Bernkastel-Kues still retains its Old World feel amongst the half-timbered houses; and is also famous for wine making.
The most likely choices to visit when in Germany are cities like Cologne, Berlin, and Munich. But, hidden away from these bustling cities are little towns like Bernkastel-Kues; a place that doesn't even have 7,000 residents. Ahh, all the better to spread out to see it, I'd say.
What's truly remarkable about Bernkastel-Kues is how its town center looks a lot like it did back in the Middle Ages. Its Marktplatz (Market Square) is framed by those beautiful framework houses (also called Tudor-style) and Renaissance Rathaus (its Town Hall built in 1608) giving it its medieval feel.
A guided tour through its Altstadt (Old Town) is one of the best ways to appreciate the finer nuances of many of these old buildings. Just remember, they're only available on Thursdays at 3pm from May to October.
One that most certainly be pointed out during the tour is the Pointed House (called the Spitzhäuschen in German), built back in 1416. What's even better is there's a wine tavern in it. Another framework building is the Heinz'sche Haus that's also a wine tavern.
Wine is a big deal around this part of the Rhineland-Palatinate, so drink up. So much, in fact, that it seems a logical choice for the Moselle Wine Museum and Vinoteque. How they manage to sum up two millennia of wine making is beyond me. I think the 150 varieties of wine to try during its wine tasting had something do with it.
It's probably best to lay off the vino before you've seen the 13th century Landshut Castle. A shuttle bus will take you there for just a few Euro--and since the castle is now part restaurant and cafe, treast yourself to a nice glass of wine.
There's more wine to be had at Bernkastel-Kues' Wine Festival that always takes place on the first weekend of September.
Drink to the memory of Bernkastel-Kues' most famous son, Nicholas of Cusa. He was a famous Cardinal, and he's buried (part of him anyway) at the Cusanusstift.
You could spend years here in Bernkastel-Kues and still not see everything. I guess you'll have to come back again and again. Just make sure you leave some time to take a ride down the Mosel River--all the better to see those pretty vineyards.