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Long Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 2

Rheinsteig Stage 2: Königswinter–Bad Honnef (north–south)

· 10 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Open
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Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Aussichtsplateau Drachenfels
    / Aussichtsplateau Drachenfels
    Photo: Frank Gallas, Tourismus Siebengebirge GmbH
  • / Aussicht Drachenfels
    Photo: Joachim Fox, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
  • / Schloss Drachenburg
    Photo: Frank Gallas, Tourismus Siebengebirge GmbH
  • / Rheinsteig
    Video: Top Trails of Germany
m 300 200 100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
This stage of the Rheinsteig starts with a very special highlight: the Drachenfels, undoubtedly the most prominent rocky peak in the hills of the Siebengebirge,
Distance 13.9 km
4:30 h
568 m
628 m
with breathtaking views from the top. The new plateau with its spacious step seating, completed just a few years ago, encourages you to pause for a moment. If you like, you can conserve your energy and master the first ascent on the Drachenfelsbahn, Germany’s oldest cog railway still in operation. You can also gaze far into the distance from the ruins of Löwenburg Castle and Himmerich Hill. There’s quite a climb before you do so, however! Luckily, there’s lots of shady woodland to protect you from the sun.

Author’s recommendation

This shady route is ideal for the summer months. There are several steep ascents; be sure to take enough to drink with you.
Profile picture of Frank Gallas
Frank Gallas
Update: July 23, 2020
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Highest point
Ruine Löwenburg, 360 m
Lowest point
Bad Honnef, 85 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Health and safety

  • Wear suitable weatherproof clothing that will protect you from cold, wet, heat and sunshine.
  • Make sure you take regular breaks and don't overexert yourself.
  • Take enough fluids with you as there are sections without rest stops.
  • Wear suitable hiking boots/shoes which give you enough grip on slippery, steep, rocky and uneven surfaces.
  • Avoid any sections of the route which you feel are too difficult for you. Natural trails can quickly become wet and slippery in adverse weather conditions.
  • Particularly in autumn, you should be careful of uneven ground, roots, stones or holes that have been covered by leaves.
  • You need to take these kinds of adverse conditions into account every time you go on a hike.
  • Particularly steep and dangerous places are made safer with handrails or ropes. Please use these as safety aids. Handrails are not to be climbed on or used to get a better view!


Tips and hints


Königswinter (184 m)
50.670525, 7.208640
50°40'13.9"N 7°12'31.1"E
32U 373416 5614718


Bad Honnef

Turn-by-turn directions

From the station you wander along the access path with its yellow Rheinsteig signs to the valley station of the Drachenfelsbahn where there’s also a tourist information centre. Drachenfels Hill can now be climbed on foot or by train. It’s worth stopping half-way up to visit Drachenburg Castle and the Nibelungenhalle with its reptile zoo before continuing up the Drachenfels. The castle ruins tower up above the summit station of the cog railway. They remind us of the saga of Siegfried which claims that a dragon once lurked in his cave here, waiting to fire ships as they passed by below. In this legend it’s Siegfried who kills the evil dragon.

Through a gap in the enclosing wall of the panorama terrace you access steps leading down towards Rhöndorf. After a few metres you should make sure to take the short detour to the Siegfriedkanzel viewpoint. Shortly before Rhöndorf, the home of former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the trail passes the Ulanen Monument.

You don’t actually go into Rhöndorf but turn off towards the cemetery and start the gradual ascent to the Löwenburger Hof restaurant where it’s worth stopping off for a bite to eat. (Just before the Löwenburger Hof the first access path cuts off to Bad Honnef (north). Up to this point you’ve covered about six kilometres on the main trail. It’s approximately another four kilometres on the access path to the train station in Bad Honnef.) Once you’ve gathered your strength, another detour worth exploring is the path heading up to the ruins of Löwenburg Castle, a border fortification once erected by the Counts of Sayn. The marvellous view from here is your well-earned reward for the arduous climb! On a clear day you can see Cologne Cathedral in the distance. Back on the main trail it’s a steep drop down into the Ohbach Valley and up again on the other side. On the flanks of the Wingstberg the Rheinsteig slowly curves to the right to the foot of the Himmerich, where another access path to the top of the hill intersects the main trail.

