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Frankfurt am Main is the business and financial centre of Germany and the largest city in the German state of Hesse. The city is known for its futuristic skyline and the busiest German airport.
Located on the river Main, Frankfurt is the financial capital of Continental Europe and the transportation centre of Germany. Frankfurt is home of the European Central Bank and the German Stock Exchange. Furthermore, it hosts some of the world's most important trade shows, such as the Frankfurt Auto Show and the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Frankfurt is a city of contrasts. Wealthy bankers, students and granola drop-outs coexist in a city that has some of the highest, most avant-garde skyscrapers of Europe next to well maintained old buildings. The city centre, especially Römer square, the cultural landscape and the museums at the River Main, draw millions of tourists every year.
Frankfurt is home to many museums, theatres and a world-class opera.
When to visit
The best times for Frankfurt are late spring to early autumn. The summers tend to be sunny and warm around 25 °C. Be The winters can be cold and rainy. It rarely snows in Frankfurt itself.
Get in Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is among the busiest in Europe — third in passenger traffic after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport — and the ninth busiest airport in the world. Frankfurt is the banking center of Germany and hosts numerous international trade fairs. Therefore all major airlines and all airline alliances fly frequently to Frankfurt and connects it to every continent and major city in the world. The German flagcarrier Lufthansa is the main airline in Frankfurt and offers the best connections.
Airport to the city centre
The airport is connected to central Frankfurt by taxi, bus and most easily by S-Bahn.
Frankfurt has two major train stations; the main station and the Airport. A few long-distance trains call at the South Station instead of the Hauptbahnhof. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is one of the biggest and busiest train stations in Europe and has a beautiful architecture, so it's definitely worth a visit. Frankfurt has connections to most German cities and most neighbouring countries via InterCity and high-speed InterCity Express trains.
What to see in Frankfurt am Main
Römerberg is the old centre of Frankfurt, with a number of historic buildings dating to the 14th and 15th century. The Römer itself is the town hall of Frankfurt. At the Römer, you can also visit the Alte Nikolaikirche.
Dom (Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral). The main cathedral, built in Gothic style in the 14th century on the foundations of earlier churches. Beginning in 1356, 30 elections were held here for the Holy Roman Emperor.
Eiserner Steg (Iron bridge). Frankfurt's most well-known pedestrian bridge, built in 1869. It is just a minute away from the Römer, and provides great views of the skyline and the Main river.
Hauptwache. A public area that is often considered the central hub of Frankfurt's modern city centre area due to its importance as a public transportation station as well as its central location, right beside the main shopping street (Zeil).
Alte Oper. Renaissance Opera Building in the center of the city, on a busy square with fountains and cafés. Originally opened in 1880, it is not used for operas any more since the rebuilding after the war, but for concerts, congresses, and similar "fancy" events.
Börse (Frankfurt Stock Exchange). The Frankfurt stock exchange building, which is still in use. See the bull and bear statues just outside. You cannot enter the building unless you have registered for a guided tour in advance.
Paulskirche. This was the seat of the first democratically elected parliament in Germany in 1848. Like most historic buildings in the city centre, it was gutted during World War II, but was also among the first buildings to be rebuilt after 1945.
Sachsenhausen. By crossing one of the bridges from the city centre you reach the Sachsenhausen part of the city south of the Main river.
Museums in Germany are generally closed on Mondays (there are exceptions); the exact opening hours on other days depend on the museum. If you want to visit a museum on a public holiday, check with them before to be sure they open on that day.
The museums in Frankfurt offer a wide range of exhibits. Many museums are clustered on both banks of the Main in a district called Museumsufer.
At the Museumsufer (Sachsenhausen)
Underground U1, U2, U3, U8 (Schweizer Platz), Bus 46 Museumsufer Linie (Städel).
Architektur Museum; Deutsches Filmmuseum; Städel-Museum; Museum Giersch; Museum für Angewandte Kunst (
Frankfurt has some of the tallest buildings in Europe. Its skyline is unique for the country as the high-rises are concentrated in a relatively small city centre, giving Frankfurt the looks of a metropolis. The skyline is the reason why Frankfurt is sometimes called by the nickname Mainhattan.
For a view of the skyline try the Main river bridges. The eastern bridges offer the best view. Also, when you approach the city from the airport via the subway, stay to the right side of the train. Just before the train approaches the Frankfurt central station it enters a big curve, and from here you will have a nice first glance of the skyline.
The Main Tower (Subway station Willy-Brandt-Platz or S-Bahn-station Taunusanlage) building is special as it is the only Frankfurt high-rise that is open to the public. For 6.50 Euro, you can take the elevator to the viewing platform at a height of 200 metres.
The old European Central Bank in central Frankfurt (Subway station Willy-Brandt-Platz) - easily recognized by its hexagonal layout and the big neon colour € statue in front of the entrance - might be of some special interest as this is the seat of European financial power and decisions. It's not open to the public.
There are various fireworks displays throughout the year. Many major events - like the Museumsufer festival are ended with very well done fireworks. Check your local event schedule; if you are in the city these are always worth your time. The exception are the New Year fireworks, which are unorganized and less than spectacular. Good vantage points are the Main bridges, or the river banks.
Frankfurt is a young city where socialising and parties are always high on the agenda. Sachsenhausen, Bockenheim, Bornheim, Nordend and the city centre are the main areas of action.
Alt-Sachsenhausen, a part of the suburb Sachsenhausen south of the Main river, is famous for its bars and Kneipen (a German type of Bar) serving the "regional speciality" Ebbelwoi. However, these days it's mostly for tourists. Good options in Alt-Sachsenhausen are Dauth-Schneider, Struwwelpeter and Lorsbacher Thal.