Frankfurt has a lot to offer, but just outside of the city, its surrounding areas do too. So, if you are looking to get out of the city, here’s a guide to the nearby areas:
The capital of the federal state of Hesse and one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Wiesbaden literally translates to ‘meadow baths’ referring to its famous hot springs, which are still flowing today. The springs are said to produce healing water, and the most famous one, the Kochbrunnen is known for its strange smell and resembling a mushroom. Locals still drink from it today, to take advantage of its healing properties. This historic city is in easy reach of Frankfurt (40 km west) and is lined with beautiful buildings. Its most attractive building is the Kurhaus. This spa house, was built in 1907, and overlooks a beautiful English landscape park with a lake (Kurpark). A great visit for a peaceful day out, with great architecture and nature.
Located in the south of Hessen, Darmstadt holds the official title ‘City of Science’ and is a major center of scientific institutions in Germany. Also, a city of great art, Darmstadt boasts beautiful architecture and excellent museums. A top attraction is the Mathildenhöhe where Ernst Ludwig historically established an artists’ colony. Here you can climb the Hochzeitsturm (Wedding Tower) which goes 48 metres high, for a view across the city. The Mathildenhöhe also features many other attractions including the Russian Chapel, Exhibition Building and the Museum Kunstlerkolonie (Artists’ Colony Museum). The Hessian Landesmuseum, is also a great stop for anyone wanting to learn more about this city’s history.
North of Frankfurt, is a mountain range called the Taunus with smooth rounded mountains covered in forest. The area is also used when referring to surrounding areas such as Oberursel, Bad Homburg, Kronberg and Friedrischsdorf.
Once used by the Romans, the Fuchstanz, is a forest pass in Taunus, located between ‘Little Feldberg’ and ‘Altkönig’. It is here, 662 m above sea level, that hiking trails connect, bringing about hikers, mountain bikers, and even sleigh riders in the winter. There are several parking spaces around, and people frequently leave their cars to climb further up to the Waldgasthaus, a traditional rustic family-run restaurant serving beer, and local German food. Trust us, it’s worth the hike for their schnitzel and cake!
On the southern slope of the Taunus, is the charming Oberursel. This beautifully preserved old town attracts visitors with its historic buildings and ambience. Stroll around the picturesque Altstadt (old town) or Marketplatz, and visit the weekly market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which transforms to a medieval theme in the wintertime.
One of the wealthiest towns in Germany, and located at the foot of the Taunus is, Bad Homburg. Bad Homburg is known for its healing baths, casino and castle. All of which are worth visiting. Schloss Bad Homburg (Bad Homburg Castle) is a castle and place with incredible grounds and landscape, it is worth taking a guided tour to learn all about the history. The Spa Park (Kurpark) is a 44-acre park in the middle of the city, it includes a casino, various fountains a golf course and is the highlight of any visit to the area.
Just 15 km outside of Frankfurt, this town originates from the 12th century castle that has been built in the area. (The Burg Kronberg). Visit the Burg (Castle) and take a guided tour to learn all about its history and the town as well as for the incredible views that stretch across Frankfurt and Taunus. Traditional half-timber houses, winding cobbled streets, and the medieval castle make this a beautiful and historic looking place to visit. Another attraction is the Opel Zoo, an open-air zoo in an idyllic green location. This well-kept zoo in its beautiful location, and with its wide range of animals is a great visit for families. As well as this, visit the Waldschwimmbad, a public 50 m pool, in the middle of the forest. A perfect place to bring children in the summer.
The Kletterwald Taunus located in Friedrichsdorf is a beautifully landscaped and maintained climbing forest, great for team building, children’s parties and a family day out. This climbing park, has various levels of difficulty and heights from easy to intense, making it suitable for people of all ages.
Words Contributed by Kira Crabtree