Cities and towns in the region

Oberursel

Oberursel, host of the Hessentag in 2011! Despite the modern way of life, the town still retains a touch of its fascinating past. The houses in the Old Town, which were falling into disrepair, have been undergoing restoration since the 1970s, with loving attention to detail. The "Historischer Stadtrundweg" is a guided tour that takes you around the picturesque alleys and past impressive buildings, such as the historic Rathaus or St. Ursula-Kirche with its high tower. Interesting shops and cozy pubs invite you to take a relaxed stroll around the town.

Oberursel calls itself the "Brunnenstadt" - the town of wells, because it has so many of them. Each year, the Brunnenkönigen – the Well Queen – is crowned, and the Brunnenfest, which takes place on the weekend after Whitsun, is one of the highlights of the year, alongside the many other events that are hosted in the town.

Water used to be the town's lifeline. In the middle ages, there were 13 mills on the Urselbach. Some remain to this day, while only traces of others can still be seen. Strolling along the Mühlenwanderweg – the mill trail – allows you to experience nature at the "Biotop Bach", the stream biotope. The fauna and flora, the development of the mills, and ecological progress are described on 24 boards along the way.

Friedrichsdorf

Friedrichsdorf has given itself not one, but two sobriquets - Zwieback (rusk) town, and Philipp-Reis town. The first zwieback factory was built toward the end of the 18th century, and was later followed by several more. The quality of zwieback made in Friedrichsdorf meant it was coveted the world over. And Philipp Reis invented the telephone in Friedrichsdorf in 1861 and spoke the legendary sentence: "The horse does not eat cucumber salad." Alexander Graham Bell refined the telephone invented by Reis, until it was ready to be brought to market.

Philipp-Reis-Haus, with its Philipp Reis collection and exhibits that show the history of the town, is one popular sight worth seeing, as is the picturesque center of Burgholzhausen, one of three suburbs of Friedrichsdorf. In the town itself, buildings that are steeped in history vie charmingly with the modern urban ambiance. An opulent choice of restaurants, bistros and pubs and a broadly diverse cultural program ensure that evenings are never boring.

Signposted hiking trails, such as the Rundwanderweg, which leads around Friedrichsdorf, are ideal for hiking close to the town or farther afield. Sports enthusiasts can choose between a minigolf course, exercise trail or outdoor swimming pool.

Königstein

In addition to the picturesque Old Town, the castle ruins are Königstein's most popular attraction. The castle was probably built in the 12 century, during Barbarossa's reign. Nowadays it forms the backdrop for cultural and festive events.

Königstein has been a spa since the 19th century; breathing the air has medicinal properties. Königstein is a recognized climatic spa and, since 2005, has been surrounded by a "healthy climate park" spanning 20 square kilometers, which is so far the only one of its kind in Germany. A total of 180 kilometers of nature can be discovered on foot on 34 trails that have been carefully designed for different levels of physical ability and fitness.

The healthy climate in the Königstein Kurpark, on the Herzwanderweg or many other hiking trails is equally beneficial to health. An indoor and outdoor pool are available for sports enthusiasts.

Kronberg

History is tangible at every step through Kronberg. The castle probably originates from the 12th century during Barbarossa's reign, and was restored and rebuilt in places during the Imperial age. It houses a museum that organizes interesting exhibitions.

Parts of the old town wall and the Eichentor – the oak gate that is the only remaining gateway into the town – bear witness to centuries long gone, as do the winding alleyways through Kronberg's Old Town. The Baroque age is reflected in the representative Receptur and the Streitkirche.

It was, not least, Victoria, the wife of Emperor Friedrich III who called herself Empress Friedrich, who made a visible impact on the town. She campaigned for the preservation of the medieval castle and, following the death of her husband in 1899 and a brief stay in Homburg, took up residence as a widow in Kronberg – in Schloss Friedrichshof, which was built for her, and which is now home to the luxurious and world-famous Schlosshotel Kronberg. The picturesque Viktoriapark is dedicated to her.

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt is a city of contrasts. Green havens of peace and quiet behind Germany's most impressive skyline, tranquility and homely coziness amidst the bustling international financial and trade fair center. And the modern cosmopolitan city can look back on a proud history, of which there is ample evidence. The Römer is just one example, which has been used as Frankfurt's city hall since 1405; the Kaiserdom, where ten German Emperors were crowned from 1365 onwards; Paulskirche, which is regarded as the birthplace of German democracy; and Goethe-Haus, which traces the life of Frankfurt's most famous citizen.

Museumsufer is home to one of the most important collections of museums in Germany. A dozen museums, side by side along the banks of the Main River, which focus on themes as divergent as architecture, movies and the visual arts. Eiserner Steg is the footbridge from which to gain the best view over Museumsufer and to the skyline. Built in 1869, the bridge is one of the city's best-known landmarks. And it takes pedestrians from "Hibb de Bach nach Dribb de Bach" – crossing the river from the center of Frankfurt to the suburb of Sachsenhausen on the other side, which is where they are located – the original Frankfurt Äppelwoi pubs serving cured ribs with sauerkraut, washed down by a "Stöffsche".

The city has a plethora of green havens: the Palmengarten, more than ten parks, some of which have a rich history, the town forest, the green belt, the botanical garden at the university, or the two zoos.