10 days, based out of Frankfurt: Day trips and outdoor activities?
February 26, 2018 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I have two to three days of meetings in Frankfurt, four days off, and two to three more days of meetings. I like outdoors activities and am interested in day trips. Any ideas?

Here’s what I’ve already done: I’ve been to Cologne and seen the sights there. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Berlin. I’ve taken a train up the Rhine River Valley and seen some castles. I’ve run the parks in Frankfurt quite a bit: Gruneburgpark to Niddapark to the Main.

About me: I’m in good shape, single, early 40s, poor German language skills.

Here are some ideas I’ve had:

Staying local (probably better) --
Hike some of the Taunus. But I am a relatively inexperienced hiker.

Ride a bicycle down some of the great local paths I’ve seen from the commuter trains to the small towns on the outskirts. This is appealing to me, but I don’t know where I’d be able to rent a suitable road or hybrid bike. Performance bike rental doesn’t seem to be a thing in Germany.

Hop on a train and get out of town entirely:
I’m curious about Zurich, the lakes seem like wonderful swimming, but it’s expensive.

Visit the Friedrichsburg baths near Baden Baden.

Take a train to Hamburg, and then maybe even go on to Copenhagen.

Run or ride in the Black Forest. (I have no idea where to begin.)

Stuttgart and Dusseldorf are closer, and they have some sights, but nothing particularly exciting to me. I generally like the outdoors, and if not, the gritty culture of Berlin.

Any and all ideas are appreciated. Thank you!
posted by Roy Batty to Travel & Transportation around Frankfurt, Germany (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if you’re only interested in outdoor trips, but I lived in Mainz for a year, and the Gutenberg Museum and the Chagall windows at St. Stephen are awesome. There are other museums as well in addition to an awesome cathedral. It’s just a beautiful little city with a nice downtown. Googling, I did find some info on hikes around Mainz. It’s on the Rhine, and it’s lovely walking along the river. Mainz is about 27 miles from Frankfurt. (I’d love to go back and am feeling pretty jealous.)
posted by FencingGal at 7:43 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Funny, I've spent a lot of time in Mainz and always took it for granted. Seconded :)
posted by intermod at 7:46 PM on February 26, 2018

My wife's family is from the Taunus region and I've spent a few summers with them in Butzbach, which is a direct 30 minute train ride north of downtown Frankfurt.

The town dates back to at least 773 AD and is known for it's marketplace which is filled with original fachwerk / timber frame buildings from the 16th century. There are also some remnants of the Roman road and Limes, and parts of the original city walls and Hexenturm (witch's tower) are still standing.

It also nestles up to the northern edge of the Taunus range. It's about a 90 minute hike to the top of Hausberg (486m), which has an excellent observation tower looking over the valley. Then on the way back there's the Forsthaus Butzbach, drink a Licher or two and have a meal in the woods, and then it's a 60 minute downhill walk back to the train station.

Here's a map with the rough idea. It's not a difficult hike and you'll see a ton of people hiking the woods on a Sunday.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:15 PM on February 26, 2018

Also, there are day cruises on the Rhine that leave from Frankfurt. Those are awesome.
posted by FencingGal at 6:11 AM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you head toward the Black Forest, then Freiburg is a lovely little town and you can hit some trails from town. If you you don't mind wrangling transportation a bit more, I suggest going to the Schauinsland for absolutely lovely trails and views.

Really, Frankfurt gives you so many options by rail. Goettingen is a cute university town and you can get there quite easily. Hamburg is wonderful and you can walk along the river and walk in the world's largest park cemetery. I wouldn't rule out eastern Germany, either--there's good hiking in the Saechsiche Schweiz near Dresden.

Closer to Frankfurt, the "Rheingau" (the vineyard area about an hour from the city) is a great area--in particular, you can take a fun cable car to good vistas and/or hiking from Rudesheim.
posted by TwoStride at 9:35 AM on February 27, 2018

Head to Munich, spend a day or two there, then head south into the Bavarian Alps! It's unbelievable. I've been to a tiny town called Fischen im Allgäu twice, and I long to go back. So much to see and do all around there- and the train stops right in town. Hike or take the ski lifts up to the Nebelhorn on a nice day. It's otherworldly.
posted by Patapsco Mike at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2018

If you are looking local-ish, then the following are within an hour or two of Frankfurt:

Saalburg: A Roman fort rebuilt more than 100 years ago, so in itself almost a piece of history. There are some walks starting from here also, including along the limes (former Roman frontier).

Rüdesheim & Assmannshausen: As already mentioned, there is a cable car in Rüdesheim, but there is also a chairlift from Assmanshausen to the Niederwalddenkmal. (You can also walk up through the vineyards.)

Heidelberg: A bit of a cliche, but the Schloss and the old town are worth a visit, and you can also try the Philosophenweg or go up the Königstuhl.

There are plenty of hikes in the Taunus, most of which are connected to public transport, which is handy. Of course, on nice days, what feels like half the population of the Rhine-Main area is there too. Here is a brochure from the Taunus Tourist Info (can't find an english version of their website). They have an info centre near the Oberursel Hohemark U-Bahn station, which is also a good starting place for a number of hikes.
posted by scorbet at 2:56 AM on March 5, 2018

« Older Two Corporate Jobs w/Great Benefits - Help?   |   Why is the ten+ year old screw in my elbow... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.