Braubach Germany Image of half-timbered houses in Braubach Rhine Valley Germany

Braubach Germany: A Complete Guide for Visiting

About the author: David Angel is a British photographer, writer and historian with 30+years experience exploring Europe. His work regularly appears in global media including the BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Guardian.

Are you thinking of visiting Braubach Germany? Braubach is the closest thing there is to half-timbered heaven. If you love the typical late medieval houses you find across Germany, Braubach is one of the most beautiful places you could hope to find.

And it also one has one of the best Rhine castles on the hill above the town.

In this guide I’ll show you everything to do in Braubach, how to get to Marksburg from there and where to find the best view of the Castle and town. I’ll also suggest other places to visit in the surrounding region, including a foray into the wonderful Mosel valley.

Many visitors miss out on Braubach, being whisked up to Marksburg Castle and away without setting foot in the stunning back streets of the town.

I was amazed on my recent visit, over 35 years after my first, to find how quiet Braubach is, a hidden gem you wonder how anyone could possibly miss.

It only takes a day to see everything in Braubach, but I’d suggest it’s an essential stop and part of the whole romantic Rhine experience.

So read on to find out everything you need to know about visiting Braubach, one of the most beautiful towns in Germany.

Why Visit Braubach Germany

Image of a street in Braubach Rhineland Germany
Braubach

Braubach is the quintessential romantic Rhine river town, with a wonderful array of pretty half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Braubach is perfect for you if you’re looking to step back in time, with its atmospheric streets and alleyways and also traditional restaurants, some looking the same as they would have three or four hundred years ago.

Image of Marksburg Castle Rhineland Germany
Marksburg, one of the best Rhine Castles to visit
Image of coats of arms in Marksburg Castle Germany
The coats of arms of past owners of Marksburg

It’s just below Marksburg Castle, one of the most famous Rhine castles, and one of the very best to visit. You can walk up the hill to the Castle from the village in around 15 minutes.

Braubach is also one of the quieter Rhine river towns, partly because it’s not included on tour schedules to Marksburg.

The flipside of this is that you can have much of Braubach to yourself – which can’t be said of the other most picturesque towns on the Rhine river, including Bacharach and Rudesheim.

Image of a balcony of a half-timbered house in Braubach Rhine Valley Germany
Classic Braubach architecture

It has several fine restaurants, wineries and bars where you can sample traditional German cooking and the famous local Riesling wines.

Braubach is also on the superb Rheinsteig long-distance footpath, which leads to one of the most famous views in the Rhine Valley, looking over the Marksburg and Braubach from below the Kerkertserplatte viewpoint.

Best Things To Do In Braubach

1. Explore Braubach’s Architecture and Streets

Image of the gateway to Schloss Philippsburg Castle Braubach Germany
The gateway to Schloss Philippsburg
Image of architectural detail on half-timbered house in Braubach Germany
Detail of a half-timbered house in Braubach

Braubach is one of the best places I’ve visited in Europe for seeing half-timbered houses.  It’s like stepping into a fairytale, with slightly wonky wooden houses either side of the narrow streets and flower baskets in the windows bringing the town alive with colour.

Image of an inscription on a house in Braubach Rhine Valley Germany
An inscription on a house in Braubach
Image of the Zimmerman house in Braubach Rhineland Palatinate Germany
This house was built by Jacob Zimmerman in 1558

As soon as you leave modern Rheinstrasse, you walk back into a time capsule of the late 16th and early 17th century.  Many of the houses in Braubach date from the 1590s and 1600s, and some have inscriptions carved into them, commemorating their construction.

Image of Rosengasse street sign Braubach Germany
Rosengasse is another street with half-timbered houses

I walked every strasse and gasse (street and alleyway) in Braubach, in some instances several times, and the best areas for the late medieval houses are on Obermarktstrasse and Rosengasse at the northern end of the town and on Marktplatz, the town’s main square.

I also strongly recommend  walking down to Schloss Philippsburg to see the beautiful gateway, buildings within and garden (see later entry).

2. Visit Marksburg Castle

Image of Marksburg Castle Rhineland Germany
Formidable Marksburg Castle
Image of painted ceiling vault at Marksburg Castle Chapel
The medieval painted ceiling vault at Marksburg Castle Chapel

Marksburg Castle is the most formidable of the Rhine River Castles, a medieval fortress high above Braubach and the river that was never breached.

This mighty castle was built around 1100 and later expanded beyond its central tower. As was the case with other castles along the Rhine river, its function was to enforce toll payment for shipping traffic along the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Image of part of tower in Marksburg Castle Germany
Detail of the tower at Marksburg

It was founded by the Eppstein family but taken over by the powerful Katzenelnbogen family in 1283, and when the family line died out the Counts of Hesse took it over.

