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Long Lay Over Frankfurt

Hello, we will be traveling through Italy this summer and are flying back to the states via Milano-Frankfurt. We will have two evenings and a whole day in Frankfurt. We would like to take a TOUR to Mainz to see the Gutenberg museum and the catherdal with Marc Chagall stained glass as well as a Rhine river cruise. We have thought about renting a car and doing this on our own as well, but weren't sure. We would like to see as much as possible in the little time we have. Would appreciate any suggestions on itinerary, tours, and independent travel. We already have a hotel in Frankfurt.
Thanks for your help!

Posted by
388 posts

This will be a full day but it may be doable if you start early. It takes about 45 minutes one way from Frankfurt to Mainz. Then if you were to catch a boat, it would take about 3 hours to get to St. Goar, or 5.5 hours to Koblenz. I don't think you'd have enough time to get to Koblenz by boat though unless you don't mind getting into Frankfurt late. From St. Goar you can take a train back to Frankfurt with a change in Oberwesel which takes about 1.5 hours total. Since trains do all this you wouldn't really need a car unless you wanted to get into some small towns not covered by the trains.

You can see train schedules and purchase tickets on the Deutsche Bahn. Use the link and the tips for this site on the following page: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/online-schedules

For the boats and schedules use the following links:
http://kdrhine.com/rhineschedule.htm
http://www.k-d.com/en/home/

I hope this helps some.

Posted by
7691 posts

If you are in Frankfurt, the easiest way to do the Rhine is to take the train that leaves from track 23 or 24 every hour and that goes up the right hand side of the Rhine. It makes stops in Eltville, Rüdesheim, Assmanshausen, St. Goarshausen and Braubach, as well as other towns. Getting on the ship in either Rüdesheim or Assmanshausen is my advice, and then take the ship up to St. Goar. Visit Burg Rhinefels, and then you could either go back across the rive to St. Goarshausen with the ferry and train up to Braubach to see the Marksburg, or you could stay on the left side and train to Bacharach or Ober-Wesel and then train back to Frankfurt.

Using the local train company will give you prices and might be more useful since you are in Frankfurt. The DB website won't give you prices on some of these trains as they are local, private companies, though the DB tickets work on them.
www.rmv.de

If you drive, only one of you will get to sightsee. Group tickets for the train are cheap and everyone gets a good view, plus then you can have a glass of wine (or 2) if you like. There are Happy Weekend tickets, Quer Durch Deutschland tickets which you can read about on the DB website, and for just Mainz, a group day ticket for up to 5 people is only 26.90 €. Info for that is on the RMV website.

St. Stephens has the Chagall windows and the cathedral (Mainzer Dom) is St. Martins. St. Augustine is also very beautiful. I quite like the Isis Temple ruins in the Römer Passage. It is free, but they like donations. They have an English language booklet that explains each exhibit.

Hope you have left a bit of time to tour Frankfurt too. It is one of Germany's' most historic citys, and has many lovely old churches and buildings.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for the prompt and informative response. Re-thinking car as you made the train sound better for all involved to enjoy the day.
Happy Travels!