Getting off the beaten path in a large city such as Frankfurt can be challenging. But there are still things to do in Frankfurt which will take the traveler away from the touristy places.
Read: Introduction to Frankfurt-am-Main – Frankfurt, Germany.
- Take a walk along the river Main and enjoy the architecture. If you have time, visit one of the many museums in the area.
- Escape the city and visit the Botanical Garden. Walk and enjoy the many species and exotic plants.
- Hike in the nearby Taunus mountain region.
- Take a day trip to Heidelberg, a superb university town which was spared during the World War II.
Why you should add Frankfurt to your RTW travel list
Of course, visiting Frankfurt wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of the sights which makes it famous. Here are some ideas on what to do if you’ve never been there or plan on staying for a while.
Read: Germany Travel Facts.
- Visit The Römerberg, the historic heart of the city.
- See the city from the top of the Main Tower. It may not be the highest skyscraper – although the viewing platform stands at 200 m - in town but the views are to die for.
- Visit Goethe and get your writing inspiration. The original house was destroyed in World War II but it was restored with original furniture and books belonging to the family of Goethe.
- See the superb architecture of Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral, the main cathedral in town.
- Try the apple cider in a tavern close to the Old Town.
- Shop in the pedestrian area called Zeil, or just do some window shopping if the budget is tight.
- Take a historic tram ride in the Ebbelwei Express.
Why you shouldn’t add Frankfurt to your RTW travel list
- While there are some things to do in Frankfurt it’s obvious that the large airport makes the city more important than it really is. Most likely, this will be just a transit town before you continue to more interesting places in Germany.
- The public transportation is well organized but the fares add up (€ 2.50 single in the center). So , invest in a day card and use your own two feet as much as possible. Or you can rent a bike to explore the city.
To be completely honest, Frankfurt's huge airport makes the city seem like
a more important destination than it really is. It's not that it's
not worth visiting, it's just that if you are not a banker there is no point
in planning on a long stay. Having the largest airport and being in the center
of the country makes it a good place to start or end a trip to Germany, but it's
unlikely to be the highlight of that visit.
What To Do
There are loads of museums in Frankfurt and the Museum of Modern Art is particularly
interesting as the Germans are known for daring modern art. Romerberg is in a
collection of 14th and 15th Century buildings and churches in the city center.
It's touristy, but very interesting and worth a visit. It's just near
the Main River, which dissects the city and is also a great place for a stroll
to appreciate the skyline. The Saalberg is an old Roman Fort located just outside
of town and is also worth seeing. Fans of the writer Goethe won't want to
miss the Goethe-Haus and Goethe Museum here in the city of his birth.
If you are leaving Frankfurt or just up for a side trip you should think about
the Romantic Road. This is the travel agent name of a scenic stretch of highway
that stretches from near Frankfurt in the north to near Munich in the south. Buses
leave each morning in each direction up and down this touristy route, but it's
actually worthwhile. There is also train service through the area, although the
local trains can be very slow. A particular highlight is the perfectly preserved
medieval town of Rothenberg. A day visit is nice, but staying overnight can be
a magical experience since the town is nearly empty after dinner yet itÃ's
at its most charming late in the evening.
Frankfurt is a major transit hub for all of Germany so trains come and go
from all directions making it an great stop for those on a Eurail
. But it's the airport and the relatively cheap flights that make
Frankfurt an interesting place to stop for a day or two. Book
a flight into Frankfurt International Airport
and either rent
a car or you can take the subway directly from beneath the airport into
the city center.
Where To Stay
The center of Frankfurt is relatively compact. There are a few hostels
and plenty of hotels
and it's advisable to stay near the center if you can
afford it. Frankfurt is not only a huge banking and business city, but they
have frequent trade fairs so even odd times of the year can be sold out in advance.
Plan ahead all year round.