When Is the Best Time
Geierlay is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany. It's a half-day trip to the popular suspension bridge if you are in the Hunsrück area, at river Moselle, Eltz Castle, or as a good stopover. The bridge is open 24/7. The visitor terminal is open each day from 10 am to 4 pm and provides a map in different languages. Make sure to read our 5 Must-Know Tips below (scroll down).
It's utterly crowded during the summer and weekends are the worst, especially on sunny days. In autumn the views are just spectacular with the fall foliage. To avoid the crowds, visit the bridge early morning (around 10 a.m. or earlier) or late in the evening in the summer (after 7 p.m). There are very few visitors in winter only.
Restrictions Summer/Fall 2020
COVID-19 markings and signs: Sosberg side around 10 am on a Friday in summer peak season
The bridge is open and accessible! However, due to COVID-19 there are some restrictions in place for the summer of 2020 (and maybe even longer):
- You have to wear a face mask before entering the bridge or the bridge area and keep a distance of 1,5m
- People allowed on the bridge at the same time is limited to 30
- Every even hour the bridge can be entered from Mörsdorf side (e.g. 14 p.m., 16 p.m., etc) and every odd hour from Sosberg side (e.g. 13 p.m., 17 p.m., etc.) for 50 minutes
- Security guards are at each side from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. to make sure the above rules are being followed by visitors
During summer holidays and on weekends, the odd/even hour restrictions (see above) usually results in long waiting lines between midday and the early evening. Tip: Arrive early at the bridge to avoid waiting for 1-2 hours! Being there at around 10 a.m. is usually sufficient and you can enter the bridge without waiting. It also thins out in the evening but usually not much before 7 p.m.
Tip for photographers; The sunlight is best in the evening. The sunset is just gorgeous here.
Where and Tips
Geierlay is the second-longest suspension bridge in Germany with 360 meters at the height of 100 meters. In contrast to the longest suspension bridge in the Harz, the entrance is for free. The bridge was opened to the public on October 3. 2015. The construction began in May, and it was completed in a record of 130 days.
The bridge is located in the heart of the Hunsrück mountains. It's a truly unique experience to walk from Mörsdorf above the valley floor to Sosberg. The bridge is an attraction for people without a fear of heights and suitable for all ages. It's not swinging much just a little if it's bustling. The view in front of the bridge, at the bottom of the valley or from the side, is quite impressive.
5 Must-Know Tips and Facts
Sunrise photo by Fabian Fortmann - Visit him on Instagram
- Always Open: The bridge is never closed and always accessible. You can visit it year-round at any time. Even at midnight if you like. Looking for an adventure? Stay the night (see #5), bring a flashlight and visit the bridge after dark. Visiting in winter? Yes, definitely worth the trip! It's a lot quieter and if you're lucky, you'll have an awesome view with snow.
- Two Sides: You can visit the bridge from Mörsdorf (Google Maps) or via the other side from Sosberg (Google Maps). Both are tiny towns, more like villages. Most people visit via Mörsdorf as it has larger parking areas (P1 - P4, see ‘Parking’ below) and some facilities. It’s also more touristy. Sosberg is quieter but provides only one parking area with limited space. You cannot park directly at the bridge, regardless of the side! The easy walks from P1-P4 in Mörsdorf or from Sosberg parking lot are between 1.9 and 3.0 km.
- Free Entrance: Visiting the bridge itself is free. There is no entry fee. However, you have to pay for parking. Depending on your time and the parking lot it’s quite cheap between 2 EUR and 4 EUR (you have to pay a little more when staying longer than 4 hours).
- Be Early: On weekends and during summer peak season you can avoid the heavy crowds (or waiting lines during COVID-19 measures) easily by arriving early. Being at any of the parking lots between 9:00 - 9:30 a.m. is usually sufficient. Walking from there to the bridge takes about half an hour (depending on where you parked). That way you arrive at the bridge around 10 a.m without the crowds. It's starting to get very busy around midday. Later, the crowds start to dissipate in the evening after 7 p.m.
