Where to Stay in Frankfurt First Time: 10 Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Frankfurt for first-timers are the neighborhoods of Zentrum-Altstadt, Innenstadt, Bahnhofsviertel, Sachsenhausenm, Westend, and Bornheim. These districts are very popular with tourists that offers a wide variety of attractions and amenities. In this blog, I will help you to decide where to stay in Frankfurt for tourists, for nightlife, Christmas market, airport, one night, two days, and the safest areas to stay in Frankfurt.

Located in the south-western Germany, along the Main River, Frankfurt on the Main is the most populous city in the state of Hesse and the fifth-most populous in all of Germany, one of the most important financial centers in the world. Frankfurt is an amazing city and definitely worth visiting.

Frankfurt is general a safe city to travel, but as in any big city, you should watch out for pick-pocketing near the main train station and in touristy areas. You should avoid walking at night in the areas of Hauptbahnhof, Konstablerwache, and Hauptwache. If you are looking for the safest areas in Frankfurt, look into the central old town district and Westend, the banking district.

The old town, Altstadt, is the best area to stay in Frankfurt for for first-timers due to its proximity to the city’s top attractions and many choices in accommodations. This area is walkable, you can easily explore historical attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops on foot. You can aslo easily explore other part of the city with its onvenient public transportation.

Bahnhofsviertel is probably the best area for nightlife. Known as the entertainment hub of the city, it features perhaps even more bars, clubs, and live entertainment venues, while also being the home of the red-light district, for those interested in that sort of thing.

If you are looking for stereotypical Frankfurt city breaks, the city center of Innenstadt would be an ideal place to look, as it offers the sort of range of bars, restaurants, shops, hotels, and attractions you would expect in any major city.

If this is your first visit, I recommend spend at least 2 days in Frankfurt, but 3 to 4 days is a good amount of time to see Franfurt. This will allow you to see the main tourist attractions, and get the sense of the local culture.

💖 Best Area for First-Timers:Zentrum-Altstadt(City Centre)
💎 Best luxury hotel:Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Motel One Frankfurt-Römer
💰 Best budget hotel:Moxy Frankfurt City Center

Best areas to stay in Frankfurt for tourist

1. Zentrum-Altstadt (Old Town), where to stay in Frankfurt for first time

Altstadt, also known as Old Town, is the best area to stay in Frankfurt for first-timers due to its prime location. Located on the northern bank of the river Main, Altstadt is home to many medieval buildings and beautiful squares. The Old Town is easily explore on foot and public transport.

Altstadt is the smallest district in all of Frankfurt, covering just half a square kilometer, surrounded on all sides by Innenstadt. The historic center of the city was once one of the largest half-timbered towns in Germany, many of which dated back to the middle ages. 

While the majority of these were destroyed during World War 2 and replaced with cheap and quick replacements, many of the most iconic buildings were carefully restored. The district is bookended by two of its most important locations: the Imperial Cathedral, the Romer Town Hall, Goethehaus, museums, and Main River banks. 

The Imperial Cathedral (Kaiserdom) is the largest religious building in the city and the 3rd to stand in its current location since the original was constructed in the 7th-century. A collegiate church with stunning gothic architecture that towers over the city, is a symbol of national unity.

Meanwhile, the town hall (Rathaus) features stunning, traditional stylings, located on the large cobblestoned public square, Romerberg Square, boasting a beautiful Fountain of Justice, the oldest fountain in Frankfurt, and sculptures. The Römer is a historical town hall with a neo-Gothic façade.

North of Romerberg Square stands St Paul’s Square (Paulsplatz) which is home to St Paul’s Church, the Frankfurt Parliament, also a meeting place for US President John F Kennedy to give a speech in 1963.

Nearby, you will find the Domrömer quarter, the most recent renovation projects in the city with historical alleyways, romantic squares, picturesque courtyards, restaurants, craft workshops, and the new City Hall Market.

