Germany Trip Plan:
Medieval Büdingen, rolling hills and metropolitan Frankfurt

Germany trip plan: Medieval Büdingen, rolling hills and metropolitan Frankfurt
Castle Buedingen, CC-Sven Teschke
[ source: Wikipedia]

The historical center of Büdigen is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval townscapes in all of Europe. The surroundings of Büdingen are extremely beautiful with many lovely sightseeing spots. Famous Spa Towns offer wellness pure and the metropolitan city of Frankfurt invites not only for a shopping spree.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 7 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Frankfurt Airport

Trip Plan Details:

The historical center of Büdigen is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval townscapes in all of Europe. The surroundings of Büdingen are extremely beautiful with many lovely sightseeing spots. Famous Spa Towns offer wellness pure and the metropolitan city of Frankfurt invites not only for a shopping spree.

Büdingen is well-known for its picturesque half timbered houses and well preserved fortification wall and towers. Geographically, Büdingen lies in the south of the Wetterau region below the Vogelsberg hills, and in about 25 miles distance northeast from Frankfurt am Main. The renowned spa town Bad Nauheim is located west of Büdingen, inviting you for a leisurely stroll through the town center and spa gardens, part of the State Garden Show 2010. The nature reserve Hoher Vogelsberg and the medieval town Schotten will not only provide you with many great photo opportunities and a day round-trip will lead you to the Emperor Barbarossa town of Gelnhausen, spa town Bad Orb and more to see of the stunning surrounding landscape.

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $226 for 2 persons / 7 days
Admissions: starting at $250 for 2 persons / 7 days
Car Rental: starting at $420 / 7 days
Gas: starting at $200 / 7 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $1096 / 7 days
 4 persons, starting at $1372 / 7 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Day 1: Arrival
Buedinger old town, GNU-Sven Teschke
[ source: Wikipedia]

Shortly after landing at Frankfurt International Airport you will arrive at your inviting vacation apartment, quietly located and overlooking the outskirts of Glauberg Mountain. Go on a short excursion to find grocery stores and a good bakery located in the vicinity. The castle and the old town were built on centuries-old oak planks, set up on beech props. Still today the water levels of this at times swampy valley have to be kept rather high so that no air can reach these foundations and destroy them. In the middle of the 15th century enormous new defensive walls with 22 towers were built around the castle on the outskirts of the historic town center. Still today they are nearly completely intact and give every visitor a true experience of an authentic medieval stronghold in Germany.


Day 2: Medieval town Büdingen and its castle

Day 2: Medieval town Büdingen and its castle
Typical Buedingen half-timbered houses, GNU-Hagrid
[ source: Wikipedia]

Enjoy the day discovering the many historical sights of Büdingen inclusive the partly accessible fortification wall and towers. A special attraction is the Untertor, known as Jerusalem Gate, with its bridge completed in 1503. The oldest residential building in the city is the Stone House, built completely in stone in contrast to the other half-timbered houses and constructed as an integral part of part of the city's fortification walls. The historic town hall was the center of the local market and served as a market hall, dance and play house, and upstairs as a scaffold. Today it houses the Heuson Museum.

Next you definitely have to see Castle Büdingen. It was originally built as a moated castle at times of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The original moat doesn't exist anymore. Only a stream and an artificial lake behind the castle are reminders of the old days. Directly behind the palace is a large park. The real castle core is the outer castle courtyard with office buildings and servants' quarters from the 18th century onward. Access to the actual castle is through the inner gateway, also called Ludwigsbau. The castle is like many similar buildings now used as a museum and restaurant/hotel. The Castle Cafe and Restaurant is open all year round from Wednesday to Sunday.


Day 3: Thermal-Bath town Bad Nauheim

Day 3: Thermal-Bath town Bad Nauheim
Fountain in the Sprudelhof, Bad Nauheim, CC-Frank Witthaus
[ source: Wikipedia]

The world-famous spa town Bad Nauheim, noted for its salt springs first discovered around 650 BC, is located on the eastern edge of the Taunus mountain range. Not only Elvis Presley, who lived in Bad Nauheim during his time with the US Army in Friedberg, made it famous but also Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived here, as another example. Start you walk at the market square and don't miss Wilhelmstrasse, a street with careful renovated half timbered houses. The oldest tavern of Bad Nauheim is the Pfälzer Hof, an excellent place for maybe a lunch?

On April 24, the Landesgartenschau Bad Nauheim 2010 will open its doors! With the spa gardens, in the mid-19th century designed by Henry Siesmayer, and the newly Goldstein Park, the town of Bad Nauheim has the almost ideal townscape for Hesse's largest summer festival not to be missed! The Art Nouveau style international famed buildings, the recreated views and the old graduation house form a unique urban setting of nature and technology, tradition and modernity.


Day 4: Shopping in Frankfurt

Day 4: Shopping in Frankfurt
The Zeil, the main shopping street, GNU-dontworry
[ source: Wikipedia]

Frankfurt certainly lives up to its reputation as a metropolitan city when it comes to shopping. All major international labels are represented in Frankfurt, so that you can expect an exclusive shopping. From luxury goods such as perfume or jewelry, fashion of international top designers, arts and crafts, to flashy accessories designed by Frankfurt's young designers, you will find it all in this vibrant city.

