Can someone share the most beautiful places to visit/lodge along the Rhine around Bacharach area? I am a solo traveler and have a few days before flying home out of Frankfurt. I am already in Europe without my RS guide to Germany. Any suggestions around Frankfurt are welcome too!
I've stayed in Bacharach a couple of times driving down from Ansterdam (toward Bavaria.) It's a very quiet little river town with good B&B's and nice small restaurants. You can sit on the river bank and watch the tour boats going back and forth. You can catch a train up to Koblenz and Cologne, and the Frankfort Airport is about 45 minutes by train. I've always bypassed Frankfurt trying to get farther south. The Rhine and Mosel River valleys are well covered by Bavaria Ben.
Frankfurt has a lot to offer, though sometimes it isn't stuff that jumps out and smacks you. This is a city to relax in, and take your time enjoying its' many facets. If you take a bit of time to explore here, you may find lots to interest you. Whether it is museums of all sorts, and there are 19 just around the river area, 6 medieval churches built between 850-1450, an extensive Jewish history, Farmers markets, parks, and/or festivals, the city has much to see and do. Share your interests, and I can make suggestions. There are lots of near-by towns that are also of interest. Mainz, Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg, Buedingen, Idstein, Seligenstadt, or Kronberg.
I always enjoy returning to Bacharach whether it's after landing in Frankfurt or coming back to the States out of Frankfurt. It's a cute, small, walkable town. It has some beautiful, typical German buildings along with nice restaurants and vintners where you can taste their wines. We stayed at Im Malerwinkel on our last visit and it was nice because it was away from the train noise but close enough to walk into town. Here's their website: http://www.im-malerwinkel.de/ In town, we like to eat at Cafe Rusticana. Enjoy one last slice of apple strudel here. There are your typical souvenir shops, however, you can also take a Rhine cruise from here or just sit down by the river. Enjoy!
Sally, I find that Bacharach is not only a good "home base" for exploring other places in the vicinity, but also a very pleasant town to stay. You could (for example)..... > Take the KD boat to St. Goar, explore Rheinfels Castle and then take the train back. > Spend a few hours looking around Oberwesel. > Take a day trip to the Mosel and have a look at one of the towns there. I've stayed at both Pensione Lettie and Hotel Kranenturm. I'd definitely recommend both, and Kraneturm also has an excellent restaurant. FWIW, I didn't find the train noise to be a problem in that area. Depending on the time of your flight, Bacharach also makes a good "last stop" in Germany, as it's an easy trip by train directly to the airport (about an hour as I recall - often one change at Bingen - you'll arrive at the Regionalbahnhof). I've gone directly from Bacharach to FRA for my flight home with no problems at all. Happy travels!
Thanks all....very very helpful. I am interested in hearing more details on rural charm or villages near Frankfurt as well. As I have already seen the Mosel, I wonder if it might be nice to explore some less touristed beautiful areas near Frankfurt.
The Taunus mountains north of Frankfurt contain some lovely towns. Idstein is one of my favorites and just a 45 min. ride on the S-bahn from the Hauptbahnhof. It is one of the towns on the Fachwerk Route. Also in the Taunus is Bad Homburg, which has the palace of Kaiser Wilhelm 2, as well as the Redeemer Church, and the Saalburg, a 100 year old reconstructed Roman fort. Sort of near-by is Hessen Park which is an Open Air Museum. Good for a day trip. Kronberg has a lovely little Staufen castle, and St. Johannes church is also worth a visit. Going a bit east, you get to the Wetterauer & Vogelsburg mountains, and the town of Buedingen, which is also on the Fachwerk route. This is a walled medieval town. Recommend booking a private tour with the tourist info for 41 euro, as they take you inside the city walls and up on the witches tower. Going south on the Main, you come to Seligenstadt, another Fachwerk Route town, and home of the best preserved and largest abbey in Hessen. Actually in Frankfurt, is the neighborhood of Hoechst, well worth a few hours, to visit St. Justinus, consecrated in 850, the Antoniter monks garden behind the church, and if it is market day, this adds a nice touch.
Also in the Taunus mountains, Königstein is gorgeous. Not so much a charming rural village as where I imagine some of the ultra-rich who work in Frankfurt live. Also consider the beautiful university town of Marburg. I think the Grimm brothers studied there, and it even has that fairy tale look. The old town winds up a central hill, and there's a castle and park on the top. The hinterland north of Frankfurt is, in my opinion, one of the most attractive outside of the Alps in Germany. It's just filled with beautiful old towns, castles and churches.
These suggestions are all so helpful. Can you suggest any beautiful day hikes in places not so far from Frankfurt? Love flowers and views. Thanks! Also, I really like the photos of Marburg. Thank you. Any nice walks around there?
Also, are there any idyllic cycling paths within an hour of Frankfurt...the pleasant easy ones! :)
The Odenwald region south of Frankfurt is a hiker's paradise, but can be difficult to navigate without a car. Here's a suggestion for a hike I know well that can be accomplished in about 3-4 hours, with the start and end points convenient to trainstations. Take a Regiobahn south to Heppenheim. From the Bahnhof, look east towards the mountains. To your left, you'll see a castle. To your right, you'll see some vineyards. Head in that direction and look for the trail markers-these are usually numbers or simple geometric shapes painted on posts, walls or trees. The symbol you're looking for is a horizontal red rectangle- follow the red rectangle the entire distance and you won't get lost. The trail starts near the back of a cemetery. Follow the red rectangles up through the vineyard and up the mountain. The trail will eventually lead into the woods. It more or less follows a southward direction along the ridge of the mountain. Most of it is in the woods, but now and again it opens up and gives you a breathtaking view. You will pass at least two medieval watchtowers (the second is a slight detour off your direct path to the top of the ridge). After the second tower, the trail descends into the town of Weinheim. You can catch a train back to Frankfurt from here. Or, if you still have some energy, check out Weinheim's attractive old town, including the Schloss and Schlossgarten. There's almost certainly some good hiking around Marburg, but I don't know of any specific hikes. For biking trails, check out this webiste
The Main river has cycling paths on it and you can ride down to Seligenstadt or Aschaffenburg from Frankfurt and then either ride back, or take the train back. Very pretty scenery along the way. There is also another river that runs through Frankfurt, called the Nidda and this also has great bike paths on it. Look on Google maps to see where these rivers go and the towns they go through.