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Frankfurt

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Germany : Central Germany : Hesse : Frankfurt
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The skyline of Frankfurt

Frankfurt (German: Frankfurt am Main; [1]) 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.

Understand

Römer square in Frankfurt am Main

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 downtown area, especially Römer square and the museums at the River Main, draw millions of tourists every year. On the other hand, many off the beaten track neighbourhoods, such as Bockenheim, Bornheim, Nordend and Sachsenhausen, with their intact beautiful 19th century streets and parks are often overlooked by visitors.

Frankfurt is the place where Germany's major autobahns and railways intersect. About 650,000 people commute to the city each day, not counting the 691,000 people who really live here. With a huge airport — the third-largest in Europe — it is the gateway to Germany and for many people also the first point of arrival in Europe. Further, it is a prime hub for interconnections within Europe and for intercontinental flights.

Frankfurt has the highest percentage of immigrants in Germany: about 25% (660,000) of Frankfurt's people have no German passport and another 10% are naturalized German citizens. With about 35% immigrants, Frankfurt is the most diverse of German cities.

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 (77° F). Be prepared, however, for very hot summer days around 35° C (95° F) as well as for light rain. The winters can be cold and rainy (usually not lower than -10 °C/14 °F). It rarely snows in Frankfurt itself.

If you intend to stay overnight, you may wish to avoid times when trade fairs are held, as this will make finding affordable accommodation a challenging task. The biggest are the Frankfurt Motor Show (Automobil-Ausstellung) every two years in mid-September (next in 2013 and then in 2015) and the Book Fair (Buchmesse) yearly in mid-October; see Fairs for details.

Tourist Information

There are two offices for tourism information. The easiest one to get to is inside the Central Station. Look for the signs: it is near the main exit, next to the German Rail (DB) service area.

The official contact data is:

  • Touristinfo Hauptbahnhof [2], (Tourist Information Central Station), Hauptbahnhof - Passage. +49 69 21 23 88 00 (fax: +49 69 21 23 78 80, mail: info@infofrankfurt.de). M-F 8AM - 9PM, Sa-Su + Holidays 9AM - 6PM; New Year + New Year's Eve 8AM - 1PM; closed on December 25th + 26th.
  • Touristinfo Römer [3], Römerberg 27. +49 69 21 23 88 00 (fax: +49 69 21 23 78 80, mail: info@infofrankfurt.de). M-F 9:30AM - 5:30PM, Sa-Su + Holidays 10AM - 4PM; New Year + New Year's Eve 10AM - 1PM; closed on December 25th + 26th.

Get in

Frankfurt is the heart of central Germany and as such, it is the national transportation hub. It has excellent connections by rail, road and air. Reaching and leaving Frankfurt is easy.

By plane

Frankfurt Airport [4] (IATA: 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 [5] is the main airline in Frankfurt and offers the best connections.

The airport has two terminals (A third is scheduled to be opened in 2016/17). Terminal 1 is the home of Lufthansa and the Star Alliance [6] airlines. Terminal 2 is for all other airlines. Terminal 1 is separated into Concourses A (inside Schengen passport control), Z (the level on top of A, outside passport control), B and C; Terminal 2 is separated into Concourses D and E. Terminal 1 is a multi-level maze with poor signage & changing entrances due to ongoing construction work and insufficient capacity. Lufthansa tries to ease the confusion, therefore Business Class passengers (+ Gold & Silver Star Alliance Card Holders) have a designated check in area in Terminal 1 A. First class passengers of Lufthansa & Swiss Int'l Airlines (+ LH HON Circle card holders) are allowed to check-in in the separate First Class terminal [7] on the right side of Terminal 1, which has its own driveway. All Star Alliance economy class travelers and other Star Alliance partners are checked in in Terminal 1B & 1C. The terminals are connected by the Sky Train (both landside and airside).

The departure gates have some of the most innovative seating around, with bench seats facing many directions and cafe-style tables and chairs for those who wish to whip out their laptops (sans coffee, alas). Passengers requiring special assistance should be advised that they might have to descend several flights of stairs to get to a bus that takes them to the plane, rather than disability-friendly ramps, so talk to the gate agent early if stairs are a problem.

Terminal 1 has public showers for €6 (includes towel, foot mat, shower gel, and hair dryer). One location is in the B Departures area, in the Shopping Boulevard, across from "TUMI". The other is in the secure area of B Concourse (good for transit passengers), Level 2, near gate B 30 and the duty free shopping. There is luggage storage in both terminals for €5 per bag per day.

Wireless internet access is available. 30 minutes is "free", but requires receiving an SMS (text message), which isn't free if you have to pay to receive an SMS or can't receive an SMS in Germany. More time is available by paying (e.g., €5 for 1 hour, €10 for a significantly longer period).

The airport has a long visitor terrace on top of terminal 2 (adults €5). It also offers 45-minute airside bus tours (adults €8, hourly from 11 (holidays) or 1-4PM, ticket booth is at the bridge between terminal 1 and "Frankfurt Airport Centre", follow signs and information for Flughafen Erlebnisfahrten ("Airport Experience Tour").

Frankfurt am Main International Airport

Airport to downtown

The airport is connected to downtown Frankfurt by taxi, bus (Line 61 to Frankfurt Südbahnhof (Frankfurt South Station), and most easily by S-Bahn (fast commuter trains). To get to the city, take lines S8 or S9 from Regionalbahnhof (regional train station) in Terminal 1 (entrances in section A and B) in the direction of Offenbach Ost or Hanau: interactive route planner [8]. The lines S1-6/8/9 travel through the cornerstone of the system, an underground tunnel (the Citytunnel) through central Frankfurt. If you want to change to long-distance trains get off at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof(Frankfurt Central Station) or Frankfurt Südbahnhof (Frankfurt South Station). If you want to go downtown, get off at Frankfurt Taunusanlage, Frankfurt Hauptwache or Frankfurt Konstablerwache, which are in the heart of the city. The ride from the airport to the central station takes 14 minutes. Be sure to purchase a ticket at the vending machines (only cash) in the train station before boarding the train. The adult ticket is €4.1.

If you want to go to the airport via S-Bahn, take the S8 or S9 in the direction of Wiesbaden and jump off at F-Flughafen (airport station). Don't take the S1 — while it has the same general direction and leaves the central station at the same platform, it will go along the wrong side of the river Main. The line S1 does not stop at the airport.

Other airport connections

The Frankfurt airport also has connections for inter-city trains. Regional trains to Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Hanau stop at the same place as the S-Bahn to Frankfurt. Connections outside the Frankfurt region have a separate train station, the Fernbahnhof ("long-distance train station"). Here, you can board high-speed trains to Cologne, Munich and other destinations.

Hahn airport

The smaller airport called Frankfurt/Hahn (IATA: HHN), mostly used by no-frills airlines, advertises proximity to Frankfurt. However, Hahn is far away from Frankfurt and it actually takes about 2 h to drive there from downtown. For that airport, if you have to use it at all, allow more time in your travel plans and budget. A bus [9] from Frankfurt/Hahn to Frankfurt Main airport and on to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt Central Station) costs about €14 and leaves roughly every hour: tickets are available from the kiosk, outside in front of the main entrance.

By train

Frankfurt has three major train stations; the main station (Hauptbahnhof), the South Station (Südbahnhof) and the Airport (Flughafen Fernbahnhof). However, inter-city trains that stop at the airport usually don't stop at Hauptbahnhof (only a few exceptions). The Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is one of the biggest and busiest train stations in Europe, so it's definitely worth a visit. Frankfurt has connections to most German cities - and some international destinations - via InterCity and high-speed InterCity Express trains. There is no problem to get a connection to any train destination from Frankfurt.

Be aware that Frankfurt train stations are very large, confusing, labyrinth-like places for newcomers. Allow extra time to locate the boarding area for your train. Don't hesitate to ask someone for help the first time. There is a large departures signboard above the main exit/entrance with destination and platform information, and you can also get information from the railway travel office in the station.

