|Castles & museums||Lakes Frankfurt region||Leisure parks||Specials|
|Lakes close to Frankfurt||Parks & gardens||Zoos||Nature|
The lake, also known as the Knochensee (Bone Lake), covers an area of 7.5 hectares and includes a large sunbathing area and a sandy beach. There’s boating, a play area, kiosk and restaurant. The German Lifeguard Association is on hand at weekends, in the week there’s a bathing attendant.
›› 63512 Hainburg, Klein-Krotzenburg, Tel. 0 61 82/58 18
›› A3 direction Würzburg, exit Seligenstädter Kreuz
Artificial lake (7.7 hectares) with sloping terrace bank and campsite. On the lake, there are small boats to relax in, and there is a snack bar to ward off hunger.
›› 63533 Mainhausen-Mainflingen, Contact: Herr Götze, Tel. 0 152/2 28 00 35, www.seecamping.mainflingen.de
›› A3 direction Aschaffenburg, exit Seligenstädter Kreuz, A5 direction Hanau, exit Mainhausen
Beach, sunbathing island, sunbathing lawn, kiosk, beach volleyball, table tennis and barbecue area. Right next to the autobahn, so occasionally a little noisy.
›› 64546 Mörfelden-Walldorf, Aschaffenburger Str., Tel. 69 32 69, www.moerfelden-walldorf.de
›› B44 direction Frankfurt-Groß-Gerau, exit Walldorf
Very idyllically situated, in the midst of woods and fields, the location combines campsite and sandy beach, kiosk, mini-golf, surfing, volleyball and fishing. There are also showers, toilets and changing rooms
›› Campingplatz Bärensee: 63452 Hanau, Oderstr. 44, Tel. 0 61 81/1 23 06, www.baerensee.de
›› A6 direction Hanau/Fulda, exit Erlensee
Very well-maintained bathing lake with kiosk, changing rooms and options for diving and fishing. There’s also a surfing and sailing school. However, ball games and radios are forbidden.
›› 63452 Hanau, Tel. 0 61 81/1 62 60
›› A66 direction Frankfurt/Fulda, exit Hanau-Nord direction city center
One of Hesse’s clearest lakes, situated far from the noise of the road. The bathing beach is surrounded by shady trees; there’s a sandy beach as well as a sunbathing area and beach volleyball field. Surfing and fishing are permitted in reserved areas; there is a separate nudist area, changing rooms, toilets, peaceful islands on the lake – all overseen by lifeguards.
›› 63533 Mainhausen-Zellhausen, Tel. 0 152/22 89 00 36, www.seecamping.mainflingen.de
›› A3 direction Aschaffenburg, next A45 direction Hanau, exit Mainhausen
The largest local recreation area in the Rhein-Main region, with a 900-m beach, sunbathing area, campsite and play area – something for the whole family. You can sail, surf and fish – and the adjacent woods are ideal for walking and cycling. Once a year, over 2,000 athletes taking part in the Frankfurter Sparkasse Iron Man Triathlon flock here to try to master the 3.8 km course.
›› 63225 Langen, www.waldsee-langen.de
›› B44 direction Groß-Gerau, exit Zeppelinheim
Lake with bathing beach, sunbathing area, showers and toilets, separate nudist area; barbecues forbidden.
›› 63075 Offenbach, Lammertstr. 406, Tel. 0 69/86 91 57
Wonderful family bathing lake with sandy beach and a large sunbathing area. There is a pizzeria, a kiosk and camping area.
›› 63505 Langenselbold, Tel. 0 61 82/43 00
Artificial lake with sandy beach, boating, floating diving tower, swimming islands, water play area, nudist area, kiosk and snack bar.
›› 63110 Rodgau, Tel. 0 61 06/73 31 48
›› B459 direction Dietzenbach-Rodgau, exit Rodgau/Seligenstadt
Grassy bathing area with separate non-swimmers, fishing and surfing area. Barbecue area, kiosk, beach volleyball and children’s play area.
