Germany Off the Beaten Path: Explore Mannheim and Dortmund

Oma H. Barnett

Dortmund is a large city located just north of the Rurh River. An interesting city of contrast, Dortmund is often called a green metropolis, as nearly half the municipal area consists of green spaces, forests, waterways, and spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and the Rombergpark. What is interesting about that, is for nearly 100 years there was extensive coal and steel milling within the city limits. Like many cities in Germany, the Old Town Hall is one of the main sights to see. There is also a moated castle from the 13th century known as the Haus Rodenberg, which is very impressive.

While in Dortmund, it is easy to access many fun and exciting other German cities in the areas, like Cologne, Dusselforf, and Essen, all of which are under an hour away. You may want to explore many of the areas national forests, or head further west to the Netherlands. Wherever you’re planning on going, Dortmund is a charming city that makes for a great home base while on your next vacation in Germany.

Located about 50 miles south of Frankfurt, Mannheim offers visitors many activities and attractions to stay occupied. Sites like the Mannheim Palace, which is also the main building of the University of Mannheim, attract sight seers from all over the region. The Fernmeldeturm is a communications tower with an observation deck and restaurant that sits 120 meters off the ground. Needless to say, it provides beautiful views of the area. Don’t forget to check out the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market every Monday and Wednesday.

After you’ve taken in your fair share of Mannheim, why not use a rental car to explore more of the region? Heidelberg is only a short drive away, and is a very photogenic German city with close to 150,000 people calling it home. Most visitors want to check out Heidelberg Castle, which was constructed over the course of hundreds of years by various rulers of the time. Be sure to check out the “Old Town” part of Heidelberg. You won’t be disappointed with its local beer, cheer, and overall good times. The region is full of other interesting small cities and towns just waiting for you to explore. What are you waiting for? Plan your next German vacation today!

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