From the main ticket office at Frankfurt you can buy 5 and 10 day rail travel cards which allow you to travel around Germany using all train services, including the Intercity ones. These are a significant saving on individual train fares. The 5 day ticket costs €189 and the 10 day ticket €289. You cannot buy these tickets from regional train stations.

By car

Frankfurt is connected to several autobahns and can be easily reached by car. Try to avoid rush-hour and especially snowy days, as car traffic can easily break down. Parking is definitely a problem in most areas. Especially during big conventions—such the Internationale Automobilausstellung (International Automobile Exhibition) in September, or the Frankfurter Buchmesse (The Frankfurt Book Fair) in mid-October—you should consider using the well designed park-and-ride system.

By bus

Frankfurt is serviced by various trans-European buslines like Eurolines [10]. The main terminus is the central station (Hauptbahnhof). If you are on a tight budget, this can be a good way to reach Frankfurt.

To Kiev (Ukraine) you can travel with Euroclub

Getting around

Frankfurt downtown map

By public transport

The best way to travel around Frankfurt is the Underground, tram and bus. For connections to the suburbs use the S-Bahn. The metro stations are signed with a white capital "U" on a blue background. To go to the suburbs or airport use the S-Bahn, signed with a white "S" on green background. All S-Bahn lines and two U-Bahn lines come together in a tunnel (Citytunnel) in central Frankfurt (beside line S7, which ends at Central Station).

You can get single, all-day and weekly tickets. You can get individual tickets, or tickets for a group of up to five people travelling together.

You must use a ticket machine to purchase a ticket before boarding. Ticket machines can be a little confusing if you do not know how to use them, but they can be switched to operate in English. You have to press Einzelfahrt Frankfurt for a single trip in the city and Tageskarte Frankfurt for a day ticket in the city. If you want to ride to airport, you have to press Einzelfahrt Frankfurt Flughafen or Tageskarte Frankfurt Flughafen. If your destination is outside Frankfurt, you have to look up your destination on the list provided at the machine, enter this number with the numeric keypad, then press the button for the type of ticket you want (Einzelfahrt - single trip; Tageskarte - day ticket). Also, every station has some stations listed as "short distance" destinations (Kurzstrecke, code "97"); tickets to those are cheaper. If you have the opportunity, ask a bystander to explain the vending machines to you the first time you want to buy a ticket. Unlike in other German cities, tickets purchased are valid immediately. You cannot purchase tickets in advance, to be validated just before travel.

Fares are based on the zones you travel through [11]. Central Frankfurt is all contained with a single zone (zone 50) so tickets (except short trip tickets) are all the one fare. A one-day adult ticket in this central zone costs € 6.20 and a single costs € 2.50. The airport is in a separate zone. A one-day adult ticket in the central zone and the airport is € 8.00 and a single € 4.10. Group day-tickets are less than the cost of two adult day-tickets, so are more or less obligatory if you are travelling together and purchasing a day-ticket. Children discounts are available to kids 14 and under.

If you are visiting attractions and museums then consider buying a Frankfurt Card [12]. It allows unlimited travel on Frankfurt's public transport system (city zone and airport) and discounts in many museums. The Frankfurt Card is available as a one day and two day ticket, and for a single person or a group of up to five (1 person 1 day €9.20, 2 days €13.5; group 1 day €19, 2 days €28). These tickets are not sold at the vending machines. You can buy the Frankfurt Card at the airport (arrival gate B, terminal 1), at travel agencies, railway stations, at the tourist information desk at Hauptbahnhof, at the tourist information desk at Römer, or in advance online. A one-day one-person Frankfurt card including airport transportation is cheaper than the equivalent public transport ticket that includes the airport.

The RMV site has basic information and timetable information available in English and other languages.

The S-Bahn, run by the German train company, is notorious for its delays. If you need to get somewhere on time, allow for some buffer time. In the morning rush-hour, delays of 15 minutes are common. If you are catching a plane or have another similar time-critical appointment, allow an extra 30 minutes to be on the safe side.

Other services (subway, tram and bus) are usually more punctual.

Fines of €40 apply for riding without a valid ticket.

By taxi

Frankfurt has plenty of taxi drivers to service the many business travellers. The city is not too big, though fares tend to be expensive. Watch out for taxi drivers that take detours if they notice that you do not know the city. Still, for door-to-door transportation, taxis are a way to go.

Most taxi drivers love to drive to the airport because it's longer than inner-city fares, but not all taxi drivers are actually licensed to go there. They tend to drive very fast because most German business travellers expect them to do this. If you feel uncomfortable just let the driver know and he will slow down.

In the main tourist areas downtown there are also human-powered "bike taxis" that convey one or two passengers. For those not too keen on walking this may be a convenient way of seeing the sights.

By car

Avoid using your car in the city, especially in the tourist "hot spots" like Sachsenhausen (especially on a Saturday) because of parking space. It's very limited, and people tend to park in places they're not supposed to. This ends up costing a fair bit if your car gets towed, which it often will. If you want to enter the city, your best bet is to use a Parkhaus (parking garage) (which charges a fee of €1 per hour or €8 for the whole day) and then either walk, or take public transportation.

Many areas are reserved for local residents, in and outside the city. You will see the areas marked by parking signs that indicate a local permit is needed during certain hours during the day. The wording to be aware of is "Parkausweis Nr.X" (where X is a number). If you park in these spaces you risk a fine.

Also remember that Germany has strict DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood. That is just about one beer or glass of wine. And although there are Autobahns without speed limits, when there are speed limits, these are enforced rigorously. Radar traps are frequent. Heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied. Recently the laws (and fines) pertaining to tailgating have been sharpened, and the fines have gotten larger.

By bike

Frankfurt is bike-friendly, featuring an expansive network of bike lanes. While there are various rental-bike companies in Frankfurt, they are relatively rare and situated in inconvenient areas of the city for travellers. A more convenient source of rental bikes may be Deutsche Bahn. Look out for their rental bikes, marked in the colors red and white and the letters "DB."

These bikes are available from April to December and can be found pretty much anywhere in the city - especially at street corners, which are the major pick-up and drop-off points. You can rent these bikes 24/7 just using your cell-phone and your credit card. German citizens can also sign-up for direct debit from their checking account. For instructions on how to use this service, call the number on the bike or go their website.

  • Call-a-bike service [13]
  • GoetheRad (Bike Rental and Repair at the Goethe Tower in Sachsenhausen, top of the Hill). Contact : Andreas Horst Telephone :0176 505 28 599 Adress: Sachsenhäuser Landwehrweg 1 60594 Frankfurt/Goetheturm. Open on Tuesday to Sunday from midday to 6PM