›› 65479 Raunheim, Tel. 0 61 42/2 23 46, www.raunheim.de
›› A3 direction Frankfurt/Limburg, exit Raunheim B43
Lakes & bathing areas Frankfurt region
Idyllic natural bathing lake far from the punishing noise of the city. With children’s play area, water slide, non-swimmer area, 1-m and 3-m diving boards and kiosk. There are also volleyball courts and boat rental.
›› 64287 Darmstadt-Arheilgen, Brücherweg 1, Tel. 0 61 51/13 29 74, A661 direction Langen to Darmstadt
Snack bar, beach and sunbathing area, boat hire, minigolf, barbecue and camping.
›› 63688 Gedern, Tel. 0 60 45/95 26 43, A 45 direction Gießen-Hanau, exit Florstadt, B 275 direction Gedern
There are two bathing areas at this lake in Darmstadt. Somewhat quieter is the island with its bathing beach atmosphere; the family area on the shore, with its listed bathing house and landing stage, has been there since 1927.
›› 64287 Darmstadt, Familienbad, Landgraf-Georg-Str. 121, Insel, Heinrich-Fuhr-Str. 20, Tel. 0 61 51/13 23 93, A5 direction Darmstadt, exit Darmstadt
A mountain stream runs through this lake, so it is colder than other lakes in the area. Sunbathing, sunbathing island, children’s play area, restaurant and boat rental.
›› 36163 Poppenhausen, Tel. 0 66 58/96 00 13, A667 direction Fulda, next B27 Welkers
Bathing beach, sunbathing, toilets, changing area, kiosk, boat rental, sailing and surfing school; diving and fishing permitted; play area, campsite, barbecue area.
›› 36399 Freiensteinau, A66 direction Fulda, next Deutsche Märchenstraße direction Lauterbach, www.camping-nieder-moos.de
Clear spring water, snack bar, beach and sunbathing area; fishing, boat hire and beach volleyball.
›› 34621 Frielendorf, Tel. 0 56 84/74 72, www.silbersee-frielendorf.de, B254 Richtung Alsfeld-Wabern
Apfelwein- und Obstwiesenroute
On the network of pathways, covering a total of 1,000 km, you pass by cider press houses, orchards, castles, educational gardens and many natural treasures which can be explored wonderfully by bicycle or on foot. The correct route on the 8 interconnected cycle and hiking routes in 6 regional circuits – from Wetterau, Gießen, Main-Kinzig, Odenwald, Offenbach and between the Main and Taunus – is indicated by an unmistakable apple symbol.
›› 61169 Friedberg, Homburger Str. 17, Tel. 0 60 31/83 41 00, www.awor.de
Out of the midst of a heathland, two roughly 12-m high rock cliffs suddenly rise up from the soil. They form an imposing natural monument, which is the beginning of a 6-km long quartz path. Because of its unique appearance, this is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and, of course, climbers.
›› 61250 Usingen, www.usingen.de
Geo- und Naturpark
Stretches over an area of 3,500 sq km, from the Rhine valley in the west through the Odenwald to the Main valley in the east and the Neckar valley to the south. The emphasis is on appreciation of the variety and beauty of the landscape here. At the same time, it needs to be accessible to visitors, so there are hiking routes with orientation boards and information signs throughout the park, and there are signposted play, camping and barbecue areas.
›› 60 km south of Frankfurt, A5 direction Darmstadt, A67 direction Lorsch, Nibelungenstr. 41, Tel. 0 62 51/70 79 90, www.geo-naturpark.net
Großer Feldberg & Taunus
The Taunus range of hills, with its highest peak at 878 m is one of the most popular destinations in the Rhein-Main region. Mountain bikers and motorcyclists especially love the winding routes up to the top. From up there, visitors can expect a marvelous view (from a 40 m high viewing tower, if you have a head for heights), good food and a falconry. The 116.17-m high Hesse television mast is also here.
