Frankfurt am Main, as it’s officially known, is the fifth most populous city in Germany and one of continental Europe’s most important financial hubs. But there’s much more to Frankfurt than the towering skyscrapers of its banking district. Impressive modern architecture sits alongside medieval buildings, and its abundance of museums, theaters and opera houses compliment a vibrant bar, club and restaurant scene. Walk through lush green parks or step into exclusive luxury boutiques; and dine out on Michelin-starred menus or hearty local dishes. Come December, bundle up in winter wear and enjoy hot drinks and regional specialties at one of the city’s magical Christmas markets.
Frankfurt isn’t affectionately known as “Mainhattan” for nothing, and the city has emerged from the pandemic even more vibrant and creative than before, offering new design hotels, a wealth of exhibitions and, reflecting its burgeoning fashion scene, its very own Fashion Week. Here’s just some of what you can experience when you visit.
1. Immerse yourself in history
At the heart of the city’s historical center is the Römerberg, a cobbled square lined with half-timbered medieval buildings including the Römer, which has served as Frankfurt’s city hall since 1405. Close by is the recently reconstructed, so-called “New Old Town”, the Dom-Römer Quarter, which features the remains of a former Roman settlement, an imperial palace dating back to Carolingian times, and a selection of charming independent shops and cafés housed in immaculately-reconstructed historical buildings.
2. Soak up art and culture
Frankfurt offers a remarkable variety of museums and galleries, 13 of which are located on the Museumsufer (Museum Embankment) along the southern bank of the Main river. Unmissable is the Städel Museum, Germany’s oldest museum foundation, which houses European art spanning some 700 years, and whose permanent collection features works from the likes of Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Families will enjoy the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History, home to Europe’s biggest collection of large dinosaurs, including its only diplodocus; a must-visit for literature fans is the Frankfurter-Goethe Haus (Frankfurt Goethe House), where the German poet and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in 1749.