What to do, see and eat on a weekend in Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main – or how we call it sometimes – Mainhattan. Why? Because of its iconic skyline! (You’ll love the view!) German cities usually don’t rise up in the air, so such skyscrapers aren’t too usual here. I personally love skylines, so Frankfurt will always have my heart. A few years ago, I moved to Frankfurt for my first Airline and spent around one year in this beautiful city until I moved to Nuremberg
This post will show you my favorite attractions, restaurants, and things to do for a weekend in Frankfurt.
This is a quite long post, so make sure to use the navigation down below to skip to the topics you wanna know more about if you’re not up for reading the whole thing. Plus I’ve included a printable bucket list and travel guide at the bottom of the post so you’ll be prepared once you’re in „Mainhattan“ for the weekend.
Table of Contents
TOP SIGHTS FOR A WEEKEND IN FRANKFURT A.M.
1 - Frankfurt Airport
If you’re arriving by plane, you’re already inside one of my favorite places on earth. Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the biggest airport in Germany and one of the most important turnstiles for international air traffic. With 70,5 Million passengers in 2019, the airport ranks high for the world’s biggest airports.
If you’re into Aviation and Airplanes, I’d recommend participating in one of the Airport tours to learn more about the airport and get some behind the scenes views. Another great thing to do here is watching the planes from one of many observation platforms—the most common one is the visitor’s terrace in Terminal 2 (3€ entrance fee). The “spotter “platforms like “Landebahn Nordwest “or the “Luftbrückendenkmal “are for free as they are outside of the Terminals near the highway.
Frankfurt Airpot is close to the city center – meaning the tram will get you to the main station in 15 minutes only. That’s amazing, especially when you’re only coming for a weekend in Frankfurt. Nobody likes long train rides to the hotel after the arrival, right?!
(ok this one already got quite long. I’ll keep it shorter from now on, promise!)
2 - Römer(berg)
The Römer is Frankfurts former city hall and is still the seat of the city’s Lord Major. Its iconic three-gabled roof looks absolutely stunning. The „Römerberg“ is the row of old, half-timbered houses across the city hall. Right in the middle of the historic city center, you’ll find the Fountain of Justice.
3 - Jewish Museum
This museum will guide you through Jewish culture from past to present. It houses history exhibitions and many digital programs focussing on education. If you’re in for culture and testimonies, you can’t miss this one. There are more permanent exhibitions in the Judengasse (focussing on Frankfurts former Jewish ghetto) and the Rothschild Palace. If you’re a foodie, try the “FLOWDELI” kosher deli-style restaurant attached to the museum.
4 - Eiserner Steg
This bridge is trendy, not only because of the great skyline view but also because of all the love locks hanging around. Eiserner Steg is a pedestrian bridge that connects the old town with Sachsenhausen. One of my personal highlights due to its amazing view of the skyscrapers.
5 - Maintower / Eurotower
The Main Tower is the skyscraper that’s opening its doors to the public. It has a rooftop observation platform I am still dying to visit (thanks to Covid, it was closed last time I went to Frankfurt) since it offers an incredible panoramic view at 200m height.
Being one of the more famous towers in Frankfurt, the Euro Tower has been home to the European Central Bank from 1993 to 2004. The most iconic view is from the front with the €-sign stating in front of the tower—one of Frankfurt’s most photographed places.
By the way… many parking garages offer a great view from their top floors, too. For FREE! 😉
6 - Alte Oper
The old opera house, the „Alte Oper, “is known for outstanding concerts across the borders. With its fountain in front of the historical facade, it doesn’t only offer a great view. The opera has been destroyed during WW2, and its restoration took almost four decades. Nowadays its modern concert halls offer various programs in many sections like classical music, jazz or even musicals. The halls and salons are housing balls and congresses.
7 - Museumsufer
The Museumsufer is a unique boulevard of museums. No matter what you’re most interested in, I’m sure the Museumsufer will offer a museum you’ll like. They range from Applied Arts, Film, History, antique sculptures, and much more. PLUS: you’ll have a decent view of the skyline.
What else to do on a weekend in Frankfurt?
- Old Sachsenhausen: The place-to-be at night! Amongst old, timbered houses, you’ll find some great pubs with outside seating areas to enjoy some of the famous apple wine (so-called „Äppler“).
- Alte Brücke: another bridge with a nice view of the skyline and fewer tourists. Iconic here are the „Neue Portikus“ and the „Brickegickel. “
- Paulskirche: This church hosts award presentations and cultural/political awards. This goes back to its history. It served as the seat for the first German national assembly, which was pathbreaking for our constitution nowadays.
- Kleinmarkthalle: If you love food, especially regional specialties, make sure to check out the Kleinmarkthalle. Here, you’ll find around 150 market stalls selling fresh, regional products and imported international delicacies.
- Historisches Museum: Located in the old town close to the Römer, this museum is the oldest in Frankfurt. It covers the city’s history and acts as a place for reflection, memory, and discussion.
- Shopping on the Zeil: The „Zeil“ is the promenade where you’ll find all the shops you need. There’s Zara, Adidas, Primark, H&M, and so much more. If you’re done strolling along the streets, make sure to check out the „MyZeil“ shopping center for some more shops. „MyZeil“ itself is a very modern shopping center with a futuristic design. If you’re more into designer stuff, make sure to cross the Hauptwache towards the Freßgass (Frankfurts culinary mile), from where you’ll head into the Goethestraße. In this area, you’ll find all the higher class shops.
The “MyZeil” shopping center offers an ice rink during the winter months where you can skate while enjoying the view.
These are just some of the many attractions in Frankfurt am Main. The city offers a lot more, especially when it comes to museums and churches.
