What to do when in Frankfurt? All your city trip, restaurant and parking tips10-01-2020
Frankfurt, the financial capital of Europe, is not only well known for its big banks, but also for great local food, its yearly Christmas market and loads of cultural activities. You could, for example, go shopping in one of the big shopping centers, visit the famous Goethe House Museum and try some Frankfurter Würstchen (or one of the other many local dishes). With a big contrast between old and new, the city has something to offer for everyone.
Quickly read these tips for the best sights, activities, places to eat and drink and how to get to this lovely city.
What to see in Frankfurt?
Even though Frankfurt is known as a very modern city, it has a rich history. The best way to take a little look into the past and the present of the city, is to go sightseeing. You can experience a lot of the Frankfurt history in many of the sights and it is highly recommended to see as many of them as possible, starting with the relatively newest sight: the Frankfurt Main Tower.
Frankfurt Main Tower
If you think Frankfurt, you immediately think of the beautiful, futuristic skyline. One of the buildings that really stands out, is the Frankfurt Main Tower. This sight was finished in 1999, which makes it the ‘’youngest’’ sight you will read about in this blog, but do make sure to pay a visit to this nicely designed piece or art. You can enjoy the city from above on its 200 metres high rooftop observation platform; a true highlight for every explorer.
You can find the special Hauptwache building in the middle of the city. The Hauptwache was Frankfurt’s main guard house and was built in the early 1700’s. Nowadays, it functions as a cafe and can be seen as the centre point of the city. It is really an amazing contrast to see this one old building on a square with only modern skyscrapers surrounding it. Be sure to pay this little gem a visit!
If you are a fan of old, historical buildings, you should definitely go to Römerberg. This old town centre offers you a lot of half-timbered houses which gives you that classic german vibe and brings you right back to medieval times. This square is the heart of the medieval Altstadt (Old Town) and surely is photogenic.
Within Altstadt, you can find the beautiful Frankfurt Cathedral. The Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as Kaiserdom, is centuries old. The construction began in the 13th century and the cathedral has been through a lot since. With its Gothic tower of about 95 meters high, the cathedral catches the eye. For only 3 euros you can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the view of the city. Certainly worth climbing if you’re not afraid of heights.
From Altstadt, you are a 2 minute walk away from the Eiserner Steg. This famous iron, concrete bridge is one of the most popular photo spots of the city. From the bridge you have a spectacular view of Frankfurt’s skyline. The Gothic style bridge was built in 1869 and connects the city centre to the southern banks of the Main River, which houses the famous Museumsufer, or Museum banks.
What to do in Frankfurt?
Talking about the Museumsufer, you should definitely go for some great activities as well besides taking a look at all the lovely sights, which you can see during your trip to Frankfurt. Luckily the city has different activities in abundance.
There is no better place to go to than the before mentioned Museumsufer. The Museumsufer is home to some of the most important museums in Europe. You can reach it by crossing the Eiserner Steg connecting the Altstadt with Museumsufer. Basically ‘’Museumsufer’’ is just the name of a bank filled with museums. On this bank, you can visit a lot of Frankfurt’s museums. From Jewish history to film and from the fine arts to antique sculptures. Museumsufer offers all of it.
The most recommended museums on the Museumsufer are the Städel Museum (European art), the Deutsches Filmmuseum (film), Museum Angewandte Kunst (modern and contemporary art), the Liebieghaus (sculptures) and the German Architecture Museum (architecture). They are all well worth a visit if you like art and culture. Pick the one that speaks to you the most, or visit multiple museums in a row.
It’s clear that Frankfurt loves its museums. Next to the museums on Museumsufer, there are many more museums you could pay a visit whilst in the city.
Goethe House Museum
One of the museums outside of Museumsufer is the famous Goethe House Museum. The Goethe House is the birthplace of the most famous author and poet of Germany: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The house is still decorated in an 18th century bourgeois style, with a lot of fitting furniture and paintings. Next to the house, you can find a museum which shows all kinds of paintings from the Goethe era.
Senckenberg Museum of Natural History
Another popular museum is the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History. As the name already implies, this museum is about the evolution of life. The Senckenberg Museum is suitable for every age; who doesn’t like to take a look at the mammals and dinosaurs? With its changing special exhibitions, the museum is a fun visit every time.
Done with culture and feel like escaping the city for a couple of hours? Then the best thing you can do is go for a stroll through the botanical Palmengarten. After your visit to the Senckenberg Museum, you’ll reach the Palmengarten in no time. The garden stretches over 22 hectares, so there is plenty to see if you’re planning to pay a visit. Truly a great place to go to relax a bit!
Ahhh the zoo! Who doesn’t like the zoo? Especially one which is open every day of the year? This gorgeous Frankfurt Zoo is located very near the heart of the city and is home to over 500 animal species. It was established in 1858, which makes it over 160 years old and, of course, it is a great way to learn about the animal kingdom while relaxing and escaping the busy city.
