Traben-Trarbach is one of the most charming wine towns along the Mosel River, in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. In addition to its vineyards, it is famous for its castle ruins and fine Jugendstil architecture.
Traben and Trarbach used to be separate villages on opposite sides of the Mosel River connected by a bridge. In 1904, the cities merged to become Traben-Trarbach. In 1969, the city annexed Wolf, a village 4½ km north of downtown Traben-Trarbach, also located on a bend in the Mosel River.
phone: +49 65 41 8 39 80address: Am Bahnhof 5The tourist office is very helpful, with lots of information available in English. It's also the go-to place for bookings of tours, and can arrange wine tastings and other activities. It can also book accommodation for you.
By planeMosel Flugplatz is a tiny airstrip on Mont Royal that serves small private planes.
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) is east of Traben-Trarbach. Ryanair and Wizzair operate passenger service to/from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. From the airport, a bus to Bullay operates every 2 hours and trains run regularly from Bullay to Traben-Trarbach.
Luxembourg Airport (LUX) is southwest of Traben-Trarbach
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is east of Traben-Trarbach. Trains connect the airport to Traben-Trarbach. Buses (€16, 90 minutes) operate from Frankfurt Airport to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, which is 20 km east of Traben-Trarbach.
Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) is north of Traben-Trarbach.
Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport (ETZ) is southwest of Traben-Trarbach and has a few seasonal flights.
By trainTraben-Trarbach is a stop on the Moselwein-Bahn train and a 20 minute ride from Bullay. From there, faster IC or RB trains will take you further to Koblenz (1 hour).
By carfrom the directions of Trier or Koblenz, take the A1 to exit 125 Wittlich Mitte. From there, just follow the signs. Alternatively, take the more scenic B53 route along the Mosel River.
By bikeMosel-Radweg (Mosel Bike Route) is a marked bike route that runs from Metz to Koblenz and passes through Traben-Trarbach. The route generally does not have slopes.
The dual town can easily be explored on foot. To get to the hill top ruins, or just to the hills above town to admire the view, it's quite a walk up though. The same goes if you want to head to Wolf. A bike or car can come in handy for that.
Ruins of the GrevenburgConstructed around the year 1350, the Grevenburg was originally the ancestral seat of the counts of Sponheim. Repeatedly besieged, damaged, occupied and rebuilt, it was conquered for the fourth and last time in 1734 by the French, during the War of the Polish Succession. The castle was blown up and large parts of it fell down into the river valley below. Only a few ruins are standing today, but much of the foundations remain. At the ruins, there's a small tavern and some gardens, and of course you get to enjoy some excellent panoramic views. The Mittelmosel-Museum has detailed documentation about the castle. It also provides further information about opening hours.
Underground Wine Vaultsphone: +49 65 41 8 39 80 (for bookings and more information)As the city has long been a major wine trading centre, large parts of it have extensive vaults underneath. Up to 120 meters (!) long and sometimes multi-storied, these vaults make for a fun excursion. Unfortunately, tours are rare, taking place only at the last Friday of each month. You need to reserve ahead, via the tourist office. For groups, separate tours can however be booked.
Mont Royal Fortress ruinsStarting in 1687, the French “Sun King” Louis XIV engaged his brilliant architect and master builder Vauban to build a huge fortress on the peninsular mountain high above Traben. The massive fortress provided space for 12,000 soldiers and 3,000 horses, and became one of the key strongholds for the French Rhine army, protecting the French borders. The incredibly expensive fortress was however demolished by the French themselves, no more than eleven years after it was built, following the Peace of Ryswick. The Middle Mosel Museum has plans and archaeological finds on display. Guided tours take place regularly in season and can be booked ahead via the tourist office.
Brückentor (Bridge Gate)The bridge gate was designed by Bruno Möhring and established in 1899.
address: Casinostr. 2The Mittel-Mosel Museum has displays on local and regional history.
address: Along the river banksSight seeing boat trips along the Moselle River are easily available from May to October and include from 1-hour return trips, trips to Bernkastel-Kues that stop at various towns along the river, and trips to Trier, Zell, and Cochem.
Canoe Tours Along the Moselle RiverRent a canoe and paddle your way down the river.
- Hiking and biking - The tourist office has some maps. Easier paths are in the valley, but the vineyard hilltops have great views.
- Wine tasting
Festivals and events
- Mosel Wine Festival - annually on the second weekend of July
Clauss-FeistThe restaurant of the famous Bellevue hotel has some of the best options for fine dining in town, in a nicely historic setting.
address: Wolfer Weg 11Close to the Buddha museum, this place has great food in a rustique restaurant setting. Located in an old wine house, the wines served today are exclusively from the own vineyard.
address: Fährstraße 2Located in Wolf, this friendly place on the river side is somewhat away from the large Traben-Trarbach crowds, but still very popular. It serves tasty dishes (many traditional meat and fish plates) and large portions for small prices. On weekends on summer, many dishes are served from the outdoor grill. They serve and sell good wines from their own vineyard as well as brandy and sweet liquors. There's also an apartment for rent.
phone: +49 6541 9174Open from 15 April to 15 October. Quiet, family-run camping site with many spots directly on the water, overlooking the vineyards on the other side of the river. Many guests stay for the entire season, but this place is welcoming to short term visitors too, even for a night. Most of the free spots are usually at the far end of the camp side, a bit far from the bathrooms and the electricity division points. There's a small playground for children, but nothing special. The small store has basic needs and wine (of course!). There's no check in/out time but the office is open from 08:00-12:00 and from 14:30-22:00.
phone: +49 6541 8182370address: Rißbacher Str. 3
phone: +49 6541 1006address: Litziger Hirtenpfad 1A family business in a house with a nice garden. Free WiFi and bicycle rental.
phone: +49 6541-7030address: An der Mosel 11This is one of the top places in town. Established as a luxury hotel over a century ago for the upper class tourists of the time, the looks of this place have hardly changed. It's one of the prime examples of Jugendstil hotels in the country, and one of the finest Belle Epoque sights in town. Service and facilities are fully up to date however, making this a great place to stay. If you're not staying for the night, consider dining in the fine gourmet restaurant (3-course dinner from €30). Book ahead.
address: Bahnstr. 25Another century old hotel, family run and with a 3-star notation. It's not on the river side but a bit more in the Traben centre. Great service and spacious rooms, and a nice restaurant in the basement.
phone: +49 6541 811740address: Enkircher Str. 1-3Ask for a room with a view over the river. This 3-star hotel has nice rooms, and extra large family-rooms are available. There's a good restaurant and the service is excellent. Good value for money. Wifi is free.
phone: +49 6541 8320address: An der Mosel 15