The romantic Moselle Valley is a paradise for photographers, and the photos look amazing on your Instagram feed. The meandering river with the rolling hills, the cobblestone streets and the colorful half-timbered buildings, it looks like you’re in a real-life fairytale. To top it all off, there are (ruined) castles in almost all towns. In this blog post, we’re sharing the photo spots we found while exploring the towns of Cochem, Beilstein, Bernkastel-Kues and Traben-Trarbach in the Moselle Valley. We share the exact location of each photo spot, so you can easily find them too.
During our stay in the Moselle Valley, we spent most of the time in the charming town of Cochem. As it’s one of the most popular towns in the Moselle Valley, we’d recommend either getting up early or visiting the town at the end of the afternoon and the beginning of the evening to skip the crowds. Most people visit Cochem on a day trip or for a few hours in the afternoon when on a multiple-day river cruise. This means that most of the crowds are in Cochem between 11:00 and 16:00. We can highly recommend staying in Cochem until sunset as the golden light makes the town look even more magical. One of the best places to catch the sunset is from Uferstraße across the river, looking out on the half-timbered houses along the river and the Reichsburg Castle.
Another beautiful photo spot in Cochem is along the Moselpromenade on the center’s side of the river with an amazing view of the Reichsburg Castle. We can’t get enough of this view.
When wandering through the cobblestone streets of Cochem, the Marktplatz is a must-visit. This old market square is surrounded by medieval half-timbered houses. We loved the view of the Martin’s Fountain with the Town Hall building and the tower of the Saint Martin Kirche in the background. If you want to take photos here, we’d advise going there in the morning as it gets crowded once the shops and restaurants on the square open.
The castle perched on top of the hill, Reichsburg Castle, is a must-visit when in Cochem. It’s actually one of the few castles in the Moselle Valley (if not the only one) that isn’t a ruin. You can only visit the castle with a guided tour, which we loved as the tour guide tells you all about the history of the castle, the former owners and the rooms you’re visiting. During the tour, we loved taking photos in the courtyard as it offers a great photo backdrop.
Something else that’s fun to do in Cochem is taking the Sesselbahn, or chairlift, up the hill for an amazing view of Cochem and its surroundings. There’s a nice viewpoint near the top station of the Sesselbahn with hardly anyone around, which makes it a great spot to take photos. When getting off the chairlift take the path up until the first bend to the left. When at the bend, there’s an unpaved path that you can take in between the trees to your right. Take the path and very soon you’re greeted with a beautiful view of Cochem and the Moselle River.
Alternatively (or additionally), you can also check out the more well-known viewpoint called Pinnerkreuz, which is easily recognizable because of the large cross. From the chairlift top station, it’s a small walk downhill to the Pinnerkreuz viewpoint. However, this viewpoint is less suitable for taking photos as it’s so crowded.
There’s a café next to the top station of the Sesselbahn, Sesselbahn-Terrassen-Café where you can have a cup of coffee or something else to drink and/or eat. If you can get a table near the edge of the cliff, you’re guaranteed to have the best views of the town.
Beilstein was our favorite place in the Moselle Valley as it’s such a charming place but isn’t too touristy. When you first get to Beilstein, you immediately notice the colored buildings along the river and the ruined Burg Metternich on the hill looking out over the village. We loved taking a photo from the Moselstraße as the backdrop looks like it’s from a storybook.
We enjoyed wandering through the village and exploring the narrow streets while admiring the well-preserved medieval buildings. Don’t forget to visit the ruined castle Burg Metternich for amazing views of Beilstein and the surroundings. When making your way up to the castle, it’s worth stopping by the Marktplatz, a small square surrounded by beautiful buildings that mostly house restaurants and shops. If the weather allows for it, it’s a great spot to have a drink in one of the outdoor seating areas here.
Last but definitely not least, our favorite photo spot in Beilstein is from the Klostertreppe a tall flight of stairs going up diagonally and being surrounded by half-timbered houses and lush greenery. How can you not fall in love with a place like this?
