12 Fun Things to Do in Frankfurt On Your Germany Vacation

Set on the banks of the Main River, Frankfurt am Main is alive with energy, boasting a blend of cultural treasures, dynamic cuisine, and a warm, cosmopolitan spirit. From world-class art museums and bustling markets to beautiful urban parks and the charming cobblestone streets of the Old Town, you’ll find a wealth of things to do in Frankfurt, Germany. Explore this picturesque old imperial city with this complete attractions guide!

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Discover Frankfurt’s historic charm at Römerberg. This picturesque plaza in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town) exudes rich heritage and timeless beauty and is the perfect first stop if you’ve only got 24 hours in Frankfurt!

Dating back to the 12th century, Römerberg has been the center of Frankfurt’s public life for centuries. Beautiful Medieval and Renaissance buildings overlook the square, with the iconic Römer taking center stage. As Frankfurt’s city hall for over 600 years, with its three distinctive gables, it’s a glorious sight!


Venture through the Römer’s archway and discover a charming hidden courtyard. The courtyard is adorned with greenery and historical artifacts. It’s a lovely, quiet spot for admiring the architecture without the crowds.

Marvel at the intricate façades of surrounding buildings, housing charming shops and cafés. The square’s cobblestone streets lead you to hidden gems, like the quaint Historical Museum. The plaza comes alive with energy when it hosts open-air concerts and cultural events. With its vibrant Christmas markets, it’s also one of Europe’s top Christmas destinations!

INSIDER TIP: The intricate patterns on the ground of Römerberg mark the locations of medieval buildings that once stood on the square. Have some fun tracing these outlines and imagine the city’s architectural evolution!


An essential stop on your Frankfurt wanderings is the vibrant neighborhood of Sachsenhausen. Located south of the Main River, this district effortlessly blends history and culture. It’s also the go-to spot for a glass of traditional apple cider!

Sachsenhausen is famous for its apple cider taverns, known locally as ‘Apfelweinkneipe.’ Locals and visitors gather in these cultural hubs to savor ‘apfelwein,’ Frankfurt’s signature apple wine.

Sachsenhausen District

Meander along Sachsenhausen’s cobblestone streets, admiring beautifully preserved Medieval-era timber-framed houses. Pop into an ‘Apfelweinkneipe’ tavern to try the city’s traditional drink paired with some traditional Hessen culinary specialties.

Make a stop at the Dialog Museum for a fascinating sensory experience. Journey into a world of darkness to explore Frankfurt without relying on your sight. It’s something you won’t forget!

Head to the iconic Eiserner Steg, a historic iron bridge connecting Sachsenhausen to the city center for spectacular views. As the sun dips below the horizon, the panoramic views of Frankfurt’s skyline are nothing short of spectacular!

When you need a break from the lively taverns, venture into Städel Garden next to the Städel Museum for a quiet stroll or a moment of relaxation.

INSIDER TIP: Catch breathtaking views of the sunset at the Dreikönigskirche. Climb to the top of the church tower for spectacular sunset views, casting a warm glow over Sachsenhausen and the Frankfurt skyline.

Palmengarten (Palm Gardens)

If you love a beautiful garden or simply need a break from the city, venture into the botanical wonderland of Palmengarten (Palm Gardens). This lush oasis in the Westend district is a living encyclopedia of plant life.

Spanning 22 hectares of meticulously curated greenery, Palmengarten is one of the largest botanical gardens in Germany. Established in the mid-19th century, the gardens are home to a wealth of plant species from around the world.

Tropicarium at Palmengarten

Explore themed displays like the Rock Garden, filled with alpine flora. Tropical plants thrive in a climate-controlled environment at the Tropicarium, and the succulent collection at Palmengarten is a treasure trove of rare and exotic species.

Wander through the meticulously landscaped lawns, and you’ll encounter water lilies in serene ponds, towering palms, and vibrant blooms—all against the backdrop of Frankfurt’s skyline.

Visit old ‘Palm Joseph,’ a centuries-old palm tree that has witnessed the changing seasons for over 150 years. When you’re done, pop into the Palmenhaus Café for a coffee surrounded by the picturesque greenery of Palmengarten.

INSIDER TIP: Palmengarten hosts occasional nighttime events that illuminate the gardens, creating a magical atmosphere. Be sure to book a spot!

Senckenberg Natural History Museum

Delve into the history of the Earth at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum. Based in the Senckenberganlage district, this treasure trove is one of Europe’s largest natural history museums.

