You will probably hear and read that many cities in continental Europe are ‘in the heart of Europe’. By definition this means that they should be somewhere roughly in the middle and therefore roughly equidistant from other key cities. Frankfurt has made this claim a few times and while I would say it is roughly too far left and a little high, it is a pretty good distance from many key places.
I tested a few of these places by car to see how far I could get for a weekend. The basic principal should be to leave Friday and have two comfortable nights in another city to explore, coming back on a Sunday.
I managed the following places without exceeding the speed limit:
- Zurich – 5 hours (same by train though)
- Voralberg, Austria – 5 hours (for good skiing)
- Paris – 6 hours (train was quicker due to insane French road rules)
- Dresden – 4 hours (definitely quicker by car)
- Prague – 5 hours
Prague was definitely the best of the visits, even though it was overflowing with tourists. Beautifully preserved city, with lots to explore in the old city, about 30% cheaper than prices in Frankfurt and incredibly friendly locals. Also the drive there was very simple.
I would recommend that in addition to the hotel, book your guided tours in advance as it is pretty busy, and don’t leave food too late in the evening as they stop orders after 10.