A Weekend in Monschau was our spontaneous couples trip for spring time in 2018. This gorgeous little town close to Aachen in Germany and the Belgium boarder. Dreamy cobblestone streets and historic half-timbered houses fill the tiny historic center. Now that we own a car, we felt that it would be a waste not to take advantage of those occasional quiet weekends. For our first weekend away we had chosen a weekend in Monschau, Germany. Just across the boarder from our home city of the Netherlands.
Weekend In Monschau
Monschau was chosen based on four things for us; the last minute availability, the costs, the 3 hour driving distance from Rotterdam, Netherlands and of course the beauty of the German town!
Monschau has the most prettiest preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets within the romantic historic center. It is very picturesque to walk along the cobblestones and past the small pretty shops. All shops have the dreamy windows and welcoming window flower-boxes. The Monschau castle dates back to the 13th century, with the town first recorded in the year 1198. The town is also not far from Eifel National Park as it is based within the Eifel region.
Where To Stay For A Weekend in Monschau
Arriving by Friday evening, we had rented ourselves a small but cosy apartment located in Hammer, perfect central location for our itinerary to visit a few things in the area. Staying at Rurtalaparment apartment number 6, we had a beautiful view over the local nature valley.
Fitted with a decent kitchen and bathroom, we felt right at home and unpacked our belongings for the weekend in Monschau. The bedroom was small but perfect for a 2 nights sleep. There was a good size living room and dining table combined together, with lots of natural light coming through the big windows of the balcony.
We had arrived around 7pm so we were pretty hungry so after a quick look around and settle in, we headed straight back out the door to Monschau for dinner. The apartment we had booked was only within 10 minutes of driving to Monschau center.
Now you can’t go to Germany and not have a delicious schnitzel and a beer! So we decided for our first evening to visit the best trip advisor restaurant in Monschau, the Zum Haller.
Day One – Eifel National Park & Vogelsang Former Nazi Military Training Camp
For the first day we decided to visit the Eifel National Park as the sun was shining and we wanted to get out in the nature and explore the historic Ordensburg Vogelsang, a former Nazi military training area. During our day trip we did a 12km round hike through the National Park.
You can read all about it on our separate post about Eifel National Park here!
Day Two – City Walk & Exploration
For the second day we decided to go straight to the beautiful city of Monschau after breakfast. The sun was shining and we were happy to join the locals for a morning drink. As it was a Sunday, most things were closed until lunch time so we couldn’t do it all.
Museum Rotes Haus
The Red House Museum can’t be missed, standing out in the town center. This architectural monument is open to the public to show how life once was in the 18th century. We didn’t get a chance to go inside, but if you do you are greeted with the most beautiful spiral staircase over 3 floors. Within the house you will see the gorgeous wallpaper, brass objects inside kitchen cabinets and rich tapestries within the bedrooms.
Felsenkeller Brauhaus & Museum
If your looking for some local beer, the Felsenkeller offers some local beers at their beer museum and a bite to eat at their local restaurant. You can explore the historical cellar and a very large collection of 1000+ beer bottles in the brewery room. Here the beer was brewed with 4 generations over 150 years.
Take a walk up the castle for some views across the town below. The castle is from the 13th century and was built in perfection against attacks. However by the 15th century it was heavily attacked by Emperor Charles V and the city of Monschau was looted. By the early 18th century, the private owners could not maintain the whole complex, causing the castle to fall into ruins.
Luckily for us, the pretty castle grounds became protected and repaired back to the original fortifications. After WW1 the castle became a youth hostel and renewed as a highlight for any tourists visiting Monschau city.
You can visit the inner complex grounds all year round, however during the summer you can enjoy the yearly Monschau Festival, where there are live orchestra performances and entertainment.
There is a pathway route you can take above the town that leads to Monschau castle. There were some lovely views into the valley and into the town. It doesn’t take that long to walk and found it easy to do with sensible shoes. It was gorgeous to walk and explore the city along the passing through river too.
Within Monschau you can also find a beautiful mustard mill, still working with an original water wheel. You can buy the mustard within the town too. They have up to 22 mustards made here, such as with tomato, honey, figs and even beer! Realistically I could have bought a pot of all the choices as they tasted great.
Protestant City Church
During a walk through this pretty town you will find this little walkway bridge across to the church. For us it was closed but have heard that it is bare but pretty inside. It was lovely to see from outside at least. It was constructed by the design of Wilhelm Hellwig, with a rectangular quarry stone. Final completion was in 1810.
Staying in Hammer and using the car within the area was perfect for a weekend in Monschau. We think it would be a lot harder to explore the city and local area such as the Eifel National Park without a car. However this area is also great for cycling and there are plenty of bike routes throughout the area. Just keep in mind that it’s for those who cycle often as there are many different elevations.
The city itself is a beautiful and somewhat mysterious to walk around. There are gorgeous little cobble stoned streets and the prettiest river flowing right through the city. It is also quite romantic, especially during Sunday morning when we were walking around before the locals all woke up.
We also highly recommend some hiking in the Eifel National Park. Gorgeous place with some interesting WW2 history! Blogpost coming soon!
- There is plenty of parking within the city but also possible to park for free at the top and walked down
- Consider visiting Eifel National Park to truly experience the local nature
- Grab a coffee at a local cafe and enjoy the atmosphere of the city, rather than just walking everywhere
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Have you spent a Weekend in Monschau before? Or visited Eifel National Park? Share with us your stories in the comments!