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Travel Agony Aunt

Munich beer gardens or Wiesbaden casino?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Travel Agony Aunt received the following question from a traveler in agony:

Dear Travel Agony Aunt,
I had to get a flight into Frankfurt instead of Munich. We arrive at three in the afternoon. Where should we stay our first night? Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, or take the 3-hour train into Munich? I’ve never been to any of these cities, and since the next night is my birthday, i want to find a fun, party atmosphere. Thanks.
Bo, age 49, from San Francisco

Dear Bo,

Frankfurt is mainly a business center and a less attractive destination compared to Munich and Wiesbaden.

If you are looking for a fun atmosphere and want to celebrate your birthday in pure Bavarian style, I suggest you to book a hotel in Munich and spend the evening in one of the famous Hofbraeukeller. These beer gardens are very lively at night and offer great traditional cuisine and German beers. You will find some of the best Hofbraeukeller - such as Spaten Hof, Augustiner Grossgaststätte, Nürnberger Bratwurstglöckl and Bayerischer Donisl – in Munich’s historic center, especially in the pedestrian area around Neuhauser Straße. Regarding the accommodation, I recommend Hotel Herzog Wilhelm City and Hotel Der Tannenbaum Zentrum, both within walking distance of Neuhauser Straße and easy to reach from Munich Central Station.

If you rather want to relax after your flight, why don’t you spend the night in Wiesbaden? This thermal city is only 35/45-minutes from Frankfurt and boasts a rich cultural heritage. The main tourist sights include the 19th Century Biebrich Palace, the neo-gothic Marktkirche (Market Church), the Nerobergbahn funicular, the Hessian State Theater and, of course, the Kurhaus (spa house). Wiesbaden Kurhaus also has a casino housed in what was once the Spa wine room. Spending the evening in the unique setting of Wiesbaden’s casino could be an original way to celebrate your birthday. Here are a couple of hotels close to the spa house: Hotel Nassauer Hof and City Partner Hotel.

I hope my suggestions will help you make your choice. Enjoy your holiday in Germany!

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