To the south of the square stand the Nikolaikirche (St Nicolas’ Church), Historic Museum Frankfurt, the Museum for Comic Art, and the Haus Wertheim which is the only half-timbered building in Altstadt that survived the air raids in 1945.

Be sure to visit the birthplace and family home of the great German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe House now houses a collection of art inspired by the Romanticism movement and Goethe. The MMK Museum of Modern Art on the northern edge of Frankfurt’s Old Town is also a must-see.

You can stroll along the promenade along the river Main and across one of its pedestrian bridges which connect to the Sachsenhausen district such as the 19th-century Eiserner Steg bridge.

From 2012 to 2018 a restoration project was put into effect between these locations to restore the area to its former glory. Buildings, squares, and streets were reconstructed as they would have appeared before the war, boasting a similar style and creating an atmosphere akin to what you would have traditionally been greeted by here.

With a fabulous collection of traditional cafes and restaurants dotted around the streets and squares, it makes this the perfect choice for those seeking to explore the culture and history of the city. Whether learning about the area’s past or taking in its beauty with a meal or a drink, you are assured of a cultural experience like no other in Altstadt.

From the front of the city hall, you will have lovely views of the six steep-roofed, half-timbered terraced houses on the eastern side of the square. This is the best area of the Christmas market in December, with traditional market stalls selling charming seasonal crafts and serving warm drinks.

The hotels in Frankfurt in this area are slightly higher rates than the rest of the city but it’s worth staying in the heart of the city within walking distance to the top attractions!

Many hotels offer spacious rooms with air conditioning, free wifi, private bathrooms with free toiletries, a flat-screen TV, a fitness center, a business center, an on-site restaurant, a bar, a 24-hour reception, a continental or buffet breakfast.

Old Town is also home to numerous metro stops and is close to the central station make it a well-connect area to stay in Frankfurt. The Zentrum-Altstadt is the best area for 2 days. Römerberg – Old town is one of the safest neighbothoods in Frankfurt for visitors.

Stay in Altstadt if this is your first visit; you want to do lots of sightseeing, history, and culture of the city; you prefer a more traditional location; you travel to Frankfurt in December and for Christmas Markets; you travel without a car;

Best places to stay in Zentrum-Altstadt:

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2. Innenstadt, where to stay in Frankfurt for business travellers

Innenstadt, where to stay in Frankfurt for business travellers

Frankfurt’s Financial District, Innenstadt is the central city district of Frankfurt, making up the hub of its commercial and business districts. Originally located outside the city walls until the 14th-century, it wasn’t until the 18th-century that growth here began to far outpace other areas of the city and it made itself Frankfurt’s most important district.

As such, the stylings differ from other areas of the city, featuring a great number of grand, Bourgeois buildings, including opera houses and palaces that were once used by the Kaisers when they were visiting the city.

The inner city stretches from Konstablerwache all the way up to Alte Ope where you find the famous Old Opera House, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Börsenplatz, the Frankfurter Volksbank tower, Main Tower, and the Nextower.

Innenstadt is also home to Hauptwache, a center of modern Frankfurt, with many public transportation stations, and close to Zeil Shopping Mall, the largest pedestrian shopping street in the country.

In modern times, it has become a stereotypical tourist destination like you would find in any major European city. Shops, bars, and restaurants are in abundance throughout the district, providing ample places for visitors to let loose and enjoy themselves during their stay.

A transport network that includes subway and tram systems ensures ease of access not just within the district but to all other parts of the city as well.

You can also find a great range of hotels on offer, from the more affordable, budget options, to grand offerings within historic buildings. All of this combined, makes Innenstadt a well-rounded destination, suitable for all manner of travelers, regardless of their budget or interests.

Stay in Innenstadt if you’re visiting Frankfurt as a business traveler; you desire a great range of shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels; you want a central location with great public transport links;

Best Places to Stay in City Center Innenstadt:

3. Bahnhofsviertel, best place to stay in Frankfurt for nightlife

Bahnhofsviertel is the second smallest district in Frankfurt, train station district, and is a densely populated location in the inner city. The area first began being developed in the late 19th century, giving it a more modern feel than other parts of the city. This is one of the most up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city.

