Frankfurt is ripe with culture, restaurants, history, and it is the center of banking and business in Europe. It’s a modern city with some great dining. Eat dinner at one of their famous cider houses, experience the flavor of Frankfurt’s local dishes, relax at a beer garden, spend the afternoon at one of the free parks, or soak up city history museum. While Frankfurt lacks the charm of Munich, Cologne, or Berlin, the city deserves more than its use a stopover point for connecting flights.
Hostel prices – Most hostels in the city cost between $15-25 USD for a dorm bed and $65 for a private room.
Budget hotel prices – The cheapest hotels will start at $55 USD a night for a double room with a private bath. Renting from a local will be your best value, whether an apartment or just a spare room.
Average cost of food – Frankfurt is known for its food, so eating out in their cider houses will set you back about $13 USD for food and $4 for a pint of beer. As long as you don’t go to high end restaurants, you can eat for under $20 per meal in this town. McDonalds and other fast food places cost around $8 USD. You can also get hotdogs and sausages for $3-4 USD from outside street vendors. A week’s worth of groceries will cost between $50-60 USD.
Transportation – A one day ticket on the U-Bahn will cost $8 USD. A Frankfurt Card, which costs $12 USD, gives you access the airport train as well as the entire public transportation system.
Money Saving Tips
Buy a U-Bahn card – Buying a week pass can save you about $13 USD if you’re spending time running around the city.
Purchase a Museumsufer ticket – For those of you that love checking out museums, this two-day pass will save you tons of money. At a mere $24 USD, this card guarantees you access to 34 museums in and around Frankfurt. That also includes any special exhibitions.
Top Things to See and Do
Visit the Dom – Frankfurt’s main attraction, the Dom (main cathedral), dates back to the 14th century when it was used to crown the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It’s a place decorated for royalty with stunning stone and glasswork. Admission is free.
Eat and drink in Sachsenhausen – South of the main river, Sachsenhausen has many of the best cider bars and pubs in the city. After visiting some of these pubs, take a stroll on the river and enjoy the view.
Cross the Eiserner Steg – Otherwise known as the Iron Bridge, this bridge on the way to Sachsenhausen provides great views of the city.
Visit the Städel-Museum – The Stadel Museum displays old and new pieces of art. It has over 10,000 works with a heavy focus on Germany and Renaissance art. It costs $16 USD to get in, and $19 USD on the weekends.
Visit the Museum Judengasse – Germany has troubled past when it comes to its Jewish population. This museums teaches you about the history of Jews of the area and has a Holocaust Memorial Wall that lists the murdered Frankfurt Jewish citizens.
Spend the day at the Palmengarten – This is Frankfurt’s Botanical Gardens and like most botanical gardens you’ll find a wide array of plants from around the world. Admission is $9.50 USD and there are many paths, gardens, flowers, and birds to see here. I think it’s one of the best things to do in the city.
Walk around the Bornheim – Mostly a residential area, Bornheim has many medieval-style houses that survived the war. It’s Frankfurt’s historic area and is your only chance to see what the city looked like before World War II.
Explore the Römerberg – This central, historical area features various buildings and a church from the 14th and 15th century (in reality, the buildings were mostly destroyed during World War II but completely rebuilt afterwards). The Römer itself is the town hall of Frankfurt. Cafés and shops can be found at the square itself and in the vicinity. Most of the area was rebuilt after the war.
Relax in the City Forest – Located in the south of Frankfurt and about 48 square kilometres, it is regarded as the largest forest contained within city limits in Germany. The six playgrounds and nine ponds make the forest a popular place for both locals and tourists who are looking to relax and explore nature.
STroll through the Frankfurt Book Fair – Held in the middle of October every year since the printing press was designed, this fair is considered the largest event of its kind within the publishing industry. It is a week long, but is only open to the public during the last 2 days. A day ticket is $22.50 USD.
EXPLORA Science Center – Housed inside an old World War II bunker, this museum is filled with interactive exhibits and neat features. There are a range of puzzles, optical illusions, and mathematical games to check out. They even have a charge station for eBikes and electric cars. Science is cool!
Visit the zoo – The Frankfurt zoo is somewhat of a typical city zoo. They have many of the traditional, expected attractions you would hope to see. The highlight here, however, is the Grzimek-house, the night attraction where you wander around at night and see night animals.
Visit Offenbach – Just a short bike ride out of Frankfurt, Offenbach is a smaller neighboring city. Despite its size, there are tons of little shops, a Flea market, a Farmer’s market, an old baroque castle, and various historical sights here. It is cheaper than Frankfurt and fun to spend a few days exploring.
Messe Frankfurt – As one of the world’s largest exhibition centers, this venue is often host to a constant array of events. Just two short stops away from the Central Railway Station, it is easy to find and will give you something to do besides the normal tourist sightseeing activities.