Welcome to Frankfurt, the dynamic financial and cultural hub of Germany. This cosmopolitan city, situated on the banks of the Main River, offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modernity. As the financial capital of Germany, Frankfurt boasts a stunning skyline adorned with towering skyscrapers, earning it the nickname “Mainhattan.” However, beyond its impressive financial district, Frankfurt is also rich in history, culture, and picturesque neighborhoods.
Explore the city’s historic heart, the Römerberg, where you’ll find charming half-timbered houses, the iconic Römer (City Hall), and the stunning Frankfurt Cathedral. Wander through the narrow streets of the Sachsenhausen district, famous for its traditional apple wine taverns and cozy atmosphere. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Goethe House, the birthplace of the renowned German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Frankfurt is also known for its world-class museums and galleries. The Museumsufer, located along the southern banks of the Main River, is home to a cluster of excellent museums, including the Städel Museum, which houses an extensive collection of European art, and the Museum of Modern Art (MMK), showcasing contemporary works.
Indulge in the vibrant culinary scene of Frankfurt, where you can savor traditional German cuisine, international flavors, and culinary delights from around the world. From local favorites like hearty sausages and schnitzel to international fine dining establishments, the city offers a diverse range of gastronomic experiences.
Shopaholics will be delighted by the luxurious boutiques along the Zeil, Frankfurt’s premier shopping street, as well as the bustling Kleinmarkthalle, a vibrant market offering fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal products.
When it comes to entertainment, Frankfurt has a lively nightlife scene. Discover cozy bars, trendy clubs, and traditional pubs where you can enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer or dance the night away to live music.
Beyond the city limits, explore the picturesque Rhine Valley, with its romantic castles and vineyards, or take a short trip to the charming town of Heidelberg, renowned for its beautifully preserved old town and famous castle.
With its perfect blend of history, culture, business, and entertainment, Frankfurt invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey. This travel guide will provide you with essential information, recommendations, and insights to help you make the most of your visit to this remarkable city. Get ready to explore the diversity and vibrant spirit of Frankfurt. Gute Reise!
Frankfurt City Guide: A Brief History Of Frankfurt, Germany
The history of Frankfurt spans over a thousand years, filled with significant events that have shaped the city into what it is today. As a major economic and cultural center, Frankfurt has played a pivotal role in Germany’s history.
Frankfurt’s origins can be traced back to Roman times when it served as a strategic settlement called “Nida” along the Main River. However, it was in the early Middle Ages that Frankfurt began to flourish. In the 9th century, the East Frankish King Charlemagne recognized the strategic importance of the location and built a royal palace in Frankfurt, establishing it as an imperial city.
During the Middle Ages, Frankfurt grew into a bustling trade center and a hub of commerce. It became a member of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trading alliance, which brought wealth and prosperity to the city. Frankfurt’s central location in Europe made it a key trading point for merchants traveling between the north and south of the continent.
In 1356, Frankfurt gained further importance when it was chosen as the site for the coronation of German kings and emperors. The coronation ceremonies took place in the magnificent Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as Kaiserdom, which still stands as a testament to the city’s historical significance.
However, Frankfurt’s fortunes took a downturn during the 17th century. The devastating Thirty Years’ War and subsequent conflicts led to the decline of trade and economic stagnation. It was not until the 19th century, during the period of industrialization, that Frankfurt experienced a resurgence. The city became a major center of finance and banking, earning its reputation as the financial capital of Germany.
Frankfurt also played a crucial role in German politics. In 1848, the Frankfurt Parliament convened in the city’s Paulskirche (St. Paul’s Church) in an attempt to establish a unified German state. Although the parliament’s efforts ultimately failed, the event marked a significant milestone in German history.
During World War II, Frankfurt suffered heavy damage due to bombings, with much of its historic center destroyed. However, the city was meticulously rebuilt in the post-war years, combining modern architecture with the restoration of historical landmarks.
Today, Frankfurt stands as a testament to its rich history. The reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) showcases charming half-timbered houses, while the modern skyline, dominated by skyscrapers, symbolizes the city’s economic power and role as a global financial hub.