See

Historical attractions

  • Römerberg, Römerberg 27 (North of Eiserner Steg bridge and city center). Römerberg is the old centre of Frankfurt, with a number of historic buildings dating to the 14th and 15th century (many of which, unfortunately, were destroyed during World War II and rebuilt afterwards). The Römer itself is the town hall of Frankfurt. Next to the cathedral, at the Archäologische Garten, you can see the remains of the Roman settlements that gave this place its name. At the Römer, you can also visit the Alte Nikolaikirche (a 12th century church, taking its current form in the 15th century). Several restaurants, cafés and smaller shops can be found at the square itself and in the vicinity. Walking towards the Main river, you approach the Eiserne Steg, a 19th century bridge leading to Sachsenhausen, as well as the Rententurm (Wharfinger's Tower), a 15th century fortified tower in late Gothic style, connected to the Saalhof, an old 12th century castle building that was later modernized but never completely destroyed.
  • Dom (Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral), (Located right next to the Römerplatz (U4 Dom/Römer)). The main cathedral, built in Gothic style in the 14th century on the foundation of an earlier church. From 1562 to 1792, emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned in the cathedral. It is possible to ascend the spiral stairs of the 95 meter church tower.
  • 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. On the other side, you will reach Sachsenhausen, a district known for its museums and historic pubs.
  • Hauptwache. A public area that is often considered the central hub of Frankfurt's modern downtown area due to its importance as a public transportation station as well as its central location, right between the main shopping street (Zeil), the Rossmarkt (another public square), and the Eschenheimer Tor. The place is named after a Baroque building ("Hauptwache") located more or less in its centre. The building was constructed in 1730 to house the local city militia, as Frankfurt was an independent city at the time. When Frankfurt became part of Prussia, the building gradually lost its original function. Since 1905, it has instead been serving as a café ("Café Hauptwache"). Other attractions include the Katharinenkirche (an old church), and the Palais Thurn-und-Taxis (an 18th century palace rebuilt 2004-2009).
Alte Oper Frankfurt
  • Alte Oper (Old Opera), Opernplatz 1 (take U6 or U7 station Alte Oper, or any line to Hauptwache and walk a few minutes), Tickets: +49 (0)69 - 1340-400, [14]. 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, 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 (St. Paul's Church), (Located just north of the Römer place). This was the seat of the first democratically elected parliament in Germany in 1848. Like most historic buildings in the city centre, it was destroyed during World War II, but was also among the first buildings to be rebuilt after 1945 (with different interior). Today the building is used as a memorial site and an event centre, hosting i.e. the awarding of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
  • Sachsenhausen. By crossing one of the bridges from the city centre you reach the Sachsenhausen part of the city south of the Main river. The old town part, Alt-Sachsenhausen, at Affentorplatz is famous for its old cider bars (see the "Drink" section for more information). You can also walk along the river bank or visit the Schweizer Straße (see the "Buy" section).

Museums

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. To get there, take the subway to Schweizer Platz (southern bank) or Willy-Brandt-Platz (northern bank), then walk towards the Main river. You can see the downtown skyscrapers when you leave the station Schweizer Platz, that's the direction you have to take. There are enough museums in Museumsufer to keep you occupied for a while, and it is especially suitable if you are staying in Frankfurt only for a short time.

The Museumsufer Ticket valid for admission to all municipal museums on two consecutive days and is available at all Frankfurt museums:

  • Families (2 adults and children): 23.00 €,
  • Individual visitors: 15.00 € / reduced 8.00 €,

At the Museumsufer (Sachsenhausen)

Underground U1, U2, U3, U8 (Schweizer Platz), Bus 46 Museumsufer Linie (Städel). About 10 minutes walk from main train station over pedestrian bridge, Holbeinsteg.

  • Architektur Museum (German Architecture Museum), Schaumainkai 43, +49 69 21238844, fax +49 69 21237721, (email info.dam@stadt-frankfurt.de), [15]. The Architecture Museum displays various types of exhibits about buildings and architecture. Their tagline is "From Primordial Hut to Skyscraper". There's also a small cafe in the DAM. Mon closed, Tu, Th-Su 10AM-5PM, We 10AM-8PM. €6.00 for adults.
  • Deutsches Filmmuseum (German Film Museum), Schaumainkai 41, +49 69 21238830, fax +49 69 21237881, (email info@deutsches-filmmuseum.de), [16] (German only). The German Movie Museum displays—as the name implies—the art and history of film making. Mon closed, Tu,Th,F,Su 10AM-5PM, We+Sa 10AM-8PM. €4.00 for adults, €1.50 for children.
  • Städel-Museum, Schaumainkai 63, +49 69 605098-0, fax +49 69 610163, (email info@staedelmuseum.de), [17]. Fully named the "Städelsches Kunstinstitut" (named after Johann Friedrich Städel), the museum displays various works of arts, both modern and old. There are also varying exhibitions at any time. Behind the museum is the Städelschule, an art school with a cheap cafeteria. Mon closed, Tue, Fri, Su 10AM - 6PM, Wed + Th 10AM - 9PM. €12-14 for adults; students € 10-12; children under 12 free.
  • Museum Giersch (Museum of Regional Historic Art and Culture), Schaumainkai 83, +49 69 63304-128, fax +49 69 63304-144, (email museum-giersch@schaumainkai.de), [18]. The broad exhibition range covers all types of art – painting, photography, sculpture, graphic art, architecture and applied arts. Usually the exibitions focus on artist that have some sort of connection to Frankfurt or the Frankfurt region. It presents works on loan from public and private owners, which are often stored in depots or private collections and therefore not otherwise accessible to the general public. There are also varying exhibitions at any time. Public guided tours for groups such as pupils or adults by arrangement. Tu-Fr 12-7PM, Sa + Su 11AM-5PM, Monday closed €4.00 for adults, €2.00 for children.
  • Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), Schaumainkai 17, +49 69 212-34037, fax +49 69 212-30703, (email info.angewandte-kunst@stadt-frankfurt.de), [19]. The museum for applied arts and design hosts just that in a beautiful Richard Meier designed building. The small park around it is a popular hangout in summer and there is a small posh restaurant on the ground floor. Mon closed, Tue, Th-Su 10AM - 5PM, W 10AM-9PM. €5 adults, €2.5 children.
  • Liebighaus (Liebig House), Schaumainkai 71, +49 69 212-38617 (email: liebighaus.amt45d@stadt-frankfurt.de, fax: +49 69 212-30701) [20].
    Large collection of sculptures and statues from all over the world. Very nice cafe in the garden. Mon closed, Tuesday, Friday to Sunday 10AM - 7PM, Wed. and Thu. 10AM - 10PM. Regular 14 €, Reduced 12 €, Family Ticket 24 €. Audioguides in English: 4 €, for children: 3 €.
  • Museum der Weltkulturen (Museum of World Cultures), Schaumainkai 29-37, +49 69 212-35913 (email: museum.weltkulturen@stadt-frankfurt.de, fax: +49 69 212-30704) [21]. Due to a lack of space and funding currently doesn't display its permanent ethnographic collection but rather shows well-made exibitions. Mon closed, Tue, Thu, Fri, Su 10AM - 8PM, W 10AM - 8PM, Sa 2PM - 8PM.
  • Museum für Kommunikation (Museum of Communication), Schaumainkai 53, +49 69 6060-0 (fax +49 69 6060-666) [22]. Formerly known as the postal museum, it explains the history of communication with a strong focus on postal services and telecommunication. A lot of old telegraphs, phones, fax machines etc. can be tried out so it is fun for not too young kids. Don't miss the small but impressive art collection, hosting works with communication themes from the early 19th century up until today. Mon closed, Tu-F 9AM - 5PM; Sa-Su 11AM - 7PM. € 2 for adults; € 1 for children.
  • Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum), Untermainkai 14/15, +49 69 21235000 (email: info@juedischesmuseum.de, fax: +49 69 21230705), [23]. This is not on the actual Museumsufer but on the other bank of the river. The Jewish community in Frankfurt can look back on over 850 years of history in Frankfurt and is the second oldest community in Germany. The well funded museum in the old Rothschild (they originate from Frankfurt) palais pays reference to this history with a strong focus on the holocaust. Mon closed, Tu-Su 10AM - 5PM, W 10AM - 8PM. Adults 2.60 Eur, children 1.30 Eur.
  • Ikonen Museum (Icon Museum), Brückenstraße 3-7 (Eastern End Schaumainkai), +49(0)69 - 21236262, [24]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, Wed until 8PM. Founded in 1990 through a donation of 800 icons from the 16th-19th century this museum today has about 1'000 icons and today also has special exhibitions for modern icons. 6 €, reduced 4, every last Saturday in the mont free entrance.

