Travel

The BIG List of Things to do in Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt is unlike any other German City. A melting pot of different cultures, an iconic skyline that resembles NYC more than and any other European city, and a global hub for finance, travel and tourism. Located on the River Main Frankfurt is home to more than 800,000 people. A city with great shopping, great food, and so many wonderful things to do, make it the perfect place to start or end your time in Germany.

I’ve compiled a BIG LIST of fun and interesting things Frankfurt has to offer. Whether you are just passing through, or as your final destination, Frankfurt has something for everyone!

Discover the Römer

Before WWII, Frankfurt was regarded as Germany’s largest and most beautiful half timber-frame medieval town. Unfortunately, in 1944 Frankfurt was almost completely destroyed by air raids. Quick to rebuild, Frankfurt began erecting buildings with a more modern look. It wasn’t until 70 years later that the iconic buildings of Frankfurt’s Altstadt you see today were built!

The “New Old Town” started reconstructed in 2010. It took 8 years to finish the project according to its historical blueprints. The builders used original construction materials, traditional craftsmanship and lots attention to detail in recreating the structures. Surprisingly, some decorative elements that survived the air raids of 1944 were able to return to their original locations!

The Römerberg is a town square surrounded by, half timber-frame houses to the north, the Alte Nikolaikirche to the east and the Römer (city hall) to the south. The Römer has served as Frankfurt’s city hall since 1405.

Location: Römerberg, Altstadt

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Station

Cost: Free

Admire Haus Wertheym

Haus Wertheym is located towards the southern part of the square headed towards the river. It’s a beautiful old half timber-framed house from the 1600s. It is the only house with exposed framework that survived the bombings of Frankfurt during World War II.

Today, there is a Traditional German Restaurant inside.

Location: Altstadt, Fahrtor 1

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Station

Cost: Varies

Look inside the Alte Nikolaikriche

This small church, dating back to the 13th century eventually became the preferred place of worship for the city’s councillors. In 1476 a gothic-style gallery was added, and from there the councilmen were able to watch the festivities happening at the Römerplatz. The church is on the smaller side, but has a cozy modestly beautiful interior. I was lucky enough to stop by during the the most beautiful choir practice.

Location: Römerplatz, Römerberg 11

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Station

Cost: Free

Walk in the footsteps of royalty at the Cathedral of St Bartholomew (Frankfurt Cathedral)

Located near the city center, the 95 meter, red sandstone tower of the Frankfurter Dom dominates the city skyline. This Gothic style Holy Roman Church dates back to the 14th century and was once the place where the Kings of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned.

The Dom was heavily damaged by a fire in 1867 and then by allied bombings during World War II. Today, it has been fully restored to its former glory.

For a small fee, you are able to climb the 328-steps to the top of the tower. At the top enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the city.

Location: Behind the half-timber framed houses in the Römerberg

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Station

Cost: Church entrance is Free. Tower assent adult € 3, child € 1.50.

People watch at the Hauptwache

The Hauptwache (guardroom) is the most central point in downtown Frankfurt. It lies to the west of Konstablerwache (another major square downtown). The two squares are linked by the Zeil, which is the central shopping area of the city. The Hauptwache is lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and benches, a great place to see the day to day life of the locals.

The baroque building which gave the square its name was built in 1730. It was once the headquarters of the city’s Stadtwehr militia, a prison, a police station and since 1904 a Cafe.

Cafe Hauptwache was severely burned during the air raid bombings of WWII. It was reopened in 1954 with a new roof, and since then has undergone several more renovations. Don’t miss a chance to dine at this historic cafe. Eat either inside, or on the beautiful patio and whether you are in the mood for a meal or just a snack they have you covered.

Today, Hauptwache Station serves as one of the most important crosspoints of the Frankfurt public transport system.

Location: Hauptwache; City Center

Public Transportation: U-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, or 8. S-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 exit at the Hauptwache Station

Cost: Cafe Hauptwache €€

Admire the beautiful stain-glass windows in Katharinenkirche (St. Catherine’s Church)

The church stands gracefully on the edges of the busy Hauptwache. Originally built in 1681 in Baroque style, after being heavily damaged during WWII the church was restored in a more simple fashion. The exterior of the church remains very similar to its original appearance, but the inside’s ornate decor and lavish galleries were not recreated. Today, the main attraction are the beautiful stain-glass windows that adorn the walls.

