I hope this Frankfurt layover guide will help you make the most of your time there, I strongly suggest leaving the airport to explore this hidden gem.
When I saw a deal from NYC to Bali on Singapore Airlines for ~$400, I jumped at it. I was able to get a layover in Frankfurt for a day and, me being the aggressive adventurer that I am, wanted to take the opportunity to go to Cologne. Driven by my love of beer, I desperately wanted to experience “Colch”. Alas, this never happened. Before I left NYC, I was working in the LEGAL Cannabis industry. That meant I had tons of samples of CBD products that were very illegal in Bali. My anxiety got the better of me and I trashed my train tickets to and from Cologne to search my bags in the Frankfurt airport. I told the wonderfully polite and kind Singapore airlines employees that I had an emergency and needed to get my checked bags ( I way overpacked BTW)… They promptly got them for me and I spent hours combing through my stuff desperate to find any traces of CBD freebies. I had this vision of drug sniffing dogs finding a little CBD sample and going to scary Bali prison. No CBD at all. Anyway, this meant that I was stuck in Frankfurt. I decided to leave my bags in airport storage and take the metro into the city. FYI: I thought the metro was free because there are no turn-styles like in NYC, however I later found out there is an honor system; you buy your ticket and then validate it on the train.
This is how I ended up in Frankfurt, one of my favorite cities in Europe. Another New Yorker told me a while back that they had visited Frankfurt and that they loved it! I remember thinking it was odd, but I kept it in mind as I walked through the city. I felt at home in Frankfurt, like I lived there forever. I almost wanted to give up on going to Bali altogether and stay there.
When I got off the train and out of the Frankfurt train station, I was shocked! I felt like I was in Williamsburg pre gentrification. It was seedy, I felt unsafe, there were cool coffee shops next to sex shops, I loved it! I got a tea and took in my surroundings. Now I understand why New Yorkers love it here. Frankfurt is a wealthy, buzzing, sophisticated city. That one small seedy part near the station does not reflect the rest of it by any means.
My next stop was the Jewish Museum. I am part Polish Jewish, I could very well have had close family perish and I wanted to explore that part of my ancestry. The Jewish Museum was interesting, it talked about Jewish history before the Holocaust. It also has interviews with the family of Anne Frank. I never thought much about how Jewish people lived in Germany before, but it was a stark reminder of the damage that one person can do and that peace is not something entitled to us.
After that, I went to the Main Square or the “Römerberg” in German. It is cute and picturesque, definitely something to see. The best part about Frankfurt is that it is a perfect mix of old and new. You have towering buildings and ornately gabled ninth century houses.
I stopped in at a restaurant and had a typical Frankfurt delicacy, Handkäse mit Musik. Yum! Sadly, I don’t remember which one, but this list should help you find one, whether for local delicacies or a Poké bowl.
WHAT I WISH I SAW:
there are so many markets in Frankfurt. Check out this guide and see what markets are open when you have your layover.
I hope this Frankfurt layover guide will persuade you to leave the airport and experience that amazing city!