Frankfurt, a central German city on the river Main, is a major financial hub that's home to the European Central Bank.
Frankfurt, a central German city on the river Main, is a major financial hub that's home to the European Central Bank. It's the birthplace of famed writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose former home is now the Goethe House Museum. Like much of the city, it was damaged during World War II and later rebuilt. The reconstructed Altstadt is the site of Römerberg, a square that hosts an annual Christmas market.
Frankfurt, is a metropolis and the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2015 population of 732,688 within its administrative boundaries and 2.3 million in its urban area. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after Rhine-Ruhr. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km to the east of Frankfurt's CBD, the Bankenviertel. Frankfurt is culturally and ethnically diverse, with around half of the population, and a majority of young people, having a migration background. A quarter of the population are foreign nationals, including many expatriates.
10:30am-12:30pm : Eberbach Abbey
Eberbach Abbey , founded in 1136, soon became one of the largest and most active monasteries of Germany--due in a large part to the economic success of its vineyards and wine production. Tour the wine cellars, and taste the locally produced wine, or go for a stroll in the picturesque, walled vineyards. Enjoy a meal in the cozy restaurant, and explore the many buildings that make up the monastery. Check ahead online for the different tour options, or buy an audio guide there to learn about the history of this impressive place.
1:00pm-2:00pm : Saint Elizabeth's Church
Saint Elizabeth's Church, a Russian Orthodox church once built for the niece of a Russian czar in the 19th century, is popular for its ornate architecture and decor. Upon approaching the church, you will see five gilded domes topping its towers. The interior features elaborate frescos and wall hangings. When you are finished touring the inside, check out the surrounding park with its quiet walkways and plenty of tree coverage.
2:30pm-5:00pm : Neroberg
Neroberg, a 245 m (800 ft) high mountain offers fantastic, popular hiking trails from Wiesbaden to the summit. During your hike, stop at the Russian Church, visible from afar with its five gilded domes. At the peak, visit the small mountain park designed by Philip Hoffmann, and enjoy the distant views from one of the monopteros (temples). Nearby, a 19th-century tower--which survived a fire that destroyed its adjacent hotel--now houses a restaurant with a garden terrace. In summer, Nerobergbahn, a mountain train that has been carrying passengers since 1888, makes the trip to the top easier.
11:30am-12:30pm : Fortress Marienberg
Fortress Marienberg, now a museum, served as the home of the prince-bishops for nearly five centuries. You can explore the first floor and discover fine furniture, tapestries, paintings, a treasury, and a vestment chamber. The second floor displays tell the history of the structure and the town. Outside, you can walk through the princes' garden. It boasts an amazing view of Würzburg and valley of the river Main. Scheduled guided tours are available for an additional fee.
1:00pm-3:30pm : Würzburg Residence
See the world's largest ceiling fresco at Würzburg Residence, the majestic residence of the prince-bishops of Würzburg. Constructed in the early 18th century, the palace combines aspects of French chateau and Viennese Baroque architecture. The fresco is above the palace's grand royal staircase. You can wander through the Imperial Hall with its stucco sculptures, colorful murals, and gold ornamentation. Although you must pay to enter the palace, you can roam the tranquil residence gardens free of charge. This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
4:00pm-4:30pm : St. Kilian Cathedral
A Romanesque church whose construction began in 1040, St. Kilian Cathedral is the third church to be built on this site after both its predecessors fell victim to fires. In the 1700s, the interior was redone in Baroque style, which contrasted with the original's more somber Romanesque architecture. The church was badly damaged in World War II, then restored to its original Romanesque style. Certain elements of the Baroque interior were left intact, giving the church a sometimes-controversial blend of styles, including Gothic. Check online to see when special tours are offered, or book a private one through the church website. Be sure to schedule at least two weeks in advance.
10:30am-1:30pm : Romerkastell Saalburg und archaologischer Park
Debuting as an open-air museum in the 19th century, Romerkastell Saalburg und archaologischer Park provides a journey back to an ancient Roman province. When the Roman Empire was at its peak, this location housed 600 soldiers in its garrison and almost 1,500 townspeople. The grounds included a guesthouse, baths, and taverns. The fort was rebuilt next to the archeological site where artifacts from the settlement were found. These artifacts are stored safely in glass cases in the main museum structure; the rest of the pieces in the displays are recreations. Purchase a ticket that includes admission to the Celtic World at the Glauberg to learn how the native people lived outside of the settlement. Make a stop by the Taberna restaurant in the museum to experience the tastes of ancient Rome.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Rheinfels Castle
Once the largest castle overlooking the Rhine, Rheinfels Castle once covered an area five times its current size. The majority of the actual castle is in ruins, but just outside the walls, you'll find a wellness center, hotel, and restaurant. The pathway under the clock tower just opposite the hotel is the castle's main entrance, and it will lead you to the earl's former quarters and the cellar. The 16th-century cellar is the largest self-supporting cellar in Europe at 16 m (52 ft) high and 24 m (79 ft) long. It is now used as a concert hall with a capacity for 400 people. In the chapel, a museum displays a history of the castle along with artifacts found on the site. A scale model of the castle's original ground plan showcases the forethought used in building a structure that could withstand lengthy sieges.