›› Taunus, between Glashütten, Köngistein and Oberursel, close to Oberreifenberg
Naturpark Hoher Vogelsberg
The Vogelsberg is a long-extinct volcano in the heart of Hesse and is the largest volcanic area in Central Europe. There is no central crater, just isolated columns of rock, so it is not easy to recognize as a typical volcano. The Hoher Vogelsberg nature park,Germany’s oldest, serves to preserve this special area. The area includes the Hoherodskopf Lake, the Niddastausee and Niedermoser See and is a very popular destination, especially in summer.
›› 80 km norh-eastern of Frankfurt, A5 direction Gambacher Kreuz, next A45 Wölfersheim & B455, 63679 Schotten, www.naturpark-hoher-vogelsberg.de
This protected area unites a wide range of meadows in one large complex of habitats. In summer, the meadows’ attraction are the marvelous colors of the various individual woods. The variety of the landscape also provides habitats for several species of bird threatened with extinction, and a very wide range of insects and amphibians. Paved footpaths run through the landscape.
›› 64560 Riedstadt, Groß-Gerau, Forstamt Groß-Gerau: Tel. 0 61 52/9 24 90, www.kuehkopf.de
Second-largest highland moor in Hesse, with very acidic and nutrient-poor soil, creating especially difficult conditions for flora and fauna. Hence you can find species here – such as the Downy Birch, cranberries and cotton grass – that are particularly rare in Europe, as well as animals such as the black grouse, which is threatened with extinction. If you follow the 1.2-km path on wooden planks over the heath to the viewing tower, you might be lucky enough to spot an extremely shy black grouse.
›› 112 km north-east of Frankfurt, A66 direction Fulda, next B279 bis Gersfeld 36037 Fulda, Wörthstr. 15, www.rhoenline.de
Parks & gardens
Napoléon Bonaparte once walked along the paths of this lovely historical park, which was purchased in the 18th century by the famous Frankfurt Bethmann banker family. The Chinese Garden, designed in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, is an excellent place to meditate.
›› Nordend-Ost, Mauerweg 8, U4 Merianplatz
Frankfurt’s Botanical Garden looks back on a turbulent history. After being moved twice, it finally found a home at the Grüneburgpark in 1930. Covering an area of around 8 hectares, the various plants are used by the university for education and research. Visitors can explore the various vegetation zones between March and October.
›› Westend-Nord, Siesmayerstr. 72, Tel. 79 82 47 63, www.botanischergarten.uni-frankfurt.de, U6 & U7 to Westend, Bus 36 bis Palmengarten
This park, dating from 1848 and through which the Nidda river flows, covers around 4 hectares, and was listed as a protected monument in 1986 – partly on account of its ancient trees and partly because Goethe himself used to walk here. The Petrihäuschen – which belonged to the Brentano family, which owned the park at the time – is today still a reminder of the family’s famous friend.
›› Rödelheim, Rödelheimer Parkweg, U6 Fischstein, S3/4/5 Rödelheim
The city forest covers an area of more than 4.8 hectares and touches five of Frankfurt’s districts. Its huge area makes it the largest urban woodland area in Germany. There are nine ponds, woodland and sports educational trails, 7 play areas, water games and wading pools, climbing frames, basketball, soccer and volleyball courts.
›› Schwanheim, Niederrad, Sachsenhausen, Oberrad, Flughafen, tram 12/14/19 and 21
Woodland play areas:
›› Waldspielpark Carl-von-Weinberg, Niederrad, Golfstr.
›› Waldspielpark Goetheturm, Sachsenhausen-Süd, Zum Goetheturm
›› Waldspielpark Heinrich-Kraft-Park, Kilianstädter Str.
›› Waldspielpark Louisa, Niederrad, Mörfelder Landstr.
›› Waldspielpark Scheerwald, Sachsenhausen-Süd, Sachsenhäuser Landwehrweg
›› Waldspielpark Schwanheim, Schwanheim, Schwanheimer Bahn Str.
›› Waldspielpark Tannenwald, 63263 Neu-Isenburg, Friedensallee
A popular place for barbecues and walking in the Frankfurt city forest. For kids, there is a large adventure play area. However the highlight is the 43-m wooden tower dating from 1931, with a wonderful view of Sachsenhausen and the Frankfurt skyline.
