How to spend a 24 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany

Known for its rebuilt, cobble stone old town and German Christmas markets, Frankfurt is the financial hub and fifth most popular city in Germany. It is also home to busiest international airport in the country which is where I recently landed for a strategic 24 hour stop over in attempt to soften the effects of jet lag after a 14 hour flight from Singapore. 

Romerbergs’ medieval Prussian courtyard and tasteful architecture enjoyed with tasting the prized delicacy of ‘Apfelwein’ made Frankfurt the perfect taste of Germany after a long two years without overseas travel.

As Frankfurt is the main gateway into Germany from the air, it is the perfect pit stop for any long haul trip. As the city is not as large as Berlin, Munich or Hamburg, it is easy to get a good flavour of the area within 24 hours. Here is everything you need to know and can realistically do in one day from early in the morning onwards.

Know before you go

Currency: Just like most other countries in Europe, Germany uses the Euro. Although German stores accept most cards, they normally add an additional fee and prefer cash. You can exchange or withdraw your money at the airport, or any geldautomat (ATM) which can be found in most major train stations and shopping precincts. 

Language: The official language in Frankfurt is German. Frankfurt is also a hugely multi-cultural city so you can expect multiple languages being spoken. Most Germans can also speak reasonable English however learning some basic german words is always appreciated amongst the locals. 

How to get around: Frankfurt has an efficient and well maintained transport system. The easiest and most affordable means of transport from the airport to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt central station) is via the DB Regional train service. Access to this is situated on the lowest floor of the airport. Here you can purchase tickets from the RMV ticket kiosks within the train station or the RMV app for 4.50 euro one way. Additionally, bus services can be found outside of the airport near the pick up bay. Here you can purchase a single one way ticket for 3.80 euro from the driver. 

To get around Frankfurt city you can use the U-Bahn (underground rail system) which is the most convenient means to travel. You can purchase tickets from the RMV ticket kiosks or online. I recommend purchasing the single day pass for up to 10 euro for unlimited U-Bahn access for the 24 hours that you will be in the city, alternatively a single ticket costs between 1.85- 2.75 euro a single journey. 

top 5 places to visit

Romerberg: Start by traveling to the Dom/ Romer Platz stop via the U-Bahn. Romerberg is the beating historic heart of the Altstadt (old town) which was heavily bombed during WWII. Reconstructed to resemble its original 15th century form, the cobble stoned Platz is now lined with neo gothic facades and baroque architecture who’s timber frames bed botanical over-growth and budding blooms. The Platz homes St Nicholas church and the 600 year old Rathaus (city hall). In December you can expect the streets to be filled with a plethora of German Christmas market stalls, which have become a European cultural mainstay.

Frankfurt Cathedral: Frankfurt Cathedral can be found just east of Romerberg. The 16th century gothic building is the largest religious building in Frankfurt. Climb the cathedrals’ tower takes in 328 steps but the reward is amazing views of the cityscape and riverside.

Main River: Just two blocks south of Frankfurt Cathedral you can find the river Main. The river Main is the longest river lying entirely in Germany. Crossing the river via the Eiserner Steg (the only walking bridge) is home to thousands of padlocks that symbolise love by couples around the world. The bridge also boasts an incredible view of the Neustadt skyline which displays the panoramic Main Tower. 

Sachenhausen: The Eiserner steg leads south of the Main river to the picturesque neighbourhood Sachenhausen. Unlike Romerberg that was heavily bombed and reconstructed, this area of the city remained relatively intact and preserved. Here you can find quaint streets lined by timber framed buildings that glow every hue. It’s also filled with a plethora of bars that offer green, scenic beer gardens. Here you can try a glass of Apfelwein, a cider that is iconic to Frankfurt and loved by tourists. offer. Sachenhausen is also accessible from the city via the Sachenhausen Bahnhof (train station).

Main Tower: Just a 9 minute walk from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof you can find the cities’ most iconic skyscraper, Main Tower. The tower stands a whopping 200 meters tall. For 9 euro you can sweep yourself skywards to its observation deck from the top floor to view Frankfurt city and the local surroundings which I recommend doing in the evening when the city is lit up.

Where to eat and drink

Balthasar Ress Weinbar & Vinothek: Located just east of Romerberg, this elegant and cosmopolitan wine bar offers an extensive list of German wines that can be perfectly paired to eloquently presented small dishes.

Kaffeehaus Goldene Waage: This fairytale coffee house is the perfect place to indulge in mouthwatering pastries, chocolate and cakes along with freshly ground coffee.

Apfelweinwirtschaft Zur Germania: If you fancy a social and cosy atmosphere that provides hearty and delicious old and new German cuisine than this is your place. Here you can choose from a number of freshly cooked regional dishes that will give you a taste of Germany.

Klosterhof: This quintessentially German pub serves mouthwatering traditional dishes along with a beer on tap aplenty. If you’re looking for a traditional German pub, than the Klosterhof is a must.

Where to stay

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof: Located a mere 13 minutes from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, this sophisticated accomodation is decorated with elegant furnishings and homes its own spa and fine dining restaurant. If you’re looking to recover from you jet lag in luxury than this is your place to stay.

Melia Frankfurt City: This stylish city accomodation offers panoramic views from the lofty heights of a sky scraper. With minimalistic and elegant features, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the vista from your hotel room.

Niu Coin: This budget friendly accomodation is in the heart of Frankfurts Romerberg. With a bar and shared lounge, this is the perfect place to sit and socialise with people from around the globe.

Jumeirah Frankfurt: With breathtaking views of the city skyline and affluent interiors, the Jumeirah offers a plethora of luxury services such as a holistic relaxation spa, rainforest showers and a seasonal walk-in wine cupboard.

I’m an Australian blogger based in Central West NSW who has spent the last few years exploring the four corners of the globe, living as an expat and falling in love with the world just a little bit more everyday. Here you can find my tips, guides and experiences to help inspire you for your next trip!

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2 responses to “How to spend a 24 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany”

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