Frankfurt is not exactly a major tourist destination.
However, this city is a great base for anyone wanting to explore the beautiful state of Hesse or travel along Germany’s Romantic road. There are plenty of beautiful places near Frankfurt, including charming old towns and medieval castles.
So, let’s look at some of the best places to visit from Frankfurt.
1. The stunning castle of Burg Eltz
The medieval castle of Burg Eltz looks like it’s been plucked out of a fairy tale. Nestled among the sprawling green hills, the castle dates back to the early 12th century and is privately owned by a branch of the same family that built it.
Some of the rooms in the castle are open to the public, where you can see the building’s well-preserved frescoes and original furnishings.
If you’re up for a bit of hiking, you can walk down the footpath from the lower car park. The path winds around the unspoilt Eltzbach Valley and offers sweeping views of the castle and its surroundings.
This Eltz Castle day trip from Frankfurt takes you on a historic tour of the castle with an expert guide, and includes dinner in a traditional restaurant.
2. The old town of Limburg
Situated on the banks of the Lahn River, the old town of Limburg is one of the best-preserved historic sites in western Germany.
The town’s main attractions include Römer 2-4-6, which is the oldest free-standing house in German, and the seven-towered cathedral of Dom St Georg.
There’s also the Werner-Senger-Haus; a 13th century building which houses one of the oldest restaurants in the country.
Limburg is a joy to explore on foot. Some of the town’s gorgeous, half-timbered buildings have been converted into artisan gift shops and traditional German pubs.
3. The beautiful forests of Taunus
The mountain range of Taunus is a popular nature getaway among local city dwellers. This area is known for its geothermal springs and mineral waters, and is home to several spa towns including Bad Ems and Königstein.
Surrounded by the river valleys of the Rhine, Main and Lahn rivers, Taunus offers many scenic walking trails through dense pine forests and along rolling green hills.
The tallest peak in the range is Großer Feldberg at 878 metres above sea level.
4. The historic city of Heidelberg
Located on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany and has some of the best-preserved Baroque buildings in the country. It is also one of the few cities in Germany that escaped bombing in WWII.
The city’s star attraction is the Renaissance castle, which hosts a wealth of architectural styles, as well as the world’s largest wine cask.
Heidelberg also boasts a rich literary history and a thriving cultural scene, and in 2014 it was named a UNESCO City of Literature.
Recommended Heidelberg tours
5. The cute town of Michelstadt
If you want to experience authentic Germany, you might want to plan a day trip to Michelstadt in southern Hesse.
Despite being a small town, Michelstadt is a treasure trove of architectural gems. Its stunning 15th-century town hall is one of the most significant timber-framed buildings in Germany.
Other attractions include a Frankish medieval castle complex known as Kellerei, an 18th-century synagogue and Jewish museum, and the remains of a Roman bathhouse.
Michelstadt is even more beautiful in December, when the town hosts one of the most magical Christmas markets in Germany.
6. The spa town of Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg is one of the most beautiful places near Frankfurt. Situated at the foot of the Taunus Mountains, this spa town is known for its healing baths and health treatments.
It’s also home to several shopping halls and cafes.
You can stroll through the town’s picturesque streets, visit the castle and palace, and explore the large park and gardens. You might even treat yourself to a day at the spa!
7. The quirky city of Darmstadt
Darmstadt is a city near Frankfurt that’s home to some very unusual buildings. These include the iconic Wedding Tower; a seven-storey monument commissioned by the Grand Duke of Hesse Ernst Ludwig to commemorate his marriage to Princess Eleonore.
If you go up to the top floor, you can enjoy panoramic view of the entire city.
There’s also the stunning Russian Chapel and the Waldspirale. The latter is a multi-coloured residential complex designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It has over 1,000 windows in the building, each with a unique shape.
Recommended Darmstadt tours
8. The charming town of Ladenburg
Ladenburg is another beautiful place near Frankfurt. It is one of the oldest towns on the right side of the Rhine River and is home to colourful houses and cute little shops.
If you want to get away from the crowds, you can spend an afternoon exploring the quaint streets of Ladenburg. You can also visit the Carl Benz car museum and house.
Ladenburg is very close to Heidelberg. If you enjoy cycling, check out this bicycle trip from Heidelberg to Ladenburg.
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