Hanau is famous for being the birthplace of the Grimm brothers, the publishers of the well-loved fairy tales. The city is also the start of the Deutsche Märchenstraße (German fairy-tale road), a scenic route that leads a few hundred km across Germany to Bremen in the north.
Hanau's location on the junction of the rivers Main and Kinzig invites you to enjoy some beautiful river scenery. Not far from the river junction is the romantic castle Phillipsruhe and the picturesque suburb Kesselstadt.
Located about 25 km east of Frankfurt, Hanau provides very good public transport and is well connected to the main Autobahnen (motor-ways) in the Rhine-Main area. It is easy to discover the highlights of the city and surrounding areas by bus and train.
As a mainly industrial city, you might discover some "ugly" areas. However, this should not hold you off to explore the scenic parts of my home town with me.
Population - Bevölkerung: 90.934 (2014) including residents of the incorporated towns Grossauheim, Klein-Auheim, Steinheim, Wolfgang, Mittelbuchen, Kesselstadt.
About 20% of the population are foreigners. Turkish and Italian people are in the majority among the foreign residents.
Elevation: 104 m above sea level
State: Hessen (Hesse)
District - Landkreis: Hanau is on the western edge of the Main-Kinzig-Kreis which is mainly a rural area with low mountain ranges.
Sister cities - Partnerstädte: Dartford (United Kingdom), Tottori (Japan), Yaroslavl (Russia), Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (France), Francheville (France), Taizhou (China), Nilüfer (Turkey)
Postal Code- Postleitzahl: 63450, 63452, 63454 63456, 63457
Area Code - Vorwahl: 06181
Climate: moderate - rain can be expected all around the year
Best travel season: April to October
Almost all sights and attractions in Hanau can be easily reached by bus, I give you tips how to get there.
Also in the park is an island within a small dammed creek. Here rises a pseudo-medieval castle. It was built to look like a ruin, but housed an elegant apartment for the count.
Walk along the avenue with grand old buildings, pavilions and enjoy the magnificent park.
The park is open daily, no admission. Guided tours for groups by appointment. Tours of the castle (Crown Prince's rooms) are available for a fee from April-October: Sat 2pm, 3pm and 4pm; Sun every hour from 11am to 4pm. Arrangements for guided group tours can be made all year round.
How to get there: The train station Hanau-Wilhelmsbad is close by, some trains from Frankfurt stop here. From the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) take bus #1 towards Hohe Tanne, or jump on this bus at the market place or Freiheitsplatz. Bus #9 (to Mittelbuchen) also takes you from Freiheitsplatz to the park. Get off the bus at station Bahnhof Wilhelmsbad
This 18th century baroque palace is a brilliant building complex located on the river Main in Kesselstadt.
On the ground floor is the official wedding hall for citizen of Hanau. Aren't we lucky to be able to marry in a castle?
The white hall (Weisser Saal) in the left wing of the palace is a restaurant where you can dine like a king. The huge terrace overlooking the river is open in summer and a beautiful place to relax.
The palace is home to the historical museum with stunning displays of artistic craftmanship and a section about the Brothers Grimm.
The castle park is a wonderful place for a leisurely walk, and the kids will have their fun as well.
The Philippsruher Allee, the most beautiful boulevard in Hanau, leads from the Westbahnhof (train station west) along the river Main to the palace.
How to get there: From the main train station or from market square bus #5 takes visitors to the castle, the name of the station is Schloss Philippsruhe.
While you are here, don't forget to explore the old town of Kesselstadt just across the road from the castle.
The Old Town
The Altstädter Markt was the central place of the old town (picture on top of this page). The beautiful half-timbered house was the town hall of Hanau which recieved Stadtrechte (city rights) in 1303.
The former town hall is now the Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus (German House of Goldsmiths). Go inside to see exhibitons and learn about the gold and silversmiths' art in Germany. Goldschmiedehaus is open daily, except Mondays, from 10am to 5 pm. Admission is €2.50 for adults.
As you walk a little bit further you come to the true heart of old Hanau. The Stadthalle (former stables), now integrated into the the modern Congress Park Hanau, and the opposite Stadtbücherei (library) building were parts of the old city palace complex which stood in the Schlosspark (castle garden).
The beautiful Marienkirche (St. Mary's church) was first mentioned in the 14th century.
Don't get confused, there is only one Hanau these days. However, until 1821 two cities excisted with their own fortification walls and two separate city councils.
The baroque Neustädter Rathaus (town hall of the new town) was built in the 18th century on the market square. In front of the red brick building is the Brothers Grimm memorial that commemorates the famous sons of Hanau.
Between the market square and the Altstädter Markt is another main square, Freiheitsplatz. If you know Hanau from 10, 20, even 40 years ago, you won't recognise that place anymore.
In 2012 the huge remodelling process called "Hanau baut um" had started. A large cultural and shopping centre was built on Freiheitsplatz. The bus terminal was also changed a lot to give it a modern appearance.
This picture on the left was taken about a month before the grand opening of the complex (in September 2015) which is called "Forum Hanau". That's why you still see some fences in the photo.
More than 90 shops, cafes, food stalls invite visitors to browse through the centre. The cultural complex includes the new home of the public library, the municipal archives and the media center with the local image archive.
Opening time for shops: Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 8pm. The library opens from 10am and from 11am Saturdays.
Unfortunately, Khan had to be put down on New Year's Eve 2015.
US American troops came as occupying forces in 1945. They soon helped to develop the non-existent infrastructure and removed debris in the destroyed city.
Hanau has also a good connection to the major Autobahnen, so travelling by car is no problem.
Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt is only 22km from Hanau. The airport is connected with Hanau by S-Bahn (S8, S9). Even a taxi is affordable if you are tired after a long flight.
InterCityExpress trains from Berlin, Munich and other German cities stop frequently in Hanau, so getting here by train is quite easy.
Once you are in Hanau, there is a good network of buses to discover the city and the suburbs. Almost all highlights are only a short walking distance from a bus stop.
The Hanauer bus company is member of the RMV, the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund. So if you buy a single train ticket from say Frankfurt to Hanau, you can use the bus from the train station in Hanau to the city with the same ticket.
If you plan a sightseeing tour in Hanau all day, it is a good idea to get a day ticket which is valid all day for buses in Hanau and to the suburbs.
Want to visit Frankfurt and its attractions from Hanau? You can take regional trains from Hanau to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, or the S-Bahn which stops at several points within Frankfurt.
When you plan a visit it is a good idea to check out accommodation possibilities in advance. Hotels are often fully booked if there is a major fair in Frankfurt.
Use the search box to let HotelsCombined compare the offers from major online booking services.
The tourist information centre offers info about festivals, markets and special events. Pick up brochures and ask for guided tours. They also sell nice Hanau related souvenirs and post cards.
The information centre is in the Stadtladen, at the back of the town hall, Am Markt 14-18
63450 Hanau, Tel: 06181 - 295 950, Fax: 06181 - 295959
Visitors can also get brochures, souvenirs, tickets and other information in the new Hanau Laden at Freiheitsplatz. This shop has extended opening hours and is also open on Saturdays.
You see Hanau is a fairly green city, and it is surrounded by woods and forests.
Right-click on the "View Hanau Germany in a larger map" and open the map in a new browser tab or window. Continue to read my Hanau guide, and explore the places on the map.
Read more stories by visitors to Hanau, or add your comments.
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