Back to grid

Running in Frankfurt: an insider guide with Florian Neuschwander

Frankfurt is a melting pot of cultures, nationalities and contrasting landscapes. You’ll experience the energy of a financial metropolis. Savor the history and architecture of the classical old town. And breathe in the green air of the city’s lakes, forests and parks. For runners, it might just be the ultimate destination.


Located at the heart of Europe, Germany’s fifth largest city is at once a city of contrasts and comfort.


A thriving music scene sits alongside the economic muscle of European Central Bank. And at the steps of the 19th-century Alte Oper concert hall, you can gaze in wonder at soaring skyscrapers of steel and glass.


This is a place where big business meets grand culture, attracting the world’s best and brightest at an ever-increasing rate. Little wonder, then, that it is the place record-setting runner Florian Neuschwander called home for five glorious years.


Back in the city to show us his home turf, Florian invites you to run his three favorite routes in Frankfurt. Complete the routes and secure exclusive prizes now: 


Your guides: Florian Neuschwander and Ambika Chanrai


Meet your guides


Florian moved to Frankfurt in 2014. He remembers with a smile the changes it brought to both his running career and his personal life.


“I had a great time in Frankfurt, it’s where I really started my ultra-running career, with the 2015 Wings for Life World Run in Darmstadt”, says Florian.


“It’s also where I became a dad. My wife and I lived here, so it’s always great to come back to the city, feel the vibes and meet people you know.” In 2018, Florian and his family moved to the Alps.


"Most of the time now, I’m training alone, so it’s nice to run together in the city on my old routes. Running along the river Main brings back some great memories.”


Frankfurt, says Florian, is a city of choices: “You can run in the city, or in greenery like Grüneburgpark. You can also be on your own on the trails just a bit outside of the stress of the city, in places such as the Frankfurter Stadtwald (Frankfurt City Forest).”



For today’s tour, Florian is joined by On ambassador and full-time fitness instructor Ambika Chanrai.


She moved to Frankfurt from Singapore in April 2021.


“What attracted me was how international it is,” she says. “You meet people from everywhere and all walks of life, which is awesome because it’s never boring. I’ve lived in New York and Singapore, and Frankfurt is like a middle point: everyone has been so welcome and super friendly.”     


“There are some amazing routes to run, because you can go from running by the water – which is so beautiful – to running through skyscrapers and into the Old Town. It’s like running through a time warp!”


Florian’s top three runs in Frankfurt


5km Main Panorama


Florian’s first route is Frankfurt’s most famous. He has run it thousands of times, taking in the scenery along the banks of the Main on an almost entirely flat route.

“You always meet a lot of other runners here. The skyline view is awesome, and because it’s flat you can go fast if you want to.”


“When we started with our Monday Community Run at Frankfurter Laufshop, I created eight short Strava Segments where you can test yourself from bridge to bridge on the Sachenhausern Ufer side”, says Florian.

Running route 1: 5km Main-Panorama
See on Strava


Some runners even race against the boats on the river. And for those wanting a longer run, Florian recommends taking one of the next bridges along or simply completing an extra loop. 


“If you want to take it easy, just meet a friend and run along together. You can always run this route, whatever time of day and whatever the weather. I’ve had so many good moments here.”



Florian's second route takes us out of the city into the nearby city forest. 



15km Ab ins Grüne


For a longer adventure, Florian recommends a stunning run in Frankfurter Stadtwald, Europe’s largest inner-city forest. "The city is close, but you’ll soon lose yourself in the calm and tranquility of this green haven.“


The starting point is the athletics stadium from my old running club Spiridon Frankfurt. It brings back memories: "I did lots of good workouts on this 400m track.”


Florian explains: “From there, you’re in the forest in a second. Then you can run however long you want. The Stadtwald seems to have endless forest roads and some nice little trails, too.”


The forest was home to some of Flo’s most grueling training sessions, including tempo runs and long runs. Twice he ran the full 67km Grüngürtel Ring bike path, recording the course record of 4:36 hours with an average pace of 4:06 minutes per kilometer.


Running route 2: 15km Ab ins Grüne
See on Strava
“Stadtwald is perfect for running when it’s warm outside, because you have shadow nearly all of the time."


Make time to head to the Goetheturm, a nice big wooden tower, for an awesome view of Frankfurt city.” For all his experience, Florian still has one outstanding ambition at Ab ins Grüne: he has never run across the Jacobiweiher when it is frozen: “I think I have to come back in winter to get that Strava Segment crown!”



For the third route, it's back to the city center. 



