If you’re planning to head to Germany this year for a holiday or some dedicated plane spotting, we’ve put together this summary of the top ten plane spotting attractions you will find.
If you have a highlight or a recommendation for plane spotters in Germany, why not leave a comment below!
1 Frankfurt International
The busiest airport in Germany, and one of the busiest and largest in Europe, Frankfurt International (there’s also a secondary airport at Frankfurt Hahn) is a major plane spotting highlight in Germany.
This airport is home to Lufthansa, and a hub for a number of other airlines. It’s on the route networks of many international carriers, as well as cargo operators. You’ll also find Lufthansa’s maintenance base here.
Thankfully Frankfurt, like many German airports, is spotter friendly and provides a number of official locations in and around the airport for watching and photographing aircraft.
[Where to Spot at Frankfurt Airport]
2 Hamburg Finkenwerder
Probably the second biggest attraction for plane spotters in Germany is Hamburg’s smaller Finkenwerder airport.
This is the second largest Airbus production site (after Toulouse in France), and is the finishing location for the A319 and A321 families of aircraft at present.
Spotters can take a tour of the factory, or spend time at the spotting location alongside the runway (read our article here) to watch the aircraft being tested and delivered.
[Hamburg Finkenwerder Spotting Guide]
3 Munich Airport
Germany’s second-busiest airport is Munich.
Opened in the 1990s to replace the older airport at Reim, this two-runway and two-terminal facility is a hub for Lufthansa and used by many German, European and even long-haul carriers.
The airport has viewing area at the terminal, and also on a specially-built mound on the entrance road which has elevated views of the runways, and a collection of preserved airliners.
[Plane Spotting at Munich’s Spotter Hill]
4 Sinsheim Technik Museum
One of the two largest aviation museums in Germany, the Technik Museum at Sinsheim is a major attraction for aviation enthusiasts, motor and rail enthusiasts, and also families enjoying a day out.
Among the aviation attractions are a collection of preserved airliners, many suspended high in the air on poles, including both Concorde and Tupolev Tu-144 “Concordski”, Tu-134, Vickers Viscount, Ilyushin Il-12 and Il-18, and many more.
Located around an hour’s drive south of Frankfurt, near Heidelberg and Heilbron. See https://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/
5 Speyer Technick Museum
Like its sister museum at Sinsheim (see above), the Technik Museum Speyer is also a popular museum for aviation fans (and fans of other modes of transport).
Its collection include Antonov An-12, Boeing 747-200B, Dassault Mercure, Vickers Viscount and many more types.
Located near Mannheim and Heidelberg. See https://speyer.technik-museum.de/en/
6 Leipzig Halle Airport
Germany’s biggest and busiest cargo hub is at Leipzig Halle airport, in the east of the country.
It is a hub for DHL, and used by many of its partners. You’ll also see regular passenger services, too.
There are spotting locations on the car park and around the airfield to get close to the action.
7 Hermeskeil Museum
Another popular aviation museum, especially among civil aircraft fans, is the Flugausstellung Hermeskeil, close to the border with Luxembourg.
Among the larger aircraft in its collection, you’ll find a de Havilland Comet 4B, a Vickers VC10, Ilyushin Il-18 and Antonov An-26. There are also plenty of military aircraft.
8 Cologne Bonn Airport
Another of Germany’s big cargo airports is at the airport serving the cities of Cologne and Bonn in the north west of the country.
This airport has a moderate sized collection of passenger services, but across from the passenger terminal is a large freight facility served mainly by FedEx Express, UPS and their partners. The majority of movements are at night, but often aircraft are parked up during the day. They’re visible from the viewing terrace on the terminal.
You’ll also see the German government’s VIP transport fleet based here.
[Cologne Bonn Airport Spotting Guide]
9 Dusseldorf Airport
A busy airport in northern Germany, Dusseldorf is served by regional, European and long-haul carriers.
It did have two popular viewing areas, but unfortunately both are now closed with no re-opening date yet announced. So spotting is confined to areas around the perimeter, including the one looking down the runway where you can capture photographs and videos of the famous crosswind landings here!
[Airport Spotting Guides Europe – Our Guide to European Plane Spotting Locations]
10 Flying to the Northern Islands
Along Germany’s northern coast are many small islands. Most are served by sea routes and small airfields.
They include the Friesian Islands, as well as historic Heligoland.
For fans of flying on unusual aircraft, these islands offer the chance to try some small regional airlines and aircraft types.
Examples include SyltAir, which flies between Hamburg and Sylt using types like the Partenavia P68B, Rhein-Neckar Air which uses the Dornier 328 from Mannheim on various routes, and OFD Ostfriesischer-Flug-Dienst which flies the Britten-Norman Islander to many smaller islands from its Emden base, including Heligoland.