Germany’s Top 5 river islands (2022 Travel explorer guide)

Germany’s Top 5 river islands (2022 Travel explorer guide)

Like many countries in Europe, major rivers flow through Germany. These form the lifeblood of the country and have historically been the site of the development of major cities. In this article we discover more about the river islands of Germany.

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Museum Island

Museum Island

The German capital of Berlin attracts many visitors who want to find out more about the city’s famous history. From classical architecture to museums, Berlin has it all.

What you might not know is that some of these great museums are on an island. Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is located in the heart of Berlin’s city center on the Spree River. In addition to having five world-class museums, the island is also a UNESCO heritage site, one of the three that can be found in the Capital.

Area: 0,086 km2
Location: Berlin
Population: 0 (tourist attraction)
How to get there: Museum Island is located within Berlin.
Tourist attractions: the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum.  
Places to stay (near Museum Island): the Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery, the Hotel Neuer Fritz, and Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin.
Things to do: visit the various museums on the island.
Annual visitors: over 2.3 million visitors/year

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If you feel like you need a bit of solitude, then Graswerth is for you.

Graswerth is a small, narrow island on the Rhine River near Koblenz and is a natural reserve which hosts many rare species of birds. The island is crossed by the A48 Autobahn via the Bendorfer Bridge. The city of Koblenz is the perfect base to explore the island and has plenty of accommodation options to suit any budget.

Area: 2 km2
Location: River Rhine
Population: 0 (natural reserve)
How to get there: The closest city to Graswerth is Koblenz.
Tourist attractions (near Graswerth): the Palace of the archbishop-electors of Trier, the Stolzenfels Castle, and the Koblenz cable car.
Places to stay (near Graswerth): Super 8 by Wyndham Koblenz, Hotel Morjan, and Hotel Brenner.
Things to do: birdwatching on the island and spending some time with nature.
Annual visitors: over 5 000 visitors/year

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Further reading: Top 110 Best travel apps.



When on vacation, many travellers want to stay in hotels where they feel that they are free of the trappings of houework. If you are a fan of camping, then Lühesand is for you.

Lühesand is a small island of 1.24 km2 in the river Elbe. Featuring rugged terrain, Lühesand is popular among campers and is accessible by ferry from Grünendeich’s westerly exclave Sandhörn. Be sure to pack warm clothing as the weather can change quickly and frequently.

Area: 1.24 km2
Location: River Elbe
Population: occasional campers.
How to get there: The closest city to Lühesand is Stade.
Tourist attractions (near Lühesand): the St Cosmae et Damiani Lutheran Church, the Wilhadi Lutheran Church, and the Schwedenspeicher.
Places to stay (near Lühesand): H+ Hotel Stade Herzog Widukind, Hotel Stadthafen Stade, and Hotel Am Fischmarkt.
Things to do: Camping on Lühesand and visiting various tourist attractions in Stade.
Annual visitors: over 8 000 visitors/year.

Planning a trip during winter?

Further reading: Top 10 Best places to visit in Winter.



Germany played an important role in the growth of Christianity in Central Europe. Many religious sites can be found throughout the country.

One such site is Nonnenwerth, an island in the Rhine River between Rolandseck and Bad Honnef. The island has been the site of a monastery since the 12th century. The monastery was originally founded by Benedictine monks and was then taken over by Franciscan monks. Since then, the monastery has been home to a Franciscan educational institution.

Area: 0.18 km2
Location: River Rhine
Population: Monks.
How to get there: The closest city to Nonnenwerth is Bad Honnef.
Tourist attractions (near Nonnenwerth): the AdenauerHaus, the Lowenburg, and the Freibad Insel Grafenwerth.
Places to stay (near Nonnenwerth): the Seminaris Hotel Bad Honnef, the Hotel Weinhaus Hoff, and the Ruhige zentrale Lage in Bad Honnef.
Things to do: visiting the monastry on Nonnenwerth as well as various tourist attractions in Bad Honnef.
Annual visitors: over 8 000 visitors/year.

Planning a trip during fall?

Further reading: Top 10 Best places to visit in fall.



Like Lühesand, Rettbergsaue is a popular site for campers who are exploring the German countryside.

Rettbergsaue is a natural island in the Rhine River at Wiesbaden. The island is mostly covered with trees and has a rich bird and plant life. Approximately 90% of the island is protected, with the remainder used for recreational and agricultural purposes.

Area: 0.68 km2
Location: River Rhine
Population: 0 permanent residents.
How to get there: The closest city to Rettbergsaue is Wiesbaden.
Tourist attractions (near Rettbergsaue): the Palace Square (Wiesbaden), the Kurhaus and Theater (Wiesbaden), and St. Elizabeth’s Church (Wiesbaden).
Places to stay (near Rettbergsaue): the Holiday Inn Express – Wiesbaden, the Hotel Klemm, and the Hotel Nassauer Hof.
Things to do: Camping on Rettbergsaue and visiting various tourist attractions in Wiesbaden.
Annual visitors: over 9 000 visitors/year

Are you planning a trip abroad for spiritual reasons?

Further reading: 6 Spiritual benefits of travelling to foreign countries.

While most of Germany’s river islands don’t hold many tourist attractions themselves, they are a great way to explore German cities that you may never have thought of before.

Germany’s top 5 river islands FAQ

  • Will I have to speak German when visiting one of Germany’s river islands?
    When visiting a German river island, you will most likely be staying in a German town. English is spoken in some of Germany’s bigger towns. However, a basic knowledge of German is needed in smaller towns.
  • What currency do they use in Germany?
    The official currency of Germany is the Euro (€). While card facilities will be available on in most German cities, it is recommended that tourists do carry some cash with them.
  • How do I know what to pack when visiting one of Germany’s river islands?
    Make sure that you make use of a weather app in conjunction with a packing app.
  • Is it easy to get to one of Germany’s river islands?
    Most of Germany’s river islands are accessible. However, staying on some of these islands is not permitted. Make sure you book accommodation in the nearest town.
  • Is it safe to travel to Germany?
    Germany is regarded as one of the safest places to travel to in Europe.