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Introducing Frankfurt & Southern Rhineland

Frankfurt is best known as a banking powerhouse, trade-fair venue and air hub, but ask the residents of Germany’s most cosmopolitan city what they like about living there and they’ll mention the excellent quality of life, flowery parkland, laid-back cafes and pulsating nightlife. Just an hour west – past the cathedral city of Mainz, where Gutenberg invented printing – flows the Romantic Rhine, whose storied castles and snug wine villages have drawn artists and tourists since the early 19th century. Vineyards also stretch along the dramatic hillsides above the serpentine Moselle River and, just north of Alsace (France), along the German Wine Route – in both areas, crisp rieslings can all be sampled in a multitude of ambience-laden wine taverns. For sheer romance, though, it’s hard to beat the ancient university city of Heidelberg, where something is always brewing – beer, of course, but also deep thoughts and culture both high and popular.