Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler has fiercely guarded rows of green growing up the southern slope of the Ahrgebirge mountain. The vineyards are a source of local pride.
As one of the northernmost red wine producing areas in the world, these vines have been cultivated since Roman times. Having a glass or two is really drinking history, as the grapes still make very rich and full-bodied wines just as they used to do.
The AhrWeinForum, a local viticulture museum, can walk you through all of it and recommend some regional brands to try out. You can also brave asking the sommelier at Zur Alten Post, the local restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. Or simply show up during the harvest festival and sample them all!
Good food and good wine aren’t the only attractions in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. Roadwork in the 1980’s uncovered a Roman villa so well preserved the frescos are practically pristine on the walls and ceiling. It’s completely excavated now and open for tours, so you can see how the Romans really lived. You can also hike up the mountains or along the Ahr river, where there is a section of Roman road available.
Coming back in to town you will have your choice of medieval gates to walk through. All of the old gates of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler are still standing. Inside the gates, the old city focuses on churches. The historical churches are a bit overshadowed by the Rosary Basilica, which is over 60 m high.
From church you can head to the casino to try your luck, popular with the locals and operating continuously since the turn of the century.
Walking around and gambling may naturally tire you out, so head to the Bad Neuenahr side of town for some spa treatments. It’s a privately owned spa, one of the few left in Germany, and the thermal springs are naturally carbonated.
It’s been open for just over 100 years, and the high quality treatments and the variety of treatments available bring in a strong local crowd. In the summer you will have to book ahead to be sure to have a place.