A Week in Germany: Frankfurt to Munich

Days 1-2 – Frankfurt, Germany

the “manhattan” of europe

Frankfurt is known as the Manhattan of Europe because of its skyscrapers and its reputation as a finance capital. That nickname may be a bit of a stretch, because in reality, Frankfurt is much quieter and smaller than New York City, and its skyscrapers don’t stretch quite as high. It’d be more accurate to call it the Zurich of Germany or something along those lines. It’s posh, clean, but not terribly exciting at a first glance. It is, however, very lovely and livable, and a stroll along the Main River on a summer’s day is especially picturesque. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the German culture before venturing out into the more boisterous Bavarian beer halls later in the week.

Things to Do
Städel Museum – browse through 700 years of European art under one room
Schaumainkai 63, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

städel museum – contemporary art wing
rembrandt’s the blinding of samson at the städel museum

Holbein’s – enjoy some fine dining outdoors post Städel at the adjoining restaurant
Holbeinstraße 1, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Enjoy a scenic walk and some beers outside along the Main River

Mainkai Cafe – Take a break from the schnitzel and pretzel and have a Middle Eastern breakfast at Mainkai
Mainkai 15, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Frankfurt Old Town – Enjoy the Gothic, half-timbred architecture at the reconstructed historical old town in Frankfurt

Days 2-3 – Rheingau, Germany

If you’re a big fan of Riesling wine, then it’s worth driving out to Rheingau, a famous wine-producing region known for this particular varietal. Vineyards that stand out include Robert Weil (my favorite), Georg Breuer and Kunstler. The Hotel Kronenschlosschen is a lovely bed and breakfast in the area that also serves good traditional German food in its restaurant. However, for fine-dining food of a high caliber, a meal at the Relais and Chateux property Burg Schwarzenstein is a must.

Vineyards to visit
Weingut Künstler
Geheimrat-Hummel-Platz 1A, 65239 Hochheim am Main, Germany
+49 6146 83860

Weingut Georg Breuer
Grabenstraße 8, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
+49 6722 47225

Weingut Robert Weil
Mühlberg 5, 65399 Kiedrich, Germany
+49 6123 2308

Places to Stay
Hotel Kronenschlösschen
Rheinallee, 65347 Eltville am Rhein, Germany
+49 6723 640

Where to Eat
Burg Schwarzenstein
Rosengasse 32, 65366 Geisenheim, Germany
+49 6722 99500

Day 4 – Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a charming town that is home to the oldest university in Germany as well as the famous Schloss Heidelberg Castle. You’ll have to brave the madding crowds of tour groups to explore the castle grounds, which involve many narrow stairways and tight corners, but you’ll be rewarded with lovely views of the city from above. If you have the time, you should also browse the Deutsches Apothekenmuseum or the German Pharmacy Museum, which is also at the castle, and see how beautiful and ornate the packaging for medicines used to be. Afterwards, you can enjoy the requisite European pastime of posting up at an outdoor cafe and drinking some beer in the town square. 

view from Schloss Heidelberg castle
the castle grounds
deutsches apothekenmuseum
drinking in the town square

Where to Eat
Weisser Bock
Große Mantelgasse 24, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
+49 6221 90000

Day 5 – Nuremberg, Germany

For a glimpse of Germany’s medieval history, head towards Nuremberg, which still has its old town and city walls intact. Exploring the old town and taking in key points of interest shouldn’t take you more than a few hours. Some of the sites worth stopping at include the Frauenkirche, a church built in the Gothic style, the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, a relic of the Holy Roman Empire, and St. Lorenz Church. To unwind, head to the various beer halls in this Bavarian town and order a glass of Nuremberg’s signature red beer.

st. lorenz church
nuremberg’s red beer

Days 6-7 – Munich, Germany

End your journey in Munich, a cosmopolitan city home to modern urbane living as well as old world traditions like Oktoberfest. Even if your trip doesn’t coincide with the world famous festival, there are plenty of beef halls featuring a lively oompah band and brawny servers carrying multiple beer steins that will get you into the spirit. The beautiful Nymphenburg Palace, which used to serve as a summer residence for Bavarian royalty, is certainly a cultural highlight. If you’re not into the whole beer and pretzel scene and would prefer more luxury shopping and dining, there is plenty of that in Munich. Mytheresa.com, the luxury online retailer, is headquartered in Munich, so you should stop by their brick and mortar store when you’re in town. But the beer halls are much nicer than the ones back home, so it would be a shame if you didn’t leave without at least one liter under your belt.

Things to Do
Nymphenburg Palace

Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany

Where to Stay
Roomers Hotel Munich – a sleek boutique hotel with a nice, clubby pool room
Landsberger Str. 68, 80339 München, Germany
+49 89 4522020

Where to Eat & Drink
Les Deux – a trendy restaurant frequented by the stylish and well-to-do
Maffeistraße 3A, 80333 München, Germany
+49 89 710407373

Augustiner-Bräu – a beer hall with a lovely outdoor seating area
Landsberger Str. 31-35, 80339 München, Germany
+49 89 519940

Hofbräuhaus München – a world-famous and touristy beer hall with an oompah band and burly servers
Platzl 9, 80331 München, Germany
+49 89 290136100

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