Visiting Frankfurt, Germany
The home of close to a million people, Frankfurt is a much-overlooked gem in Germany. Even though smaller than other German cities, the skyline of Frankfurt is starkly different from traditional German cities, with breath taking skyscrapers overlooking the River Main. This guide is made to assist anyone planning to visit Frankfurt!
Germany offers a 90-day visa-free stay to nationals of the UK, USA, Australia, Mexico, and many other countries. This also automatically also includes the other Schengen countries in Europe, such as Austria, Greece, and Hungary. Visit this handy website to learn more about visa requirements before visiting Germany.
Best time to visit Frankfurt
Depending on what you are looking for out of a trip to Germany, the time of year you’ll want to visit during will differ.
Late May – August (Summer Time): Hands down, one of the best times to visit Frankfurt is during the summer months. This is when the city really comes alive. Although it can get a little hot, the temperature is generally fantastic and the banks of the River Main become filled to the brim with city dwellers enjoying the summer sun, having barbecues, and having drinks with friends.
September – October (Autumn/Oktoberfest Season): Of course, if you’re looking for a true German experience, you should look into coming to Frankfurt during Oktoberfest season. The temperatures haven’t dropped to the level they will in November to February and there’s still plenty of sunlight. And of course, the beer!
November – April (The Cold Season): The temperature in Frankfort in the winter and spring tends to be quite chilly. If you don’t like the cold you are better off looking for vacation spots in the south of Europe during these months. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast and look out for snowstorms!
Frankfurt: City tips
When you arrive at Frankfurt Airport, you’ll be wondering about the WIFI situation. And you’re in luck because you’ll have access to WIFI as soon as you step off your plane. Frankfurt Airport is the first major European airport to offer free WIFI to passengers. When you arrive, connect to “Telekom Hotspot”, fill out some information, and start surfing!
At the airport, you’ll have to get into Frankfurt somehow. Frankfurt has one of the highest quality transportation systems in Europe, so you won’t be disappointed. Depending on how long you’re visiting, grab a daily or weekly transportation pass once you get out of baggage claim. One of the unique things about German transportation is that there are no turn stalls. But don’t be fooled into thinking you can get a free ride! Transportation authorities regularly check and will fine you 60 euros if you don’t have t ticket. The cost of all tickets and other info are located on the Frankfurt RMV web page.
While Frankfurt is an incredibly international city and most people will speak some level of English, you will still hear a lot of German. It’s a good idea to get a grasp of some basic German phrases before you head out. A quick list can be found here. Germans are incredibly hospitable and nice people – but don’t be afraid if they come off as rude or indifferent. Many people will describe Germans as “coconuts” – hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. Once you break through the tough outer shell, Germans make the best of friends.
Don’t be fooled by the skyscrapers. Frankfurt is a lot smaller than it seems at first, but there’s still plenty to see and do. If you visit Frankfurt you will soon discover that there are countless sights to see and activities to participate in. Here are some of the top picks:
- Frankfurt is the home to approximately 60 exhibition centers and museums, so these should definitely be on your list. Follow this link to find a list of museums.
- One of the traditional German aspects of Frankfurt is Frankurter Romer, a square in the center of the city with beautiful German architecture.
- A huge landmark in Frankfurt is the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, a massive cathedral – once you climb to the top, you’ll get one of the best views of the city.
What to eat in Frankfurt
The Frankfurt food and drink scene has the best of many worlds. Whether it be Thai, Indian, Turkish, or traditional German food/drinks, you’re going to find anything and everything in this incredibly international city.
One of the Frankfurt classics you absolutely have to try is apfelwein, or translated to apple wine. It’s a little like cider, but quite lighter than most ciders in the US. It’s sometimes described as a mix between cider and wine. But, it’s only found in Frankfurt, so you definitely have to give it a try when you’re in town
After your apfelwein, if you’re craving some German classics, head to Konstablerwache station on a Thursday or Saturday for a huge market, filled to the brim with vendors selling meats, cheese, bread, sausages, and whatever else your heart could desire.
And, if you’re craving some taste of home, you can go to Skyline Plaza and get a burrito bowl at the only Chipotle in Europe, outside of the UK. Or go to any number of American burger joints around the city (there are tons!) like Burger Baby.
What to bring to Frankfurt
Depending on what time you go, your packing list is going to differ a lot.
If you visit Frankfurt in the summer months, note that it can get pretty hot during the day and potentially a little chilly at night. Nothing that a light jacket can’t fix! If you visit during the autumn months, you should bring some extra layers to be safe. If you visit during much colder and rainier months of November to March, make sure you bring a lot of layers, rain gear, and an umbrella. You don’t want to be freezing cold while trying to enjoy the city.
Don’t forget your adapters and converters! German and European outlets generally require 2-pronged plugs, rather than the 3-pronged plugs of the United States. You won’t need a voltage converter for things like your smartphone and laptop, but for larger appliances and electronics like your hair dryer, you will need a voltage converter so you don’t short them out. Visit this site for specific information on adapters and converters in Germany.
Let us know if you are planning to visit Frankfurt in the future. We would be happy to hear from you!
And, if you are looking to visit other cities be sure to visit our other travel guides!