I was so excited to visit Germany to learn about a new culture and explore the country where my husband spent a year of his childhood. We flew directly from Chicago to Frankfurt before making our way to Darmstadt, the city we would call home for the next week.
I had always pictured post-WWII Germany to be gray and sad. Instead, I was shocked to find beauty and culture everywhere we explored. Darmstadt has the most beautiful gardens and interesting museums, and I particularly loved visiting the Prinz Georg Garten and the Orangerie. I love that people eat outside in all weather all over Europe. On our first morning in the city we enjoyed a lovely brunch with views of the town square and Rathaus.
We took a little day trip to Baden-Baden and climbed the Altes Schloss, where the view took my breath away. One of my favorite things about being in Europe is that one can spontaneously decide to visit another country and be there within hours, even minutes. During our week in Germany we decided to overnight in Switzerland. We rented a car, drove the speed-limitless autobahn, and made a wrong turn on our way to Zurich, leaving us to cross the Rhine and travel into France for a total of three countries in one day!
On our way back to Darmstadt we stopped in Heidelberg and climbed to the top of the infamous castle. We made it just before sunset and had the absolute best light of the day for pictures.
On another day trip we took the train to Rudesheim and Wiesbaden. Rudesheim was definitely the most touristy place we visited, but the gondola ride over wine country and the water made it all worthwhile. We bought a mini bottle of champagne at the bottom station and took the cable car up to the top of the hill over the beautiful, rolling acres of vines. I loved getting to see the official state buildings in Weisbaden, and their downtown area held such old world charm.
Dieburger Strasse 241, 64287
- While in Darmstadt, we suggest stopping by a few of the many museums like Orangerie and the Prinz Georgs Garten.
- If a trip to Baden-Baden is in your itinerary, be sure to visit the Altes Schloss.
- No trip to Heidelberg is complete without an afternoon at the famed Heidelberg Castle.
- We explored Rudesheim by gondola and highly recommend a ride with Seilbahn, taking one high above the vineyards.
Emilia Jane is an award winning editorial wedding photographer and blogger based in Chicago and New York City who loves to travel and appreciates well crafted cocktails.