One Day in Frankfurt am Main

April 3, 2020

In this post, I would try to show the best sightseeing route in Frankfurt if you only have one day. Frankfurt is a German city on the river Main. With its great central location, Frankfurt has become one of the biggest financial and business centers of Europe and it is a home of the European Central Bank.

A significant part of the city was damaged during World War II. Sights like Altstadt (Old Town), Alte Oper (Old Opera) and home of famed writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Luckily, all of these sights, like the rest of the town, were later rebuilt.

Honestly, Frankfurt is not a city that completely fascinated me. But it has its own special charm. With its historical landmarks on one side and modern skyline on the other, Frankfurt offers something for every soul. So, if you have opportunity be sure to visit Frankfurt.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Frankfurt is early spring or late fall. At this time the city is not crowded with tourists and the weather is mild, not too hot and not too cold.

In spring, you can observe how nature is coming alive, and in fall, you can soak up the last rays of the sun while walking along the River Main. Prices of transportation and accommodation are at this time also very reasonable.

Getting from Frankfurt Airport to the City

The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to get into Frankfurt’s inner town is by train (S-bahn). You should take the train heading to Frankfurt Hauptbanhof (Central station). The ride takes about 15 minutes. From Frankfurt Hauptbanhof, you can walk to wherever you want to go.

Single tickets for S-bahn cost 2.75 and all-day tickets cost 5.35 Euros. Tickets from airport to city cost 4.65 Euros.

Tip: we have bought the Frankfurt Card. It costs 23 Euros for one day and it is valid for up to 5 persons.

It includes free and unlimited travel on Frankfurt’s public transport system, including the ride from and to the Frankfurt airport and a lot of discounts an admission to various Frankfurt attractions.

One day Frankfurt itinerary

Take a picture with the famous Euro Sign

Selfie with Euro Sing is a must-do in one day in Frankfurt itinerary
Euro Sign

Assuming you are coming from Frankfurt central station, you can start your journey by taking a picture with the big Euro Sign. It’s a must-do in Frankfurt. The Euro sign symbolizes the single currency and integration of Europe.

This sign stands in front of the Eurotower. The Eurotower was a headquarters of the European Central Bank until 18 March 2015.

Stroll by the River Main

From the Eurotower, you can head south toward the River Main. The river itself is not the most beautiful river you can see, but on a sunny day, it can be a nice walk.

Pathway along the River Main
Pathway along the River Main

Eisener Steg (Iron Bridge)

Walking along the riverbank, you will come to the oldest pedestrian bridge in Frankfurt, the Iron Bridge. From here, you can enjoy the beautiful view on the European Central Bank on the one side or on the “Mainhattan” on the other side (high-rise skyline of the central business).

Have you noticed the wordplay, river Main + famous Manhattan in New York = Mainhattan

View on the European Central Bank from the Iron Bridge
View from the Iron Bridge

The whole bridge is full of love locks. Cliché or not, it makes the iron structure of the bridge a little more colorful.

Love locks on the Iron Bridge
Love Locks on the Iron Bridge

Take a Main River Cruise

If you are staying only one day in Frankfurt, you probably won’t have enough time for Main River Cruise. But if you have, take a cruise tour from the Iron Bridge.

It is a unique experience and, in my opinion, the best way to enjoy the Frankfurt skyline. There are several options you can choose from, such as departure time, duration and direction, downstream or upstream.

Römerberg – a must-see in your one day in Frankfurt itinerary

Römerberg - old town in Frankfurt

The historic old town center, Römerberg, was reconstructed after World War II according to the original plans. Here you can find a traditional half-timbered architectural style of times gone by.

Housing many administrative buildings, medieval houses and landmarks such as Römer (Frankfurt’s City Hall), Römerberg represents the heart of the old city and you shouldn’t miss it.

Most of the beautiful houses at the Römerberg have bars and restaurants where you can take a break and enjoy the view while eating a pretzel and drinking Apfelwein (apple wine).

Frankfurter Dom (Frankfurt Cathedral)

Frankfurt Cathedral
Frankfurt Cathedral

Officially named the Emperor’s Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, Frankfurt Cathedral is recognizable for its red color, and with its 95-meter high tower, the cathedral still manages to stand out among the city’s high skyscrapers.

This fascinating and free to visit cathedral is filled with a rich history and breathtaking architecture. If you want to include a little workout during your visit, you can climb the high tower (3 Euros). There are 324 steps to climb, but the view from the deck is fantastic.

Taste German Foods in the Kleinmarkthalle (Market Hall)

This indoor market that covers about 1500 square meters is a perfect place to make a lunch stop. It’s open every day in the week, except Sunday.

Here you can try some traditional local specialties or some other treats from all around the globe. Don’t miss the terrace on the second level, where you can find the right wine for every delicacy bought downstairs.

Shopping along the Zeil

Shopping Center My Zeil
Shopping Center My Zeil

From Market Hall, you can quickly go to the most famous shopping street in Frankfurt, Zeil. Here you can find many famous international brands stores, MyZeil shopping center and lots of cafes.


Hauptwache in Frankfurt

While walking along the Zeil street, you will find yourself at the busiest square in Frankfurt, An der Hauptwache.

Hauptwache (literally translated Main Guard), once a prison and a police station, is an old baroque building after which the square was named. Today, Hauptwache is a cafe and a perfect spot for taking a coffee break.

Enjoy the view from the Main Tower – an ideal end of a perfect day in Frankfurt

The Main Tower is a 200-meter-high skyscraper in the business part of the city and the fourth tallest building in Germany. With its two public platforms, Main Tower is the only skyscraper in Frankfurt open for the public.

Admission is 7.50 Euros.

On the 53rd floor is a restaurant where you can have dinner and watch the sunset. At an elevation of 187 meters, the Main Tower offers you one of the most spectacular dinner seats.

Alte Oper (Old Opera House)

Alte Oper
Alte Oper

If you’re staying for the night in Frankfurt, make sure to buy some tickets for a concert in the Old Opera House. Like I’ve said before, this building was destroyed during World War II and was rebuild and reopened in 1981. Today it is one of the city’s most prestigious concert venues in Frankfurt.

If you stay more than one day in Frankfurt, you can also visit:

  • Goethe House and a Museum
  • Palmengarten
  • Senckenberg Natural History Museum
  • Museumsufer

Did I forget anything?

Leave a comment and tell me!

If you are interested in exploring some not so popular places in Germany, you should check this post: Castle Drachenburg – Hidden Gem of Germany

And if you are planning a trip around Europe, check this Europe Bucket List

One Day in Frankfurt am Main
One Day in Frankurt am Main
One Day in Frankurt am Main
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