Is the city of Frankfurt worth visiting with kids? There are certainly fun activities and sights to do in Frankfurt with kids, but after a weekend in the city you’ve seen most of it. Frankfurt can be reached within three to four hours from the Netherlands by car, and by train you can be at the Frankfurt train station within four hours from Amsterdam. We list the best sights and activities in Frankfurt with kids for you.
Table of contents
Frankfurt with kids: by train
As we mentioned above, you can get to Frankfurt by car in a few hours, but another option is to travel to Frankfurt by train. From several major places in the Netherlands you can travel directly to Frankfurt by train. Besides being a very relaxing way to travel with kids, it’s obviously good for the environment.
Frankfurt with kids #1+2: two zoos
Zoo Frankfurt is located in the center of Frankfurt and you can walk to the zoo from the center in 20 minutes (by public transport in 10 minutes). This zoo is not super big and in no more than half a day you will have seen all the animals. They don’t have all the animals either, but animals like the lion, rhino, giraffe and zebra can be found in this zoo.
The admission prices of this zoo, especially if you compare it to the prices of Dutch zoos, are not super high. Check the zoo’s website to see when different animals are fed.
The second zoo is Opel Zoo and it is a 20-minute drive from downtown Frankfurt. This zoo is a bit grander and it reminds us of the Beekse Bergen safari park in the Netherlands. The animals here have much more space in this hilly zoo which is beautifully set among the trees.
One difference from the zoo located in the city is that here you are allowed to feed some of the animals at certain times and there is an opportunity for kids between the ages of 5 and 13 to take a ride on a camel or pony. From the restaurant, which is higher than the zoo, you have a nice overview of the zoo. This zoo also has a large playground with lots of play equipment.
So if you want to visit a zoo, you have two different options. The Opel-Zoo is a nicer zoo than the zoo in the city, as far as we are concerned, but one drawback is that you do have to drive quite a bit by car for it.
Frankfurt with kids: family-friendly museums
#3 Naturmuseum Senckenberg: This is Frankfurt’s natural history museum and you will find many stuffed animals, as well as dinosaurs. It is an extensive museum and for kids there is an area on the first floor where they can puzzle with dinosaurs, among other things. Most of the museum is mostly looking and not much doing, though, so you should consider whether this is something for your kids. We ourselves often prefer a museum where our daughter can do a little more.
#4 Museum of Communication: at this museum you will find everything about the history of the mail, telephone and television. Lots of old models to look at. There is a children’s area in the museum where kids can craft with old parts and where ever-changing workshops are held.
#5 Experimenta Museum: this is the science museum in Frankfurt and it is a bit like the NEMO in Amsterdam. There are a total of 130 stations in the museum where kids can do experiments related to the themes of science, technology, math and engineering. There are several experiments we know from other museums such as experiments with mirrors and holding a ball in the air with air, but also some experiments we haven’t seen before such as lying on a bed of nails of sorts.
The rooms where the exhibits are in the museum are somewhat simple and it all feels a bit more back to basics in terms of tasting. Still, there is enough to do for kids to keep you entertained here for a morning or afternoon.
#6 Children’s Museum: much of this museum is centered around the (German) language and is therefore less suitable for Dutch kids. However, there are several workshops at the museum involving painting, jewelry making and paper making. This is a museum you should visit especially if you have a lot of time in Frankfurt with kids. But if time is short, we would skip this museum.
Frankfurt with kids: exploring the city
#7 Walk through the city: Frankfurt is a business city and has a huge number of tall buildings. Therefore, Frankfurt’s skyline also looks impressive. A walk through the city starts you in the center (Altstadt), where the cozy square Römersberg is located with lots of restaurants and cafes with a lot of terraces.
Walk in about 10 minutes from downtown across the Alte Brucke to the other side of the river for a great view of the city skyline. For shopping enthusiasts, you must be in the northeastern part of the city in the Bornheim district.
#8 Ebbelwei Express: if you want to discover Frankfurt in a funny way, then you should go for this streetcar ride. During the one-hour tour of the city, there is pleasant German music playing and each traveler is given a bottle of cider, apple juice or water and a bag of pretzels. You do not need to reserve this streetcar in advance and you can buy tickets from the conductor.
The cheerfully decorated streetcar runs only on weekends and vacations. So check the express’s website in advance to see if the streetcar runs when you are in Frankfurt.
#9 Hop on Hop off buses: you can also explore Frankfurt with kids from an open-roof double-decker bus. The entire bus ride takes an hour and the bus stops at 16 stops along the way. An audio guide in English is available on the bus. You can purchase a 24-hour card, which allows unlimited use of the bus.
#10 Bicycle tour of Frankfurt: You can also explore the city of Frankfurt with an organized bicycle tour. The Dutch company BajaBikes organizes three-hour bike tours of the city center. With this bike tour, it is possible to rent children’s bikes or a child’s seat so they can ride on the back with you.
Frankfurt with kids: Fun city parks
#11 Spielpark Goetheturm: This is a fun park to visit in Frankfurt with kids. The park is not super big and there is plenty of opportunity for kids to play here. In addition, there is a cool observation tower in the middle of the park that gives a great view of the city. This tower is open from April through October.
#12 Waldspielpark Scheerwald: a ten-minute walk from Spielpark Goetheturm you have another city park. There is also a large map at the beginning of the park saying that kids play in this park. Again, there is a nice playground and also some kind of water play area. It looks like a kind of fountain spraying in all directions, where kids cool off and play in the summer.
#13 Palmengarten: in the north of the city a 20-minute public transport ride (30-minute walk) from the center you will find this park with a large botanical garden. The park covers a whopping 22 acres and has more than 13,000 plant species. This large city park has two large playgrounds with quite a bit of playground equipment for the kids. There is also a café in the park and ample opportunity for family picnics in the park on the grass.
Frankfurt with kids #5: other activities
#14 Main Tower: this tower is a skyscraper in the center of Frankfurt. The building is 200 meters high and has five floors below ground and 56 floors above ground. Located in the city’s business center, the tower has a viewing platform where you can get a great view of the city. There is also a restaurant and lounge in this tower where you can have a drink overlooking the city.
#15 Frankfurt Cathedral: Another viewpoint over the city is at Frankfurt Cathedral in the city center. You can climb the 328 steps of the tower here for a few euros and also have a very nice view of the city from here.
Frankfurt with kids #16: Christmas market
The oldest Christmas market in the world is in Frankfurt. There are about 240 stalls during the Christmas market, making it one of the largest in Germany. The Christmas market takes place in the old town on Römersberg Square and the market runs right through the middle of Frankfurt’s shopping streets. So the stores in the downtown area are all in Christmas spirit during this period and you can imagine (if you love it) that the city is a cozy mess then.
There is a cool rooftop bar in a department store (Galeria Kaufhof) where you have a great view of the Christmas market. The Christmas market is usually in the month of December until Christmas approximately. If you are planning a city trip to Frankfurt with kids, you can plan it so that you also catch the city’s Christmas market.
Where to sleep in Frankfurt with kids
Budget hotel: Residence Inn by Marriott Frankfurt City Center
Mid-range hotel: Mainhaus Stadthotel Frankfurt
Luxury hotel: Paulaner am Dom Wirthaus und Hotel
To search for other hotels in Frankfurt with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Frankfurt with kids
Frankfurt card: just like any big city, Frankfurt has a card, which allows you unlimited travel on public transportation and gives you many discounts on many attractions in Frankfurt. Take a look at what you want to visit in Frankfurt with kids and then calculate if the card is advantageous for your family.
If you visit the city of Frankfurt by car, you will need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.