Other museums

  • Naturmuseum Senckenberg (Nature Museum Seckenberg), Senckenberganlage 25, +49 69 75420 (fax: +49 69 746238) [25] Mo-Tu and Th-F 09:00-17:00, W 09:00-20:00, Sa-Su 09:00-18:00. Commonly just called Senckenberg museum it is one of the most famous museums of Frankfurt with various natural history exhibits: plants, animals, minerals, etc. Biggest attraction are the dinosaur skeletons and the collection of preserved animals that were hunted and stuffed in a less enlightened age. Highly recommended and also suitable for children, who can touch some of the exhibits (eg replicas of Dinosaur skeletons). To get to the museum, take the tram or subway to Bockenheimer Warte, then walk. There are no parking spaces available at the museum. €6.00 for adults, €3 for children.
  • Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Domstraße 10, +49 69 212-30447 (fax: +49 69 212-37882, mail: mmk@stadt-frankfurt.de) [26] Mon closed; Tue, Th-Su 10:00-18:00, W 10:00-20:00. The building was designed by Hans Hollein to resemble a boat, which is most notable when approaching it from the back (east). Apart from well-known artists in the permanent collection, e.g. Roy Liechtenstein and Andy Warhol, the museum has changing exhibits that often include very recent work. The museum has an associated restaurant Triangolo.
  • Museum Judengasse is part of the Jewish Museum, but at a differing address (not anywhere near the Museumsufer), Kurt Schumacher-Straße 10, +49 69 2977419 (email: info@juedischesmuseum.de, fax: +49 69 21230705) [27]. Here are exhibited the foundations from the Jewish Ghetto dating back to 1462, as well as information about life as a Jewish person in this ghetto during the Middle Ages. Info is in English & German. Outside of this museum is the "Holocaust Memorial Wall" with over 11,000 names of Frankfurts' murdered Jewish citizens on it. It surrounds the medieval Jewish cemetery dating back to 1272. There is another outpost of the Jewish museum near by, which hosts exibitions on a regular basis. It is housed in a 4 story world war II overground bunker. Mon closed, Tu-Su 10AM - 5PM, W 10AM - 8PM. Adults 2.0 Eur.
  • Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank (Money Museum of the German Central Bank). Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse 14, +49 69 9566-3073 (email: geldmuseum@bundesbank.de) [28] Mon, Th-Su 10AM - 5PM, W 1PM - 9PM. A museum about money and its history.
  • Archäologisches Museum (Archaeological Museum), Karmelitergasse 1, +49 69 212-35896 (fax: 212-30700, mail: info.archaeolmus@stadt-frankfurt.de) [29] Mon closed; Tu-Su 10AM - 5PM; W 10AM - 8PM. € 4 for an adult; € 2 for a child. Located in a building which formerly housed a Carmelite monastery.
  • Kunsthalle Schirn [30] is a museum specializing in contemporary art. It's located just off the Römerplatz. There are two exhibition spaces that rotate every month or two.
  • Portikus [31] exhibition hall located in the Leinwandhaus building, Weckmarkt 17 (Subway statiom Römer), +49 69 219987-60 and +49 69 219987-59 (email: info@portikus.de, fax: +49 69 219987-61). M closed, Tu-Su 11AM - 6PM, W 11AM - 8PM, also closed when there is no current exhibition and on some public holidays. Admission free.
  • Frankfurter Kunstverein, Steinernes Haus am Römerberg, Markt 44 (Römerberg), +49 (0)69 219314-0, [32]. Constantly changing contempory art expositions
  • Goethe Haus und Museum, Großer Hirschgraben 23-25, (0 69) 1 38 80 - 0, [33]. 10AM – 6.00PM, Sunday until 5:30PM. Birthplace of Germany's most famous author and poet. It's a museum and picture gallery devoted to Goethe Adults 7 €, reduced 1.5-3 €.
  • Historisches Museum, Saalgasse 19 (U-Bahn Dom/Römer), ++49 (0)69-212-35599, [34]. Historic museum of the city of Frankfurt and its citizens. Today it offers a wide collection of the history of the city. Open on Tuesday to Sunday and on all holidays: 10 am to 5 pm. Admission: 4 €, reduced fee: 2 €, Family ticket: 9 €.

Museum related events

Three special events are associated with Frankfurt's museums.

  • Every Saturday morning there's a flea market until noon at the Museumsufer.
  • Once a year (usually during the last weekend in August), a festival called Museumsuferfest 24. - 26. August 2012 is organized at the Museumsufer with food, music and various other activities. It is quite popular locally and offers a good chance to mingle with the locals. You can buy a badge that will give you unlimited access to all the museums during the festival weekend. Many closed collections open to the public on this weekend. Sign up for tours at the Römer tourist office. A dragon boat regatta also takes place on the river during the festival weekend and can be watched from both sides of the river.
  • Lange Nacht der Museen [35] (Long Night of Museums) One night a year (in the End of April), most Frankfurt museums are open to the public until the early morning of the next day. Special bus lines will take visitors from one to the next. Various special events are organized; for example dances, music performances, special exhibits, games, and so on. It is very crowded but also highly recommended; be prepared for very long lines. Buy a ticket in advance so you do not have to waste time during the night of the event on this, and do not forget to pick up a schedule of the events and map of the bus routes. Similar events are organized in other German cities as well.

Skyline

Frankfurt am Main Skyline

Frankfurt has some of the tallest buildings in Europe (the Commerzbank tower is the highest office building of Europe), and the tallest in Germany. Its skyline is unique for the country as the high-rises are concentrated in a relatively small downtown area, 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.
  • Take a walk from Schweizer Platz northwards for another good view of the skyscrapers.
  • The Main Tower [36] (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 5.00 Euro, you can take the elevator to the viewing platform at a height of 200 meters. From here, you will have a good view of Frankfurt and the surrounding area. Make sure to go on a clear day, and if you're in Frankfurt in Fall or Spring you might wish to try to go up a short while before sunset. That way, you can witness how the city changes from day to nightlife. The Main Tower is something that you should not miss during your stay. The viewing platform will be closed during severe weather.
  • The European Central Bank in downtown Frankfurt (Subway station Willy-Brandt-Platz) - easily recognized by its hexagonal layout and the big neon color € 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, although a small gift shop downstairs will sell you all the Euro-related memorabilia you want.
  • The Henninger Turm , located in Sachsenhausen, is a 120m (330 ft) tall grain storage silo tower. Inaugurated in 1961, it remained by far the highest silo tower in the world until 2005. The top part used to have rotating restaurants and observation decks, but unfortunately the tower has been closed to the public since 2002.

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.

Other attractions

  • Palmengarten [37] ("palm garden"): Botanic gardens. Siesmayerstraße 61 (Entrance Palmengartenstraße: subway U4, U6 (towards Praunheim Heerstaße), U7 (towards Hausen) Station Bockenheimer Warte; Entrance Siesmayerstraße: U6, U7 Station Westend), tel. +49 69 212-33939 (fax: +49 69 212-37856). Nov-Jan: Daily 9AM-4PM; Feb-Oct: Daily 9AM-6PM. The Palmengarten is Frankfurt's botanic garden. There are special exhibitions and events throughout the much of the year. €5 adults, €2 children. Prices during special events & exhibitions: €7 adults, €2.50 children. (German language part of the website has a lot more information than the English part)
  • Grüneburgpark: This is Frankfurt's largest public park. Even though there are many parks in Frankfurt, the Grüneburgpark is probably the most liked. Located close to two campuses of the university, many young people meet there, and many business people jog there after work.
  • Campus Westend: architecturally interesting campus of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University. Includes the IG Farben building (), the former corporate headquarters of IG Farben and largest office building in Europe from 1930 until the 1950s. Just east of the Grüneburgpark.
  • The RMV offers a tour of the city in the so-called Ebbelwei Express [38], a special tram that offers music, apple wine, and pretzels. Probably very stereotypical and more suited for people who do not mind "tacky" tourist traps.
  • St. Leonhardskirche (St. Leonhard’s Church): old late Romanic church built in 1219 and later transformed in accordance with the Gothic style in the 15th century. English-language Catholic mass service on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Bornheim: A nice residential quarter with a lively market and beautiful medieval houses which survived the war intact (unlike the city centre). The most important and lively street is the Berger Straße, which runs from downtown all the way to the oldest parts of Bornheim. The more central downtown part of the Berger Straße (actually in the Nordend district) features a variety of small and often trendy little stores, cafés, and restaurants, whereas the older parts of Bornheim are famous for its historic Ebbelwoi (a local cider) taverns.
  • Goetheturm (Goethe Tower). daily 10:00-18:00 from April through September. An old 43 metre wooden tower with viewing platform offering nice views of the skyline. Located in Sachsenhausen. As of mid-2011 the climb is closed.
  • Staufenmauer: remains of the old city wall (1138–1254) can be seen in the Fahrgasse and at the Liebfrauenkirche. More prominent examples of the city fortification built in later years include the Eschenheimer Turm (1428) near Hauptwache and the Friedberger Warte (1478, rebuilt 1637), which is on the Friedberger Landstraße a bit outside the main city centre.
  • Palais Thurn und Taxis: 18th century palace of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis. In the 19th century, it served as the parliament of the German Confederation. Unfortunately, apart from the front facade, most of it is reconstructed. The reconstruction has a smaller scale than the building's original 18th century size. In Große Eschenheimer Straße (1 minute walk north from Hauptwache towards the Eschenheimer Turm).
  • Hauptfriedhof: main cemetary, where you can find several mausoleums, over 150 year old tombstones, as well as the final resting places of philosophers Arthur Schopenhauer and Theodor W. Adorno.
  • Katharinenkirche: (St. Catherine's Church): Baroque style Lutheran church at Hauptwache. Constructed 1678 bis 1681 at the site of a former monastery, destroyed during World War II, and restored 1950 to 1954. The tower stands at 54m.
  • Liebfrauenkirche: 14th century Roman-Catholic church and monastery located at Liebfrauengasse/Neue Kräme near the Zeil
  • Alte Stadtbibliothek: former public library building, constructed 1820-1825 in neo-classical style.
  • About once a month, an old steam engine train [39] rides along tracks on the northern riverbank of the Main. Prices vary, starting at €4 for an adult.


