best things to do in frankfurt

The Best Things To Do in Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main,  can often be seen as a simple “stopoff” or a “layover” city before travellers really dig into the rest of real Germany.

The truth is however, that Frankfurt is full of back streets, local digs, and completely worthwhile activities that require much more than a stopover. Here are some suggestions of the best things to do in Frankfurt the next time you think about extending your trip there.

The Best Things to do in Frankfurt:

Pack a Picnic on the Main River

On any summer day the Main River is lined with sunbathers, beer sippers, rollerbladers, and any other number of sunshine enthusiasts.

Instead of being overwhelmed with the chrome skyscrapers of downtown Frankfurt, head to a market (Kleinmarkthalle, is the most recommended!) pack a picnic of anything you might fancy, a blanket, and relax, or play, or whatever you’d like.

The Main Café is a favorite local spot that serves beer, wine, and a few signature cocktails—they also rent wonderful reclining chairs if you haven’t brought your own.

the best things to do in Frankfurt

Sip a pure|sparking|sweet Apfelwein in Sachsenhausen

As the sun is setting, one of the best things to do in Frankfurt is head across the river to Alt Sachsenhausen to enjoy Frankfurt’s “signature” beverage. Apfelwein! A bitter version of a cider, this local blend is popular almost exclusively in Frankfurt am Main.

You can drink it pure, with sparkling water, or a sweet sparking soda—whichever way you choose to enjoy, know that it’s a bit of an acquired taste, yet once you start you might not be able to stop!

A wonderfully refreshing beverage served in a cool tall class, and surrounded by the classic cobblestone architecture of Sachsenhausen; this is always one of my favorite things to do in Frankfurt.

the best things to do in Frankfurt

Head to the river and explore a plethora of museums

The banks of the Main River are not only lined with excellent pubs and hidden eateries, but also some of the most prestigious museums in the country. From the Modern Art Museum, to the Jewish Museum, to the Cartoon Museum (a personal favorite) even the Money Museum!

Spend an afternoon perusing a few that strike your fancy, or wait for the ever-popular Museumsuferfest in late August when the whole riverbank comes alive, and all museums are free to enter.

(Provision tip! The last Saturday of each month most museums have free entry for all—in case you miss the festival.)

Explore the quiet ruins of Eppstein Castle

Just outside of Frankfurt is the small village of Eppstein overlooked by a crumbling castle. If you’re looking for a quaint and simple escape from the city, purchase your train tickets; grab some sandwich supplies, a cool bottle of apfelwein, and head into the amazing countryside around Frankfurt.

This is one of my favorite day trips for its simplicity. Even with a late start, you can turn this trip into a delightful afternoon. Walk through the quiet city streets, stop for a coffee, and explore the castle grounds.

If you’re lucky you might show up on a Renaissance festival afternoon, which is absolutely not-to-miss. 

Bike to Langenerwaldsee swimming hole

On a sticky summer day, one of the best things to do in Frankfurt is rent a bike and breeze along the pathways out to the Langenerwaldsee for a swimming session (as well as probably another picnic).

This local swimming hole is kept a secret from tourists, and if you go during the week you won’t even hit the local crowds… This is one of my favorite recommendations for any afternoon that you need to enjoy some nature and cool down.

(Provision Tip: If you don’t fancy biking out of town, the streetcar or straßenbahn will also take you directly there.)

the best things to do in Frankfurt


Overwhelm your senses at the Kleinmarkthalle

Imagine strolling through stands of freshly scoured fruit, buckets of olives drenched in garlic, slices of meat—thick as your thighs, vegan pastries, coffees, teas, and liquors from every inch of the world…still think you’re just in Frankfurt?

The Kleinmarkthalle is one of the best-hidden secrets downtown, and it’s just inches off of the old town—an easy stop on your way to the river, picnic or mid-morning snack.

Found this place by complete accident, and I’ve made it my must-do in Frankfurt every time.


So the next time you find an über-cheap flight that makes its way through the financial center of Europe, don’t just jet in and out; take some time to soak up the quiet corners of the city and relax on the banks of Frankfurt, on the Main.

the best things to do in Frankfurt

Are there any other activities that you suggest doing while staying in Frankfurt? Leave a comment below!