Frankfurt has plenty to offer both short and long term visitors, but as a city that’s centrally located and boasting excellent public transport networks, it’s also a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding regions, from wine country and sprawling forests to medieval villages and riverside towns. The airport may connect Frankfurt with the rest of Europe and the world, but the excellent local and national trains make possible a huge range of options for day-long adventures, whether you’re a food-lover, a history buff or a tech or culture nerd. In less than 90 minutes, you can find yourself visiting a shrine to a Hungarian princess, bathing in natural thermal baths or inspecting a Russian spacecraft. From the seemingly endless options for day trips from Frankfurt, the following suggestions are all much-loved for their food and wine, individual culture, sites and history.
There are few cities in the world where you can snap both neck-wrenching skyscrapers and stunning historical buildings just a few minutes apart. When it comes to diversity, Frankfurt is a photographer’s dream. If it’s the urban landscape you’re after, Germany’s financial capital has it in spades—this is one of the few European cities with a large cluster of high rise buildings in its downtown area. While much of the city’s historical architecture was destroyed during World War II, billions of euros have been sunk into rebuilding efforts. Most recently, 15 historical replicas were returned to the city. Then there’s the scenic River Main, connecting old and new by almost a dozen bridges. From a museum with a verdant green lawn punctuated with porthole skylights to a building dating to the middle ages with a distinctive tiered gabled roof, these are the most Instagrammable places in Frankfurt. Städel Museum A post shared by Saskia (@strassen_ninja) on Apr 2, 2018 at 7:39am PDT A verdant green lawn punctuated with porthole skylights draws light into a subterranean extension at the Staedelmuesum, Frankfurt’s citizen’s museum. Completed by architecture firm Schneider + Schumacher in 2012, the extension doubled the museum in size, adding 3,000 square meters of light-flooded exhibition space for a collection of European art history spanning 700 years, from the early fourteenth century to the present. On Thursday and Friday, the museum is open until 9pm, allow
The first thing you’ll see as your train pulls into Frankfurt is the city's glittering skyline—it's the only German city toothed with skyscrapers—and as the country's banking capital, Frankfurt is known as "Mainhatten" by those who would compare it to New York. But beneath the towers that the Euro built, Frankfurt is a city that rewards explorers and treasure hunters. With the pull of the banking sector, the Frankfurt Fair and the Frankfurt Airport, many of the city's hotels are focused more on functionality than flair—and their prices rise exponentially during trade fairs. But look in the right places, and you will find unique oases dotting the city, waiting to welcome tourists with a charming mix of small-town friendliness and big-city style. Though the hotels on this list could be called cheap relative to the city's standard, these are also some of the most interesting—and some of the best—accommodations the city has to offer. The hotels on this list range from a colorful, casual design hotel to a collective-meets-hotel creative living community—we even have a boat docked serenely beneath the walls of a castle—and prices fall in the range of 60 to 150 euros per night.
There is only one place in the world where half-timbered buildings seeped in old world charm are an eight-minute walk from Germany’s highest tower: Frankfurt. The architecture in Germany’s financial capital is as varied as it comes—it’s undeniable that two world wars had an impact. However, a careful reconstruction effort combined with rich creativity tapped from a pool of talented architects mean a cityscape as strikingly diverse as its populous—a quarter of which have foreign citizenship. From a greenhouse formed as a cluster of flowers to a contemporary mall that sucks visitors in through a vortex, as well as one of the oldest churches in Germany, here are the ten most beautiful buildings in Frankfurt.
Planning a trip to Frankfurt can be complicated. When should you pack your raincoat? What about that scarf? Will you swelter in a hotel without air-conditioning in summer? Do trains run at night? What’s the best way to buy a ticket—or what happens if you “schwarzfahren” and cheekily jump on Frankfurt’s transportation network without one? With some of the world’s most important trade fairs and a large number of historical landmarks—including a reconstructed old town—some 8.7 million visitors descend on Germany’s financial capital every year, joining the 2.3 million inhabitants in the city’s urban area. While these visitors find the largest city in the German state of Hesse well-prepared to meet their needs, knowing the ins-and-outs beforehand will save you time–and stress. Our essential Frankfurt travel guide will have you on the ground running the moment you arrive.
