Main Tower Frankfurt

How I spent my 17 hours in Frankfurt

Recently, I planned a last-minute stopover in Frankfurt (seriously- I just called United to reroute my flight through Frankfurt instead of through New York). For those of you that have never considered utilizing a stopover in your international travels, I highly recommend doing so. I’ve even written about several airlines that offer special stopover options.

What exactly is a stopover?

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a stopover is a long layover that can be anywhere from 12-72 hours. While this may sound miserable for some, I typically try to plan my flights to include at least one stopover. This allots you enough time to explore a new city, and potentially sleep in a real bed as opposed to sleeping on a plane. In my experience, this breaks up your trip, making international travel far more enjoyable. I also enjoy the opportunity to explore cities that I otherwise would not have visited.

Why Frankfurt?

Frankfurt is a very large international airport with hundreds of connections to the United States. It is a Lufthansa hub, which is a Star Alliance Airline, so many United partner airlines connect through Frankfurt. In fact, Frankfurt is one of the most frequently listed airports that appears as a connection when I search for international flights.

Since Frankfurt is often a location for extremely long layovers, here is a ‘Stopover Bucket List’ for anyone looking to make the best of a long layover (and a few tips as well).


1. Explore Römerberg

Romerburg Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt differs from the remainder of Germany in the sense that it primarily consists of skyscrapers. As soon as my flight landed, I raced for Römerberg, and I truly felt like I was in Germany. This charming square is walking distance to gorgeous cathedrals and the river. Start your Frankfurt adventure here, and you’re guaranteed to find yourself close to any activity you’d want to do. The best part? You’ll feel like you’re in Epcot in this picturesque square!

2. Wander Along the Main River

Main River Frankfurt, Germany

Once you bask in the beauty of Römerberg, walk towards the Main River to enjoy the scenery and the people. You should find live music and festivals if you time your walk correctly. If you’re a soccer fan, plan to find a watch party on either side of the river. If you have some time on your hands and plan ahead, you can even schedule a river cruise to see the city from the water.

3. Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew

I am such a sucker for a beautiful cathedral, and there is no shortage of them in Europe. After eating dinner in Römerberg, I couldn’t help but wander toward the enchanting clock tower to capture it on camera. This beautiful cathedral ties into the overall theme of the architecture in Römerberg, and is a must-see in Frankfurt.

4. Main Tower

Main Tower Frankfurt

Frankfurt’s Main Tower offers the opportunity to see Frankfurt from above for only 7.50 euro. There is also a restaurant and Europe’s highest fitness club in the tower!

While there are so many other things to do in this financial capital of Europe, these 4 are easy to accomplish with only one night in Frankfurt. Have you visited Frankfurt? Have any advice for travelers with limited time? Share your advice in the comments!


Danielle Farideh Guy