Taunus – Grosser Zacken

There is a hidden big boulder in the middle of the Taunus. Enjoy great views from its top and walk a short loop in the forest.

4 hours Views from the top of the rock
Hiking a 3.5 km loop Suitable for families and groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take S5, direction Friedrichsdorf Bahnhof
1st Change: Oberursel, Bahnhog Take bus X26, direction Wiesbaden Platz der Deutschen Einheit
2nd Change: Königstein, Stadtmitte Take bus 57, direction Bad Homburg v.d.H. Bahnhof
Arrival: Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz Start your hike here, check the map below.

OR:

Start: Konstablerwache Take S3, direction Bad Soden Bahnhof
Change: Bad Soden, Bahnhof Take bus 253, direction Königstein Stadtmitte
Change: Königstein, Kreisel Take bus 80, Schmitten Kirche
Arrival: Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz Start your hike here, check the map below.
Bus stop

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes (one way)

2. Activity on site

Hike a 3.5 km loop

Explore the forest of the Taunus. First, you will pass a historic glass furnace site. Locals made glass here in the 15th century. When you see this guy, you know you are close to this destination.

Historic glass furnaces

Continuing your walk through the forest, you will have to go uphill for a bit. Make the detour to a hidden cave. It is worth it.

Finally you will arrive on top of a big boulder, the Grosser Zacken. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area from here.

Check the map below for details.

3. Map

4. Tips

Take your time – Lümmelfelsen

Locals call the top of the Grosser Zacken “Lümmelfelsen, which translates to slouch boulder. Definitely a good spot to rest for a while.

Interested in rock climbing?

Grosser Zacken has bolts. Check the topo here.

Hungry?

At the bus stop Rotes Kreuz is one building, this is a restaurant. Bon appetite.

Restaurant Rotes Kreuz

Explore Königstein

If you have more time to spare, then explore Königstein. They have a pretty neat city center and a castle.

Castle Königstein

5. How to get back

Just do your outbound journey reverse.

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

6. Costs

Outbound journey: Adult – one way: € 8.5
Round trip: Adult – day pass: € 16.55
Group day pass (5 people): € 28.9

7. Highlights

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Historic glass furnaces - Explore this historic site in the middle of the forest.
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Sand dunes in Schwanheim

This hidden nature reserve is close to Frankfurt. Natural sand dunes are rare in Germany, and are special habitat for rare species.

4 hours Wodden plank path
A walk in a nature reserve Suitable for groups and families

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Alter Friedhof Schwanheim.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take tram 12, direction Rheinlandstraße
Change: Ferdinand-Dirichs-Weg Take bus 51, direction Industriepark Höchst
Arrival: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim From here it is a 5 minute walk, check the map.

OR:

Start: Konstablerwache Take S2, direction Niedernhausen Bahnhof
Change: Höchst Bahnhof Take bus 51, direction Trift-/Frauenhofstraße
Arrival: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim From here it is a 5 minute walk, check the map.

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 50 minutes (one way)

2. Activity on site

Walk a 3 km loop

Hop off the bus and walk a loop in this hidden nature reserve. Check the map below for details.

Map of the sand dunes in Schwanheim

In the 20th century, they collected sand here. Sand dunes away form the sea are rare, and protected species live here. Don’t leave the paths!

3. Map

4. Tips

Bring a picnic

There are a bunch of benches close to the lake. Have a picnic here.

Inhale deeply

The air is fantastic here. It feels like being in a very southern country in the middle of the summer.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim Take bus 51, Industriepark Höchst Tor Ost
Change: Höchst Bahnhof Take S1, direction Offenbach
Arrival: Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Wooden plank path - It will lead you through the nature reserve.
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Schwedlersee – Urban lake and industrial harbor

Escape the city noises at a natural lake within Frankfurt. Only club members are allowed to swim here, but the beer garden is open to the public.

2 hours Swimming in a natural lake within Frankfurt (for members only!)
Having a drink at a lake in the city, walking along the industrial harbor Suitable for groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Schwedlerstraße.

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take any S-Bahn towards Südbahnhof (S3, S5, S6)
Change: Ostendstraße Take tram 11, direction Schießhüttenstraße
Arrival: Schwedlerstraße (the 5th stop) From here, walk 300 meters to the lake, check the map for details.

Good to know

Tram 11 frequency: every 10 minutes
Travel duration: approx. 15 minutes

2. Activity on site

Have a drink at Schwedler lake

It is like a beer garden next to a lake, in the middle of the city. Pretty incredible, right? Don’t miss the entrance, it is a bit hidden. Follow the map below and look out for this sign:

Sign above the entrance to Schwedler lake.

Heads up: The lake is private property, only club members of the 1st Frankfurt swimming club are allowed to swim here. It is about € 15 per month for a membership, click here if you want to know more about this club.

Take a walk along the industrial harbor to the European Central Bank (ECB)

It is a short, joyful walk along the river to get to the ECB. You will pass one of the docks of the Eastern harbor.

Eastern harbor

Then you will get to Hafenpark, a big sports park including a skate park, basketball fields, and many spots to take a rest. Frankfurt did a good job in not giving this property to an investor but making it available to the public.

