Located along the river Main in the state of Hesse, Frankfurt is the bustling financial centre of Germany and boasts both a stunning skyline of modern skyscrapers as well as charming 14th century streets. It is not only home to global financial institutions such as the German Stock Exchange and the European Central Bank, but also Goethe, historic coronations, and a highly acclaimed opera – the Oper Frankfurt among other top attractions.
The weather in Frankfurt is most amiable in spring when the temperatures are in the low twenty degrees Celsius range. Autumn is equally comfortable, but large-scaled trade fairs such as the Book Fair and the Motor Show may make it a little more difficult to find accommodation in September and October.
Being a financial and commercial hub of Europe, there are no shortage of affordable and convenient options to get to Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Airport is the third largest in Europe and directly serves over 200 destinations in over 110 countries. Travellers can take the S-Bahn, regional trains, or high speed trains to Frankfurt city centre in just 15 minutes.
If travelling from within Europe, Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (main station) is conveniently located next to the financial centre of Frankfurt with frequent regional and international express train services.
Bus travellers will also find themselves starting and ending their exciting visit to Frankfurt at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Many coach companies serve routes to and from Frankfurt at competitive prices.
Multiple Autobahn routes pass through Frankfurt so travelling by car is a viable option. Parking is limited inside the city centre so it is recommended that drivers switch to the comprehensive public transportation once they arrive in the city.
The easiest way to navigate Frankfurt is by U-Bahn (metro) and tram. These rail services are fast, frequent, and can take you to all corners of the city. For longer suburban trips to the countryside, the S-Bahn is the best choice.
A single day ticket in Frankfurt costs around €7 and groups of up to five people cost around €10, trips to or from the airport will cost slightly more. The ticket price when travelling to zones immediately outside of Frankfurt depends on the number of zones visited. Ticket machines are available at all stations and a variety of languages, including English, are available.
For more information visit: www.rmv.de
Where to Stay
Frankfurt is a young commercial city, so there are plenty of choices for both the budget-conscious travellers and honeymooning couples. Remember to plan well ahead of time as accommodation prices can skyrocket in busy trade fair and holiday seasons.
– Haus der Jungend, with beds starting from around €20 per night for youths and group discounts are available. This is the accommodation of choice for travelling friends, www.jugendherberge-frankfurt.de
– Frankfurt Hostel, with tidy, affordable rooms starting from around €20, this hostel is located right next to the main station, www.frankfurt-hostel.com
– Five Elements Hostel, a mere 5-minute walk away from the main station, this is another clean hostel with prices starting from around €20, www.5elementshostel.de/frankfurt/
– Sheraton Congress Hotel, this modern hotel has business facilities, a pool, sauna, two restaurants with breakfast buffet option, www.sheratoncongressfrankfurt.com
– Novotel Frankfurt City, located near the exhibition grounds with plenty of business facilities, this hotel is practical and comfortable, www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-1049-novotel-frankfurt-city/index.shtml
– Intercontinental Frankfurt, this luxury hotel has a commanding view of the city from some of its facilities, www.frankfurt.intercontinental.com
Top 10 Attractions
1. Römerberg, arguably the most iconic historical sight in the old centre of Frankfurt, Römerberg consists of a row of buildings rebuilt in the 14th century style after the originals were destroyed in WWII. The Alte Nikolaikirche church and Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen fountain are located nearby, so be sure to take a rest in one of the cafes nearby to soak up the relaxing atmosphere.
2. Dom (Cathedral), located right next to Römerberg and on top of an U-Bahn station, the Frankfurter Dom is a cathedral built in gothic style where the 10 coronations of the Holy Roman Emperor were hosted.
3. Goethe Haus und Museum, birthplace and former home of Germany’s most influential author and poet, it is now a museum dedicated to the life and works of Goethe. www.goethehaus-frankfurt.de
4. Architektur Museum, located in the city where half-timbered houses stand back-to-back with some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, there’s really no excuse to miss the Architektur Museum. www.dam-online.de
5. Main Tower, at 200m the building houses Frankfurt’s highest public viewing platform, but it is recommended to visit during late afternoon to enjoy a calming sunset over a stunning modern skyline. www.maintower.de
6. Eiserner Steg, with nearly 150 years of history and having been rebuilt twice, this bridge is the best place to experience the river Main and see the skyline unobstructed with a gentle breeze.
7. Hauptwache, both a public square and a main transportation hub, Hauptwache is adjacent to the main shopping street and other public areas with restaurants and cafes.
8. Schirn Kunsthalle, located between Römerberg and Dom this modern art museum has enough to keep visitors entertained on a rainy day. Featuring modern artists and contemporary art, exhibitions rotate every 4-8 weeks to keep exhibits interesting. www.schirn.de/en/
9. Mainkai Street, look no further to get an idea of local life, Mainkai Street runs parallel to the riverfront and is a perfect location to visit for outdoor activity enthusiasts. There are also plenty of street food and dessert choices available along the way.
