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Seilbahn Koblenz Cable Car

Ride an aerial gondola above the Rhine to reach the hilltop Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Ticket prices are reasonable, and you'll enjoy spectacular views of Koblenz and river traffic.

Seilbahn Koblenz cable car

ABOVE: The lower station of the Seilbahn Koblenz is in a public park on the city's downtown waterfront.

The city of Koblenz, Germany lies at the junction of the Rhine and Moselle, where it has played a strategic role in controlling access to those legendary rivers since Roman times. The city still has remnants of its medieval walls, and on the opposite bank of the Rhine lies a massive citadel called the Festung Ehrenbreitstein that has guarded the river since around 1000 AD.

Today, you can easily visit the fortress from downtown Koblenz by catching a gondola of the Seilbahn Koblenz, or Koblenz Cable Car, which will whisk you 850 meters (2,789 feet) across the Rhine in less than five minutes. You'll disembark at an upper station that lies 112 meters (368 feet) above the river's banks.

Practical information:

The last time we checked in March, 2021, the Seilbahn Koblenz was temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. When it reopens, you'll be able to buy relatively inexpensive tickets at the lower station, including an optional combined ticket for both the cable car and the Ehrenbreitstein fortress.

Gondolas on Seilbahn Koblenz

ABOVE: The Seilbahn Koblenz has 18 gondolas that can easily accommodate wheelchairs, baby strollers, and prams.

When the cable car is operating, departures are nearly constant: The Seilbahn consists of 18 wheelchair-accessible gondolas (each carrying up to 35 passengers) that operate continuously like a ski lift. Hourly capacity is 7,600 passengers in each direction, so waiting time is minimal.

The lower station is easy to find: It's on the downtown waterfront close to the Basilica of St. Castor, facing the river and a pier used by excursion boats.

For current operating hours, prices, technical data, and information about the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, visit the Koblenz Cable Car's English-language Web site.

Trivia note for acrophiles and acrophobes: Gondola no. 17 has a glass plate in the floor.

More photos:

BELOW: The lower station of the Seilbahn Koblenz is on the riverfront, facing the Rhine. On Saturdays, the waterside promenade is filled with pedestrians and shoppers at the Koblenz Flohmarkt or flea market.

Seilbahn Koblenz Talstation

BELOW: After you've bought your ticket, go to the station's boarding area, where gondolas move continuously at a speed slow enough for stepping on or stepping off. (Attendants are on hand to provide assistance when needed.)

Gondolas in lower station of Koblenz Cable Car

BELOW: A few seconds later, you'll be above the Rhine.

Koblenz Cable Car and excursion boat

Seilbahn Koblenz cabin

BELOW: You'll see the Festung Ehrenbreitstein above and to your right during the five-minute ascent.

Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Koblenz

BELOW: From the upper station and the fortress, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the Rhine and central Koblenz.

Seilbahn Koblenz view from Festunb Ehrenbreitstein

Central Koblenz from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

BELOW: In this photo, you can see the triangular Deutsche Ecke, or "German Corner," where the River Moselle meets the Rhine.

View of Rhine from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

BELOW: The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is next to the upper station of the Seilbahn Koblenz. Its amenities include museums and exhibitions, a restaurant, a beer garden, a refreshment stand, a youth hostel, and a private venue for weddings and other gatherings.

Festung Ehrenbreitstein Koblenz

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress entrance doors

BELOW: The Festung Ehrenbreitstein is a pleasant place to explore even if you don't visit a museum, sit down for a meal, or spend the night.

Archway in Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Koblenz

Interior of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz, Germany

BELOW: Special events often take place at the fortress. During our visit, a crew was setting up a stage, lighting, and seating for a concert performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Jesus Christ Superstar concert at Festunb Ehrenbreitstein, Koblenz

BELOW: When you're ready to leave the fortress, just follow the signs. You can walk (the hike takes about an hour) or catch a cable car at the Seilbahn's upper station.

Sign to Koblenz on Festung Ehrenbreitstein wall

Seilbahn Koblenz upper cable car station

BELOW: If you're a transportation geek (as we are), you'll like the views of trains and ships during your descent by cable car.

Tanker on Rhine with Koblenz Cable Car gondolas

Railroad on right bank of Rhine, Koblenz

EMERALD STAR on Rhine at Koblenz

We took this photo of the Koblenz waterfront and Emerald Star (a river vessel of Emerald Waterways) as our gondola approached the lower station.

BELOW: If the Flohmarkt is open during your visit, we suggest browsing the vendors' stalls or buying a snack after you've returned to the riverside promenade on the Seilbahn Koblenz.

Seilbahn Koblenz cable car gondola reaches lower station

Koblenz Flea Market

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (now including Germany for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.