Tuesday, March 17, 2015

7 Best Family Friendly All-Inclusives

By LetThere BeTravel   Posted at  10:05 AM   vacation 1 comment

Paired with the bluest of blue waters, powder-soft sand, ample sunshine and warm temperatures of the Caribbean, all-inclusives create the ultimate family vacation. With so many options, however, how can a family choose which all-inclusive resort to visit? And more importantly, how can a family find one that realistically meets their budget needs? We've chosen our favorite accommodations in the Caribbean, with popular destinations, family ratings, various budget ranges and consistent deals in mind. Plus, our editors and writers have personally visited these resorts with their kids and loved them as much as you will.

Some of the greatest values for families can be found at all-inclusive resorts, which offer plenty of diversions and schedule flexibility.
The kids want to go ziplining—for the third time in two days. But you don’t need to think twice. When you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, nearly everything is included, so the pressure is off to constantly tally the cost of your vacation.
The all-inclusive concept has gotten a recent makeover—better food, spruced-up décor, more varied activities—and many are perfect for families. Activities are on-site, so there’s no need to wake up early and usher the troops out the door only to wait in traffic or long lines. 
Family vacations are meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, but sometimes finding the right hotel, making restaurant reservations, and booking endless activities for the kids can seem more like a chore than a restful getaway. At the all-inclusive properties that make our list, you'll have a stress-free vacation where all meals and activities are included and easily accessible. All you'll have to worry about is which on-site feature you'll want to try out next!

The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana

Looking for a kid-friendly resort that’s still upscale and quiet enough for couples? Appealing to both adults and kids, The Reserve features 132 one-bedroom units with separate living/dining areas, pull-out sofas, and spacious bathrooms with jetted tubs. There are several pools (including one for children) and a multitude of dining and entertainment options, both on-site and at the larger (and more crowded) sister property next door. Families will love the gorgeous beach, free bike rentals, Asian-style spa, and personal service the hotel prides itself on.  

Iberostar Rose Hall Suites All-Inclusive

 A mid-range option for families looking to stay on Montego Bay’s northern shore. Rooms are large enough to share with the kids, and the affordable all-inclusive rates cover all meals and drinks (including top-shelf liquor) at the property’s 12 restaurants and bars. Kids will love the lazy river, water park, kids' club, and video game center, while their parents will most certainly enjoy the ocean-view infinity pool and free activities such as tennis, non-motorized water sports, and PADI dive center. However, the restaurant reservation process is a pain and rooms are just "meh" for the price.

Occidental Grand Aruba

Just 10 minutes from Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital and bustling tourist center, the Occidental Grand Aruba is located on a lively beach with lots of activities. Service is speedy, if somewhat impersonal, but rooms are large with comfortable beds. There’s a large lagoon shaped pool, but the gym is tiny and the on-site restaurants are mediocre at best. There are great bars and restaurants nearby, but unfortunately they’re not part of the all-inclusive plan.

Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

You’ll never be bored at Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club, a beachfront property loaded with fun activities and awesome freebies. If the gorgeous, private beach, five swimming pools, and swim up bar aren’t exciting enough, there’s lots of fun to be had at the Pirates Island Waterpark, Sesame Street Kids Club, and XBOX Garage. But kids aren’t the only ones who have all the fun at Beaches. Parents will love free water sports like kayaking, scuba diving, and paddle boarding, and free golf on a private course. There are a variety of dining options ranging from seafood to barbecue, and contemporary rooms are some of the brand’s largest in Jamaica. The downside? You and your family won’t be the only ones enjoying this incredible resort. Public areas tend to get crowded and sometimes a little noisy. 

Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana

The massive, all-inclusive Hard Rock is a sleek option in Punta Cana, located on a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach. Getting from one place to the other on the sprawling property can take some time, but the hotel provides a shuttle. In addition, the size allows the resort to have broad appeal -- it attracts families, couples, and partiers. The signature Hard Rock rocker vibe can be seen throughout the hotel, whether it be in the music-themed decor or the free guitar rentals. On-site amenities such as tennis, golf, and horseback riding help keep guests busy. There are plenty of dining options as well.

