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Best Day Trips from Frankfurt

FRANKFURT GERMANY - View to skyline of Frankfurt in sunset blue hour. St Paul's Church and the Hauptwache Main Guard building at Frankfurt central street Zeil

Known for one of the busiest airports in Europe, Frankfurt has much more to offer than transfer connections and VIP lounges! Among many tourist attractions, in Frankfurt, you will find the former house and a museum dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German polymath known for his book “The Sorrows of Young Werther”.

Frankfurt also invites you to explore the many museums of the city, like the Senckenberg Natural History Museum or the Städel Museum that hosts an expansive collection of classical arts. If you feel like leaving the urban bubble behind for a bit, Frankfurt is also a great hub for excursions and day trips! Have a look into our list of the best places to visit near Frankfurt Germany!

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Day trip from Frankfurt to Heidelberg

Did you know that Heidelberg, a humble town in Germany, is home to the oldest university in the country and one of the most popular places to visit from Frankfurt? The vibrant Old Town (Altstadt) is situated in the shadow of the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle (called “Schloss Heidelberg” by locals; it is the former residence of Heidelberg’s Imperial Prince-Electors). It expanded into a royal residence in the 15th and 16th century, but its beginnings date back to the 13th century when it used to serve as a fortress. In the Heidelberg Castle, the tourists can meander around the 11 exhibition rooms of “Deutsches Apotheken-Museum” where Germany’s history of pharmacies and medical sciences is carefully documented.

The town of Heidelberg is a great spot for relaxed walks, and on your meanders around the city you will quickly spot more remarkable sites like the Old Bridge (Alte Brücke) ornamented with two sets of sculpture celebrating Elector Charles Theodore and the Roman goddess Minerva or some of Heidelberg’s many beautiful churches like the Church of the Holy Spirit or the Baroque Jesuitenkirche in Heidelberg’s former Jesuits’ quarter.

Go on your Heidelberg day trip by bus or train! Heidelberg is located less than 80 kilometres away from Frankfurt, and direct connections with train (travelling time around 45 minutes) or coach (journey time around 1 hour 30 minutes) are available throughout the day. Both train and bus fares start at around 5 € (approx. 5,6 USD) for a single one-way adult ticket.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Heidelberg

City view of old town Heidelberg in Germany

Day trip from Frankfurt to Rhine River Valley

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, the Rhine River Valley is a must-see while in Germany. Tourist activities are countless, from castle-hopping in the area to participating in local wine tastings (the region is famous for its exquisite Riesling wines) or visiting the many atmospheric villages situated along the Rhine River.

Many tourists add a visit to the town of Koblenz to their itinerary. Koblenz is located less than 120 kilometres from Frankfurt and it is easily accessible by both train and bus (bus fares start at around 8 USD per person for a one-way single journey, and the train tickets are around 23 USD per person for a one-way single trip). Famous for its scenic cable car ride that gives you a picturesque overview of the Rhine River Valley, Koblenz is also one of the departure points for Rhine River Valley Boat Cruises.

Hop on a boat tour if you are interested to see the many castles along the Middle Rhine. You can hop on and off the boat at different stops as you wish if you want to have a closer look at any particular Rhine River Valley castles. You can also stay on the boat for the entire cruise and simply enjoy the views from the café or the outdoor sitting areas on the boat.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Rhine River Valley

Koblenz aerial panoramic view. Koblenz is a city on the Rhine where it is joined by Moselle river.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Nuremberg

Internationally known for the Nuremberg trials (the justice court of the Second World War Nazi criminals), Nuremberg is much more than the place of post-war prosecutions. Its Altstadt (German for “Old Town”) is a beautiful and tranquil area that houses tourist attractions like the Nuremberg Toy Museum, situated in the Burgher House, where the tourists can view both traditional (pre-war) and contemporary games and toys. The old town area is embraced by City Walls, parts of which date back to the Medieval times.

When in Nuremberg, make sure not to miss the main market square. It is a very vibrant place, especially popular in December when the square hosts the popular Christmas Market. An all-year attraction of the square is the “Schöner Brunnen” a 19-metre high Gothic fountain, crafted in the 14th century. The fountain is decorated with figures from the Christian tradition; on its top, you will see statuettes of Moses and the seven prophets. Due to wrapping in a robust shell made of concrete, the fountain came through the war completely unharmed!

Did you know that Nuremberg is the place of origin of a sausage that is protected by EU laws? The so-called “Nürnberger Bratwurst” has been produced in the city since the 16th century, and the (secret) recipe is now protected by law. The sausage is not like any other you have seen in Germany! This one comes in a serving of up to six smaller pieces; it often arrives with sauerkraut, mashed potato or potato salad, and the whole dish is generously spiced with horseradish!