April through September is the best time to visit Frankfurt; this is when the city enjoys mild temperatures and sunny days and when the numerous parks are in their full green glory. Year around, temperature varies from 30 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and rarely drops below 17 degrees or above 88 degrees Fahrenheit. On crisp fall days, leaves on the abundance of trees cast the city with a golden hue. In December, the city hosts one of Germany’s largest Christmas markets. Come March, even before the dense gray cloud cover of Winter flees the skies, outside seating props up–with a little luck, you’ll find thick wool blankets slung over seat backs. Whatever the time of year, you’ll see locals out in full force on weekends (especially on Sundays, when most shops are closed) determinedly traipsing parks and riverfront walkways for the Volkslauf—the habitual weekend walk that is a popular German pastime. RECOMMENDED: Your essential Frankfurt travel guide
Germany is known for the efficiency, speed, and reliability of its transport systems, and Frankfurt is no exception. Navigating the metro, tram and bus lines that make up the Rhine-Main Transport Association (RMV) transportation network is straightforward and likely faster than a car (a luxury most locals do not have). Touch-screen ticket machines in stations usually have an English option. One ticket will gain you access to metro, tram and bus lines, and as the tickets are time-stamped, they doesn’t need to be validated. While there are no turnstiles, plainclothes controllers may check your ticket at any time–getting caught schwarzfahren (“riding black”) or even with the incorrect ticket means a 60-euro dent to your wallet. Don’t expect sympathy for being an out-of-towner—the penalty is strictly enforced. For a day trip, the country’s state-run rail network Deutsche Bahn is well-connected to Frankfurt via several long-distance rail stations, in addition to its main station, Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof (more familiarly known as Frankfurt HBF). RECOMMENDED: Your essential Frankfurt travel guide
More than half of Frankfurt’s population is made up of immigrants from over 180 different countries, and as a result, almost every culinary taste is catered to—and you can pick up a street snack for a euro or two, or blow your savings on a Michelin-starred meal. Yet Frankfurt has also firmly hung onto own food culture and traditions, with Apfelwein (cider) taverns as the city’s most beloved spots for local fare. Frankfurt-dwellers of all ages share tables in these lively rustic pubs, enjoying hearty plates of pork, beef and sausages with bread, Sauerkraut and a jug of potent Apfelwein. On weekends, the markets buzz with happy people eating, drinking and enjoying life: Frankfurters know how to have fun.
Frankfurt is an international city that’s easy to get around: it’s walkable, but has well planned, reliable public transport, too. You’ll have no trouble getting by with little or no German, as most locals speak at least some—if not very good—English. Their honesty and directness is often mistaken for rudeness by visitors, but though Frankfurters might appear gruff or standoffish, they’re a friendly, fun-loving bunch, and after a drink or two rubbing shoulders with them in an Apfelwein tavern or one of the best bars in Frankfurt, you’ll probably agree. Frankfurt is a very tourist-friendly destination; the following tips will help you navigate the city and any cultural differences with ease, and save you the odd euro to boot. RECOMMENDED: Your essential Frankfurt travel guide
Picturing hi-rise after hi-rise? You have Frankfurt all wrong. Sure, the towers are there—but just, for the most part, in the city center of Germany’s financial capital. Diversity defines the rest of the cityscape, from the more conservative locale catering to the banking community to the bohemian enclave attracting an entirely different sort. Does a villa with a moat float your boat? Or how about the district known for its dedication to the local tipple, applewein (apple wine)? Or maybe a central location is all you care about. Find the five best districts to stay in Frankfurt here, each with insider-tips for where to eat, drink, stay and play. RECOMMENDED: Your essential Frankfurt travel guide