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Punta Cana

Kept in pristine condition, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe sits on a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach and features cool, modern rooms with bright colors schemes and large balconies. The hotel has numerous pools that rarely feel over-crowded, which means you’ll never have to rise before dawn to grab those coveted pool chairs. There are tons of dining options here, and the nightlife includes a 24-hour casino and a disco. However, the place is massive, so getting around can take some time.

Dreams Puerto Vallarta

Whichever your room, you’ll wake up to views of the ocean at Dreams Puerto Vallarta, located in a secluded cove near the namesake Old Town. The Explorer’s Club for kids (three to 12) runs sandcastle-making contests, treasure hunts, optional overnight campouts, and movies on the beach; it’s also got a trampoline set in the water. For parents, activities range from snorkeling and kayaking to beachside aromatherapy massages and dining at the adults-only Portofino restaurant.

There are endless options when choosing a family friendly resort. Let us help you plan and strech your money. Email us LetThereBeTravel@gmail.com.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Client Trip Report : Maui, Hawaii

By LetThere BeTravel   Posted at  10:46 AM   wailea 1 comment
One of our clients booked a trip with us to Maui, as you can see in the previous post, we were able to save them over $700. She had an amazing time, and sent me these great photos of her trip as well as some tips.

 Grounds of the hotel

  Grounds of the hotel

Seared Ahi Tuna at Molokini Bar and Grill

 Dinner by the beach

 View from hotel

 Breakfast buffet at the cafe 

 Pulled pork sliders from Big Beach BBQ down the road south of the hotel

Ahi tacos at Monkeypod in Wailea, a little pricey at $24, but delicious

Maluaka Beach in front of the hotel 

 Secret Beach in Wailea

View from Humuhumu at the Grand Wailea. Food was ok, view was amazing.

Sad to go home, final dinner on the beach

As you can see, her trip looks amazing. I was happy to help her book a great deal and love getting photos like these from clients. Big Beach BBQ is known for their pulled pork sliders and their homemade passion fruit lemonade. Jaws is a fish taco truck also south of the resort. She also enjoyed horseback riding at Makena Stables on the early morning ride and snorkeling with Kai Kanani going to Molokini and Turtle Town. 

If you are interested in this hotel or any other trips, please reach out to me via email (lettherebetravel@gmail.com) for assistance booking. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top 10 Bookstores in the World

By LetThere BeTravel   Posted at  4:49 PM   worlds best 5 comments

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal 
The neo-Gothic façade of this former library barely hints at the grandeur inside of carved wood, gilded pillars, ornamented ceilings, and a gorgeous red staircase lit by a stained-glass atrium. The century-old bookshop features more than 100,000 different books in many languages, including English translations of Portuguese talents. 

Last Bookstore, Los Angeles
If the Last Bookstore Downtown was really the last bookstore, we'd be ok. Currently housed in what used to be an old bank building with marble columns and giant doors, the store first began in a loft apartment and has since expanded to include a record shop, coffee bar and mezzanine level solely dedicated to $1 books. It is the largest independent bookstore in Southern California. You can sell or trade old books here, pick up new ones, grab a record or a cup of coffee, and attend a myriad of events including readings, book signings, writer's groups, open mic nights and concerts. 

Barter Books, England

This bookstore attracted attention for its role in discovering and producing the now famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Housed in an old Victorian railway station, Barter Books has a living room vibe, complete with rugs, a crackling fireplaces in the winter, toys for kids, a model railway acting as a link between the book columns of the central room, and comfy seats. A vast selection of secondhand books makes it even more irresistible.

Cafebrería El Péndulo, Mexico City

Shopping for books is almost beside the point at Cafebrería El Péndulo, which hosts live music, poetry readings, stand-up comedy, and other events in a beautiful space with balconies and lush plants. There are many locations throughout Mexico City, its Zona Rosa shop stands out for its huge selection of English titles. 

Shakespeare and Co., Paris

Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and their literary contemporaries famously hung out at this Left Bank bookstore overlooking the Seine. Shakespeare & Co., one of Paris’s many icons, continues to be a bohemian refuge, attracting tourists and expats. Writers can even bunk here for a few days or weeks, in exchange for a couple of hours’ worth of work around the shop. The bookstore also hosts book readings, writers’ meetings, and Sunday tea.

Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida
This Miami-area bookstore is especially known for its great selection of art titles and is housed in a stunning building from the 1920's. No local author considers himself “made” until he’s read at Books & Books, which has endless special events and book signings. 

