Not the most famous of the German Christmas markets but one of the most fun and when you've had your fill of gluwein under the huge Christmas tree go for a skate in the ice-rink set up by the beautiful opera house.
For good accommodation, there’s a hotel in town called the Villa Kennedy, which is definitely worth checking out if you are in Frankfurt for more than one night. It’s just off the south bank of the Main and is an old villa that’s been converted into a five-star hotel.
It’s quicker to take the S-Bahn rail service from Terminal 1 at Frankfurt airport than to bother with a taxi. It’s cheaper, too. You can get a day pass that includes the airport trip for around €6.85 and the journey is just 11 minutes into town. A taxi, on the other hand, will take you half an hour and cost about €30.
Partake of this for €25 at the Villa Leonhardi – a superb Italian restaurant in an old villa just outside the old city; and once a month they do a seasonal tasting menu for €80‚ which is well worth making the journey for.
Its often popular to stay near the 'hauptbahnhoff' in Frankfurt - but if you can, try and avoid it. The 1km around the Hbf (hauptbahnhoff) has a reputation for being seedy and full of crime. There are many hotels just five minutes' underground ride away from the Hbf, which will leave you more centrally located for any meals/drink you may want - usually located around Hauptwache or Konstablerwache.
Get yourself a Privium card if you regularly transit through Schiphol to Schengen countries (most of Europe). This allows you to bypass the long Passport queues using an Iris Scanner and channels you through the Aircrew Security Scanners. This has saved my trip many a time due to delayed flights and tight connections.
Everything you hear about it sounds terrible: it is located immediately opposite the airport terminal, it is part of a chain and they charge 46 euros for a single (54 for a double). The reality could not be more different. It is less than a year old; the staff are charming and courteous; even if your room faces the runway and you can see the planes taxiing, the soundproofing is so good you cannot hear them take off; if you want to have a picnic in your room the terminal has a couple of quite nice food stores (one with assorted local delicacies) and there is a stall selling seafood snacks outside; and the rooms are spotless, intelligently designed and with flat screen TVs and multiple cable channels. If you are fearing having to stay the night at Hahn Airport (it truly is in the middle of nowhere) for an early departure or late arrival, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
Tel. +49 6543 / 8180-0
Fax. +49 06543/8180-555
Lake in the middle of Frankfurt, well hidden - with great, great parties in the summer and swimming during the day.
Eltville is known for its wine, sekt, and roses. Some of the most renown German wineyards are located within the city limits (Steinberg, Rauenthaler Baiken, Erbacher Marcobrunn).
The Rheingau is the hill country on the north side of the Rhine river between Wiesbaden and Rüdesheim near Frankfurt, reaching from the western Taunus to the Rhine.
Many small cities with wine taverns invite you to have a drink. It is famous for its wines, especially the "Rheingauer Riesling".
Very relaxed...nice landscape!!!
The next larger city is Wiesbaden (Frankfurt), about 10 km to the east. Culturally, Eltville belongs to the Rheingau region.
This spot is along the river Rhine, north of Frankfurt between the cities of Mainz (south) and Koblenz (north).
The rock and the surroundings (castles, vineyards) are really impressive and in the villages around (Bacharach, Lorsch), you can really taste good (and not sweet) German wine.
Also try Hotel Fetz in Dorscheid for wine and food. The left side of the river tends to be a bit nicer but there is a jewel of a butcher's shop in a small village called Bornich just above St Goarshausen. The sausages and smoked hams are all hand made right there and the meat comes from local farmers, mainly. You will really find a huge variety of traditional German meats with very friendly service but they take cash only! They are so good, they used to supply Chancellor Schroeder when he visited the area with foreign statesmen/women.
56348 Bornich, Rheinstrasse 7
Phone: +49 6771 7344
Want to see Germany and not stay in the major cities? Fly into Frankfurt, get a car and then start the journey along the Romantic Road as it meanders through Bavaria.
Really want to do it slowly? Ride a bike and when you tire, jump on a bus. The German countryside offers lots and the small towns have plenty of B&Bs for overnight stays. The road itself is busy in summer (as expected) but outside the summer season, the drive itself is relaxing.
The road officially goes between Würzburg and Füssen before ending up at King Ludwig's famous crazy castles.
Don't forget to visit all the other castles along the way.
Between Würzburg and Füssen
Germany (arrive via Frankfurt)
Neu-Isenburg is at the end of the Streetcar/Tram line 14, which passes through the city forest (Stadtwald) on the south side of Frankfurt. Well worth the ride in itself. Then it's a 10 minute walk to the old Market Square.
The quality of the German menu items is A1 and the green sauce is perhaps the best in the whole area. The staff are friendly: not the typical apple-wine pub bruskness.
Book in advance as it's always busy, though I have always found a table during a walk-in in the early evening. And for families with children, they actually like them here.
Marktplatz 1, 63263 Neu-Isenburg;
tel (0 61 02) 3 96 69
Get traditional German food at this apfelwein kneipe (apple wine tavern), the best in Frankfurt, on Wallstrasse, across from Alt Sachenhausen. Great food, great apple wine (the local drink, better than Somerset cider) and a great atmosphere.
Tel: 069 612 778;
Open: Monday to Saturday from 5pm to midnight
This small bar will be anything other than football-focused. It attracts a very arty crowd looking to have fun: Germans, as well as English, Irish and Scottish expats, and a straight/gay mixed crowd. Theme parties are the best. Think Christmas in August
Kleine rittergasse 13, Sachsenhausen;
These two cities might be easier to find accommodation in when Frankfurt gets busy. You can reach Frankfurt from them in 35 mins with the S-bahn, which is very practical. They are also very close to Frankfurt International Airport.
Mainz is a university town, well known for its Gutenberg Museum (with the first edition of the Bible ever printed) and for its beautiful cathedral. It is also set along the Rhine and is a good departure point for Romantic Rhine excursions.
Wiesbaden is a former thermal town, very pleasant and chic with beautiful houses and a great town centre.
The British, as everybody knows, apart from their interest in football have a thing for gardening, therefore the famous Palmengarten should be mentioned. Even if you´re not a hobby gardener it is a nice place to take a walk and relax.
Take trains U6, U7 or buses 32, 33 or 50 to Station Bockheimer Warte.
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