Frankfurt Stopover – The Top Five Things to Do in Five Hours! (FRA)
Are you on a connecting flight in Frankfurt with more than five hours to spare? Don’t spend time at the airport – you can easily shoot into the city and see a treasure trove of sites!
You can experience quite a bit in five hours – this post highlights some of the best spots that are easy to get to from the airport.
Getting into Frankfurt
The home base for your micro-visit will be Frankfurt Hauptbahnhauf – which is the city’s main train station. My top five are all within walking distance of this transportation hub.
It’s simple to zip into the Frankfurt from the airport. Trains depart from Terminal 1’s Regional Train Station about four times and hour – and it only takes 11 minutes to pop into town. I have a sister blog post on traintotheairport.com dedicated to the Frankfurt Airport Train if you want to learn more.
Frankfurt's Top 5 in 5!
Number 5: Explore Goethe House
Goethe House was home to one of Germany’s (and the world’s) most celebrated authors: Johann Wolfgang Goethe. He penned some of the country’s greatest works of literature including his masterpiece: Faust.
Even if you don’t know anything about this author – his house is fascinating to visit. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the station and it gives you insight into how the upper classes lived in the late 1700’s.
You can tour most parts of the building including the kitchen, dining rooms, and library. This edifice was actually destroyed during WWII – but was rebuilt with all of the original furniture and paintings. There are a number of interesting pieces including the desk where Goethe authored some of his early works.
Number 4: Stroll along the Main River
This is a beautiful walk – even if the weather is not cooperating 100%.
There are picturesque buildings along the river banks – and several cafes where you can soak it all in.
Make sure you spend a couple of minutes crossing the Eiserner Steg. This is a charming iron foot-bridge that spans the Main River. The vistas from this part of the river are marvelous.
The railings are covered in 1000’s of ” love locks” - like many other bridges in Paris and Rome. If you’re a little bit romantic its heartwarming to see all of the outpouring of affection (although I’m sure the maintenance people loath it!).
Number 3: Relax over a Beer
Germany produces some of the best beers in the world. If you're strolling through Frankfurt you must take a break and savor one of the national favorites.
There are countless outdoor cafes around the station and in the old town. Pick one with a good view and take it all in with a beer!
Number 2: Pop into Frankfurt’s Cathedral – Dom St. Barthalomaus
St. Barthalomaus is a striking place of worship – and a landmark that you can see from many parts of the city. The highly ornamented bell tower looms over much of Frankfurt.
It’s the largest church in the city and it has a magnificent interior – especially with the vaulted ceilings that force you to gaze at the heavens. It’s no wonder this was the site of over 10 imperial coronations, starting back in 1562.
It’s about a 20-minute walk from the central train station (or a 5-minute walk from Romerberg).
Number 1: Marvel at Romerberg and the Old Town
This is the number one sport if you have limited time.
If you're looking for some postcard worthy shots – you’ll get them in Romerberg and the surrounding streets. Romberberg is a square that's bordered by a fabulous collection of gothic buildings including a 15th century town hall – Rathaus (Pictured at the top of this post).
When you think of quaint German buildings – this is what comes to mind!
Make sure you visit Old St. Nicholas Church on the northern part of the square. It survived most of the bombing in WWII, so it’s a great spot to check out some original medieval architecture.
The streets around Romerberg are fantastic to explore as well. With plenty of storybook structures – it almost feels like you’re in some kind of fairy tale. Charming and alluring – it’s easy to get temporarily lost as you stroll down its winding streets, gasping at each new set of buildings.
If you have extra time between fights (at least 5 hours) don’t stay at the airport. Venture into Frankfurt as there’s so much to see.
Gingerbread like buildings – Magnificent Churches – and German Beer: All things you should not miss. Having an extended stopover in Frankfurt is actually a treat! Take advantage of it.