The best time to visit Frankfurt

Find out what's in store each season, from beer-filled festivals to twinkle-lit Christmas markets and golden foliage
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Guy Evans
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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

When to visit Frankfurt

Spring in Frankfurt

Spring

Beat the crowds by visiting Frankfurt in Spring, when temperatures are mild, gardens are blooming, and rainfall is low–with an average of just six wet days in April. From March 23 to April 15, Frankfurt's Ratsweg Fairground hosts the largest folk festival in the Rhine-Main region, the [Spring Dippemess. Dating to the 14th century, this traditional fair draws bustling crowds with the Frankfurter Sausage Festival, a large arts-and-crafts market and adrenalin-churning rides.

Summer in Frankfurt

Summer

Summer is the most popular time to visit Germany–and for good reason. Daylight lingers a generous 16 hours in June–meaning the sun doesn’t set until around 9:30pm (that’s an hour later than in New York City, in case you’re wondering). While buildings in Frankfurt–and the entire country–generally do not have air conditioning installed, that cool blast isn’t needed, with temperatures rarely topping 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Not that you’ll be inside during primetime al-fresco season, anyway: Many of Frankfurt’s Apfelwein (apple wine) pubs have outside seating and beer gardens abound. Countless outdoor events and festivals attract locals and visitors alike, from open-air movie screenings to beach bars (complete with trucked-in sand) along the River Main, and rooftops open for business, be it for dining, live music or sunset cocktails. Evenings tend to be cool and August in particular can be rainy–you’ll want to pack a light jacket and an umbrella.

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Frankfurt Holzhausen Park

Fall

From mid-September to mid-October, head to one of Frankfurt’s sky-high towers to soak in sweeping views of the city’s golden foliage. Come October, there’s a nip to the air and skies lean towards gray, with the cloudier part of the year beginning around October 12 and lasting for just over five months, ending around March 21. But don’t despair, for a city with a passion for apple wine, harvest time gives even more reason to drink this slightly sour local tipple. And Oktoberfest isn’t just in Munich. Frankfurt’s version, smaller but also a celebration of all things beer, kicks off mid-September and goes through the first week of October. Pack your Lederhosen and Dirndl (just about everyone will be sporting these traditional German outfits) and sign up for the event’s newsletter to find out when the highly-coveted tickets go on sale.

Winter in Frankfurt
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Alexander Kachkaev

Winter

If you have a picturesque snow-covered city in mind, think again–Frankfurt’s temperatures in winter hover just above freezing, meaning rain is the more likely forecast. In December, the Frankfurt Christmas market sprawls through the scenic Römerberg, St Paul's Square, Mainkai (Main Quay), Hauptwache and Friedrich-Stoltze-Square areas, and a mug of hot gluhwein (mulled wine) is the most popular way to warm up your hands and belly. You can either keep the holiday-themed mug as a trip token or return it for your deposit back. Get up early to catch the sun–short days means it disappears around 4:30pm.

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