Marvelous hotel, but way out of the way!
Very German modern, businessman's hotel. Rooms are much like American motels: TV, safety deposit box, actual double beds, free parking lot, sauna and exercise room, minibar and clock radio. Spacious, comfortable bar with big screen TV for watching European Soccer Championships.
What else could you ask for in a 4 star hotel?
The catch is that it is truly in the middle of nowhere. It's in a residential medium rise apartment area. Tyler, Chris and I walked a good 10 minutes until we found the first business of any kind - a gas station. It took us 35 minutes to walk into the nearest town, Weinheim. Other than some stores, nothing there either.
I would recommend this hotel only to those with their own car and those willing to splurge at over $100 per night. Best breakfast buffet of entire 30 day trip: 8 different fruit juices, four trays of various cold cuts, four different cheeses, scrambled egss, three kinds of sausages, properly cooked bacon, soft-boiled eggs, big table of rolls, pretzels and breads, hash browns, coffees, hot chocolate, whole table with fresh fruits, yogurt and four or five different cereals. To the students credit, I didn't see any packing their backpacks with food to go, even though I was definitely tempted.
Day 3 Amsterdam to Heidelburg
Up at 6:00 am for another delicious hotel breakfast. I grabbed two hard rolls, some cheese and one of every type of cold cut then build two delicious sandwiches. They kept me full until late afternoon.
At around 9:00 the group boarded our two buses. I opted to stay with my group of kids knowing that I'd get my own two seats on the bus if I didn't ride with Gail. I had a real bad night of sleep the night before, but fortunately, we drove from Amsterdam to Heidelburg; a distance of over 300 miles. Being on the bus for over 6 hours, I got plenty of sleep. All I remember are the two potty stops along the way. Strangely enough for me, I was not hungry but I did grab an orange Fanta at each stop. I seem to remember a Bounty candy bar too.
We arrived in Heidelburg around 3:30. The city was much larger than I remembered from my last visit in 1986. We had stayed in the Old Town on our previous visits, but on this EF tour we were going to be overnighting in two different hotels outside of town.
Among the interesting facts I learned about Heidelberg was that 1 in 5 people are students and that 1 in 5 buildings are bars. Coincidence? I think not. Also, Heidelberg has 140,000 inhabitants. Of these, 20,000 are non-German nationals. The average age is below 25 years old. Heidelberg is also the home to 16,000 U.S. military people. It is the biggest U.S. army installation in Europe. Due to this fact and the fact that there are so many young, radical college students, security is especially tight around the U.S. bases. The military personnel are much less visible in and around the tourist sites than they used to be.
Our buses took us up to Heidelberg Castle which overlooks the city of Heidelberg. Of the many castles I've visited in Europe, Heidelberg is maybe the least interesting. It was so devastated in past wars (although untouched by WWII) that all that remains is a shell of what it once was.
After having a group photo taken outside the castle we went in to see the "famous" giant wine keg. It is reputed to be the largest in the world at 220,000 liters. It's so large that you need to climb almost two stories to walk on the top. They built a dance floor at the very top.
Even though Gail and I weren't on the same bus and were about to stay in different hotels for most of the rest of the trip, we did get together for most of the sightseeing and shopping.
After a break to pick up our group photos and to buy souvenirs at the Castle souvenir shop, Christian and Michaela led us down into the Old Town. Thank God it wasn't raining because the road was quite steep and cobblestoned. Behind me I heard more than a few people tripping over the rocks.
In the Old Town we were given almost an hour on our own, but Christian, a Heidelberg native, offered to show us around. He took us out to the picturesque old bridge crossing the Neckar. It had been destroyed by the retreating Germans in World War II but rebuilt with the help of American dollars. It was the only part of Heidelberg that was harmed by the war as the Allies never bombed the city.
He also showed us where the rich folk live on the opposite side of the river. Tennis player Steffi Graf used to live there before moving to more tax friendly environs.