11:00am-12:00pm : Michaelskirche
12:30pm-1:30pm : Fulda Cathedral
The former abbey church of Fulda Abbey, Fulda Cathedral has been both the cathedral and symbol of the town since 1752. Sitting on the burial site of Saint Boniface, the Baroque structure was completed between 1704 and 1712. The cathedral suffered damage during World War II air raids and was closed for restoration until 1954. From a large square outside the building, you can admire the details of the facade, the bell towers, the main portal, and the obelisks. Inside, the white decorations display a Roman Baroque style reminiscent of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
3:00pm-6:00pm : Stadel Museum
A Frankfurt native founded one of Germany's premier art collections, Stadel Museum, in 1815. Its 600 paintings, 600 sculptures, and more than 100,000 prints and sketches represent nearly 700 years of art. You'll find a variety of styles, schools, and techniques. Look for works by Botticelli, Van Eyck, Rembrandt, and other famous artists. Art history buffs may reach nirvana in the museum's library, which contains more than 100,000 books from different eras. The gift shop sells an astounding 6,000 prints and books. The onsite cafe offers city skyline views.
11:30am-1:30pm : Historische Senfmuehle
One of the oldest mustard mills in the world, Historische Senfmuehle produces nine flavors of mustard using recipes dating as far back as the 15th century. Take a tour to learn about the history and production of this tasty condiment, or gobble it up on a bratwurst. Tours are only given only in German, though an informational sheet is also available in English. You can purchase a few jars of mustard in the shop and even have them packaged and shipped home.
2:00pm-2:30pm : Weingut Bremm - Keltenhof
3:00pm-4:00pm : Mittelalterlicher Marktplatz
Step back in time with a visit to Mittelalterlicher Marktplatz, a public square that has been the beating heart of a small town for centuries. The center of a thriving community since the 12th century, the marketplace was once a popular site for regional trade and local gossip. Local merchants met here to sell their goods, while the residents came to exchange bits of news and purchase much-needed household goods. Today, this old square is surrounded by picturesque timber-framed buildings, most of which were erected during the Middle Ages. Make sure your camera is charged and ready at hand when you pass through this idyllic part of town.
11:00am-12:00pm : Schloss Heidelberg
Among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps, the ruins of Schloss Heidelberg offer sweeping views of the surrounding area. The castle has been partially rebuilt since lightning bolts and fires caused massive destruction in the 17th and 18th centuries. It dominates the view of the old downtown, just as it did in the 13th century. Sitting on a hillside above the city, the castle can be easily reached by a funicular railway, itself a major regional tourist attraction. Be sure to pick up an audio guide near the entrance into the castle. To access interior areas not available otherwise, join a guided tour of the castle and its grounds. Check online for tour schedules before you make the trip.
1:30pm-2:30pm : Burg Nanstein
Tour the ruins of an old castle when you visit Burg Nanstein. Wander through the structure, explore the dungeon, and peruse the walls while enjoying the views of Landstuhl. Take one of the hikes through the woods and look for the carved gnomes in the tree trunks. Just outside the castle walls, a cash-only German cafe provides a place to rest and refuel. Throughout the year a variety of performances are offered inside the castle.
3:30pm-4:30pm : Felsenkirche
10:30am-12:30pm : Mathematikum
Try your hand at hands-on mathematical exhibits at Mathematikum. The museum lets you exercise your mind with more than 150 interactive activities, including mirrors, a Leonardo bridge, soap bubbles, musical instruments, puzzles, and more. Afterward, reward your efforts at the onsite cafe, which serves specialty coffees, soft drinks, baked goods, candy, and ice creams. The onsite shop sells puzzles and books to take home with you.
1:00pm-2:00pm : St. Elizabeth Kirche
2:30pm-4:30pm : Marburger Landgrafenschloss Museum
Perched high above the town of Marburg, Marburger Landgrafenschloss Museum is a 13th-century fortress housing a history museum. The fortress is visible from all over the city and towers as an emblem over the narrow streets. These same streets provide great opportunities for photos of the castle's towers and walls. Take a short trek up a hill to the entrance of the museum and the fortress grounds. In addition to the artifacts on display in the museum, you'll see murals painted in the 13th century. In the chapel, polished tiles make the sacred place glisten. The Prince Hall inside the castle is the largest Gothic hall in Germany that has exclusively been used for parties since the day it was completed. The hall's tradition continues with constant cultural events and festivities taking place between its towering walls.