Must See Sites in Hessen
Updated: Sep 20
Hessen is a beautiful place to vacation and a great base to explore other parts of Germany, offering visitors a variety of adventures and landscapes. Popular cities include, Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Kassel, and Fulda. Hessen’s cities are rich with history, so visitors should be sure to do a little research ahead of time, so as not to miss out on unique museums or monuments.
Trip Advisor is a great resource to get an overview of each city’s offerings. The list below includes some of this writer’s favorite and not-so-crowded locations.
Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in Hessen, known for its international and multicultural connections. This will most likely be your first stop in Hessen, as it is home to the busiest airport and train station. Don't miss out on the unique offerings such as the Römer, which has served as the city hall since 1405. Frankfurt am Main has also been the seat of the European Central Bank since 2015. Enjoy an apple wine, which has been a staple of Frankfurt for two and a half centuries.
If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of a bigger city, try visiting the Edersee in Waldeck-Frankberg, which is a beautiful 27-kilometer-long reservoir surrounded by nature and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those who love hiking, swim ming, camping, and water sports, this location has all you need. There are also areas to relax, including spas.
Marburg will captivate visitors with its charming upper city, filled with stairs and narrow alleys. The city is known for its university and castle. The Brothers Grimm spent time in Marburg, which is represented throughout the city by must-see sculptures. Make sure to stop at one of the many restaurants in the upper city to enjoy an Auflauf (Casserole), you won’t regret it!
Rüdesheim is a beautiful city located on the Rhein River. Take the cable car over the vineyards to the Niederwald Monument where you can see for miles. Make sure to walk down Drosselgasse, a charming alleyway. Relax on the riverbank with a Rüdesheimer Coffee, a unique coffee beverage made with flambeed Asbach Uralt Brandy. The presentation is an experience you won’t soon forget.
The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel features stunning water features and a Hercules monument atop the city. Please check the website for the dates of the “water show,” as it isn’t always active. There are several other things to enjoy while in Kassel including Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, the Orangerie, and the Brothers Grimm Museum.
Wetzlar is a quaint city located just outside of Giessen. Unlike many other German cities, Wetzlar has great parking opportunities throughout the city, making it very accessible. Walk from the Wetzlar Cathedral towards the Alte Lahnbrücke to really take in all the city has to offer. There are great restaurants and bars, as well as small shops. To end the day, take the 15-minute drive to Braunfels to visit the beautiful Braunfels Castle, which is often overlooked by tourists, yet breathtaking! Walk the grounds on your own or pay a small fee for a guided tour.
Wiesbaden, the capital of Hessen, is a beautiful city that’s not typically too busy with tourists. The Kurhaus, located at the city’s center is the go-to venue for cultural events, concerts, and conventions. It is also home to the city’s casino and several restaurants. Once you’re here, it’s easy to walk to other nearby attractions, such as restaurants and the beautiful Altstadt (old city). Wiesbaden is known for its natural thermal springs, making it a Kurstadt or “spa city.” Make sure to visit Wiesbaden’s most famous thermal spring, the Kochbrunnen, located by the giant Cuckoo Clock.
Regardless of where you end up in Hessen, you’ll be impressed by the rich history, architecture, and scenic views the state has to offer. Although it’s always a good idea to have a general plan when you visit a new city, make sure to schedule time to just explore. Often, the best adventures happen when you stumble upon something unexpected and authentic!