As the birthplace of fairytale maestros the Brothers Grimm, the pretty North German town of Hanau is inextricably tied to its famous former residents. The beloved duo are honored by the late 19th-century bronze statue ‘Nationaldenkmal Brüder Grimm’ that dominates the central Marktplatz, as well as in the annual Brothers Grimm Fairytale Festival, which sees their fairytales brought to life in the grounds of the majestic Philippsruhe Palace. Hanau also marks the start of the German Fairytale Road, a 600km trail that follows the journey of the Brothers Grimm all the way to Bremen, stopping at many of the places featured in their celebrated tales.
More than just a launch pad for fairytale pilgrimages, Hanau makes a popular side trip from nearby Frankfurt, and there are plenty of other sights to check out on a day tour. The 18th century Baroque style Philippsruhe Castle houses a museum of Hanau history, including a small Grimm exhibit; the German Goldsmiths House hosts a glittering display of the city’s famed gold and silver works; and the historic spa complex of Wilhelmsbad is surrounded by exquisite gardens.