Hessen. The region in the heart of Europe!
Old romantic castles, river landscapes, vineyards, half-timbered villages, a multifaced culture and great people
Welcome to Hessen! - Come on a tour of discovery.
Hessen guaranteed the direct entry into an eventful stay in Germany. This made possible the Frankfurt airport, the "Gateway to Europe", with its attractive direct connections from different cities in the world. We invite you to take a closer look at Hessen, which is international and open-minded but also deeply rooted in its heritage and history.
So what makes Hessen so appealing?
Everything that a guest expects to find in Germany, will be found in Hessen; old romantic castles, river landscapes, vineyards, half-timbered villages, a multifaced culture and great people – it is all there! The German traditions contain culinary highlights that you will also find in Hessen. The region is famous for its delicious Riesling, apple wine, and good food.
For those who want a more active holiday, the region offers various activities like hiking, biking, water sports and golf. Along the rivers flowing through Hessen like the Rhine, Main and Fulda, visitors can enjoy activities like canoeing and river cruising in wonderful natural surroundings. Hessen has many hidden pearls worth discovering.
For more information about Hessen, please click here.
Hessen State Tourist Board (Hessen Tourismus / HA Hessen Agentur GmbH)
We market Hessen‘s travel destinations!
- Central contact for tourism marketing at the state level
- Networker and coordinator of Hessian tourism partners
- Marketer of Hessian travel destinations in Germany and in selected markets abroad
AMAZING URBAN EXPERIENCES
Whether you're looking for a city break destination or choosing urban stop-offs for a road trip, Hessen's towns and cities offer a huge range of culture, sights and events to suit every taste and budget. Visit the elegant state capital of Wiesbaden with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and thermal spas, or head to the vibrant metropolis of Frankfurt am Main for Michelin-starred dining and traditional cider taverns. There's contemporary art and culture in Kassel and unique science museums to explore in Giessen. Admire the half-timbered houses and fairytale cobbled streets in Wetzlar and Marburg, Art Nouveau architecture in Darmstadt and richly decorated Baroque buildings in Fulda. Visit royal palaces, stroll through city vineyards and gorgeous parks and gardens, enjoy some leisurely shopping or make the most of the wonderful local hospitality by sampling the delicious regional food and drink. History and culture are abundant everywhere you go here, and there's a huge range of events to attend throughout the year. Time your visit with internationally-acclaimed art exhibitions and music galas, or experience Hessen's annual wine and cider festivals and its atmospheric Christmas markets, large and small.
HESSEN`S LITTLE TREASURES
Hesse is a region to fall in love with. Visitors who take the time to discover the hidden pearls of the region are surprised at the variety of attractions there are within short distances. Going on an individual trip to Hesse offers the opportunity of going on an exciting adventure and discovering German traditions at their source. The ability to rent a car, go biking or hiking or move around on public transport provides many opportunities for guests.
Quaint half-timbered houses, enchanted alleys: Hessen has lots of little treasures to offer. The small towns are picturesque and often enchant with their living history. Embedded in the most beautiful regions of Hessen, they are definitely worth a visit. Relaxing detours away from the hustle and bustle of the big city that invite you to linger. Well-preserved old towns are still lively centers for locals and visitor
Hessen’s UNESCO World Heritage sites offer a fascinating journey through time. They bear witness both to the dawn of mankind and to artistic modernity: stone monuments to cultural epochs, landscapes that have been shaped by man over the centuries, and unspoiled nature captivate today’s visitors. UNESCO World Heritage sites in Hessen: Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch, Messel Pit Fossil Site, Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, and Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. The Messel Pit Fossil Site documents the emergence of mammals 50 million years ago. The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes were unable to protect the Romans against advancing Germanic tribes. At the former Benedictine Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch, the King’s Hall is a monument to one of the most influential imperial abbeys of the Carolingian era. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley combines unspoiled nature with landscapes that have been shaped by man. Hessen’s newest addition to the UNESCO World Heritage list is Wilhelmshöhe Park in Kassel, a masterpiece of landscape architecture with a cascade that is the only one of its kind in the world. In 2011 the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park was designated part of the UNESCO World Heritage Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Ancient Beech Forests of Germany. This paradise can be explored on a network of winding trails, sections of which are accessible to people with restricted mobility. Hessen’s part of the Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which extends into Bavaria and Thuringia, is not only perfect for hiking and cycling, it also lends itself to being viewed from the air. The Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geo Nature Park offers 30 different discovery trails and i spart oft he UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. The Felsenmeer in the Lautertal valley is a spectacular collection of rock formations.
HESSENS CULINARY OFFERINGS
From simple, hearty dishes to fine dining tasting menus, and meat-heavy plates to vegan bites, you'll find food and drink here to suit every taste and budget.Visit Hessen's vibrant cities for international fare including Indian curries and Turkish kebabs, Lebenese falafel, Brazilian meat platters and French-Japanese pâtisserie.
You'll find delicious regional specialties all over the state, from fresh herb green sauce and air-dried pork sausages to bread topped with oozing melted cheese. The locals are proud of their local specialties and fresh regional produce, and well known for their warm hospitality. There are wineries to visit and farmers' markets to explore, not to mention all manner of culinary festivals taking place throughout the year. You only need to visit a summer wine festival or share a table in a Frankfurt apple wine tavern to see that Hessians know how to have a good time.
Sample world-class Rieslings at the Rheingau Wine Festival in Wiesbaden, try classic potato specialties during Odenwald region's "Potato Weeks", or head to Frankfurt for the city's annual celebrations of its much-loved apple wine. But don't take our word for how good the food is here - come and try Hessen's food and drink for yourself!
