Schwedlersee – Urban lake and industrial harbor

Escape the city noises at a natural lake within Frankfurt. Only club members are allowed to swim here, but the beer garden is open to the public.

2 hours Swimming in a natural lake within Frankfurt (for members only!)
Having a drink at a lake in the city, walking along the industrial harbor Suitable for groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Schwedlerstraße.

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take any S-Bahn towards Südbahnhof (S3, S5, S6)
Change: Ostendstraße Take tram 11, direction Schießhüttenstraße
Arrival: Schwedlerstraße (the 5th stop) From here, walk 300 meters to the lake, check the map for details.

Good to know

Tram 11 frequency: every 10 minutes
Travel duration: approx. 15 minutes

2. Activity on site

Have a drink at Schwedler lake

It is like a beer garden next to a lake, in the middle of the city. Pretty incredible, right? Don’t miss the entrance, it is a bit hidden. Follow the map below and look out for this sign:

Sign above the entrance to Schwedler lake.

Heads up: The lake is private property, only club members of the 1st Frankfurt swimming club are allowed to swim here. It is about € 15 per month for a membership, click here if you want to know more about this club.

Take a walk along the industrial harbor to the European Central Bank (ECB)

It is a short, joyful walk along the river to get to the ECB. You will pass one of the docks of the Eastern harbor.

Eastern harbor

Then you will get to Hafenpark, a big sports park including a skate park, basketball fields, and many spots to take a rest. Frankfurt did a good job in not giving this property to an investor but making it available to the public.

The ECB is an impressive building itself. From here it is only 5 minutes to Frankfurt Ostbahnhof, from where you can take the subway back to Konstablerwache.

Check the map below for details.

3. Map

4. Tips

Check the Schwedler lake website prior to your visit

They are closed to the public for private events quite often.

Watch the sunset from the Hafenpark

The ECB building is changing colors just like the sky, it is a great spectacle.

The European Central Bank

Take some time to learn about deportations from Frankfurt during the second WW

The whoelsale market hall is a heritage protected building and is on the ECB property. Starting in 1941, Jews got deported to concentration camps from here. Read the quotes on the path towards Ostbahnhof, and learn more from wikipedia.org.

Quote from a Jew in Frankfurt

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Frankfurt, Ostbahnhof Take U6, direction Heerstraße
Arrival: Frankfurt, Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Urban lake - Enjoy this natural spot.
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Nostalgic elevators in Frankfurt – Pater Noster

These nostalgic elevators are rare nowadays. Some are still running in one hotel in Frankfurt and at the university. This makes for a fun urban afternoon exploration.

1 hour Taking a ride with an historical elevator
2 city highlights within a 30 minutes walking distance Suitable for small groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Uni Campus Westend.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take bus 36, direction Westbahnhof
Arrival: Uni Campus Westend From here it is a 2 minute walk, see the map below

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 15 minutes

2. Activity on site

Pater Noster at the university of Frankfurt, IG Farben building

The elevators – Pater Noster – in the IG Farben building are heritage protected. The building itself is stunning, but the elevators are really something. There at not many left so this is a rare opportunity to take a ride in one of them. I highly recommend to read a bit about Pater Noster elevators before going as it will make you appreciate this exploration even more.

Pater Noster at the university of Frankfurt

Chek out the map below on how to get to the university campus. From there, take a 30 minute walk to the second Pater Noster site:

The Pater Noster at the Fleming’s Hotel

This hotel used to be a factory building. The look and feel inside is still very industrial. Take the historical Pater Noster elevator up and down and around.

If you have some many to spend, enjoy a drink at the terrace on top.

3. Map

4. Tips

It is best to go to the university on a weekday

The university makes their students take a test to take the elevators. Not sure if they actually run them on the weekends. Plus, it is amazing to see the students lining up to jump into the elevator boxes.

Don’t let kids use the elevators alone

There have been many reported issues with this type of elevator. So just make sure to go together with your kids, never leave them ride alone. No worries, nothing can really happen, even if you do a whole loop.

Last level. Continuing the ride is not dangerous.

At Fleming’s: Pretend to go to their terrace restaurant / bar on the seventh floor

I guess it is a semi-public building. Just walk confidently straight to the Pater Noster elevator which you will find on the left side right, just behind the reception desk. If you get asked what you want, just tell them that you want to visit the restaurant at the top which is open until midnight.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Eschenheimer Tor Take bus 36, direction Hainer Weg
Arrival: Konstablerwache (the 3rd stop)

6. Costs

One way: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Day pass:
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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IG Farben building with Pater Nosters - This used to be an industrial building, now it is on the university campus.
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The forest of Frankfurt

Take in the silence at a magical pond within the city forest. Frankfurt’s forest is a great place to escape the city for picnics and short walks.

2 hours Silent pond in a forest
Take a walk in the forest and rest at a playground in the woods Suitable for groups and families

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Goetheturm.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take S5, direction Südbahnhof
Change: Lokalbahnhof Take bus 48, direction Goetheturm
Arrival: Goetheturm Start your walk here, check out the map.
Bus stop Goetheturm

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 20 minutes
Bus 48 frequency: every 30 minutes

2. Activity on site

Walk a 4.5 km loop through the forest – approx. 1 hour

This is a beautiful and easy walk through the city forest of Frankfurt. This is perfect nature retreat is at the edge of the city. Check the map below for details.

First, you will pass the Scheerwald forest playground first. No admission fee! Play a round of mini-golf here.

Next, about 15 minutes into the forest you will get to a magical pond, the Maunzenweiher. Take a rest on one of the benches here. If you feel adventurous, go and check out the pond next to it.

