Sitting on the banks of the Main river, Frankfurt is one of the biggest cities in Germany and the country’s main centre of finance. Despite its reputation for business, with its soaring skyline and vibrant culture, Frankfurt is a fabulous place to go on a city break. If you’re thinking of heading here, take a look at our guide to roaming Frankfurt and pick up some of our top tips.
How should I get around?
If you’re flying into Frankfurt then you’ll land at one of the busiest airports in the world. The city itself isn’t a huge place to get around though, especially when it comes to most of the main tourist hotspots. This means it’s perfect for a good wander on foot as you explore the sights. When it’s too far to walk, hop on the U-Bahn to travel quickly across the city.
What can I do there?
Frankfurt is a city of great contrasts, and there’s a huge variety of things you can get up to. From the medieval attraction of the Römerberg town square to world class ballet, opera and theatrical performances, there’s lots to see and do. Pay a visit to the Palmengarten botanical gardens, then check out St Paul’s Church – which was the seat of Germany’s first democratically elected parliament – before strolling over to the Dom. The city’s main cathedral is a 14th century Gothic effort, and you can climb its tower for fantastic views from almost 100 metres high.
What’s the culture like?
The city is regarded as a real cultural hub, and there are over 30 museums across Frankfurt, so make your way to the Museumsufer district, which lies on the south bank of the Main. Buy a pass to get into all the museums you can over a couple of days, and explore places such as the Städel-Museum with its wide variety of art, the Architecture Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts. Some of the other top draws include the Museum of Modern Art, the Archaeological Museum and the Senckenberg Naturmuseum, which has a fascinating array of natural history exhibits.
Where should I shop?
There are lots of shopping opportunities across the city centre, not least on main artery the Zeil. With a huge range of trendy boutiques, department stores and malls, it’s one of Europe’s busiest shopping areas. If you like picking up unique buys at flea markets, try the Museumsufer market that’s held there every other Saturday, or check out the market on Lindley Strasse near the Osthafen. At the other end of the scale, head to Goethestrasse for designer shopping in upmarket independents.
Where should I eat?
Frankfurt’s international feel extends to its cuisine, which combines all kinds of influences. There’s still a strong native flavour to the dining scene though, with specialities including Gruene Sosse (Green Sauce), the sausage-based Frankfurter Wuerstchen, and Handkase mit Musik (curdled quark cheese). The city centre is packed with restaurants, and caters for a full range of budgets, from cheap eats to Michelin-starred establishments. For a quick bite on the go, make your way to the Fressgass, which has plenty of delis, cafes and restaurants. Literally translated as ‘munching alley’, the locals have nicknamed the street ‘the gourmet mile’. If you’ve got cooking facilities where you’re staying, head to Hasengasse’s Kleinmarkthalle, an indoor market full of fresh food and regional delicacies.
Where should I party?
After enjoying an evening meal, head out to one of the city’s bars to sip some of the local pilsner beer. Apfelwein (apple cider) is another Frankfurt speciality, and you can find lots of traditional Ebbelwoi haunts in Sachsenhausen on the south bank. Bockenheim, Bornheim, Nordend and the city centre are all popular nightspots offering an array of unique and quirky bars and clubs. Sit down for an atmospheric drink right on the riverfront, or party until sunrise in an alternative music club.
Will it be hot?
This is one of the most important questions on the lips of all holidaymakers, even if you’re going on a city break. After all, everyone needs to know what kind of clothes to fill their suitcase with. The weather is generally quite mild, but things can get nice and warm if you’re going over summer, while temperatures do dip below freezing during the winter. Make sure you take plenty of warmer layers for a winter trip, but pack lots of t-shirts and your sunglasses for July and August, as well as a waterproof or two just in case.
No matter what time of year you’re planning to go, Frankfurt is a wonderful city that’s packed full of things to explore and experience.