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Frankfurt is an interesting combination of futuristic 200-meter-high glass skyscrapers and charming old squares, with historical buildings of wonderful architecture. Both make a striking contribution to Frankfurt’s skyline.
This old city has long been an essential economic and commercial center. Even today, Frankfurt, Germany, is a significant financial, trade and transportation center. However, that’s not all the city has to offer.
You can also enjoy cultural events such as Frankfurt Book Fair, explore some of the many museums and wander through Goethe’s childhood home. Or simply relax at the parkland that runs along both banks of the Main River.
With 700,000 inhabitants, Frankfurt is the fifth German city in size, behind Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The city is on the river Main, located in the province of Hessen, in the western part of Germany. Hence, the city’s full name is Frankfurt am Main. An interesting fact is that Frankfurt Airport is one of the largest in Europe, with 60 million passengers passing through each year.
Frankfurt houses the headquarters of the European Central Bank and Deutsche Bank, as well as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Planning a last-minute trip to Germany?
Top Experiences and Tours in Germany:
- See the sights with a tour of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Day Trip from Munich
- See castles on the Potsdam: City and Castles Tour
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This contributes to Frankfurt being the largest financial center in the Eurozone. Plus, the whole financial district got the nickname Mainhattan because of the high concentration of skyscrapers.
Frankfurt is also a city of museums. You can see the dinosaur skeletons at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, significant works of art at the Stedel Museum and interactive displays at the Deutsches Filmmuseum.
Plus, testimonies about the suffering of the Jews during the Second World War can be seen at the Jewish Museum. It’s worth mentioning that this amazing city also hosts the best European book and car fairs.
Frankfurt City Center
You can stroll through the old city center of Romemberg to enjoy lovely architecture and the pedestrian bridge Eiserner Steg. It is the historical iron bridge that was destroyed in WWII but was later reconstructed. The bridge connects the city center with the Sachsenhausen district.
If you love shopping, you will admire Zeil street, thanks to the many boutiques and shops. It is located near Hauptwache Square, known as the heart of Frankfurt.
In searching for good nightlife in Frankfurt, you can visit many restaurants and bars, where you will find the best German beer and wine. We recommend trying Apfelwein, an apple wine that is served in characteristic diamond-patterned glasses.
Frankfurt is very well connected by public transportation to other German cities and regions. That means you can easily go on a day trip by train to the nearby cities of Cologne and Heidelberg.
Things to Do in Frankfurt
1. Explore the Palmengarten
Palmengarten is one of the main tourist attractions in Frankfurt. This botanical garden was opened to the public in 1871 and covers 22 hectares. It hosts many tropical plants and exhibition rooms.
You can explore the Palmenhaus with subtropical palm trees and the Garden of Rhododendrons with species from Asia and North America. Plus, don’t miss the beautiful Rose Garden.
At the highest point of the garden, you can find The Rockery, a rocky hill with a fantastic waterfall and a stunning view.
There are 14 Greenhouses of various sizes. Visit The Alpine house to see the plants from the Island of Tasmania. The Tropicarium houses plants from the savanna and the Subantarctic house, where you can see the plants from Patagonia.
2. Climb to the Top of the Main Tower
Visiting the Main Tower is a must if you want to experience the best sightseeing spot in Germany. The 200-meter-high building was opened to the public in 2000 and named after the river Main.
It is mostly known for its curved window facade and rooftop observation deck. However, the Main Tower is also an extremely energy-efficient building with one of the fastest lifts in Germany.
The building, located in the Innenstadt district, hosts offices of several financial institutions, banks and law firms. On the 53rd floor, you can find the restaurant, with an amazing panoramic view of the city. Inside the Main Tower, you can also see the video installation, the wall mosaic and other contemporary art pieces.
3. Visit the Senckenberg Natural History Museum
Naturmuseum Senckenberg is a historical museum situated at the neo-baroque building, with collections from different eras of Earth’s history. You can see exhibits of birds, fish, mammals, insects and 18 dinosaur skeletons.
The list of permanent exhibits also includes those about human evolution and geological processes on Earth. In addition, there are special exhibits about the tropical coral reef and the climate.
Get a guided tour of educational programs to learn more about the exhibitions. Also, we recommend visiting the “Aha?!” science lab, where you can talk to scientists and join them in real research projects.
