30km (19 miles) NE of Gelnhausen, 65km (40 miles) NE of Frankfurt

A major stop along the Fairy-Tale Road, this little town was the childhood home of the Brothers Grimm, sons of a local magistrate. The town grew up in the 1200s, and many of its antique half-timbered houses, which open onto cobblestone streets, are here to greet you today.

A former mayor once informed us -- after a few beers -- that if we went walking in the surrounding forests, we were sure to come upon not only Little Red Hiding Hood and Snow White, but also Hansel and Gretel. Steinau still follows its medieval layout with its castle dominating the town and its surrounding walls.