Great Day Trips from Frankfurt am Main


Are you looking for day trips from Frankfurt without spending too much traveling time? Are you having a stopover in Frankfurt, but wondering what you could do during the limited stay? Luckily you have many choices.

Since I moved to Germany a couple of years ago, I started to understand this country by visiting places near Frankfurt, the city near where I used to live. I went to a different place nearly every weekend. Gradually I have built up great interests in German language and history. And, traveling is my visual way of learning German history.

While in Frankfurt, you don’t need to hire a car.  Many tours offer you unique experience in Frankfurt and the surrounding area. However, you need a car for some of the day trips from Frankfurt. Traveling details to those places are described in the “How to get there” paragraph.

There are many places you can visit near Frankfurt. Having considered the traveling time, I narrow down the list to include the day trips from Frankfurt-based on driving time. It takes around one hour to each of these places from Frankfurt. You can also reach some places by public transportation. The other main reason to recommend these places is that they represent different aspects of culture, history, and landscapes in this area of Germany.

1. Eltville

Eltville, a small city between Mainz and Rüdesheim am Rhein river. The romantic city merits more attention because of its rose history and its charming little rose garden, vineyards, half-timber houses, and more. It is a tranquil and yet vivid place in which many events take place throughout a year.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 30 minutes, and the distance is around 37 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Related post: Eltville, a Romantic Rose City Along the Rhine River

 

Rose garden in Eltville, Germany
Rose garden in Eltville, Germany

2. Johannisberg Castle

In Rhein upper valley stands out this beautiful castle. The Johannisberg Castle is the birthplace of the famous Johannisberger Rieslings. You can book a tour to visit the cellars and have a wine tour of the Schloss Johannisberg. Alternatively, you can also make a loop walk through the vineyard with nice views of the surrounding. Besides, various musical events take place in the summer and autumn.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 36 minutes, and the distance is about 48 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Day Trips fraom Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Vineyard view from Johannisberg Castle

3. Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rüdesheim is one of the top day trips from Frankfurt. It is so popular that most tourists consider it a must. Rüdesheim is a place with rich culture, history, and traditions. At the heart of Rüdesheim’s old town, visitors can find charming Drosselgasse. Other famous sites are, for example, an excellent wine museum in Brömserburg Castle, the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard, etc. It is also a place to produce the premium German spirit, Asbach Brandy. There is a cable car that brings visitors to the top of the vineyard.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 38 minutes, and the distance is about 52 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Tour

There is an organized wine tasting tour stating from Frankfurt. If you want to try the German wine, this is a good choice for you.

Related post: Rüdesheim Hiking Trail, a Short Walk through the Romantic Rhine Valley

4. Kloster Eberbach

Eberbach Monastery is one of the few almost completely preserved Cistercian monasteries in Europe. The gorgeous old monastery is the main wine producer for the area. But the film “The Name of the Rose” brought Eberbach Monastery to world attention. Eberbach Monastery was the location for almost all the interior scenes. It attracts creative minds, artists, and producers from all over the world.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 32 minutes, and the distance is about 42 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Monastery Eberbach, Germany
Monastery Eberbach, Germany (Source Credit)

5. Ingelheim am Rhein

Being a red wine city and one of the top day trips from Frankfurt, Ingelheim am Rhein is less visited compared to many other German destinations. However, it also has a long history and a rich wine culture. It has no lack of interesting sights and things to do. There are many activities you could do all year round.

Read more at my post: Things to Do in Red Wine City – Ingelheim am Rhein

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 32 minutes, and the distance is about 46 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport. The alternative to getting there is by public transportation S8 at the Airport and then by RB26 at Mainz Central station.

Hiking in the vineyard; Rhine river, hiking trail
The vineyard view in Ingelheim am Rhein

6. Saalburg Roman Fort

Located in Taunus Mountains, Saalburg is the ruins of a Roman village with the atmosphere of an
archaeological landscape park. The Saalburg Roman Fort is part of UNESCO‘s „Upper-German Rhaetian Limes“ World Heritage Site.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 25 minutes, and the distance is about 35 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Saalburg
Saalburg

7. Open air museum Hessen Park

In the middle of the Taunus Mountains, the Hessenpark Open-Air Museum is home to more than 100 historical houses and farmsteads. All buildings were dissembled at their original location and reconstructed on the museum grounds. Those buildings are from all over Hesse and represent the historical Hessian villages. They are grouped into five sections, each resembling a typical region of its origin.