It survived intact until the 20th century, when it sustained some damage from US artillery during the battle for the Rhine in 1945.

Nonetheless it’s the nearest thing you’ll see to a complete medieval castle. Some of the rooms are small but a lot of original decoration remains, including the frescoes in the Chapel, and rooms like the kitchen that have been recreated have been done very well.

3. Schloss Philippsburg and Renaissance Garden

Image of the Renaissance Garden at Schloss Phillipsburg Braubach Germany
Schloss Phillipsburg Renaissance Garden
Image of the gatehouse at Schloss Philippsburg Braubach Germany
Schloss Philippsburg

Braubach’s second Castle is just back from the river and main road, at the southern end of the town. It was built as a residential palace (hence the name ‘schloss’, as opposed to ‘burg’, which signifies a fortress) for Anna Elisabeth, wife of Philipp II of Hessen-Rheinfels. 

Marksburg was not deemed a suitable residence for the Countess (oh, the hill!), so Philipp built the Schloss between 1568 and 1571.

You enter the Schloss through an exquisite half-timbered house-gate, and immediately come to a beautifully recreated Renaissance garden (pictured) on your right.

Image of the  gatehouse at Schloss Philippsburg Braubach Germany
The beautiful gatehouse at Schloss Philippsburg

Part of the Castle had to be demolished in the 19th century to make way for the railway, but much of it survives intact. It now houses the European Castles Institute, which is in the process of documenting all castles, including scant ruins, in Germany, and you can visit the Institute’s Library to learn more. 

The Schloss is also home to one of the best Braubach restaurants, the Winzerkeller Phillipsburg, which is housed in a cellar in the superb half-timbered building pictured above.

4. Have A Drink On The Marktplatz

Image of the Marktplatz or main square in Braubach Germany
Cafes on the Marktplatz

The Marktplatz is the busiest place in Braubach, with a few restaurants, cafes and guesthouses clustered together. It’s a gorgeous little square, surprisingly quiet given the setting, but a lovely spot to enjoy the local Riesling, especially during the warm summer months.

5. Enjoy a Riverside Walk and the Rose Gardens

Image of the riverside rose garden in Braubach Germany
The Rose Garden overlooking the Rhine

The rose garden in Braubach is located between the river and main road, and it’s a beautiful spot to pause for a while and enjoy the views.  It’s also very close to the KD ferry jetty, so if you arrive there the garden will possibly be the first thing you see.  

Image of the war memorial and Marksburg Castle Braubach Germany
The War Memorial and Marksburg

You may also notice an unusual stone tower close to the road. This is the War Memorial (Kriegerdenkmal), and commemorates the local fallen from the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War and World War I.

6. Visit some Wineries And Restaurants In Braubach

Image of a restaurant sign in Braubach Rhineland Germany
A restaurant sign in Braubach
Image of the Eck Fritz restaurant in Braubach Germany
The half-timbered Eck Fritz restaurant in Braubach
Image of the restaurant in Schloss Phillipsburg Braubach Germany
The Winzerkeller Phillipsburg in Braubach

Although Braubach is small, there are plenty of places to eat and enjoy the local wines.

Zum Goldener Schlussel (At The Golden Key) is on the corner of Marktplatz, and serves a good selection of schnitzels, steaks and more in an atmospheric building from 1600 decorated with murals of the town. There are also outside tables outside on the square in the warmer months. It’s closed Wednesdays and Thursdays each week.

Bauernschenke Eck Fritz, on Obermarktstrasse, was busy when I visited, serving traditional German fare (plenty of meat on the menu) in one of the best half-timbered houses in the town. I didn’t eat there, but had a quick peek inside and if you’re looking for somewhere with a medieval ambience this could be ideal for you.

Top Tip: It’s worth doing a bit of extra research before visiting Braubach, as some establishments close for two days each week, usually during the week.   This happens in many Rhine Valley towns (except for Rudesheim) and the closure days vary from place to place.

7. Kerkertserplatte – best Viewpoint

Image of the view of Marksburg Castle and River Rhine Braubach Germany
The view of Marksburg from below the Kerkertser Platte

The best viewpoint of Marksburg Castle and Braubach is from the next hill to the north of both.  The Kerkertserplatte viewpoint can be found on Google Maps, but you don’t need to walk that far up to get the best view.

Image of road leading to Marksburg Castle viewpoint Braubach Germany
The turn-off for the Marksburg viewpoint (sign on right, path on left of frame)

It’s a short, steep ten-minute walk from the Braubach tourist information office, up Kerkertserstrasse, past the last of the houses, to a footpath (pictured) with the sign on the right-hand side of the road and the path on the left.

It’s around five minutes’ walk along the path to the best view of Braubach and Marksburg.

You can continue to the Kerkertserplatte viewpoint as I did, but it soon became apparent that the view lower down is better.

