Staycation week: Wiesbaden edition

Staycation week: Wiesbaden edition

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Ah, vacation! A whole week of free time stretches out in front of you. This year, however, instead of chasing adventure on distant horizons, you’re setting your sights much closer to home. Here are five fun things that will brighten your days, yet allow you to crawl into your very own bed once the sun goes down and it’s time to start plotting adventures to come.

Monday: Swimming

A number of pools abound, and a handful of lakes beckon too. However, let’s aim for an atmosphere offering the best of both worlds. The Naturerlebnisbad Bingerbrück in the hills above Bingen offers swimming facilities in a wooded setting not too far from the banks of the Rhine. The water is filtered so you know it’s clean, and there’s plenty of shade for stretching out. Before making the drive, check the pool’s website to be sure it hasn’t reached its maximum number of visitors – a traffic light inspired system of red, yellow and green lights lets you know what your chances are of getting in. There’s also a visitor’s data form that can be downloaded and completed to save time at entry. Adults 3 euros, kids ages 5-17 pay 1.50 euros.

Address: Wilhelm-Beumer-Weg, 55411 Bingen am Rhein

Tuesday: History

We know the Romans roamed these environs 2,000 years ago, but long before they rolled in, another folk made their homes here. The World of the Celts at the Glauberg, located 20 miles northeast of Frankfurt, has a large archaeological park featuring the reconstruction of a burial mound and fortifications from early Celtic times. The finds from three Celtic burial mounds from the 5th century B.C. and the statue of a Celtic ruler are truly unique artifacts. Adults 7 euros, children ages 6-18 pay 3 euros. Closed on Mondays.

Address: Keltenwelt am Glauberg Archäologisches Landesmuseum Hessen, Am Glauberg 1, 63695 Glauburg.

Wednesday: Hiking

Towering high at 2,887 feet, the Großer Feldberg is the second-highest mountain in the state of Hessen. This peak in the Taunus range just northeast of Wiesbaden is a true hiker’s paradise. It also offers some amazing views – in fact, on a clear day, you might be able to see all the way to Strasbourg, France from the viewing platform on the lookout tower (a 2.50 euro entry free applies). Don’t fancy an upward slog? Park the car in Oberursel or Königstein, ride bus 57 up to the top of the mountain, take in the stunning views and hike back down again.

Address: Park at the Taunus-Informationszentrum, Hohemarkstraße 192, 61440 Oberursel (Taunus) or drive right up to the summit at 61389 Schmitten in the Taunus-Niederreifenberg.

Thursday: The zoo

As far as zoos go, the Opel-Zoo in Kronberg im Taunus is one of the good ones. Its location far from the city center means the animals there have large enclosures and plenty of space to roam. Just some of the beautiful creatures who live here include giraffes, impala, monkeys, hyenas, camels, foxes, penguins and elephants. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the playground and petting zoo are currently shut. Entry costs 15.50 euros adults and 8.50 euros for ages 3-14.

Address: Am Opel-Zoo 3, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus.

Friday: The mountain coaster

It may not be the biggest or fastest course around, but nevertheless, the Loreley-Bob Sommerrodelbahn is good fun for all ages. After being towed up the steep hill on a cable, you’re released onto a tube-shaped steel track on which you control your braking and speed. Each ride down costs 3 euros adults and 2.50 euros for ages 3-15. Cards for multiple rides offer a bit of savings for those who believe once is never enough. Don’t make the trip on a rainy day, as the course will be closed for safety reasons.

Address: Loreleyplateau, 56346 St. Goarshausen.

There’s no need to drive far or spend big to have fun in your own backyard. What’s your favorite day-trip destination outside Wiesbaden?

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