Frankfurt (aka Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main) is the business capital of Germany, the most technologically advanced and modern city in the country. For efficiency it is called Chicago-on-the-Main or Mine Hatten. But this does not mean that everything here is built of glass and concrete. For example, the cozy and picturesque area of Alt-Sachsenhausen is old Germany in all its glory. Just do not be deceived by the sight of the local ancient architecture – in fact, there is hardly a single building here, as, indeed, in the rest of the city, older than 50 years.
The sad historical truth is that during the Second World War the city was almost completely destroyed. However, lovingly restored, it now pleases its guests with a harmonious combination of elegant mansions of the Museum Embankment, which sheltered numerous and very curious museums, and modern buildings of the Banks Quarter, shining in the evenings with a thousand lights on the other side of the river. Check 3rjewelry for other cities and countries as well as geography in European Union.
Frankfurt is divided into 46 administrative quarters, most of which are the nearest suburbs or once independent settlements. The quarters, in turn, consist of 118 city districts. Frankfurt’s largest quarter is Sachsenhausen. The most interesting areas for tourists are the historical center of Altstadt, the Bank Quarter and the Museum Embankment.
The central streets of the Old Town, on the northern bank of the Main, were restored in 1986, and therefore neat and well-groomed in German. It is in the Altstadt that the most recognizable symbols of Frankfurt are located: Römer Square with postcard facades and stepped roofs lined up in a row of houses, as well as the Fountain of Justice, decorated with a statue of the Roman goddess Justice. Numerous hotels, cafes and restaurants of various levels are open near historical sights. In the north, Altstadt is taken in a semicircle by the winding streets of Innenstadt – the Inner City, built on the site of ancient fortifications.
Another cozy tourist area is Alt-Sachsenhausen with charming villas built in the traditional Saxon style and the famous flea market where you can find any rarity on Saturdays.
With the relaxed mood of the historic center, the impetuous rhythm of the Banking Quarter, the financial heart of the city, if not the whole of Germany, comes into dispute. The headquarters of the largest international organizations of the level of the European Central Bank are concentrated here. Towers, skyscrapers, business complexes – all this glass-concrete splendor rises on the picturesque northern bank of the Main.
On the south coast, the Museum Embankment flaunts, where the cultural life of the city boils all year round. Even a few days will not be enough to visit all the exhibitions: the Museum of German Cinematography, the Museum of German Architecture and many other expositions are equally worthy of the attention of art connoisseurs.
Beautiful, rich, business-like Frankfurt is a city with a high crime rate. At night, drug addicts with syringes and cigarettes can be found right in the center: they are not even afraid of the police. The most dubious reputation is in the Bahnhofsviertel district, stretching between the railway station and the Bank Quarter.
For the most desperate tourists and local residents, thematic excursions Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’roll are organized: both of them, and the third one, are in abundance here.
Communication and Wi-Fi
Mobile communication in Frankfurt is provided by more than 10 operators. The market leaders are O2, T-Mobile, Ortel Mobile, Vodafone and E-Plus. SIM cards are sold at company offices or supermarkets, the cost is from 10 EUR, 5-7 EUR of which are credited to the account. After buying a SIM card, you need to activate it: in order to avoid difficulties, let the seller do it. You can replenish the balance at the cash desks of stores or with the help of special cards sold there.
Another convenient means of communication is payphones installed on the streets of the city. You can pay in them with coins, credit cards and telephone cards, which are sold in kiosks, post offices and large supermarkets. The cost of phone cards is from 3 to 25 EUR, depending on the number of minutes provided.
It is cheapest to call from payphones on weekends, as well as on weekdays from 18:00 to 8:00.
There are free Internet access points in hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and other public places. In Internet cafes located throughout Frankfurt, paid Wi-Fi costs 1-2.50 EUR per hour.
The famous shopping street of Frankfurt – Zeil: there are many shops with goods for every taste, and on Thursdays and Saturdays there is a farmers’ market where you can find the freshest products and outlandish delicacies. The best selection of souvenirs is on Römer Square: here you can find traditional magnets and handicrafts, albeit at inflated prices. Antique shops are concentrated on the street. Braubachstrasse is not far from the town hall: with a certain amount of luck on their colorful stalls, you can stumble upon something really valuable. The popular flea market is open on Saturdays in the Alt-Sachsenhausen district. Fans of luxury should head to the Goethestraße, where luxury boutiques from Armani to Versace are open. And visitors to large shopping centers – Skyline Plaza and MyZeil – are waiting for classic European shopping.
It is best to thoroughly replenish your wardrobe in the Wertheim Village outlet, which is an hour’s drive from the city (website). There are more than 100 stores of world famous brands offering discounts of up to 60% all year round. A special Shopping Express bus departs from the Central Railway Station, tickets are 20 EUR round trip.
