Städel Museum, known for a remarkable collection spanning seven centuries of European art, and
St. Bartholomeus's Cathedral, an iconic Gothic structure that heroically withstood World War II and stretches high into the city's skyline. Continue meandering through the city; you will soon be entranced by
Römerberg, the picturesque town square of Frankfurt, framed by beautifully reconstructed half-timbered houses festooned with flowers that transport you back in time. For those with a penchant for botany, Frankfurt unveils a verdant sanctuary in the form of the
Palmengarten, a sprawling botanical garden home to relentless layers of lush greenery and exotic flora from around the world. The
Zeil, a bustling shopping promenade teeming with shops ranging from high-end boutiques to local businesses, delights shopping enthusiasts with its shopping diversity. Yet Frankfurt isn't all about architecture and shopping; it's a city that throbs with vivacious festivals such as
Apfelweinfestival, a grand celebration of the city's traditional cider, and
The Christmas Market, one of the largest Christmas markets in all of Germany. Also, don't miss the opportunity to feast on the local culinary delights like Frankfurter sausages and Handkäse mit Musik, a traditional marinated cheese dish, to immerse entirely in the Frankfurt experience. So pack your bags, brush up on your Deutsch, and set out for a mesmerizing journey to Frankfurt, a city that offers an irresistible blend of urban excitement and cultural richness that's sure to leave a lasting imprint on your globe-trotting memoirs.
The History of Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany, weaves an intricate tapestry of rich history and stunning architecture. Imagine walking down the cobblestone alleys, where history seeps through from every corner, taking you back on a journey through time. Museums, historical landmarks, and delightful Old Town called Römerberg will transport you into another era altogether. It's a historical goldmine that provides tourists with a unique opportunity to step back in time and uncover the fascinating stories of the past.
The Birth of a Historical City
Frankfurt's history dates back to around the first century CE, when the Romans established a settlement here. Originally named 'Frankonovurd', meaning 'the ford of the Franks', the city has grown into one of the most significant financial powerhouses globally. As you amble around town, you will detect the scent of history preserved within its walls. A visit to the Archaeological Garden offers a glimpse into the Roman settlements, lightening up the past in an artistic display of ruins from Roman baths and other ancient buildings. It's like a page ripped out of history and laid out for you to explore.
The Middle Ages and Beyond
The Middle Ages in Frankfurt introduced a great cultural and economic flourish. During this period, the Römer, an iconic site with an impressive façade, began functioning as the city hall. The skyline danced with the spires of St. Bartholomew's Cathedral, built in the 14th century and the single most important witness to Frankfurt's magnificent history. Walking around the Old City, you feel this Middle Age essence all around you, in the timber-framed houses, in the narrow lanes, and in the overall architectural landscape.
Cultural and Historical Landmarks
Frankfurt's soul lies in its cultural and historical landmarks. The Goethe House, the birthplace of Germany's most significant writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, gives an insight into his life and works. The post-World War II's destruction has given rise to a unique blend of modern and historical architecture, best symbolized by the Städel Museum, showcasing 700 years of art under one roof. At the end of a day full of historical exploration, you can visit Apple Wine Taverns, an integral part of Frankfurt's culinary history dating back to the 15th century, to unwind.
History isn't just to study; it's to experience. In Frankfurt, every corner, every building, every alley allows you to live another era. It's a city where history isn't kept behind glass but is right there, waiting for you to touch it, interact with it, and be a part of it. Don't just read about Frankfurt's history; explore it. After all, history is best experienced in person.
The Culture of Frankfurt, Germany
In the heart of Germany, Frankfurt am Main, commonly known as Frankfurt, is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends its historic roots with its globally significant position in the modern world. Bursting with a rich tapestry of culture, the city is the epitome of a cosmopolitan society, possessing a vibrancy that perfectly reflects its inhabitants' widespread nationalities and the city's thriving arts scene. With its varied traditions, intriguing history, and cultural panache, Frankfurt provides an assortment of remarkable experiences that will leave any traveler spellbound.
Exploration of Culture & Heritage
The city is steeped in rich history and traditions, reflecting its deep-seated German roots coupled with international influences. To immerse yourself in Frankfurt's historic grandeur, take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of Altstadt (Old Town), home to the stunning half-timbered buildings of the Römerberg. Explore iconic sites such as Goethe House, the beautiful birthplace of the world-renowned writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lovingly restored to its eighteenth-century glory. Frankfurt's plethora of museums covering art, architecture, ethnography, film, and more offer a further deep dive into the city's culture and history. A visit to the Städel museum or the German Film Museum is sure to be enlightening and inspiring.