Established in 1817, the Senckenberg Natural History Museum reveals the wonders of our planet’s past and present. Expect encounters with life-sized replicas of prehistoric creatures, from towering dinosaurs to ancient mammals.

Senckenberg Natural History Museum

Marvel at one of the most extensive collections of stuffed birds globally, with specimens dating back centuries. Uncover a wealth of information at the museum’s interactive discovery stations. Touch fossils, examine specimens under microscopes, and engage in educational activities.

Delve into the world of paleontology with Senckenberg’s exclusive fossil preparation workshops. Work alongside experts to uncover fossils and learn the delicate art of preparing ancient specimens.

INSIDER TIP: Watch out for special events like ‘Night at the Museum,’ where you can explore the exhibits after regular closing hours!

Main Tower

See the city from a bird’s eye view from the top of the Main Tower. Standing in the financial district, this iconic 56-story skyscraper defines the city skyline and promises views like no other!

Constructed in 1999, the Main Tower is the fourth-tallest building in Frankfurt, reaching an impressive height of 200 meters. As you ascend to its observation deck, you’ll journey through Frankfurt’s past, present, and future.

View from Main Tower

From the deck, you’ll be treated to unobstructed, 360-degree views of the city. For the best experience, I highly recommend visiting during the late afternoon to witness the city transition from daylight to the enchanting glow of evening lights. You won’t be disappointed!

Fun fact: The Main Tower is home to a colony of peregrine falcons. These majestic birds have found an unlikely urban sanctuary, nesting and soaring amidst the steel and glass. Keep a keen eye during your visit; you might see these feathered residents gracefully navigating the cityscape.

INSIDER TIP: While the observation deck offers fantastic views, you can also enjoy superb vistas from the outdoor Skyline Garden without the crowds.

Frankfurt Cathedral

Experience Frankfurt’s medieval charm at the awe-inspiring Frankfurt Cathedral. Officially known as St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, this magnificent church is an architectural gem!

Built in the 14th century, the Frankfurt Cathedral has a magnificent Gothic façade with intricate stone carvings. Inside, a sanctuary is adorned with breathtaking stained-glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and religious artifacts that echo tales of bygone eras.

Frankfurt Cathedral

Beneath the cathedral, the crypt houses unexpected treasures and historical artifacts. Explore the hidden corners to discover centuries-old tombs and remnants that reveal fascinating tales of Frankfurt’s past.

Climb the tower’s spiraling staircase for breathtaking panoramas of Frankfurt’s skyline. Time your visit to coincide with the golden hour—the magical period just before sunset.

INSIDER TIP: For an unforgettable experience, book a guided twilight tour. As the sun sets and the cathedral is bathed in the soft glow of evening, knowledgeable guides share captivating stories and legends associated with the cathedral.

Städel Museum

If you’re an art lover, visiting the Städel Museum is a must! Set on the banks of the Main River, the museum boasts a rich collection of art spanning seven centuries and diverse genres.

The Städel Museum dates back to 1815 when banker and art enthusiast Johann Friedrich Städel bequeathed his private collection to the city of Frankfurt. Over the years, the museum has become a dynamic institution, displaying European art from the Middle Ages to the present.

Städel Museum

Wander through the themed galleries, ranging from Renaissance wonders to the vibrant colors of the Impressionist movement. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Monet.

The Städel Museum harbors a secret garden—a tranquil outdoor space tucked away from the city’s hustle. Head to this hidden oasis to reflect amidst sculptures and greenery. End your visit over coffee or drinks on the terrace of the museum café overlooking the Main River.

INSIDER TIP: Arrange for a special after-hours private viewing of select galleries at the Städel Museum. This exclusive experience allows you to explore the artworks in a more intimate setting, free from the usual crowds.

Goethe House

Step into the world of literary genius at the Goethe House. Standing on Großer Hirschgraben, this historic residence was once home to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany’s most celebrated writers.

Goethe House

Located in the picturesque neighborhood of Sachsenhausen, Goethe House is the sanctuary that inspired some of the poet’s most significant works. Wander through the rooms and travel back to the late 18th century to enjoy a glimpse into Goethe’s daily life.

Spend a moment in the study where Goethe penned his masterpieces. Enjoy a stroll in the gardens and reflect on the literary legacy of this iconic figure.

INSIDER TIP: Take a guided evening tour that concludes with a private reading of select Goethe passages in the rooms where they were written. Enjoy a truly intimate encounter with literary history.