While not featuring as many historic and iconic attractions as you will find elsewhere, it is still a popular destination among tourists for a number of reasons. 

The first is that it is the part of the city where you will usually find the best value on accommodation. The low prices on generally pleasant hotels make it affordable for those on a budget, without having to worry about the sort of quality you will end up with.

The other selling point of the district is that it is known as one of the city’s main entertainment hubs. With a huge number of bars, restaurants, clubs, and venues hosting live entertainment, especially on the main street Kaiserstraße. It is an ideal destination for visitors who prioritize nightlife or are looking to party while they are away.

A third feature that certainly won’t be for everyone but still draws a lot of visitors to the area is that it is home to a large portion of Frankfurt’s Red Light District on Taunusstraße street and nearby.

Even if Frankfurt’s Red Light District isn’t a place that you would personally choose to frequent the establishments of, it is still an iconic part of the city and one that could at the very least be interesting and worth exploring while you are in the area.

South of the district is the Main Riverbank, one of the most visited green areas of Frankfurt. Stroll along the Kaiserstraße, and the Hauptbanhof, you will see most of the city’s tourist attractions.

Bahnhofsviertel is home to the central train station, Hauptbahnhof. The Underground and Surface Train, U-Bahn and S-Bahn pass through the neighborhood, and two Tramlines. It is the best-connected area in Frankfurt, you can easily travel to other parts of the city, to the airport, and to other cities in Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Belgium.

Bahnhofsviertel is safe during the day but you should take extra cautious at night. Bahnhofsviertel offers a good selection of budget accommodation options, you can easily find the cheapest hotels in Frankfurt in this expensive city. From budget hostels to boutique hotels, there’s always something for you!

Stay in Bahnhofsviertel if you prioritize nightlife while you are away; you are traveling on a budget as Bahnhofsviertel probably has the cheapest hotels in Frankfurt; you want to stay in the entertainment hub of the city;

Best places to stay in Frankfurt in Bahnhofsviertel:

4. Sachsenhausen, for traditional German nightlife, many museums

Sachsenhausen, for traditional German nightlife, many museums
Hotel Cult Frankfurt City in Sachsenhausen

Founded as Frankfurt’s bridgehead in the 12th century, Sachsenhausen is both the largest and most populous district in the city. While many of the historic parts of the city center were damaged or destroyed during the world wars, much of the old part of this district remains intact, making it a fabulous destination for those interested in history and culture.

The main attractions of the district lie largely along the river, in an area known as the Museum Embankment. Here you will not only find the city’s largest flea market, Schaumainkai flea market but also some of Germany’s best-known museums.

You will find the Städel Art Museum, Museum of World Cultures, the Icon Museum, the German Architecture Museum, the German Film Museum, Post and Telecommunication museum, the Frankfurt Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Applied Art.

If you like sculptures, visit the Museum of Ancient Sculpture, Liebieghaus, which displays more than 3000 works from ancient Egypt through the French Revolution to modern times.

It is also the location of the city’s Museum-Embankment Festival/Night Of The Museums, where the buildings are all open throughout the night with reduced entrance fees, allowing for guests to visit and have a completely different experience to the one they would usually expect.

Schweizer Strasse, known as Swiss Street, is the main street in Sachsenhausen. It is lined with coffee shops, a French bakery, fast-food, banks and schools. There is a farmers market by Sudbahnhof every Tuesday and Firday.

Other famous attractions away from the embankment include the Henninger Turm, Goetheturm, Textor Strasse Crossing, and the Sankt Georgen Graduate School Of Philosophy And Theology.

In Alt-Sachs, known as Old-Sachsenhausen, you’ll find traditional German style drinking spots, an Irish Bar, a Hooters, Italian restaurants, Argentinean Steakhouses. The frame houses on small cobbled streets make you feel tranported in time.