The Hessenpark is one of the popular day trips from Frankfurt on a sunny day. Check its website before visit.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 30 minutes, and the distance is about 44 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Day Trips from frankfurt am Main, Germany
Open air museum Hessen Park

8. Bad Nauheim

From the name, you probably can guess that this is a German SPA town. Yes, you are right. The first attraction in the town is the graduation houses (“Gradierwerk”), which produces a fresh sea breeze. The salty air also has a positive effect on the organism. Visitors can also take a bath in a historical bathhouse.

But Bad Nauheim is not only a SPA town but also famous for many things. A rose museum, Art nouveau Sprudelhof, and historical spa gardens are among the famous sites.

It is worth mentioning that Bad Nauheim was Elvis Aaron Presley’s European Home. Visitors can see his room preserved in the original status in the Hotel Grunewald, take a picture at the place showing on his album cover of A Big Hunk of Love, or eat the delicious chocolate cake that Elvis enjoyed in Bad Nauheim on his 24th birthday.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 30 minutes, and the distance is about 44 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Der Sprudelhof, Bad Nauheim, Germany
Der Sprudelhof, Bad Nauheim, Germany

9. Limburg an der Lahn

Limburg an der Lahn is a well-preserved historic town of the Lahn Valley, well-known for its timber-framed architecture. The main attractions include Timber-framed buildings, the Limburger Dom, the Castle of Limburg and the old Lahn bridge, etc.

how to get there

The best way to get there is by ICE at the Airport and direct to Limburg. The driving time is around 38 minutes, and the distance is about 65 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

10. Marburg

Marburg is a classic German town with lots of charm and character. It is a small university town north of Frankfurt in the Lahn valley. The main attractions are the castle (“Landgrafenschloss”) on the hill, the university’s historical buildings, and the old city (“Oberstadt”, upper city) are the top sights of the city.

Among the labyrinth of narrow and cobbled stone streets are well-preserved examples of 17th and 18th-century Hessian architecture and many independent shops. You will find yourself hopelessly falling in love with the enticing atmosphere.

how to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around one hour, and the distance is about 100 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Marburg
Marburg

11. Wetzlar

Wetzlar is often called the “City of Optics” and is home to manufacturers of microscopes, binoculars, eyeglasses, and cameras. For Leica fan, the Leica Adventure World (Leica Erlebniswelt) is a must to visit. 

Its narrow, winding streets, its houses steeped in history, and the “unfinished” cathedral in the town center are just a few examples of the city’s rich historical background. Wetzlar also has an enchanting Landscape. Many forested hills boast mixed orchards and many hiking trails provide an ideal way to explore the hilly terrain.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 52 minutes via A5, and the distance is about 76 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

12. Bad Dürkheim

Bad Dürkheim is a small but important wine-producing town in the north of Germany’s Pfalz wine region. Some of the local wines are sweet and fruity. Visitors can only buy them from the local shops.  The most attractive thing to me, however, is the world’s biggest barrel Dürkheimer Riesenfass (Giant Barrel). The Giant Barrel is also a restaurant. Besides, the world-famous wine festival also takes Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt place every year near the Giant Barrel.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around one hour via A67, and the distance is about 96 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Weinfass, Bad Dürkheim, Germany
Weinfass, Bad Dürkheim, Germany (Source Credit)

13. Mainz

Being the capital and largest city of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, it’s known for its old town with half-timbered houses, medieval market squares, the Renaissance Market fountain (Marktbrunnen) and an octagonal tower tops the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral. The Gutenberg Museum honors the inventor of the printing press with exhibits, including 2 of his original bibles.

Located in the largest wine-growing region, it is also the wine capital of Germany. It is the perfect base to explore the surrounding of the Rhine river and Main river areas.

How to get there

The best way to get there is to take ICE from Airport.  The journey takes about 17 minutes. The driving time is around 26 minutes via A60, and the distance is about 31 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Tour

Mainz is a big city. You can book one of the following tours in which aim to different interests.

14. Wiesbaden

The city is full of elegant old buildings which testify its former heyday. At that time, many rich people were living there. Some famous buildings in the city are such as Kurhaus, Hessian State Theatre and Town Hall, etc.  Streets and squares are inviting with a great selection of bars, restaurants, and shops. Wiesbaden is also famous for its thermal springs and spa. In history, there were altogether 26 hot springs.

One of the city’s most popular leisure destinations is the Nerobergbahn (Neroberg Mountain Train). It is a unique engineering site because the power of the train is water. Take a ride with Nerobergbahn up the hill you will have a breath-taking view of the Wiesbaden city.

But one of my favourtite day trips from Frankfurt is to Biebrich Palace and its garden next to Wiesbaden. The palace faces the Rhine river. And, its garden has many walkways, ponds, trees, and parrots.

