelenz” and “Kowelenz”, which is how the locals pronounce Koblenz.