Christian told us about the "Heidelberg Kiss": Back in less sexually-permissive times when the sight of a woman just talking to a strange man was considered scandalous, the young ladies of the local finishing schools and male Heidelberg University students were hard-pressed to meet each other without causing an uproar. A local store owner came up with the idea of making "kiss" shaped pastry that the two sexes could exchange as a token of their interest. Hopefully this would lead to better stuff as the relationship prospered. It did for me because this had to be the forerunner of the delicious Hershey's kiss and the almost as great, Perugina Baci (Italian for "kiss).
We were nearly out of time and expected to meet up at the fountain behind the church but I still quickly ducked into a store to buy a maroon Heidelberg University shirt (16 €). It wasn't until I got home to the States that I found that I had bought a t-shirt instead of the golf shirt I saw in the display window. Tyler bought a nice Heidelberg sweatshirt from a souvenir shop built into the side of the Heilig Geist Kirche. In very faint writing above the stall, I could make out the word "Metzgerei", or butcher shop. I assume that long ago these stalls were part of a marketplace built into the church.
Of course our group was slow in getting back to our meeting place so by the time we all got back on our buses and drove across town to our restaurant, we were late.
Our dinner was on the top floor of the Gallerie Kaufhof department store. Since we were so late, another EF group got ahead of us in the buffet line. It turned out to be the same EF group that followed us into the diamond factory in Amsterdam. I saw that wacky German bus driver that was teasing Dino. It took nearly 1 1/2 hours to get our food and get out of there. I had a nice Gulaschsuppe, Tortellini Alfredo, Kalbschnitzel with Zucchini Salat and chocolate pudding. I had to pay for my Hefeweizen beer (2.50 €). Later I learned the kids hated this meal, but I enjoyed the vast selection. What do you want for free? Well sort of...
I noticed one unusual thing when we headed back to our buses after dinner: There were quite a few homeless people camped out in Heidelberg's parks. You NEVER used to see homeless people in Germany. I guess not everyone's benefiting from the burgeoning European economy.
A half hour drive took us to the distant outskirts of Heidelberg. My bus went to the NH Weinheim while Gail's group went to the NH Mannheim. EF doesn't usually separate the groups but for the next few nights the two groups stayed in separate hotels. In fact, Paris was the only other stop where we stayed in the same facility.
As we pulled into the hotel parking lot I immediately thought "Where the heck are we?". There were no shops or businesses around, no churches or gas stations. Just lots of ten story high apartment buildings and some non-descript homes.
I was very pleased with my room. My full-sized bed had a nice fluffy comforter. I had an easy to use clock radio, color TV with English stations, a mini bar, and air conditioning. The bathroom was nice and roomy. For the record, the showerhead was removable AND adjustable by height. The toilet had a push button flush in the top of the tank. Unlike many of the German toilets I remember from my travels in the Eighties, this did not feature a little tray in the back of the bowl. I guess the Germans decided they didn't need to spend so much time admiring their handiwork and moved on to less disgusting toilet bowl styles.
Since Gail and Cassie were staying at the other hotel in Mannheim, the boys and I decided to explore our surroundings and maybe we might find their hotel. I later learned that their hotel was 7 km away and we headed in the wrong direction anyhow.
We decided to try to find someplace where we could buy a couple sodas. We must have walked 15 minutes before we saw an Aral gas station. We saw signs for "Stadtmitte" so we decided to keep going. A half hour later after passing rows and rows or boring apartment houses, graffiti-lined walls, overgrown weeds, and garbage (What happened to Germany?) , we crossed over the Autobahn and into Weinheim.
