Germany day trip: magnificent Monschau

Germany day trip: magnificent Monschau

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

As the days become longer and the vivid kaleidoscope of spring flowers bloom, the itch to start exploring and traveling begins to grow. While it may not be possible to fly to other locations at the moment, there is plenty to discover in your host nation’s backyard. From industrious cities like Frankfurt to the alpine villages in southern Bavaria, there is something for everyone in and around Germany. If you hop in the car and head toward the Belgian border in Eifel, you’ll find the spectacular hidden town of Monschau.

Approximately three hours from Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden, this day trip is a little on the long side if you’re stationed in those regions. If you’re in the Benelux area (AFNORTH, Schinnen, Geilenkirchen, Kalkar) and Belgium (SHAPE and Brussels), it clocks in between an hour or two and is absolutely worth it. Surrounded by the undulating hills and forests of the Eifel National Park in Germany and the Fagnes-Eifel National Park in Belgium, the scenery is second to none. Hundreds of kilometers of trails are carved out for your hiking and biking pleasure.

As you walk through Monschau, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve been transported into a village from a German fairytale. Half-timbered houses and buildings line the Rur river, which cuts through the town. Ornate wrought-iron and stone bridges connect the opposing banks. Just steps from the river and the Altstadt is the Scheibler Museum Rotes Haus. This impressing red house was once home to the Scheibler family, a textile and cloth magnate in the late 1700s. Now a museum, visitors can step back in time and see how the upper class lived during that time.

Feeling a bit hungry? Stop by one of the many restaurants or cafes lining the narrow cobblestone streets for “Kaffee und Kuchen,” or pop by Zum Haller for traditional German fare and a local brew to wash it down. If you’re a mustard lover, you’ll want to visit Senfmühle Monschau. One of the few remaining mustard mills in the country, this mill has been family-owned and churning out mustard for more than 120 years. In addition to the traditional condiment, there are plenty of different unique flavor combinations to sample.

Take a break for the day and head out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. This day trip is a fantastic way to experience the rustic old-world charm of Germany.

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