Visitors to Frankfurt can explore its historical sites, such as the Römerberg square, the Goethe House, and the Frankfurt Cathedral, gaining insight into the city’s past. The museums and cultural institutions of Frankfurt also preserve and celebrate its history, showcasing art, artifacts, and exhibitions that highlight the city’s diverse heritage.
Understanding the history of Frankfurt adds depth to your visit, allowing you to appreciate the city’s landmarks, cultural heritage, and the resilience of its people. As you explore Frankfurt, you’ll discover the layers of history that have shaped this remarkable German city.
Frankfurt Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Germany
Its important art galleries, stunning churches, and amazing sausages make this city well worth visiting while in Germany.
Come check out our Frankfurt travel guide for inspired wanderers as we cover the best things to do in Frankfurt, Germany.
On your first day in Frankfurt, start by visiting Romer, its iconic city hall. This stunning medieval-era building has served the community for over 600 years. Given the skyscrapers that define Frankfurt’s skyline today, its old-world facade stands as a bold counterpoint.
However, as a visitor, this building can only serve as a backdrop for photographs. The Romer still serves administrative functions, and thus, does not operate as a tourist attraction. However, the general area hosts a Christmas market during the holiday season, so be sure to come by then.
Next, make your way over to the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew. This imposing 328 foot tall Roman Catholic church first rose in the 14th century. From this time to the late 18th century, officials elected emperors of the Holy Roman Empire here.
Within this Romanesque cathedral’s interior, its High Altar and the Maria Schlaf Altar are the top highlights. For only 2 EUR, you can climb to the top of St. Bartholomew’s bell tower to enjoy the view from above.
Art lovers will want to include the Stadel Museum in their Frankfurt itinerary. In this gallery, you’ll get to enjoy more than 100,000 pieces stretching back over seven centuries. In particular, though, it has an excellent collection of works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Artists featured here include masters like Van Eyck, Bosch, and Botticelli. To gain a full appreciation for this museum’s collection, pick up an audio guide at the entrance.
If you love the performing arts, make an effort to take in a show at the Alte Oper. Also known as the Old Opera House, Allied bombs razed this building in WWII. However, restoration efforts brought it back to its former glory. Don’t miss its frequent classical music concerts.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Frankfurt, Germany
If you enjoy international cinema, consider adding the German Film Museum to your Frankfurt touring schedule. More than just a place dedicated to German film, this museum delves into the global history of movie-making.
This institution has fun exhibits like the Green Screen Room, where you’ll see yourself in big movie moments. But, it also has technical displays that cater to the biggest film geeks. If you have two hours to kill, spend them here.
Garden lovers will love spending a few hours exploring the grounds of the Palmengarten. In its 50 acres of greenhouses, you’ll find flora that will transport you mentally to the tropics. In particular, its ferns, orchids, and palm trees stand out.
If you are travelling as a family, this place holds special appeal. In its lake, you can rent paddleboats. Meanwhile, on land, a small train also does a circuit around the garden’s grounds.
If you want to sample the finest food Frankfurt has to offer, take a stroll through Kleinmarkthalle. This 1,500 square metre market offers local produce and the finest Frankfurter sausage. However, its vendors also sell exotic foods imported from abroad.
Because of its appeal with locals, this attraction is perfect for visitors looking to experience local life. Friends and family come here daily not just to buy food, but to mingle and enjoy each other’s company.
Before leaving Frankfurt, be sure to head up the Main Tower. This plain-sounding name refers to a cylinder-shaped blue glass skyscraper that soars 656 feet above downtown.
As impressive as it is to look at, the views up top are even better. On its observation deck, you’ll get 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Admission is only 7.50 EUR, but you can get 20% off if you have the Frankfurt Card.
What To Eat
You can’t say you visited Frankfurt without having tried a Frankfurter Wurstchen. As the name suggests, it is a Frankfurt sausage. Most often, restaurants serve it with potato salad, sans bun. Back when these sausages first travelled to America, Americans knew them as Frankfurters. If that sounds familiar, you’re not wrong. It was the early name for what we know as hot dogs today.
At dinner, you’ll want to seek out a Frankfurter Rippchen. You’ll often find this cured pork cutlet dish in Frankfurt restaurants, paired with sauerkraut or mashed potatoes.