We walked about three blocks into town but saw only small shops. Even though it was still light outside, it was after 9:00pm and all the shops were closed. Across the street we saw a tall 20 foot statue of three German soldiers walking together. We walked over and found nestled back off the street, a memorial to the town's dead. Along one side of the park there were approximately 20 metal plaques on a long wall. Each plaque listed maybe 30 names of men. Beside their name was their birthdate, date they died and what branch of service. The family name of "Berchtold" had 6 dead while the "Lang" family lost 7. Most of the dates of death were from 1944. Many were from March of 1945 - just a month before the end of the War. The wall on the opposite side of the park was dedicated to the dead of the First World War. Something about the town creeped me out so I suggested we head back to the hotel.
A quick stop in the Aral for sodas and we were back to the hotel by 10:30.
"Now go to Day 4 in the Travelogues"
Day 4 Heidelberg/Weinheim to Munich
What a tremendous Fruhstuck! ( I apologize for not being able to use umlauts on Virtual Tourist) Another early wakeup. Wake-up call at 6:30, breakfast at 7:15 and buses leaving at 8:00.
The hotel's breakfast buffet is the best of the entire trip. Scrambled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, sausage patties, two kinds of link sausage, bacon, trays of cold cuts, cheeses, a whole table of fresh baked rolls, pretzels and bread, 8 kinds of juice, an entire table with bowls full of fruit, a refrigerator with 4 flavors of yogurt, cereal, coffee, tea and best of all, German hot chocolate.
With the exception of the second day in Amsterdam when it rained, the weather has been sunny and comfortable. The mornings have started off a little nippy though. Therefore I figured a nice antidote for the cold might be some hot chocolate. I ordered two cups and later paid for it. At least I got the opportunity to do some more research on German toilets.
The hot chocolate hit me so hard and so fast that I was the last person to make it out to the bus. I spent a little longer than expected "freshening up. On previous EF trips you had to get on the bus pretty darn quick in order to get one of the prime seats up front. Apparently nobody wanted to be up front on this trip. My front row seats catacorner from our driver, Dino, were still waiting for me. I got this seat every day of the trip. Usually one of the Moms on our bus sat across from me while Michaela sat in the jumpseat down below and in front of me.
Every morning before we started our drive, Dino would pull open a compartment behind the speedometer. He would remove a circular sheet of white graph paper and replace it with a new sheet each day. This logs the driver's mileage, hours, gas consumption, tolls and rest stops. The latter is very important in Europe. European bus drivers are not allowed to drive for stretches longer than two hours at a time. So every time we took to the Autobahn we were required to take rest stops every two hours.
Another cool contraption on Dino's bus was his gyroscopic seat. It operated independently of the rest of the bus, always keeping the driver's butt parallet to the road. While the rest of us bounced and jostled with each bump we took, Dino's seat kept him floating on air.
Our bus also had a governor on the engine. Once we hit 100 kph (60 miles per hour) the governor kicked in and slowed the bus. I could feel the engine struggling to brake the bus when we went down long, steep hills. In order to save wear and tear on the engine, Dino had a little lever next to his steering wheel called "retarder". Whenever the engine started to labor, he'd pull on the retarder. It's probably nothing more than a handbrake, but Dino made it look like some high tech Formula One inspired innovation.
Dino could also lower or raise the front of the bus when we were in city traffic. I still don't know why.
Even though the two buses left from two different locations at two different times, thanks to the beauty of cell phones, or "mobiles" as the Europeans call them, we eventually met up at the first of our two rest stops.
After the first rest stop everyone was buzzing about the cool toilets. You had to drop .50 € in a slot, then walked through a turnstile into the bathroom. You then got a ticket voucher. Once you walked into the stall a sensor detected movement then flushed the toilet. Then a little arm popped up and sprayed and dried the toilet seat as it rotated in place. Once I finished my business I made the toilet flush three more times.
When I went upstairs to the restaurant/ snack bar/quickee mart I bought another Sprite and a Milka chocolate mit hazelnut candy bar. Presenting my toilet voucher knocked .50 € off the price.
I swear the economy of Northern Europe is built on the use of toilet facilities. Virtually every bathroom in Holland, Germany, Belgium and France charged you .50 € to use them. Nearly every bathroom has an attendent or two sitting around waiting with outstretched hands. I guess it beats begging.