Browse the stands at the Kleinmarkthalle

Turning right off the Zeil you’ll come to a large hall which houses an excellent food market. Over 150 market stalls, meats, cheeses, fruit, fish, flowers… this is a great place to wander, shop, or stop for a snack. Be warned, it’s easy to become overwhelmed!

Location: Altstadt, Hasengasse 7

Public Transportation : U-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 or 8 exit at Hauptwache Station

Cost: Entry is Free. Check the website for additional information

If you are interested in the smaller local markets in each district, click here

Hang with the locals on the Zeil

Whatever you are looking for, you’ll find it on Frankfurt’s most popular shopping street, the Zeil! The Zeil has a wide range of stores, from large department stores too small specialty shops. While you are here, don’t miss the “My Zeil” building. The building itself, is a fascinating work of modern art! The Zeil shopping promenade is a pedestrian only area, which makes it perfect for an afternoon stroll or a break in one of the many cafes, snack bars or restaurants.

My Zeil

On Thursday and Saturday, it is definitely worth a visit to the Konstablerwache farmers market, right next to the Zeil.

Check out the view from Galleria Kaufhof

Galeria Kaufhof

At the top end of the Zeil, near the Hauptwache, is the giant department store Galleria Kaufhof. Resist the temptation to stop and browse (or don’t 😉 ), and go up to the top floor. There you will find a cafe with great views over the city. FYI, you don’t have to buy anything to go out on the balcony and enjoy the view.

Location: Hauptwache, Altstadt

Public Transportation: U-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, or 8. S-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 exit at the Hauptwache Station

Cost: Free

Visit the Goethe Haus

Goethe House

The Frankfurt Goethe House is the birthplace of Germanys most famous author and poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe born in 1749. The beautiful yellowish house is decorated with furniture and paintings, from the time period of this childhood. He also wrote a few of his most famous works in this house. The glass building next to the house is the Goethe Museum. The original house was destroyed during the war, but restored as closely as possible to the original.

Location: Altstadt, Großer Hirschgraben 23-25

Public Transportation : U-bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 or 8 exit at Hauptwache Station

Cost: Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card

Discover a million dollar view from the Main Tower

Buy a ticket and enjoy a spectacular view of Frankfurt and the surrounding area! The roof-top observation deck is on the 56th floor, or make reservations for the restaurant and cocktail bar on the 53rd floor for an amazing meal with a view.

Location: Neue Mainzer Straße 52-58 , 60311 Frankfurt am Main – Downtown

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 8, exit at Willy-Brandt-Platz

Cost: Adults €7.50, Children €5. Buy your tickets online or at the ticket counter. Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Note: Be aware that the observation deck might be closed for safety reasons during severe weather.  To avoid the crowds, go early.

Go back in time at the Eschenheimer Turm

Eschenheimer Turm (Eschenheim Tower) was the city gate of the late-medieval defensive wall built in 1425. The tower luckily suffered little damage during the war and is now Frankfurt’s oldest and most unaltered building! The tower is now part of a modern Cafe-Bar-Restaurant .

Location: Eschenheimer Tor 1, 60318 Frankfurt am Main

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 1, 2, 3 or 8, exit at Eschenheimer Tor

Cost: Free. Cafe €€

Check out the view from the Eiserner Steg (Iron Bridge)

view from the bridge

The Eiserner Steg or the Iron Bridge is a pedestrians only footbridge spanning over the river Main in Frankfurt. It was built in 1868 connecting the city centre with the district of Sachsenhausen.
From the bridge you will find one of the best views of the Frankfurt Skyline.

Location: South of Frankfurt City Center

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Platz

Cost: Free

Walk or bike along the river on the Mainradweg

The beautiful parkland with paved pathways runs along both sides of the Main River in Frankfurt. It is the ideal place for taking a walk, jog, biking or just to sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful views. The most popular section of the park is between the two pedestrian bridges, Holbeinsteg and Eiserner Steg and can get very busy.