The best souvenirs from Frankfurt are edible. The city is famous for its excellent Apfelwein apple cider, in honor of which they even organize an annual festival. As an appetizer, you should buy the local handkese cheese made from low-fat cottage cheese with onions and spices or the famous beef sausages, and to them – a jar of “green sauce” made from eggs, butter and a whole bunch of aromatic herbs. By the way, it is better to buy it not in supermarkets, but in the markets: it is cheaper and tastier. There are more serious (and most importantly, more durable) souvenirs in Frankfurt: the products of the old Hechster porcelain manufactory are expensive, but incredibly aesthetic and of high quality.
Cuisine and restaurants in Frankfurt
In Frankfurt, you can taste traditional German treats, redesigned in a special way. Among meat dishes, it is worth trying cutlets with sauerkraut, Frankfurt sausages and Rindwurst beef sausages: the secrets of their preparation have been kept since the 19th century. They are most often served with beer or apple cider, seasoned with the famous “green sauce”: they say it was invented by Goethe’s own mother. Another dish associated with the name of the great poet is the peasant handkese cheese with onions and cheese, the favorite dish of the genius. Classic desserts are Christmas buns with marzipan “Batmanchen” and puff cake with berries “Frankfurter Kranz”, which means “Frankfurt Crown”.
Almost every tavern in the city has its own recipe for making apple cider.
For gourmets in Frankfurt there is a whole street – “Glutton Lane” next to the Old Opera House, where the best gastronomic shops, cafes and restaurants are concentrated. Most of them focus on traditional European cuisine, but there are establishments with other specializations: Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Argentinean. Apple and wine taverns are very popular with locals and tourists, where they offer the famous Apfelwein cider with all kinds of snacks. It is best to look for them on the south bank of the Main, in the Alt-Sachsenhausen region. A hearty lunch in a tavern will cost 10-20 EUR per person. You can have a bite to eat in an inexpensive cafe for 5-10 EUR. The average check for dinner in a restaurant is from 50 EUR per person.
10 things to do in Frankfurt
- Admire the Town Hall on Römer Square inside and out: the gingerbread facade is charming, and the Imperial Hall is luxurious.
- Walk through the taverns of the Alt-Sachsenhausen district and compare the tastes of the famous apple cider: how many establishments – so many recipes.
- Having managed to stay sober after a raid on taverns, finally get drunk on the aroma of plants from all over the world in the Garden of Palms.
- Consider in detail the sculptures on the roof of the Old Opera House.
- Sit on the veranda of a restaurant in Hauptwach and try to believe that there was once a prison here.
- Choose the most spectacular of the towers propping up the sky in the Banking District.
- Take a look at the Odenwald mountain range from the panoramic platform of the Maintauer skyscraper.
- Try Goethe’s favorite dish – handkese cheese, spreading it with “green sauce”.
- Reflect on the vagaries of evolution by studying dinosaur skeletons at the Senckenberg Museum.
- Find out how the art of cinema was born by wandering around the Museum of German Cinematography.
Frankfurt for kids
Near the Römer Square there is a Children’s Museum with interactive exhibits (website in English). This is a large playground where you can, for example, look at the stars through a telescope, learn a new hobby like beading or try yourself as a book printer.
The pride of the Senckenberg Museum is a huge collection of dinosaur skeletons, as well as about 2 thousand stuffed birds and ancient fossils: fish, insects, reptiles, and mammals.
After getting acquainted with extinct animals, it’s time to look at the current inhabitants of the planet. Fortunately, there are an incredible number of them in the Frankfurt Zoo: representatives of more than 450 species are collected here (website in English).
Animals and birds live in open areas and in pavilions divided into zones: there is a jungle with graceful cats, an exotarium with reptiles, aviaries with primates, pools with penguins and rooms with nocturnal animals.
And in the water parks “Rebstockbad” and “Panoramabad” both children and adults are waiting for water entertainment: pools, slides, hot tubs and saunas.
The climate of Frankfurt, one of the sunniest cities in Germany, is continental, with hot summers and cold winters. The hottest month is August, the coolest is January. Autumn is comfortable: rains and the first frosts begin only at the end of November. In spring, the weather is changeable: clear days give way to cold snaps and torrential downpours. But by the end of May, the picture is improving: the temperature stabilizes, the precipitation stops.
The high seasons are summer, which pleases with heat and sun, and Christmas holidays, when the city sparkles with illumination and is filled with noisy fairs. But for lovers of a calm, measured rest, it is better to go to Frankfurt in early autumn or late spring.