24 hours in Frankfurt, Germany: How to make the most of your layover

Transiting through Frankfurt Airport with 24 hours or less between flights? Be sure to make the most of your layover in Germany by visiting Frankfurt, a major business and financial hub. You may not consider yourself lucky if your layover happens to be in Frankfurt, but trust us, there are highlights that you don’t want to miss. This 24-hour suggested itinerary will lead you to the city’s famous tourist attractions and will help you make the most of your layover. Depending on your traveling priorities, you can certainly fine tune this itinerary to suit your needs. Enjoy Frankfurt!

Things to know before traveling to Germany:

Language – The official language of Germany is German which is spoken by majority of the population. Most German speak English, so you can absolutely get by without speaking German language. However, not all people in Germany can speak English so learning a few basic German words and phrases is recommended. Just like in other countries, speaking at least some German phrases or attempting to learn is greatly appreciated by locals.

Currency exchange – Germany uses Euros, the same currency now used by most European Union countries with the exception of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Prior to traveling, you can buy some euros (enough for one day or whatever your preference) and then exchange your money in the banks to get the best rates. You can also use the Geldautomat (ATM), exchange bureaus which can be found at the airports, major railways stations and in other tourist areas.

Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Germany. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Keep your guard up at all times and avoid any streets that are not crowded. Although most visits are trouble-free, remain vigilant because petty crimes like pick pocketing and theft do occur.

Transportation – Traveling in Frankfurt is relatively easy as all roads are well-maintained and the public transport system is one of Europe’s finest. Metro buses or Strassenbahn (trams) are the cheapest and most popular way of getting around. Trains are also popular because they are relatively cheap and fast. Bicycle rentals are available from Call a Bike for a minimal fee. If you see yourself taking public transportation often, you may purchase a Frankfurt Card (1-day ticket) to save on cost. It gives you free use of RMV (Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund), the public transport network of Frankfurt. For more information, please visit Frankfurt Tourism Website.

Accommodation – Frankfurt has some of the best backpacker hostels, villas and luxury hotels ideally nestled in the heart of the city. The most frequently asked question from first time travelers is, “What’s the best area to stay in when visiting Frankfurt?” If you are going to follow our suggested itinerary, we recommend hotel options in Frankfurt’s city center since all of the main sights are so close to each other and can be easily reached on foot.  If you don’t plan to stay overnight and go straight to the airport after your layover tour, then you can store your luggage at the luggage counters at Terminal 1 and 2 of Frankfurt Airport.

Hotels to consider in Frankfurt:

Grandhotel Hessischer Hof

Jumeirah Frankfurt

NH Collection Frankfurt City

Hotel Concorde


Detailed itinerary: 24 hours in Frankfurt, Germany: How to make the most of your layover

Day 1

After your arrival at Frankfurt Airport, check into your preferred accommodation. The airport is about 12 kilometers from the city center and there are various ways to get to downtown. You will probably arrive at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the city’s central station. One of the largest train stations in Europe, Hauptbahnhof boasts a Renaissance revival architecture. Rest a little at your chosen accommodation. Then, take in a few of Frankfurt’s most famous attractions and get an introduction to its rich history.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof train station, Germany
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is the busiest train station in Germany (tichr / Shutterstock.com)

Start your tour at at Am Hauptbahnhof No. 4. A small apartment, once occupied by Oskar Schindler, is located in the building. Oskar Schnidler was a member of the Nazi but he saved Jews during the Holocaust. From his apartment, make your way to Römerberg (Roman Mountain), one of the most beautiful market squares in Germany and the whole Europe. Just like a typical European market square, Römerberg has colorful and narrow townhouses, churches, a town hall, shops, hotels and other important buildings. Before lunch, visit the Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg) or Staedel Museum.

Römerberg square, Frankfurt, Germany
Römerberg square and the statue of with Justitia (Pigprox / Shutterstock.com)

In the afternoon, walk off those calories with a visit to the Palmengarten, the most famous spot for the nature-lovers in the city and its guests. Then, wander around the lovely shopping street of Goethestraße, a great place to people watch and do some shopping. End the day at Museumsufer (Museum Riverbank).

Palmengarten, Frankfurt, Germany
The Palmengarten is one of two botanical gardens that Frankfurt has to offer to its locals and visitors (Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com)

Day 2

Get a full German breakfast to start your last day. They usually have smoked fish, boiled eggs, meats, potatoes, different cheeses, jams and jellies along with yummy breads of all kinds. A filling breakfast gives you plenty of energy as you set out this morning for the airport. You could even squeeze in some souvenir shopping before you take the S-Bahn  or U-Bahn train back to Frankfurt Airport..

This is the end of our 24-hour suggested itinerary to Frankfurt, Germany. If the pace gets too hectic, just chill out and prioritize which area you would really like to visit. Enjoy your layover in Frankfurt!

Have you been to Frankfurt or anywhere else in Germany? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.

Featured image:  Boeing 747-8 in Frankfurt Airport (Sorbis / Shutterstock.com)

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