If you have family visiting and want to stay around Wiesbaden, Germany and want some fun trip ideas that are:
A. Not Stressful
B. Not Far-an hour or less driving distance
Here are some fun little trips to take and things to do that I have done-Click on the link at the end of each description to go to my full blog post about the place.
1. Rhine River Cruise-This is #1 for a reason! On the Bingen-Rudesheimer cruise line, you can get on at Rudesheim, ride the boat up to St. Goar and back down the river, eating lunch on board, to get off the boat at Oberwesel (be sure to tell the staff on board that you want to get out there so they stop!), then catch the next boat to Bacharach, then catch the last ferry back to Rudesheim for dinner. I have explored many of the ports that are along the river, and these two are my favorites! Of course, Bingen, just across the river from Rudesheim is fantastic as well! Rhine River Cruises.
2. Mainz-A large city with many old cathedrals, fantastic shopping, ancient ruins, tons of festivals and events. This is where the first printing press with moveable typeset was invented by Gutenburg, and there is a small museum dedicated to him and the history of printing. Mainz contains a major university as well. Mainz.
3.Schwetzingen-The main part of this town is a castle with a fantastic park and fabulous food. In the Spring, there is an Easter Egg Market with many fragile eggs on display and for purchase. Schwetzingen.
4. Michelstadt-The altstadt is inside castle ruins. It is unique and colorful with a central old town hall building and an antique toy museum. In the Spring, there is a family-friendly Easter Egg Market to visit! Michelstadt.
5. Limburg- Colorful timber-framed houses are a highlight of this town. Small, local shops that sell everything from lavender household products and various scented items to a dedicated shop for different flavors of oils and vinegars to funky boutiques. Limburg.
6. Eltville-A Rhine River village that is a great lunch stop! It is less touristy, rose-covered in late Spring and all Summer, with a lot of wineries around it. You can take a boat from here to go up the Rhine River, but I have only walked along the river a few hundred feet here. It is so peaceful. Eltville.
7. Idstein-A friendly village with some small-scale fests, Idstein is a colorful town too explore for a few hours and grab some eis. Idstein.
8. Heidelberg-A city with a recognizable bridge, huge castle near the altstadt, and tiny cobblestone streets. My only experience was taking a day trip to go to their small Christmas market, but there is a little something for everyone. In the summer, there is an open air theater and other activities for families as well. Heidelberg.
9. Frankfurt-A mid-sized city with a love lock bridge, the Kaiserdom, several timber-framed buildings in the altstadt, great shopping and markets, ancient ruins, museums, festivals, amazing Christmas market, and much more! Frankfurt.
10. Last, but probably should be at the top: Downtown Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden, literally translated, means “bathing in the fields.” This is because there are hot water sources underground. Because of this, Wiesbaden used to be an expensive, exclusive spa resort town back in the day. Today, Wiesbaden is still an expensive place to live and many spas remain a popular thing to do. Although lacking in old charm of other recommended locations, Wiesbaden features some fantastic buildings, including the parliament building which was originally built as the Duke of York’s Winter Palace, the Kurhaus (upscale casino), theater, churches, an old Roman Bridge “Heathen’s Wall”, and St. Elizabeth Kirche (a Russian Orthodox Church with gold onion dome tops). In the city, but further from downtown, is also Biebricher Schloss and Park near the river, where there are great river-side walking paths. There is hiking, biking, and shopping in Wiesbaden as well. Wiesbaden: 1, 2, 3.
5 Places that OTHERS have recommended to me:
1. Schloss Freudenburg and Museum-a family-friendly sensory experiential museum.
2. Idar Oberstein and rock quarry-I’ve been to the town but am looking forward to trying my hand at mining and touring the mine there!
3. Burg Rheinstein, a castle along the Rhine River.
4. Burg Frankenstein, a castle south of Frankfurt, near Darmstadt.
5. Burg Lichtenberg, near Kusel-A free castle in the middle of nowhere.
Since most of those are castles, I will toss in a couple more that are on my list:
6. Japanese Gardens in Kaiserslautern.
7. Neumühle Park near Kaiserslautern, also known as “Dinosaur Park”-great for kids!