Things became much more solemn when we reached Dachau a little before noon. The second we walked into the camp the kids became much more serious and quiet. We were given two hours to tour the camp. Gail, her Mom and I immediately went into the Holocaust Museum inside the old service building.
The first room we entered was the processing area where the prisoners were made to undress, take showers and have their heads shaved. The pictures and descriptions depicted the horror much better than the antiseptic white walls of the building. I've heard Dachau criticized for being too sterile and not nearly as horrifying as the other Concentration Camp sites. The truth is that Dachau, as awful as it was in the 1930's through 1945, was more a processing center than an actual death camp. True, thousands died, but the numbers are miniscule compared to Buchenwald, Treblinka and Auschwitz. I saw far more than I really wanted to see. However, it had a profound effect on me. I couldn't stand to read anymore about the crimes perpetuated by the Nazis. It must be very hard for modern Germans to visit this site knowing what their grandparents were witness to yet did nothing about. Of course, it has to be far, far worse for the actual victims that occasionally come back.
A modernistic memorial faces you as you leave the museum. At the top is an abstract depiction of victims laying tangled in the barbwire surrounding the camp. One wall of the memorial has the oft-quoted memorial "Never again", but standing opposite it is a wall that says, "May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933 -1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defense of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men." Rather interesting in light of the fact that the modern day Europeans refused to help us liberate the death camps in Iraq.
I totally lost track of time as I wandered over to peek in the restored prisoners' barracks. Only one row of 16 original rows of buildings has been rebuilt. The foundations of those original barracks are now part of a huge memorial garden leading to three chapels: one Catholic, one Protestant and one Jewish. I visited each one then realized the group might be heading back to the buses by this time. I sprint-walked about a half mile back to the buses, where once again, I was last on board. This time I was really late - 10 minutes.
We left Dachau around 2:00 and went straight to the Marienplatz. We were told to be back at the Marienplatz at 4:00 to see the glockenspiel chime. As an the resident "Munich Expert" I led a group of adults as well as Tyler and Chris to the Viktualienmarkt (food market). My memory served me well after so many years and we found it right away. The group separated but Gail, her Mom, Tyler, Chris and I went straight to a Wurst Imbiss. I had to have another Weisswurst while I had the chance. Even though Christian advised us to remove the sausage casing, I had to eat it. Maybe that's not the way a real German does it, but it's better than the Japanese tourists who take the water the Weisswurst is sometimes served in and eat it like soup.
My lunch of two Weisswurst mit Breze (pretzel) and sweet mustard came to 3.50 €. A Hacker-Pschorr for 2.00 € and I was in heaven. Grandma, Tyler and Chris also got the Weisswurst, but only Chris added a beer. This when I first began to worry that I was corrupting Tyler's friend. When he finished his faster than I drank mine, I was really worried. Gail bought her Munich favorite, a giant pretzel.
Having some free time, we walked two blocks to Orlandostrasse. Back in 1998 we had shopped at a little store specializing in Bayern Munchen soccer souvenirs. It was still there as were all the same souvenit shops in this tiny pedestrian street leading to the Hofbrauhaus. I bought a Bayern Munchen baseball cap for 15.00 € and a t-shirt for 17.00 € while Gail looked for gifts in the souvenir shops. We met in front of a tiny Hofritz knife store where we bought a couple new Solingen steel knives for the kitchen. The knives we had bought at this same store back in the 1980's were beginning to get a bit dull. The two new veggie knives were 18.00 €.
For maybe the seventh time, but first time in the afternoon, I watched the Marienplatz clock show in the tower looming above us. About a thousand tourists all standing in the square staring up gape-eyed as the mechanical figures dance around a mechanical Medieval king, followed by a mechanical joust. Nothing has changed there either. The same knight gets unhorsed every time.