A Haven for Food Enthusiasts
Frankfurt's cuisine is as varied and world-inspired as its population. The city encapsulates the culinary traditions of the whole world in its restaurants, food markets, and cafes. However, while you're here, it would be a miss not to sample the local specialties such as Frankfurter sausages, Handkäs mit Musik (a marinated cheese dish), or Apfelwein, a delicious apple wine brewed in the region. The city's vibrant food and drink scene, interspersed with Michelin-starred restaurants and crowded local biergartens, offers something to cater to every palate, making it a bona fide haven for food enthusiasts.
Fruitful Interactions with Friendly Locals
Frankfurt's populace embodies the city's cultural diversity and welcoming spirit. Interactions with the locals uncover a treasure of stories, traditions, and pride in their beloved city. Not just business-savvy professionals, inhabitants of Frankfurt are ardent supporters of the arts, environmental ideals, and international solidarity. Known for their affable nature, the people of Frankfurt eagerly to guide visitors through the city’s vibrant art scene, introduce them to unique local traditions, or help navigate the city's efficient public transport system. In essence, the interactions with Frankfurt’s warm citizens enhance the city's appeal manifold, making your travel a truly rewarding experience.
In conclusion, the rich and diverse culture of Frankfurt, combined with its friendly, welcoming people, make this city an irresistible destination for travelers seeking a comprehensive cultural experience. Its storied past, combined with a dynamic present and a promising future, make it a city that is constantly evolving yet retaining its traditional essence. Whether it's the history buff, the gastronome, the art enthusiast, or the casual traveler, Frankfurt offers myriad memorable experiences for every type of tourist. Overall, a visit to Frankfurt is an immersion in a captivating blend of historic charm and contemporary appeal.
The Food of Frankfurt, Germany
Traveling to Frankfurt, Germany, will expose you to an exceptional gastronomical journey that uniquely combines traditional food culture with modern culinary trends. Gear up for a culinary treat with Frankfurt's iconic regional specialties, complemented with a wide range of innovative international cuisine. If you're a food lover, a trip to Frankfurt promises an exciting and delectable experience to remember.
Frankfurt's Traditional Cuisine
Frankfurt’s traditional fare is hearty, earthy, and incredibly satisfying. Start your culinary voyage with ‘Frankfurter Würstchen’, which are smoked sausages typically served with bread and mustard, a local favourite rooted in the city's history since the 13th century. Another traditional dish you need to try is ‘Ebbelwoi’ or apple wine, usually served in quaint, rustic cider taverns throughout the city. Along with ‘Handkäse mit Musik’, a marinated hard cheese served with onions, Frankfurt’s delectable traditional food will transport you back in time, providing an authentic taste of Germany’s culinary heritage.
Modern and International Cuisine
Nonetheless, Frankfurt's gastronomic scene is not only about maintaining tradition, it also embraces modern and international culinary trends. In Frankfurt's bustling streets, you'll find various restaurants serving international flavours ranging from authentic Italian pizzerias, sophisticated French bistros, and exotic Asian eateries. This cultural diversity in food truly symbolises Frankfurt as a global city. Fresh, organic, and imaginative dishes crafted by visionary chefs evoke a cosmopolitan culinary culture that both surprises and delights. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie, a casual diner, or a vegan, Frankfurt offers a unique, palate-pleasing experience for everyone.
Markets and Festivals
For a truly immersive culinary experience in Frankfurt, your trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting local markets and food festivals. The Kleinmarkthalle is an indoor market hall home to over 60 market stalls selling an eclectic variety of local and exotic foods and is also a hotspot for gourmets. Events like 'Fressgass fest’, which translates to 'eating street festival', showcase the city's vibrant love for food, inviting visitors to enjoy diversity of foods from fragrant roasting chestnuts to Mediterranean delights. With such an enticing blend of tradition and diversity, Frankfurt definitely offers an unrivalled culinary experience.
What to See and Do in Frankfurt, Germany
Fraunhofer, one of Europe's busiest transport hubs, is Germany’s financial powerhouse. Constituting of sleek high-in-rises and an incredibly captivating skyline backdrop, this vibrant city performs a delicate balancing act between modernity and traditions. Besides this, it reveals a treasury side of fascinating museums, exuding historic charm, and a bustling culinary scene that turns every visitor to food lover. Here, we shine the spotlight on 10 essential things to do and see in Frankfurt, Germany, to fully capture the city's spirit and history.