10km The Urban Jungle


For his final run, Florian is joined by Ambika for a 10km route through the center of Frankfurt.


“You see everything. Old buildings, skyscrapers, parks, cafes, busy places and calm places. It’s a perfect course to explore the city”, says Flo.


“You get a combination of city and parks in London, but Frankfurt is different and the Grüneburgpark is very nice to run. It’s not big, but it’s nice and calm. I like to really run through the city and feel the rush. In the parks, you can relax a bit.”


Ambika admits to being impressed by the triple change of scenery on this route. “You see so much in such a short period of time. From running the gardens and being fully embedded in nature to suddenly being among the tall buildings, and then ending at such a pinnacle spot in Frankfurt.”


Running route 3: 10km The Urban Jungle
See on Strava


“The whole route is so easy to access, there aren’t many traffic lights to conquer, it’s nice and flat and it’s also a cultural experience.”


“The botanical garden reminds me of those in Singapore. There are some beautiful things – like the flower sanctuary, otters in the pond and the outdoor theatre – to observe along the way.”


Ambika adds: “I’m a morning girl, so I like to do this one early. It can get busy in the evenings (especially in the Old Town), so you’ll have to do some people dodging – but it’s totally possible.”



Frankfurt favorites 


Florian suggests:  

Goetheturm (Goethe Tower) - “It’s just 4km away from the city and you can go for a nice trail run and enjoy the silence. From the top of the tower, you get a great view over the city.”


Picknickbank - “A nice little restaurant with delicious vegan food. There are two of them in the city and they’re definitely worth a visit.”


Frankfurter Laufshop - “The place to go for the best running tips and equipment in Frankfurt. A must visit on Mondays for the community run. You’ll also get a nice coffee or espresso just around the corner.”


Ambika is a fan of the following locations:


Bars – “Hunky DoryWaxy’sEschenheimer Turm and Kiwis are all worth a visit.”


Restaurants – “Try YoffiGioiaElaine’s DeliNaiv Pizza or Vevay.”


Coffee – “BuncaHoppenworth & Polch and Wackers are great.”



Florian’s top three running tips


1. “Start slowly and run with someone else. Make sure you’re having fun and running together.”


2. “Don’t stress too much about times, heart rates and other things you can measure. Just go out first and do very easy runs.”


3. “Always try new routes, trails or hiking paths to explore your city or where you live. You see so much more when you go outside and run.”



What Florian is wearing 


The Weather Jacket
Ultralight protection, maximum performance. Face down the elements with high-tech Japanese fabrics and a design that means it can be packed away in its own pocket.
Discover weightless weatherproofing
The Lightweight Shorts
Fast-drying, super-light and stretchy, meet the shorts engineered entirely to help you reach your best. Enjoy total freedom of movement and a perforated back.
Discover the soft, strong and distraction-free shorts
The Cloudflow
The next-gen ultralight and fully cushioned shoe for fast training and racing on the road. Take the shortcut to runner’s high
Shop the high-speed Cloudflow running shoe

Discover Ambika's Outfit  

The Performance Long-T
It might look casual, but your running gets serious in the Performance Long-T. With fast-drying and lightweight Japanese fabrics, and an ultra-dry mesh throughout, you’re ready for anything.
Protective, simple, sophisticated - discover the Performance Long-T
The Running Shorts
A four-way stretch polyamide and elastane blend is light, fast-drying and 100% comfortable. And with a reflective logo, you’ll always be visible – whenever you run.
For a distraction-free run - discover the Running Shorts
The Cloudswift
The all-new Cloudswift is made to be the ultimate city running shoe. Lightweight but built for heavy impacts. Hard surfaces never felt so easy.
See the all-new Cloudswift


Be part of the Run the City Frankfurt challenge and win exclusive On prizes. 

Run Florian’s routes between July 5 and August 8 and take part in our exclusive prize draw. There are great prizes to be won for each route. Choose your route, run it and then upload your activity screenshot or link for a chance to win.


And remember, if you run all the routes, you increase your chances of winning.


What can be won on each route? 


5km Route Main-Panorama: 3 On outfits and Garmin watch

15km Route Ab ins Grüne: 3 On shoes and Garmin watch

10km Route The Urban Jungle: 3x Frankfurt Marathon entries, on-outfits and Garmin watch


Feel free to share your run by tagging @on_running and using #FFMisOn. Every route has a story. Create yours with On.


Be first to hear about our latest releases, special offers and training tips by signing up for the On Newsletter.

By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to On’s Privacy Policy.