Shopping in Frankfurt
If you do not mind the busyness of the city and prefer to shop, then you are in the right place as well! Frankfurt is seen as a shopping Walhalla with its big shopping malls, department stores, retail chains, small boutiques and the Christmas market.
Head to Berger Straße if you’re the kind of shopper that likes to take plenty of coffee breaks in between. This street has a lot of nice shops and boutiques but also offers you loads of choices in cafés, bars and restaurants to have a nice break at.
Next to the Berger Straße the city also has the MyZeil shopping centre to shop at. This modern city centre building is not only great for shopping, it is also an interesting sight to visit as the architecture, with its massive curved glass, can at least be called impressive.
If you are planning to visit the city somewhere in the months before Christmas, you’ll be treated with the largest annual Christmas market of Germany. Located at the historical Römerberg, the Christmas market is a joy to visit. If you want to learn more about this and other top Christmas markets, check out our Top 7 European Christmas Markets blog.
Besides enjoying nature or shopping or amazing museums, the next thing on the list should be food and drinks!
Where to eat in Frankfurt?
If you enjoy food (and who doesn't?) than Frankfurt is a true paradise for you. To make sure you’ll try the best of the best, here are some of the top restaurants and cafes where you could try those hearty Frankfurter dishes.
Breakfast, lunch, cakes or dinner, you can enjoy them all at the Cafehaus Siesmayer. At the edge of the Palmengarten you can try a delicious cake named the Frankfurter Kranz at the best cafehaus of Frankfurt. Perfect for a little break after your visit to the botanical garden.
Source: Cool Cities
Sausage. German sausage. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, then you probably haven’t tried them yet… Germans are very protective about their wurst. It is not just a part of the German cuisine, but it is a part of the German heritage. If you want to try the best Frankfurter Würstchen, you have to try it at Ebert Suppenstube. You can sit inside and on the terrace, but it is best to take it on the go and enjoy it while you stroll through the city.
The restaurant Adolf Wagner is well known by most tourists who come to Frankfurt. It offers not only one of the best local dishes, but at least three of them. Go for Grüne soße, aka green sauce, or Handkäs mit Musik, aka hand-cheese with onion, and don’t forget to order a glass of apfelwein, aka appelwine. Or even better, order them all and enjoy it while sitting in a typical German interior.
Zum Gemalten Haus
If you liked the apfelwein, than make sure to pay a visit to Zum Gemalten Haus as well. This is one of the oldest apple wine taverns of Frankfurt and famous for its apfelwein. You can either order a glass or Bembel, also known as a jug. The interior gives a cosy German vibe and makes you feel right at home! To really complete your experience, order a German sausage/meat platter and try a couple of different typical german sausages.
The indoor market hall Kleinmarkthalle is a joy for all those who love food. You will find loads of fresh foods here, including some of Frankfurt’s famous regional specialities, like Grüne soße. Take a look inside and make sure you arrive hungry, because you will want to leave with a lot of food in your belly!
Source: Frankfurt Tourism
The transport to and in the city can not be missed to make this guide complete.
Going to Frankfurt by car
If you are visiting the city by car, it is recommended to book your parking upfront to be sure you have a spot. You can park your car at the Delta Hotel on the east side of the city. From there you can easily go to the city centre by taking public transport. After a short walk you’ll reach the Offenbach Kaiserlei station and from there it will only take you 8 minutes to Frankfurt Hauptwache station, right in the centre of the city!
Important note on going to Frankfürt by car is that you will have to buy an environmental sticker to be allowed into the city area. You can download the Greenzone App as well, which will show you all the exact information about the Green Zones when driving.
In the city, you can also quite easily grab an Uber or a taxi or share a ride using BlaBlaCar.
Public transport in Frankfurt
The easiest way to travel inside of Frankfurt, is by public transport. Take the subway, tram, commuter train or the bus to reach you destination within the city. One of the best tools to find your way in a foreighn country is Rome2Rio. Either go to their website to check your route or download the app. Another way to check your route in Frankfurt is to check the timetables of the RMV.
Frankfurt is the 5th biggest city in Germany and has an international airport. You could easily arrive by plane and head further into the city by public transport or using BlaBlaCar.
Planning to go to another city after your weekend to Frankfurt and want to safely park your car at the airport? Book your parking upfront at this hotel airport parking which is located right next to the airport!
Where to stay in Frankfurt?
If you are going to Frankfurt and you plan to stay for more than one day, then check out all the Airbnb Frankfurt locations or consider booking at the Delta Hotels by Marriott. Good to know: at the Delta Hotels, you can also book your parking with Mobypark.
So, what to do in Frankfurt?
Make sure you’ve seen, done and tried some of the tips before leaving the city, but most of all, enjoy the city with your family or friends!
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