And lastly, finish off any meal with a slice of Frankfurter Kranz. This light sponge cake dates back to the 18th century. The baker who made it had an instant hit on their hands. To this day, Frankfurters enjoy it with their daily coffee.
source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube
Top 55 Things To Do in Frankfurt, Germany For Visitors
Here are 55 of the top things to do in Frankfurt:
- Immerse yourself in the rich history of Frankfurt by visiting the Römerberg, the historic heart of the city. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the Römer (City Hall) and the surrounding picturesque half-timbered houses that date back to the Middle Ages.
- Step into the world of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the Goethe House, where the famous German writer was born and raised. Explore the rooms furnished in the 18th-century style and gain insights into the life and works of this literary icon.
- Admire the grandeur of the Frankfurt Cathedral (Kaiserdom), an impressive Gothic masterpiece that has witnessed centuries of history. Take a moment to appreciate the stunning stained glass windows, towering spires, and intricate stone carvings.
- Immerse yourself in the arts at the Museumsufer, a cluster of world-class museums along the banks of the Main River. Explore the Städel Museum, home to an extensive collection of European art spanning several centuries, or immerse yourself in contemporary works at the Museum of Modern Art (MMK).
- Ascend the Main Tower and soak in breathtaking panoramic views of the Frankfurt skyline from the observation deck. Marvel at the modern skyscrapers juxtaposed with the city’s historical landmarks.
- Engage your senses at the Kleinmarkthalle, an indoor market teeming with vibrant stalls offering an array of fresh produce, aromatic spices, regional delicacies, and international treats. Sample local flavors and indulge in a culinary adventure.
- Find tranquility in the Palmengarten, Frankfurt’s botanical garden. Take a leisurely stroll through beautifully manicured gardens, themed greenhouses, and serene ponds, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.
- Embark on a journey through time at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum. Encounter dinosaur skeletons, explore interactive exhibits on biodiversity, and marvel at the vast collection of fossils, minerals, and specimens from around the world.
- Delight in Frankfurt’s culinary heritage by savoring traditional dishes such as Grüne Soße, a tangy herb sauce served with various meats and potatoes, or Handkäse mit Musik, a marinated cheese specialty accompanied by onions and vinegar.
- Immerse yourself in the historical ambiance of Sachsenhausen, known for its traditional apple wine taverns, narrow cobblestone streets, and well-preserved timber-framed houses. Enjoy the convivial atmosphere and indulge in regional cuisine and locally produced apple wine.
- Attend a world-class concert or opera performance at the Alte Oper, a beautifully restored concert hall renowned for its stunning architecture and exceptional acoustics. Immerse yourself in the magic of classical music or experience the thrill of a live performance.
- Discover the Main River on a leisurely boat tour, allowing you to take in the scenic beauty of Frankfurt’s skyline and picturesque riverbanks. Learn about the city’s history and landmarks as you glide along the water.
- Immerse yourself in contemporary art at the Schirn Kunsthalle, an innovative exhibition hall known for its cutting-edge displays of contemporary artworks from around the world. Experience thought-provoking installations, thoughtfully curated exhibitions, and engaging artistic expressions.
- Explore the charming district of Höchst, where you can wander through its well-preserved medieval streets, admire the Höchst Castle, and visit the baroque Bolongaro Palace. Immerse yourself in the historical charm of this picturesque neighborhood.
- Venture into the Frankfurt Zoo and encounter a diverse range of animal species from around the globe. Enjoy educational exhibits, interactive displays, and unforgettable animal encounters, making it a perfect outing for visitors of all ages.
- Indulge in a shopping spree along the Zeil, Frankfurt’s premier shopping street. Explore a mix of high-end fashion boutiques, department stores, and international brands, offering a wide range of clothing, accessories, and luxury goods.
- Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Berger Strasse, a vibrant street filled with charming cafes, trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and a bustling nightlife scene. Enjoy a cup of coffee, sample local cuisine, or sip on cocktails while soaking in the vibrant ambiance.
