Frankfurt City Guide
The sprawling German city of Frankfurt is primarily known as a business destination rather than a vacation hotspot. The city, which is located on the River Main, is also an important transport hub of Germany, which is renowned for its massive airport, excellent rail connections and superlative system of highways, the Autobahn.
Frankfurt is also popularly known as a trade fair city as it hosts numerous trade fairs all throughout the year. These trade fairs are organized by the city’s renowned trade fair company, Messe Frankfurt and include annual events like the Automechanika, the Textile Fair, the Chemical Industries Fair and the famed International Book Fair. It is estimated that all these business centric events attract more than 1.5 million visitors to Frankfurt every year.
However that is not to say that Frankfurt has nothing to offer for leisure tourists. This economic powerhouse of Europe is adequately equipped with many attractions and shopping opportunities, which attract millions of visitors to vacation in the city every year.
Where to stay in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is a compact city which is easily navigable on foot.
Stadtmitte is the city center of Frankfurt and contains its main shopping districts like the pedestrian only street called the Zeil. This area hosts the city’s main sights, restaurants and hotels and is immensely popular as an accommodation option with visitors on a vacation in Frankfurt.
The Westend is a newish trendy neighborhood of Frankfurt that is home to many new hotels and restaurants that is becoming increasingly popular with visitors on vacation in Frankfurt.
The Bankenviertel or the banking and financial district of the city is yet another popular accommodation option in Frankfurt. This area lies to the south of the Westend and is populated with numerous skyscrapers. It is home to many of Germany’s major banks and the representative offices of many foreign banks. The hotels located in the Bankenviertel area are especially popular with business travelers to the city.
Places to see in Frankfurt
The Städel Gallery is one of the most important art galleries in Frankfurt whose permanent collection features the works of several European masters including German artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, artworks of French Impressionists like Renoir and Monet as well as the works of Flemish and Dutch artists. Some of the prominent artworks included in this collection include Kirchner's Nude Woman with Hat and Jan van Eyck's Madonna.
Aside from the Städel Gallery, Frankfurt offers many other museums like Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum), Ikonenmuseum(icon museum), Liebieghaus(municipal sculpture museum), Museum für Angewandte Kuns, Museum der Weltkulturen (Museum of World Cultures) and others, which offer a whole host of sight-seeing opportunities for the culturally inclined tourist on vacation in Frankfurt.
The Goethe-Haus is the reconstructed abode of Germany's world-famous poet and writer, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe who was born in 1749. The original abode was destroyed during World War II. The present edifice consists of two adjoining houses and is located in Frankfurt’s Grosser Hirschgraben neighborhood. The Goethe-Haus is located close to the Goethe Museum, which houses a huge library of books, documents, graphics and paintings associated with this literary giant.
Alstadt is the old town of Frankfurt, which once was one of the most important towns in Germany before the Allied bombing raids of World War II. The Goethe Hause is located within Frankfurt’s Altstadt, which also includes several attractions like the Dom, (St Bartholomew’s cathedral), which was consecrated in 1239 and served as the electoral site for kings of the Holy Empire in 1356. Other attractions located here include the Römer, an edifice that features three interconnected medieval patricians' houses that functioned as the city hall of Frankfurt in 1405. Today the Römer is the home of the mayor of Frankfurt.
At the northern limit of the Altstadt is an 18th century baroque building known as An der Hauptwache, which is an old guard house. Under this old world landmark, which is known as the Times Square of Frankfurt as it lies on the junction of S-bahn and U-bahn lines, is the Hauptwache U-Bahn station that hosts a modern shopping arcade.
The Eschenheimer Turm is a tower, which was once a part of the medieval fortification that circled the city of Frankfurt. This 47m gothic tower formed a part of the medieval wall that surrounded the city in the 15th Century. The Eschenheimer Turm was one of the 60 watchtowers that were built to protect the city from danger.
Frankfurt Botanical Gardens
The well laid out Frankfurt Botanical gardens are administered by the University of Frankfurt and contain nearly 6000 diverse botanical species that are spread out over the nearly twenty acres that the gardens encompass. The Frankfurt Botanical Gardens constitute a veritable green oasis in the heart of this busy, business-centric city and are a definite must-do attraction on any vacation or business trip to Frankfurt.
Best time to visit Frankfurt
Frankfurt is characterized by a temperate continental climate, which features warm summers that have occasional wet days and cold winters. The average annual temperature in Frankfurt is 50 F (10C) though seasonal averages tend to range from 34.5F (1C) in January to 66F (19C) in July. Most leisure travelers choose to book a vacation to Frankfurt during the summer months of July and August, when the temperatures in Frankfurt are quite amenable and the city hosts popular festivals like the immensely popular Museumsuferfest (Museums Riverbank Festival) which is known to attract more than three million visitors each year.
