Frankfurt Germany

Sep 2nd, 2004, 12:25 PM
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Frankfurt Germany

Weare going on business to Frankfurt Germany. We have nver been to Eupoe before and would like to extend our stay and see some of Germany. We also thought a spending a couple days in Paris.

Can you take a train to Paris from Frankfurt? How long? How expensive? What about Italy? same questions. My husband isn't to crazy about renting car so is there places we can see in Germany by train or walking? We were planning on staying 4 -5 additional days. Any suggestions.
Solly is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 03:12 PM
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You can check out train schedules for Germany at
click on 'International Guests' in the right upper corner. Now enter starting town and destination town on the left to research travel times/number of train changes involved/price.
Frankurt am Main to Paris takes 5 to 6 hours one way, with 0, 1, or 2 train changes. Direct costs 80.60 Euro per person or about $100 for 2nd class.
The other options should be cheaper, but because it involves a border crossing, I could not learn the price online.
Italy would be even longer. Frankfurt is very close by train (less than an hour) to Mainz, a lovely mid-size city with a cathedral, market square lined with outdoor cafes for people-watching, the Gutenberg Museum (first printing press and bible),
?St> Stephan church with vivid cobalt blue Chagall windows.
About 20 minutes beyond is a lovely section of the Rhein River with castles on the hilltops and quaint wine-growing villages (Bacharach, St. Goar, Boppard).
Within 2-2.5 hours is the great little city of Koblenz and from here, westward bound runs the Mosel Valley/River, sleepy, romantic towns also known for their wine.
Trier is an old Roman city at the border of ?Belgium.
All of these places are geographically closer to Frankfurt, and well worth exploring IMO.
rach is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 04:14 PM
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The German roads and drivers are generally better than the US. The drivers understand the rules of the road and follow them pretty well. You will never see a slow driver in the left lane on the autobahn in Germany. It is against the law and it is enforced. Plus, the roads are smooth!

I would rent a car and go see the area around Frankfurt. Rothenburg and the Romantic Road down to Garmisch and Bavaria is very close and very famous. Also, Bavaria is beautiful.

The Rhine and Mosel River area is also close and fun to visit.

Get out of the large cities and enjoy the smaller towns. You will find that driving is not difficult. If you are comfortable driving in a large US city, you can drive in Germany. If you are not, stick with the trains.
traveldawg is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 03:51 AM
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I didn't find the roads to be any better in Germany than in the USA, but they are certainly good roads. Many are undersized for the amount of traffic they have to carry creating huge traffic jams, especially around the big cities in the west.

We generally do a combination of trains and driving depending on where we are going and how long our stay will be in a particular location.

There are certainly plenty of places you can visit by train for 4 or 5 days. A nice trip by train would be Frankfurt to Wuerzburg, to Bamberg, to Nuernberg. I'd make Bamberg and Nuernberg overnight stops.

Bamberg is one of my favorite cities in Europe--very well preserved Altstadt never bombed in the war. Large enough to have good tourist facilities, but not well known enough to be mobbed like a Heidelberg or Rothenburg.

What time of the year are you going? As rach mentioned, the Mosel River valley is great, but it's not at its best in the winter.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 04:22 AM
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Frankfurt to Dusseldorf is a great train trip along the Rhine for most of the way. You get to see the Lorelei and as many ruined and intact castles as you could possibly want from this train. You can get a train just about anywhere in Germany and surrounds from Frankfurt.

Frankfurt also has a major airport from where lots of discount airlines depart. You might be amazed at how cheaply you can get tickets through Europe. To travel to Italy, flying would be more time effective than train or driving given your timeline.

You might also think about a Rhine River cruise.

If you are set on Paris, I would do a Rhine River cruise for a couple of days and then fly to Paris from Frankfurt.

Have fun.
LynnP is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:09 AM
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What are your interests...cities, smaller towns, wine, castles?

Personally, I think you will find plenty in Germany to fill 4-5 days. And you will do fine. Germany was our first European trip and it was very enjoyable and easy.

While it is certainly possible to travel to Paris or Italy, keep in mind the time you will spend in transit (and at the airports), making your way to your lodging, etc., will cut down on the amount of time you actually have to spend in the location.
xxxx is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:36 AM
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Thanks for the replies. We are leaving 9-21 and are tied up with business until Sunday, 9-26/ We were planning to stay until the following Friday 10-1. I realy don't know what we are interested in. Probably not a lot of art museums. But sites and country. I like wine but only cheap sweet wine. Husband is a beer drinker so he will be fine.
Solly is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Well, you'll love the sweet white wines of Germany, that's for sure! At that time of the year, and for that amount of time, I would take the time to explore the Rhine area.
celticdreams is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:30 AM
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You have received some good advice so far. If you would be going to Paris at the end of the trip, I would look into an "open jaw" flight that would allow you to fly into Frankfurt and out of Paris. They are usually no more expensive than a round trip to and from the same aiport, and more importantly they save you the time and expense of returning to Frankfurt merely to take your flight home. (If you are interested in Switzerland, see below, you could fly back out of Zurich.)

The Rhine River cruise above is a great idea, it is so beautufil with all the vineyards and castles going by on the riverbanks. You can take a day cruise or go for a few nights. The romantic road area might be a bit harder to enjoy by train, if you are interested in that area, then a car may be best.

