So you’ve arrived in Frankfurt, seen what the city has to offer, and survived the hustle and bustle of one the busiest hubs in Germany. Now you’re wondering are there any day trips from Frankfurt worth seeing while you’re in area? To answer your question, yes. Yes there most certainly is.
Let me introduce you to beautiful city of Wiesbaden (pronounced Veesbaden). Wiesbaden holds a special place in my heart as it was my first stop after arriving at Frankfurt airport. It’s the place where my German adventure of 7 and a half years began. It’s also a place I’ve come to know and love very well.
So how do I get there?
Well that’s easy. By car, you can reach Wiesbaden in about 40 mins by taking the A66 Autobahn. Parking places can be hard to come by, so my recommendation is enjoying the comfort of a relaxing train from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) – Main train station. Wiesbaden Hbf is serviced by several regional trains and the local S8, S9 and S1 lines. From there, you can easily reach the city centre by taking the number 14 bus to the stop Kirschgasse.
If you need help finding the right train and best connections, just pop into any of the DB (Deutschebahn) travel centres located at most major train stations. The friendly staff will be more than happy to help you. Alternatively, you can also check out the DB website for more details.
The city center has much to offer
Once in the city centre you’ll find enough large shopping complexes, department stores and smaller speciality boutiques to keep almost anyone happy. However scratch the surface and you’ll find there is so much more to discover than just shops.
Heading north (away from the HBF):
- Depart right from the central pedestrian area of Kirchgasse, and you’ll discover Wiesbaden’s beautiful Altstadt – old city. Explore the back streets and get lost in the enchantment of the narrow cobbled stone laneways. Marvel at the traditional German architecture and stumble across that little boutique store hiding just around the next corner.
- Walk to very end of Kirschgasse and you will come across the natural hot spring fountain at Kranzplatz. The many hots springs in Wiesbaden make use of the natural mineral filled water and its claimed healing benefits. If getting naked in front of strangers is not your thing however, then it might be best to avoid the saunas…
- Turn to the left and you can find many of the more upmarket shops and restaurants Wiesbaden has to offer.
- If you are feeling energetic and weather permitting, keep walking (or catch the number 1 bus) to visit Neroberg (mountain) for a birds eye view of the city. The Nerobergbahn cable car (powered by water!) can take you to the top when it is running. If you still have some energy to spare, walking to the top is also possible. Just keep in mind that there are one or two rather steep sections along the way. Driving to the top is also the other option.
But that’s not all
Another must see is the famous Wilhelmstrasse (Wilhelm street). Home to the stunning Wiesbaden Casion and it’s grand fountains. Just next door, take a relaxing stroll through around the lake and through gardens at Kurpark while you are there also – very popular is summer.
Close by you’ll find the worlds largest Cuckoo clock. The clock is actually built into the window of the equally famous Cuckoo clock shop. Full of many traditional German souvenirs, it is always worth a visit, even if you are not looking to buy. The owners are incredible friendly and love talking to tourists also.
And hard to miss is the imposing red bricked Marktkirche – Market Church. Located in Schlossplatz, just off Kirchgasse, no other building in the area comes close to matching this dominating structure for both presence and beauty.
Visit Marktkirsche on a Wednesday or Saturday morning and you’ll find a delightful farmers market full of fresh produce, breads, meat and many other tasty treats. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Schlossplatz is also home to the famous Wiesbaden Christmas market. A definite must visit if you have the chance!
Now that I’ve worked up an appetite, where should I eat?
From gourmet burgers and Italian pizza and pasts to traditional German, in Wiesbaden you’re undoubtedly spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Wander around the main shopping area and you’re sure to find something that tickles your taste buds. To save you a bit of time, here are some of my favourites:
- Yours American Sports bar. A highly authentic America styled restaurant that’s perfect if you’ve worked up a decent appetite. The sports bar is often busy so making a reservation is highly recommended to avoid disappointment, especially during peak times.
- The Scotch and Soda pub, located just around the corner, is also a personal favourite of mine. The atmosphere is welcoming and homely and they do some of the best burgers, and food in General, I have tried in Germany – The Fatman burger is my go to choice.
- For more traditional German Cuisine, then you can’t go past the Der Andechser im Ratskeller. Located below the Marktkirche.
Most restaurant staff in Wiesbaden will speak English but if you want to impress them with a bit of German, check out my 11 easy German phrases for Restaurants.
A city of festivals
Germans love festivals. The good people of Wiesbaden are certainly no exception. Depending on the time of year, you can find many festivals either on the weekends or even during the week. Some of my personal favourites are the:
- Kransenplatzfest – fun little festival located at the end of Kirschgasse.
- Rheingau Wine festival – pretty self explanatory 😉
- Wilhelmstrassefest – To ‘see and be seen’ is the unofficial motto of this large street festival along Wilhelmstrsse. No need worry about dressing too fancy though, it’s also fun for the whole family with rides, plenty of food and drink stalls and lots of live music.
- Wiesbaden Christmas market – Try some traditional Glühwein – warm spiced mulled wine or some of the many delicious foods on offer, this is a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit or to find that little Christmas gift for someone special.
To avoid disappointment, be sure to check the dates and details on the Wiesbaden Festivals and markets information website.
At the end of day Wiesbaden is a fantastic day trip from Frankfurt
I love coming here. Be it shopping, exploring or simply looking for something to delicious to eat, Wiesbaden has something for everyone. Conveniently located from Frankfurt, it’s well worth visit. Especially if you time your trip with one of the many excellent festivals the city has to offer.
So next time you’re in the area, come find out why it is so easy to fall in love with this beautiful city.