- Embark on a day trip to the nearby city of Wiesbaden, known for its elegant architecture, luxurious spas, and relaxing thermal baths. Stroll through the city’s parks, visit historical landmarks, and indulge in wellness treatments for a rejuvenating experience.
- Immerse yourself in the excitement of a trade fair or exhibition at the Frankfurt Trade Fair, one of the largest exhibition centers in the world. Discover cutting-edge products, innovations, and trends across various industries and engage with professionals from around the globe.
- Explore the vibrant district of Bornheim, known for its trendy bars, cafes, and boutique shops. Enjoy a leisurely day of shopping, sip on a refreshing drink at a local cafe, or discover unique fashion and design pieces from local artisans.
- Gain insight into the rich Jewish history of Frankfurt at the Museum Judengasse, located in the former Jewish ghetto. Explore exhibits that showcase the life and culture of Frankfurt’s Jewish community throughout the centuries.
- Immerse yourself in the energy of a live soccer match at the Commerzbank-Arena, the home stadium of Eintracht Frankfurt. Cheer alongside passionate fans and experience the thrill of German football firsthand.
- Enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the Nidda River, surrounded by lush green landscapes and tranquil nature. Take in the peaceful atmosphere, spot local wildlife, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Immerse yourself in rural life and historical architecture at the Hessenpark Open Air Museum. Explore traditional half-timbered houses, windmills, and farms, experiencing the charm of rural Hessen and gaining insights into the region’s history.
- Discover the vibrant Bahnhofsviertel district, known for its diverse culinary scene, trendy bars, and cultural events. Enjoy international cuisine, experience the vibrant nightlife, and immerse yourself in the multicultural ambiance of this dynamic neighborhood.
- Take a guided tour of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and gain insights into the workings of one of the world’s largest stock exchanges. Learn about the history, significance, and dynamics of global finance.
- Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Taunus Mountains, located just outside of Frankfurt. Hike through scenic trails, visit charming villages, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Explore the Science Center Experiminta, a hands-on museum that offers interactive exhibits and experiments in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. Engage in educational activities and discover the wonders of science in a fun and engaging way.
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the largest and most prestigious book fairs in the world. Browse through a vast collection of books, attend author readings, and engage in literary discussions and events.
- Immerse yourself in the historical ambiance of the Ebbelwei Express, a traditional tram that takes you on a scenic tour through Frankfurt while enjoying a glass of the local specialty, apple wine.
- Visit the Frankfurt Jewish Museum, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich heritage and contributions of the Jewish community in Frankfurt. Explore thought-provoking exhibits that delve into various aspects of Jewish history and culture.
- Discover the vibrant atmosphere of the Frankfurt Christmas Market during the festive season. Experience the magic of this enchanting market, filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and stalls selling crafts, gifts, and delicious seasonal treats.
- Immerse yourself in the world of science and technology at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum’s Science Center, where interactive exhibits and hands-on activities engage visitors of all ages in exploring the wonders of the natural world.
- Enjoy a peaceful escape at the Grüneburgpark, a serene green oasis in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely walk through its beautiful gardens, relax by the pond, or have a picnic surrounded by nature.
- Discover the architectural masterpiece of the Frankfurt Opera House (Oper Frankfurt) and attend a world-class opera, ballet, or classical music performance in its stunning auditorium.
- Explore the diverse neighborhoods of Frankfurt, such as Nordend, Bockenheim, and Westend, each with its own unique charm, local cafes, boutiques, and parks to discover.
- Take a day trip to the charming town of Heidelberg, known for its romantic old town, the famous Heidelberg Castle, and the picturesque Philosopher’s Walk offering breathtaking views of the city and the Neckar River.
- Unwind and rejuvenate at one of Frankfurt’s luxurious spas, indulging in relaxing treatments, therapeutic massages, and wellness rituals designed to pamper your body and mind.
- Explore the historical district of Niederrad and discover its well-preserved half-timbered houses, ancient churches, and the beautiful Niederrad Cemetery, known for its tranquil atmosphere and historic gravesites.
- Experience the vibrant colors and flavors of the Kleinmarkthalle during a guided food tour, where you can sample a variety of local delicacies, international cuisine, and fresh produce from the region.
