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How to Spend 1 Day in Frankfurt, Germany

Romerberg, Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany is a wonderful blend of old town charm and modern marvels. You can still see a lot even if you only have a short amount of time to spend in the city. Here is the best way to spend one day in Frankfurt.

1 Day in Frankfurt Itinerary

On the way back from our Christmas trip to Bavaria, we got caught up in the holiday flight cancellations (ugh!). While it was incredibly frustrating, it meant we had a whole extra day to spend in Frankfurt.

Side note: If you have a flight arriving in or departing from the European Union and it is delayed or canceled, you’re likely eligible for compensation. can help you find out if you qualify and can help you file a claim.

So if you find yourself just passing through or with a long layover, allow me to show you how to spend 24 hours in Frankfurt, Germany.

Where to Stay for a Short Visit to Frankfurt

Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany

The best place to stay in Frankfurt if you’re just passing through is the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport.

Located in The Squaire building above Frankfurt Airport Train Station, the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport gives you easy access to the airport, long-distance trains, and regional trains.

Getting from the Airport Train Station to the City Center

It’s just a short 15-minute train ride from the Frankfurt Airport Train Station into the city center. The train station for short distances is located on the ground floor of the airport below Terminal 1.

You’ll want to take the S-Bahn (the light rail commuter train), either S8 or S9 train. For this itinerary, I recommend going to Frankfurt (Main) Hauptwache station (rather than the Hauptbahnhof main rail station) to put you closest to the recommended sights on this itinerary.

Related: Get the Frankfurt Card for free public transportation and discounts at museums

Things to Do and See in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is situated on the River Main and has a history as an important trading center. Its central business district, nicknamed “Mainhattan”, has a skyline of modern skyscrapers and is a major financial hub. Over in Frankfurt’s Old Town, you’ll find medieval townhomes, boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants.

There are a ton of interesting museums in Frankfurt, plenty to fill a longer trip. But with just a short time in the city, we’re focusing on just a few highlights that are close together and easy to get to.


Romerberg, Frankfurt, Germany

Römerberg is a city square in the heart of Frankfurt’s medieval old town. The square’s central feature is the Römer, a medieval building that has been the city hall of Frankfurt since the 1400s. The fountain in the center of the square, the Fountain of Justice (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen), is a restored 1543 statue of the Roman goddess of justice.

Much of the medieval town homes and historical buildings in this area are reconstructions of buildings that were destroyed during WWII. Now, the beautifully restored plaza attracts tourists from all over and hosts Frankfurt’s Christmas market, one of the oldest and largest in the country.

Related Tour: Guided City Walk Frankfurt Highlights and the New Old Town

Historisches Museum Frankfurt

Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Located just off of Römerberg, the Historisches Museum Frankfurt is a history museum that chronicles the development of Frankfurt from the Late Middle Ages to today. It is the city’s oldest museum and is one of the largest city museums in Europe. The museum’s exhibits are housed in the 800-year-old Saalhof as well as a new building constructed in 2017.

The museum’s eight permanent exhibits explore the eventful history of Frankfurt, residential culture in Frankfurt’s old town, the city’s oldest collections, and a look at the present and future of the city. There is also a beautiful model of how old town looked before the WWII bombings.

Lunch at Frankfurter Wirtshaus

Schnitzel and green sauce, Frankfurter Wirsthaus, Frankfurt, Germany

Right by the Historiches Museum Frankfurt is a great lunch spot. Frankfurter Wirtshaus serves modern Frankfurt and Hessian cuisine as well as select international dishes.

On the menu, you’ll find boiled beef, schnitzel, knuckle of pork, grilled chicken, ribs, fish, burgers, steaks and salads.

If you want a traditional Frankfurter meal, you’ll definitely want to get the Grüne Soße (green sauce) here. This sauce is made with seven herbs, and you’ll find it paired with potatoes and hard-boiled eggs or with Schnitzel. Wash it down with Apfelwein (apple wine), an almost apple cider-like drink.

Frankfurt Cathedral

Frankfurt Cathedral, Frankfurter Dom, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus, Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Cathedral (Frankfurter Dom) isn’t actually a true cathedral. Officially, it is called Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew), and it earned the title of Kaiserdom (imperial great church or imperial cathedral) because of its role as a former election and coronation church of the Holy Roman Empire.

The current Gothic church building is the third church on this site, with excavations tracing history back to the 7th century. Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were elected in this church as kings in Germany since 1356, and they were crowned here from 1562 to 1792.

Frankfurt Cathedral didn’t escape damage during WWII: the interior was completely burned out and the building had to be reconstructed in the 1950s.

Related Tour: Frankfurt on Foot Daily Walking Tour in English

Goethe House

Goethe House, Frankfurter Goethe-Haus, Frankfurt, Germany

You can explore the home where German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born and grew up at Frankfurter Goethe-Haus (Goethe House). It was in this house that Goethe created his early works that made him world famous (Götz von Berlichingen and The Sorrows of Young Werther) and began working on his first drafts of Faust.

A walk through the home tells you not only about Goethe but about his family and the life of 18th century Frankfurt. The home displays period furniture, paintings, and books from the Goethe family’s time in the house.

The Goethe House has operated as a museum since 1863. It was destroyed during the bombings of WWII and was quickly reconstructed after the war.

Related Tour: Frankfurt Self-Guided Audio Tour

Dinner at ALEX Frankfurt The Squaire

ALEX Frankfurt Airport The Squaire, Frankfurt, Germany

After exploring Frankfurt, it’s time to head back to the Frankfurt Airport and The Squaire.

The Squaire is Germany’s largest office building, and it’s connected to the airport and sits on top of the train station. Inside, you’ll find hotels, shops, and restaurants like ALEX Frankfurt The Squaire.

ALEX is a stylish restaurant and bar with a huge selection of food and drinks. Whether you’re in the mood for a salad bowl, pasta, curry, a burger, schnitzel, or a steak, you’ll find something to enjoy here. This is the perfect place for dinner before you retire to your airport hotel room or catch a train to your next destination.

Map Out Your Day in Frankfurt

Use the map below to help plan your day in Frankfurt, Germany.

More Germany Itineraries

Ready to visit Frankfurt, Germany? Plan your trip with these tips.



How to Spend 1 Day in Frankfurt, Germany

How would you spend your day in Frankfurt, Germany? Let me know in the comments!

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