The ECB is an impressive building itself. From here it is only 5 minutes to Frankfurt Ostbahnhof, from where you can take the subway back to Konstablerwache.

Check the map below for details.

3. Map

4. Tips

Check the Schwedler lake website prior to your visit

They are closed to the public for private events quite often.

Watch the sunset from the Hafenpark

The ECB building is changing colors just like the sky, it is a great spectacle.

The European Central Bank

Take some time to learn about deportations from Frankfurt during the second WW

The whoelsale market hall is a heritage protected building and is on the ECB property. Starting in 1941, Jews got deported to concentration camps from here. Read the quotes on the path towards Ostbahnhof, and learn more from wikipedia.org.

Quote from a Jew in Frankfurt

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Frankfurt, Ostbahnhof Take U6, direction Heerstraße
Arrival: Frankfurt, Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Urban lake - Enjoy this natural spot.
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Nostalgic elevators in Frankfurt – Pater Noster

These nostalgic elevators are rare nowadays. Some are still running in one hotel in Frankfurt and at the university. This makes for a fun urban afternoon exploration.

1 hour Taking a ride with an historical elevator
2 city highlights within a 30 minutes walking distance Suitable for small groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Uni Campus Westend.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take bus 36, direction Westbahnhof
Arrival: Uni Campus Westend From here it is a 2 minute walk, see the map below

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 15 minutes

2. Activity on site

Pater Noster at the university of Frankfurt, IG Farben building

The elevators – Pater Noster – in the IG Farben building are heritage protected. The building itself is stunning, but the elevators are really something. There at not many left so this is a rare opportunity to take a ride in one of them. I highly recommend to read a bit about Pater Noster elevators before going as it will make you appreciate this exploration even more.

Pater Noster at the university of Frankfurt

Chek out the map below on how to get to the university campus. From there, take a 30 minute walk to the second Pater Noster site:

The Pater Noster at the Fleming’s Hotel

This hotel used to be a factory building. The look and feel inside is still very industrial. Take the historical Pater Noster elevator up and down and around.

If you have some many to spend, enjoy a drink at the terrace on top.

3. Map

4. Tips

It is best to go to the university on a weekday

The university makes their students take a test to take the elevators. Not sure if they actually run them on the weekends. Plus, it is amazing to see the students lining up to jump into the elevator boxes.

Don’t let kids use the elevators alone

There have been many reported issues with this type of elevator. So just make sure to go together with your kids, never leave them ride alone. No worries, nothing can really happen, even if you do a whole loop.

Last level. Continuing the ride is not dangerous.

At Fleming’s: Pretend to go to their terrace restaurant / bar on the seventh floor

I guess it is a semi-public building. Just walk confidently straight to the Pater Noster elevator which you will find on the left side right, just behind the reception desk. If you get asked what you want, just tell them that you want to visit the restaurant at the top which is open until midnight.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Eschenheimer Tor Take bus 36, direction Hainer Weg
Arrival: Konstablerwache (the 3rd stop)

6. Costs

One way: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Day pass:
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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IG Farben building with Pater Nosters - This used to be an industrial building, now it is on the university campus.
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The forest of Frankfurt

Take in the silence at a magical pond within the city forest. Frankfurt’s forest is a great place to escape the city for picnics and short walks.

2 hours Silent pond in a forest
Take a walk in the forest and rest at a playground in the woods Suitable for groups and families

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Goetheturm.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take S5, direction Südbahnhof
Change: Lokalbahnhof Take bus 48, direction Goetheturm
Arrival: Goetheturm Start your walk here, check out the map.
Bus stop Goetheturm

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 20 minutes
Bus 48 frequency: every 30 minutes

2. Activity on site

Walk a 4.5 km loop through the forest – approx. 1 hour

This is a beautiful and easy walk through the city forest of Frankfurt. This is perfect nature retreat is at the edge of the city. Check the map below for details.

First, you will pass the Scheerwald forest playground first. No admission fee! Play a round of mini-golf here.

Next, about 15 minutes into the forest you will get to a magical pond, the Maunzenweiher. Take a rest on one of the benches here. If you feel adventurous, go and check out the pond next to it.

Bench at the forest pond

Finally, your final destination is the playground and kiosk at the former Goetheturm (tower). Until 2017, there used to be a 43 m high wooden tower. From here you had breathtaking views of the Frankfurt skyline. Sadly, it burned down. But the playground is still there and the little coffee shop remains open.

The sad remains of the Goethe tower

Ice cream at the former Goethe tower

When you get off the bus you might also decide to just hang out for an ice cream at the Goethe tower playground. The restaurant is called Goetheruh.

3. Map

4. Tips

Fun fact

Here is an impressive fact from wikipedia.org:

“The forest is about 48 square kilometres and the largest inner-city forest in Germany.”

Pack a picnic

Have a picnic in any of the parks you’ll pass or at the pond. Heads up, many people celebrate a kid’s birthday in the parks.

Make a bbq

You can make your own bbq at the Scheerwald forest playground.

Bike

It is allowed to bike in the forest.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Goetheturm Take bus 48, direction Südbahnhof
Change: Südbahnhof Take S5, direction main station / airport
Arrival: Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Scheerwald forest playground - Play a course of minigolf here.
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