Zeil is the main shopping street which attracts around half a million visitors a day! Here you will not only see the largest Douglas-branch in Europe, but also the largest department store area, such as Galeria Kaufhof, Karstadt and Peek & Cloppenburg. Moreover, all major chains are represented on the Zeil with at least one business. So you are spoiled for choice between Deichmann, Zara, Esprit, New Yorker and many other brands. Directly adjacent to the Zeil, Frankfurt's culinary mile holds a wide choice of cafes and restaurants. Nowhere else in Germany you find such diverse culinary offerings in just one street. Goethe Strasse is a quieter, elegant street where jewelers such as Cartier and Tiffany's are waiting for your visit. Perfumery Albrecht, one of the oldest perfumeries in Germany, is also found in this small, but fine street.


Day 5: Medieval Schotten and Hoherodskopf Mountain

Day 5: Medieval Schotten and Hoherodskopf Mountain
The Hoherodskopf (Vogelsberg), in winter, GNU-MdE
[ source: Wikipedia]

In the middle of the state Hesse lies Schotten, a truly medieval town. The officially recognized climatic spa town lies between 550 to 2536 ft above sea leve,l on the western slope of the Vogelsberg Mountains. Nearby are Hoherodskopf and Taufstein, the two highest peaks in the High Vogelsberg Nature Park. Schotten is visited by many tourists because of its historical flair and thanks to reliably high snowfall in winter, and many hiking opportunities during summer in the extensive forests.

Explore the lovely town and then head of to Vogelsberg, the largest volcanic area in the middle of Europe and one of the greatest expanse of ground in Hesse. The Natural Park Upper Vogelsberg is the first in Hesse and the oldest of its kind in Germany! When visiting in winter, enjoy skiing and all your other favorite winter sports on Hoherodskopf Mountain.


Day 6: Round trip Gelnhausen, Bad Orb and Nature Park

Day 6: Round trip Gelnhausen, Bad Orb and Nature Park
Upper market Gelnhausen, CC-Jens Reimann
[ source: Wikipedia]

Today go on a scenic drive to the Emperor Barbarossa town of Gelnhausen, Bad Orb and the Nature Park Hessischer Spessart. Gelnhausen, once a Free City, is situated at the southern edge of the Vogelsberg mountains on a very old crossing of trade routes by the Kinzig River, which was formerly navigable. The old city, crowned with steeples, is an impressive example of city planning and architecture as applied in the Middle Ages. We suggest that you begin sightseeing on one of the market squares in Gelnhausen.The so-called Obermarkt, upper market, became the center of a well-planned town. The lower market square, the Untermarkt, was an important trading place for country products. Evidence of this are the well preserved Romanesque trading arcades, the Kratzhacke, an the north-side of the Untermarkt and the substructure of the Romanische Haus, which was used by the emperor's representative as residence and law-court. It was presumably built in 1180.

The Imperial Palace, also called Barbarossa Castle was founded to the same time as the town itself to the southeast of the city, on a river Kinzig island - probably on the site of a former and much older castle. It is the best-preserved imperial palace of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. Approximately 12,000 trees were used as a foundation for its construction. Because of the physical expansion of the city, the Imperial Palace is now right in the center. Today it is one of the major attractions of Gelnhausen and can and should be visited.

Continue your drive to Bad Orb, which is located between forested lush green hills in the Nature Park Hessischer Spessart. From the old town center with its lots of half timbered houses, leads a way to the more than one hundred years old park, the former Sudgelände of the salt-makers. From the heyday's of salt is still one of the original ten salt / graduation towers fully functioning and accessible. It is about 518 ft long and 59 ft high and serves as an open air inhalation area for curing guests. The here achieved salt and moisture saturation is similar to a marine climate. The high watch tower dominates the city on the 666 ft high Molkenberg hill, offering a spectacular view over Bad Orb to the Kinzig valley and in clear weather even to the Vogelsberg with its Hoherodskopf Mountain.


Day 7: Departure

Day 7: Departure
Castle Buedingen in winter, GNU-Sven Teschke
[ source: Wikipedia]

We are confident that you had a most enjoyable week and will take only best memories back home with you. There are always many more things to explore and activities to choose from and we are happy to customize your special vacation in Germany. For now, have a safe trip home!


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Where to Stay?

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Bad Nauheim

Bad Nauheim
[ source: Flickr ]

Who would have ever thought that you could encounter the King of Rock and Roll in a small German town? That's right. Elvis Presley lived in Bad Nauheim during his military service and even set up a studio here where he recorded some of his famous songs.…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bad Nauheim Vacation Rentals


Bad Orb

Bad Orb
[ source: Flickr ]

Bad Orb is a spa town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated 32km east of Hanau, and about 60km east of Frankfurt am Main. Bad Orb is between forested lush green hills in the Nature Park Spessart, one of the largest forested areas…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bad Orb Vacation Rentals


Büdingen

Büdingen
[ source: Flickr ]

Büdingen is a town on the eastern edge of the Wetterau region, in the state of Hesse. It is known for its largely intact medieval stronghold and its beautiful preserved timber-framed houses. The town of Büdingen and its originally moated castle are…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Büdingen Vacation Rentals


Frankfurt

Frankfurt
[ source: Flickr ]

Located on the river Main, Frankfurt is the financial capital of Europe and the transportation center of Germany. Frankfurt is the place of residence of the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Furthermore, it hosts some of the world's…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Frankfurt Vacation Rentals



How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

You can cut down your vacation costs significantly by following these simple rules:

  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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