›› Sachsenhausen-Süd, Sachsenhäuser Landwehrweg, Bus 48 Goetheturm, Bus 30/36 Hainer Weg
Before the Second World War, the Schlösschen Grüneburg stood in the park, giving it its name but unfortunately it’s now completely destroyed. The park, which covers about 29 hectares, includes extensive sunbathing areas shaded in summer by islands of tree and bush arrangements. In 2005, during the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Book Fair) which was hosted by Korea, a Korean garden was created covering an area fo 4,800 sq m - it´s always worth a visit.
›› Frankfurter Westend, Siesmayerstr., U1/2/3 Holzhausenstr.
A beautiful family park in the Nordend-Ost district, with walking trails, ancient trees, several playgrounds, including wading pools, basketball, soccer and streetball courts, as well as places to lie in the sun and a pretty cafe with a summer garden. Dogs are not allowed.
›› Nordend-Ost, Comeniusstr., www.gruenflaechenamt.stadt-frankfurt.de, tram 12 Günthersburgpark
Frankfurt’s destination to get a good view. It’s full on summer weekends – people come here to have barbecues, relax and enjoy the view over the Main plain and the Frankfurt skyline because, at 180 m, the Lohrberg is Frankfurt’s highest park. If you don’t have a barbecue, you can always eat well in the Lohrberg-Schänke.
›› Seckbach, Auf dem Lohr, Bus 30/69 Heiligenstock, Bus 43 Budge-Altenheim
This garden is something special. Its location on the north bank of the Main makes it one of the warmest places in Frankfurt. It’s always a few degrees warmer here than anywhere else. Because of this, southern plants like lemon trees, palms and cedars thrive here and lend the garden a typically Mediterranean feeling.
›› Untermainkai, tram 12/16/21 Baseler Platz
A typical park to relax and walk in or play different ball games, with a 4.2 hectare lake. Ideal for barbecues and picnics.
›› Ostend, Ostparkstr., www.frankfurt-ostend.de, U7 Eissporthalle/Festhalle
Opened in 1871 as an oasis for tropical plants. Besides rose, rock and rhododendron gardens and shrubberies that have been lovingly nurtured in the park, there is a subantarctic house, tropicarium and numerous places to sunbathe – which also make the park a great place to come and relax.
›› Westend-Süd, Siesmayerstr. 61, Tel. 21 23 66 89, www.palmengarten-frankfurt.de, U4/6/7 Bockenheimer Warte, U6/7 Westend
In the Second World War, this 3-hectare area was a military airport. Today it is put to better use; since 1962, a district park has been located here, with a lake and the Rebstock theme pool. In 2005, the new Rebstockpark opened next to it and now residents of the city district with the same name can wander at will around a further Frankfurt green oasis covering 75,000 sq m.
›› Bockenheim, Zum Rebstockbad, bus 34/50 Rebstockbad
Where there used to be an area of marshland in the Höchst district, a 1,900 sq m lake and public park surrounded by ancient trees was built in 1911. A romantic arched bridge and carpet of water lilies embellish the lake. There are not only relaxing walkways, but play areas, a roller-skating track and streetball to burn off your energy. Cycle and walking trails lead through the park to the Nidda.
›› Höchst, Höchster Stadtpark, tram 11 Zuckschwerdtstr.
Frankfurt’s Ginnheimer Wäldchen, the former site of the National Garden Exhibition, was turned into the largest park in the city in 1989, with extensive lawns, children’s and water play areas and sports areas.
›› Praunheim, Hausen & Ginnheim, Am Ginnheimer Wäldchen, U1 Niddapark, bus 67 Praunheimer Brücke
This park is roughly 1.5 hectares. A small pond is crossed by a historic bridge from the time when the park still contained a Baroque castle, which was unfortunately destroyed in Second World War. There are also nice trees, including valuable exotic ones.