Health and Fitness Holidays
The Hesse region offers a wide variety of spa resorts and spa traditions that were brought to Hesse by the Romans. Cities like Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg, Bad Wildungen, Bad Orb and Kassel are famous worldwide for their spas, and, with their beautiful surroundings are perfect places to recharge the batteries. In Hesse body and soul are in tune. The spa visit in Hesse is accompanied by modern, high quality hotels offering the perfect combination of traditional spa and modern way of life. Information about the 30 hessian spas: Hessischer Heilbäderverband e. V.
Active Lifestyle and Nature
Be it a professional sport of the highest calibre or recreational activities, the Hesse region has something to offer every sports and nature enthusiast. Play a relaxing round of golf at one of the region’s many picturesque golf courses, go on a hiking tour through the very serene Hochtaunus Park or the scenic Rheingau, discover the stalagmite caves in Steinau or take part in a canoe tour, sailing regatta or cruise on rivers like the Nidda, Lahn, Fulda, Weser, Main or Rhine.
In case you want something more adventurous you can take an introductory Sailplaning flight at the Wasserkuppe, which has the highest airfield in Germany. Vast gardens, beautiful parks, historical spa facilities, botanical collections and herb gardens, idyllic valleys, rolling hills and an extensive regional park represent the relatively unknown and unexpected side of Hesse. Become acquainted with the region’s stunning natural beauty through a cycling tour along the beautiful river banks or a hiking tour through the vineyards that offer trails for all levels of expertise.
Different parts of Hesse offer a great variety of hiking routes. Many of them, like the “Rheinsteig”, the “Nibelungensteig” or the “Rothaarsteig”, are honoured with the quality seal of the German Hiking Association, which makes it a reliable choice for a hiking-vacation. A total of 3.000 kilometres of quality-tested hiking paths await enthusiasts in Hesse. Various brochures and detailed maps give the guests the reassurance of not getting lost, but there is also opportunities to hike with a guided tour. Since 2014 the free app "Wandertouren-App-Hessen" offers more service for the ramblers. This App provides useful information on hiker-friendly host, routes and much more. In Hesse there are many theme-trails to follow.
Hesse has a network of over 3,300 kilometres of long distance cycle paths suitable for all abilities and ages. From short, gentle tours to long-distance routes, scenic paths through idyllic river valleys and vineyards and challenging trails through mountainous terrain, there are countless options for cyclists of all experience levels. To date, three of Hessen's cycling routes have been certified by the German Cyclist's Association (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahhrad-Club, or ADFC): the Lahn Valley Cycling Route (Lahntalradweg, 4 stars), Diemel Cycling Route (Diemelradweg, 4 stars) and the Eder Cycling Route (Eder-Radweg, 3 stars). Whether you choose one of these or any other of the paths criss-crossing the state, you choose, you're guaranteed to enjoy gorgeous scenery and unique cultural and historical sights. And there's bountiful cyclist-friendly accommodation options and places to stop for some delicious regional specialties along the way. A range of cycle paths along former railway routes offers cycling enjoyment without extreme climbs. In this manner the 245 kilometre long Hessian Railway Cycle Path connects the Volcano Cycle Path in the Vogelsberg with the Milseburg Cycle Path in the Rhön.
Touring on the water
The rivers in the Hesse region offer many water-based activities like canoeing or river cruises, which can take place the whole year around. The months between April and October are particularly ideal for these activities because of the mild summer climate. There are both campsites and a range of hotels available along the hiking rivers. The best known river for canoe tours is the Lahn, which flows through important historic towns such as Marburg, Wetzlar, Weilburg and Limburg.
Since 2015 Hessen intensively pursued the introduction of quality standards for accessible travel deals, so that travellers can relax without restrictions on their Hessen-vacation. In order to achieve this goal there are various towns and cities that have offers that will make your stay as pleasant as possible. An increasing amount of tourism businesses and suppliers in Hessen participate in a nationwide program "Tourism for All", which provides travellers with comprehensive, audited and accurate information to plan a trip. Information can be obtained directly from each individual region.
Since September 2020, Frankfurt am Main has been the fifth city in Germany and the first city in Hesse to be a barrier-free tourist destination. Frankfurt am Main is an attractive destination for people with disabilities! Information for an obstacle-free stay in Frankfurt, please visit Frankfurt.barrier-free.
Cities with barrier-free guides (a selection):
Accessible Attractions (a selection):
Keltenwelt am Glauberg
Weser-Therme Bad Karlshafen
Museum Schloss Wilhelmshöhe
Wortreich Bad Hersfeld
For further information please visit:Hessen accessible to all
Hessen attracts numerous tourists every year for its untouched nature, fairytale forests and picturesque landscapes. In order to continue to preserve the local flora and fauna, to protect endangered animal and plant species and to emphasize the importance of nature and environmental protection, green travel and sustainable travel are becoming an increasingly important topic in Hessian tourism.
For this reason, the Hessen Tourism Prize has also been awarded in the category "sustainability" for several years. The 2019 award winners, the Wasserkuppe Holiday Village , make a significant contribution to a more sustainable tourism in Hessen.
The Holiday Village not only meets the demands of sustainable, regional and environmentally friendly holiday accommodation, but also the demands of guests. Located in the middle of the Rhön Biosphere Reserve and on the highest mountain in Hessen, the holiday village has set new standards in sustainable accommodation both in the construction of the facility and in its operation. For example, the construction of the Holiday Village was carried out exclusively with regional building materials, local building partners and carried out with an ecological solid wood construction with wood from Rhön sawmills and natural fiber mats for insulation. It is operated by its own power station, solar power and the integration of existing tourist infrastructures, which rounds off the sustainable concept of the Wasserkuppe Holiday Village.
The "Star Houses" are a special highlight of the Holiday Village. The roof of the houses can be opened completely and allows a view of the exceptionally clear starry sky of the Star Park Rhön.