With a population of just under 60,000, Bad Homburg is an interesting mix of historic village and modern mini-city. Once the seat of the Landraves of Hessen-Homburg and a spa resort for Europe's nobility, the traditions of classic elegance live on. The Landgraves lived at a castle in the town until 1866. Thev Landgraviate came under the control of Prussia. Tours of the castle, gardens, and associated museums provide a glimpse into the privileged life of royalty. The town lies next to the magnificent forests and hiking vistas of Taunus. A hiking excursion is sure to relax even the most harried traveler. Also in the Taunus area is Opel Zoo. Home to more than 1,400 animals from more than 200 species, the zoo exhibits seek to replicate the native environment of the animals. With a car rental it's easy to visit the Gothic House. It's a museum displaying pieces relevant to the history of the town and the Landgraviate. The story of the legendary Homburg Hat is retold in the Hat Museum. Rent a car in Bad Homburg and use the wonderful setting as a base for exploration.