How to get there

The best way to get there is to take S8 or ICE from Airport.  The journey takes about 35 to 42 minutes. The driving time is around 20 minutes via A3, and the distance is about 27 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Biebrich Palace garden
Biebrich Palace garden

15. Frankenstein Castle

The Castle Frankenstein is now in ruins, with only two towers, a restaurant and a chapel remaining.  The hilltop castle is in the middle of Odenwald.  You can combine the visit with other places in the area, such as Felsenmeer, Darmstadt, etc.

While the Castle is a popular day trip destination for those who love hiking and cycling, it has a completely different illusion in the dark Halloween nights. In the 1970s, American soldiers started the Halloween festivals at the Frankenstein castle, which turned out to be among the biggest Halloween parties in Europe.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 28 minutes via A5, and the distance is about 36 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Frankenstein Castle in the middle of Odenwald, on Germany's Bergstraße route
Frankenstein Castle in the middle of Odenwald, on Germany’s Bergstraße route

16. Darmstadt

Darmstadt is a vibrant city in which some big companies like Merk, the European Space Operations Centre, Deutsch Telekom as well as a famous Darmstadt University locate.

One of the attractions is the Waldspirale (wooded spiral) designed by Hundertwasser. The Waldspirale presents a loud testament to Hundertwasser’s hatred of straight lines. The large spiraled building has 105 apartments and more than 1000 windows. None of these windows has the same shaped and many have “tree tenants” growing right through them.

The landmark of Darmstadt is the holistic building artwork of Mathildenhöhe, a hilltop open museum. The magnificent artists’ houses from the period of Art Nouveau give this museum hill its unique flair.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 23 minutes via A5 and the distance is about 27 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Mathildenhöhe
Mathildenhöhe

17. Michelstadt

Located in the heart of the Odenwald nature park the beautiful historic city of Michelstadt is also among the top day trips from Frankfurt. To visit the old part takes around one hour to three hours. Cobbled streets, unique half-timbered houses and shops fill up the old town centre. Next to many sightseeings there are different festivals all over the year.

Read more from post: Michelstadt, a Hidden Gem in Germany’s Odenwald

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 54 minutes via A3/B45, and the distance is about 74 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

You can also get there easily from both Frankfurt and Darmstadt by trains.  The trip takes around one hour. Since Michelstadt is within the public transportation network of the Rhein-Main-Vekehrsverbund (RMV), you can buy train tickets at www.rmv.de or the ticket machines.

Historical Town Hall in Michelstadt; Things to do in Michelstadt
Historical Town Hall in Michelstadt

18. Felsenmeer in Lautertal

Sea of Rocks, Felsenmeer in German, is in the Odenwald, south of Frankfurt. It refers to a large area of crystalline boulders flowing from the hillside down to the valley. The crystalline boulders were formed about 340 million years ago. After a serial of rock formations, the rocks got a rounded shape.

It is fun to hop from boulder to boulder. But it is also dangerous to do so. You should wear proper hiking shoes because some places are steep. Take extra precautions when you want to negotiate the rocks. It takes around 45 minutes to hop from the top to the bottom.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 43 minutes via A5, and the distance is about 50 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Felsenmeer in Odenwald on Germany's Bergstraße route
Felsenmeer in Odenwald on Germany’s Bergstraße route

19. Miltenberg

Miltenberg used to be the favourate location along the old trading route between Nuremberg and  Frankfurt. Its Old Market Place is known as Schnatterloch. The Gasthaus Riesen (The Giant), Germany’s oldest royal inn and the oldest part of the town Schwarzviertel (Black Quarter, are worth seeing.

The Miltenberg castle used to be habitable. But now it is a museum that opens to the public.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 50 minutes via A3/B469, and the distance is about 77  kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

20. Heidelberg

Heidelberg is at the bank of the Neckar river. Visitors can take the funicular up to the landmark Heidelberg castle ruins and strolls around the castle garden. Standing on the famous Old Bridge (“Alte Brücke”), you can have views on both sides of the Neckar river.
What I like the most is the Schlangenweg” (Winding Path) at the end of Old Bridge opposite the old town. It cuts steeply through terraced vineyards until it reaches the Philosophenweg. Along the way, you can have views of the Neckar river and the Heidelberg old town.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 49 minutes via A5, and the distance is about 80 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Tour

If you don’t want to spend time for arranging a visit to Heidelberg, you can book a tour as well. There are tours available starting from Frankfurt.

