The winemaking town of Rüdesheim am Rhein sits on the eastern banks of the Rhine and is the region’s second-largest visitor attraction after Cologne Cathedral. It owes its popularity to the little cobbled alleyway of Drosselgasse, which is a mecca of stores, bars and restaurants dedicated to all things German.
Although it’s only 490 feet (150 m) long, this mini-street runs between Oberstrasse and the banks of the Rhine, attracting tourists in their millions to enjoy its half-timbered wooden architecture, with balconies and galleries intricately carved and wreathed in garlands. Sadly, it isn't all original; although some buildings date back to the 15th century, most of the street was rebuilt after World War II. This does not ruin the spectacle and fun of it all, however.
Asbach Brandy and the strong Rudesheimer coffee that accompanies it are just two of the local treats to sample, and nearly all the cafés sell typical Rhineland gourmet specialties such as apple strudel and the cheesy pasta dish Kasespatzle. Wine bars serve up the region’s trademark young pinots and sharp rieslings; the wait staff at the bierkellers flourish long steins full of frothy ice-cold beers; and in summer traditional brass bands play oompah tunes until well after midnight.