In addition to the more cultured side of the area, it is also well known for its vibrant entertainment and nightlife scene. Dozens of apple-wine taverns, beer gardens, bars, restaurants allowing you to drink the nights away while surrounded by history. 

Meanwhile, two of Frankfurt’s most famous cider bars are also located here, with the orchards that supply them clearly visible in the countryside surrounding the district. Be sure to check out the well-known Frankfurt apple wine Apfelwein taverns near the Rittergasse pedestrian area and the Atschel restaurant for apple wine and pork knuckle/ Schweinshaxe.

Sachsenhausen’s accommodation are varied that suits all budgets from youth hostels to luxury hotels. Sachsenhausen is also well-connect public transport with Sudbahnhof (South Train Station), Bus, Tram or Train,the S-Bahn, or U-Bahn.

Stay in Sachsenhausen if nightlife and a wide range of places to drink is important to you; you want to experience some of the city’s history and culture, you are a fan of museums, you want to see some traditional German cider houses and their orchards.

Best places to stay in Frankfurt in Sachsenhausen:

Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Frankfurt in this video:

5. Westend, one of the safest areas to stay in Frankfurt

Westend along with the Old Town is a safe area to stay Frankfurt for tourists but it is quieter than Old Town. Westend attracts many families wishing to stay in a quiet neighborhood with plenty of green spaces, beautiful houses, and close to the center of the city. Westend is separated into the Southern Westend-Süd and the Northern Westend-Nord.

Bordered by Innenstadt to the southeast and Bahnhofsviertel to the southwest, Westend is a largely residential area that is known for having the highest real estate prices in all of Frankfurt. Known for its beloved Wilhelminian style buildings, it is an area that exudes style and sophistication.

Many esteemed law firms and companies in the financial sector have taken to using traditional style villas in the area as offices, to give themselves an air of style and sophistication. 

In terms of more recent buildings, the southern part of the district combines with Innenstadt and Bahnhofsviertel to form Bankenviertel, the city’s central business district. Here, as well as in the nearby Messe Grounds, you will find a greater concentration of skyscrapers than anywhere else in Germany.

While much of this may not seem directly appealing to tourists, what it does is create a safe and sophisticated atmosphere, where those seeking high-end hotels, shops, and restaurants can visit and be confident they will be surrounded by establishments that meet their lofty expectations

It isn’t without its own tourist attractions either, as the Senckenberg Museum, Goldkammer Museum, Museum of Natural History, the Opera House, Rothschildpark, Goethe University, Amerikahaus, Messeturm, Festhalle, Westend Synagogue, historic horse stables, and hammering man are just some of the historic buildings, monuments, and places of interest found in the district.

There are many parks in Westend for families to relax such as the Grüneburgpark and Palmengarten which is one of three botanical gardens in Frankfurt am Main. You can experience flora from a diversity of climate zones, and internationally well-known exhibitions and festive events.

Stay in Westend if you’re traveling with families; you want to stay in a more exclusive, upper-class part of the city, you are traveling to do business with one of the companies located here;

Best places to stay in Westend:

6. Bornheim, where to stay in Frankfurt on budget

Located in the North East of the center, Bornheim is another populated area in Frankfurt. it has the nickname Das lustige Dorf, or the funny village.

Due to its close proximity to the city center and well connection with two underground stations, this district is popular with young professionals, students, and families. 

Bornheim is close to many parks and the zoo. Günthersburg Park, between Bornheim and Nordend, is perfect for a picnic! There is a playground with slides, swings, sandpits, basketball court both in summer and winter.

Zoo Frankfurt in nearby Bornheim and Ostend offers endless entertainment for the kids. It is home to more than 4,500 animals in about 500 different species.

Berger Straße is the longest shopping street in Frankfurt. It is lined with all kinds of bars, restaurants, wine shops, boutiques. It’s a great neighborhood to discover on a sunny day.

