Whether you’re visiting on a day trip, stopping en route to the Rhine Valley, or making the most of a layover, one day in Frankfurt is just enough time to these the highlights. There’s no time to spare, so plan your itinerary in advance, pre-book tickets for must-see attractions, or choose a tour that covers it all. Here are your options.
Morning: Hop Around Frankfurt
Maximize your time in Frankfurt by joining a guided city tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour, which takes the hassle out of navigating a new city. Listen to the onboard commentary as you drive along the riverside, stopping at the museum embankment and crossing the Friedensbruecke (Peace Bridge).
Continue through Frankfurt’s Financial District, the largest in Germany, where the 19th-century Frankfurt Stock Exchange building stands amid a sea of skyscrapers. Look for landmarks like the Goethe House (birthplace of author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), the Eschenheimer Tower (part of the city’s late-medieval fortifications), and the New Opera House, and perhaps climb the Main Tower for a spectacular view over the city.
Afternoon: Explore the Römerberg
The highlight of any Frankfurt tour is the Römerberg, the lively main square located at the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town). Lined with medieval half-timbered buildings, this area is home to the old and new Town Halls, the 12th-century St. Nicholas Church, and the Historical Museum.
A short stroll away, St. Paul's Church and St. Bartholomew's Cathedral are both worth a peek, while the Zeil is Frankfurt’s principal shopping boulevard. Be sure to stop by Frankfurt's Kleinmarkthalle, the main market hall, where you can sample local specialties from Frankfurter sausages to Frankfurter Kranz (cream cake).
Night: Cruise the Main River
Frankfurt’s modern skyline is even more impressive by night, and the best views are from the water. Set sail on an evening cruise along the Main River and enjoy a delicious dinner on board as you float past the glittering skyscrapers and illuminated landmarks.
If you’ve still got energy to spare after your cruise, the Sachsenhausen district is the most atmospheric place to experience Frankfurt’s nightlife. Sip a glass of Apfelwein (apple wine) at one of the historic wine taverns or join locals at one of the many bars or jazz clubs along Dreieichstrasse and Brückenstrasse.