›› Bockenheim, Schloßstr., S3/4/5/6 Westbahnhof
Where the city walls were in the Middle Ages now lies the Wallanlagen (‘green belt’), a public park that encircles the inner city of Frankfurt. It’s divided into 7 sections. City workers come here to relax during their lunch hour or go for a jog at the end of the day.
›› All around Frankfurter city center
Castles & museums
Well-preserved castle grounds that are among Germany’s largest, housing various municipal facilities today, such as a Castle High School. Guides dressed in historical 16th century costume lead visitors through the grounds and bring the history of the city and the castle back to life.
›› 61169 Friedberg, Am Edelspfad 24, Tel. 0 60 31/68 57 43, www.burgfreunde-friedberg.de
Over 100 newly erected historic buildings covering 65 hectares, from a North Hessian estate to a South Hessian inn. Many demonstrations, such as baking in the village bakery, blacksmithing or dyeing.
›› 61267 Neu-Anspach, Laubenweg 5, Tel. 0 60 81/58 80, www.hessenpark.de
Have you ever walked through a giant cheese, met a dancing bookshelf or taken a bath in the jungle? You’ll find surreal experiences like these and more in the unique humor museum. But be careful, viewing is at your own risk – as you may laugh until your sides split!
›› 65205 Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Wandermannstr. 39, open So 11.11 am-5.17 pm appointment only, Tel. 0 611/7 40 01, www.harlekinaeum-wiesbaden.de
A lovely landscape of undulating hills on the banks of the Rhine that’s not just known as a cultivation area for quality German wines. Not to be missed are the Niederwald Monument, Eberbach Monastery, the Biebrich mansions, Johannisberg and Vollrads, the Oestrich crane and the old towns of Rüdesheim, Eltville and Kiedrich.
›› Tel. 0 67 23/9 95 50, along the Rhine between Wiesbaden and Lorch, www.rheingau.de
The remains of Limes (Roman Empire boundary) and the Saalburg castle have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. They were rebuilt in 1907. Since then, they’ve been expanded into an archaeological park. On a 2.4-km circular path, you can go on an exciting voyage through time back to the Roman empire.
›› 61350 Bad Homburg, Saalburg 1, Tel. 0 61 75/93 74-0, www.saalburgmuseum.de
Castle ruins from the 13th century located in the middle of the Odenwald chain of hills. In earlier times, it served to protect the area from invaders, but today it’s a special tourist destination. You can participate in Medieval feasts, knightly entertainment evenings, night-time tournaments or the fiery spectacle of the Auerbach Castle in Flames.
›› 60 km south of Frankfurt: A5 direction Heidelberg, exit Zwingenberg, 64625 Bensheim-Auerbach, Außerhalb 2, Tel. 0 62 51/7 29 23, www.schloss-auerbach.de
The oldest baroque castle east of the Rhine. The grounds, designed according to the French model, today still contain the orangerie, the tea house and the gardens restored for the Hesse Horticultural Show. The site is a protected monument and also houses the Hanau Historical Museum and the Paper Theater Museum. In the summer, guests are transported into a magical world in the castle amphitheater during a Grimm Brothers fairy tale festival.
›› 63454 Hanau, Philippsruher Allee 45, Tel. 0 681/29 80 10, www.schlossphilippsruhe.de
17 hectare large leisure park with many attractions, such as an 850-m summer sledding course and a waterslide as well as bumper cars, trolley tracks, barbecue areas and a petting zoo.
›› 70 km west of Frankfurt: 36396 Steinau an der Straße, Thalhof 1, Tel. 0 66 63/68 89, www.erlebnispark-steinau.de
Originally a farm and now an inspiring family entertainment park with traditional flair. On 15 hectares, you can find rides for young and old, plus picnic and barbecue areas, a petting zoo, minigolf, raft trips and much more. Open from April to October.
›› 61273 Wehrheim, Tel. 0 61 75/79 00 60, www.lochmuehle.de
This 400,000 sq m area, equipped with a range of funfair attractions and play areas, is a great place for adventures. First sail the seas as a pirate, then dare to climb the jungle tower or watch dinosaurs. Tempting visitors to grill tasty food are the four new barbecue areas with seating for 150 people.