From here we reboarded our buses at the Residenzplatz for a guided tour of the city. Local guides came aboard and pointed out Munich's version of Rodeo Drive , Maximilianstrasse, the University, Olympic Village, rich people's homes and Nymphenburg Palace. The Palace is the one major Munich site we had never visited before. We got off the bus for a 15 minute stop that turned into a half hour break. For once I wasn't the last one back on the bus.
The Palace was huge and magnificent. To me it was every bit as impressive on the outside as Versailles, Heerenchiemsee or even the Vatican. The huge expanses of lawns, fountains and gardens combined with the symmetry of the buildings seemed so perfectly German. Very ordered and precise.
When our bus stopped we noticed a crowd of people in tuxedos and gowns in front of the central building. Since we had been told by our tour guide that the Wittelsbach family still live there, we thought this might be some sort of royal wedding. We went running up but by the time we got there everyone but the bride and groom had left. They didn't look too royal.
Watching us from a balcony above were 4 tough looking dudes who had security detail written all over them. Clue One was the earpieces and collar mikes they kept speaking into. While the wedding part turned out to be simply some locals getting their photos taken in front of the Schloss, a special visitor named Mikhael Gorbachev was in the house meeting with local officials.
As we headed back to our bus, Tyler, Chris and I stopped to watch some little kids feeding the geese and ducks. A little 8 year old girl with a very polished English accent turned to us and asked if we were English. I said "no, we're Americans. Are you?" She answered giggling, "No, I am Cherman".
Once the stragglers returned to our bus, 15 minutes late, we dropped-off our local tour guide and headed for dinner. Again, our two buses headed in opposite directions. As we drove up the Munich streets, Dino who spoke only Italian and Michaela who communicated with him in Spanish started an animated discussion. Then the bus pulled over to the side of the road and both pulled-out maps. When I heard "Landsbergerstrasse" nosy me piped in with "It's back that way, to the left. You have to cross over the train tracks over there. Turn around and go up that road and you'll come out by the Hauptbahnhof. It's on Landbergerstrasse." Oddly enough, they listened and sure enough, I was right! We ended-up directly in front of the Augustinerbrau Brewery.
I had read many times on the Internet that the Hofbrauhaus was for tourists, but the Augustinerbrau was where the real good beer and food were. We had a great dinner. We started with noodle soup, dark Pumpernickel bread, mashed potatoes, meatloaf-like patties and ice cream. I added a 1/2 liter of Weizenbeer for 3.50. But this was another night the kids complained about a "lousy" dinner. I guess they just don't appreciate German food. I love it because it not only tastes great, but it actually fills me up.
When we finished dinner we reboarded our bus and headed to the Hofbrauhaus where we rejoined the people from the other bus. Since we got lost heading for dinner and subsequently dropped to the bottom of the list as far as getting served at the Augustinerbrau, when we got to the Hofbaruhaus, Gail's bus had a 45 minute headstart on us. We sat down with them but the Hofbrauhaus was absolutely packed on this friday night. It was impossible to get a waiter's attention. Fortunately for me I was able to glom some of Gail's beer in the meantime. Those one liter mugs are like trying to guzzle beer straight from a pitcher. After what seemed like an hour, my group was able to order their beers. By the time I actually had the mug in my hands, it was time to leave. I had to chug almost the entire liter as we ran out of the building. Once again I contributed to the delinquincy of some kids when I allowed them a sip or two. Then again, the drinking age in Germany is 16.
We left at about 10:30 to check-in at our two hotels outside Munich. They were east of Munich in a place called "Pucheim". I had no idea that the area just a few miles east of this city with apopulation of close to 1.5 million people was so rural. We drove for miles and miles past pastures and fields with only an occassional farmhouse.
Before long it was obvious we were lost. Dino kept pulling out his cellphone calling the other bus driver, Piero, to ask if he had any idea where they were. Then Dino turned on his GPS monitor but from my seat at the front of the bus I could see that Pucheim wasn't coming up on the screen.
