Germany’s historical city Frankfurt is still one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. Once the country’s old Imperial city on the River Main, Frankfurt is now a hip and trendy metropolis frequently cited as one of the top ten best cities to visit.
Frankfurt: City of Contrasts
There is no place like Frankfurt, an internationally diverse city known for its arts, culture and historical buildings. The imperious buildings that dot the skyline may signal its position as one of Europe’s main financial centres. But vestiges of that old world charm are still evident: Architectural marvels like the Frankfurt Cathedral – located in the city centre and for centuries the site of coronations of the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire – are a sight to behold. Meanwhile, historic sights such as the Goethe Museum or the Römerberg – the historic heart of the city since the 12th century – are close to popular and more modern amenities like shopping mile Zeil or the luxury retail strip Goethestrasse.
Culture is also abundant in the city of Frankfurt: On any given day, there are a multitude of theatres playing foreign language productions, galleries and restaurants making the city stimulating and accessible for visitors and locals alike.
Those who call Frankfurt home love the fact that it is – well – cosy. For example, you can get from one part of the city to another fairly quickly via the big city amenities: the railways and autobahns meet in Frankfurt, and the airport is a major hub and launchpad to many of the world’s major destinations. Every day, around 350,000 passengers from home and abroad use the central station for their journey into and from Frankfurt. The city and its metropolitan area also has a wide range of public transport and sightseeing transport options so that you can get to your destination conveniently.
The City’s Charm – Convenience & Architecture
That convenience is Frankfurt’s real charm. And although much of the city has received a substantial facelift over the years, the stunning architecture in the residential quarters – like Sachsenhausen and Bornheim, for instance – draw millions of visitors each year.
To get a feel of life in medieval Germany, Römerberg in Frankfurt’s old town is a must visit. This irregularly shaped square is not only Frankfurt’s most picturesque location, it is also the city’s busiest pedestrian zone, home to numerous tourist attractions from its many Kulturschirn, (an open-fronted shop common throughout the old town to the Römer, a collection of 11 preserved structures dating from the 15th century includes the Old Town Hall, the scene of many Germanic social gatherings. Also of interest are the Historical Museum (Historisches Museum), founded in 1878 and a repository of Frankfurt’s rich cultural history with exhibits dating back to medieval times and the six traditional-style buildings of the Ostzeile, a row of half-timbered houses that are perhaps Frankfurt’s best-known landmarks.
Frankfurt cuisine revolves around a few dishes and is a must if you are looking for a truly local dining experience. Offerings like Handkäse mit Musik (a curdled cheese usually eaten with a thin layer of butter is spread over dark brown bread) and Schweinshaxe (pig knuckles). Those who want a taste of the local tipple should try the apple wine – Frankfurt’s poison of choice. Made from fermented apples, locals swear by apfelwein (to give it the local name) which can be found in the many taverns in the city. But be warned, this is extremely potent stuff.
Frankfurt also hosts its own version of the world-famous Oktoberfest, which attracts thousands of tourists annually. Modeled after the original Munich event (first held in 1810), this Oktoberfest runs from September 17 and October 11 outside the world-renowned sports stadium Comerzbank Arena. Expect large men dressed in lederhosen (knee length breeches made of leather), engaging in all manners of tomfoolery between big gulps of the local brew. Food is also a major draw here: Vendors sell all sorts of sausages, schnitzel (deep fried and battered cuts of meat) and more. Fans of frothy alcoholic beverages and deep fried delights, rejoice!
Shopping & Other Pursuits
If you are in the mood for shopping, stroll along the pedestrianised Zeil – which is lined by department stores, high-street chains and malls – including the MyZeil, a stunning shopping mall designed by famed Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. Otherwise, shop at popular mall the Skyline Plaza then head to the public park-like area on top of the building to relax afterwards.
For a touch of old world glamour, visit the Alter Oper: Inaugurated in 1880, the Italian Renaissance-style building anchors the western end of the Zeil-Fressgass’ pedestrian zone. But if it is modern art you are after, Frankfurt also has a range of stunning collections for viewing.
The highly reputed Museum of Modern Art – the so- called ‘slice of cake’ building because of its characteristic triangular design – focuses on European and American art from the 1960s to the present, with frequent temporary exhibits that include works by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, American sculptor Claes Oldenburg and German installation artist Joseph Beuys.
For another kind of entertainment, visit Tigerpalast – Frankfurt’s top venue for cabaret and Varieté theatre – at night. Here, performers captivate audiences with a line-up that often include acrobats, circus performers and magicians. The result is an unforgettable evening right in the heart of Frankfurt.
Planning a trip to Frankfurt, Germany? Capri by Fraser Frankfurt would love to welcome you in order to enhance your experience in this breathtaking city where culture thrives in every corner. For more details, visit http://frankfurt.capribyfraser.com/en