Don’t forget to check out Berger Street Food, Sandbar, Old Fritz, Naxos Studios, and Cafe Süden.

Bornheim is home to theInterkulturelle Bühne, which has intercultural events, theater, art galleries; the stadium, Eintracht Frankfurt, is also nearby. Meanwhile, Eissporthalle is open to the public for ice skating. 

Bornheim hosts the annual Dippemess fair and the Wednesday fresh food market. You can find some air bnb, guest houses, and traditional hotels in this neighborhood.

Best places to stay in Frankfurt in Bornheim:

7. Bockenheim, student-friendly district in Frankfurt

The third most populous district in the city, Bockenheim is a largely residential location, bordered to the east by Westend. It is similar in many ways to its neighbor, however features far fewer businesses and high-priced hotels and establishments.

As such, it is able to offer many similar experiences in terms of the style of buildings you will be able to see while allowing those without such extravagant budgets to enjoy the hotels, bars, shops, and restaurants around a long cobble-stone street of the Leipziger Strasse.

In addition, the lack of as many companies creates a much more local feel. This makes it an ideal destination for those who are looking to experience the true culture and feel of the local people and their way of life.

That said, big businesses haven’t completely avoided the area, with it even being the home of the headquarters for Deutsche Bundesbank, the German Federal bank.

The Tower of Europe, Europaturm is a telecommunications tower, the second-highest in Germany after the TV tower in Berlin.

In terms of its own tourist attractions, they are somewhat limited. Perhaps the most notable location is the Bockenheimer Depot, a historic central tram depot built around 1900, home to the Städtische Bühnen, the biggest communal theater in Germany.

Another landmark is the 15th-century gothic watchtower, and enjoy a market under the foot of the tower with books, fruits, vegetables, and traditional German houses around the market.

Being close to the campus of the University of Frankfurt, Bockenheim is crowded by students. You can find the International Bilingual Montessori school, the Frankfurt International School, Schools catering to Japanese, French, Chinese or Spanish.

Bockenheim is close to Palmengarten, the Botanic Gardens. It is home to more than 13,000 species of plant. Here you find the garden’s Art-Deco-style Palm House, Rock and Heather Gardens, the Japanese-inspired Bamboo Grove. There are also various of activities for children.

Bockenheim has good public transport links to the city center, the Frankfurt Fair, and the central railway station, buses, tramway, and two autobahns.

Stay in Bockenheim if you want to experience the true local people and their culture; you want student atmostphere;

Best places to stay in Bockenheim:

8. Gallusviertel, close to Frankfurt Fair and central railway station

Located close to the central railway station and the Frankfurt Fair (Messe Frankfurt), Gallusviertel is a hub for industrial and trade firms. in the inner part of the city. This former working class neighborhood named after the Frankfurt gallows that once located here.

However, in recent years, developments have been underway to create new housing and commercial areas within the district. While they are far from complete, what this means is it is a location where you will be able to find a number of great deals.

You will find the former factory grounds, Teves complex which is now home to the Grüne Theater, and boxing and table tennis camp, as well as artists’ studios.

The Gallus cityscape is dominated by redbrick buildings and Bauhaus style residential estates. You will find the 14th-century Galluswarte tower, built by the Landwehr militia close Mainzer Landstraße. There are plenty of pubs, snack bars and restaurants in this major thoroughfare.

As with many “up and coming neighborhoods”, establishments will often be willing to sell products and services for much less than they would elsewhere, as they know the market and reputation in the area hasn’t built up yet. This makes it a great place to visit for those traveling on a budget or anyone who simply loves getting a bargain.

Beyond that, its other main selling point is that it is the location of the Frankfurt Train Station. With regular trains traveling in and out of the city to a number of destinations, it makes it an ideal and convenient choice for anyone who is planning to make their trip by training themselves.