- Stay One Night: If you are a (hobby) photographer and want to take the most stunning pictures (like the sunrise photo above) you have to stay the night: Arrive at Mörsdorf or Sosberg in the evening (Mörsdorf Accommodations and Sosberg Accommodations), then walk to the bridge right before sunset. Take amazing pictures. Now you can stay after dark for an adventure or walk back. Next morning: Get up very early and be there at sunrise. Now you can take stunning sunrise photos and often even some with fog in the golden hour (like this one: flickr Geierlay - Fog). Another big advantage: During these times you have the bridge for yourself! The photographer of the above sunrise photo stayed nearby in Cochem, which is a great alternative for staying overnight: It has amazing scenery, mesmerizing castles, and more: Nearby Accommodations - Cochem (bookmark the link!)
Parking | Mörsdorf
There are four huge parking areas, and all of them are full during the peak season at midday. The fees are between 2 and 4 EUR if you stay up to 4 hours. Bring enough coins; the ticket machine can't change and doesn't take notes. Parking 1 at the visitor center is the closest. Parking #2 is very good located if you like to walk through the forest with lots of shade to the suspension bridge instead of the main paved track along the fields. It's a 2 km walk from the visitor center and roughly 2.5 from parking No 2 to the bridge. Parking 4 is the only one without toilets and is quite far from the bridge; try the other ones first. Map Geierlay Bridge and Hiking Trails
Parking | Sosberg
Sosberg is quieter than Mörsdorf. However, there is only one parking area available with limited space: Sosberg Parking & Brückencafe. The second time we visited, we went via Sosberg and did like the quietness. It's a 1.9 km walk from the parking lot to the bridge. The walk is easy as you stay on a path without any elevations.The parking area is quiet small and you have to be there early to avoid a full parking lot. We arrived shortly after 9 a.m. and it was almost empty (see the picture above). It starts to get full around 11 a.m. in peak season. Parking fee in Sosberg is 2 EUR for 4 hours. 3 EUR for 6 hours, and 4 EUR for 8 hours. The is a cafe right at the parking lot which opens at 12 p.m. They offer various drinks and food. Besides the cafe, there are no other facilities and no restrooms at the Sosberg parking lot.
Need to Know
If you have any mobility issues or you come with small children; it's quite a distance of about 2.5 km one way to the bridge. The car park at the visitor center is 2 km away and often full. The footpath to the bridge is wheelchair and stroller friendly except the last 150 meters or so. Bear in mind the last restrooms are at the visitor center and Parking P2! Fee for the restroom at P2 is 0.70 €.
Food and Beverages
The visitor center in Mörsdorf provides an information terminal, restaurant with beer-garden, and public facilities. During the summer months and especially at weekends, there are also some food and beverage stalls and ice cream as well. For the rest of the year, bring plenty of water and a snack.
To enjoy the beautiful tranquil landscape hike the Geierlayschleife (loop trail), which is 6.4 km long. You hardly see any people as soon as you left the suspension bridge. Proper trainers or hiking boots are recommend. The loop looks like an eight and takes roughly 2 hours.
Hiking in the Hunsrueck Area
- Nearby is the Saar-Hunsrueck-Steig, a 410 km long premium hiking trail.
- Layensteig is a 14 km loop trail and takes about 4-5 hours.
- Baybachklamm - Baybach Ravine is a 10.5 km long loop trail and our favorite one. Along the trail is a beautifully located hotel and restaurant; the Schmausemühle.
- Best Accommodation around:
Hotel Schmausemühle (our favorite). Stay here for a couple of days and explore the area. You'll love it! Make your booking in advance. It's one of the most popular ones due to the location. Weekends are often fully booked. A delicious breakfast is included. Lunch and dinner are also yummy. Try a smoked fish or local game. We celebrated my birthday in the old mill with family and friends. We couldn't have chosen a better place. Alternatives if you're too late for a reservation: Hotels near Geierlay Bridge (via TripAdvisor)
- Another popular spot is the unique Eltz Castle surrounded by beautiful nature scenery. It was already built in 1157 and got bigger and changed through the centuries. The owners are still the same family, which is pretty rare. Come here to be set back to the medieval time. It is open to the public from the beginning of April to the beginning of November from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm last guided tour. Midday is utterly busy; to avoid the queues come either in the morning or in the late afternoon. Our top tip for Eltz Castle is the Eltz Castle Panorama Trail.
The images takes you to a stunning day trip to Castle Eltz from Frankfurt!