4. See the Stadel Museum
The Stadel Museum is Germany’s oldest museum. It was established by the businessman Johann Friedrich Stadel in the 19th century. You can see Renaissance, Baroque and modern art collections from the 14th century to the 21st century.
There are more than 3,000 paintings, 100,000 drawings, 500 photographs and 600 sculptures. The most significant collections include masterpieces by remarkable artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso. The museum also offers a library with 115,000 books, audio guides in English, a cafe, and a bookshop.
The Stadel Museum is also part of the Museumsufer, which includes notable museums on both banks of the river Main. These include the Ethnological Museum, German Film Museum, German Architecture Museum, Jewish Museum and others.
5. Peak Into Frankfurter Dom
Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as Frankfurter Dom, is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Bartholomew. That Gothic cathedral was built of red sandstone in the 14th 15th centuries on the foundation of an earlier church from the Merovingian time.
From the 16th to the 18th century, it was a Holy Roman Empire coronation church where 10 kings were crowned.
The interior of the imperial cathedral was demolished during World War II but was reconstructed after the war. Today, Frankfurter Dom is the largest religious building in Frankfurt, with a 95-meter tall tower. You can climb via 328 steps to the viewing platform and enjoy a city view.
6. Explore the Historical Square Romerberg
Romerberg is the historical center of Frankfurt’s old town, known as Altstadt. You can see traditional half-timbered houses around you and the medieval Fountain of Justice in the middle of the square.
Since most buildings were destroyed in WWII, local authorities reconstructed the main Frankfurt Square in the past decades and built new buildings by following the original plans. The square is dominated by the Romer building complex (City Hall), the seat of the Frankfurt city administration.
At Romerberg, you will find many cafes, shops, craftsmen’s workshops and museums. We recommend visiting St Nicholas Church, St Paul’s Church and the Historical Museum.
The square is also well known for Christmas Markets and imperial coronations. In addition, you can experience the exciting Coronation Route, a walking tour through the colorful historic old town.
7. Visit Goethe House
Did you know that Frankfurt is the birthplace of the famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? He was born there in 1749.
The writer’s house was destroyed during WWII but was restored in 1951. The lovely building’s facade is a mixture of the Rococo and Baroque styles. The Goethe House has four levels, 18 rooms and beautifully decorated staircases.
Today, at the Goethe House, you can see furniture, artifacts and paintings from Goethe’s childhood, including his writing room.
Next to the Goethe House, you can visit the Goethe Museum and explore a 14-room gallery with artworks from the 18th century.
8. Discover the Tasty Food at Kleinmarkthalle
Welcome to Kleinmarkthalle, a main food market in Frankfurt. It is located in a 1,200 square meter art-deco hall and contains over 60 stallholders with various products. There you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, numerous cheese types, regional wines and tasty cakes. There are also bakeries, butchers and fishmongers.
We recommend tasting the delicious local specialties, such as “Green Sauce”, or buying international spices from various parts of the world, beautiful flower arrangements, or Frankfurt’s best espresso.
The amazing food market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 AM until 6 PM.
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9. Admire the Masterpieces of the Contemporary Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MMK) was opened in June 1991. On 3,500 square meters of exhibition space, you can find the permanent collection, which includes over 5,000 artworks, as well as temporary exhibitions.
The three-story museum building of triangular shape also includes workshops, a lecture hall and depots. You can see paintings, drawings, photographs, video installations and sculptures from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The foundation for the museum collection was laid when the city of Frankfurt purchased works from the former Karl Ströher collection. This mainly consists of artworks belonging to Pop Art and Minimalism.
Some of the most famous authors of the artworks represented here are Andy Warhol, Carl Andre and Roy Lichtenstein.
The MMK is open every day, except Monday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
10. Attend a Concert at the Old Opera House
The Old Opera House, or Alte Oper, is one of Germany’s most stunning concert halls. It is in Innenstadt, the central city district of Frankfurt am Main.
The opera building was constructed in 1880, but it was ruined during the Second World War. Almost four decades after, in 1981, the building was restored and open to the public.
Now it has two concert halls, many foyers and salons for conventions. The Large Hall has a capacity of 2,500 people and it is well known for its great acoustics. The Mozart Hall has 700 seats.
You can attend a vast range of concerts there and enjoy jazz, rock, blues, and classical music. The Old Opera House is also an important congress center, with around 50 events per year.
In front of the Old Opera House building, you can admire a lovely decorated square, Opernplatz, with a beautiful fountain.
Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty homemade lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family.