Events take place throughout the year, so there is no bad time to visit, but the weather may be best in the shoulder seasons of spring (frühling) and fall (herbst). The very best time to visit Frankfurt is in October, the month of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Frankfurt is also the perfect central location to explore the rest of the country with its superb connections by road and rail.
Here is a complete guide to the best time to visit Frankfurt with information on weather, events, and festivals.
Weather in Frankfurt
Frankfurt isn't known for its great weather, but there are plenty of warm, sunny days. The city has a temperate oceanic climate and four distinct seasons.
After a long, cold winter, Frankfurt is so ready for spring (frühling). As sunshine starts to pierce the cloud cover, temperatures quickly rise to 50 to 65 degrees F. There are still rainy days, but the chill is leaving the air.
During summer, Frankfurt is one of the warmest places in the country with temperatures averaging around 75 degrees F but can reach the high 90s F. Frankfurt has better air conditioning than much of the country, but it is still relatively rare. June is the sunniest month of the year, but never rule out the rain. Autumn (herbst) is when things begin to cool down. Temperatures range from the low 40s to high 50s F until the real cold of late November when the wind picks up, and snowflakes can fly.
Temperatures can drop below freezing in the heart of winter. Average lows dip down to 25 degrees F, and snow usually happens several times in the season, although it doesn't often accumulate. Ice is widespread, so bring slip-proof boots and be careful driving. Make sure to pack your winter gear, particularly if you want to get out of the city and enjoy some winter sports.
Popular Events and Festivals in Frankfurt
The German calendar is full of events, but two significant festivals draw the biggest international crowds to Frankfurt.
Frankfurt Book Fair: The Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM) is a showcase of the best in the written word. It is the world's largest trade fair for books, which takes place over five days every October and draws more visitors than any other book fair.
Christmas in Germany: Christmas in Germany is when everything is a bit more magical. You might not realize how many Western Christmas traditions root in Germany. Frankfurt's weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) open in late November and run through New Year's Eve.
The city can get quite busy with the many trade fairs that occur throughout the year, so be prepared for similar crowds and higher hotel prices during those dates.
January in Frankfurt
After-Christmas is a quiet time in Germany where the tourists have left, and prices are at their lowest. The city is usually cold and dark, with plenty of rain. As Frankfurt is a major city, few things are closed besides some of the smaller restaurants, and nearby castle ruins may not be accessible depending on the weather. On the other hand, it is an excellent time for museums.
- Modern Frankfurt isn't very religious, and Three Kings Day (Dreikönigsfest or Epiphany) isn't an official holiday, but some locals still celebrate.
February in Frankfurt
This is the ideal time to leave the city and head to the ski slopes. Or you can enjoy year-round activities like the farmers and flea markets. For a bit of warmth, visit the Palmengarten for the feel of the tropics.
- Carnival is the major festival in February. The center of the celebration is in Cologne, but many other cities—like Frankfurt—have their own parades and parties.
March in Frankfurt
The first day of spring is in march, and Germans are happy to step outside and open the biergartens, with the help of a warm jacket.
- Germans' favorite vegetable, spargel (white asparagus), makes an appearance this month. "The "King of Vegetables" can be found in grocery stores, restaurants, and markets, with many festivals heralding its arrival.
April in Frankfurt
Spring fairs and festivals arrive in April, and the weather is finally starting to get warm. Admire the pink flowers of the kirschbäume (cherry blossoms) and get ready to party.
- Spring Dippemess is the largest folk festival in the Rhine-Main region. There are food stalls, rides, and games through early May.
- Easter in Germany is a major holiday. Colorful eggs, grocery carts full of chocolates, and Easter trees are and fountains all light up the city.
- This month ends with Walpurgisnacht when the witches come out to play.
May in Frankfurt
Just before peak travel season of summer, May in Frankfurt features fantastic weather, prices have yet to climb, and crowds are low.
- Erster Mai is a chaotic celebration of labor rights in other cities, but in Frankfurt Tanz in den Mai is more popular.
- Wäldchestag (Forest Day) is the high point of the Whitsun holiday. Locals leave work and gather in the forest by midday to celebrate their connection with nature.
June in Frankfurt
Sommer has arrived with warm temperatures and long, sunny days at the riverfront. Unfortunately, summer translates into the highest airfares and hotel rates as well as crowds.
- The Opera Square Festival (Opernplatzfest) offers the best of food, setting, and music in one of the most beautiful squares in the city.
July in Frankfurt
July brings more summer festivals and cruises along the Main River.
- Christopher Street Day (Gay Pride) usually happens this month with a weekend of joyous rainbow parade.
August in Frankfurt
August is a hot time to visit the city. The mercury keeps rising, and everyone needs a break. This means many small businesses and restaurants go on holiday, and visitors should expect some closures despite the influx of visitors. People escape the heat by visiting the cities many attractions meaning lines and crowds are at their peak.
- The Apple Wine Festival celebrates Frankfurt's local drink, ebbelwoi, or apfelwein.
- The Main Festival takes place at the romantic Römerberg, where the Fountain of Justice transforms into a wine fountain. There are also kid's rides, games, music, and treats.
- A celebration of the city's fantastic museums, the Museum Embankment Festival is Europe's most significant cultural festival with arts and music.
- Rheingau Wine Festival allows winemakers to showcase their latest vintage. The Freßgass' becomes a culinary mile with more than 600 wine options.
September in Frankfurt
Herbst and the changing of the leaves are an idyllic time to visit Frankfurt. As temperatures drop, so do airfares, hotel rates, and crowds.
- Once again, the city is gripped by a folk festival with Autumn Dippemess. This folk festival is great for young and old with wild rides and tasty bites.
October in Frankfurt
Fantastic weather usually continues for this month with the biggest trade fair of the year taking place
- Tag der Deutschen Einheit (Day of German Unity) is a national holiday every Oct. 3. There is one main celebration that rotates around the country each year.
- The Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM) is the biggest book festival in Germany with star authors, demonstrations, signings, and talks. It takes place throughout the city.
November in Frankfurt
November temperatures drop dramatically by the end of the month. Crowds are also at a low so that you can visit the city's top sites without the lines.
- St. Martin's Day (Martinstag) on Nov. 11 is mostly for children where they parade the neighborhood with hand-decorated lanterns and sing songs.
- Watch for Christmas markets opening at the end of this month.
December in Frankfurt
Christmas is in the air in December, as well as the cold. That said, everyone seems a little sweeter, and even though the crowds can be high as people visit the city as well as transferring through, it is a great time to visit. Along with the many traditional events and markets, Germans celebrate each advent quietly at home with family.
- New Year's Eve (Silvester) is a major party in Frankfurt. Practically every restaurant, hotel, and club will hold an event.