Frankfurt is a main transit hub in Europe, but it also offers tons of great day trip locations! We’ve come up with a list of the Top 5 Day Trips outside Frankfurt for you, so you don’t have to do all the work. These destinations offer something for everyone, no matter what kind of adventure you’re into!
Located two hours south of Frankfurt, you can find the dreamy and romantic town of Heidelberg. The town is full of great shops and places to grab a bite or a drink. While it’s definitely a tourist hot spot, it’s also a university town so you’ll find lots of other backpackers here.
Schloss Heidelberg is the most popular spot in the city, and offers amazing views of the town. You can take the funicular if you don’t want to brave the hike! The inner courtyard of the castle is free to visit, but if you want to tour the inside, you have to pay for a guided tour.
To get to Heidelberg from Frankfurt, you can take a train or a bus from the main station. We definitely recommend this place for an Instagram worthy day trip!
2. Burg Eltz
This is one of Germany’s emerging Instagram hot spots and is worth a visit! Burg Eltz is tucked away in a tiny forest in the Mosel region and will certainly meet all your expectations! The castle is still owned by a branch of the same family, too!
While you can visit the castle year round, it’s typically crawling with tourists in the high season (May-September). It’s much more quiet in the off season, but unfortunately you can’t visit the inside of the castle at this time.
Getting here isn’t easy, so we recommend booking a car and making an adventure out of it! Most of us rely heavily on GPS, but sometimes they don’t always lead us to the right spot. Don’t worry if you find yourself driving through tiny villages while en route – you’re totally on track!
If you visit Burg Eltz, you’re in luck because Cochem is only 30 mins away. This beautiful village is nestled among the rolling hillsides on the Mosel river and is sure to capture your medieval imagination! The most famous spots to visit are:
- Cochem Castle – a 12th century castle perched on a hilltop in the middle of the town
- Alt Stadt – full of half timbered homes (pictured above)
- Bundesbank Bunker Cochem – a secret bunker built by the West German government & housed 15 billion Deutschmarks in the event counterfeit notes from East Germany ever entered the West German market
Like Burg Eltz, getting here also requires a car. During trade shows (which is pretty much a weekly thing here), car rental companies usually have low to no selection for last minute bookings. So make sure you book your car or arrange transportation in advance so you don’t miss out on this great day trip!
Photo credit: @aurejkute
If you love wine, you’ll want to check out Rüdesheim on a day trip from Frankfurt! Germany is famous for their Rieslings, and much of that comes from this region! Since you’ll want to indulge, we suggest you take the train. The journey is roughly 1 hour and 10 mins.
And if you’re not a wine fan, no problem. Rüdesheim is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rhine Gorge, so if you’re keen on ticking those sites off your travel bucket list, this is still probably a place worth checking out. You can also enjoy a gondola ride alongside the Rhein for a small price. Other sites to see include Burg Ehrenfels, Brömsberg, hiking trails, and more.
Located on the Rhine river is where you’ll find this 1st century Roman city.
Mainz is famous for its Carnival celebrations in February, where over half a million people celebrate in the streets in costumes and with parades. Mainz is also the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and is home to the Mainz Cathedral (pictured above).
One of the coolest things in Mainz is the Roman Theatre, discovered in 1998 during excavation for railway expansion. But this wasn’t the first time it had been discovered. When rail tracks were built in the area in 1884, the foundations of the stage were discovered, but later destroyed and forgotten about. Further remains were found in 1916, and excavation began, but was quickly stopped due to World War I. The remains were covered and forgotten about until almost the turn of the century. Mainz seems a bit more appealing now for a day trip, doesn’t it?
To get here, take the S Bahn from Frankfurt Main Station. It takes roughly 40 mins.
Frankfurt offers tons of great day trip destinations, but these are certainly our Top 5! Make sure you arrange accommodation in Frankfurt in plenty of time as the city has recently experienced a growth in tourism. Five Elements Hostel would love to host you!