Getting around in Frankfurt
Frankfurt’s show-piece international airport Flughafen Frankfurt am Main is located 8 miles south west of the city. It welcomes numerous airlines from all over the world. This makes getting to Frankfurt from all parts of the globe extremely easy. In fact Fare Buzz routinely offers flight deals for Frankfurt and if you are in the market for a cheap air ticket for Frankfurt, you should explore the many cheap air flights that Fare Buzz has to offer.
Frankfurt is renowned for its extremely efficient and extensive public transport system, which is made up of the U-Bahn, the underground rail, the S-Bahn, the above- ground rail and buses, taxis and trams, which nearly run round the clock from 4am to 2am.
If you plan to use public transport during your stay in Frankfurt, you should consider investing in the Frankfurt Card which can be purchased from the tourist office and also online from the agencies’ website. This card offers unlimited travel on public transport within Frankfurt along with airport transfers and discounted admission to museums and events. The tourist office additionally retails a one-day Congress Ticket, which is geared towards those travelers who come to Frankfurt to attend a conference for a day and need to use the public transport system as taxis are quite expensive to use in this trade fair city.
Some tourist do choose to rent a car while on vacation in Frankfurt even though the city often has congested traffic conditions, confusing road networks and expensive parking facilities. If you think you can navigate the traffic conditions in Frankfurt and are desirous of renting a car during your stay in Frankfurt then Fare Buzz can be of assistance. Fare Buzz offers a wide array of affordable car rentals for Frankfurt as part of its travel deals repertoire.
Where to shop in Frankfurt
No destination is complete without shopping options and Frankfurt, the city of trade fairs is no exception. The hub of consumerism in Frankfurt is undoubtedly its Zeil pedestrianized zone, which extends between two main transportation hubs, the Hauptwache and the Konstablerwache. This main shopping area of the city is home to shopping centers like the ‘Zeilgalerie’ and ‘Frankfurt Hoch 4’, department stores like Kaufhof and Karstadt along with various specialty stores and boutiques offering apparel, footwear, home wares, leather goods and more.
Luxe shopping in Frankfurt is concentrated around Goethestrasse, a short strip located parallel to the western end of the Zeil. Located here are outposts of all the big global luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany, Prada and so forth. Another highly recommended shopping locale in Frankfurt is Schillerstrasse, a street located near the Zeil, which plays host to sleek, stylish boutiques that offer trendy clothing, quirky gifts and other knick-knacks. Schillerstrasse also hosts a lively market every Friday, though animated street markets offering fresh produce and handcrafted wares can be found in various parts of the city on almost every day of the week.
If your shopping tastes veer towards edgy fashion finds and vintage wares, you need to head to areas of Frankfurt like Berger Straße, and Leipziger Straße in Bockenheim. US-style mall shopping opportunities in Frankfurt are few though the city is equipped with shopping complexes like NordWestZentrum, a semi-enclosed shopping area situated about 5 miles from the city center and the expansive Zeilgalerie, an immensely popular, large shopping center situated on the Zeil. Additionally, if you have souvenir shopping on your Frankfurt agenda, you could try locales the Römerberg, a landmark site in Frankfurt which since the 9th century has been associated with markets, fairs, festivals and tournaments. Several stores around the Hauptbahnhof also offer products like apple wine and blue stoneware products, both of which are popular as souvenir items from Frankfurt.
Where to eat in Frankfurt
As a city that welcomes hordes of visitors year round, Frankfurt offers an abundance of dining options. The city is regarded as a leading dining center of Europe and is well-known for regional specialties like grune sosse (a green gravy or sauce fashioned with cream and various herbs like borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives, parsley and more). This sauce serves as an accompaniment to boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs or roast beef and various other dishes. Other popular dishes that hail from Frankfurt include Rippchen mit kraut (a pork chop with sauerkraut), Handkas mit Musik (a flavored yogurt dip) and Frankfurter Schnitzel (flattened meat fried with a mixture of bread crumbs, eggs and flour).
Aside from German cuisine, Frankfurt’s many restaurants that line its main dining districts like Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse and Alt Sachsenhausen, offer various international eats as well. Popular and highly ranked restaurants in Frankfurt currently include eateries like Bombay Palace (Indian), Ban Thai (Thai) Vapiano (Italian), Lieb and Steele (German), Gingko (International foods), Vai Vai (Italian), Fujiwara (Japanese), Eberts Suppenstube (German) and El Pacifico (Mexican).
Nightlife in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is equipped with a lively nightlife scene, which features a wide variety of bars, pubs (Irish bars, sports bars, beer gardens, jazz bars), traditional apfelwein (apple wine) taverns, riverboat cafes, nightclubs and more. Many of Frankfurt’s favored nightlife haunts stay open until the wee hours and offer ample opportunity for much nighttime revelry. Popular nightspots in Frankfurt currently include clubs like Club Robert Johnson, Cocoon, Club Velvet, Club King Kamehameha and Club U60311.