Great Runs is the ultimate guide to the best places to go running in the world’s major cities and destinations. We’re pleased to share this content through a partnership with Runkeeper.
Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany and an important commercial and cultural center. It is also a major transportation hub, with one of the busiest airports in the world. Much of the city was damaged during World War II, but the old town (Altstadt) has been largely rebuilt. The fantastic transportation system in Frankfurt can also be worked into your runs!
The running highlights of Frankfurt are centrally located, and include paths along the Main River, and several major parks and gardens, such as Grüneburgpark and Palmengarten. A loop around the Wallanlagen, a 5 km green belt around the city centre following the former city walls, provides a good ‘running overview’ of Frankfurt. Further afield, the Stadtwald (City Forest) has some great running, and there are also nice paths along the Nidda, a tributary of the Main, just north of the city.
Our Favorite Routes
Main River Route. The signature run in Frankfurt. There are wonderful paths with great views. The south side of the river features the green belt along the Museum Embankment, while the north side skirts the Altstadt. The principal run is a 7 km (4.3 mile) loop, but the numerous bridges allow for loops of varying lengths.
Grüneburgpark and Palmengarten. These are three neighboring green spaces in the northwest part of Frankfurt. Enjoy the botanical gardens of Palmengarten, and then Grüneburgpark, whose paths are done in the English style. Then take a quick jaunt through the campus of Goethe University.
Wallanlagen/Frankfurt Ring Route. This is a series of park lands around the former city walls, making for a nearly 5 km green belt. It’s a great way to skirt the perimeter of old and new Frankfurt, through seven areas named after former city gates. For a longer run, add on with the Main river paths.
Nidda River Paths. This tributary of the Main river has some pleasant, flat running. You can run 10.5 km from Höchst, north to Eschersheim. There are nice views of the river, and the terrain becomes increasingly country-like as you head north. There’s good public transport access at either end.
Frankfurt City Forest. (Frankfurter Stadtwald). A huge city park about 7 km south of the city, with 400+ km of well signposted trails for any form of activity. There’s good variety, from gentler terrain through fields, to more challenging trail running options. Among the many choices, our guide has a route starting from the Oberschweinstiege.
Mark Lowenstein is Chief Running Officer of Great Runs, the ultimate guide to the best places to run in the world’s major cities and destinations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @greatruns