  • Zoo [40]: Alfred-Brehm-Platz 16 (take subway U6 (towards Ostbahnhof) or U7 (towards Enkheim), get off a Zoo station), tel. +49 69 21233735. Winter: Daily 9AM - 5PM, Summer: Daily 9AM - 7PM. €8 adults, €4 children.

Do

Frankfurt and the river Main
  • In the summer, a walk along the river Main is a nice thing to do. A lot of people will spend a sunny afternoon walking or sitting there on a lawn or playing frisbee or football. It's a relatively quiet area, considering it's in the heart of the city. Nearby cafes and restaurants allow you to have a drink in between. The only disadvantage is that it can be quite crowded when the weather is nice; try going during business hours on a weekday unless you're looking for a crowd.
  • Maintower, Neue Mainzer Straße 52 - 58 (S-Bahnstation Taunusanlage), +49 (0)69/3650-4878, [41]. Have a breathtaking view from this skyscraper 5,- € adults, 3.5 € kids.
  • Oper Frankfurt, Untermainanlage 11, +49 069 / 212 49 49 4, [42]. Not to be confused with the historic Alte Oper building, this modern building is where to go to see an opera performance. State subsidized performances make this a relatively affordable place to see high quality productions
  • Ice skating ring, Am Bornheimer Hang 4 (U-Bahn line 7), +49 069 212-39308, [43]. Ice skating for amateurs or watch ice hockey games by the local teams
  • English theatre, Gallusanlage 7 (Willy-Brandt-Platz), +49 (0)69 24231620, [44]. See a play at the largest English-language theatre in continental Europe
  • Go for a walk in the City Forest (Stadtwald) in the south of Frankfurt. With about 48 square kilometres, it is regarded as the largest inner-city forest in Germany. Six playgrounds and nine ponds make the forest a popular tourist attraction. The forest can be reached via tram line 14 direction Neu-Isenburg/Stadtgrenze from Frankfurt South Station (Frankfurt Süd). Trams 12, 19, 20 and 21 also connect the Stadtwald with downtown Frankfurt.
  • Try the local cider "Apfelwein", especially that made by Possmann. The "Frau Rauscher" edition has a pleasant natural taste with some yeast left into it.
  • The Cinestar Metropolis cinema shows a couple of movies in English. Take U1/U2/U3 to Eschenheimer Tor or walk from the city centre.
  • Go swimming at Titus-Thermen or Rebstockbad, which both also have whirlpools and sauna facilities. Or visit any of the other public indoor or outdoor pools in Frankfurt [45]. Some of the bigger complexes outside the city limits include Taunus-Therme [46] in Bad Homburg and Rhein-Main-Therme [47] in Hofheim.
  • Sportpark Kelkheim [48] is a sports facility complex that features high rope courses, golf (no membership required), indoor climbing and bouldering, squash, and other activities.
  • Go on top of the Feldberg mountain, the highest mountain of the Taunus. Take a train from Frankfurt central to Königsstein and then go to the main bus place (Parkstraße). Busses via Feldberg depart every 2 hours. Get on top of the observation tower at the Feldberg. If it's cold, have a hot chocolate with cream (Heiße Schokolade mit Sahne) at the tower's kiosk.
  • The red light district with large brothels, porn cinemas and bars is located just east of the main railway station.
  • Ballet Wiliam Forsythe, +49 (0) 69 21249494, [49]. Modern ballet in Frankfurt

Fairs

Frankfurt's trade fairs are known to have taken place as early as in the year 1160. The Messe Frankfurt [50] is one of the world's largest exhibition centers, hosting a continuous stream of exhibitions small, large and gargantuan — the Motor Show draws almost a million visitors. Most fairs are open to the public for at least part of the time, and can be a fascinating if somewhat overwhelming experience if you're interested in the theme. The Messe has its own train station, Messe, two stops away from the Central Railway Station (from platform 104, underground) on S 3/4/5/6, and there's also a Messe station on the U4 subway line. Advance tickets for fairs often allow free use of all RMV public transport. U4/U5 to station Messe/Torhaus; trains to the trade fairs will be announced in English.

  • Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurt Buchmesse), [51]. The largest event of the world's publishing industry, held yearly in mid-October. The Frankfurt Book Fair has a long history, first being held in the year 1485, shortly after Gutenberg's printing press in nearby Mainz made books much more easily available than before. The last two days (Sa-Su) are open to the general public, with book sales allowed on Sunday only. In recent years, the public days of the Book Fair have also drawn a vast contingent of manga/anime fans, many of whom dress up as their favorite characters! Photography is allowed, but only after asking permission. Day ticket €12.
  • Frankfurt Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), [52]. The world's largest motor show and Frankfurt's biggest event, held every two years, next on Sept. 2013. (In even-numbered years, the show is held in Hannover.) Day tickets €11-18.

Learn

  • Goethe Institut, Diesterwegplatz 72 (Südbahnhof), +49 69 961 22 7-0, [53]. The official German language institute with vast ranges of courses to learn German in Goethe's hometown
  • Volkshochschule Frankfurt (Public education center), Sonnemannstraße 13 (Südbahnhof), +49 (0) 69 212 71501, [54]. Vast range of languages courses, cooking classes and other educational courses.
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Senckenberganlage 31 (U-Bahn station Bockenheimer Warte), +49 069 7980, [55]. Founded in 1914 this urban university offers a wide range of faculties.

Work

Frankfurt is one of the better locations in Germany to start looking if you want to find a job. It is the center of national and international banking/finance and there are also many high tech, chemical and pharmaceutical companies in the Rhine-Main area. All of these are more willing to accept people with no or less than adequate German skills if you can offer any other special skills.

Last but not least the airport and companies working for trade fairs always need people who speak English and other (seldom spoken) languages. Especially low skilled and very high skilled jobs are available. Make sure you have the proper permits and papers; working illegally can get you into a lot of trouble.

Buy

Frankfurt is a great place for shopping, as it caters both to tourists and to the local population, so you can find anything from haute couture to ridiculously cheap, and most of the shopping possibilities are located in the centre. The majority of shops are open until 8PM, though some of the larger stores downtown may close at 9 or 10PM. In general, shops are closed on Sundays.

