When you think of great European cities, you might think of London, Paris, Berlin or Barcelona, but there is another great city in Germany: Frankfurt. Frankfurt is the industrial capital of Germany, but also a thriving cultural center. If you find yourself with an extra day in Western Europe, consider exploring this incredible center.
Frankfurt is easily accessible by train, plane, or bus from throughout Europe and around the world. It is the hub for Lufthansa airlines and most of its partners will also route through there. It is also the largest airport in Germany. With this easy accessibility, here are 10 great things to do in Frankfurt!
10 Things to Do in Frankfurt
- 1 1. Städel Museum
- 2 2. Frankfurt Sightseeing Cruise
- 3 3. Eltz Castle
- 4 4. Visit Römerberg
- 5 5. Free Walking Tour
- 6 6. Visit the English Theater
- 7 7. Palmengarten
- 8 8. Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)
- 9 9. Museumsufer
- 10 10. Main Tower
- 11 11. Frankfurt Cathedral
- 12 12. Mainkai
- 13 13. Berger Straße
- 14 14. Eat!
1. Städel Museum
The first thing to do in Frankfurt is to visit the Städel Museum, one of the largest art museum in Germany. They often have carefully curated exhibits highlighting great artists as well as a large permanent collection. Städel Museum was also recently names German Museum of the year.
2. Frankfurt Sightseeing Cruise
Like many great European cities, Frankfurt is set on a river, the Main. Enjoy a relaxing hour taking in the sites of Frankfurt from the river. The covered boats with large windows make this a great activity when it is raining or cold. You can also often pick up some coffee and cake on the river cruise.
3. Eltz Castle
If you want to see an authentic European castle, you can take a day trip to the Eltz castle from Frankfurt. This is accessible by bus and train, car, or through guided tours. Eltz castle, with its towers and moat, is a reminder of the great renaissance and medieval power of Germany.
4. Visit Römerberg
If you prefer more quaint village life, Römerberg, is a square that resembles a picturesque classic German village. The classic half-timbered houses, filled with bars and restaurants, make a wonderful way to pass a meal and enjoy the view to the square. The architecture dates back to medieval times and gives an interesting glimpse into German history.
There is a fountain called the Fountain of Justice that dates back to 1543, and a church, Old St. Nicholas Church, that came through both world wars without any major damage.
5. Free Walking Tour
Always a favorite way to learn about a city from the locals, a free walking tour gives you the overview of the city. This is an excellent first stop to orient yourself to the city and get an idea of where you’d like to spend more time.
6. Visit the English Theater
The English theater, as the name suggests, is the theater to visit if you want to see a show in English. There are a good variety of shows that are put on and tickets are reasonably priced. High quality performances are put on nearly every day, so when you want your English theater fix, this is a fun way to spend an evening or afternoon.
Palmengarten is the Botanical garden in Frankfurt. There are over 50 acres of palms, tropical trees, orchids, and ferns. You can spend a relaxing few hours wandering around the garden and stopping on one of the many benches to take in the beauty and simplicity of nature.
There are several indoor areas, so this is also a good cold weather activity.
8. Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)
This natural history museum has a large display of dinosaurs, but the other attraction, unique to the Senckenberg, is an entire floor dedicated to stuffed animals. With thorough explanations in English and German, this is a good attraction for kids and adults alike.
Museumsufer is a more modern idea that only came together in the 80s. It is a collection of 12 museums all in one area. There are museums for film, architecture, art, communication, and others.
It is set right on the river Main, with lots of green space, parks and restaurants. You can spend a few hours or a whole day exploring the museums, sitting outside enjoying nature, and getting a bite to eat.
10. Main Tower
Main Tower is set in the heart of downtown Frankfurt. It is the only tower in Frankfurt’s mass of skyscrapers with a viewing platform. Main Tower is the 4thtallest building in Germany, and will give you an expansive view of the city.
11. Frankfurt Cathedral
The Gothic style Frankfurt Cathedral, built in the 1300s, is a great landmark of Frankfurt. It had to be rebuilt twice, once after a fire in the 1867 and once in the 1950s after world war two.
During its heyday, the coronation of 10 kings took place here, making Frankfurt Cathedral a center for not only religious but also political power. The historic building hosted coronations between 1562 and 1792. Feel the majesty from the choir stalls and the beautiful frescos throughout.
Mainkai is the name of the parks created along the waterfront of the Main River. There are flowerbeds, walking paths, trees, and grass. If you are in Frankfurt in summertime, this is an excellent place for a picnic or to run and play before visiting one of the museums or other indoor activities.
13. Berger Straße
To get away from large chain stores and shopping malls, head from the city center to Berger Straße, where small family run boutiques and restaurants line the streets. These stylish little shops sell beautiful one of a kind pieces.
This is also a very good area for nightlife, with a huge array of bars and restaurants.
There are so many delicious restaurants in Frankfurt, that it is difficult to name just a few. In the central area of the main train station, you can find Chinese, Lebanese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Spanish, German, and a variety of other cuisines.
There is a huge array of organic and natural options. There are stores filled with fresh produce displaying their wares on the streets. The Germans were some of the first in the western world to adopt natural health practices, and that is evident in the vast array of delicious and healthy food available.
Whether you are staying for a day or a week, the rich cultural heritage and variety of activities make Frankfurt a worthwhile destination and a fun place to call your home away from home. Whether you are looking for world-class museums, medieval architecture, ancient castles, or delicious food, Frankfurt has you covered! If you want to download a map and follow along to these destinations, you can do it here.
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