Books for Cooks, Melbourne

Indulge your inner MasterChef (or at least light the spark) at this indie bookstore with a mix of new, secondhand, antique, and out-of-print classics as well as the latest celebrity-chef blockbusters, biographies, and collections of food criticism. Anything you want to read about food can be found here. The cherry on the cake is the wonderful service, which should be no surprise. Books for Cooks is owned and run by food lovers and chefs.

Bart’s Books, Ojai, CA
When owner Richard Bartinsale’s collection of books became so large that there was no room left in his house, he began arranging them as a few shelves on a footpath. Customers left payment in coffee cans. That was in 1964. Nowadays, he runs a full-fledged open-air bookstore, with courtyards, couches, coffee, and sunny weather to boot. It’s a labyrinth of mostly used books, including the delightful “kitchen” area of Bartinsale’s former home (for cookbooks, naturally) and a “gallery” with art books.

Dominicanen Bookstore, Maastricht, Holland

This heavenly bookshop-in-a-church is truly an inspiring space, with soaring grand stone pillars, alcoves set up as reading nooks, and views from the top shelf along the nave of the church. Settle in with a good book at the café (where the former choir sang)—just be prepared to be distracted by the ceiling’s ornate medieval frescoes.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

The poetry of Jorge Luis Borges and the rhythms of the tango come together at El Ateneo, which has played many roles: first a theater that hosted tango legends like Carlos Gardel; then a cinema; and now a seller of books and music. The majestic interior of the nearly century-old building retains its original rounded balconies, ornate trimmings, frescoed ceiling, and a stage (now a café) with plush red curtains.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Save Yourself Some Money.

By LetThere BeTravel   Posted at  10:55 AM   vacation 1 comment
Why book with a travel agent? We have a simple answer. Same service, save money. Well, better service actually. Not only did we save them money, but we got them a $50 per night resort credit!

We saved our last client $702 by beating Kayak's price. (click image below to see full size)

We love Maui and are also going to take advantage of a airfare deal that was posted in the Let There Be Travel Facebook Group a while back. Join the group for daily deals!  Shoot us an email if you have any questions or need help planning a trip.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

US - Cuba Agreement : Travel, Cigars and More

By Let There Be Travel   Posted at  10:37 AM   white house 1 comment

The White House announced the changes to Cuba policy as new rules to be posted by the Treasury and Commerce departments. 
The administration’s actions don’t change the 1996 Helms-Burton Act and other laws passed by Congress that restrict most travel and trade with Cuba. But it is the most significant move by the American government to ease sanctions with Cuba in 50 years.
Diplomatic relations
The U.S. will open an embassy in Havana for the first time since President John F. Kennedy severed relations in 1961. Since 1977 the American interest section has operated under in conjunction with the Swiss on a prime piece of real estate off the Malecón, on Havana’s oceanfront. The U.S. Senate, which will be controlled by Republicans in January, would have to approve any ambassador to the island.
    Terror ties
    The U.S. designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982. Secretary of State John Kerry will now review that designation and provide a report within six months about Cuba’s contemporary support for international terrorism.
    Travel restrictions
    It will still be illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba strictly for tourism, since that is banned by federal law. But U.S. law allows for 12 categories of legal travel to Cuba, which the Obama administration is expanding.
    The allowed travel categories are: family visits, government business, journalism, professional research and meetings, educational activities, religious activities, “support for the Cuban people,” humanitarian projects, private foundation work and research, import/export work, art and athletic This means that soon it's likely going to get much easier for Americans to travel to Cuba.
    It's worth noting that travel to Cuba is already booming; In 2012 and 2013, more than 90,000 Americans legally visited Cuba, according to the New York Times — and there's a good chance many more have visited illegally.
    But it's complicated to travel there: Travelers currently need special visas or are required to travel with set tour groups, and there are no direct commercial flights between the US and Cuba. 
    All of that will likely change soon. 
    Senior Obama administration officials announced in a press conference call with reporters on Wednesday plans to lift many of its existing travel restrictions. While all of the details have not yet been made clear, an official said the change will include a "number of steps to significantly increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba.Officials also noted that the eased travel restrictions would allow more Americans who qualify under the current license program to visit Cuba.
    While it's not technically illegal for US citizens to travel to Cuba, most are prohibited from spending any money there. These new measures would allow visitors to be able to purchase "$400 of general goods and up to $100 of alcohol and tobacco products that can include cigars" while in Cuba. 
    We're still waiting for more information on the ease of these travel restrictions, but it's clear that more Americans will be traveling to Cuba very soon.

