Sometimes you just need to get out of the city, even if that means heading to another one.  Frankfurt is wonderfully central, and a gateway to a fair few quick day trips in any direction you wish to go.  The region offers diverse day trip options, from enchanting castles to charming villages and picturesque natural wonders. Here are a few of the best day trips from Frankfurt that promise to uncover hidden gems and unforgettable experiences.

1. Heidelberg: A Romantic Escape

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles)

Heidelberg is perhaps one of the better-known day trips from Frankfurt.  Having said that, it is not without merit.  From its romantic charm to historical significance, it makes for a great day trip. The jewel in Heidelberg’s crown is the stunning Heidelberg Castle. The castle’s ruins, perched high on a hill overlooking the town, offer breathtaking views of the Neckar River and the picturesque Old Town.

Day Trip Checklist Ideas:
  • Stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town
  • Head up the mountain on funicular railroad to the Kings seat
  • Visit the historic University
  • Explore the Philosophers’ Walk
  • Make your way across the Alte Brucke (Old Bridge)

2. The Rhine Valley: A UNESCO World Heritage Adventure

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 65 kilometres (40 miles)

A day trip to the Rhine Valley is like stepping into a fairy tale. Start in Rüdesheim, a charming town with narrow streets and the lively Drosselgasse. From there, embark on a scenic boat cruise along the Rhine, passing by legendary castles perched on vineyard-covered hills. Moreover the riverside villages, each offer their unique character, adding to the charm of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day Trip Checklist Ideas:
  1. Be sure to check out the region-renowned Riesling wines on a wine tour with Jerome
  2. Visit the Niederwald Monument which commemorates the Unification of Germany
  3. Try The Seilbahn tour over Rüdesheim for a breathtaking aerial perspective of the vineyards and Rhine Valley below.  Also, The Ring Tour includes a hike, boat and cable car ride and takes approximately 3/4 hours
  4. Also be sure to stop in and visit Kloster Eberbach
Day trips from Frankfurt
Day trips from Frankfurt
Day trips from Frankfurt
Kloster Eberbach Monastery

3. Koblenz and Surrounds: Rhine Explorations

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 120 kilometres (75 miles)

Koblenz is a historical city where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. Begin by exploring the Old Town, taking a cable car ride to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for panoramic views, and then journeying to Marksburg Castle, the only hilltop castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed. A trip to Koblenz and Marksburg Castle offers a glimpse into medieval life and breathtaking river landscapes.

Day Trip Checklist Ideas:

  1. Worth noting is, during the Summer months, there is a regular guided tour in English at 1 o’clock (but always double-check)
  2. Next, check out Eltz Castle.  Likened to jumping straight into a fairy tale, its turrets peak out through dense green forest with nothing but more wilderness for miles.  Unfortunately however, this trip needs to be saved for the milder months as the castle remains closed from November 2nd until March 24th
  3. the Geierlay Suspension Bridge may be just what the doctor ordered for the THRILL SEEKERS.  Please be aware it can only be reached on foot from the car parks in the villages of Sosberg and Mörsdorf

4. Speyer: Architectural Beauty

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 130 kilometres (81 miles)

Speyer is a historic city in Germany known for its rich cultural heritage, impressive architecture, and strategic location along the Rhine River.  Moreover, in UNESCO’s words, “Speyer Cathedral is historically, artistically and architecturally one of the most significant examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe. By virtue of its proportions, it is the largest and, by virtue of the history to which it is linked, the most important.

Day Trip Checklist Ideas:
  1. With kids, be sure to check out Speyer Technik Museum and/or Sea Life Speyer
  2. We sat and ate a wonderful meal overlooking the river at Rentschlers 

5. Strasbourg: where two worlds collide

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 220 kilometres (137 miles)

Admittedly, Strasbourg is not in Germany; it’s located alongside the German border in the northeastern part of France.  As a result of the city’s unique location at the crossroads of French and German, both cultures are reflected in not only its cuisine and architecture but also its traditions.  Furthermore, the city’s historic centre, Grande Île, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day Trip Checklist Ideas:
  1. Definitely climb to the top of the iconic landmark Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame) with its impressive Gothic architecture.
  2. For more things to see and do in Strasbourg, read about our city break
day trips from Frankfurt
day trips from frankfurt
day trips from Frankfurt

6. Mainz: A Cultural Gem

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles)

Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, is a city rich in history and cultural treasures. Visit the Gutenberg Museum to delve into the history of the printing press, explore the Roman heritage, and take a stroll through the Old Town with its charming squares and cathedral.

Day trip Checklist Ideas:
  1. If you love karnival in Germany, be sure to check out the Mainzer Fastnachmuseum
  2. Also, head over to one of the most important monuments in Mainz, the Zitadelle Mainz

7. The Enchanted Black Forest

Distance from Frankfurt: Approximately 250 kilometres (155 miles)

Undoubtedly, a day trip to the Black Forest may be pushing it, but we decided to put it in anyway!  Because, in our opinion, it’s a journey that’s well worth the effort. However, we do recommend doing it over the weekend.  Immerse yourself in the dark, magical woods, visit charming towns like Triberg, famous for its cuckoo clocks, and revel in the spa town of Baden-Baden with its elegant architecture. Hike through the serene landscape, enjoy a slice of the famous Black Forest cake, and breathe in the fresh forest air.

Things to do:
  1. We have spent many weekends skiing in the Black Forest
  2. If you have kids, make a pit stop at Felsenmeer, a nature reserve of giant boulders!!  Not only will the kids have fun, but they’ll hopefully be exhausted for the rest of the car trip.
  3. Admittedly, Triberg Waterfall may not be for you if you are afraid of heights.  However, they are spectacular and worth the climb.  Also worth mentioning is they are the highest waterfall in Germany.

All in all, day trips from Frankfurt are very accessible and there is a good range of options. Whether you’re seeking romance in Heidelberg, enchantment in the Black Forest, or cultural enrichment in Speyer and Mainz, there is surely something for everyone. So, if you live in Frankfurt or are only visiting and have a day to spare, why not try one of these day trips to discover the hidden treasures of the surrounding region?