In the meantime, I kept hearing nervous voices behind me giggling at first, then moaning. A couple kids came running up to the front of the bus to ask Michaela if we wre almost at the hotel. She kept saying "very soon". At one point one young lady came running up and asked if she could hop off the bus for just a minute. Michaela told her we were just about there. We drove for at least another 15 minutes and I felt the kids pain. Some of the girls were almost crying. Soon a bunch of the kids were standing in the aisle bouncing nervously.
Finally Gail's bus pulled over in front of us. They had found their hotel. About 6-7 kids went running off our bus to find the nearest bushes. It was hilarious. I tried to caorture the moment on film. It was here that I first noticed my digital camera was pooping out on me.
Michaela rounded up the kids and told them OUR hotel was nearby. It took another 15 minutes until we finally arrived at the Hotel Parsberg. Those that hadn't hopped off the bus earlier now went running up to their rooms as soon as they got their keys, leaving their luggage in the parking lot.
Hotel Parsberg was a mere 3 star hotel compared to the previous night's 4 star NH/Weinheim hotel, but this hotel had a heckuva lot more charm. It was more like the wood accented places Gail and I had stayed at on previous trips to Bavaria. Like all German hotel rooms mine was very clean and homey. Another eiderdown comforter as well as a TV and clock radio. Before turning the lights off for bed, I opened the huge windows to let in some cool mountain air. There was hardly a sound outside but the air smelled faintly of hay and cow manure. The latter never really bothered me so I left the window open all night.
Before climbing under my thick warm eiderdown, I checked out the bathroom. It was exactly the kind of bathroom I'd love to have at home (I lost the photo I had taken when my HP camera erased it). It was wall to wall brown tile with golden colored fixtures. The sink, tub and commode were a lighter tan color. The toilet had an elongated bowl and a flush lever on the side of the tank. The shower had a sliding glass door. The shower head was detachable but could hook on to a sliding device that could be set as low as 3 feet from the ground to as high as 7 feet. Even though this was a relatively small 34 room hotel, the bathroom offered a basket of soaps, shampoo and body washes.
My spacious room at the NH Weinheim
Close-up view of the tower
United Airlines ready to go
Nightlife in Frankfurt
I will be flying in Dec 17 to meet my husband who will be arriving the same day for his vacation from that wonderful desert place. I plan on staying in Frankfurt that night and then returning to frankfurt on Dec 23, flying out on Dec 25th. I would like to find a hotel that would be recommended for the Dec 17th date that would be near the club scene??? I would really like to go to techno/house type club. Then when we return to Frankfurt, would like to stay in a hotel that will be a bit grander as we will be there on the 23rd plus the 24th.. so figure not alot will be open then anyhow. If I am wrong, then please let me know. He will be returning to iraq and just want to make sure he gets a great mixture of fun, down time, sight seeing, etc.
Re: Nightlife in Frankfurt
hi...the best place to stay in frankfurt is the hilton near the messe. its modest and quite nice. theres a nice italian restaurant called sabatini..i forgot the name ..which is apt for a romantic evening.
night life is all sleaze in franfurt..i have been to couple of place near the messe...
Re: Re: Nightlife in Frankfurt
I don't know the Hilton near the Messe, but there is one downtown which might be a good choice, considering that it is walking distance to the shopping area and has a nice pool and fitness center as well. Other choices are Arabella Sheraton or NH Hotel (opposite of the Arabella).
As for the clubbing: I am not into Techno Music so I am not sure which is THE place to go, at the moment. But don't worry about place not being open. There are a lot of bars, clubs, etc. that open on the 24th late in the evening. Restaurants might be problem though.
Frankfurt hotel near playground? for travel with toddler
Am looking for a hotel or inn in Frankfurt that is near a small park or playground where our 18 month old daughter could play. We have a one night stay in Frankfurt on the way home from a trip to Italy. We want to let her run around and get very tired so she will sleep well on the 11 hr flight back to Los Angeles!
