What to see in Frankfurt in 1 day? Top 10 places
Just recently on Instagram, I named Frankfurt as my favorite city in Germany. Then I changed my mind because I remembered Füssen, but the city on the Main held the silver medal, which is also pretty good. I love cities like that – where there are both old neighborhoods and a modern downtown with gleaming skyscrapers. On a clear day in the fall, Frankfurt am Main just looked very photogenic. I thought I was going to be blown to bits with excitement. A little more and I would have squealed like teenage girls at a Tima Belorussky concert.
Anyway, okay… Let’s go over everything in order. You’re not here for my sophomoric humor. In this article I’ll show you Frankfurt as I saw it; talk about the most interesting locations and how to see everything that’s interesting in this city in one day. Ready to get started? Then… let’s go! (forgive me, Gagarin, for constantly stealing your most famous phrase).
As soon as you arrive in the city, you will immediately find yourself among the skyscrapers. There are about a hundred of them in Frankfurt (and more than in the rest of Germany combined). Here you’ll find the European Central Bank, which defines financial policy for the entire euro zone; the largest German banks (including Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank); and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, considered one of the most important in the world. Because of its resemblance to New York City, the financial district of Frankfurt is often jokingly referred to as “Mainhattan” (a reference to the river Main). It is the main symbol of the city. So when you arrive in Frankfurt you can go straight there.
If you are going from the train station, after about 15 minutes you will see a huge euro symbol (and dozens of tourists taking pictures with it).
A little further is Main-tower, on the roof of which is probably the most popular observation deck in the city. I myself was not there (as clipped 7.5 euros). But if anything – you know where to go.
Main-tower is the round tower with the spire on the left side of the picture.
The line to the observation deck will be chaotically bursting out of the skyscraper doors and standing right on the street. So this is a place you won’t miss. The main thing is to just look carefully around.
For the most beautiful shots of Frankfurt’s skyscraper district, step toward the river and look for the “Iron Bridge” (Eiserner Steg), which is usually swarming with tourists.
This pedestrian bridge is actually a free observation deck. And this is where you can get these shots of Frankfurt’s skyscrapers.
Don’t like glass high-rises? Then just turn your camera to the opposite side, where you can already see the buildings of the old city.
Most of all I liked the view of the Church of the Three Kings, which looked incredibly organic over the cloud of yellow leaves.
I photographed it a couple of times, and then walked on, only to wander by the river for another hour or so. I think even Germans would agree with me: the Frankfurt waterfront is one of the most beautiful places on the map.
By the way, if you like cruises, don’t turn down the opportunity to take a ride on this river on one of the tourist ships. Surprisingly, they are not expensive at all in Frankfurt. Cruises on the river Main cost from 9.5 euros. By German standards – it’s pennies. Buy tickets and see all details here.
I don’t know if it’s always open here or not… But on the day of my visit there was a huge Flea Market near the river in Frankfurt. If you want to buy someone’s old socks for a couple of euros or to invest in so popular today samovars – you are here. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to steal someone’s dog on the sly. As I understand it’s a fashionable phenomenon in Frankfurt.
Well, as for me – I went here only because I noticed in the distance so beckoned me at that moment free toilets. In addition, my navigator showed that right on this embankment is the famous area of museums. So I just had to take a picture of it for the article.
Seriously – if you like museums, be sure to walk around this area. Next to the river, on Schaumainkai Street, there are about a dozen different museums, including the German Film Museum, the Museum of Architecture, and the Ethnographic Museum of World Cultures.
I also recommend the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Domstrasse 10) and the Schirn Kunsthalle (Romerberg 6).
Both are a little further from the waterfront, but are considered to be some of the leading centers of contemporary art not only in Germany, but in all of Europe.
Despite the fact that Frankfurt is quite a big city, all the most interesting places here can be easily bypassed on foot. From the seafront to the old city it’s about a five-minute walk. Download MAPS.me to get around and you won’t get lost.
The center of Frankfurt’s old city is Römerberg Square, where coronation ceremonies for German rulers and traditional trade fairs used to take place. The historic city quarter was badly damaged during World War II, but in 1986 the German authorities restored the buildings to their former state. Fools! But they could have built “khrushovoks”. Or throw in some beauty, like our “House at Troitsky.
Another important point on the map of Frankfurt’s old town is the town hall, which in some travel guides is called “Römer” (“Roman”).
In the 15th century, the town council bought two private houses on the main square and rebuilt them for their own use. One of the buildings was popularly called the “House of the Roman” (Haus Römer). After the purchase the nickname was inherited by the town hall. And afterwards so it was assigned to it.
