Some folks think Frankfurt is just a business centre, but with its rich collection of museums, outstanding shopping and culture it is a great place for a city break. Frankfurt has so much to offer travellers!
Frankfurt is an ancient city. Originally founded as a Roman fortress built on the river Main, a tributary of the Rhine, Frankfurt became an important military and civilian location from the 1st Century. Germanic tribes inhabited the land even before the fall of the Western Roman Empire but came into control of the area afterwards. Frankfurt was an important outpost during the rule of Charlemagne and was often an imperial city for the Holy Roman Empire.
Frankfurt Cathedral was built more than 600 years ago!
Frankfurt Main Airport is huge and amongst the busiest in Europe. All major airlines fly frequently to Frankfurt and connect to nearly every major city in the world. Making your way to the city centre is easy by taxi or train. The ride from the airport to the central station takes just 11 minutes by S-Bahn. If you opt for a private taxi, the trip will take a little longer. The journey by car is between 20-30 minutes and costs around €30. Once you’re in the city, the metro can take you anywhere you wish to go. It’s also very easy to walk around the city centre. Frankfurt has all of the convenience of New York City in a much more compact space.
Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t forget to purchase your ticket at the vending machines in the train station before boarding the train. An adult ticket is €5.00 (£4.60).
There are so many things to see in Frankfurt that are historically and culturally significant. Here are my top sites to visit:
- Frankfurt Cathedral, in its beautiful Gothic style has been an important meeting place since the 1300s. It’s an architectural masterpiece and has been rebuilt twice, once after a fire in 1867 and then in the 1950s. It’s a beautiful cathedral to explore.
- Römerberg, in the old town (The Altstadt), is a must see. Spend some time in this beautiful and quaint square whilst enjoying the photogenic and colourful medieval houses. A glimpse into the Germany we imagine from fairy tales, grab a drink here and enjoy the atmosphere.
Which cider will you be on?
- Just because you’re in a jungle of skyscrapers doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some nature too. Palmengarten is Frankfurt’s botanical garden that was opened in 1871. It is 22 hectares and features plants from all over the world. The botanical garden has everything from sub-arctic specimens to desert terrain. It offers a really relaxing break from the city.
- Reach Sachsenhausen by crossing one of the bridges from the city centre. Sachsenhausen is so attractive, with its rustic pubs, historical houses and narrow lanes. Frankfurt’s entertainment district is a great place to enjoy Frankfurt’s ubiquitous apple wine.
- Museumsufer is an entire neighbourhood of museums. The museums are based on both sides of the River Main and there are twelve to explore. The facilities include galleries dedicated to film, art, architecture, communication and ethnography, to name just a few.
- Located on the south bank is Städel Museum. One of Germany’s top cultural attractions, the museum has an incredible array of paintings dating back to the 1300s.
- Visit the 200-metre high Main Tower. It’s the fourth tallest building in Germany and offers some amazing views from the observation deck.
- An important part in the history of Frankfurt is that it was the home town of the famous literary genius, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Visit the Goethe House and Museum where he wrote some of his most famous works. View historical artefacts about his life and his childhood home which has been refurbished to its period glory.
Say hello to Hansel and Gretel!
Frankfurt, with its tasty food scene is worth diving right into. Here are my favourite venues:
- Visit Atschel for old-school, traditional recipes. Their beer hall serves excellent food surrounded by homey décor and the smells of local specialties. Try the cold green sauce, Grüne Soße, made with local herbs, yoghurt and sour cream, and served with boiled eggs and potatoes. Another classic is their pork knuckle.
- Grab a bench at the welcoming Apfelwein Klaus for some traditional local food. A hearty meal is guaranteed. Try the classic Frankfurter sausage, now known worldwide.
- Maindiner is rated the top restaurant in Frankfurt, this world-class steak house will not disappoint. With their truffle mashed potatoes and meat cooked to perfection, it’s an easy choice for a great evening.
Like any large city, Frankfurt has excellent restaurants to cater to any taste and dietary requirement. Service is excellent and the hospitality is warm throughout the city.
With all of the business conducted in the city, you might guess that the nightlife isn’t that exciting. Frankfurt, however, offers world-class opportunities for relaxing and having fun:
- Die Rote is a hidden bar with some seriously cool vibes but it is easy to miss. If you can sweet talk your way into this secret speakeasy then you’re in for a great night. With a cosy and mysterious vibe, this is spot is very trendy.
- Inviting leather armchairs, live piano music and a selection of fine cigars make Jimmy’s Bar a must visit. With a wide selection of cocktails, whisky and champagne, this classy venue is a hit among locals and visitors.
- Enjoy clubbing at Silbergold. DJ’s play a variety of pop and dance classics and the place really rocks!
When you’ve had your fill of culture and partying, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to sleep, here are my favourite places to stay when I’m in the city:
- Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof – Established in 1876, this hotelis in the middle of the historic financial district and boasts 303 classy and elegant rooms. Relax in the Turkish bath at the spa or enjoy their afternoon royal tea.
- Citadines City Centre Frankfurt – This is a great option if you’re looking for an apartment style accommodation with a little more space. Select a kitchenette or fully equipped kitchen and enjoy shopping in the market for local produce.
- The Moxy Hotel, Frankfurt City Center – This hotel offers a cool and contemporary atmosphere. Part of the Marriott Hotel’s chain, its communal area is artistic and brightly coloured. Their modern and funky rooms have floor to ceiling windows, comfy beds, and quirky décor. Enjoy hostel vibes with all the perks of an up-scale hotel.
Did I mention shopping? Frankfurt offers excellent and convenient shopping to meet all tastes and budgets!
Frankfurt is fun any time of the day or night!
Frankfurt is an exciting city to explore that has enough history and fun activities to entertain even the most jaded traveller. Enjoy the city’s foodie scene and relax in this warm and hospitable metropolis.