1. Discover Dorint Hotel Rooftop Bar
Situated in the heart of Frankfurt, the Dorint Hotel flaunts a spectacular rooftop bar. This is a must-stop place for visitors who are not only looking for drinks but also an extraordinary cityscape view. The picturesque bar space is stylishly designed, with its floor-to-ceiling windows featuring from every angle, the skyline that houses Europe’s biggest inner-city forest. It's recommended to go at sunset when you can observe the enchanting hour-long transformation of daytime Frankfurt into the city of sparkling lights. Do try their stunning array of signature cocktails to complete the evening.
2. Explore Stadel Museum
Stadel Museum, considered as one of Germany's most prominent fine arts museums, should be on the Bucket List of every cultural enthusiast. The museum is home to over 3,000 paintings, 660 sculptures, and 4,600 photographs that span many centuries. It proudly showcases extensive collections from artists like Vermeer, Picasso, and Beckmann. Be sure to navigate through the museum's spacious underground contemporary art section, which is a treat for modern art lovers.
3. Visit the Half-timbered Homes in Höchst
Get a glimpse of the historic charm of Frankfurt by visiting the Höchst district. It's known for the preservation of half-timbered houses, an iconic image of traditional Germany. These houses with their distinct timber framework filled with materials such as clay and straw were common in medieval Europe. Strolling around Höchst, with its wonderfully detailed alleys, old city walls, and the picturesque castle along the River Main, is like stepping back in time. The area is also home to several inviting traditional German restaurants.
4. Shop at Kleinmarkthalle Market
For food enthusiasts and souvenir collectors, Kleinmarkthalle Market is the place to be. This bustling indoor market offers more than 60 stalls selling a variety of locally sourced fresh foods, from cheese, bread, meats to fruits and vegetables. It is an excellent opportunity to taste some of the local specialities like handkäse mit musik (sour milk cheese) and sausages. The market also presents an assortment of flowers, spices, and regional wine collection for the ultimate shopping spree.
5. Climb the Frankfurt Cathedral
Offering some of the best views over Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Cathedral, or Kaiserdom, is a must-visit site. This Gothic style church boasts a 95-meter high tower, which allows you to capture panoramic views of the city and the river after climbing 324 steps. Besides the landmark’s architectural grandeur, it is worth noting that German emperors were crowned in this very cathedral during the Holy Roman Empire era.
6. Römerberg: Frankfurt's Old Town Center
Any visit to Frankfurt would not be complete without setting foot in the Römerberg, the old town center. This historic square is lined with traditional half-timbered houses, with the iconic City Hall, Römer, at its heart. It's especially delightful to stroll around during Christmas when the annual Christmas Market, one of the largest and oldest in Germany, is held.
7. A Cruise on the River Main
Witness the charm of Frankfurt from the water by taking a Cruise on the River Main. As the cityscape unfolds before your eyes, you will pass iconic sights like the Museum Embankment, the European Central Bank, and the iconic skyline. It’s preferable to cruise in the evening when the city lights start reflecting on the river, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
8. Get Lost in the Palmengarten Botanical Garden
Stretching over 50 acres, the Palmengarten is home to various climatic and geographical flora. The garden offers a great escape from the city, with lush greenhouses replicating diverse climate zones from tropical rainforest to desert landscape. It's the perfect place for leisure seekers to spend a relaxing day amidst nature.
9. Attend the Frankfurt Book Fair
If you happen to visit Frankfurt in October, don't miss the world's largest book fair. The Frankfurt Book Fair is an incredibly diverse and international event luring book lovers, authors, and publishers from all corners of the world. Even if you're not a bibliophile, the crossover of literature, science, culture, and society topics presented at this fair is sure to pique your interest.
10. Visit the Goethe House
Last but not least, pay a visit to the family home of Frankfurt's most famous son, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The house where the renowned German writer was born is now a museum. Furnished in the late Baroque style, the museum offers an authentic glance into the upper-middle-class lifestyle of the 18th century; highlighting Goethe’s life, struggles, and the settings that influenced his classic works.
