Please help me spend long layovers in Frankfurt and Amsterdam

Greetings, all. Relatively new international traveler here. I have an 8-hour layover later today in Frankfurt, and a 17-hour (5pm to 10am) layover next month in Amsterdam on my way home. Is eight hours enough time to see a thing or two in Frankfurt? If so, any recommendations? Same with Amsterdam.

General interests would be to simply take in the local flavor.


We’ve got really crummy weather here in Frankfurt, but yes, eight hours should be fine to see something. You’re a bit late in the day, though. Downtown is about twenty minutes by train or taxi from the airport, and the train (S-8 or S-9 suburban trains) will take you straight downtown. Stores’ll be closed, but we’ve got a whole bunch of museums right there. I’d recommend getting off at Hauptwache and walking towards the Dom/Römerberg to see the reconstructed old town and cathedral, and then pick a museum, since most of them will be closed by about seven or so. the Schirn art museum is right close, as is the museum of modern art and the Caricutura caricature museum. Don’t know offhand how many you will be actually be able to see, since, as I say, it’s a bit late. Then cross the Main river on the pedestrian bridge and take a short stroll on the other side, preferably finding a Äpplewoikneipe (apple cider pub) for dinner–maybe a pedestrian can point you to Wagner, near Schweitzerplatz; or try and get to Affentorplatz and stroll through the lanes, where there are a number of such pubs.
Short version: eight hours is plenty of time, but you’re late on a Sunday, which restricts your sightseeing options a bit.

Schipol’s not that close to the Amsterdam city center, but with 17 hours , you could easily hop on a train to Amsterdam Centraal and you’re pretty close to the Dam Square, Nieuwe Kirk, Oude Kirk, De Wallen/Red Light District, etc…

Being a European city, a lot of stuff other than bars and restaurants shut up tight as a drum after 5 or 6, so you’ll be kind of limited to nightlife kinds of activities.

Definitely get the train into Amsterdam. You’ll be able to have a meal and a wander around to soak up the atmosphere. You might also want to check the Yotel at Schipol to get some shuteye.

On a recent long lay over in Seoul, Korea Ms Hook and I made an amazing discovery.

It isn’t uncommon for major airports to have short run tour companies custom made for folks such we travelers. In Seoul, for about $45 each we got a 6 hour tour of the city. It was in a comfortable van with an excellent guide and included lunch. No visa was required, just show up, pay your money and get on the bus.

Don’t know about Frankfort or Amsterdam but you should check it out.

The Mrs. and I had a 6 hour layover in Salt Lake City, so took a free tour van into the heart of town. Nice, chatty folks led the tour.

But it seems SLC doesn’t have the equivalent to Amsterdam’s Oudezijds Voorburgwal! Or even coffee shops…

Thanks to all, for the tips so far! For Frankfurt, turns out that what felt like “later today” to me will be Monday morning at 7am in Germany. So that should open up some options, no?

And SandyHook, I also greatly enjoyed a long layover in Seoul, last month. I didn’t take a tour, but I did take their wonderful commuter train into Seoul Station and the next two stops beyond. It was a very, very pleasant afternoon.

Wow, the turbulence is making it difficult to type aboard this 747-400!

Thread moved from Cafe Society to IMHO.