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Layover in Frankfurt

I have a 23 hour layover in Frankfurt. Arrive at 11:50, depart next day at 11:20, so this layover offers an opportunity to see Frankfurt. .
Plan to stay at either the airport Sheraton or Marriott.
Thoughts about hotel?

Would love to see a bit of Frankfurt if possible.
Any recommendations on what to do?

My ticket is with United, from Pisa to FRA, then to EWR. The flight from PSA will be on Air Dolomite. United is saying I’ll have to collect our luggage upon arrival at FRA, then check back in at the counter for departure the next morning…… our bags won’t be checked through. Does that sound right?
Any concerns about passport control, or is this not a concern since I’m flying from Pisa.? I Have a US passport.
Never done a layover like this. Nor have I been to Frankfurt before. But this route saves $1500pp on airfare, plus we will get a quick day in another city.
Thanks so much!

Posted by
5875 posts

The bags won't be checked through. You won't have any passport control when you land at FRA because Italy and Germany are both Schengen countries. It will be like a domestic flight.

I was going to suggest that you stay in Frankfurt itself instead of an airport hotel, but you'll want to be back at the airport three hours before your homebound flight, so 8:20 AM, so it might be easier to stay at the airport Sheraton or Marriott. You probably won't be able to check in when you arrive, but you could drop off your bags and head into the city.

FRA is my total experience of Frankfurt, so others will have to suggest what to do there. Here are our host's suggestions. I'm sure there is excellent transportation between the airport and city. Perhaps you'll enjoy your short time there enough to want to return.

Posted by
10665 posts

We have overnighted after a flight a few times in Frankfurt so this year we decided to spend two nights and see something of the city. You can probably be in the city center by 14:30 or so. Not a lot of time but Ms. Jo, who frequents this forum, does a fine tour. Contact her through her website, Frankfurt on Foot for ideas. Maybe a mid-to-late afternoon tour. Or use Rick Steves self guided tour. It really is nice to have a local like Jo take you around, though.

Posted by
1467 posts

You could always try and check your bag. I’m surprised that UA won’t let you do this. In the past I’ve even done double overnight connections in cities (1 night in Singapore followed by another night in Hong Kong) and had no problems with the checked bags making it from Sri Lanka all the way back to the US. I’ve even done this coming back from Africa via FRA on star alliance carriers and didnt have a problem with checking the bags through even with the overnight stop in FRA.

Posted by
366 posts

I also highly recommend Ms. Jo of Frankfurt on Foot. Our flight from the US was scheduled to arrive at 12:30, so I scheduled our tour with her for 4:00. We had plenty of time to get through the airport (including passport control and collecting our luggage), take the SBahn to our hotel near the Hauptbahnhof (in the city), and get semi-settled in our room. We also had less than 24 hours in Frankfurt; I found this tour very worthwhile as Ms. Jo taught us so much about the city in our limited amount of time-and it did not feel at all rushed. Afterwards you can find a spot for a relaxing dinner.

There is good public transit from central Frankfurt to the airport, so you might consider staying somewhere in the city instead of at an airport hotel.

Posted by
6651 posts

Frankfurt is not a top tourist city in Germany, but Heidelberg, south of Frankfurt would be a great place to visit, if you wanted to take the train.

Posted by
313 posts

Mainz is an easy trip from the regional train station in the Frankfurt Airport (located in the Squaire). We've visited a couple times when we've had time to kill at FRA. Impressive cathedral and surrounding streets; great museum about Gutenberg and printing; nice restaurant choices. Also, if this trip is November 25 - December 23, the Mainz Christmas Market is really quite beautiful and lively.

Posted by
720 posts

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Posted by
641 posts

We stayed at the Sheraton at the Frankfurt airport last week. It was clean, quiet, and conveniently located. Easily signed to get to the airport, and no more than a 15 minute walk.

Posted by
3487 posts

I arrived a day early for a flight out of Frankfurt in September 2021. I would strongly support spending time in Frankfurt over catching a train to another city/town. It’s a great place for an overnight visit. I stayed at the Motel One Römer — great location that was near public transportation and was walkable to all sorts of interesting sights. I, too, arranged a tour with Ms Jo, who met me at my hotel. The tour was awesome… highly recommended!

Posted by
5875 posts

I just looked at the website of Ms. Jo's tour company. I knew she knew a lot about Frankfurt and Germany, but I had no idea she had a tour business. While she posts frequently, to my knowledge she has never plugged this business on this forum, following the guidelines admirably. I've never met her but I think this shows character and integrity. If I were spending time in Frankfurt, whether between flights or otherwise, I'd certainly take one of her tours. Hats off!

Posted by
3487 posts


She does not promote herself, but those of us who have done a tour with her promote her! 🙂

Posted by
30253 posts

One of the walks that Frankfurt on Foot specialize in is what they call Layover Tours. They work with you to give you exactly what you are looking for. Great folks. You can't go wrong.

That's a great way to spend the time you have. It sounds like you got a great deal on airfare....

Posted by
47 posts

We had a layover in Frankfurt recently, arrived 16:00 at FRA (from Madrid) on Oct 24th, and left 13:20 the next day (to Vancouver Canada), only had carry-on bags and all via Lufthansa. We stayed at "Staycity Aparthotels Frankfurt Airport" which is just one S(8/9)-Bhan stop from the airport and highly recommended. It is very clean (like most in Germany) and modern, has a gym and a restaurant with very good breakfast. The hotel room also has a small kitchen and REWE store is just one minute walk away, if you want to prepare your own healthy food.

We meant to go to the "Main Tower" downtown via S-Bhan, but were too exhausted, so just rested and had a nice supper. We took taxi ordered by the hotel to FRA the next morning and the cost (11.10Euro) is less S-Bhan (11.20Euro for two).

Note that you do need to go FRA three hours early before your flight. On Oct 25th, our security line wait time was a bit more than one hour and there is a 2nd wait line for non-EU people getting stamps leaving EU (another half an hour). Good thing that we didn't need to go the airline check-in counter, as it would take more time ...

p.s Our layover was requested by us, as Lufthansa changed the 1st leg of our flights to 6am (from 8:30) in Madrid, that was way too early for a long flight. So we went Frankfurt one day early and had a full good night sleep, instead of staying half night in a hotel near Madrid airport. Very glad for the change.