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Hesse (German: Hessen) [5] is one of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany.



Kurhaus Wiesbaden and Bowling Green


National parks[edit]

  • Biosphärenreservat Rhön
  • Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald
  • Naturpark Diemelsee
  • Naturpark Habichtswald
  • Naturpark Hessischer Spessart
  • Naturpark Hessische Rhön
  • Naturpark Hochtaunus
  • Natupark Hoher Vogelsberg
  • Natur- und Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee
  • Naturpark Lahn-Dill-Bergland
  • Naturpark Meißner-Kaufunger Wald
  • Naturpark Rhein-Taunus

Other destinations[edit]

  • Großer Feldberg. The highest mountain in Taunus (881 metres). On its summit, there is a 40 metre tall observation tower. A much more remarkable tower on its summit is the telecommunication tower, which cannot normally be visited.


You can talk English in Hesse without a problem, but it's better when you speak slowly, as many people are not confident about their English and do not want to embarrass themselves with a native speaker. In smaller towns and out in the country, it's more likely that you will encounter old people who cannot speak or understand English.

However, as students take English as a second language, you'll find that almost all young people speak English well, albeit possibly accented. Even slightly older people usually do have at least some command of English, and in the cities you should not be surprised to find a 60 year old who speaks English quite well.

You may be surprised at how friendly the people can be, as (like most Germans) the Hessians are very friendly and nice when you are friendly too.

You can get some good tips on local events and places to visit from the locals if your take the time to ask.

Feel free to try out any German you have--either you'll get what you want, or at the least impress/amuse your victim!


German is the main language in most of the state, although Hessian, the local dialect, is spoken natively by many rural and old people and can sound quite different from standard German. However, since almost all Hessian speakers also speak standard German and most people also speak at least rudimentary English you shouldn't have any problems communicating with them.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

International visitors will arrive mostly at Frankfurt Airport, the second largest airport in Europe and a major hub for the German carrier Lufthansa. It's the most important Hub for all Staralliance Airlines (such as United (US), Austrian, Swiss, Thai, Singapore, AirChina, ...). Most major cities in the World are nonstop connected to Frankfurt. The "AirRail" Station or "Fernbahnhof" at the airport (near Terminal 1) is a Train Station for Long Distance Trains (Cologne, Stuttgart, Paris, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Munich). Frankfurt's central station "Hauptnahnhof" is 15 minutes away by suburban trains that run 24/7 (Lines S8, S9). These also serce cities nerby such as Mainz, Wiesbaden, Offenach, Hanau.

Hahn, Ryanair misleadingly officially called "Frankfurt Hahn" even though the city is over 120 km away, is a former military airfield outside of Hessen being used by "no frills" low budget airlines such as Ryanair or Wizzair. Getting from Hahn to Frankfurt takes about 90 minutes by bus or car.

By train[edit]

Regular and high-speed InterCityExpress (ICE) connect Frankfurt and Hesse to the rest of the nation as well as to various international destinations, such as Paris in 4 hrs, Strasbourg, Vienna, Basel, Zurich, Brussels 3hrs. and Amsterdam in 4 hrs. Once a day italian trains run to Milan, and nichttrains run to Budapest, Moskau and Copenhagen. Most long distance trains serve Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt Central), Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof (Frankfurt Airport), Fulda and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. Some long distance trains also serve Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Hanau, Giessen and Marburg. But Most train stations are well connectet to Frankfurt Central. If you travel on long distance trains you should buy a ticket in advance, gernam Railways sell tickets 90 days before. "Sparpreis" tickets are only valid for the itinerary printed on the ticket. If this says "+NV" or "+City" you can take any other Subway, Suburban or local train (RB, RE) to catch your long distance train. If you buy a "Flex Ticket" the price is fixed for one route and you're flexible to take any train on this day and route.

Get around[edit]

There are large regional networks of public transport:

  • Nordhessischer VerkehrsVerbund (NVV)
  • Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV)
  • If you travel within Hessen you can buy a "Hessen Ticket" at any Ticket Counter or machine that allows you to travel (with a group of max. 5 persons) for one day at all public busses and trains (exept long distance EC, IC, ICE trains) in Hesse.

"Hessenticket" for day-long on Local trains in Hesse and Mainz for up to 5 people.

  • German National Railways offer the "Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket" for day-long unlimited travel on local trains (RB, RE) nationwide on week ends.
  • Prices for local trains (RB, RE, S) are much cheaper than prices for long distance trains (EC, IC, ICE). On some routes (like Frankfurt-Darmstadt, Frankfurt-Heidelberg, or Frankfurt-Giessen) these trains aren't even faster.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Frankfurt's skyline of highrises clustered in the downtown city is a rare sight in Europe.
  • Wiesbaden with Kurhaus (spa house), it is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe with 26 (today: 14) hot springs.
  • Not necessarily touristy Rüdesheim, but the Middle Rhine Valley of the river Rhine with its castles and vineyards
  • Eberbach Abbey, a cistercian monastery where 'The Name of the Rose' was shot
  • Hessenpark, an open-air museum showcasing half-timbered buildings from the land of Hesse
  • Kloster Lorsch, [1]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit
  • Oberes Mittelrheintal, [2]. World Heritage UNESCO (Middle Rhine Valley)  edit
  • Limes, [3]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit
  • Grube Messel, [4]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Shopping, museums, opera, theater and ballet options abound in Frankfurt.
  • Take a boat trip on the rivers Main and Rhine.
  • Go canoeing on the Lahn river.
  • Do some hiking up the Feldberg/Taunus or in the Spessart woods.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • A vegetarian option for the daring is Handkäs mit Musik, literally: hand cheese with music, a traditional dish where dry, round, low-fat cheese is marinated in oil with caraway and raw onions (hence the "music").
  • A specialty from Frankfurt is the Frankfurter Grie Soß (Englih: Frankfurt's Green Sauce), a creamy sauce with seven herbs usually eaten in Easter with eggs and potatoes
  • Another Hesse specialty is Rippchen mit Kraut, cooked pork chops with loads of Sauerkraut.
  • Not to mention the original Frankfurter Wuerstchen, which are essentially the same as Wiener.
  • For pastries, try the Frankfurter Kranz (Frankfurt Wreath).

Drink[edit][add listing]

Local specialties include wine from grapes, especially white grapes, and from apples (a kind of cider). This apple wine (Ebbelwei or Ebbelwoi) may be enjoyed straight (pur) or mixed (gespritzt). The latter versions distinguish between "sweet" and "sour", i.e. mixed with either some citrus soda (Süßg'spritzter) or sparkling mineral water (Sauerg'spritzter).

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Across the state and the country is a dense network of Youth Hostels (membership required).


Internet Cafes[edit]

Good luck if you're out of the major cities like Frankfurt or Wiesbaden.


Public telephones are rare in many areas, and to complicate matters there was a transition from coins to rechargable/disposable cards a few years before mobile phones made public telephones mostly obsolete. You can buy public telephone cards at the Post or some shops. If you have a mobile phone that takes SIM cards, consider buying a disposable SIM at a mobile phone shop. In the case of an emergency, most people would let you use their mobile phone.


The number for the Police (Polizei) is 110, and for the fire department (Feuerwehr) and ambulance service 112. They can often speak some English.

Get out[edit]

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