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Stopovers - Frankfurt to Berlin

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We usually drive around Europe, which gives us flexibility to choose where to stop and for how long. However later this year we are contemplating a short add-on to a tour. Our tour finishes at Frankfurt, and we want to visit friends in Berlin. For a change we think it would be nice to do it by rail rather than driving. Bahn.de shows 2 rail routes between Frankfurt and Berlin, one via Hannover and one via Leipzig. That's fine - we could make it a round trip. We can also extend the Leipzig option to Dresden and go on to Berlin from there. The question is: if we wanted to break any of these journeys by staying overnight somewhere, what places would best entertain 2 people who enjoy history, characterful and interesting "old towns", and some natural beauty? Hannover? Leipzig? Dresden? Any other places on the rail route between, e.g. Erfurt, Eisanach, Meissen? Grateful for your advice.

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