On Saturdays you can enjoy a flea market that sprawls along the South bank.

The bike path doesn’t just end at the bridges, it actually extends 325 miles (524 km) along the Main River from the town of Bayreuth to Mainz! The picture above is from the section in Höchst.

Location: South of the city center, along the river

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4 or 5, exit at Dom/Römer Platz

Cost: Free

Stroll around Old Sachsenhausen

Just across the Eiserner Steg you’ll find the old historic town of Sachsenhausen. A quaint district built in the late 14th century, with cobble-stoned streets, beautiful half timber-frame houses and authentic, but touristy Apfelwein restaurants. A perfect place to spend the afternoon strolling or grabbing a bite to eat.

Location: Sachsenhausen, south across the River Main from Frankfurt City Center

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 1, 2, 3 or 8 exit at Schweizer Platz

Cost: Free

Admire the Dreikönigskirche (Church of the Three Kings)

A beautiful protestant church located on the waterfront of Sachsenhausen. The original church was built in 1340, but the structure seen today was consecrated in 1881. The Dreikönigskirche was lucky to survive the war with only broken windows, do to the bridges being dynamited in 1945. Today, the church is regularly used for organ concerts.

Location: Dreikönigsstraße 32, 60594 Frankfurt am Main – Sachsenhausen-Nord

Cost: Free

Learn something new at the MuseumSufer

The MuseumSufer is a line of gorgeously restored 18th century villas that house some of Germany’s best museums. The MuseumSufer is located along the waterfront of Sachsenhausen. It’s a lovely places to sit and relax or to explore one of the world-class museums. From communication, art and sculpture, architecture, or film there is something for everyone.

Location: Across the River Main from the Römerplatz on the Sachsenhausen side.

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 1, 2, 3 or 8 exit at Schweizer Platz

Cost: There are 37 Museums scattered all over Frankfurt. If you are interested in visiting more than one, look into one of the discount cards that are offered. Click HERE for more information on the Museumsufer card/ticket. Discounted tickets also available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Enjoy the day at the Frankfurt Zoo

Frankfurt Zoo was established in 1858 and is the 2nd oldest zoo in Germany. The Zoo is situated on more than 11 acres in the heart of the city. It is home to over 500 different animals species from across the globe. The zoo is open 365 days a year.

Location: Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1, 60316 Frankfurt am Main

Public Transport: U-bahn line 6 or 7, exit at the Zoo Station

Cost: Adult 12 €, Child (6-18) 6 €. Check the website for additional information, or to buy tickets online. Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Eat at a Traditional Frankfurt Restaurant

Bootshaus Restaurant, next to the Eiserner Steg

There is no shortage of good traditional German restaurants surrounding the Alt Stadt or within the Sachsenhausen district. The food at these restaurants are delicious, but filled with other tourists. If you want to go where the locals eat, check out Apfelwein Solzer in Bornheim.

Location: Berger Str. 260, 60385 Frankfurt am Main

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4, exit at the Bornheim Mitte Station

Cost: €€

Discover the city by Bike or on Foot with a Tour

An organized tour is a great way to see all the highlights Frankfurt has to offer. From standard bikes to electric, walking or by Segway, there are enough choices to accommodate everyone.

Location: Varies

Cost: Varies. Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Discover the city from a different view on a Boat or Bus Tour

Main Cruise

Order a drink and sit back and relax as you see the city from a different perspective. Make sure you get in line early to get the best seats.

Location: Dock is near the Eiserner Steg

Cost: Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Join the locals on Berger Straße

Berger Straße is filled with stores, markets and cafes. Positioned away from the touristy Altstadt, you find nothing but authentic german daily life.

Location: Berger Straße

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4, exit at the Bornheim Mitte Station

Cost: Free

Have a picnic at Adolph-von-Holzhausen-Park

Holzhausen Schloss

Since 1500 the park belonged to the Holzhausen Family and was maintained as a beautiful garden. Holzhausen Castle was built on the grounds in 1728, and in 1771 the castle became their official place of residence. It wasn’t until 1910 when the von Holzhausen Family sold the park to the City of Frankfurt. Now, along with the moated castle, the park includes a large lawn and an enormous playground.