When we spent the morning in Bernkastel-Kues, we loved the Marktplatz that’s surrounded by the half-timbered, medieval houses that are typical for the Moselle Valley. In our opinion, you can’t miss taking a photo at this iconic spot. We’d highly recommend coming to Bernkastel-Kues early in the morning as it’s, just like Cochem, one of the most popular places to visit in the Moselle Valley and it gets very crowded during the day. When you’re in Bernkastel-Kues and you’re done taking photos at the Marktplatz, don’t forget to hike up to the town’s ruined castle called Burg Landshut for amazing views of the town and the surroundings.
We loved spending an afternoon wandering through the peaceful town of Traben-Trarbach. Unlike the other places in the Moselle Valley, Traben-Trarbach has a lot of buildings (mostly villas) built in the Art Nouveau architecture style. Even the lettering of many signs are in an Art Nouveau font. Even though we visited Traben-Trarbach in the middle of the afternoon, it never felt too crowded, which we think is perfect. We mostly enjoyed walking peacefully along the banks of both sides of the river enjoying the views. Our favorite photo spot is from the path along the street An der Mosel which offers a beautiful view of the river and the villas on the Trarbach side of the town.
Moselschleife viewpoint near Kröv
Just a 10-minute drive from Traben-Trarbach, you can find this beautiful viewpoint overlooking the Moselle River, the surrounding hills and the nearby village Wolf. We parked the car at the visitors parking of the nearby Landal holiday park Mont Royal and walked to the viewpoint from there. We saw a lot of signs for hikes when we were there, so we bet it’s also a great starting point for some hikes in the area.
Even though Burg Eltz isn’t actually located in the Moselle Valley, it’s only a 30-minute drive from Cochem so visiting this magical castle is well worth it when in the area. If you want to take photos at Burg Eltz, we’d recommend going to Burg Eltz outside of the opening hours, which is either before 09:30 or after 17:30, because it’s such a popular tourist attraction. Burg Eltz typically closes for visitors in winter, so if you’re visiting the Moselle Valley during winter (which we wouldn’t necessarily recommend as everything is closed), you can go to Burg Eltz at any time of the day to take photos. The area surrounding Burg Eltz is publicly accessible even when the castle is closed for visitors. Check out our complete guide to visiting and photographing Burg Eltz for more detailed information.
To reach the castle from the parking lot on top of the hill, you can either take the hiking path or the asphalted path. We’d recommend taking the asphalted path as it has the best views along the way and leads a beautiful photo spot along the last stretch of the path. You can sit down on the edge here with the castle and the surrounding nature in the background.
Another amazing photo spot of Burg Eltz is right in front of the castle. To take photos right in front of the castle, it’s a must to visit the castle outside of the opening hours, otherwise there would be a line of people in your photos waiting to enter the castle. Unfortunately for us, there were renovations going on when we visited in April 2023, which we didn’t know in advance and also couldn’t find any information about online.
Another place that’s technically not located in the Moselle Valley, but is only a 30-minute drive from Cochem, is Monreal. This tiny village is filled with half-timbered, medieval houses and not one, but two, ruined castles. It’s one of the most charming places we’ve been to during our trip in the Moselle Valley, and we can highly recommend going here when you’re in the area. It also wasn’t crowded at all with tourists which we loved. It looks like it’s still somewhat of a hidden gem.
A great photo spot in Monreal is on the patch of grass along the Elzbach River with the half-timbered houses in the background and the Löwenburg ruin perched on top of the hill.
From the stone bridge Johannesbrücke, you have a beautiful view of the church Pfarrkirche Heiligste Dreifaltigkeit and the charming half-timbered houses that you can find everywhere in the village’s center. In our opinion, this scene offers a beautiful backdrop for a photo.
From the village’s center, it’s only a short, but steep, hike up to Löwenburg, one of the ruined castles. From the castle, you have a beautiful view of the village and the surrounding nature, overlooking the rolling hills in the distance. We loved this spot to take photos. Once you’re done taking photos here, don’t forget to walk to Philippsburg, the other ruined castle in Monreal for more views of the area.
We hope we’ve inspired you to visit the Moselle Valley with these Instagrammable places. Have you been to the Moselle Valley or is it still on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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