Now we all love little old Frankfurt but that doesn't mean we don't want to get away once in a while, or every weekend! Luckily, Frankfurt is perfectly located for exploring other areas of Germany and Europe. Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Brussels are all within a four-hour train journey and there are plenty of other smaller places for a weekend away. Think Maastricht, The Alsace Wine Region, Stuttgart or Weimar. But you don't even need a whole weekend to get out and explore. In just a day (maximum 1.5 hours drive) you can get to lots of beautiful and interesting towns. Here are our favourite day trips from Frankfurt.
Day Trips From Frankfurt
This is a student town located on the Neckar river and, let's face it, rivers are essential in picturesque towns. There is an impressive castle with relaxing gardens and views over the old town. The cobbled streets of the old town make a great place for a wander and there are plenty of bars, cafes and shops. The town is a bit of tourist destinations so it may be very crowded on summer weekends. Try a nice weekend in Spring or go on a weekday if you can. Heidelberg is about a one hour drive directly South of Frankfurt or you can take the train.
Located on a river - check(the Lahn)! Pedestrianised old town - check! Cute, timber-framed houses -check! Beautiful, old cathedral - check! Hundred of Italian restaurants- ahh check! Yes, Limburg is everything you could possibly want in a little, old German town. It also has a comical amount of Italian restaurants, we couldn't figure out the connection but pizza is always good! It is free to go inside the cathedral and the maze of streets in the old town are filled with cafes and restaurants. The train to Limburg takes 30 minutes from Frankfurt Hbf.
This is a larger area covering the mountains to the North of Frankfurt. It is a great area for cycling and hiking. Some highlights include the Great Feldberg which is the highest peak (881m) and the lookout tower located a short walk from the small village, Treisberg. Another great stop is Hessenpark, one of the largest open-air museums in Germany. It contains many historic buildings and displays as well as temporary exhibits. All the towns in the area contain authentic German restaurants.
Another cute, traditional German town by a river. There is a castle with views out over the Main and lots of lovely architecture to see. We happened to be there during the annual fair and there were great parades through the old town.
Is a university town which stands on two levels. An elevator transports people to the upper town where there is a large market square. Further up the hill is a magnificent castle which now houses a museum. The city itself has a very laid-back, liberal vibe with lots of cafes and student bars. There are regular trains from Frankfurt Hbf which take around an hour.
If you're into wine this is the place for you. Located in the vineyards by the Rhine are plenty of lovely walks to do in this area. There is a cable car up to the view-point and lots of great wineries to visit. We had a lovely stay at Magdalenenhof Hotel and enjoyed great food and wine.
Continuing on from Rüdesheim the whole area along the Rhine makes for some wonderful hiking and wine. The Lorelei is a large rock supposedly named after the spirit of a maiden who would sit on the rock and sing to sailors, causing them to sink their ships. It is a stunning viewpoint and the surrounding area is home to many interesting castles. There are also boat tours along the Rhine.
Mainz is small city. It has a nice old town and is located on the Rhine river. In June there is a huge street art festival and many walls around the town are painted. They remain on display for the year and are then painted over during the festival the following year. Well worth a trip out there to check it out and spend some time exploring the city. More info about the festival is available here.