The best things to do in Monschau

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

The beautiful, fairy tale town of Monschau is located just across the border with Germany. Monschau is located in the middle of the Eifel nature reserve and is therefore the perfect place for a cultural day trip during an active vacation. Even if you are in need of a quick getaway during the week or weekend, Monschau is perfectly located for day trips from Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany. In this blog post you can find the best things to do on a Monschau trip.

I myself visited Monschau in Germany already several times . Time and time again, this picturesque town continues to amaze me with its beauty. Besides to the many sights and the cozy atmosphere, Monschau is also an ideal place to practice photography.

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How to get to Monschau

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Monschau is a small town situated just across the border from Belgium in Western Germany. It is located within the Eifel Nature park and is therefore the perfect day trip from Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany.

The nearest airports to Monschau are Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany at 99 km, or Brussels Airport in Belgium at 147 km. I advise you to rent a car at the airport and drive to Monschau yourself. Monschau is not accessible by train, but can be reached by bus. There is a good bus connection from Aachen.

If you travel to Monschau by car, you best park the car on one of the public parking lots around the town. We usually par our car in Parkplatz Burgau and pay 7 euros for a day ticket.

The public parking lots around the town are just on a few minutes walking distance of the historical centre of Monschau.

But you can also travel to Monschau by bike from Belgium because it’s a stop on the beautiful Vennbahn fietsroute (bike trail) .

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Best time to travel to Monschau Germany

I have visited Monschau in Germany several times in different seasons and I must say that every period has its charms. In winter it’s cold. But when it has snowed, Monschau is just gorgeous. Besides this Monschau also has a very nice Christmas market during the Christmas period. In the spring you can enjoy the first rays of the sun and fragrant blossoms. In summer it’s lovely to enjoy the various terraces along the water and in autumn you can make beautiful autumn walks.

Where to stay in Monschau Germany

Do you want to stay a bit longer and are looking for a great place to stay the night? The most authentic hotels and therefor my favorites, are  Haus Stehlings, HIER & JETZT in Monschau City, Hotel Lindenhof and Horchem Hotel-Restaurant-Café-Bar.

If you want to use Monschau as base to explore the surrounding Eifel Nature Park it might be fun to rent a vacation house. Some of the most uique vacation houses in Monschau are MONStay Ferienwohnung am Roten Haus, Monschau-Auszeit: Historisch wohnen direkt am Bach, and Haus Burgblick.

A bit further from the city centre you can find great accommodations as well such as Ferienhaus Gaby, Ferienhaus Green Hill and Rur-Chalet.

Things to do in Monschau Germany

1 – Explore the historical centre

When discovering the old town of Monschau with its cobbled streets and narrow alleys, you’ll understand why this village is called the pearl of the Eifel.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

The city hasn’t changed in about 300 years. So wandering through the historical centre is like taking a ride in a time machine back to the old days.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Typical for this village are the many half-timbered houses and picturesque facades. Wander around through the cobbled streets and discover new hidden gems around every corner.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

2 – Travel back in time by visiting the Red House

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Would you like to take a look behind the scenes of how the upper middle class lived in the 18th century? Then you should definitely visit the red house. For 5 euros per person you can visit the whole house. It was built around 1760 by a textile manufacturer and merchant. The house consists of 4 floors connected by a beautiful wooden staircase.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

On each floor you can see how the different rooms were arranged and decorated.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

3 – Panoramic views

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Not far from the red house hidden in a narrow street, you can find a trail up hill. It is marked with a sign of panorama route. It’s a small climb that takes about 15 minutes to the highest point. There you have a beautiful panoramic view over the old city centre and the castle.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

4 – Castle AKA youth hostel

The castle dates from the 13th century. After the first world war, a youth hostel moved into the west wing. In this way the castle remains inhabited. Unfortunately, because of this reason the castle isn’t open for the public. However you can still visit the courtyard where you have a fantastic view of the city. During the summer the courtyard of the castle becomes the scene for the “Monschau Festival”. Then the performances turn the castle into the ‘place to be’ for music lovers.

Did you know there are some other gorgeous castle hotels in Germany as well?