THE TASTE OF FRANKFURT
If you would ask anyone born and raised in Frankfurt what a foreigner should try, they’ll probably tell you to drink some apple wine ASAP. And then get a nice german dish with „grüne Soße. “ This translates into „green sauce“ and consists out of many herbs. Traditionally, you’ll have it served cold with potatoes and eggs. A must-try for your Frankfurt weekend!
When it comes to apple wine, you might want to know those expressions:
- „Bembel“ = the stone jug it is served in
- „Sauergspritzter“ = apple wine mixed with sparkling water
- „Süßgspritzter“ = apple wine mixed with lemonade (just don’t do it… just… no please, lol)
- „Älpler, Ebbelwoi,..“ = apple wine
(I’m pretty sure there are a lot more expressions I also don’t know)
Another famous dish of the area is „Handkäs mit Musik. “ In English, that would be „hand cheese with music“… I know… weird, right? It’s a regional cheese marinated in vinegar, oil, and onions and served with bread and butter. Not my personal favorite, but hey – just try it! It will be special for sure!
Anyway – let’s get to some restaurants I loved most while living there. Maybe you’ll check some of them out during your weekend in Frankfurt. Make sure to make a reservation when going for dinner, especially on the weekends!
All restaurants are tagged on the map down below!
Modern, located at the river and offering great food with a great view – perfect. This one is a little pricier but definitely worth it. The outside area is just as beautifully designed as the inside, and the drinks and meals are tasty! A great spot to enjoy a decent sundowner!
IM HERZEN AFRIKAS
Hands down one of my favorite – if not THE favorite – restaurants in the city. Im Herzen Afrikas translates into “In the heart of Africa “and – surprise – offers traditional east African cuisine. While sitting on the floor in a dark, cozy area decorated with many pillows (they have chairs, too – don’t worry), you’ll choose your traditional meal. It’s served on big plates with delicious bread – NO cutlery here. The food is amazing, and the concept fascinates me a lot. Highly recommend this one!
DIE KUH DIE LACHT
Everybody needs a good burger sometimes, right? This one is one of my favorite burger restaurants in Frankfurt. They offer a variety of burgers (especially vegan and veggie) made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Clean ingredients and a sustainable concept are what makes this one great. And it tastes delicious, of course!
SPENDING A SUMMER WEEKEND IN FRANKFURT?
If you’re up for rooftop bars, you should head to the “Long Island Summer Lounge “in the summer months. It’s located on top of a parking garage in the middle of the city. Palm trees, swimming pools, lounge chairs, and good drinks while enjoying the sun and the view… sounds like a perfect summer evening, right?!
L’Osteria is an Italian franchise restaurant enjoying high popularity in Germany. Their food never disappoints, and the ambiance is always charming. Most famous are their Pizzas since they’re SO big! There are more L’Osteria restaurants in Frankfurt, but the one in the Gutleutviertel is located beautifully on the water and outside of the old town, so it’s always been my personal favorite.
ALEX Skyline Plaza
ALEX – another franchise restaurant/bar concept that’s very well known in our country. We love to go there because they serve such a wide variety of foods of good quality. Especially for those evenings with friends where you’re not sure if you wanna eat (a lot) or just have some drinks – Alex is your place. Order some cocktails, get jealous of your friend’s pasta dish, and order some Chili con carne. Oh, and then order some fries for everyone to grab. There’s always something for everyone, and the prices are more than fair. Amongst all ALEX restaurants in Frankfurt, the Skyline Plaza one (on top of the shopping center) offers a great view from the “Skyline garden ” rooftop terrace.
GET OUT OF THE CITY
If you want to escape the big city for a while, here are some ideas for where you could go to either see another city or breath some fresh air in nature. The perfect weekend!
The Taunus offers a variety of To-Dos for your weekend getaway in Frankfurt’s surroundings. Hiking, riding the (mountain)bike, canoeing, or even skiing in the winter months are just some of the activities you could do. The area is huge and especially great for hiking.
(Foodie Tip: There’s a restaurant called Waldgeist, where you can eat the biggest Burger and Schnitzel I’ve ever seen… I mean… just look at that picture!)
The “Lohrberg “is Frankfurt’s local mountain and offers a great view of the skyline while walking in nature. The mountain is easy to reach and great playgrounds for kids. If you’re getting hungry, the “Lohrberg Schänke “got you covered. It’s perfect for a small snack during your walk with inside seating and an outside beer garden.
An elegant city with a lot to offer. The iconic Kurhaus, with its magnificent ballrooms, is one of Wiesbaden’s highlights. In its late classical style, the city palace is another beautiful building amongst other attractions like the State Theatre, Biebrich palace, or the town hall. Up for a sparkling winery tour? Check out the Henkell Champagne Production Facility! A brand well known across all borders!
Mainz is, just like Wiesbaden, only a short car/train ride away from Frankfurt City and will greet you with its charming old town and timbered houses. Go for a walk along the Rhine, visit St. Martins cathedral, and make sure to enjoy some regional wine. Cheers! A great city to stop by during a weekend in Frankfurt!
Nuremberg, our hometown and one of the most famous cities in Bavaria, isn’t too far from Frankfurt as well. If you’re in the area, make sure to read about my favorite Cafés in Nuremberg!
Some free printables for your weekend in Frankfurt 🙂
So this has been a lot, right? Frankfurt am Main has so much to offer. Make sure you do your research before heading for your trip to this city. I hope you’ll enjoy your time exploring the museums, admire the skyline, and indulge in the local food specialties.
As always, I hope you’re happy and healthy. Enjoy your weekend in Frankfurt!
See you soon,