Getting to Nuremberg from Frankfurt with public transportation is fairly easy and inexpensive. Jump on a train (approx. 26 USD for a journey of 2 hours and 20 minutes) or bus (ticket fares staring at around 14 €, approx. 16 USD for a 3 hours 15 minutes long trip).

Day trip from Frankfurt to Nuremberg

Nuremberg Hauptmarkt - cathedral Bavaria in a Germany

Day trip from Frankfurt to Munich

Did you know that the Bavarian capital is also one of the most beautiful cities in Germany? Which is why getaways to Munich often make it to the top among the best day trips from Frankfurt. The city is filled with many impressive classical and contemporary sites and countless tourist attractions. Make sure to visit Alte Pinakothek; it is one of the oldest art galleries in the world housing masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Rubens and the Italian master Titian.

Alte Pinakothek is not only impressive inside; with its Neo-Renaissance facade, it is an architectural wonder on the outside too! Munich also houses Neue Pinakothek (art museum dedicated to modern, international art with a collection of masterpieces of the French impressionist painters) and Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich’s museum of modern and contemporary art with an expansive program that includes exhibitions of design, photography, drawing and architecture).

Another impressive site is the city’s New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) built in style of Gothic Revival, and in front of the town hall you will find Marienplatz; a bustling city square that attracts locals and tourists alike with boutiques, cafés and the vivid Christmas market every year in December. On your day trip to Munich, make sure to carve out time to visit the Asam Church. The chapel was named after two brothers (a painter and a sculptor) who designed it. Since the church used to serve as a private chapel, its layout and interior decoration are unique with examples of amazing stucco works.

From Frankfurt, you can reach Munich by train or bus. Since the two cities are almost 400 kilometres apart, the train journey will take at least 3 hours 20 minutes, and one-way single ticket fares start at around 29 USD. Prices for the bus journey start at around 13 € (approx. 14,6 USD), but the travelling time is almost 6 hours. FlixBus offers overnight trips; the bus departs from Frankfurt around midnight and arrives in Munich early morning of the following day – a good option for budget travellers in Germany!

Day trip from Frankfurt to Munich

Munich. Cityscape image of Marien Square in Munich, Germany during twilight blue hour.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Neuschwanstein Castle

You surely remember the marvellous Sleeping Beauty castle that appears in the opening part of every Disney fairy-tale – that castle is based on Neuschwanstein! Also known as “The Castle of the Fairytale King”, Neuschwanstein is the most popular castle in Germany. The history of the castle is linked to King Ludwig II of Bavaria who, more than his style of reigning, was known for his passion for art architecture and music (the king was a passionate lover of Richard Wagner’s operas and Wagner’s eager supporter).

King Ludwig II ruled for over 20 years in the late 19th century but was dethroned in 1886 (allegedly, due to his mental instability). Only one day later, he was found dead in Lake Starnberg. To this day it remains a mystery whether the king committed suicide or was murdered.

The magical castle is located almost 420 kilometres from Frankfurt, so prepare to spend quite some time on the road. For your convenience, you may consider renting a car for the day and driving to the Neuschwanstein Castle on your own or simply book a guided tour from Frankfurt to secure convenient transportation (with Frankfurt hotel pickup) and a guide. Many tours to the Neuschwanstein Castle will include a visit to the “fairy-tale” town of Rothenburg as well, which we also recommend you to visit. You can even make it into a day trip on its own!

Day trip from Frankfurt to Neuschwanstein Castle

Scenic summer view of ancient Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

Day trip from Frankfurt to Rothenburg

The village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (on the Tauber River) is a very picturesque spot! It is the best-preserved walled town in Germany, and one of its main attraction is the Town Hall, or rather its tower that you can climb for some of the most amazing views of the town and the adjacent countryside. You can also catch stunning views of the city from the city wall; try going for a stroll around sunset to see the city in the glow of the setting sun!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also home to some quirky museums! Check out the Christmas Museum of Germany or the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum. If you are longing for some time in nature, take a walk from the city into the Tauber Valley. Walking tours are also very popular within the city itself!

Try booking one upon your arrival, or simply reserve a full guided tour to Rothenburg from Frankfurt. If you prefer going on your own, the Fairy-Tale Dream Town is only 180 kilometres from Frankfurt, and you can reach it by train in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Ticket fares start at around 20 € (approx. 22 USD).