- Take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic paths of the Nidda River, enjoying the picturesque landscapes, nature reserves, and charming villages that dot the riverbank.
- Immerse yourself in the world of finance and economics at the Money Museum of the Deutsche Bundesbank, where interactive exhibits explore the history of money, monetary policy, and the role of central banks.
- Discover the rich history of Frankfurt’s street art scene by joining a guided tour, where you can explore colorful murals, graffiti, and urban art that reflect the city’s vibrant artistic expression.
- Attend a cultural event or performance at the Frankfurt LAB, an experimental arts center that hosts innovative theater, dance, music, and multimedia performances, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.
- Marvel at the futuristic architecture of the European Central Bank’s headquarters and learn about the role of the ECB in European monetary policy during a guided tour.
- Visit the Museum of Communication (Museum für Kommunikation) and explore exhibits that trace the history of communication technologies, from ancient times to the digital age, highlighting their societal impact.
- Immerse yourself in the world of automobiles at the German Leather Museum (Deutsches Ledermuseum) in Offenbach, just outside Frankfurt. Discover the history of leather production and its significance in the automotive industry.
- Experience the thrill of a live concert or performance at the Jahrhunderthalle, a historic concert hall that hosts a variety of music genres, from classical to contemporary, providing memorable experiences for music lovers.
- Discover the unique architecture and cultural significance of the Frankfurt University’s IG Farben Building, once the largest office building in Europe and now a prominent symbol of academic excellence.
- Explore the historical district of Niederursel and visit the White Tower (Weißer Turm), a medieval fortification that offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscapes. Take a moment to appreciate the historical significance of this landmark and enjoy the breathtaking vistas it offers.
- Engage in outdoor activities at the Frankfurt City Forest (Stadtwald), a vast green space that provides opportunities for jogging, cycling, picnicking, and peaceful walks amidst nature.
- Discover the charm of Frankfurt’s local neighborhoods, such as Sachsenhausen-Nord and Nordend-Ost, where you can find cozy cafes, independent shops, and vibrant street art that reflect the city’s creative spirit.
- Attend a cultural festival or event, such as the Museum Night or the Mainfest, which showcase the diversity of art, music, and performances that thrive in Frankfurt’s vibrant cultural scene.
- Experience the thrill of horse racing at the Frankfurt Racecourse (Galopprennbahn Frankfurt), where you can enjoy a day of exciting races, place bets, and soak in the electric atmosphere of this prestigious sporting event.
- Take a relaxing boat cruise on the Main River, enjoying picturesque views of Frankfurt’s skyline and the scenic countryside along the riverbanks. Whether it’s a daytime cruise or a romantic evening tour, it’s a delightful way to appreciate the city’s beauty from a different perspective.
In conclusion, Frankfurt offers an abundance of experiences and attractions for every visitor. From exploring its rich history and cultural heritage to indulging in culinary delights, shopping, and immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this cosmopolitan metropolis. Allow this guide to serve as your companion, providing you with inspiration and essential information to make the most of your time in Frankfurt. Enjoy your visit to this dynamic and captivating city!
Frankfurt Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
As we conclude this Frankfurt travel guide, we hope it has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for your visit to this vibrant city. Frankfurt offers a unique blend of historical charm and modernity, making it a captivating destination for travelers.
From its picturesque old town and iconic landmarks to its world-class museums, lively markets, and vibrant neighborhoods, Frankfurt has something to offer for every visitor. Whether you’re interested in history, art, shopping, or simply immersing yourself in the dynamic atmosphere of a bustling metropolis, Frankfurt has it all.
As you explore the city, take the time to savor its culinary delights, from traditional German cuisine to international flavors. Experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals, and embrace the multiculturalism that defines the city.
Frankfurt’s central location also makes it an ideal base for day trips to charming nearby towns, scenic landscapes, and historic sites, allowing you to further enrich your travel experience.
We hope this travel guide has equipped you with the necessary information, recommendations, and tips to make the most of your journey to Frankfurt. Prepare to be captivated by the city’s blend of history, culture, and modernity. Enjoy your time in Frankfurt, embrace the vibrant spirit of the city, and leave with memories that will last a lifetime. Gute Reise!