A sprawling metropolis, Frankfurt is home to Europe’s second-largest airport and the European Central Bank. It is also the financial heart of Germany and the nation’s transportation hub. The city’s futuristic architecture and the numerous skyscrapers have earned Frankfurt the nickname of Mainhattan; there’s more than a passing resemblance to the famous area of New York. There are contrasting sights, with a blend of old and new, between the historical centre and the forward-thinking business area. The Finnair travel guide to Frankfurt will help you to discover the best of Germany’s business centre.
Sights in Frankfurt
Step back in time with a wander around Römerberg, Frankfurt’s historic heart, and admire buildings like Frankfurt Cathedral, the Alte Nikolaikirche and the 15th-century Customs Tower (Rententurm). Stroll along the Main River, where you’ll find a lively weekend flea market, and soak up the vistas from Eiserner Steg, the famous iron pedestrian bridge. The platform of Main Tower offers sweeping city views. Many of Frankfurt’s diverse museums are found in the area of Museumsufer. With something to suit most tastes, examples include the Museum of World Cultures, the Museum of Applied Arts, the German Film Museum, and the Jewish Museum. The Palmengarten and the Frankfurt City Forest offer peace and quiet while surrounded by nature, and Grüneburgpark offers diverse leisure activities. The zoo is a great place for a family outing. Frankfurt is known for its many trade fairs, with two of the largest being the Frankfurt Motor Show and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Visit one of the biggest exhibition centres in the world, the Messe Frankfurt, and discover what’s on.
Things to See and Do Near Frankfurt
- Vogelsberg – Hike up a volcanic mountain range and enjoy an array of flora and fauna, several lakes and reservoirs, and incredible views.
- Heidelberg – Visit the grand medieval castle and stroll around the historic city, pausing at spots like the Church of the Holy Spirit and St. Ignatius Church.
- Wiesbaden – Take a break from city life and head to Wiesbaden to relax in historic thermal spas. You can also ride the Nerobergbahn funicular, watch a show in the Hessian State Theatre and admire the domed Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth.
- Mainz – Wander around this historic city, full of interesting sights like the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral, Mainz Synagogue and the green square of Schillerplatz.
Shopping in Frankfurt
There is a great selection of places to shop in Frankfurt, with a balance between high-street and luxury brands and imported and German-made products.
- The Zeil – One of the busiest and most profitable shopping streets in Europe, the Zeil is Frankfurt’s main retail area. There are several department stores and shopping centres as well as smaller stores.
- Schweizer Strasse – Home to small traditional stores, this is one of the city’s best places to buy local specialities.
- Schillermarkt – This is a bustling farmers’ market that operates on Fridays.
Food and Drink
Gastronomically, Frankfurt is international: over 3,000 restaurants represent the cuisines of 70 different countries. There are several local and national delicacies to savour too. Visit the many restaurants, cafes, and delicatessens along Fressgass.
- Ebbelwei - Enjoy this apple wine in the wine cellars of the Sachsenhausen district.
- Gruene Sosse– Translating into English as Green Sauce, this sauce appears with many dishes. Made from eggs, oil, and herbs, it adds a distinctive taste to meat and vegetables.
- Frankfurter Würstchen – Germany is famous for its varieties of sausages and this local delicacy is typically served in a bread roll with mustard or sauerkraut.
- Handkäse mit Musik – Made from curdled quark cheese on a slice of buttered brown bread, this strong-tasting snack is topped with a mixture of vinegar, mustard, and caraway seeds.
- Tartarrenbrot – A light bite, this open sandwich combines raw beef with pickles and onions.
- Bethmännchen – A sweet treat, these tasty biscuits have a marzipan centre and sliced almonds on the outside.
Transport in Frankfurt
The public transport in Frankfurt is efficient, reliable and easy to navigate. Weekly tickets are available if you’re staying in the city for a longer period, although you can also pay day by day.
- By foot – Downtown Frankfurt is the oldest part of the city, and it’s where you’ll find many of the city’s major places of interest. This part of the city is easy to explore by foot and there are good footpaths for pedestrians. Free walking tours and self-guided tours are a great way to discover the area and see many sights.
- By bicycle – Numerous cycle lanes make Frankfurt a bike-friendly city. It’s quite easy to find rental bikes during the summer and autumn months from Deutsche Bahn and payments can be made conveniently by credit card over the telephone.
- Train and tram – The extensive U-Bahn metro system is one of the main ways to move around Frankfurt. The eight city centre lines connect almost all major places of interest and business areas. The S-Bahn connects the city with the suburbs and the airport. The trams in Frankfurt are also extensive. There are more than ten lines, including a heritage tourist line, with more than 135 stations.
- Bus – Although you’ll be able to reach most places around the city using trains and trams, buses connect outlying areas.
- Taxi – Frankfurt has many taxis, although a taxi ride can be disproportionately expensive when compared with other modes of transportation. Dishonest drivers may take tourists out of their way to increase the fare when they realise that they don’t know the city well.