Day trip from Frankfurt to Rothenburg

Rothenburg, Germany. Medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber at night.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Hohenzollern Castle

The Hohenzollern Castle has been through many ruptures (destruction during wars, lack of proper preservation and, most recently, two earthquakes) since its presumed origins in the 11th century. Much about the early stages of the castle remains unknown, but we know that two major reconstructions found place in 1454 and 1819 respectively. From 1952 further furnishing of the castle found place, as Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia ordered decorating the castle with fine artworks as well as gold- and silversmith works.

The castle is idyllically situated on a beautiful mountain in Swabia, and it does not only attract visitors with the scenic views but also with a vivid events’ calendar offering temporary exhibitions, concerts, open-air cinema and even a seasonal Christmas market!

If you want to visit the Hohenzollern Castle, there are several ticket packages you can buy, depending on which parts of the castle complex you want to see. The prices start at 7 € (approx. 8 USD) for visiting the castle complex without entry to the interior rooms. Most visitors choose to reach the Hohenzollern Castle by car, but getting there with public transportation is also possible.

Take the train from Frankfurt to Hechingen; it will take you around 2 hours 30 minutes to travel the distance of almost 200 kilometres. Single one-way adult tickets start at around 20 € (approx. 22 USD). From Hechingen station take the shuttle bus towards Hohenzollern Castle; the shuttles depart daily, and the updated bus schedule (varies with the season) is available on Hohenzollern Castle’s website.

Day trip from Frankfurt to Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle on mountain top, Germany. This castle is a famous landmark in vicinity of Stuttgart. Scenic panorama of Burg Hohenzollern in summer. Landscape of Swabian Alps with Gothic castle.

Day Trip from Frankfurt to Eltz Castle

Built in the 12th century, Eltz Castle (or “Burg Eltz” as they call it in German) served the same family for over 850 years! The castle consists of more than 100 rooms and chambers and is located on the bank of the Rhine River. What is remarkable about the Eltz Castle is how it is situated; hidden in the woods, surrounded by nature, it is a clear contrast to other castles in Germany, that are proudly perched up on a hill, like Neuschwanstein Castle.

Note that Eltz Castle only allows visitors inside between April and November. Special guided tours (adult fee is 10 €, approx. 11 USD) are the only way to enter the castle, you cannot go in on your own, and no castle tours are held from December through March. However, during these months it is still possible to visit Burg Eltz castle grounds.

The easiest way to reach Eltz Castle from Frankfurt is by car; the castle is only 150 kilometres from Frankfurt, and there are parking spots around Burg Eltz (parking fee is 2 €, around 2.3 USD). You can also add Eltz Castle to your day trip around the Rhine River Valley. Take the train from the city of Koblenz to Moselkern, which is a traditional departure point for the 90-minutes long hike to Eltz Castle! If you are not in the mood for hiking, arrive in Hatzenport train station and jump on the so-called “castle bus” (Burgenbus Linie 330). Note that the bus only operates on weekends and holidays from May through October.

Day Trip from Frankfurt to Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle or Burg Eltz. Medieval castle on the hills above the Moselle River. Rhineland-Palatinate Germany.

Day Trip from Frankfurt to Black Forest and Strasbourg

The mountainous Black Forest region (or “Schwarzwald” as it is called in German) is situated in southwest Germany. It is known for its dense forests and picturesque valleys but also associated with the fairy-tales of the Grimm Brothers and carefully crafted cuckoo clocks, that have been produced in the area since the 18th century. Due to its many trails and stunning views, the Black Forest region is very popular among campers, hikers and cyclists, but you will also find great spas (like the ones in the popular resort town of Baden-Baden) and many wellness retreats there!

Many tourists combine a trip to the Black Forest region with a getaway to the capital of the French Alsace, Strasbourg. You can make it into a two-day trip; start in Strasbourg to get closer to the cradle of the Alsatian culture. Explore the city’s Parc de l’Orangerie, visit Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral and make sure to taste the famous “tarte flambée” (a flatbread-like, crispy “pancake” with various savoury toppings).

If your travel itinerary doesn’t allow you to spend two days exploring Alsace and “Schwarzwald”, we recommend booking a Black Forest and Strasbourg day trip from Frankfurt. In one day you will visit both Baden-Baden and Strasbourg, accompanied by a guide who will lead you through the magical area of German forests and bring you closer to the key sites in Strasbourg, like the UNESCO-listed Strasbourg old town.

Day Trip from Frankfurt to Black Forest and Strasbourg

Beautiful Geroldsau Waterfall in Black Forest, Germany

Recommended Best Day trips from Frankfurt

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Best Day Trips from Frankfurt

Best Day Trips from Frankfurt

Best Day Trips from Frankfurt

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!