Are you looking for a new cultural destination where time seems to have remained unchanged for over three-century? If yes, then Monschau, also known as the “Pearl of the Eifel,” should be your next traveling destination. It is a stunning historic town located in Germany’s Eifel region near the Dutch border, and just 100 km west of Bonn. It also means traveling to Monschau is a day trip from Belgium. With its rich history, panoramic view, and romantic lanes, Monschau has something to offer to all kinds of travelers.
Today, Monschau has become one of the popular tourist attractions. It has never stopped to amaze its visitors with its dazzling medieval walls, narrow cobblestone streets, and preserved half-timbered houses. It is also a perfect destination for travelers who want to get back to natural landscapes and explore the fascinating wilderness. Besides, if you are someone who loves to practice photography, then you will love Monschau.
However, if you have never traveled to Monschau, then you must be asking, “What are the top-rated attractions to visit in Monschau?” The good thing is we have the answer for you.
In this blog post, we present the ten best things to do in Monschau. So if you want to make your Monschau tour memorable and fun, then continue reading this guide.
10. Eifelsteig-Etappe 04
If you are someone who likes demanding and fascinating hike, then make sure to include the Eifelsteig-Etappe 04 in your Monschau itinerary. Of course, hiking in the low mountain range in Western Germany will demand a lot from you. Nevertheless, it is worth it, especially for nature and culture enthusiasts.
Some of the trail highlights include Obersee Lake, Urftsee Dam, Dreiborn plateau, Eifel National Park, former Nazi training center, and National Park Gate.
9. Evangelische Stadtkirche
The Evangelical City Church is another worth visiting when traveling to Monschau, located directly on the Rur. The construction of this church began in 1787 by the Scheibler family.
Today, this town church is one of the monuments of national importance in Germany. Its impressive interior design has never stopped attracting tourists to look around and linger for a moment. Besides, audio guides in multilingual flyers are available for the visitors.
8. Sandskulpturen Monschau
If you want to explore the largest sand sculpture in the world, then look no further. We present you Sandskulpturen Monschau—the Golden Pearls of Europe. The completion of these indoor sand sculptures required 20 world professional sand artists and 1000 tons of sand.
Besides, it took weeks for them to create these remarkable and very detailed sculptures.
By visiting this indoor exhibition, you can marvel at spectacular monuments made of sand.
7. Kaiser Karls Bettstatt
Another interesting place to visit when traveling to Monschau is the Kaiser Karls Bettstatt, a large quartzite rock situated on the High Fens. But if you are thinking about why waste time visiting a rock, you are wrong, for it is a place that holds several legends for its significance. So if you are someone who loves myth and fairy tales, then be sure to include this place in your Monschau itinerary.
A legend says that Charles the Great spent a night at the rock after getting lost during a hunting tour. Another popular legend among the Eifel people is the visible marking on the rock where the Emperor laid his head.
Apart from these exciting legends, this place is a popular picnic spot, especially for hikers. Besides, you can visit this place anytime.
6. Erlebnismuseum Lernort Natur
You have to visit this place when exploring Monschau, especially if you are on a family vacation. It is one of Monschau’s top-rated museums since its inception in 2014. With more than 1000 specimens on display, this museum replicates wild nature. So if you want to take an exploratory expedition and experience the wildlife, you should consider visiting this museum.
One of the essential highlights of this museum is the exhibition of a living beehive, which you can safely view behind a glass pane. Here, you get the opportunity to learn so much about the life of bees. Some other essential highlights include horns of different animal species, rare Antlers, bears, and wolf caves, among many others. You can also make the impressions of varying animal paws with clay and take it as a souvenir.
However, the best thing about this museum is that there is no restriction for touching things. Besides, there is an age-appropriate puzzle hunt for the children.
5. Eifeldom Monschau-Kalterherberg
Another place to visit when traveling to Monschau is St Lambertus, a parish church in the district of Kalterherberg. Many people commonly refer to this church as the Eifeldom because of its striking twin towers.
St Lambertus’s origin dates back to 1550, when the citizens of Kalterherberg constructed their chapel for worship. However, only after a century did the chapel get the rights to pronounce holy marriage and baptismal. Besides, it became an independent parish church only in 1827.
Today, this parish church has become one of the tourist attractions in Monschau due to its distinctive double towers and construction style. Some other essential highlights of St Lambertus include rosary windows, artistic entrance portal, Eifel dome, tabernacle, and among others.
4. Museum Rotes Haus
If you want to travel back in time and see how the upper-middle class once lived in Monschau, then you should consider visiting the Museum Rotes Haus or Red House. This place, with its baroque design, will take you back into the 18th century.
Originally, Johann Heinrich, a textile merchant, built the Rotes Haus around the 1760s to use as a business house and family residence. Today, the Red House has become a famous landmark in Monschau, for it stands as a museum. Besides, you can explore the whole house for five Euros.
The Rotes Haus consists of four floors, with each floor featuring several rooms arranged and decorated uniquely. Some other highlights include luxurious fabric wallpaper, a historical kitchen, a hall with precious Gobelin tapestry, a festive table in the dining room, and many others.
However, the most eye-catching highlight is the oak staircase that connects the floors. Further, it portrays the different stages of textile production.
Who said you could not go on a lovely hike when exploring a new culture? If you are someone who loves hiking, then you should consider visiting this place. It covers 331 hectares and consists of two river valleys, namely, Fuhrtsbach and Perlenbach.
One good thing about this nature reserve is that it has several clear signboards showing the directions. It means you don’t need to carry any maps while exploring the place, and getting lost wouldn’t be a concern.
Another essential highlight is that it has a well-maintained trail, which is a bonus for mountain bikers. However, this nature reserve is most notable for the wild daffodils. If you want to enjoy this highlight, we recommend visiting during the spring when the flowers are in full bloom.
2. Monschau Castle
Another important place to visit when traveling to Monschau is the Burg Monschau, a signature landmark of the town. The origin of the Monschau Castle goes back to the beginning of the 13th century. However, in the 14th century, it expanded into a fortress by enclosing it with a mighty circular wall and wall walks.
Touristspy Tip: Check out our list of the most popular castles in Germany!
In the following centuries, the Burg Monschau has witnessed several raids, destructions, abandonments, and reconstructions. However, in the 19th century, the French administration sold the Monschau Castle to a private owner. But in 1836-37, the castle owner allowed the roof’s removal due to the maintenance expenses, thereby turning it into a ruin.
Today, the Monschau Castle is a lively youth hostel. Although an interior tour is not possible, you can walk around the courtyard and enjoy the stunning view of the town and its breath-taking gardens. Besides, it becomes a venue for hosting various occasional festivals and concerts during the summer. So if you are visiting during this time, then check out the dates for the events.
1. Monschau historic old town
If you want to enjoy a town’s vibrant activities in the backdrop of medieval townscape and ancient walls, Monschau’s historic old town should be in your Monschau itinerary. Although the town originated around 1195, it has remained changed over the centuries. So exploring this historic town is like taking a ride in a time machine.
Since its inception, this old town of Monschau has witnessed several historical events, ranging from the 1st World War to Guelderian Wars. During the 12th century, Monschau was a primary town in the production of textile. However, the town lost its connection with industrial development during the 19th century. Today, it has become the most popular holiday destination in the Eifel.
When you explore this historic town, you will understand why people called this town the “Pearl of the Eifel.” Some of its essential highlights include idyllic half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, picturesque facades, and narrow streets. However, the best time to visit this historic old town is during Christmas. With rows of stalls, twinkling lights, and delicious aroma, the town center turns into a magical wonderland.