My husband and I will be visiting my brother in law in Darmstadt this fall. We will have a one year old with us and I've never traveled with a child before! That's a whole other thread, I guess.. Anyway! Can anybody suggest great day trips from Darmstadt? We love walled midieval towns. Is Rothenburg too far?
Anyway, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Darmstadt to Rothenburg ob der Tauber would be about 2 hours of driving time. Definitely doable as a day trip. Same goes for Heidelberg, 40 min driving time.
Great - thanks for the reply! Do you highly recommend Heidelberg as well?
Heidelberg is practically a must, every tourist to Europe flying in or out of Frankfurt visits it. On a Europe-in-7-days-tour Heidelberg is often the only thing tour bus victims get to see of Germany.
Oh wow, I didn't realize that. How far is Strasbourg from Darmstadt/Frankfurt? How about Colmar, France? I imagine there isn't much to see in Darmstadt, is that true?
Just so you aren't disappointed, the popularity of Heidelberg has a lot to do with its close proximity to Frankfurt Airport and the fact that USAF headquarters used to be stationed in Heidelberg. All the US Army officers visiting headquarters came back raving about the little town and took their wifes for holiday there, thus its fame spread in the English-speaking world. Far more than it deserves IMO.
South of Frankfurt (in the general direction of Rothenburg) is a wine-growing region, it is quite nice to tour the area by car in fall during berry-picking season.
You can find out about distances and driving times by using google maps or viamichelin.com
Also take a look at this:
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jan-2009, at 19:59 by t_maia ]
My usual suggestion would be Marburg - beautiful little town with a castle, the famous Elisabeth church and lots of half-timbered houses. Definitely worth a visit. About 1 hour 20 minutes from Darmstadt.
Also, even though a lot of people don't like it, Kassel is a great town and is definitely worth a visit, especially for its mountain park Wilhelmshöhe, the castle of the same name, the Löwenburg and the Herkules as well as the parks surrounding the river Fulda. The inner city was completely bombed in WW2 and only a few buildings remain as reminders of what it used to look like so it doesn't really stand out, but as soon as you leave the inner city, you can tell there is still a lot to see. It hosts the international arts exhibition documenta every five years and a lot of the exhibits remain in the city. About 2 hours drive from Darmstadt.
Some other nice towns in Hessen:
Amöneburg which is just 10 minutes by car from Marburg, a beautiful tiny town situated on top of a volcano with stunning views all over the surrounding valley.
Fritzlar, around 2 hours from Darmstadt in the same direction as Kassel, is also a nice small medieval town with a fantastic cathedral.
Grebenstein near Kassel, around 2 and a half hours from Darmstadt, still has a lot of the medieval walls and towers and is also really nice, especially if you have a tour guide as there is an incredible lot of history for such a small town. Probably only worth it if you're already near Kassel or doing a day trip to Fritzlar and Grebenstein.
Worms, Mainz, and Speyer are doable from Darmstadt. Mainz is right across the river from Wiesbaden, which is near Frankfurt. Parking the car and then taking the area train is a good idea for Mainz. Worms is to the southwest of Frankfurt and Speyer is south of the Mannheim area.
Though not walled cities, all three have the distinction of retaining some of their original medieval layout. They also contain the three oldest Romanesque cathedrals in all of Germany. Worms also has the Nibelungenmuseum, since it's one of the original Nibelung cities.
Yes, Heidelberg is a given, but other than the castle and the original Old Town, there's not that much there worth seeing. Heidelberg, so it has been said, is what all the foreign tourists want to see. Weimar, in contrast, is for the Germans.
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jan-2009, at 13:19 by tpkeefe ]