The biggest key to getting low prices is to avoid high season: Late May, June, & July. This is when the cruisers are in town and prices will JUMP. I promise it’s just as lovely in the other months and you’ll love exploring uncrowded castles and picturesque little towns.
Unfortunately, if you’re driving yourself, it makes it a bit tricky to do more than sample wines knowing you need to drive. There ARE (expensive) tours to do this, however if you’re a wine lover, just call your favorite to see if you can do a free wine tasting.
Even easier and potentially cheaper if you're guilty of buying too many bottles from wineries: Stay in one of the charming towns in Rhine Valley, find a good wine bar, bring cash [as the bar might not take cards], and ask about all the wine on the menu. I paid between 2 and 4.40 per glass [with large pours] for top quality Riesling with a little introduction about the wine from the waiter at a local bar. Most bars will let you sample wine that is by the glass.
For the ultra frugal, you should visit the local supermarket for a bottle. A lot of the small towns don't have large supermarkets, but you can also head to one of the largest cities, including Koblenz or Frankfurt to pick up a bottle on your way.
Get Into Nature
For anyone who loves hiking, you can do the Oelsberg via ferrata, which is a challenging hike with a rope to helpyou along the steepest parts of it. Hiking will allow you to further appreciate the stunning beauty of this region, which surprised me to be honest. For those looking for an easier path can just enjoy a long walk around the Rhine.
Accommodations & How to Stay in a Castle On a Budget!?
Getting There / Driving
Definitely drive along the Rhine. We found driving in Germany to be very relaxing compared to the US. If there’s a castle on the other side of the river, you’ll have a bit of difficulty crossing with a car over the Rhine as there aren’t ANY bridges between Koblenz and Wiesbaden. You can take a ferry with your car for about 7 euros with two people inside!