You can get to Alp areas in Switzlernad (i.e., Lucerne) from Frankfurt in 4 hours by train. Very pretty in late September. (I live here, I am prejudiced.)

I would take the train from Frankfurt to Paris rather than fly as (i) the journey is not that long (the ICE and Thalys trains will get you there in 5 hours, and these are sleek cool trains) (2) you can see the countryside, (3) you only need to be at the station literally a minute before your train departs and opposed to 60 minutes at the airports, and (4) the train stations in Paris are all centrally located and you can get to your hotel easily, quickly and cheaply, as opposed to trying to get into town from one of the airports; last Sunday it took a friend of mine over 2 hours to get from CDG to downtown Paris by taxi. . . .plus you avoid the inevitable delays in intra-Europe flights.

If you decide to drive any portion of your trip, bear in mind that (1) gas costs US$4.50 a gallon here, (2) parking is hard to find and expensive, and (3) unless otherwise indicated by triangles painted on the road, at an intersection drivers coming from your RIGHT have priority. That means at a "T" intersection where there is an intersecting road on your right, a car approaching the intersection on your right has the right of way, even if you are driving on the main road and he is coming off a side road!

Cicerone is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Now I am really getting confused. Should I stay in Germany and take little train trips to surrounding cities? Go to Paris the last couple days? Go to Switzerland for a day? Try to all 3. We are not big travelers. Have only been out of the country to the Dominican Republic twice. Husband does not want to rent a car. I am just not knowledgable of the country or surrounding countries and things to do that I am almost scared we will mess it all up. Thanks for all the hints.
Solly is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 11:47 AM
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I have found that if you try to cram too much in, you will ruin your trip. My personal suggestion would be to explore the nearby towns and villages of Germany by train. Save Paris or Switzerland for next year.
Germany has tons of wine festivals (cheap tastes-great wines) all along the Rhein and Mosel at your time of visit--they are often great fun!~
Commit yourself to a geographic location, then get a book or search the towns on-line for sightseeing recommendations. Personal favs-Bacharach,
St.Goar, Koblenz, Mainz, Winningen, Cochem. St. Goar has castle ruins to explore. Burg Eltz on the Mosel, and Cochem have full-fledged castles to visit. Have fun without stressing out. I have 'done' this area a number of times by train-very accessible.
rach is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Solly, I agree with rach. With only 4 or 5 days, stay in Germany--there's plenty to see within an hour or two of your starting point. I still think Bamberg is an absolute gem of a little city to visit, but the Mosel is also a wonderful place.

Here are two nice itineraries:

Train from Frankfurt to Bamberg via Wuerzburg. You have to change trains in Wuerzburg anyway, so get off the train and spend a few hours seeing the main sights in this pleasant city. Then get back onto the train to Bamberg in the late afternoon. You'll be there in plenty of time to check into your hotel/pension and have a pleasant meal. I would spend two full days in Bamberg, and then head to Nuernberg for another two days. Then train back to the airport.

Second alternative, spend a couple of days each exploring the Rhein and Mosel.

Either of these would be interesting, entertaining, and well worthwhile, and you wouldn't have to travel several hours to get anywhere. It's about 1-1/2 hours from FRA to Wuerzburg, and then only another hour or less to Bamberg. Bamberg to Nuernberg is less than 1 hour. Nuernberg back to Frankfurt airport is about 2-1/4 hours. Frankfurt to the Rhein is under 1-1/2 hours. Frankfurt to the Mosel about 2 hours.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Solly: Like Rufus, I love Bamberg and Nuremberg, but you might get a kick out of two days in and around Munich in late September. Munich during Oktoberfest is amazing. I wouldn't try to squeeze in Paris during this trip. While you're in Frankfurt, you might want to spend an evening in Bad Homburg or/or visit the four churches in Dortmund. I also never miss a chance to eat in one of the apple wine taverns while I'm in Frankfurt. Good luck.
Bird is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Solly-I've spent years in and out of FRA-I'm one of the few people it seems who has great affection for this city, mainly because I've never been bored there, the restaurants, shopping, cultural scene and nightlife in FRA are really quite good, plus, just taking a lovely walk along the Main River is such a pleasant thing to do- I think you'll get a bigger kick out of FRA than one might lead you to believe-it's certainly not all about business there, you know!

That said, there are some very good suggestions here about cities and towns not too far by train from FRA that you should consider. Bad Homburg is a lovely little spa town just about 10 mi. from FRA, for example. Nurenberg, and Munich, while a bit further south, would be great places to experience German culture at its best.

I think you would be wise just to stick with Germany this trip before tackling any other country-don't make things too complicated for yourself given this is your first European trip. You can always go back.
Spygirl is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 02:31 PM
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Solly- I fully agree with Spygirl. Though not a tourist haven, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. Though called "Mainhatten" it reminds me more of Chicago than NYC. Just don't expect many WOW tourist sites though the Romer and the riverside are quite pleasant. Do get across the river for a touch of "Old Europe". In addition, as others have mentioned, FRA is ideally located for day or weekend trips to some really spectacular sites in Germany.
CharlieB is offline  
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