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.
Best cheap hotels in Frankfurt
At Libertine Lindenberg everything has a story—from the room names (apple types) to the embroidery on the pillows (mimicking "gerippte" apple wine glasses). Hard wood floors, exposed brick and beautiful tiles and art give each room a feeling of true luxury and comfort—a contrast and compliment to the pub district outside its doors. Stay in for a concert in the basement recording studio, cook with your hotel neighbors, use the projector for movie night or head out to explore the city atop one of the hotel's bicycles (free) or a Vespa (39EUR/day). Netflix and communal kitchens (with free produce from the hotel's farm) pays worthy tribute to the concept "home away from home."
Located on a quiet street less than a block from the central station, 25hours by Levi's combines modern amenities (bluetooth speakers, a lending library of chargers, high speed wifi); colorful, contrasting decor; humor (a punchline on every product); and a friendly, personal touch to create the kind of chic, homey atmosphere hostels often aspire to but rarely achieve. Their restaurant, Chez IMA, draws locals after some of the city's best hummus—and the breakfast and coffee are equally worthy. Jam on a guitar in the basement Gibson Room, borrow a bike or a Mini Cooper to explore the city, or—in the summer—have a drink on the roof terrace during your stay in this comfortable, central location.
The Hotel Nizza is a local favorite, beloved for its breakfast and the stunning view from its roof terrace. The rooms are simple but modern, with a minimalistic elegance and attention to detail that lends each room a unique personality. Opened in 1993 with the intention of hosting actors and creatives, the hotel has always had a close relationship with the Frankfurt theater community. Shoot some pool in the billiard room, admire the skyline and mingle with locals over a drink on the terrace, or head out for a night in the Bahnhofsviertel, where clubs, restaurants and bars line the streets just outside the door.
The Pure's lobby is the work of Stefan Strumbel, a German artist known for his mix of Warhol pop and German traditional styles, a refreshing contrast to the gritty Bahnhofsviertel outside. After a welcome drink at the small lobby bar (where you can also borrow a board game), you'll find rooms decorated with a minimalistic but stately elegance. Bluetooth speakers give each room a touch of the lobby's modernity, and offers for "sleep in" breakfast and check-out times hint at the type who visit. Though the hotel has no restaurant of its own, there are dozens of restaurants just outside, and the property does offer a buffet breakfast, sauna and fitness room.
Docked on the Main River beneath the stone walls of the Höchst Castle, you'll find the Hotel Schiff Schlott, a boat hotel and restaurant with simple but comfortable rooms and fare. North-facing rooms look out at the castle walls—the rare building in Frankfurt that survived the bombing during World War II—while south-facing rooms have a view of the fields and farms leading up to the Schwanheimer Dunes, a local nature reserve and one of Europe's only inland dunes. Though the skyline is visible from the ramparts of the castle, this part of town—steeped in history, greenery and life—feels much further from the bank-trimmed skyline than the 10-minute train ride back to the Central Station.
The Lindner Main Plaza is a traditional luxury hotel—with the atmosphere, decor and amenities you would expect of one—and only their bottom price range qualifies them for this list. But the Lindner is THE hotel if an incredible view of the skyline is part of your travel bucket list, and while the more affordable rooms are further down the 16-story, red brick, art deco skyscraper, anything above the sixth will give you something to look at (northwest-facing rooms for skyline, north-facing for river). The Lindner's location puts the city—quite literally—at your feet. Skip the restaurant, grab a kebab and a six pack, and spend an hour or two in your room eyeballing the view that gave Frankfurt the nickname "Mainhatten."
Though INNSIDE Eurotheum doesn't offer a view of the skyline per say—it is in the skyline, and just two blocks from the Alte Oper—the view from the tower hotel is stunning. Individually designed rooms and suites offer something for everyone—the lovers' loft with its plush loungers and freestanding claw-foot bathtub, the avant guarde suit whose decor is futuristic in the way of Hollywood sci fi, or the classic with its muted elegance—and thanks to a circular design and sheer height (acrophobics beware the glass elevators), every single room has a breathtaking view on full display through floor-to-ceiling windows—even the bathrooms. A stay here is a one-of-a-kind Frankfurt experience.
Though hotels crowd the Central Station, Hauptwache is Frankfurt's true center—pulsing with shoppers, street musicians, pedestrians and tourists. Amidst this lively hubbub is Hotel Zentrum Hauptwache, with modern rooms that, though sparse, avoid the "I'm in a hotel” feel through a careful choice of furniture, color and fixtures. Hotel Zentrum shares a building with the Arthouse Cinema—one of Frankfurt's oldest movie theaters—but if that's not your thing, Hauptwache is a transportation hub that can have you anywhere in the city in ten minutes or less. Breakfast is included and served in a stylish dining area with exposed concrete walls and modern art—in the afternoons, try the hotel's complimentary coffee and cake service.
The Goldman takes the bright color palette and cheeky punchlines of 25hours by Levi's and adds a luxury veneer, an East-meets-West theme, a bar with live music, the maritime-themed Goldman Restaurant and individually styled, themed and decorated rooms. Located in Frankfurt's quiet east end, the Goldman is a short walk from the European Central Bank, a glass tower whose austere modernity contrasts pleasantly with the industrial structures dotting the river at its feet, though you'll need about 20 minutes to reach the city center on public transport. The Goldman's amenities mirror those of by Levi's. If you need a visit to the gym, grab an 8 euro pass for the neighboring Fitness First.
A large half-timber house built in the 17th century, the Ritter Hotel Frankfurt offers sparse, simple rooms at the foot of Frankfurt Alt "Let's Do Another Shot" Sachsenhausen. Though a party district Thursday through Sunday nights, by day the area is quiet, revealing its buildings' quaint historical beauty. Each room at the Ritter Hotel is unique, many with exposed beams or stonework. Priced to match its simplicity—though of course there is free wifi and a daily breakfast buffet—the hotel's personality reflects the contrasts of the surrounding neighborhood. The hotel bar serves 92 cocktails in its arched stone cellar, and often shows televised sporting events.