  • The Zeil is the main shopping street in Frankfurt and in fact one of the most frequented shopping streets in Europe. The area features department stores such as Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt, shopping complexes like the Zeilgalerie [56] and the new MyZeil [57](remarkable architecture!), and many other shops. Also check out some of the surrounding streets, e.g. Liebfrauenstraße, Schillerstraße, Kaiserstrasse. Head to the Goethestraße for upscale shopping.
  • Kleinmarkthalle: market hall with local and international food products, located at Hasengasse 5-7 (in the city center between Zeil and Berliner Straße)
  • Schweizer Straße: small, traditional shops with local specialties, take U1/2/3 to Schweizer Platz.
  • Berger Straße: smaller trendy shops and cafés, take U4 to Merianplatz or Höhenstraße.
  • NordWestZentrum: a large modern shopping mall in the north of Frankfurt, reachable using the U1 subway. Many of the shops there can also be found in the downtown Zeil area - although the mall does contain Frankfurt's only Primark store.
  • Leipziger Straße: smaller shops, take U6/U7 to Leipziger Straße station.
  • Flea Market: Saturdays along the river in Sachsenhausen. Starts at around 10:00 and goes on unitl 14:00 during which time the road is normally closed to traffic.
  • Hessen-Center: an older shopping mall targeted more at the local population, take U7 to Hessen-Center.
  • Farmer's Market at Konstablerwache: every Thursday (10:00-20:00) and Saturday (8:00-17:00)
  • Schillermarkt: local groceries market, every Friday from 9:00-18:30

Eat

There are of course restaurants all over Frankfurt. One notable area for dining may be what is locally known as the Fressgass (a literal translation would be "munching alley"). The correct name of this street is Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse. As the nickname implies, the Fressgass features many cafes, restaurant, and deli food stores. It's a popular area to dine after the daily shopping. Take the subway to station Hauptwache or Alte Oper. In late May to early June (exact dates vary each year), the Fressgass Fest takes place with food stands, cheap beer and live music.

If you are looking for an in-depth paper-based restaurant guide, a popular publication is Frankfurt Geht Aus (Frankfurt is going out), a magazine style dining guide of the city. It can be bought for €4.80 at many kiosks and book stores, or at the Tourism Information at the central station.


Budget

  • Jade, Moselstrasse 25 (close to Hauptbahnhof, 2 blocks down Kaiserstrasse, then right, it's the one on the left). Small Chinese place with an international crowd. Excellent food served in enormous portions for a very cheap price. The menu is in Chinese, English and German. Very friendly service.
  • Pizza Monte Carlo, Diesterwegstrasse 2 (corner Schweizer Platz), Daily 5:30PM-11PM (open 1st - 15th of every month only). A small pizza place in central Sachsenhausen, highly recommended as long as you intend to take your food home (and most people do), but it does have room for 2-3 people to sit. The pizza is handmade and very tasty. They also serve pasta and some salads. €4-€6.
  • Bizim Döner, Train station Frankfurt-Griesheim (Lines S1 and S2 direction Frankfurt-Höchst). A small suburban shop with fantastic kebab. €2.50-€10.
  • Pizzeria Charly Braun, Röderbergweg 121, Frankfurt-Ostend (two blocks south of Habsburgerallee U-Bahn station), +49 069 49 29 41. M-F 10:30AM-10PM, closed Sundays. A small place with cheap and excellent pizza. Pasta and salad also served. Locals usually call in an order and pick up in twenty minutes. €3.60-€7.10 (depending on size).
  • Best Worscht in Town [58]: place where you can try "Curry-Wurst", which is a sliced beef sausage served with ketchup and curry spices, and considered one of the most popular German fast food products. The Best Worscht in Town chain is special in that it also serves extremely spicy variants, using some of the hottest spices available from different parts of the world. There have even been televised hot sausage eating competitions with on-site medical staff to take care of the participants. Stores can be found on Berger Strasse, in the Nordwestzentrum, and other locations. These are just stands without any seating.
  • Im Herzen Afrikas, Gutleutstraße 13 (Willy-Brandt-Platz), +49 (0)69 24246080, [59]. Eastern African food. Decoration is special (sand as floor) and reservation is important, as for dinner they offer only specific times
  • Pizzeria 7 Bello, Niddastr. 82 (Main station), +49 (0)69 236099. Good lunch option for fast pizza and pasta. Popular during summer as they have a small terrace on the side walk.
  • Ruchi, Ludwig Strasse 12 (A very short walk North from the main train station), +49 (0)69 27295728, [60]. Mo-Sa lunchtime-10PM. Daily Indian all-you-can-eat buffet is very tasty and a good value. South Indian buffet on Saturdays. Idly, dosas, vada, Ppani puri, Manchuria, bajjis are available. Very friendly staff. €4-8.00.

Mid-range

  • Restaurant Maximilian, Ginnheimer Stadtweg 120 (Ginnheim) [61]: Nice little restaurant serving German cuisine and fresh daily dishes,
  • Zum gemalten Haus, Schweizer Strasse 67 (Sachsenhausen) [62]: restaurant serving traditional local dishes, located in a building with painted facades
  • Leib & Seele, Kornmarkt 11 (near Hauptwache). Traditional German cuisine in a convenient location right in the centre.
  • Suvadee, Baumweg 19/Steinweg 7 [63]: in case you want a change from German cuisine: a good Thai restaurant with reasonable prices.
  • Adolf Wagner, Schweizer Straße 71 [64]: restaurant that serves a variety of traditional local dishes, and is home of some of the best Apfelwein in Frankfurt, as it is made in house. Be sure to try the "Handkäse mit Musik" for an appetizer.
  • Am Holtzer*, Restaurant. Traditional German Cuisine. Holtz St. Cozy atmosphere and excellent wine list.
  • Iwase, Vilbeler Straße 31 (near Konstablerwache). Considered by many to be the best Japanese food in the city. Not much larger than a hole in the wall, but the staff is authentic Japanese, and the food delicious.

Splurge

  • Aquapazza, Westendplatz 42, +49 69 172 028 (, fax: +49 69 972 06 440). Italian fish restaurant with option of alfresco dining under a pergola. Good, fresh fish dishes, but pricey.
  • Orfeo's Erben, Hamburger Allee 45, +49 69 707 69 100, [65]. M-F noon-3PM and 5PM-1AM, Sa 5PM-1AM, Su 5PM-10PM. One of the most popular restaurants.
  • Haus Wertheym, Fahrtor 1, Am Römerberg, +49 69 28 14 32. Historic restaurant, but some of the worst food in town. Dont't go!
  • Surf-n-Turf Steakhouse, Grunebergweg 95 (corner of Siebert-Liebigstrasse), +49 69 722122, [66]. M-F 12AM-3PM, M-Sa 6PM-midnight. This is probably the best steakhouse in Germany. €30-€50.
  • Nizza, Untermainkai 17, +49 69/299207511, [67]. Popular business lunch set and mediterrian food for dinner. They have a nice terrace in summer on the river bank
  • Taj Mahal, Schweizer Straße 28, +49 69/620240, [68]. Good indian restaurant with short walk from citycenter. Reservation for dinner is recommended.
  • Emma Metzler, Schaumainkai 17, +49 69 6199 5906, [69]. Tu-Sa noon-4:30PM and 6PM-midnight, Su noon-6PM, M closed. A relaxed international-local cuisine with great service and changing menu. Set in the Bauhaus-Style Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), close to the Main river, but with no view. Quite recommendable. €40.
  • Taste Of Darkness at Dialogmuseum [70]: experience eating in the dark without being able to see a thing (slightly expensive though) A reservation one month in advance is required.
  • Zarges, Kalbaecher Gasse 10 (Fressgass), +49-69-29 90 30, [71]. Offers breakfast, business lunch and fine dining with a french twist at a constant high level. For Dining a reservation is expected.