If you don’t have the energy for these few extra metres, continue on the main trail which a little further on suddenly turns right and winds down to the Mucherwiesen Valley, steep at first but later evening out. Just outside the town the Rheinsteig makes another sharp left into the woods. If you wish to end today’s hike in Bad Honnef, however, you should follow the access path with its yellow signs past the youth hostel and on into Bad Honnef and the train station (main line and suburban trains). From here you can travel back to your starting point.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


There is a train station in Königswinter and Bad Honnef (main line/Deutsche Bahn), both of which also have very good suburban train connections.

Getting there

 Follow the B42 along the Rhine to get to Königswinter and Bad Honnef.

There is a car ferry in Bad Honnef.

Access by train or ship (in the summer) possible.


You can park at the station or at various places in town.


50.670525, 7.208640
50°40'13.9"N 7°12'31.1"E
32U 373416 5614718
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Literatur zum Rheinsteig erhältlich im Rheintalshop: Web-Shop

Author’s map recommendations

Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Rheintalshop erhältlich: Web-Shop


Witterungsangepasste, zweckmäßige Kleidung

Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Hikes

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Camping Equipment

  • Tent (3- or 4-season)
  • Stove (including fuel and utensils)
  • Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
  • Food
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Toilet paper

Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut

  • Toiletries and medication
  • Quick-drying towel  
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
  • Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

Question from Kain Gold · September 30, 2019 · Community
Sind für diese Tour unbedingt Wanderschuhe nötig oder tun es auch "Nike Air"-Sneakers mit Profilsohle? Herzlichen Dank!
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Answered by Zygmunt Kulaszinski · September 30, 2019 · Community
Ich werde Wanderschuhe bevorzugen. gibt viele Steine die naß werden können.
1 more reply


Bettina Werner
September 26, 2021 · Community
Wir sind die Tour von Bad Honnef nach Königswinter gelaufen. 3/4 der Strecke geht man auf breiter Waldautobahn ohne auch nur einen einzigen Blick auf den Rhein werfen zu können. Vieles war mMn immer breit. Der Rest ist, wie in Deutschland mittlerweile üblich, von Waldarbeitern kaputt gefahren. Der Rheinsteig hat wirklich viele langweilige und öde Etappen. Diese gehört zu besonders doofen Etappen. Ich mache diese Tour auf keinen Fall nochmal.
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Simon H
October 24, 2018 · Community
Harald Scholz
June 25, 2017 · Community
Der Einschätzung von Sebastian (6.6.17) kann ich - mit kleinen Einschränkungen - zustimmen. Der Weg führt durch abwechslungsreiches Gelände und unterschiedliche Waldgebiete und bietet tolle Aussichten. Aufstiege von insgesamt 800 Höhenmetern (inklusive Aufstiege zu Drachenfels und Löwenburg) und Wege mit Steinen und Wurzeln erfordern Kondition und Trittsicherheit. Mein Eindruck ist aber auch, dass manche Alphaltstrecken und ein extrem steiler Abstieg anders geführt werden könnten. Die Strecke auf den Drachenfels (gesperrter Eselsweg) ist ausgezeichnet markiert, allerdings gibt es einige Abkürzungen, die auf Karten leicht auszumachen sind und von der Straße wegführen. Ein Abstecher zur Löwenburg lohnt sich, ein Bummel durch Königswinter ist empfehlenswert, dafür kann man sich einen intensiveren Besuch von Bad Honnef sparen.
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When did you do this route? June 24, 2017
Blick vom Drachenfels zum Rhein
Photo: Harald Scholz, Community
Blick vom Drachenfels nach Bonn
Photo: Harald Scholz, Community
Blick vom Drachenfels
Photo: Harald Scholz, Community
Photo: Harald Scholz, Community
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Photos from others

Blick vom Drachenfels zum Rhein
Blick vom Drachenfels nach Bonn
Blick vom Drachenfels
+ 19

13.9 km
4:30 h
568 m
628 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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