Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cochem, Germany: A Castle, A River, and A Fairytale Town


Cochem, Germany is an insider´s secret.  Most people who come to  visit Germany target the bigger cities --Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden.  And that is understandable,  with limited time, we choose the cities with the biggest media mileage. What, in the age of social media, is deemed as  brag-worthy.  But Europe, being a traveller´s  dream,  offers so  many landscapes.  Just as there are different sorts of tourists  --backpackers, those in search of romance, those who want to hit all the iconic cities, those who want to forget--- Europe has  as many cities and towns to cater to every traveller´s preferences.    Last year, I embarked on a solo trip to Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Hamburg, and early this year I visited Berlin.  And how I enjoyed Germany!  Next to Spain, where I lived, it is Germany that made me feel so comfortable and safe -- the germans are unmatched when it comes to friendliness and  even in the big cities, it always felt safe to roam around alone.

And yet even though I enjoyed my past trips to Germany,  it was only when I went to the little town of Cochem that I was dazzled, so dazzled that I uttered with hope and longing,  ¨ I wish I could live here!"  

 Cochem does not have an iconic monument to boast about and it´s not that popular outside Europe,  but I have never seen a town so picturesque, so beautiful it was other-worldly.  Cochem looks like it was sketched right out of a fairy tale.

The view of Cochem from the Count´s Castle

We rented a house through Airbnb up in the hills, about a ten minute drive away from the town centre.  The house was beautiful, complete with all the modern convenience yet retaining a rustic, log cabin feel.

Our rented log house

View from the log house veranda 

The kitchen and breakfast nook

So what  really makes Cochem special?  Let me count the ways:

1. The beautiful and multi-colored timber houses

2. A castle overlooking the town
A castle with a vineyard

The castle during the day

At night

3. The river Mosel

4. The vineyards and the sweet white wines at amazing prices! ( 4€ for a bottle of Riesling made in Cochem.  That´s only 200 pesos!)

5. Good food at reasonable prices and restaurants with great ambiance!

                      Breakfast with a view of the castle


  ´Wurst and bread

            Eating under a canopy of grape vines


    Good rustic food:  grilled pork, sauerkraut, fries

6.  A laid-back vibe
    Beer, people watching, chatting with friends.  

    A family enjoying their ice cream
    Look-out point: we spent an hour or so just sitting here, mulling over the beauty that was before us

7.  The cool sightseeing choo choo train that goes around the town every 45 minutes

8. And all that greenery.

I have visited quite a number of cities and towns in Europe, but it was only in Cochem that I felt, wow, I could live here.  Perhaps it was the view --- picturesque, surrounded by valleys, greenery and a great river.  Or  the seemingly slower, simpler life in a beautiful town, the kindness too, how despite us being the only Asians roaming around Cochem, the locals were nice, accommodating, smiling at us, teasing us even, and always answering our queries with warmth.

Ah Cochem, now that I think about it, your beauty reminds me of another place I have visited years ago, one that I think I should revisit soon.  That magical  upland town in my country which is as enchanting, as laid-back, as rewarding a destination --- Sagada, up in the mountains. 

    Kiltepan Viewpoint in Sagada.  Image from

Because really,  nothing makes us feel small yet awed, nothing makes us realise how beautiful life is, how spectacular,  than being right there, smack in the centre of nature´s master strokes ---valleys, mountains, oceans and sands.


  1. Wooow, thank you for this post! If everything goes as planned, I should be moving to Germany in a couple of months, I will totally add this city on my must-visit list. I totally agree that small German cities are gorgeous, my mum (who is almost native-level German speaker) always found some hidden gems to visit on our family trips. :)

  2. Hey Vita! Yay! You´re leaving Korea?! True, Cochem is so enchanting! I also want to visit it again! Or perhaps discover other gorgeous German towns! :-)

    1. Yeah, my thesis is finished so now I'm back to Sweden and I will stop by Czech Republic and Philippines before our big move to Bremen. :)


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