8. Take a relaxing Rhine River Cruise

Image of Marksburg castle and the river Rhine Germany
Marksburg and the river Rhine
Image of Schloss Pfalzgrafenstein Castle Kaub Rhine Germany
Schloss Pfalzgrafenstein, the famous castle in the river Rhine

You can see Braubach and Marksburg from the river on this 2-hour Rhine cruise which departs from Koblenz. It also passes Schloss Stolzenfels and Burg Lahneck in Lahnstein, and may well whet your appetite for more.

If so, the daily KD Nostalgia Route cruise runs up and down the river, between Koblenz and Rudesheim and back, taking five hours each way. This is the best way to experience the Romantic Rhine, seeing all 40 of its castles and the famous valley, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.

9. Explore More Rhine Castles

Image of Sterrenberg and Liebenstein Castles Rhine Valley Germany
Sterrenberg and Liebenstein – two Rhine river castles, just 200 metres apart
Image of Rheinfels Castle And Hotel St Goar Germany
Rheinfels Castle and Hotel at dusk

Braubach is close to several other Rhine Valley castles. Between there and Koblenz there are five castles, including two in neighbouring Lahnstein and three around Koblenz, including the elaborate Schloss Stolzenfels on the opposite bank of the river.

To the south of Braubach, there are no castles for several miles upstream, and suddenly, like London buses, two come along at once. Sterrenberg and Liebenstein Castles are just 200 metres apart on a rocky ridge above the village of Kamp-Bornhofen. The best view of these is from the river or the village on the opposite side, Bad Salzig.

You pass the picturesque town of Boppard a few miles before this, and it’s well worth stopping there to see more amazing medieval architecture, including the imposing Romanesque church of St Severus.

The next town upstream from there is St Goar, home to the superb Rheinfels Castle, which looks out to rival Burg Maus and ally Burg Katz

Where Is Braubach

Image of a half-timbered building in Braubach Rhine Valley Germany
Braubach

Braubach is on the river Rhine, near the northern end of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stretch of the river is also known as the Rhine Gorge.

Braubach is just 11 km (7 miles) south of the city of Koblenz, where the Rhine meets the Lahn and Mosel rivers.

It is part of the Rheinland-Pfalz – Rhineland-Palatinate – state.

How To Get To Braubach

Image of Braubach and St Barbara's Church tower
St Barbara’s Church in Braubach

Braubach is on the Koblenz to Frankfurt am Main railway line, and the RB10 service calls there every 30 minutes.  Braubach is only 11 minutes from Koblenz main station (Koblenz Hbf) by train. Check the Deutsche Bahn website for current train times.

If you’re driving, Braubach is on the B42 road which runs along the right bank of the Rhine. The turn off for the village is near the train station, and this is also the turn-off for Marksburg.

If you’re heading for the Castle by car, note that the road you need to take, Dachsenhauserstrasse, can be reached via the Obertor, the distinctive restored tower to the north of the Castle. It’s the first turn on the right after the Obertor.  

More Places To Visit Near Braubach

Image of Cochem and the Reichsburg Castle Mosel Valley Germany
Cochem and its renowned Reichsburg Castle
Image of half-timbered houses in Beilstein Mosel Germany
Beilstein Mosel traditional architecture

Koblenz is the gateway to the Mosel (also spelt Moselle in French), and the regular R1 or R11 train journey along the valley is a scenic delight.  There are plenty of things to do in Cochem, the most popular town on the route, and the jumping-off point for the stunning half-timbered village of Beilstein.

The Mosel deserves as much time as the Rhine, with the likes of the gorgeous town of Bernkastel-Kues, the village of Ediger-Eller and one of the most famous castles in Germany, Burg Eltz, all within reach.

Image of St Peter's cathedral Trier Germany
Trier Cathedral at dusk

The Mosel route continues to Trier, the ancient Roman capital and the oldest city in Germany. It’s well worth the trip for its wealth of Roman monuments, including the superb Porta Nigra city gate, and Trier Cathedral is one of the greatest churches in Germany.

The Lahn valley is well off the beaten track in comparison with the Mosel, but again is well worth exploring if you have time. Limburg an der Lahn is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, with a superb cathedral and a wealth of late medieval houses to captivate you.

Limburg is on the German Half-Timbered Road, a series of routes connecting many such enchanting towns, and the town of Montabaur, 20 km (13 miles) north-east of Koblenz, is also worth a look.

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Image of David Angel found of Delve into Europe Travel Blog / Website

David Angel is a British photographer, writer and historian. He is a European travel expert with over 30 years’ experience exploring Europe. He has a degree in History from Manchester University, and his work is regularly featured in global media including the BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, The Times, and The Sunday Times.  David is fluent in French and Welsh, and can also converse in Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech and Polish.