If you thought you knew what every German city looks like – you were wrong. Frankfurt am Main is unlike the rest of Germany. Concrete, glass and steel skyscrapers are home to more than 5 million inhabitants and numerous powerful, worldwide-known companies, which make ‘Mainhattan’ a significant finance and business hub. Apart from its economic side, Frankfurt is very traditional and charming city, with pleasant apple wine taverns serving traditional food, outdoor cafes and shops, beautiful parks and promenade along the river. Another benefit is the city’s cultural offer, from museums to galleries, often crowded with the constantly-growing student population which enjoys Frankfurt’s nightlife and entertainment scene. Check out our guide for a great tour of this Germany’s highlight!
Getting there: Frankfurt has two airports: Frankfurt am Main and Frankfurt Hahn. The first one is one of the biggest airports in Europe, so prepare yourself for some walking. It even has its own train and bus stations, so reaching the city is not a problem. The second one is 120 km away from the city and is generally used by low-cost carriers, therefore we recommend you to check twice where your plane lands and where exactly in the region you should go to see which airport is more convenient for you.
Attractions: Every city’s most beautiful place is its Old Town – and it’s the same with Frankfurt and its central part, the Römerberg. It is an irregularly shaped square with the Justice Fountain in the middle and the city’s busiest pedestrian zone, which houses many tourist attractions, such as Römer, a complex of several buildings from the 15th to the 18th century, which include the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and its Imperial Hall, a former banquet scene. Add the Historical Museum, founded in 1878, which contains collections of Frankfurt’s history from medieval to modern age to your list as well.
Did you know that the city on Main is home to one of the most modern museums of natural history in Europe (and second largest in Germany)? Yep, the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, located in the same named Senckenberg Gardens, houses Europe’s largest exhibition of large dinosaurs and numerous displays of Earth’s biodiversity and evolution. Also, it is the place where you can see the world’s largest collection of stuffed birds. The museum is open every day of the week from 09:00 to 17:00 (sometimes to 18:00 or 20:00). The entrance fee is €9.00. English language tours and audio guides are available as well.
Frankfurt wouldn’t be a cultural centre if it had only one museum worth visiting. So, don’t forget the Museum of Modern Art, regarded as one of Europe’s most important galleries of contemporary art since 1991. Its collection includes more than 5 000 works dating from the period between 1960s and 2000, some of which belong to Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and other famous artists. If you more of a Rembrandt-and-Goya-type, then head to the Städel Art Museum.
Apart from museums, one of Frankfurt’s most popular landmarks is the Opera Square with the Old Opera House, constructed in 1880 in Italian Renaissance style. Although destroyed during WWII, it was reconstructed and reopened in 1981 and has been the city’s most important concert venue ever since. The city has one other opera house, Oper Frankfurt, which, together with the Schauspiel Frankfurt theatre, contains a contemporary state-of-the-art venue known as Opern-und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt.
Also, the city is the birthplace of Germany’s most popular writer ever, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Although WWII destroyed his house as well, it was fully renovated with original belongings and furniture of the family Goethe. The house is in Grosser Hirschgraben street.
We can’t forget the St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral (Dom St. Bartholomäus), built of red sandstone in Gothic style. 95 meters tall, the cathedral, built between the 13th and the 15th century, stands out among the city’s skyscrapers.
If you’re looking for something that will take your breath away, then Palm Garden is the answer. Germany’s largest botanic garden, located on the Bockenheimer Landstrasse, attracts both visitors and world’s best performers like Buffalo Bill ever since 1871. The garden’s highlights are outdoor botanical exhibits and numerous greenhouses with many subtropical and tropical plants. Among all this, you can find recreational facilities such as picnic spots, playground and boating as well.
And don’t think we forgot about delicious German cuisine. For maximal hedonism, visit Restaurant Medici, Moriki or Holbein’s. On the other hand, if you want to save some money, best cheap eats are Pizzeria 7 Bello, Toh Thong and Fletchers Better Burger.
However, there is no better way to see Frankfurt than climbing to the top of the Main Tower, the city’s only high-rise open to the public named after the river flowing through the city center. At the top of the tower, you can have a cocktail and/or a meal at a bar and a restaurant which offers international cuisine and amazing panoramic windows. Either way, you’ll enjoy your stay!