The lively metropolis of Frankfurt makes a convenient base for exploring Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, the Romantic Road, and the Rhine River Valley, some of Germany’s most popular spots. Here are some of the top day trip destinations from Frankfurt.
Rhine River Valley
One of the most popular day tours from Frankfurt is to the idyllic Rhine River Valley, and the most atmospheric way to explore the region is by boat. Take a boat cruise from Frankfurt to Mainz, then continue through the UNESCO-listed section between Mainz and Koblenz—one of the most scenic boat rides in Europe, dotted with impressive hilltop fortresses, medieval villages, and natural landmarks.
A half-day or full-day tour to nearby Heidelberg is at the top of many traveler’s itineraries, reached by a drive along the dramatic Bergstrasse, or Mountain Road. Stop off at one of the many wineries and castles before you reach the main attraction—the romantic Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg), once the principal residence of the Kurpfalz Princes and now renowned as one of Germany’s most beautiful castles.
Go back in time with a visit to Germany’s oldest city, Trier, dating back to 2000 BC. Under two hours from Frankfurt, Trier’s main sights are the remnants of the Roman colony established in the city in 16 BC, including Germany’s oldest cathedral, built by Constantine the Great in AD 326. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient city is set on the banks of the Moselle River and features one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Germany, the Liebfrauenkirche, Roman Baths, and a 20,000-capacity Roman Amphitheater.
Lying close to the start of Germany’s iconic Romantic Road, Frankfurt makes a perfect launch pad for exploring Bavaria's most scenic tourist route and there’s plenty to explore even if you’ve only got one day. Starting out at nearby Wurzburg, the road takes in attractions like the medieval town of Rothenburg, the walled city of Augsburg, the Tauber Valley vineyards and, further south, the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.
Those looking to escape the city will find plenty to do in Bavaria’s majestic Black Forest with ample opportunities for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Don’t miss a visit to the picturesque spa town of Baden Baden en route.