Often referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ by the locals (with tongue firmly in cheek) due to the city’s many jagged skyscrapers, Frankfurt-am-Main is one of Germany’s biggest cities, with around 5 million inhabitants. Frankfurt is a popular tourist destination, largely due to the number of international fairs held in the city each year.
Why visit Frankfurt?
Frankfurt is one of Germany’s most popular cities for visitors, owing in large part to the fact that it is one of Germany and the world’s leading financial centres, as well as a major transport hub for Europe, not to mention a popular location for festivals and events each year, including the largest book, musical instrument and motorcar festivals anywhere in the world.
Frankfurt’s selection of museums is second only to Berlin, with a number of fantastic educational and entertaining centres on a variety of subjects. It is also the only city with nightlife that seriously rivals the German capital, with heavy basis on techno, but a huge, multicultural offering available.
Aside from its excellent live music scene, Frankfurt also has a huge range of restaurants, offering food from the 180 different nationalities who live in the city, and bars, with everything from traditional German beer halls to ultra-modern cocktail spots.
If you live in the south of England, then you can access Frankfurt via our routes from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais, the city is approximately 5 and a half hours’ drive from each.
What to see in Frankfurt
Check out Frankfurt’s Römer, the complex of nine houses that form the Frankfurt city hall (Rathaus) to start with, and take some time to marvel at the fascinating architecture. Frankfurt is also home to many other gothic masterpieces, such as the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew which was constructed in the 14th or 15th century, on the site of a church from Merovingian times. St Paul’s Church is a national historic monument in Germany with great political symbolism, as it was the seat of the first democratically elected parliament in 1849.
There are many other sites of historical interest in Frankfurt, dating all the way back to Roman times, such as the Archaeological Garden, which contains parts of the oldest buildings ever recovered in the city, an ancient Roman settlement and the Royal Palace from the 6th century. The Opera House was rebuilt in the 1970s after sustaining heavy damage in World War II, but is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.
Frankfurt is also a great place to go shopping, with the MyZeil mall built recently in a huge, imposing vaulted-glass structure, as well as lots of famous shopping streets. Goethestraße is Frankfurt's most expensive shopping street with stores stocking prestigious brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Tiffany, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Cartier, Burberry, Vertu and Bulgari. Kaiserstraße is one of the best-known streets in Frankfurt and considered one of the most beautiful because of its beautiful, Gründerzeit-style buildings.
Outside of the city you can visit the Green Belt, a huge ring-shaped area of green space, which covers around a third of the city. There are plenty of parks here, ideal if you’re visiting in the summer.
One of Frankfurt’s most famous qualities, however, is its dedication to museums. With museums dedicated to architecture, art old and new, film, archaeology and Jewish history, as well as one of the largest natural history museums in Germany (the Senckenberg), there’s something for you no matter your interest.
Frankfurt’s South Bank has upscale restaurants, fast-food joints, bars with live music and traditional Apfelwein pubs, the area is one big open-air party in the summer, ideal for groups of friends or younger travellers.
Where to stay in Frankfurt
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