Frankfurt, Germany, is a city of contrasts and surprises; from historic alleys and timber-framed houses to towering steel-clad skyscrapers and cultural hotspots. A journey to this city lays out a platter full of peak experiences; the only requirement is inquisitiveness and a quest to discover.
Why You Should Travel to Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt am Main, Germany's financial hub, is a beloved destination among travelers from all corners of the globe for a plethora of compelling reasons. One of the hallmarks of this vibrant metropolis is its remarkable blend of old and new. The cityscape is permeated by avant-garde skyscrapers that tower over historic, timbered houses, providing a distinct, startling contrast which is a sight to behold. The Main Tower, Frankfurt Cathedral, Goethe House, and the Old Opera House are just a few examples of the architectural marvels endowing Frankfurt. Hence, history aficionados, architecture enthusiasts, and photographers will find the city to be a mesmeric treat.
Frankfurt is also cherished for its rich cultural tapestry. The city is a haven for individuals who have an appreciation for arts, music and literature. It was the birthplace of the famous writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose former residence is now an enlightening museum. Furthermore, Frankfurt is home to a plethora of world-class museums and art galleries such as the Städel Museum, the German Film Museum and the Museum for Modern Art. Aside from its artistic allure, Frankfurt offers a gastronomical journey with its plethora of restaurants and cozy cider pubs serving delectable German cuisine and the local apfelwein. The notable culinary variety alongside regular festivals and events like Museum Embankment Festival and the Christmas Market offers a captivating peek into Frankfurt's culture and traditions.
Gateway to Europe
Furthermore, travelers love Frankfurt for its strategic location and excellent connectivity. It is one of the main air, rail and road hubs in Europe, rendering it an ideal base for exploring the rest of Germany and Europe. A quick Train ride can ferry you off to other German cities like Munich, Berlin or to neighboring countries. Amidst everything, the inherent warmth and cordial hospitality of its residents make it even more inviting and comfortable for visitors. The reason why you must travel to Frankfurt is that it offers you far more than sights and attractions; it presents you with the ambiance of a global city that has preserved its traditions and roots while embracing modernity and progress. As such, a trip to Frankfurt is not just a travel experience but also a journey through a remarkably diverse array of experiences that imbue a deep appreciation for this wonderful German city.
Tips & Tricks for Traveling in Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt is a vibrant city located in the heart of Germany. It is known for its futuristic skyline and the busiest German airport. Traveling in such a bustling city can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. Even if you're a seasoned globetrotter, the ever-changing cityscape of Frankfurt can spring up some surprises. Here are some essential tips and tricks to make your Frankfurt visit smooth and enjoyable.
1. Understand the Public Transport System
In Frankfurt, public transportation (U-Bahn, trams, and buses) is efficient, punctual, and extensive. Understanding how it works can save time and effort. Buses and trains start running from 4 AM till midnight. Night buses and trains are available but less frequent. Get a 'RMV App' on your smartphone for real-time information about schedules and routes. Remember that Frankfurt has stringent fines for those traveling without a ticket, so always validate your ticket before boarding.
2. Opt for Frankfurt Card
A Frankfurt Card is a cost-effective way to traverse the city. The card offers unlimited travel on public transport within the city, including the airport, and includes discounts on admission fees for various attractions. Cards are available for one or two days and can be bought at the airport, tourist information offices, or online.
3. Explore the City on Foot or By Bike
Frankfurt city is pretty compact, and many key tourist attractions are within walking distance. Moreover, it's laced with well-marked bike lanes. So, consider renting a bike or just walking around to experience the city at a leisurely pace. If you choose to bike, download the 'Call a Bike' app by Deutsche Bahn and find the nearest bike station.
4. Enjoy Free or Economical Cultural Experiences
Frankfurt is a cultural hub with numerous museums. Most of these museums have reduced fees on Wednesdays and some even offer free admission. The city also hosts a variety of festivals and events around the year, many of which are free to attend. Research online, or check local listings, to see what's happening during your visit.
5. Try Local Cuisine
Frankfurt is known for its signature dishes like Handkäse mit Musik and Green Sauce. Taste them in traditional taverns in Alt-Sachsenhausen or in the Kleinmarkthalle where you can also find fresh produce, fish, meat, baked goods, and more.
6. Learn Basic German Phrases
While most Frankfurt residents speak English, it’s always useful to know a few basic German phrases. It could help you in navigating around the city, ordering food, or simply making connect with locals.
