Of the two, I'd choose Munich.
Frankfurt is a place I only stay when I'm flying out of that airport. It is a great transport hub and there are a number of daytrip possibilities that are very good. Hotel prices can be very steep if there is a convention or event in town. If you decide to stay in Frankfurt, check out the hotel website www.hotel.de to see if there is a "Messe" (convention). The website will alert you to "events" that will likely drive up room rates. I always check hotel.de and use it to steer my itinerary to avoid conventions.
Munich has a lot going for it. Switch to the Munich forum and click on "Things to Do" to get some ideas. There are also a large number of excellent daytrips available from Munich.
You don't mention how or when you are travelling. But, if using the trains, an alternative to Frankfurt/Munich would be to travel from Zurich to Freiburg, stay one or two nights, and then on to Cologne. Cologne has excellent rail connections to Amsterdam (use the German ICE rather than the other options) and is, itself, a city worth a minimum of two nights.
Thank you so much for alternate suggestions, we'll definetly check them out.
According to google maps, trip to Munich will only add 3 hours to our overall time, which is not to bad concidering we'll be travelling in the area for 2 weeks. So if Munich is a must-visit, we would be ok with the detour.
Thank you for your input! I've been to Frankfurt airport many times, and I've heard opinions that Frankfurt is much like a giant airport.
We're renting a car, so we'll be free to drive in any direction. Perhaps Freiburg and Cologne should be our stops.
Thanks for your opinion!
Nevertheless, the priciest town on your route will definitely be Paris, followed by Amsterdam. As a ballpark figure I would say that Paris is about 10 % "cheaper" than London, Amsterdam -15 to -20 %, Munich -20 to -30 %, Frankfurt -25 - 35 % - all compared to London.
You have heard opinions that Frankfurt is much like a giant airport??? Very interesting. I have never seen an airport comprising timber-framed houses, Wilhelminian style quarters, or a Museum Embankment...
Frankfurt and Munich are both worth a visit, but they are like pole and counterpart. Munich was the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria for several centuries, therefore you will find several castles in and around the city, and many historical buildings in Munich were erected by order of the respective Bavarian king.
On the contrary, Frankfurt had been a free imperial town (freie Reichsstadt), i.e. it never had any noble sovereign at all, but was governed by a major and a municipal council. Thus you will not find a castle in Frankfurt. During the past centuries, many people from all over Europe walked across Frankfurt, and a lot of them settled down in the city, for instance French Huguenots, Napoleonic troups, and so on. Therefore Frankfurt has a quite liberal spirit, an attitude of "live and let live" that I appreciate very much. No need to boast or to consider oneself superior to others - which distinguishes Frankfurt very much from Munich and Bavaria in general, I think. Yes, Bavarians tend to be more open-minded towards foreigners, whereas Frankfurters (and the surrounding Hessians) are more standoffish. But on the other hand... after some hours, Bavarians tend to tell you what is right and wrong, how you should do better, tell you that they are superior to you, and try to patronize you. That's at least my experience as a German of "another, non-Bavarian tribe". Frankfurters, by contrast, are a bit more reserved, but they are much less bossy and do not try to educate or teach you.
There are many sites worth a visit in Frankfurt, e.g. the Museum Embankmant (comprising 16 museums, comprising the Staedel Museum - painting!) at the southern embankment of the river Main
The Senckenberg Natural Museum with its dinosaurs, mummies, gems, animals, and plants is absolutely fascinating, as is Roemerberg, the place where the famous "Frankfurter Roemer", i.e. the Frankfurt town hall, is located at; the Paulskirche (St. Paul's Church) where the German National Assembly of 1848 took place, the Schirn Kunsthalle (art gallery), the Frankfurt Dome, the Goethehaus (birthplace of the most famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), not to forget the Palmengarten (botanical garden), the cosy district of Bornheim and the more stilish district of Sachsenhausen, both home of many pubs and restaurants, ...
Music is also a big theme in Frankfurt, e.g. the Alte Oper (concert house), the Frankfurt Opera (very renowned opera house), the Festhalle (musicals, pop / rock concerts), just to name a few.
Shopping in Frankfurt: from elegant and luxury boutiques around Goethestrasse, Rossmarkt, and Deutsche Börse (German Stock Exchange) to "mainstream shopping malls" like "Die Zeil" to little shops and boutiques in the various districts of Frankfurt - spending money is no problem at all.
And I like the cosy appelwine pubs in Bornheim and Sachsenhausen, the various festivities in the city and at the Main embankment in summer.
Furthermore, there are much more skyscrapers in Frankfurt than in any other European town, thus Frankfurt Skyline is really unique and nicknamed "Mainhattan", i.e. "the Manhattan on the river Main". I think it's fascinating. Well, in my opinion, Frankfurt is much better than its reputation.
It's up to you - both Frankfurt and Munich have their pros and cons, and they are both worth a visit.
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