A passenger in the car holds a smartphone up to the windshield and takes a photo
Sergey Tarasov / unsplash

Worth seeing: Road Trip from Trier to Frankfurt

It sounds like a cliché, but sometimes the journey really is the destination. And it doesn’t always have to be a multi-week trip along Route 66. A real dream road trip in Germany, for example, is the route from Trier via Koblenz to Frankfurt. We also know why.

Germany’s oldest city: Trier

The starting point is the Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthias in the south of Trier. The monastery is still inhabited by eleven monks today. It was founded in the early Middle Ages and the 12th century Romanesque basilica is a real eye-catcher. Especially in good weather, the white façade of the impressive building shines so brightly that you almost have to put on sunglasses. The bones of the apostle Matthew are said to lie in the abbey. This makes the basilica the only one of its kind north of the Alps and it still attracts numerous pilgrims today.

Front view of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthias in Trier

Just 15 minutes north of the old Roman town – once across the Moselle, please – lies the tranquil village of Kordel. In the middle of the wild Eifel mountains. The numerous red sandstone formations give the panorama an unmistakable character. And give an insight into how slowly but mightily the earth changes and creates such landscapes. Those who are not afraid of confined spaces can also visit one of the many caves in the region, such as the Genoveva Cave. Human traces from the Stone Age have even been found here.

View of the Genoveva Cave near Kordel in the Eifel, an intermediate stage of a road trip from Trier to Frankfurt

Pit Stop in the German Corner

From Kordel, it’s a 45 minute drive to the north-west, crossing the Moselle again at Zeltlingen and moving forward a few millennia from the Stone Age to the (not so dark!) Middle Ages. In the middle of the vineyards are the ruins of Rosenburg Castle, which almost looks like a painting. The venerable walls nestle harmoniously against the vineyards, while the Moselle flows peacefully in front of it. In the Middle Ages, such castles near the river were used to enforce the lord of the castle’s customs rights. Fortunately, nowadays you can drive along here without paying customs duty and take some fancy photos as a souvenir of your trip. Completely duty-free.

Panoramic view of the Moselle in bright sunshine
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You now follow the course of the Moselle for another hour and a half. This is a real highlight in itself, as the Moselle valley is extremely picturesque. The destination of this stage is the Deutsches Eck (German Corner). This is the name given to the place where the Rhine and Moselle meet and where a monument to the German Emperor Wilhelm I is located. And anyone who has paid attention in geography knows that this place is in Koblenz. In addition to the Deutsches Eck, numerous other sights await you in the beautiful city on the Middle Rhine, such as the imposing Koblenz Fortress, the magnificent Electoral Palace and the fairytale-like Stolzenfels Castle. You can also simply take a relaxing stroll through the pretty old town and stop off at one of the many restaurants and cafés for a well-earned refreshment.

Aerial view of the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz at dusk

From Koblenz, you don’t drive up the Middle Rhine, although the route is always worthwhile, but instead via the wild Westerwald into the Taunus. The small village of Idstein is home to a very special architectural monument. The “leaning house of Idstein” dates back to the Middle Ages and, as you can almost imagine, was actually built straight as a die. However, the three storeys that the builder absolutely wanted – after all, they had to make a statement – were somewhat ambitious for the construction skills of the time. The inevitable happened: the house gradually leaned to one side. But not to the point where it collapsed. And so you can still marvel at this leaning house today. And take an unusual selfie there.

A blue half-timbered house, the “Leaning House” in Idstein

Hessian hot spots

Finally arriving in the Hessian state capital, Wiesbaden. The former royal seat sometimes gets a little lost between Mainz and Frankfurt, quite wrongly in our opinion. After all, you will not only find the control center of Hessian state politics here, but also architecture largely spared from the Second World War with numerous magnificent imperial buildings and magnificent boulevards. As a spa town, Wiesbaden attracted those seeking relaxation even back then, and Kaiser Wilhelm II also liked to spend time in the “Nice of the North”. Culture fans should also plan a detour to the Hessian State Museum. It is well worth a visit and exhibits a diverse mix of natural and art history.

View of Grabenstraße with tall Art Nouveau houses in Wiesbaden
Martin Nicholas Kunz

On the way to Frankfurt from Wiesbaden, you can’t avoid a stop at the Rhine-Main Regional Park. Planned as a green belt for the Main metropolis, the area is now home to a network of more than 500 kilometers of trails, and the trend is rising. We recommend a stop at the visitor center. Here you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the entire region after climbing 170 steps to a height of 27 meters. Just great!

Aerial view of the Frankfurt skyline
Jan Philipp Thiele/unsplash

The crowning glory of the road trip is Mainhattan. You can actually spend an entire weekend here. The first thing that catches your eye is, of course, the skyline. The banking district in Frankfurt is buzzing all day long and offers some exciting photo opportunities. You’ll also get your money’s worth culturally. There really is an educational institution for every taste on the Museumsufer – whether you’re interested in nature, film history or modern art. And shopping fans take note. You can empty your wallet and fill your shopping bags to your heart’s content on Frankfurt’s Zeil. Finally, it’s worth making a detour to the city’s exciting food scene. Would you prefer the Frankfurt classic “Tafelspitz mit Grüner Soß” or modern Michelin-starred cuisine? Frankfurt can do it all.

You can find this and many other exciting road trips in the “Sunny2Go” app from car rental provider Sunny Cars. The travel and route tips are included free of charge when you rent a car.