7. Use Free Wi-Fi
Frankfurt offers free Wi-Fi at various hotspots citywide. Look for 'Free Wifi Frankfurt' SSID. It's perfect for quick browsing or to upload your travel snaps instantly.
8. Shop on Weekdays
If you fancy some retail therapy, note that most shops close early on Saturday and remain shut on Sunday. So, plan your shopping excursion for weekdays. Also, it's worth visiting the bustling flea market along the Main River on Saturdays.
9. Be Prepared for Daunting Skyscrapers
Frankfurt skyline, with some of Europe's tallest skyscrapers, is a sight to behold. However, these buildings can also make navigation a bit challenging for first-time visitors. So have a physical map or a navigation app handy.
10. Respect Local Etiquette
Being mindful of the local etiquette always makes travel more enjoyable. Germans value punctuality, so be on time if you've arranged a meeting or booked a tour. In restaurants, it's customary to tip by rounding up the bill to the nearest Euro.
With these tips and tricks, we hope your trip to Frankfurt will be undeniably more enjoyable, hassle-free, and memorable whatever the purpose or duration of your stay maybe. Bon Voyage!
Other Places You Might Like
Frankfurt, Germany is a vibrant hub full of creativity, culture, history, and innovation. It's a city where the pulse of finance and industry syncs to the tempo of art and gastronomy. It's no surprise that this eclectic fusion has attracted a legion of ardent supporters who passionately adore the city. For such Frankfurt-loving souls, here are some destinations around the world that share some of the city's most loved features, and as such, they likely appeal to anyone captivated by Frankfurt's charm.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, just like Frankfurt, is a city where tradition and modernity walk hand in hand. With its baroque architecture, coffee-house culture, and rich musical history, it truly encapsulates the spirit of European culture. Likewise, it's an international diplomacy hub and a city that plays a major part in the global economy. Frankfurt lovers who value the blend of old and new, culture and business, will find themselves feeling at home in Vienna.
Tokyo, the bustling capital city of Japan, offers a similarly exhilarating experience to Frankfurt. Replete with a distinct skyline dotted with skyscrapers, it has a persona as vibrant, if not more, as Frankfurt’s. At its heart, one finds the world's largest fish market along with countless shops, restaurants, and flamboyant karaoke bars. It mirrors Frankfurt's eclectic blend of nightlife, gastronomy, commerce, and urbanity. Plus, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which rivals the Frankfurt Stock Exchange's significance, further cements the link.
Chicago, USA, another glimmering city nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, is a treat for Frankfurt lovers. Its architecturally significant skyline, bustling financial district, and rich history captivate the imagination. Yet, it also boasts an undeniable charm with its deep pan pizza, renowned Art Institute of Chicago, outdoor public art, and lively music scene. Architecture enthusiasts who love Frankfurt's diverse buildings will definitely appreciate Chicago's innovative architectural designs.
Zürich, the largest city in Switzerland, characterized by its well-preserved medieval Old Town and stunning views of Lake Zürich, is another destination to explore. Just like Frankfurt, Zürich has a strong business and finance pulse, being home to several multinational corporations and banking giants. Additionally, its robust arts scene, evident in its 50 museums and 100 art galleries, would certainly appease any culture lover drawn to Frankfurt.
For a Frankfurt lover seeking a touch of European charm in the southern hemisphere, Melbourne, Australia is undoubtedly a perfect choice. It’s a melting pot of cultures, famous for its thriving art scene, sophisticated gastronomy, bustling markets, dynamic nightlife, and a love of sports. Its business district, with its blend of modern and Victorian-era architecture, will resonate with those fond of Frankfurt's skyline.
Toronto, the largest city of Canada, encapsulates a similar international feel to Frankfurt. This multicultural metropolis boasts a dramatic skyline dominated by the CN Tower and offers a rich selection of food, arts, and festivals. The city's substantial business and finance districts make it Canada’s economic powerhouse, which should appeal to those drawn to Frankfurt's business ambiance.
Each of these cities, though distinctive in their own right, bear certain similarities to Frankfurt, Germany. Whether it's in their architecture, business landscapes, vibrant arts scene, or vibrant urban life, these cities are sure to captivate those who love Frankfurt. They embody the spirit that Frankfurt lovers find so appealing about their favorite city – a seamless blend of the old with the new, culture with commerce, tradition with innovation. Thus, any Frankfurt aficionado would find something to appreciate in these marvellous cities around the world.