Although not a very lively town, it gives off a very nice friendly vibe. It is a true German town although orientated towards tourists. This small town is great to experience the spirit and culture of Germany without the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
The town sits in a narrow flat section of the valley between the river and the steep hillside. There is effectively only the main street (B9 Heerstraße) and one main retail street (Oberstraße) making it an easy place to walk around. To visit the castle on the hill above either drive to the car park or take the tourist road train up the hill.
- 1 Castle Rhinefels (Burg Rheinfels). Looming formidably above Sankt Goar and the Rhine valley, the large and partially ruined fortress of Burg Rhinefels is definitely worth a visit on any trip to the Rhineland. The fortress's first components were built in 1245 by Count Diether von Katzenelnbogen. Other rulers of the region made their own contributions to the construction castle. It was eventually ruined by members of the French Revolutionary Army when they were invading the area. Despite its partially ruined state, the fortress retains a strong sense of dignity and strength.
While visiting Burg Rheinfels it is important to note that the current overall size of the castle is only one fifth of its original size before the destruction of it by the French Army in 1797. One way to understand the former size of the fortress is to explore the underground tunnels built during the 30 Years War. These tunnels were built under the flat, undefended plain to the West of the castle by the garrison of the castle. The tunnels were filled with gunpowder, and in theory, as an approaching enemy army neared the castle by way of the flat plain, the gunpowder would be ignited and eventually explode, sending the enemy army falling to their death. However this secret weapon was never put to use so the tunnels formerly housing gunpowder can be visited today. It is a tight fit and flashlights are needed.
- 2 Stiftskirche St. Goar (Evangelical Collegiate Church), Markt 3. Romanesque crypt comes from the late 11th century. Wall paintings from the latter half of the 15th century. Late Gothic gallery.
- 3 Deutsches Puppen- und Bärenmuseum (German Doll and Bear Museum), Sonnengasse 8, ☏ .
The Rheinburgenweg runs above the town past Schloss Rheinfels.
- Rhein in Flammen: St. Goar - St. Goarshausen: 21 September 2019. Firework display, ship parade, and lit-up cruise boats (date needs updating)
This is home to many shop catering to tourists and thus one of the best places to buy a beer stein, clogs or cuckoo clocks, non of which are traditional to the region although obviously associated with Germany. They have the biggest range of all three. Wine is obviously the local produce, but probably better to purchase in other villages in and above the valley if you are looking for a bargain.
There are two restaurants in Schloss Rheinfels offering good food and great views of the Rhine.
- Philipps-Mühle, Gründelbach 49, 56329 St. Goar. Family-run vineyard with an outdoor restaurant that serves delicious local food. Their wines, along with jams and homemade wine gums, are also available for purchase in their shop (around 8-12€ a bottle). 10-20€.
- On the right Rhine side St. Goarshausen with the Burg Katz, Burg Maus and the Loreley