Situated on the banks of Mosel River is the Bernkastel Port, home to the world-famous Riesling wine. Bernkastel-Kues is an old, charming medieval town known for its half-timbered houses, mild climate and fine wines.
Bernkastel means “Bear Castle” in German and traces of Roman culture are still evident in the town’s architectural structures. There are many sights to see and explore in Bernkastel, from the Hunsruck forested heights to the river boat trips along the Moselle River.
Your visit in Bernkastel should start with wine tasting and shopping. Wine shops are everywhere in town and one popular wine store which is also a museum is the historical wine cellar in St. Nicholas Vinothek. You can have a taste of more than 160 kinds of wine and buy some bottles that suit your tastes.
Vendors in the market square also sell grapevines and will teach you how to grow them back at home.
The Banane 11 is a boutique selling casual wear. They also specialize in hiking equipments, in case you forgot to bring yours.
Things to See
The Panorama Tram will take you around the old town of Bernkastel and into the vineyards of Kues. Once you docked at the port, a few minutes away is the town’s 400-year old marketplace. Adding to the market’s rich history and ambiance is the Renaissance Town Hall, the Michael’s Fountain and Pointed House, locally known as Spitzhauschen.
Another must-see attraction is the Landshut Castle imposing over the old town of Bernkastel. The castle used to be the residence of archbishops and princes back in the ninth century. Ruins of the castle can now be visited by tourists and the castle tower provides a breathtaking view of the town and the Mosel River.
There used to be eight city gates surrounding Bernkastel and the Graacher Tor is the only gate left and preserved up to this time. In 1985, the local history museum was opened in this city gate.
Art treasures are also kept and displayed at the St. Michaelskirche, located just outside the city center. One particular piece of art is the plague altar depicting the great plague that killed most of the town’s residents.
Sports enthusiasts can also hike, cycle and do water-ski along the Mosel River and take the Mosel-Maare bicycle routes.
Restaurants and Bars
A terrace restaurant overlooking the Mosel River is the Baerchen Bistro, located in the market square. Close to the town hall is Café Hansen where you can have a taste of their sweet treats. House specialties include the Bernkasteler and the Ruedesheimer Kaffees.
The Traben-Trarbach is a restaurant inside an old tower gate and is just a 10-minute walk from the market square. The Restaurant Poseidon offers fine Greek cuisine to tourists. Gyros Tzakiki, snails with garlic and chicken soup are just some of their house specialties.
Several cafés in the market square also offer Germany’s Kuchen, fresh cakes with a little bit of wine in them. Other treats include ice cream desserts sold in every town corner.