Drink

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. The city center includes the rather seedy red light district -which is heavily patrolled by police and local council officials - near the main station. Strip clubs like the Golden Gate Frankfurt are popular for e.g. bachelor/bachelorette parties at the weekend and similar joints are in walking distance. Check pricing upfront to avoid problems with bouncers afterwards.

Due to the banks and business travellers the nightlife in Frankfurt is split into upmarket parties or alternative student parties. Generally clothing must be a bit more upmarket than the German average, so sneakers will be only allowed in reggae/dancehall/r'n'b clubs etc.

While high-profile clubs are usually open until morning hours, bars close at around 23:00-01:00 and small clubs at 03:00-04:00 during Saturday nights. Best bet for binging all-nighters is Alt-Sachsenhausen as a lot of bars there will stay open until sunrise.

Ebbelwoi

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 (local dialect for "apple wine", sometimes spelled Ebbelwei). However, these days it's mostly for tourists. Good options in Alt-Sachsenhausen are Dauth-Schneider, Struwwelpeter and Lorsbacher Thal. Another option in Sachsenhausen is along Textorstrasse, a two minute walk south, where you can still find a row of authentic places catering to locals (Germania, Kanonensteppel, Feuerraedchen).

Not as famous as "Alt-Sachs", but also well known, is Bornheim (located in the north) which has also some beer-garden-like cider establishments on 'Berger Straße' and the surrounding area. Some of the popular apple-wine places in Bornheim are Solzer, Zur Sonne and Zur Schoenen Muellerin.

Drinking apple wine: Most locals drink their apple wine with a dash of sparkling water. Just order a glass by asking for a "Sauergespritzte" or simply a „Sauer“. You can also order a "Süßgespritzte", this is apple wine with a dash of lemonade though this might earn you some disapproving looks from the waiters and locals. If you are in a group you can also order a Bembel. This is a clay jug that comes in different sizes and keeps the apple wine cool.

Cafes

  • Cafe & Bar Celona Holzgraben 31 (near Hauptwache). Tel +49 69 13886709 [72] Daily 09:00-01:00, F-Sa 09:00-02:00. Spanish-style bar in the heart of the city. Popular, attracts a younger crowd, good for meeting people. Very crowded around 17:00-19:00. Also serves a variety of Spanish dishes. €7-20/person.
  • There are few cafés on Großer Hirschgraben. Café Karin and Walden are very popular with the locals.
  • During the summer, you can enjoy one of the open air rooftop bars with beach atmosphere, e.g. [73]

Clubs

There are many clubs in Frankfurt that cater to business people and organise corporate events. The German favour for electronic music results in a wide variation of clubs that offer this music. Alternative music is a niche market that cater the roots of the migrants in Frankfurt.

  • Cocoon Club, Carl-Benz-Straße 21, +49 69 900 200, [74]. A must-visit-location for friends of electronic music and a name in its own right with a worldwide reputation. Definitely worth a visit, even if you don't like the music, due to the amazing modern interior design.
  • Living XXL, Kaiserstraße 29 (next to ECB/Eurotower), +49 69/24 29 37 -, [75]. Club in the basement of the European Central Bank. Famous for its after-work parties and restaurant/lounge next doors. Popular for business people
  • King Kamehameha Club, Hanauer Landstr. 198 (Ostend), +49 69/480037 0, [76]. Th-Sat. One of the most famous clubs (especially for after work bankers) in Frankfurt. You need to dress to impress!
  • Velvet Club, Weißfrauenstr. 12 -16 (Willy-Brandt-Platz), +49 (0)69 2578095-10, [77]. Club in downtown Frankfurt with very nice interior design. Great place for house and electronic music lovers.
  • Jazzkeller, Kleinen Bockenheimer Straße Nr. 18a (Hauptwache), +49 (0)69 288537, [78]. Since 1952 the Jazz meeting point. Outstanding Jazz music for everyone with special concerts once in a while.
  • Odeon Club, Seilerstraße 34 (Konstablerwache), +49 69/285055, [79]. Theme parties (e.g. Monday Black music and Thursday Fraternity parties) and crowd depends on weekday. Saturday night is best and well-known pick-up joint for older pupils and students.
  • Sinkkasten, Brönnerstraße 5 (Hauptwache), +49 69/280385, [80]. Jazz, Reggae, Dancehall and Rock club for the middle aged (30-50 yr) with special guests and regular themes.
  • Monza Club, Berliner Straße 74 (Willy-Brandt-Platz), +49 69/90029440, [81]. For more than ten years techhouse, Minimal & Elektro club for the friends of electronic music. Door policy is rather relaxed
  • Clubkeller [82] - small place on Textorstrasse that has a good mix of indie music and a nice atmosphere.
  • PULSE Club [83] - popular gay club in Frankfurt with two dance floors.
  • Batschkapp [84] - THE place for rock and alternative music. One of the oldest clubs in town.
  • Nachtleben [85] - nice Bar/café close to "Konstablerwache" with a small concert hall in the cellar (mostly rock, punk, metal).
  • Kingkamehameha Beach Club [86] - artificial beach, open only during the summer, not at the same location as the regular Kingkamehameha Club!

Sleep

Frankfurt has plenty of accommodation but during major trade fairs, prices at even the cheapest hotels will suddenly skyrocket with charges of over €300/night quite common. Plan well ahead and alternatively, consider staying in nearby cities like Darmstadt, Neu-Isenburg, Bad Homburg, Mainz or Wiesbaden which are under an hour away by S-Bahn. If none of these works then Mannheim might be a last resort as it is 30mins by ICE high-speed train (but train ticket is rather expensive).

Frankfurt is the banking capital of Germany so most people are business travellers with an expense account. If you intend to stay for longer periods, ask for discounts or corporate rates. If you need to depart early or arrive very late then hotels around main station are a valid alternative to expensive airports hotels as it is just a 10 minutes ride from Terminal 1 by local train.

Many of the hotels in Frankfurt are located around the Hauptbahnhof, but this is also the red light district in Frankfurt and is also known for the many beggars and druggies who hang around. Although the area is well policed and quite safe, many tourists are often left with a somewhat negative impression of Frankfurt after staying in this area. If it’s not for you then there are plenty of cleaner areas in the city which you may find more suitable.

Budget

  • Five Elements Hostel, Moselstr. 40 (5 min walk from main station), +49 (0)69/24005885, [87]. Clean and new facilities with English and German speaking staff. Offers variation from dorms to single rooms. Free WLAN
  • Frankfurt Hostel, Kaiserstrasse 74, +49 (0)69 24 75 13 0, [88]. Right in front of the Hauptbahnhof. Offers dorms and rooms and has multilingual staff. Upside is all you can eat breakfast, downsize is dynamic pricing (late bookings come at a higher price). Social third floor terrace. Free "pasta dinner party" on Saturdays. dorms 20€, rooms 55€.
  • Luxor Hotel Frankfurt, Allerheiligentor 2-4, +49 069 293067-69, [89]. is 10 minutes to the historic downtown area, and 5 minutes to Sachsenhausen restaurants. Rooms are large and clean. There is shampoo in the bathroom, shower is nice. Hair dryer and mini-safe, cosmetic mirror, TV and closet in the room. Breakfast is excellent Prices for single rooms are available from €40/night and doubles for € 50/night outside of fair dates.
  • Youth Hostel Frankfurt, Deutschherrnufer 12 (Sachsenhausen, Bus line 46 from main station), +49 69 6100150, [90]. The official youth hostel of Hostelling International and the German branch. Prices are lower with HI membership but its open for all travellers. Dorms, family and single rooms.

Mid-range

The mid-range segment is the main battle ground between privately owned/run hotels and the major chain hotels (Mercure, Courtyard, Meininger etc.) During the weekends and at non trade fair dates substantial discounts are possible but vice-versa during trade fairs prices at least triple!

