Marburg is a small university town north of Frankfurt in the Lahn valley. It was untouched by bombs during WWII. The large "Oberstadt" district is a twisting gem of well maintained 17th and 18th Century "Hessische" architecture hugging narrow, cobblestone streets. Hearing nearby church bells toll while walking through this part of Marburg is a life changing experience. This is the Germany you expect from the tour books and you have it without the tourist crowds.
The Philipps Universität(founded 1527) is the oldest Protestant university in the world. Marburg has approximatly 86.000 residents. With 20.000 students and 6.000 people working for the university, it gives the town the atmosphere of a typical university town, hence the slogan of Marburg is: "Other cities may have a university, Marburg is a university."
By train: regular services go to Frankfurt and Kassel and from both cities your have extensive connections on the German high speed train network (ICE)
By air: Marburg has no airport so head for Frankfurt/Main, Germany's busiest airport.
By car: one of the few German cities not directly connected by the Autobahn, but as you are in Germany there should be another road ... From Frankfurt take the Autobahn to Giessen and than the Bundesstrasse 3 to Marburg.
As a small town it`s best explored on foot. Other possibilities include the public bus services or take a bicycle.
Stroll around the old city ("Oberstadt", upper city) and enjoy the medieval atmosphere in combination with the spirit of an university town. Visit the Elisabeth-Church, first gothic church of germany, and the old castle at top of the "Oberstadt". Also worth seeing: The old university building, the city hall, Weidenhausen (old part of the town at the other side of the river Lahn), ...
Take a romantic pedal boat trip on the river Lahn, starting point is the bridge opposite to the old university building. Take a hike up to the Spiegelslustturm and enjoy a wonderful view over Marburg at night. There is an exposition on culture and history of Hesse in the old castle and also guided tours trough the "Kasematten", the cellar's of the castle. Consult the tourist information for details.
There is the aquamar, a relativ new swimming pool with a wellness area.
The city has to cater for the needs of more than 18000 students so it should be no problem to find a nice cafe or pub. Most of the good pubs are located in the old Oberstadt. Be aware that during the semester they are sometimes crowded.
Try the Cafe am Grün next to the Red Star Bookstore. Its one of the best cafes in Marburg and also a good place to go with children. Next to the elevator (Oberstadtaufzug) in the middle of Marburg is a very good Lebanese imbiss. If you arrive at the train station and like to eat Asian food just walk straight away from the train station and cross the river bridge behind the highway. On the right side is a good place for Asian food.
There are too many pubs and bars to list them all, but if you are in Marburg and everything is closed because its already 3 or 4 o´clock in the morning you have to go to the bolschoi pub! It is near the Elisabeth Church and the place to be in the later night!
A youth hostel is located a little bit south of town. Several hotels cater for the others.