    • General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in the following existing categories: (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines. 
    • Travelers in the 12 categories of travel to Cuba authorized by law will be able to make arrangements through any service provider that complies with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations governing travel services to Cuba, and general licenses will authorize provision of such services. 
    • The policy changes make it easier for Americans to provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers and provide other support for the growth of Cuba’s nascent private sector.  Additional options for promoting the growth of entrepreneurship and the private sector in Cuba will be explored.

    Credit cards
    For the first time, credit and debit cards issued by U.S. banks will work in Cuba. American travelers to the island now have been forced to either carry large amounts of cash with them or acquire a credit card from a bank in another country.
    Cigars and rum
    Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to bring back a small amount of now-banned cigars and rum. The new provisions allow Americans to bring back up to $400 worth of Cuban goods, of which only $100 can be alcohol and tobacco.
    Americans will now be able to send $2,000 per quarter – up from $500 – to people in Cuba. Licenses that had been required for Americans sending cash to the island will no longer be required.
    The Cuban Internet
    Almost no ordinary Cubans have access to the Internet. Very slow web access is available at tourist hotels. The new rules allow U.S. companies to export telecommunications equipment to build a broader Internet infrastructure. At the same time, U.S. officials said, the Cuban government agreed to allow its citizens better access to the web.
    Obama's action marked an abrupt use of U.S. executive authority. However, he cannot unilaterally end the longstanding U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, which was passed by Congress and would require action from lawmakers to overturn.
    Wednesday's announcements followed more than a year of secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba, including clandestine meetings in Canada and the Vatican and personal involvement from Pope Francis. The re-establishment of diplomatic ties was accompanied by Cuba's release of American Alan Gross and the swap of a U.S. spy held in Cuba for three Cubans jailed in Florida.
    In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis "wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history."

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Virgin Is Going Into the Cruise Business

    By Let There Be Travel   Posted at  4:33 PM   virgin cruises 2 comments
    We are excited to hear the news that Virgin Group announced on Thursday. Virgin Cruises will be an attempt to shake up a monopolized industry dominated by three big companies that all offer a similar flavor of family-friendly entertainment on the high seas.
    Personally, I am not a huge cruise fan. I love to be on land, be adventurous, no time to be anywhere to eat, or stuck in one place. Some people love crusies. But for Virgin, I could make an exception.
    I've flown their airlines, which is life changing. I am now spoiled and dread other airlines. 
    With backing from Bain Capital, the private equity firm, Virgin Cruises will build two new ships that are “more informal, fun, sexy, hip and cool” than those operated by Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, said Evan Lovell, a partner at Virgin Management Limited.
    “We believe there’s an opportunity to be a disruptor,” Mr. Lovell said. “We think we can program the ship in ways that is different than what is being done today.”
    Instead of creating a Las Vegas-like atmosphere with casinos, theaters and all you can eat buffets, Virgin Cruises will give passengers more opportunities to experience life at sea.
    “The whole point of being on a cruise ship is to be connected to the ocean, to be connected to the sun and the wind,” Mr. Lovell said.
    Virgin Cruises said it was beginning work on the two new ships soon. New ships can cost upward of $1 billion to construct and take years to complete, and Mr. Lovell said that voyages would not begin until “the end of the decade.”
    Though the company didn’t release many details about its plans, Mr. Lovell said the ships would both be designed to give passengers more nature when they want it, and also more sophisticated amenities while indoors. Parts of the ships interior would appeal to clientele more at home in “downtown Manhattan, SoHo and the West Village,” than on a cruise, Mr. Lovell said.
    Ryan Cotton, a principal with Bain Capital, said Virgin Cruises would aim at an untapped segment of the market, largely appealing to customers who are uninterested in the gaudy atmosphere offered by most big cruise companies. But he said the same qualities that attract tens of millions of customers to cruise ships every year would also make Virgin Cruises a winning business proposition.
    “As we look at the cruise industry the value proposition is unbelievable,” Mr. Cotton said. “The ability to see multiple destinations — that is attractive to a very large number of people.”
    Virgin Cruises will be a new stand-alone company, with Virgin Group and Bain each having significant stakes. The company’s chief executive will be Tom McAlpin, the former head of The World-Residences at Sea, and a former president of Disney Cruise Line.
    “We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love,” Mr. Branson said in a statement. “They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.”With interests already in airlines, space tourism, hotels and trains, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson confirmed Thursday that his Virgin Group also has its sights set on the sea.
    The Branson family’s investment group announced that it is partnering with investment firm Bain Capital to form Virgin Cruises, a South Florida-based company that plans to operate two ships. News about a possible cruise venture for Virgin had been floating around since March, when Branson told a newspaper in Abu Dhabi that he was seeking investors for a $1.7 billion ocean cruise project.
    Tom McAlpin — a former president of Disney Cruise Line and, most recently, president and CEO of The World, Residences at Sea — was named CEO of Virgin Cruises.