10. Eurotower, visit the well-known home of the European Central Bank and take a picture in front of the large blue ‘€’ sculpture!
There are a multitude of clubs in Frankfurt with different themes and favouring different types of music to host both upscale and alternative parties – there’s always something for everyone!
– Velvet Club, located in the heart of Frankfurt, this club features electronic and house music, www.velvet-ffm.de
– King Kamehameha Club, this upscale location is catered towards the likes of bankers and financiers, patrons are expected to be well-dressed, www.king-kamehameha.de
– Jazzkeller, who said jazz wasn’t cool? This dimly-lit brick-walled joint is a treat for all jazz-lovers, www.jazzkeller.com
– Clubkeller, serving drinks with indie music this cosy location takes its music seriously! www.clubkeller.com
– Nachtleben, located in Frankfurt inner city this cafe features an underground concert venue, but be sure to buy your tickets in advance! https://batschkapp.tickets.de/de
The Oper Frankfurt is a state-subsidised Opera House offering world-class shows at affordable prices. Visit www.oper-frankfurt.de to check showtimes and purchase tickets in advance.
The main shopping street in Frankfurt is the Zeil. Between Konstablerwache and Hauptwache S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations, the street is home to department stores such as Karstadt, Primark, Galeria Kaufhof and shopping malls such as MyZeil and Peek & Cloppenburg. Together, they house over 100 unique brands!
If high-street brands aren’t enough, the Hessen-Center is the mall of choice for a more local experience. Conveniently located on the U7, it has over 110 shops with more than a dozen restaurants.
Foodies and those looking for healthy foods can head over to Kleinmarkthalle located on Hassengasse for a diverse selection of local and global food products. Hungry visitors can find the finest German sausages, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as savoury baked goods on its three floors. There’s also a farmer’s market every Thursday and Saturday at Konstablerwache with fresh produce from local producers.
Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse, also known as Fressgass, is a notable area for food lined with restaurants and cafes along the two sides of the street. More than 1 in 3 Frankfurters are of non-German descent, so there are plenty of international choices.
The most famous dish comming out of Frankfurt is the Frankfurter Grüne Sosse. It consists of a ton of herbs, potatoes and eggs. Give it a try whenever you see it.
Another famous snack is called Handkäs mit Musik (“hand cheese with music”), which consists of a regional sour milk cheese with a marinade of onions, vinegar, oil, salt & pepper.
Frankfurter Kranz (also named: Frankfurter Crown Cake) is an insanely delicious cake. The mix of buttercream and red jam fits so well with the topping of caramel-covered brittle nuts (Krokant). Highly recommended!
Below are sections of notable restaurants in Frankfurt:
Dauth Schneider, with a terrace shaded by trees, this is one of the best restaurants to hang out in during summer. Its menu comprises of sausages, schnitzels, tasting platters, and sulk fleisch – a classic local dish serving cold meat with jelly terrine. Main dishes around €10-€20, www.dauth-schneider.de
Zu den 12 Aposteln, like any good German restaurant this place brews its own beer and serves delicious fish and pork knuckle dishes. Its menu also features the Frankfurter schnitzel, a local take on the world-famous fried German pork dish. Main dishes around €20-30, www.12aposteln-frankfurt.de
Salzkammer, literally meaning the ‘chamber of salt’, this warm restaurant with wooden interiors serve typical Bavarian dishes. They have everything from schnitzels to Bavarian sausages with mustard to kaiserschmarrn – pancake pieces with fruit sauce. Everyone has a Bavarian inside of them. Main dishes around €10-20, www.salzkammerffm.de
Palms Garden, located right next to the main station this German and Chinese cuisine buffet restaurant with a hot pot option is the best deal for budget travellers in a hurry. Buffet prices starting from €8.50 and up, www.chinarestaurant-palmsgarden.de
Just 45 minutes away from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof S-Bahn, Wiesbaden is well worth a day trip from Frankfurt. The city is known for its many spas, hot springs, and beautiful neo-classical style buildings easily making it one of the most romantic destinations in Germany!
Located just south of Frankfurt inner city, Sachsenhausen is a nice quiet town with narrow cobblestone streets by day, and a busy bar and pub area by night. On Saturdays, a flea market is held along the river in Sachsenhausen and the road is closed to traffic. Most of Sachsenhausen is accessible by S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains.
Easily accessible by S-Bahn, Mainz is just 45 minutes away from Frankfurt. Located on the spot where the river Main meets the river Rhine, Mainz is a well-preserved old town with half-timbered houses reminiscent of the Napoleonic Era. Being a former Roman fort and the home of the movable-type printing press, history lovers have to come here!