A little more about the old town
Of course, Frankfurt’s Old Town has many other sights. Not far from Römerberg Square is the local cathedral (St. Bartholomew) …
The Church of St. Paul, which, apparently by acquaintance, made its way into the list of the city’s main attractions …
And another church – St. Nicholas – perfectly made for vertical pics and Instagram posts.
To be honest, I usually don’t chase sights and try to perceive the city as a coherent ensemble. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out I haven’t told you about half of its iconic places. When I was walking around Frankfurt, I was just walking around and looking for beautiful shots. And I genuinely didn’t care what the name of that huge building that the streetcar was passing by was…
Or what’s that little square with the monument to the director of the local barbershop.
If you like to hear stories about the past and present of the city, I suggest you walk around Frankfurt with a guide. Then you won’t miss anything interesting for sure. See below for a full list of available options with reviews from other tourists. With a guide, you definitely won’t miss anything. I, for example, only found out after returning home that Frankfurt also has a huge monument in the shape of a necktie and a metro station, the entrance to which is made in the form of a diving train under the ground.
Goethe House and Hauptwache Square
In addition to Römerberg Square, there are two other popular locations in Frankfurt’s Old Town. If you walk in the opposite direction of the river, you’ll soon come across Hauptwache Square with its tiny former guardhouse and the Lutheran Church of St. Catherine.
If you go a little further, you will come to the square with the statue of Goethe, and right behind it, in the next street, there is a museum of the famous German writer.
The building was destroyed during the Second World War. Therefore, it is no longer the house where the writer lived, but just a replica of it.
If anyone is interested, the entrance to the museum costs 7 euros. But personally, I advise you to forget all these museums, walk 170 meters to the hotel “Motel One” and then look in the courtyard, located directly in front of it.
There on the roof sits a Spider man like this. What Goethe can compare to that?
“The Red Light District and the sights I missed
I went to Frankfurt for a day from Cologne. So at some point (amidst hunger and apathy), even the sights I had originally planned to visit slipped my mind. So I passed by the local opera house, did not see the tower Eschenheim, which in the 15th century was part of the local defensive wall, and the shopping center “My Zeil”. My Zeil shopping center, which because of its unusual architecture is also considered one of the important sights of the city.
Photo by Pescador. Photo from Pixabay.com
Do I regret that I haven’t seen all these places? Yes. a little (because, as I said, all of Frankfurt’s attractions are plus or minus in the same area). If you do not want to walk – you can buy a tourist card of the city (in addition to a variety of museum plushies included and free ride), or ride around Frankfurt on a special double-decker bus. I think it’s also a good option for those who came to the city for 1 day.
As for me, I had too much impressions that day. I made a lot of great shots, took a bunch of Instagram posts, and in the end I went to the local Red Light District, where almost every building had signs like “Best girls in town”.
There it is… Next to the central station.
I hope I don’t have to explain why there are no prostitutes, sex shops, or mannequins in overalls with slits just below the back. Still… I don’t know if there are any vulnerable people reading me. When you come to Frankfurt, you’ll see it all for yourself. So let’s leave some room for imagination. Just take my word for it, Frankfurt has its downside too.
Where to go from Frankfurt?
As I said before, all the most interesting things in the financial capital of Germany can be seen in 1 day. So if you decide to stay here longer, you have to go somewhere outside the city in any case.
A great option for a short trip would be, for example, a boat tour through the romantic Rhine Valley. These places are considered some of the most beautiful in Germany. There are many pretty little villages, ancient castles and impressive natural views. You can read more about it here.
I also recommend you to go to the cute little town Wiesbaden with a lot of half-timbered streets and cozy squares and by one of the houses you can see the biggest cuckoo clock in the world.
Want something on a grand scale? Then go to Cologne.
You can get here in 2.5 hours and for only 7-8 euros. You can buy the cheapest tickets here. For a day trip Cologne is a great solution.
How to find accommodation in Germany?
Since Booking and Airbnb waved goodbye to us going to a beautiful far away place, I switched to other platforms. The first choice for me was Ostrovok. This site is not on the sanctions lists and does not impose any restrictions. There are no problems with payment by Belarusian and Russian cards. So I recommend you to start your search there.
Well, if the options available to you will not satisfy, below are a couple of other sites as an alternative.
I like them too, but honestly, the hotel database here is smaller than on BOOKING. If earlier for search there was enough only one, but now I check at least 2-3 sites in turn. But, as the times are, so are the decisions. I think you understand.
That’s all. If you liked the article – subscribe to my Instagram, and let’s not get lost. Have fun traveling around Germany. Frankfurt in general is a very cool city.