    “Cruise guests deserve something better and different to what is being offered today, and Virgin Cruises is committed to creating breathtaking experiences for them and a new generation of guests,” McAlpin said in a statement.
    Beyond some basic facts, and the appointment of a CEO, few additional details were available, including how much the companies are investing in the startup line, who will build the ships, what size they will be or when they will set sail.
    But from the statement’s headline to prepared quotes, the partners made it clear that they intend to “make waves” in an industry they believe is ready for reinvention.
    “With a small number of global players, an experience in need of refreshing, and consumers ready for something new and exciting, the industry exhibits all the characteristics of one that is ripe for a new entrant,” Ryan Cotton, a principal with Bain Capital, said in the statement.
    The world’s three largest cruise companies — Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, all based in Miami-Dade County — have been trying in their own ways to refresh the cruise experience by moving away from traditional dining and entertainment models and creating more activities and attention-grabbing amenities on board. Just last month, Royal Caribbean International introduced a new ship boasting a skydiving simulator and bumper cars; Thursday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced a new partnership with Margaritaville.
    Still, Branson promised his company’s ships would offer “great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.”
    “We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love,” he said in the statement.
    Nick Fox, Virgin Group director of external relations, elaborated in an email: “I think it's best to presume that we will be bringing the Virgin sense of style, fun and adventure to the market. We will be looking to deliver real quality, in a more modern setting with more choice for the customer. We will also be trying to attract a broader market than traditionally goes cruising over time.”
    Branson is known for the sometimes-wild antics of a showman: A few years ago, to mark the 25th anniversary of Virgin Atlantic's first flight to South Florida, he arrived at a press conference via Cigarette boat to the theme song of Miami Vice. Wielding a fake gun and gold handcuffs, he made his way to a second speedboat and proceeded to pretend-arrest supermodel Karolina Kurkova.
    “Richard Branson has a legacy of using creative marketing and has developed a travel empire while building sexy brands,” Vicky Garcia, chief operating officer and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, wrote in an email. “Branson’s innovations and entrepreneurial spirit will bring a fresh perspective to the industry and adding the Virgin Cruise brand into the mix will help drive healthy competition and consumer demand.”
    But recently his ambitions have been marred by tragedy. During an October test flight for space tourism enterprise Virgin Galactic, a spaceship broke apart, killing the co-pilot and injuring the pilot. The Associated Press reported that the company might resume tests next summer.
    In Thursday’s news, Virgin said “competitive reasons” kept it from revealing when the cruise line will start operating, but UBS Investment Research analyst Robin Farley wrote in a note to investors that she would not expect a new ship to be designed, built and launched earlier than 2018.
    Farley wrote that some investors have worried about the potential impact of a new player in an industry that has struggled to raise prices amid a glut of supply in markets such as the Caribbean. She said similar concerns accompanied the establishment of Disney Cruise Line in 1998, an addition she called “a big positive for the industry” since it attracted first-time cruisers.
    “While Virgin is not the powerhouse vacation brand that Disney is, we still believe it would attract more attention to the cruise market than the capacity it will represent,” she wrote.
    What do you think of Virgin starting a cruise line? 