The Old Bridge of Heidelberg over the river Neckar, Germany
The Old Bridge of Heidelberg over the river Neckar

21. Heppenheim

Heppenheim features impressive half-timbered buildings in the old town area (Altstadt). The Marktplatz is on the top of the hill. Residents reside in many half-timbered houses on the hillside. Unlike in other German towns, most of the old town area is a residential area with several restaurants but almost no shops.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 36 minutes via A5, and the distance is about 53 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Heppenheim, Germany; romantic Bergstrasse
Heppenheim, Germany

22. Steinau an der Strasse

Steinau is a small town for friends of Grimm and fairy tales. Visitors can see, hear, and feel world-renowned fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The cultural highlight of every year in autumn is the festival Steinau Puppeteering Days.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 47 minutes via A3/A66, and the distance is about 78 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

23. Technical Museum in Spreyer

The museum has many interesting displays: submarine,  sea cruiser,  Jumbo Jet, Space Shuttle Buran, etc., everything from underwater to space. Visitors can get into these machines to see the inside layouts. It is the largest in the world of this kind. Just an hour south of Frankfurt, Spreyer is one of the best day trips from Frankfurt for old and young.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 56 minutes via A67/A6, and the distance is about 93 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

24. Ronneburg

Yearly around, the castle there are some special events such as medieval fair or magic shows.  Inside the castle, visitors can climb up the tower to have a breathtaking view of the surrounding beautiful farms and green fields. The castle has a 90 meter deep well where one can throw water and hear the sound a few seconds later.

To experience a medieval atmosphere, you can also book a themed meal, for example, Ritteressen. You have to book it ahead.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 32 minutes via A3, and the distance is about 46 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Inside the Ronneburg
Inside the Ronneburg

25. Schwetzingen Palace

The palace is famous for its beauty and the landscape architects of its gardens. The gardens include more than 100 sculptures and different types of buildings.  The main sites of the palace are the Schwetzingen Castle and the Castle Theatre (Schlosstheatre).

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 47 minutes via A5/A67, and the distance is about 78 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

26. Wertheim

Found in the 7th century, Wertheim is a medieval town with half-timbered houses and small streets. Burg Wertheim (Wertheim Castle) is the landmark of the town.

But most international visitors come to Wertheim Village Outlet for shopping. While Frankfurt is not a shopping paradise, the Designer outlet in Wertheim is the real shopping destination near Frankfurt. It is home to more than 110 fashion and lifestyle boutiques from German and international brands. Each offers a huge discount on the recommended retail price all year round.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 59minutes via A5/A67, and the distance is about 91 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

Tour

You can join one of the following tours to go there shopping.

27. Oestrich-Winkel

Oestrich-Winkel is a traditional wine town and is famous for its Riesling, which you usually find it on the wine list of a gourmet restaurant. The Oestricher Kran (Oestrich Crane) is the main landmark, which is a former wine-loading crane from the 18th century for loading and unloading ships.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car. The driving time is around 32 via A3/A66/B42, and the distance is about 45 kilometres from Frankfurt International Airport.

28. Weinheim

Weinheim is just a short distance away from Heidelberg and Mannheim. It is on the German Bergstraße, which crosses the southern Hesse and the northern Baden-Württemberg. It is a city with two castles, each offers stunning views to the surrounding valleys. You can hike up the castles, stroll around the old city centre, and have a meal in one of the many restaurants near the market square.

Read more from my post: Weinheim, a city with two castles

How to get there

There is a train from the Frankfurt Central Train Station to Weinheim train station. It takes around 90 minutes.

It takes about 40 minutes to drive to Weinheim from Frankfurt Airport. The driving is easy, just follow the highway A5.

Tour
Join this 2-hour tour by Segway, you will past all of this quaint town’s most noteworthy attractions.

The city hall and the attached restaurant, Weinheim; Weinheim, a City with Two Castles
The city hall and the attached restaurant, Weinheim

My tips

I have made all day trips from Frankfurt. Several places I have even visited many times. But I never get bored. It is hard to say if one place is better than the other. So it really depends on what you expect to see, what you like to do, how long you are going to spend, whom you travel with, what your interests are and millions of other factors.  Some of the places are quite close to each other that you can combine them into one day trip.

The important thing to make the day trips from Frankfurt is to plan the time. If you drive, you have to count the traffic situation since some roads are already busy. And, also check the parking places ahead. If you take public transportation, then please check the time tables before you go. The time tables for the weekdays are most likely different from the weekend ones.

If you only a few hours in Frankfurt, I have some local experience to share. Please visit my post about what the locals do in Frankfurt.

2 Comments

  1. Some really great day trips. I’ve done a few of them but thank you for the other inspiration. I travel alot to Frankfurt.

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