Any recommendations? Near convenient transport to the airport would also be great.
RE: Frankfurt hotel near playground? for travel with toddler
You could stay, for convenience, near or at the main train station and walk to the river. The Intercontinental is right at the river, but quite expensive. Check out www.hrs.de - you can search for hotels by indicated where they should be located at.
Another option would be to stay at the Arabella Hotel or NH Hotel. Close by there is a nice little park, Bethmann Park. However, this is more like a flower garden with no playground for kids.
Frankfurt City is quite small, so wherever you stay, nothing is too far away. The Palmengarten (a botancial garden) and Grüneburgpark are nice place to spend a day as well.
RE: Frankfurt hotel near playground? for travel with toddler
Personally I wouldn't stay near the main train station, as it is where Frankfurt's red light district lives, and also the home to almost all of Frankfurt's undesirables. Most of Frankfurt feels safe 24 hours a day, except around the Hauptbahnhof, especially after nightfall. It's still unlikely you will suffer a crime there, but you will definitely see drunks, drug addicts and prostitutes (male and female) unless the authorities clean the place up for the World Cup as rumour has they might.
When I visited Frankfurt, before I moved here, I stayed in a hotel in the beautiful relaxed central suburb of Sachsenhausen, across the river from Frankfurt's city center. I stayed at a hotel called the Royal on Wallstrasse, a short walk from the Sudbahnhof (southern station), which itself is less than 30 minutes from the airport. I remember that half way between the station and the hotel was a large children's playground on Bruckenstrasse.
There are also plenty of great parks all over Frankfurt center, and as far as I know they are all very safe. The Holzhausen Park in Nordend is particularly nice, and according to my guidebook has a large children's playground. I'm not sure of accommodation possibilities in Nordend, but it should have a few hotels and it's not far from the Alt Stadt.
Frankfurt's transport system is fantastic, and you'll never be more than 30 minutes or so from the airport, no matter where you stay in the center: Alt Stadt, Sachsenhausen, Westend, Nordend, Bockenheim and Bornheim are all great central suburbs, and all should have good accommodation possibilities and great connections.
If one were to arrive at FrankfurtAM airport at 1800 are there any suggustions on a neat smaller town within an hour of the airport to stay overnight?? Heidelberg looks like an obvious choice but are there any other suggestions? prefer south or southwest as that will be my direction of travel.
Re: Frankfurt area
Koblenz is nice.
Re: Frankfurt area
Speyer & Schwetzingen would be roughly 1 - 1 1/2 hour south of Frankfurt.
Re: Frankfurt area
Wiesbaden and Mainz ...on the Rhine River,,,lots of castles and baths...
Re: Frankfurt area
There are a lot of small towns within this range of one hour drive south of Frankfurt. To narrow this down it would be helpful if you tell us what you are expecting from this town.
Some picturesque towns are Bensheim, Heppenheim, Zwingenberg for example.
Re: Frankfurt area
Alzey is a really pretty little town. Their homepage is in German but you can, at least, see some pictures there:
Re: Frankfurt area
Koblenz, Mainz and Wiesbaden are nicer small town nor in the desired direction.
Are you travelling by car or by train?
Weinheim (a bit north of Heidelberg, directly on the autobahn A5)
If you're heading south-west and a bit above 1 hour would be OK I would also recommend Speyer.
Re: Frankfurt area
Come to Weinheim and select one of the 4 simple hotels:
They are all located directly on the "market place" where lots of nice small restaurants and little pubs are. You can walk in 2-5mins. to my recommended the german Pub "Diesbloch".
This is my home town now by the way ;-)
Weinheim/Bergstrasse is just 80km or 45min. south of Frankfurt/Main Airport.
Send me an email, I'll join you for a beer...or two.
Re: Frankfurt area
Mainz is a lovely city. You can go by train, something like 15 minutes with the S-Bahn.