›› 65388 Schlangenbad, Tel. 0 61 24/40 81, www.taunuswunderland.de
Englischer Garten Eulbach
Zoo set between castle ruins, archeological excavations, woodlands and open fields. Get to know and feed the native inhabitants of the woodland in their natural environment.
›› 75 km south of Frankfurt, 64711 Erbach, Marktplatz 11, Tel. 0 60 61/70 60 42, www.wildgehege-verband.de
Erlebnis Wildpark – Alte Fasanerie Klein-Auheim
Contains mainly indigenous and European species of animal. For example, arctic wolves, deer and racoons. There is a petting zoo and play area for young children, animal shows and Hessen’s highest high ropes course.
›› 63456 Hanau, Fasaneriestr., Tel. 0 61 81/6 91 91, www.erlebnis-wildpark.de
Malay and Sloth bears romp about on the Bear Mountain; lions, tigers and rusty-spotted cats live in the Big Cat Jungle in an authentic rain forest atmosphere, while penguins live in an Antarctic landscape in the indoor aquarium. But there is much more to discover in the more than 150-year-old Frankfurt Zoo, in which the welfare of the animals is given the highest priority.
›› Ostend, Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1, Tel. 21 23 37 35, www.zoo-frankfurt.de
Travel from the Arctic Circle into the mountains and to the desert, then to the Savannah and finally the tropical seas. Visitors pass through these places in the 250,000 sq m family and leisure park.
›› an der B455 between Kronberg and Königstein, 61476 Kronberg, Königsteiner Str. 35, Tel. 0 61 73/3 25 90 30, www.opelzoo.de
The Parrot Park in the Hochtaunus Nature Park can be visited all year round and is devoted to the proper keeping of parrots and cockatoos. The hand-reared birds are happy to be stroked and perhaps you might even get involved in a little chat.
›› 61276 Weilrod-Hasselbach, Vogelpark 1, Tel. 0 60 83/10 40, www.vogelburg.de
Haus auf der Grenze
At this spot on the former Fulda Gap on the Hessian-Thuringian border between Rasdorf and Geisa, NATO and Warsaw Pact soldiers faced each other for 40 years. Today, the Point Alpha memorial in the sole remaining observation base of the U.S. Army provides an impressive reminder of the horrors of the Cold War.
›› 36419 Rasdorf, Hummelsberg 1, Tel. 0 66 51/91 90 30, www.pointalpha.com
For 3 days every winter, about 100,000 spectators flock to the world’s largest ski jump to cheer on the professionals. The imposing construction has long been the region’s top day trip and hiking destination. You can get to the top of the jump, including its glass starting tower – located in the wildly romantic Strycktal – in summer and take a look around. If you’re not afraid of heights, you shouldn’t miss the spectacular high ropes course located directly next to the landing area of the World Cup jump.
›› Getting there A5 direction Gießen, A485 via Gießener Nordkreuz to Willingen, guided tours: Tel. 0 56 32/96 00, www.weltcup-willingen.de
What Sherwood Forest is to the English, the Spessart is to the Hessians. Here the bold can take their robber exams all year round to become genuine Spessart robbers. Candidates first have their physical abilities assessed in practical disciplines such as slingshot skills, spear-throwing and “robber-drinking,” before then proving their knowledge of Spessart in a theory test.
›› 60 km west of Frankfurt: Gasthaus-Pension Zum Jossatal, 63628 Bad Soden-Salmünster, Salmünsterer Str. 15, Tel. 0 66 60/13 76, www.zum-jossatal.de
About an hour outside Frankfurt is Rüdesheim and the Niederwald Monument, best reached via the cable car starting in the enchanting old town. From here, you can glide in open two-person cable cars over grape vines and a fascinating landscape, rising 203 m in the process. On evenings in summer, moonlight rides are offered until 11 pm.
›› 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Oberstr. 37, Tel. 0 67 22/24 02, www.seilbahn-ruedesheim.de