Bench at the forest pond

Finally, your final destination is the playground and kiosk at the former Goetheturm (tower). Until 2017, there used to be a 43 m high wooden tower. From here you had breathtaking views of the Frankfurt skyline. Sadly, it burned down. But the playground is still there and the little coffee shop remains open.

The sad remains of the Goethe tower

Ice cream at the former Goethe tower

When you get off the bus you might also decide to just hang out for an ice cream at the Goethe tower playground. The restaurant is called Goetheruh.

3. Map

4. Tips

Fun fact

Here is an impressive fact from wikipedia.org:

“The forest is about 48 square kilometres and the largest inner-city forest in Germany.”

Pack a picnic

Have a picnic in any of the parks you’ll pass or at the pond. Heads up, many people celebrate a kid’s birthday in the parks.

Make a bbq

You can make your own bbq at the Scheerwald forest playground.

Bike

It is allowed to bike in the forest.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Goetheturm Take bus 48, direction Südbahnhof
Change: Südbahnhof Take S5, direction main station / airport
Arrival: Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Scheerwald forest playground - Play a course of minigolf here.
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Frankfurt city beaches

There are two great spots within the Frankfurt city center to lay down at the river: LILU and Orange Beach.

2 hours A cafe that can float
Relaxing at a city beach and 25 minute walk along the river Suitable for groups and families

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Heinrich-Hoffmann-Straße / Blutspendedienst
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take Tram 12, direction Rheinlandstraße
Arrival: Heinrich-Hoffmann-Straße / Blutspendedienst From here it is a 5 minute walk, check the map below.

Alternatives

Get to Frankfurt main station and take Tram 21, direction Stadion Straßenbahn.

OR:

Get to Frankfurt (Main), Südbahnhof and take Tram 15, direction Haardtwaldplatz.

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 20 minutes

2. Activity on site

LILU: A former Jewish bath, now a public park at the river

Wander on this historical site. This is where Jews in Frankfurt were allowed to take a bath. Natural water sources are very important in the Jewish faith. In 1938 public baths were forbidden. Left behind is a beautiful natural sport for the public. LILU stands for “Licht und Luftbad” (Light and air bathing area). Click here for the official website (German only).

Walk from LILU to Orange Beach

It is possible to take a 40 minute walk to another hidden treasure in Frankfurt: Orange beach. Check the map below for details. The walk will take you over one train bridge from where you have amazing views of the Frankfurt skyline.

Lay down in a beach chair at Orange Beach

Enjoy the urban beach feeling having a drink in a beach chair under a train bridge. A must do in Frankfurt. Check out their website for upcoming events.

3. Map

4. Tips

Picnic or bbq at LILU

They have a public bbq area, very rare in Frankfurt. Bring your own bbq or rent one there. The “Transfer Werkstatt” employs people currently in unstable circumstances, and you can rent all you need for a joyful day at this urban beach park.

Have a drink at the Ponton at LILU

The Ponton could swim if the LILU were to be flooded. Isn’t that so incredible? Read more about floats on wikipedia.org.

The Ponton at LILU

Make it a bike tour

You can lock your bike properly at the LILU, at Orange beach it is a bit more difficult.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Walk to the bus stop Erntestraße (check the map) Take bus 37, direction Hauptbahnhof
Change: Hauptbahnhof (main station) Take the subway or the S-Bahn (suburban train), direction Frankfurt city
Arrival: Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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The Ponton at LILU - Enjoy a drink or snack here or just bring your own picnic.
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Hafen 2 – Urban city escape

Great, alternative, urban city escape with an outdoor playground, open air stage and coffee shop. Located directly at the river Main, just outside of Frankfurt. Come for a sunny afternoon outside.

2 hours Open air spot at the river
Walk along the river and then chill outside having a coffee or a beer Suitable for families, individuals, groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Offenbach, Nordring.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take S2, direction Dietzenbach Bahnhof
Change: Offenbach (Main) Kaiserlei Take bus 46, direction Römerhof
Arrival: Osthafenbrücke (the 3rd stop) From here, start your walk along the river.

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 25 minutes (one way)

2. Activity on site

Go on a 40 minute walk along the river Main

This walk will lead you through beautiful parks, you will pass a ship lock and a fun little monument. Click the map below for details of this walk.

The “me” monument

Chill outside at Hafen 2

This is a great open air urban escape. Let your kids play on the big playground and enjoy a cup of coffee or come with your friends and have a beer.

3. Map

4. Tips

Come for the open air movies at Hafen 2

This is definitely a real highlight. Click here for the program.

Listen to a concert at Hafen 2

They have great independent music shows in a circus tent. Here is the program.

Up for a lazy day?

Just take the bus to Hafen 2 (Offenbach, Nordring) and back. Make sure to get a day pass for the RMV including Offenbach, see section “6. Costs” below.

Make it a bike tour

It is a 5 km easy bike tour along the river Main. Click here for the map.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Take bus 108 from Offenbach (Main), Nordring. It does not matter which direction you go:

Start: Offenbach (Main), Nordring Take bus 108, direction Marktplatz or direction Kaiserlei
Change: Offenbach (Main) Marktplatz or Offenbach (Main) Kaiserlei Take whatever suburban train (S-Bahn) is coming first, almost all go to Frankfurt downtown
Arrival: Konstablerwache  

6. Costs

Outward journey (to Osthafenbrücke): Adult – one way: € 2.75
Return journey (from Offenbach, Nordring): Adult – one way: € 4.90
Day pass (including Offenbach): Adult – day pass: € 9.55
Group day pass (5 people): € 16.60

7. Highlights

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Playground, sand and beach chairs - Chill here after work.
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