Love the sights, sounds, and aromas of a bustling food market? Then the Kleinmarkthalle is not to be missed! This lively market at Hasengasse 5-7 has been a foodie’s paradise since 1954.

As you step into Kleinmarkthalle, a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and scents envelops you. Counters brim with fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, aromatic spices, and local delicacies.


From Frankfurt’s signature Grüne Soße to international spices, Kleinmarkthalle offers a global gastronomic experience within its compact confines. Merchants uphold a time-honored tradition – goods are often sold out by early afternoon. Venture into the market’s lower level, which houses specialty shops and vendors offering rare finds!

During the festive season, Kleinmarkthalle transforms into a holiday spectacle. The market stalls don festive decorations, and special seasonal treats emerge, making it an ideal time for a visit.

INSIDER TIP: Plan a visit on Fridays just before closing time. Some vendors offer discounts to clear their remaining stock, allowing you to snag top-quality items at budget-friendly prices.

Bethmann Park

Enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Bethmann Park. Nestled in the Nordend district, this peaceful urban space is the perfect escape from the nearby bustling Berger Strasse. Originally the private garden of the prominent Bethmann family, it opened to the public in the late 19th century.

Stroll through meticulously landscaped gardens brimming with vibrant roses and exotic plants. Explore the Rose Garden to discover a rare collection of historic rose varieties, including some that are no longer widely cultivated.

Bethmann Park

Admire the fusion of Eastern and Western landscaping styles in the Japanese garden. Tranquil streams, ornamental bridges, and specific flora create a serene atmosphere. Head to the quaint tea house for a traditional tea ceremony experience with delectable treats.

Pack a picnic and head to the open lawns, find a cozy spot by the pond, or look for the hidden grotto tucked away in a secluded corner. This charming spot, adorned with ivy-covered walls and a trickling fountain, offers a peaceful retreat from the main paths.

INSIDER TIP: Venture off the main paths to discover a concealed gem – the Monopteros. Tucked away in a secluded corner, this small classical temple provides a peaceful retreat with open columns and scenic views.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Delve into the world of contemporary art at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Head to the historic Römer district to find this treasure trove of modern art and its diverse exhibitions.

Founded in 1986, the Schirn Kunsthalle houses a captivating blend of international and local contemporary artworks. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations, you’ll find it here.

Schirn Kunsthalle FrankfurtSchirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

The Schirn Kunsthalle has a history of hosting groundbreaking exhibitions that challenge conventional norms. From retrospectives of iconic artists to thematic group displays, the institution is known for pushing artistic boundaries.

INSIDER TIP: The Schirn Kunsthalle hosts artist-in-residence programs, providing emerging artists a space to create and experiment. You might catch glimpses of these artists at work, offering a rare behind-the-scenes look into the creative process.

Zu den 12 Aposteln

End your adventures in Frankfurt with a traditional meal at the historic Zu den 12 Aposteln (To the 12 Apostles) tavern. Located in the vibrant district of Sachsenhausen, Zu den 12 Aposteln has been serving delicious fare since 1949.

Originally a cider pub, Zu den 12 Aposteln has a rustic, warm ambiance with wooden beams, traditional décor, and warm lighting. The tavern is deeply connected to Frankfurt’s cider culture. Trying the regional specialty of Apfelwein (apple wine) is a must!

Expect a fusion of Frankfurt’s culinary traditions and modern twists on the menu. Order a mix of traditional dishes to get an authentic taste of Hessian cuisine. Classics like Handkäse mit Musik (marinated sour milk cheese) or Grüne Soße (green sauce) are local favorites.

If the weather’s good, grab a table in the charming courtyard and enjoy your meal surrounded by greenery.

INSIDER TIP: Beneath the surface of Zu den 12 Aposteln lies an underground cellar with historical artifacts. Dive into the cellar’s hidden history by requesting a private tour. Uncover the tales behind the ancient artifacts, hear stories of Frankfurt’s folklore, and perhaps encounter a few surprises!

Mia Russell

Mia Russell is a freelance writer based in South Africa with a passion for travel. She’s travelled to 35 countries and counting, and when she is not in the water swimming, freediving, or snorkeling in beautiful places around the world, she is writing about her experiences. Before becoming a freelance travel writer, Mia worked as Chief Copy Editor for Glamor magazine and Managing Editor for One Small Seed Magazine. She's a regular contributor to travel websites like Go City, Bookmundi, The Maldives Expert, and Heritage Safaris.

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