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/travel/cruises/article4283117.html#storylink=cpy

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Trip Itinerary Ideas : Frankfurt, Germany

    By LetThere BeTravel   Posted at  5:18 PM   travel No comments

    As we help plan a two week trip to Germany, we put together this list of places to see and things to do on your trip to Frankfurt, and day trips from the city center. 

    Check out the Frankfurt Tourism Board's website, and their virtual city tour as well.


    The weather in Frankfurt is moderate throughout the year, though often damp and drizzly. Summers are mild, with the occasional hot day, and it rarely gets very cold in winter and hardly ever snows.


    There are many ways to get around in Frankfurt and to other cities, the rail/subway system is the most commonly used. Uber is also available in most big cities in Germany but you might have communication issues with the drive. Be prepared with a translation app on your phone or a address you can show. 

    Frankfurt's smooth-running, well-integrated public transportation system (called RMV) consists of the U-bahn (subway), S-bahn (suburban railway), Strassenbahn (streetcars), and buses. Buses are the public-transit option between 1 am and 4 am.
    Fares for the entire system, which includes an extensive surrounding area, are uniform, though they are based on a complex zone system. Within the time that your ticket is valid (one hour for most inner-city destinations), you can transfer from one part of the system to another.
    Tickets may be purchased from automatic vending machines, which are at all U-bahn and S-bahn stations. Weekly and monthly tickets are sold at central ticket offices and newsstands. A basic one-way ticket for a ride in the inner zone costs €2.60 during the peak hours of 6 am–9 am and 4 pm–6:30 pm weekdays (€2.30 the rest of the time). There's also a reducedKurzstrecke ("short stretch") fare of €1.60 the whole day. A day ticket for unlimited travel in the inner zones costs €6.60. If you're caught without a ticket, there's a fine of €40.
    You can also buy RailEurope passes to go from Frankfurt to almost anywhere in Europe, some offering overnight trains too! (Save hotel money on a lay-flat bed and sleep on the train!)

    In Frankfurt

    Day Trips from Frankfurt

    With a huge number of domestic and international flights landing in Frankfurt, the lively metropolis makes a strategic base for exploring central Germany, with excellent transport links to Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and the Rhine Valley. If you’re short on time or money, basing yourself in the city and exploring the surrounding sights can be easier than traveling around the region,  so to give you some ideas, here are some of the best day trips from Frankfurt.

    Rhine River Valley

    One of the most popular day tours from Frankfurt is to the idyllic Rhine River Valley and the most atmospheric way to explore the region is by boat. Take a boat cruise from Frankfurt to Mainz then continue through the UNESCO World Heritage listed section between Mainz and Koblenz – one of the most scenic boat rides in Europe, dotted with impressive hilltop fortresses, medieval villages and natural landmarks.


    Its most famous for the Cologne Cathedral which started being built in 1248, but was not finished until 1880. 


    A day or half-day tour to nearby Heidelberg is top of many traveler’s itineraries, reached by a drive along the dramatic Bergstrasse, or Mountain Road. Stop off at one of the many wineries and castles before you reach the main attraction –the romantic Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg), once the principal residence of the Kurpfalz Princes and now renowned as one of Germany’s most beautiful castles.

    Go back in time with a visit to Germany’s oldest city, Trier, dating back to 2000 BC. Less than 2 hours from Frankfurt, Trier’s main sights are the remnants of the Roman colony established in the city in 16BC, including Germany’s oldest cathedral, built by Constantine the Great  in 326 AD. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the ancient city is set on the banks of the Moselle River and features one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Germany, the Liebfrauenkirche, Roman Baths and a 20,000-capacity Roman Amphitheater.

    Romantic Road

    Lying close to the start of Germany’s iconic Romantic Road, Frankfurt makes a perfect launch pad for exploring Bavaria’s most scenic tourist route and there’s plenty to explore even if you’ve only got one day. Starting out at nearby Wurzburg, the road takes in attractions like the medieval town of Rothenburg, the walled city of Augsburg, the Tauber Valley vineyards and, further south, the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.

    Black Forest

    Those looking to escape the city will find plenty to do in Bavaria’s majestic Black Forest with ample opportunities for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Don’t miss a visit to the picturesque spa town of Baden Baden en route.

    Did we miss something? Tell us in the comment section below! 

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