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

5 – Monschau specialties

The specialty of Monschau is Mustard. A bit out of town you can still visit the old mustard mill. Mustard is still produced here. In the store you can taste no less than 18 varieties of the famous ‘moutarde de montjoie’. This is the perfect souvenir to take home when visiting Monschau

A specialty that is often served in the restaurants in Monschau is schnitzel with mustard sauce. I tried it and it’s so delicious. I would really recommend trying it. 

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try out all the restaurants yet. But around the market square you can find many great restaurants. Definitely enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a delicious pastry on one of the terraces on the market square.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

6 – Shopping in Monschau

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

In the historical centre you can find many shops with souvenirs and local products. I must confess that I have a real weakness for hats. And when it comes to hats, Monschau is a real shopping paradise. Here you can find some of the best shops with a wide range of gorgeous hats.

The perfect fairy tale day trip to Monschau | Germany

Monschau is one of the most charming and picturesque towns that I have already visited. It is the perfect place for a day trip and shouldn’t be missed when you are in the area.

Which things would you like to do when you’re in Monschau Germany? Let me know in the comments below.

Would you like to explore more charming and romantic towns in Germany, you should definitely check out the most romantic towns in Rhineland.

Thank you for reading!

Yours truly,


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The best things to do in Monschau
The best things to do in Monschau

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44 thoughts on “The best things to do in Monschau

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Thanks and Monschau is absolutely magical if you love picturesque fairy tale villages 🙂

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Really? Well I know it because it’s super close to Belgium. But it’s totaly worth visiting.

  1. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam says:

    Wow, this German town does look like it’s straight out of a fairy tale! I’d never heard of Monschau but now I’d definitely love to visit. I love wandering old towns. And that historic house you can tour is stunning!

  2. Jen Nilsson says:

    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. Your goal of inspiring me to travel to Monschau is achieved! It’s on the bucket list. Thank you for our post!

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      I wish I was there now as well. Monschau is charming during every season. Even though it’s cold in winter, it’s still stunning!

  3. Jenni says:

    It looks super romantic! Germany has beautiful wee towns, this looks like a lovely place to explore! Great panoramic views too!

  4. Lauriane says:

    Nice post :). It is the first time I heard about this city – even If I am French and I grew up close to the German border ! The panoramic view on the town is really impressive 🙂

  5. Kelly says:

    Your photos are always so beautiful! There is nothing I love more than these old fairytale villages and wandering cobblestone streets. I have spent lots of time in the south of Germany visiting family, but would love to explore more of the north 🙂

  6. Michael says:

    Dear Sarah,
    This website is one of the best I have found on Monschau. Sad though that there are some essential things which are lacking, probably you didn’t have time enough to check (the beautiful churches, the 18 century hanging gardens, Haus Troistorff, the baroque churches, the museum of contemporary photography, Reichenstein Monastery etc. etc). If you like I can name you those and even bring in some photos so that your website becomes even more perfect. Best wishes! Michael

  7. Andy Birtwhistle says:

    I have visited and stayed in Mobschau and would return anytime. Absolutely gorgeous place. The Christmas market and the shops are really worth the trip

  8. tiffany says:

    I’ve been living in Aachen fifteen years ago. I was staying for a six months school exchange.
    My host family took me to Monschau and I fell in love with the town. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I wish I could come back another day, taste Monschau’s mustard again, walk through the paths under the snow, drink a hot chocolate at a café while admiring the view…
    I’ve always thought it is a very romantic place so I hope I could go there with my boyfriend one day

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      I hope you can visit with your boyfriend too! It’s the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. 🙂

  9. Tania says:

    Hi Sarah; I’m from Brasil and I am planning to visit many small and medieval villages in Germany, including Monschau; As I will travel alone I decided to buy German Rail Pass to all my trip; I have been trying to know if there is a direct bus from Aachen to Monschau but, unfortunately, I didn’t find this information; Do you know if there is a direct bus from Aachen to Monschau and from Monschau to Aachen, in the same day ? If yes, please tell me all the information about this bus: 1) The number of the bus and its company; 2) Where it is its bus stop, in Aachen 3) The frequency of this bus; I am looking forward to getting this information; Thank you in advance;

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Hi Tania, you can find all this information on google maps. Just plan your route and opt for public transport. You will see all your options there.

      With kind regards,


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