What to see in Frankfurt am Main in 1 day
As the center of modern business in Germany, the city of Frankfurt am Main attracts not only business clients but also many travelers.
Destroyed almost to the ground during World War II, it has managed to rise from the ruins. Now it is a stylish European city that has something to show to its guests. In this article we will tell you what you can see in one day.
Itinerary for a day in Frankfurt
If you only have a day, start with Frankfurt’s Old Town.
One of the most beautiful places here is the Römerberg square, where fairs and coronations used to take place. The Remerberg Square, as it is called, can be seen on many postcards and souvenirs. Its stunning architecture gives you a chance to plunge back a few centuries.
In the center is the town hall, which consists of three separate buildings. It is over 600 years old and was bought by the town council in 1405, after which it became the political center of the city. The town hall is decorated with statues of the greatest emperors, and there is also a large Imperial Hall.
Within the square is another interesting landmark of the city – Frankfurt Cathedral, the construction of which dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The decoration of the cathedral, as well as the neighboring buildings, is in Gothic style.
Unfortunately, in wartime all these buildings were destroyed and later rebuilt. We have to enjoy quality copies of those times.
In the old part of Frankfurt there is the Iron Bridge over the river Main. Not to say that it is any significant landmark of the city, but it is from here you have wonderful views of the skyscrapers and the waterfront. And crossing this bridge takes you to the area where the main museums are concentrated.
Frankfurt’s waterfront is a great place for those who want to take a little break from the bustling city.
There are plenty of cafes around it, which offer not only a glass of national beer, but also a rich selection of dishes from different cuisines around the world.
The waterfront is also the starting point for the departures of the cruise liners that can take you on a stroll along the Main.
Among the city’s many museums, the Museum of Icons deserves its rightful place.
At the heart of its exhibition is a collection of about 800 pieces, which were donated by Jürgen Schmidt-Veugt to the city in 1988. Most of the works were painted between the 16th and 19th centuries. At the moment the collection has about 1,000 pieces, many of which were brought from Russia.
A special place in Frankfurt is occupied by the Old Opera House.
Its construction dates back to 1880. The author of the project was the architect Richard Lucke.
During the war the opera house was completely destroyed, after which this place was called “the beautiful ruins of Germany”. At the end of the 20th century it was possible to reconstruct it, and in the walls of the opera house sounds of live music sounded again.
In the southeastern part of the city is situated the most beautiful Palm Garden. It occupies 22 hectares and contains plants from all over the world, and as a result is considered one of the best in Europe.
In the park in 2-3 hours you can make a trip around the world, during which you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with rare species of flora.
The garden was opened in 1868, after Duke Adolf Nassau was forced to sell his collection of rare plants. Thanks to the joint-stock company, most of the specimens were moved to the city arboretum.
Goethe House is a four-storey building, which gives a good idea of the life of wealthy city dwellers at the end of the 18th century.
It was here in 1749 that the great writer was born.
The house has a place of honor in the architecture of Frankfurt and despite the fact that it was completely destroyed during the war years, the local authorities managed to restore it to its original appearance.
Main Tower Lookout
Photo: Nico Trinkhaus – Explode, Frankfurt am Main, Germany – CC-BY-NC
At the end of your day trip don’t forget to take a peek at one of the highest observation decks in Germany.
It is located on the Main Tower and is approximately 200 meters high.
It is open from 10 in the morning until the evening and offers breathtaking views of Frankfurt.
The chic restaurant with panoramic windows is located on the floor below. Here you can not only have a delicious meal, but also enjoy the evening sunset.
What to see with children
If you’ve come to Frankfurt am Main with children, you can diversify your day trip with a visit to the following places:
The Senckenberg Museum is very popular among children, as there is a large collection of dinosaurs, or rather their skeletons.
No less interesting will be an introduction to the stuffed birds, the total number of which is about 2 thousand specimens.
Also in the museum are fossils of different creatures found during excavations in the quarry Messel.
A visit to the museum costs 8 euros for adults, and 4 euros for children 6-15 years.
- Monday, Tuesday, Friday – 9.00-17.00
- Wednesday – 9.00-20.00
- Saturday, Sunday – 9.00-18.00
For children to get acquainted with the old city a lot of positive emotions, you can take a ride on its territory on a fabulous streetcar. During the ride you will not only be told a lot of interesting things, but also be treated to a special drink.
In the heart of the old city is located Children’s Museum. Its peculiarity is that children there can do what they love.
There aren’t the usual showcases, and visitors are offered a variety of creative activities. For the little ones there is a playroom.