From a fairy-tale palace towering over the Rhine River to one of Germany’s oldest forts, there are a number of impressive medieval castles to explore outside Frankfurt and they each make for a great day trip destination. Here are a few of the best.
The star attraction of Seligenstadt is its Benedictine Abbey, where you can explore the old monastery, stroll around the cloister gardens, and peek inside the restored mill. Afterwards, take time to wander through the Old Town, where the narrow lanes are lined with timber-framed houses, handicrafts boutiques, and traditional restaurants. Stop to admire landmarks such as the Einhardhaus and the Romanisches Haus; take a tour of the Glaab Brewery, famous for producing both beer and Vitamalz Malzbier (a popular non-alcoholic malt drink); then enjoy lunch looking out over the central Marktplatz.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Seligenstadt’s small size makes it a top choice for spontaneous travelers or those with limited time—it’s easy to take in the highlights on a morning or afternoon visit from Frankfurt.
- Seligenstadt has a selection of hotels, restaurants, and cafés to suit all budgets, most of which are found around the Marktplatz.
- All of Seligenstadt’s central attractions can be reached on foot and although flat (and mostly wheelchair- and stroller-accessible), many of the streets in the Old Town are cobblestoned.
How to Get There
Seligenstadt is located 16 miles (26 kilometers) southeast of Frankfurt or about a 30-minute drive. It’s most convenient to visit with your own transport or as part of a tour, but otherwise you can ride the S1 train to nearby Weiskirchen, then take bus 58 to Saligunstat.
When to Get There
Seligenstadt’s spring Carnival celebrations are renowned and many Frankfurters make the trip to attend the festivities, which include the Rosenmontag Parade and Children’s Carnival Parade. Another atmospheric time to visit is over the festive season, when the town hosts a lively Christmas Market and glittering illuminations.
Medieval Towns Around Frankfurt Frankfurt is well situated for exploring the medieval towns of northern Bavaria, Hesse, and the Black Forest, and there are plenty of options for day trips. Combine a visit to Seligenstadt with a stop in nearby Aschaffenburg, known for its half-timbered buildings and 17th-century Johannisburg Castle; or Darmstadt, where highlights include the Jugendstil-style Wedding Tower and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed archaeological site. Further afield, the storybook towns of the Romantic Road make up one of Germany’s most famous road trips, while the medieval city of Heidelberg and UNESCO-listed Trier both abound with historic monuments.
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