Stay in Gallusviertel if you want to stay in an up-and-coming location, you are traveling on a budget or are simply looking for a great deal, you are traveling via train on your trip, or you’re a business traveler looking for places to stay near Frankfurt Messe.

Best Places to stay in Frankfurt in Gallusviertel:

9. Gutleutviertel, cool area to stay in Frankfurt

Gutleutviertel, the coolest area to stay in Frankfurt
Pearl Design Hotel in Gutleutviertel

The former port district, Gutleutviertel is another inner-city location, which was once a refuge for lepers, hosted by the “fraternity of good people”. It’s located next to the central railway station, to the west of Frankfurt center, and beside the Main river.

A largely residential area with a working-class background, it has seen numerous developments and renovations in recent years, making it a much more appealing destination for visitors.

Distinctly middle-class shops, bars, and restaurants now operate in the area, giving visitors the opportunity to frequent some stylish establishments, without having to pay the extortionate fees that usually accompany similar venues in more popular areas.

In addition, its residential nature means the businesses will cater more to locals than tourists and you will be shopping, dining and living around them throughout your stay. This makes it the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation and experience the ways and culture of the local area and its people.

While there are no real notable tourist attractions located within the district itself, its proximity to the more popular destinations like Innenstadt makes it easy to commute in to see them.

Here you will find the 109 meters high Westhafentower, famous for its cider glass facade The Rib which close to the Peace Bridge on Westhafenplatz. It named after the medieval Gutleutviertel Gutleuthof, an area outside the city walls hospital for lepers.

To the west of the district close to Main-Neckar bridge lies Sommerhoff park. The park is named after the family Sommerhoff that sold by the Frankfurt banker John Noe Gogel in 1803 landscaped mansion in 1928 to the city of Frankfurt.

Accommodation in Gutleutviertel are mostly 3-star, and 4-star hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and Bed & Breakfast.

You should stay in Gutleutviertel if you want to stay in a hip, residential area, you want to experience the local customs and culture, you want easy access back into the popular tourist hubs.

Best Places to stay in Frankfurt in Gutleutviertel:

10. Where to stay near Frankfurt International Airport

As is the case in many large cities, the main airport in Frankfurt actually lies outside of the city limits. In this instance, it lies to the southwest of the city, near the town of Kelsterbach.

Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) is one of the most important gateways to Germany and the European continent, the main hub of the German airline Lufthansa. It’s a well-connected area with S-Bahn, just 25minute from Hauptbahnhof.

Traditionally, the area has been a region primarily dedicated to farming and agriculture. Located on the bank of the Main River, you can take in some stunning views of the countryside, enjoy some traditional culture and architecture, as well as see a number of small churches that are dotted around the area.

However, in the years since the airport’s construction, the area has become gradually more and more industrial, with a number of factories opening up, due to the convenience of being right by the airport, as well as buildings owned by companies involved in the operation of the site.

With that in mind, visitors will want to be careful when selecting a hotel, to ensure they get one in the traditional area and don’t end up spending their vacation staying in an industrial park.

Despite the potential drawbacks of the area, it is clearly a good choice for anyone who wants to stay near the airport. Whether you are on a layover, worried about missing your flight or simply don’t want to drag your baggage all over town, this is a destination that makes getting to and from the airport as quick and easy as it could possibly be.

Stay in the Frankfurt Airport area if you want to stay close to the airport, you prefer to stay outside the city limits, you want to experience a more rural, small-town environment.

Best places to stay near Frankfurt Airport Area:

If this is your first visit, I recommend to stay in the old town, Altstadt neighborhood which is the best area to stay in Frankfurt. Booking a hotel here, you will located within walking distance to the most famous tourist attractions, and you will have a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shops. With good public transport, you can easy visit other charming areas.

Frankfurt is a truly wonderful German city, offering a little bit of everything that makes the country so popular with tourists from all over the world. After reading this article, you will hopefully be much clearer on exactly where to stay in Frankfurt, to ensure you get everything you need out of it in order to have a vacation you will remember for years to come.

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