  • Ambassador Near the central station. Rooms are okay, proximity to the train station a plus (about 5 minutes on foot). Near the red light district which is a minus (you don't have to actually walk through the red light district to get to the hotel though).
  • Hotel Concorde, Karlstrasse 9 (main station), +49 69 2424220, [91]. Close to main station with good breakfast. Free WLAN. All rooms with air conditioning. For longterm residents it offers apartments, too.
  • Sheraton Congress Hotel Frankfurt [92] This centrally-located park-side business hotel has 396 rooms with modern appointments, Sheraton Fitness, pool, sauna, 2 restaurants and 13 meeting rooms.
  • Corner Hotel, Mainzer Landstraße 73 (Between main station and trade fair), +49 (0)69 2562655-0, [93]. Modern and clean hotel with 50 rooms and rather basic interior.
  • Courtyard Frankfurt Messe, Oeserstrasse 180, +49-69-39050, [94]. Slightly older but well-maintained hotel located near the Messe exhibition center, but far from anything else. Pool and gym. Free shuttle from the airport, but €7 for the return trip. From €60.
  • Manhattan Hotel, Düsseldorfer Straße 10 (opposite main station), +49 (0)69 269597-0, [95]. Small and clean hotel opposite main station, so perfect for early departures and/or late arrivals. Free WLAN and good buffet breakfast with multilingual staff. Rooms are good but avoid rooms facing the street as the area is busy late at night
  • Novotel Frankfurt City, Lise-Meitner-Strasse 2 (next to trade fair ground), +49 (0)69 793030, [96]. 235+ rooms in a solid business traveller hotel. Next to the trade fair ground and has loads of conference rooms
  • Topas Hotel, Niddastrasse 88 (Main station), +49 (0)69 230852, [97]. Owner operated hotel in a side street of main station. Renovated, friendly service but just 33 clean rooms. Free newspaper
  • Bristol Hotel [98] In the heart of Frankfurt,newly designed and refurbished.
  • Hotel Cult [99]. Excellent 4-Star Desinghotel in Frankfurt/Sachsenhausen. Close to the City Center, the International Airport, the Römer and the Frankfurt fair.

Splurge

  • Frankfurter Hof, Am Kaiserplatz (Willy-Brandt-Platz), +49 69 215-02, [100]. The grand old hotel of Frankfurt and known for excellent style and service for more than 130 years.
  • Intercontinental Frankfurt, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse 43 (3mins walk from main station), +49 069 26050, [101]. Major business hotel and conference center for international travelers. Also home to loads of conventions. Amazing view from club rooms over the city.
  • Lindner Main Plaza, Walther-von-Cronberg-Platz 1, +49 69 66401-0, [102]. Stunning views over the skyline of Frankfurt and directly on the river. One of the best hotels in Frankfurt & offers also long-term stays.
  • The Pure, Niddastraße 86 (main station), +49(0)69 - 71 04 57 0, [103]. Puristic but excellent Design Hotel north side of central station. A must stay for every style fan with fancy lounge, great cocktails & attentive staff 130€+.
  • Radisson Blu hotel, Franklinstrasse 65, +49 (0)69 770 155 0, [104]. Outstanding architectual hotel which is very popular with business travellers. Free W-Lan for guests and good location to trade fair. 130 Euros+ per night.
  • Sheraton Airport Hotel, Hugo-Eckener-Ring 15/Terminal 1 (opposite Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 and next to train station), +49 69 6977 0, [105]. Only hotel that is directly connected with the airport. Its huge, modern and has several restaurants and conference rooms. The windows are calm but prices reflect the superior location
  • Villa Kennedy, Kennedyallee 70, +49 (0)69 71712-0, [106]. Best hotel in town with outstanding service. Top prices for top service. Build in a former mansion with just 160 rooms and a ballroom.
  • Westin Grand Frankfurt, Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 7 (Konstablerwache), +49 (0)69 2981-0, [107]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Fresh city center hotel with calm rooms. Lots of international guests but staff with good local knowledge.

Stay safe

Frankfurt has one of Germany's highest crime rates, though, in part, only for statistical reasons: smuggling and similar offences at the airport as well as anything concerning credit card fraud anywhere in Germany is registered in Frankfurt, since the main credit card clearing company is based in Frankfurt.

Physical crime is in general concentrated in the red-light district around the central train station, which also is the hangout of many drug dealers/junkies. Nevertheless, Frankfurt is still very safe and it is highly unlikely that you will face armed robbery or other violent crimes. Use your common sense and avoid drunken or aggressive people at night.

If you have a problem or are being harassed, ask the police for help. The German police and the Frankfurt Ordnungsamt (City Enforcement Officers) are clean, competent and generally helpful. Germany is very bureaucratic but structured; as long as you behave respectfully toward the police, you should have no problem.

On the other hand, buying and smuggling drugs are major offenses with dire consequences.

Lately, bogus police officers have been an issue. All real officers have a green card with photograph and number, and no officer will check cash. Ring 110 if you get any trouble.

Contact

Internet

There are a number of Internet cafes in Frankfurt of varying prices and quality.

Free Wi-Fi at coffee shops are more and more common but most businesses require some purchases of food etc. to get the code. Various other hotels offer Internet access but usually at a charge.

Burger King (cnr Liebfrauenstrasse / Holzgraben) near Hauptwache offers free Wi-Fi in its restaurant, as does Starbucks near Hauptwache (Börsenplatz)

Phone

Besides public pay phones and mobile phone services, a large number of stores sell prepaid telephone cards. This is especially useful for international calls. The PTT multi-media store - 65 Baseler Strasse, offers competitive rates for international calls (10 cents per min to the UK) Some other stores also offer in house phone services. Another easy to reach store that seems reliable is in the Hauptwache subway station. You may also visit one of the plenty internet cafés, since they almost all offer cheap phone calls via internet.

Post offices

The postal service in Germany is Deutsche Post [108].

The four easiest-to-reach full-service postal offices are easy to locate:-

  • Inside Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (central station) by the long-distance ICE/IRE trains; near McDonalds.
  • In the Karstadt department store (ground floor) on the Zeil shopping street.
  • On Goetheplatz
  • At the Südbahnhof (Southern Station) take exit Diesterwegplatz and cross the square; the post office is to the left.

Cope

Drugs and beggars

The central station area (Hauptbahnhof) is known for being a center for homeless and perhaps drug users. It has improved much in recent years, but you will still occasionally be bothered by beggars. The drug addicts generally don't bother people, and the beggars will ask for Kleingeld (small change), which by their definition is anything between €0.20-2. One way to fend off beggars is just to say you do not speak German (and this might just be true for you anyway!). They will often switch to English then, so just pretend you can not speak that either (just shake your head, or say "No English") and they will get frustrated and leave you alone. If you think you are up to it, you may find it useful to know one or two sentences in the Frankfurter dialect to mimic locals, as tourists are often regarded as more profitable targets for beggars. Some of these phrases would be hoer uff (stop it), lass misch in ruh (leave me alone) or mach disch ab! (go away!). A polite Nein, danke (no thanks) will usually not do.

Get out

  • Mainz — Gutenberg's home on the Rhine, with a well-preserved old city, 45 min. by S-Bahn S8
  • Wiesbaden, wealthy historic spa city and state capital, 45 minutes by S-Bahn S1, S8, S9 or 35 min. by SE10 from Hauptbahnhof
  • Rüdesheim am Rhein – at the southern end of the Rhine Valley and the Rheingau, 73 min. by SE10.
  • Darmstadt — former residence of the duchy of Hesse, picturesque old town, art nouveau architecture
Emperor Antoninus Pius Presides at the Saalburg Main Gate
  • Bad Homburg — spa town with close by old Roman fort Saalburg[109] that is on the UNESCO heritage list
  • Bad Nauheim — art nouveau buildings and place where Elvis Presley stayed while in the Army (1958-1960)
  • Heidelberg, with famous castle and charming old town, 55 min. by IC.
  • Cologne, home to the Cologne Carnival and a famous cathedral, 1 hour by ICE
  • Büdingen: medieval city center

Hiking

If you're keen on hiking, head out to the nearby Taunus mountains, the Vogelsberg (an extinct volcano), or the Odenwald.



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