The neighborhood surrounding the park is considered one of the nicest in the Frankfurt area.

Location: Holzhausenstraße 
60322 Frankfurt am Main – Nordend-West

Cost: Free

Note: No dogs are allowed at the spielplatz (playground)

Explore the Palmengarten

Frankfurt’s Palmengarten is an internationally renowned botanical garden, located on 22 gorgeous hectares and is celebrating it’s 150th birthday this year (2021)!

Fun Fact– The Palm House was built I’m 1869, 2 years before the garden as a gathering place for Frankfurts wealthy citizens. Along with it’s collection of exotic tropical plants, the building also included a gorgeous ballroom.

Location: Siesmayerstraße 61, 60323 Frankfurt am Main – Westend-Süd 

Public Transportation: U-bahn lines 6 or 7, exit at Bochenheimer Warte Station and walk towards Zeppenlinalee

Cost: Adult € 7, Child (6-18) € 2. Check the website for additional information, or too buy tickets online. Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Visit the Alte Oper

Alte Oper

This beautiful building towers over a grand square in Frankfurt. Originally built in 1880, the opera house was destroyed in 1944 by bomings and then slowly rebuilt. The opera house no longer performs operas, but you can find a list of other concerts and performances HERE

Location: Opernplatz 1, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Public Transportation : U-bahn lines 6 or 7, exit Alter Oper Station

Cost: varies, check website for details. Discounted tickets available through the Frankfurt Card.

Discover Skyline Plaza and Garden

Skyline Plaza, shopping mall

A really nice, modern shopping center featuring a large range of shops and an enormous rooftop garden with restaurant. For families with children, there are two playgrounds within sight of the restaurant’s outdoor terrace. From the Garden the views of the city are spectacular! Click HERE for more information

Location: Skyline Plaza, Europa-Allee 6, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

Public Transportation: U-bahn line 4, exit at the Festhalle/Messe Station

Cost: Restaurant ALEX €€

Enjoy the beauty of Höchst

Höchst is Frankfurt’s oldest city district and was lucky to survive the air raids of World War II with little damage. It’s even an official stop on the Deutsche Fachwerk Straße (German Half Timber-Frame Road). It’s beauty make it the perfect place to stroll down winding cobblestone streets, admire the half-timbered houses, or sit and relax at one of the local restaurants.

Location: Höchst, west of Frankfurt City Center on the banks of the Main River

Public Transportation: S-bahn line 1 or 2, exit at the Höchst Bahnhof

Cost: Free

Join the fans at the Eintracht Frankfurt Stadium and Museum

Calling all SOCCER FANS! The Deutsche Bank Park is the home of the Bundesliga football club Eintracht Frankfurt. The museum is located in the stadium, on the ground floor of the main stand where visitors can learn everything there is about the Club! Eintracht Frankfurt has been electrifying the city for more than 120 years!

Click HERE to buy tickets to a match.

Location: Mörfelder Landstraße 362, 60528 Frankfurt am Main

Cost: Museum – Adult €5, Child €3,50. Also a participating member of the Museumsufer Ticket. Discounted tickets are also available through the Frankfurt Card and the Rhine-Main Card

Location: Mörfelder Landstraße 362, 60528 Frankfurt am Main – Niederrad

Travel Planning Resources

Planning a trip? These are some of my favourite travel planning and booking resources!

  • Tourist Information Römer
  • Booking.com: The best place to book hotels and hostels
  • Get your guide: One of my favorites for booking day tours and tickets!
  • Germany travel books: – My favorite are the DK Eyewitness travel guides
  • RMV.de: Find time tables and buy tickets all from your phone. Available in English, as a website or App
  • Moovitapp.com: A great resource that lists exactly step by step which bus, U-bahn, or S-bahn or combination of them you need to take to get to your destination! In English and available as a website or App
  • Rentalcars.com: Free cancellations on most bookings, world’s biggest car rental booking service, with over 60,000 locations worldwide

Disclosure: This list does include affiliated links. This means I receive a very small commission on some of the sales that are placed through these links.  Thank you for supporting me and making this Blog possible

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