From a fairy-tale palace towering over the Rhine River to one of Germany’s oldest forts, there are a number of impressive medieval castles to explore outside Frankfurt and they each make for a great day trip destination. Here are a few of the best.
Iron Bridge (Eiserner Steg)
Mainkai 39, Frankfurt, Germany
Most sightseeing and walking tours of Frankfurt include a stroll across the Iron Bridge and it’s a popular spot for photos. The views from the bridge are some of the best in Frankfurt, stretching along the Main River. To the south, look out over the grand villas of the Museum Embankment; to the north, see the gleaming skyscrapers rising up from the “Mainhatten” Financial District. The bridge is engraved with a Greek quote from Homer's Odyssey and has become a popular haunt for lovers in recent years, with couples taking to engraving their names on padlocks or ‘love locks, before locking the padlocks onto the metal rungs of the bridge.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Iron Bridge is one of Frankfurt’s most photographed landmarks and a must for first-time visitors to the city.
- The bridge is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
- Think twice before attaching a “love lock” to the bridge. The padlocks can strain the structure of the bridge and the tradition of throwing the key into the water is damaging to the environment. Perhaps opt for a romantic photo on the bridge instead.
How to Get There
Just a short stroll south of Romerberg Square will take you to the Iron Bridge and it’s an easy walk from most of Frankfurt’s central attractions. The closest U-Bahn station is Dom/Römer (Lines U4/U5), less than a 5-minute walk away.
When to Get There
To avoid the crowds, you’ll need to make a very early start, but the views from the Iron Bridge are impressive at any time of day. Arrive in the evening to watch the sunset over the city, or after dark to admire the illuminated Frankfurt skyline.
A Walking Tour of Frankfurt Start your explorations in the Old Town, home to some of Frankfurt’s most notable historic landmarks including Frankfurt Cathedral, St Paul’s Church, and the Goethe House. Römerberg Square is the star attraction, with its distinctive half-timbered buildings, 15th-century City Hall (Romer), and St Nicholas Church. From there, cross the Iron Bridge to the Museum Embankment (Museumsufer), home to more than a dozen museums. Continue into the old quarter of Sachsenhausen, where the cobbled lanes are lined with shops, restaurants, and Apfelwein taverns.
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- Frankfurt Cathedral (Frankfurter Dom)
- Römerberg Square
- Frankfurt City Hall (Romer)
- St. Paul's Church (Paulskirche)
- Goethe House & Museum (Goethehaus)
- Old Sachsenhausen
- German Film Museum (Deutsches Filmmuseum)
- Frankfurt Main Tower
- Städel Museum (Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie)
- Old Opera House (Alte Oper)
- Frankfurt Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt)
- Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof
- Botanical Garden Frankfurt (Palmengarten)