Planning you’re first ever trip to Frankfurt? Well, you’ve chosen a mighty fine part of Germany to visit, so congratulations there. I had my first visit to Frankfurt recently and was blown away by the contrast in old and new. One minute you’re overlooking a bustling business district, walking between skyscrapers and the next you’re on cobble-stone streets, looking at historic buildings and feeling as though you’ve stepped back in time. It’s a magical place that offers a wealth of history, fun and fantastic food all waiting to be discovered by you! To help you make the most of your Frankfurt experience, here’s my guide on everything you need to know for your first visit.
How to get there
I found myself in Frankfurt by flying from Singapore to Düsseldorf with Singapore Airlines, which you can read about here. I spent a few days exploring Düsseldorf and Cologne, then we drove to Frankfurt. The drive was actually really easy and very fun, a great way to see the country properly and feel like you’re having an adventure. If you can do the same, I’d recommend it. Otherwise, you can also fly from Singapore to Frankfurt with Singapore Airlines. Just a friendly reminder also that budget airlines like Scoot offer great rates from Australia to Singapore, I can sometimes scoop up flights with them for as little as $120AU one-way from Gold Coast to Singapore.
The best time to visit
Not sure when to visit? Well, possibly one of the best times to visit in December, when you’ll find the famous Christmas Markets in full swing. It’ll be very cold, but it’ll be absolutely magical. If you don’t mind the cold, you’ll find it nice and chilly with the possibility of snow between December and February. If you’re keen to pack a bit of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest into your Germany itinerary, you’ll be looking to visit in September and October. For long summer days, sunshine and plenty of warmth, try planning your trip for summer, from June to August. If the heat sounds too intense, you’ll be looking at visiting April and May. I visited in July and loved the weather, it was nice and sunny with long, warm summer days.
Where to stay
My tip on the very best place to stay in Frankfurt is the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof. This hotel is perfectly located within walking distance of everything you’ll want to see and do in Frankfurt, from the river and shops to the historic parts of town as well as the big buildings of the CBD. The hotel is historic, having been built way back in 1876 and offers a variety of rooms, from the modern right through to the classic. All the rooms are luxurious and comfortable, offering a really plush setting to relax at the end of each day. I really enjoyed my stay at the Steigenberger because it was luxurious, comfortable and in the ideal location to be the perfect base for my adventures. I definitely recommend it as a great place to stay on your first trip to Frankfurt.
If you need a place to stay closer to the airport, possibly for your last or first night in Frankfurt, I’d recommend a stay at the New Century Hotel Offenbach. I spent one night here and found to be a real surprise packet. From the outside, the building is very underwhelming, then you step inside and find yourself in a modern, elegant paradise! The rooms are crisp, clean and cosy and there are some fantastic on-site restaurants as well as a great hotel bar too.
Things to do
There are many wonderful things to see and do in Frankfurt, so make sure you pack as many as possible into your itinerary! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Catch the best views of Frankfurt from Main Tower
- Take a guided walking tour of the city and learn about its amazing history
- Wander through the historic buildings of Frankfurt’s most well-known square, Frankfurter Romer
- Discover wunderbar artworks at the Staedel Museum
- Lose hours wandering the breathtaking gardens of the Palmengarten
- Film buffs might like to take a trip to the German Film Museum
- If you love museums, make time to visit the Senckenberg Natural History Museum
- The famous Kleinmarkthalle is definitely worth a visit, offering up amazing food and fresh produce
- Do a bit of research before going so you can appreciate it fully, then put Goethe House on your list
- Get off the beaten path and head to Berger Street for great food and shopping
- For your daily dose of another European church, head to St Paul’s and St Bartholomew’s
- Take a stroll along the Main river, it’s a beautiful spot to just soak it all in
- You should also add your very own love-lock to the hundreds of thousands on the Eiserner Steg bridge.
Where to eat and must-try food
The German’s sure know how to fill your belly with great food and drink. Don’t miss out on finding the best! Here are my tips on must-try food and drink and where to find good chow.
- Make sure you enjoy at least one jug of Frankfurt’s famous Apple Wine, try the Old Sachsenhausen district
- Get stuck into a famous Frankfurter sausage and try the famous Green Sauce
- For an uber-classy lunch or dinner with delicious wine, try dining at Breeze by lebua
- Don’t forget to cruise the Kleinmarkthalle and stock up on yummy bites to make your own river-side picnic
- Grab a bite to eat at Fletchers Better Burgers
- For fabulous Greek fare, make a beeline for Ariston
- If you’re craving traditional German food and hearty portions, be sure to visit Ebbelwoi Unser
- Sink your teeth into the best kind of worscht at Best Worscht in Town
- If you need to get your fill of pasta, try dining at Quattro for amazing Italian food
- I found this great guide on the 5 best beer gardens in Frankfurt, use it wisely!
What to pack
Last, but certainly not least, you’re going to need to think about what to pack. Luckily for you, I’ve already got that covered and have put together a detailed guide on ‘What to pack for a trip to Germany.‘ Read it, print it out, check things off and let it guide you to packing Nirvana!
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.